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"A pure Virginian tobacco of a most unusual share of strength". This is a strong, sharp aged red Virginia blend that will perk you up quickly.

New tin description: "Hal O' The Wynd" is an unusually strong Virginia-based mixture. Fire-cured Kentucky is added to a base of a variety of Virginias and Perique completes this mixture. It is then pressed and finally rubbed by hand.

Notes: The booklet inside the tin says "A full-bodied Virginia tobacco with a slight sweetness and extremely pleasant smoking characteristics. The name comes from that of the armourer in the novel "The Fair Maid of Perth" - a man who had "a most unusual share of strength". In the German decription is written: "und einem Hauch wurzigem Perique" that means: "and a touch of spicy Perique".

BrandRattray
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsKentucky, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
CountryDE
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
SmokingPipes.com
PipesAndCigars.com
Product Image
Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 32 Users

3.4
236 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
133
3 star:
69
2 star:
25
1 star:
9
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The Virginias are mildly citrusy, moderately dark fruit tangy with a hint of grass, and a little earth. It has an extremely mild fermented sweetness as well. The Kentucky adds a touch of strength and a very mild nutty woodiness, though it mostly lurks in the background. The perique is also a minor player, but it has a little pepper, raisin and fig flavor that adds a nice dimension to the blend, and does just a little more for it than the Kentucky does. The nicotine hit is mild, and it won't bite even when pushed. Has no dull or harsh spots. Mildly complex and lightly moist out of the tin, it burns at a reasonable rate, cool and clean with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. You may have to relight a few times. Burns to ash with no trouble, and leaves very little dampness in the bowl. Has a very pleasant after taste. Can be an all day smoke for the experienced piper.

54 people found this review helpful.

Shane Ireland Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shane Ireland (8)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have had a long love-affair with the Rattray's Virginias; moving back and fourth between this, Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake, Brown Clunee, and finally back to this. In my opinion these blends (with the possible exception of Marlin) are so similar in profile, that it really comes down to how strong you prefer your blends to be, and how much Perique/KY influence you are looking for. Really, that is part of what makes the lineup brilliant; there is something for everyone. Hal O' the Wynd is the one for me. It not only packs the best punch, but it has the most Perique and by extension, the most interesting flavor to my tastes. I like many blends and reserve some for special occasions/aging potential, and while I do have some Hal in the cellar, I mostly smoke it fresh. There is always a 500g jar on my desk and I smoke this when nothing else sounds good, or when I want to break-in a pipe, or when I need something familiar, satisfying and easy to enjoy. The backbone of my rotation.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

17 people found this review helpful.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (79)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

This would be the forth time I am writing a review on this blend and the last.

This blend is perfect, another reviewer noted very accurately that if you do not wish to waste money trying out all different Virginias, start here and forget the others as there is no better Virginia IMHO.

I am sorry to say this, but after smoking many of the other brands like McClellands, McCranies, Samuel Gawith etc, I doubt that any of them can make a blend that can match this masterpiece.

Ok, to put it another way, I would smoke this if it cost me $100 a tin.

Mo, South Africa

16 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I finally gave this highly acclaimed Rattray's tobacco a try recently. I had a tin of it in my tobacco "cellar" (hall closet - top shelf) for about three years. So, it was nicely aged.

Folks, the tin says Hal O' The Wynd has a most unusual share of strength. Well, it was smooth as silk from top to bottom and as refined as any straight Virginia I've ever smoked. It was cool, and it wouldn't nip even when the puffing cadence was stepped up a notch or two. And, it didn't seem to have a particularly strong nicotine content either. The taste leans toward a subtle sweetness, and I often loaded back-to-back bowls of this delightful weed.

It did take some work for me to get the leaf into what is my favorite style - totally rubbed out and zapped in my blender. It is loaded with broken chunks in the tin, which will allow outdoor smokers to lock and load quickly.

The only unusual thing about this tobacco is that while it produced a lot of moisture in the stem and shank, the tobacco itself burned to a mostly dry ash. While some other reviewers hinted that Hal gets stronger as you work you way down the bowl, I didn't get that impression at all. In fact, it is a fairly monochromatic smoke to me.

All in all, old Hal was an absolute pleasure to puff on and you can bet that I will be purchasing more of this delightful tobacco for my hall closet, uh, I mean my tobacco cellar.

15 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to add to the other reviews except a note on aging. I recently got back into pipe smoking (quit while raising my kids) and once back, I dug out my one tin on hand of this that I'd kept in storage since 1994. It was even better than I remembered. I've since ordered a new tin and a bulk pound and neither taste like the aged tin. The 1994 tin was even more complex and sweet and tasty.

This isn't much help to most of us since we aren't going to wait 14 years to smoke! But I've just purchased 3 pounds for cellaring and am going to crack one every 3 years or so, meanwhile replenishing stock. This is one tobacco that fares really well in the cellar.

14 people found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (34)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Having smoked my way through several 100gm tins of this now I've a few thoughts about it I feel might be worth adding to the many reviews already here.

Tastewise, I find it pretty flavourful for a blend that stresses the Virginia/Kentucky (I don't mean to insult VA blends, merely that a Latikia-heavy blend will always have a more pronounced flavour than a blend such as HOTW). The Perique adds a depth I find straight VAs lack.

What seems to make a big difference to the flavour is the pipe itself and how it is packed. I smoke clays, which means the bowls are generally not huge, and narrow and deep in proportions. Packed loosley, HOTW is a good, medium flavoured VA/Per type blend, with little variation as the bowl burns down. Rubbed out and packed quite tightly then smoked slowly it gradually develops a very marked and remarkable sweetness that starts around the half way point the nbuilds and builds which compliments the initial spiciness very well.

It's a very deceptive blend. I first found it very basic, montone and simple, but began to appreciate it more as I got the taste for it and experimented with how I pack the pipe. It's a bit like those wines or good-quality beers,ciders and coffees that you don't think are anything particularly outstanding at first but grow on you over time.

If puffed at frantically it can (and will) bite like a starving piranha, but with a little care it's possible to get it to produce large quantities of smoke without biting at all. What you can't do is smoke it absent-mindedly. Not unless you're fond of hot tongue syndrome, anyway.

Overall, as I got the "feel" for HTOW it's raised itself from "OK but nothing that remarkable" to a through the day regular. I prefer Old Gowrie as the "breakfast" pipe with coffee, but then tend to find HOTW suits more later on.

As far as nicotine goes, I'd call it a medium, with Nightcap/Artisan's Blend counting as "High" and the Captain Black aromatics counting as "low". Slightly stronger than Erinmore Balkan Mix or Dunhill Early Morning, perhaps and certainly strong for a blend of this type.

Overall I'd recommend giving it a try, it's an excellent example of its type of blend. Just treat it with a little caution at first unless you're used to VA/Per blends already and be prepared to put in a little patience.

PS.. It will build cake at high speed if you're looking to break in a new briar and, unlike English or aromatics blends is unlikely to cause too much ghosting.

11 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Appearance: A mostly dark brown and red broken flake, almost fully rubbed out. There is a considerable moisture content, typical of Rattray blends both new and historical. Speaking of hisorical, my recollection of this tobacco is that it was ready rubbed.

Aroma: Oh, boy. The first impression is dark chocolate with raisins and figs (not too dry). I haven?t smelled anything like it since Sobranie Flake went off the market. It smelled so good, I had to chew a bit to see if there were any additives. This is unusual, as I am not a tobacco chewer.

Packing: Since it?s almost rubbed out, it can be packed right from the can into medium and large bowls. Smaller bowls might need a bit more rubbing out.

Lighting: Best left to dry a bit before smoking, or lighting may be difficult. Once it?s aired out, it lights and burns well.

Initial flavor: Just a rich, sweet, full Va. Flavor with many nuances. The smoke is dense, and there is a decided strength of flavor to it, although I don?t feel a high nicotine content.

Mid-bowl: There is a good range of medium and low notes to the blend, very little in the way of higher range. The blend continues to delight the palate, and remains cool to the tongue. Even a few strong puffs occasionally doesn?t result in any bite. One of the best tasting Virginias I?ve tried in years, very similar to Marlin Flake.

Finish: Smokes dry, cool and gentle right to the end. If I remember to rub out the first pinch a bit, it will burn down to clean ash.

Summary: Maybe too strong for a first experience with Va, especially for a new pipe smoker. Having made that disclaimer, I will recommend to any smoker who loves Virginias, particularly the darker matured varieties

10 people found this review helpful.

xhi_flyer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
xhi_flyer (1)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Tolerable

I've been an on and off pipe smoker for some years. I've tried many of highly rated English blends including Dunhill 965 and Rattrays thinking that a "real" pipe smoker has to enjoy Latakia. My mouth discomfort and foul taste made it clear that Latakia was not something I enjoyed. I came to believe that pipe smoking was not for me and I was going to give up completely until I came across Hal O' the Wynd. It was a smoking revelation! It's an extremely flavorful and satisfying smoke experience. I buy two 100 gm tins at a time, one to enjoy and the other to age. It burns very well and I smoke it slowly with light draws and allow myself the luxury of a completely satisfying smoking experience. Highly recommended.

9 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like the Virginia blends that Kohlhase and Kopp produce quite a bit. Solani Silver Flake, Virginia Flake 633, & Reiner Long Golden are all favorites of mine. And while I wouldn't rate Hal O' The Wynd as highly as these, this is still a fine tobacco, and it's definitely a stand out amongst the current Rattray label Virginia blends.

If I could pick one unique attribute of Hal O’ the Wynd, it’s that each time I smoke this, the first portion of the bowl is mysteriously mild. It’s so mild that it seems as though all the flavors that are actually there, are just cancelling each other out. However, the flavor strength does arrive in short time, mostly in the form of a tanginess that's balanced by a subtle sweet finish. If the pungent tin note isn't enough to convince someone that there's more than a dash of perique in this, the sharp sting of retro-haling the smoke surely will.

The Virginia's are more citrus and raisin-like than they are grassy. There’s a good amount of Virginia flavor but it’s quite a bit lighter than I expected. The Kentucky adds depth and body, but it also gives the blend a bit of a murky taste. The perique is quite peppery and adds a slight plum flavor to the finish. The role of the perique is a bit more than condimental, so rather than amplifying the sweetness of the Virginia’s, it has a tendency to somewhat overpower them. The overall result is one that’s more complex. Instead of tasting sweet and spicy, the flavor is a combination of sweet Virginia tobacco with rich earthy overtones and a somewhat dry piquant/tart finish.

Hal O' the Wynd isn't what I would categorize as a full or heavy smoke but I still find that it makes a better cooler weather tobacco, as the flavor is very much on the darker side of the spectrum. The overall strength, both tobacco flavor and nicotine are a firm medium.

I often wonder if this was Greg Pease's inspiration for Cumberland. Comparing the two, I'd say Hal O' the Wynd is sweeter and not as robust, but they are quite similar.

7 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

EDIT 4-19-2016

I just finished a second tin of this since my original review and have nothing to change on this one. Just a great blend. I did have a chance to try some of this from the 1990's at last year's Chicago Show and it was out of this world. I still highly recommend this one and have several tins aging in the cellar.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 4-21-2014

This is easily my favorite of the famous Rattray Trio. It is a VaBurPer, that packs a pretty good punch without overwhelming the smoker with the Perique or Kentucky. There is an earthy sweetness that makes smoking this blend a real pleasure, It has less of the hay that one would expect in a blend such as Old Gowrie, but with much more backbone than both OG and MF.

The burleys and the Virginias combine to give this blend the optimal earthy sweetness that I like in blends with that component. I find the perique to be moderate in its presence as the spiciness attributed to this leaf is pretty mild. This is a real treat and I will certainly be buying more of this in the future.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Dry Oscar 412 primarily

Age When Smoked: new tin

7 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I really love all three of Rattray's Virginia blends, Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake and Hal O' the Wind. But if pushed into a corner I would have to say HOTW is my current favorite. While not overly wet, HOTW does need a bit of time to dry out. The Kentucky adds the extra body that I like, yet it doesn't dominate the blend. It does offer a bit more punch. I usually rub out my flakes and broken flakes, but with HOTW I smoke it as is with just a little rubbed out at the top of the bowl to get things going and kick back for a long smoke. If I had to point out any negative with HOTW it is that it doesn't really become more complex as the bowl progresses. But with this particular blend, it's a very minor issue for me. When it comes to VaPer or VaPer style blends, I tend to judge them by how well they age and HOTW keeps that punch I like while still becoming wonderfully sweet with age. K&K has done a nice job with all three blends and they all have a place in the cellar but there is a little extra space for HOTW. Great stuff!

6 people found this review helpful.

DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (120)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Summary: A balanced Virginia blend that tempers the sweet and acidic tendencies of the leaf and complements it with condimental Perique and Kentucky.

There are at least two types of Virginia blend smokers. Like beer drinkers, where one heads to the Budweiser and the other contemplates Grolsch, they are divided by their attitude toward sweetness. Most want a golden bright Virginia that is unfailingly sweet and light in flavor, while others want more of a pressed or stoved style medium taste. "Hal O' the Wynd" provides a gentle but strong Virginia balanced by small amounts of Kentucky and Perique, giving it a campfire-cooked and wine-like flavor. The Virginias join in with an intense sweetness in the background but the hay, grass and grain notes up front for the signature of the blend. This is good enough to smoke only on special occasions, but $8/50g can be smoked daily without ever becoming mundane.

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Oak, Dunhill - Royal Yacht.

5 people found this review helpful.

Phil Theharp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phil Theharp (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Right off of the bat this is a splendid Vaper. On a rare trip to Nottingham I called in to Gauntleys, which was always a haven for the pipe smoker. I was a touch disappointed, therefore, when the assistant couldn't describe the blend to me, save to say he didn't think it was a mixture. Indeed. Help, in the shape of Google, was at hand and I made my purchase. In the tin 'Hal' presents as a nice, evenly rubbed out flake with an almost perfect moisture content. The nose is all Xmas pudding and orange rind, autumnal and rich. Lighting may take two or three matches. The taste is full without being heavy, the sweetness of the red virginias tempered by the peaty pepperiness of the perique and all balanced in a woody embrace. This is an expensive treat, worth the money.

Pipe Used: Peterson Rosslare

Age When Smoked: From tin

Purchased From: Gauntleys of Nottingham

Similar Blends: Dunhill Navy Rolls (taste, not appearance)..

4 people found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is strong stuff! I wouldn't smoke it on an empty stomach or from a big pipe.

The reddish brown, fully rubbed out, broken flake has a mild and pleasant tin note with sweetish hints of brown bread, grass and dried figs. In a new tin the tobacco appears to be somewhat on the moist side, but doesn't really require drying.

To fill my pipe I make little balls of tobacco that I gently stuff into the bowl. Getting it burning evenly can take a little patience: after a thorough charring light and leveling out the ashes, I apply an equally thorough true light. Especially during the first third of the bowl regular tamping is advisable.

From the look of the blend, its tin note and even its taste you wouldn't expect the strength of Hal O' The Wynd. As far as nicotine content is concerned, I'd compare it to Dunhill's Nightcap. The mild and mellow natural tobacco flavor is dominated by the tangy, hay-like sweetness of the Virginias, which mixes perfectly with the spicy, but also slightly fruity, earthy acidity of the Perique and creamy hints of dark chocolate, and gets a little bolder during the second half of the bowl, always being kind to your tongue. It's a well balanced, safisfying, complex smoke, which can offer loads of subtle aromas, when enjoyed coolly and with care, and will leave you with some dry, light grey ash. Because of its smoothness and good-natured burning characteristics it can be a perfect all day tobacco, that can even be recommended to newbies, as long as you take the necessary precautions.

The room note is lead by sweetish tobacco smoke scents and therefore tolerable.

Pipe Used: Vauen Oxford

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist

4 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Okay this is a great blend. ROTT it was a little green and so I waited 6 months. 6-24 months it was great still a little bite but not bad. Perique lead the way for me with pepper and plum with the VA's right behind sharp and toasty, a little tangy and sweet. The KY added depth to the smoke but remained in the background. However, I have just finished a jar that is 3yrs and 4 months old. The profile has changed and quite a lot for such a short time. It could be that my taste has changed and/or developed. In any case the KY's spice seems at the front now. The VA's have softened and sweetened a little. The perique which was out front is still present but comes in and out and stays more in the background now. I like this blend at the 6-24 month mark. I take aging into consideration as it is important to me. Would love for others to update as it ages too.

Age When Smoked: 3 yrs 4 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

4 people found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my second-favorite after Escudo. Not as strong a nicotine hit as many reviewers claim. Great with the morning coffee on a cold winter day. It is a bit wet coming straight out of the can. Needs some drying prior to smoking. Rub it out, or not, it will smoke down to a fine, white ash and leave you happy.

Don't know what is was like back in the day when it was made in the UK, but the Kohlhase & Kopp reproduction is great.

I've tried it "fresh" and after a couple of years in the cellar, and I can't tell any difference. It has a strong scent of dried figs in the tin, and this may be the K & K house topping, which I suspect has some honey in it, but the very light casing does not detract from the flavor of the weed.

My wife (a very attractive and intelligent woman) keeps telling me how much she likes the smell of this smoke. She has asked me to make it my usual or regular tobacco. So I will be smoking more of this in the future.

Update, 4 May 2013: I'm downgrading this from my original 4 star rating. Hal was one of the first blends I ever loved, but the old passion is gone. Not just HOTW, but all Kohlhase & Kopp blends seem bland to me now, sort of one-step-up from cigarette tobacco. There is just not enough flavor. I've found better Virginia blends. And Hal is still only a medium in the nicotine department.

4 people found this review helpful.

dbl-bbl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dbl-bbl (36)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Rattray's Hal 'O the Wynd ... opening the sealed canister I'm greeted with a very appealing & zesty fragrance thats much like Old Gowrie but on a low dose of steroids .... reminiscent of dried hay, plums, & raisin bread. This tobac is a VaPerBur that's not to heavy on the Perique (which I prefer). I like smoking this blend for the clean natural tobacco flavor it imparts upon my palate. It delivers an earthy flavor (like Old Gowrie) as well as a baked raisin bread taste & aroma (unlike Old Gowrie) that I truly enjoy ... in short HOTW has more flavor that I prefer. This is an excellent smoke and as such it is part of my regular rotation. At times this blend can be a little difficult to find (out of stock), so if you try it and like it be sure to pick up some extra for cellaring. Given some "jar time" this blend becomes even more mellow & tasty. 4 stars!!!!

Pipe Used: Briars & Meerschaums

Age When Smoked: Fresh & Aged Several Months

Purchased From: 4noggins.com, SmokingPipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you are looking for a blend that bursts with flavors and knocks your socks off, you probably won't think much of this. However, this is a really solid mixture. I can mostly agree with JimInks' views, although I find it a bit more on the earthy side than he does. I think pipers looking for a solid, mildly complex, middle-of-the-road blend should give this a try. I wish I had years ago. 3 1/2 stars.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 1 month after purchase

Purchased From: Mars

3 people found this review helpful.

Kribbage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kribbage (32)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Yes, YES....... OH, MAN....... YES! Very enjoyable and flavorful smoke. What a complex array of favors come through in this tobacco! The Perique has a stewed, fermented raisin taste that is simply captivating. I am not usually one for Virginia/Perique mixtures, but on a friend's suggestion, I tried this concoction, and was extremely surprised at what I received. Burns well, tastes terrific, and I will come to this tobacco again.

3 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I think I found one of my absolute favorite tobaccos of all time!!!

Beautiful smoke! Mellow and creamy flavorful smoke with absolutely no bite or harshness whatsoever. Gorgeous broken flake of medium brown and red virginias with a few light specs here and there. Its a bit wet right from the tin, but still ready to go. Lighting takes a bit to get it rolling, but behaves wonderfully after that. Flavors of sweet red virginia take full and center stage. Not overly complex flavors and doesn't take a lot of contemplation. Flavors of bread, sweet but subdued fruit, dark and rich sweetness but not cloying, along with slight hints of hay and tangy tartness come through. Not much if any spice at all with a few citrus notes. No bite even with the occasional hard and fast puffing. The flavor remains extremely consistent throughout the bowl and just the right amount of N. I can't emphasize enough how mellow (not in flavor) this tobacco is. There is zero harshness even on the retrohale.

This will be one of my all day, everyday, smokes....absolutely a delight!! Heaven! This is my 'desert island' blend (as some other reviewers have put it).

Pipe Used: Cob & Billard

Age When Smoked: 6 months aged

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: Nording - Beagle (Hunter Blend), McClelland - No. 2015 Virginia Perique Flake, McClelland - No. 5100 Red Cake, Rattray - Old Gowrie.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very nice tobacco, but it mostly displays virginia properties. Not that I cannot detect any of the floral qualities of the burley leaf, but you really have to look for it. As for the perique, it will only give you hints every now and then if ever so slightly. That is to say you might miss some of the undertones and nuances present in this tobacco if you don't pay any attention. This mixture is very demanding in that it does require your full attention. The tin note is not overtly impressive, it just smells like tobacco, but it has a vinegary tone to it. Also, it evolves quite nicely through all the stages of your bowl. I particularly like the fact I haven't been able to detect any toppings or flavourings, whether they are in there or not. I can see how some people would complain about this tobacco being somewhat bland or tasteless, namely as you light up, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hasty readers will miss out the most important facts of a novel when they demand it unfolds within its first 10 pages. And if you are so demanding, this tobacco will probably put you off, so I'd not call it an easy read. And there is no bitter end to this novel. You will be able to smoke this tobacco to a white ash without compromising it. Not recommended for newbies as this is a mixture for the more experienced smokers.

Edit 20/05/17 I don't know why I gave this tobacco a 3 star rating, but I am upgrading now to 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Parker

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: A tobacconist in Spain

3 people found this review helpful.

Old Nate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Nate (17)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Strong

Update April 2016: After two years of aging and a little bit of experience I unabashedly remove my foot from my mouth and admit, this is good tobacco. It starts out rather mild and then gains a little spice from the perique and kentucky. I would say the first 1/3 of the bowl continues this way right before you're halfway through the pipe then the sharpness comes through producing a nice tart flavor while still interchanging with the earthy Kentucky and spice that was already established. This has turned into a very nice smoke for me; something I like to savor in the morning when I have a fresh palate and have time to reflect on the day, the pipe, the tobacco and the beauty of all that I've been blessed with. Burns to a fine gray/white ash and flavor holds throughout.

March 2014: Eh, meh, Bleh... Briar, cob, Gandalf's pipe, it doesn't matter, this stuff is ho hum. This tobacco was a major disappointment but I'm laboring through it. I wanted to like it, I really did! I wanted to love it, actually, but the flavor is more akin to a bland cigar... I'm not a believer that Virginia's taste like cigarettes and if you are in that boat it may be because you're wasting your time with blends like this one, however, I'll most likely jar the rest of what I got and come back to it several years from now and see what it will become.

The tin aroma of Hal is to die for, which heightened my expectation even more. It is a rather full smoke with some slight spice but nothing too overwhelming. I notice a subtle change from smoke to smoke and I believe I prefer Hal in a cob, if preferred at all. Throughout each bowl there is no discernable sweetness, no zesty tang and not enough spicy perique playing on my tongue to entice me back. I think of this blend as Marlin Flake's older brother that wasnt talented enough to make it to the big show.

Again, disappointed and wanting more, so much more... Bottom line, there are good vapers out there, this Rattrays falls short.

Pipe Used: briar, cob

Age When Smoked: fresh and aged

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Escudo with a Kentucky kick.

3 people found this review helpful.

Nick Waude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick Waude (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not going to waffle on and wax lyrical about this superlative blend. If your a lover of a full flavoured,good quality Virginia this one's for you.

Pipe Used: Peterson,Stanwell,Dr Plumb,Duncan,Falcon.

Age When Smoked: n/a

Purchased From: n/a

3 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (150)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

A strong, stout Va/Per. Virginia forward. Perique is muted. Beware: Sip this one or suffer the consequences. Very rewarding for the experienced VA/Per or VA smoker, but not the best choice as an introduction to the genre. A niche blend. Good nicotine content - recovering cigarette smokers will like this one.

Update 11/2013: I find that I enjoy this blend much more in a large-bowled cob. The unique flavors from the cob just seem to do this blend justice and mellow it out a touch.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Aaahhh.... Hal O The Wynd!

Some of Kohlhase's attemtps on Rattray's are bland and boring, and I guess alot of reviewers think the same. But others are on the other hand powerful, delightful and rather sophisticated. This one is truly one of the latter.

The Wynd might just be one of the best red/brown VAs I've ever had - german made, mind you.

The leaf is of superior quality, but does not reveal much upon opening the tin. As always, Rattray's blends seem rather bland at first sniff in the tin, but upon lighting loads of thick sweet creamy and musty smoke will caress your olfactory system and tickle your taste buds.

The Wynd packs quite a wallop in the nicotine department, and that is something i do enjoy quite alot. Combined with the velvet-like soft- and sweetness, It's the perfect all-day smoke for me. It's worth every cent even though it is way overpriced compared to other good leaf.

- Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark -

3 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Having been deterred by tales of the high strength of some Ratttray's blends, I haven't dared to try any of them until now. Upon the recommendation of my local tobacconist, I bought a tin of Hal O'the Wynd and once again find his recommendations to be highly reliable.

Opening the tin, I was somewhat underwhelmed by the rather bland tin aroma, which has slight hints of chocolate and Virginia with an even slighter hint of Perique, but is rather light and mild.

Reading the script on the tin, I thought it a little curious to read "a pure virginian tobacco" on the side while the extra label on the bottom clearly stated generous amounts of Kentucky and Perique would be included. As a ready-rubbed, the weed is easily stuffed and maintained, burning coolly and cleanly throughout.

The taste was something I had to get myself acquainted with at first, but I find it to be highly pleasurable; VA dominates, with spice from the KY and the Perique adding sweetness. The room note is not a crowd-pleaser for non-smokers, but for the pipe tobacco afficionado, it has spice and some grassiness with the Perique adding just the right amount of freshness.

I don't normally extend myself to criticism this extensively, but for me, this tobacco is very much comparable to Dunhill De Luxe Navy Rolls in a ready-rubbed form. I should warn beginners that this blend packs quite a whollop, though -- even the experienced smoker may feel a tad light-headed after a few pipes of this.

Update June 2011: Due to my experiences with stronger and fuller blends since, corrected my ratings. Still great stuff IMHO.

3 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I don't know why it took me so long to get around to filling a bowl with this brawny old Virginia, but I'm glad I finally did. The problem is that with all of the glowing reviews surrounding this blend, it's hard to find your way to the tobacco. It's hard to smoke and look directly into the sun at the same time.

It's not, sadly, my life changing tobacco. I won't remember it as well as I remember my first...um...time.

But it is absolutely a very fine Virginia. It arrives partially rubbed out and with that natural honeyed raisin tin aroma characteristic of pure, mature Virginias. It packs well, smokes well, and produces generous quantities of honeyed smoke. I think it smells like a bumble-bee fart. And that's a good thing.

I do, however, find it a little coarse on the palate and so it works best for me in the longest stem I can find.

As much as I like this, I have to admit that I started my Virginia tour in the Wessex camp and nothing about 'Hal' makes me want to leave.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I did not find HOW to be either sharp in taste or strong in nicotine. It is a very pleasant Virginia which I can smoke all day with pleasure, but given the options of Old Gowrie or Marlin Flake, either of those would win hands down for taste and Full Virginia Flake for nicotine content. I am partial to Rattray blends and would recommend this unreservedly as a smooth mid-strength product, good, even very good, but not quite great.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For no particular reason I can think of, I had not tried this Rattray before. However, after smoking only 2 Ozs. it has instantly become a favourite. If, as some reviewers put it, GL Pease is the most consistent blender out there, whoever blends Rattray?s tobaccos is close behind. I ordered Hal O? the Wynd in bulk, and emptied the 4 Oz. pouch contents into a tight sealed glass jar. Opening it after a couple weeks I was greeted by a wonderful Va. aroma. Dark, musk, nutty and slightly toasted, it immediately established its strong and austere yet gentle character. I don?t recall experiencing such a provocative and arousing scent in a straight Virginia before.

Broad cut, almost broken flake, and slightly moist, I had no trouble packing it in a bent Dunhill briar root, medium sized. Lighting HOTW took some time, but once it got going it was heaven! What a wonderful, savoury and exciting tobacco! Thick volumes of smoke physically expressed the elegant richness of this honeydew Va.

No feebleness, no pretentiousness: just good, straightforward tobacco, with that subdued refinement characteristic of high quality blends. Slow burning (a delight when reading a good novel), the flavour remains consistent throughout the bowl, issuing notes redolent of roasted chestnuts, raisins and wheat, without being as sweet as, say, DLF or McClelland?s 5100, nor as harsh or bitter as Full Virginia Flake.

IMO, HOTW admirably synthesises the best qualities of at least three of Rattray?s finest Virginias: it has the natural smoothness and soothing effects of Old Gowrie, the rich creamy tastiness of Brown Clunee, and the body and strength of Marlin Flake. A wonderful, top quality smoke (nay, companion), full and precise in its structure, composition and denouement. This one is a must for all Va?s lovers.

3 people found this review helpful.

gentlytamped Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gentlytamped (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smell out of the tin: Opening this tin you get a really nice ripe figgy raisiny smell. Anything I get reminds me of a mix of berries and all types of fruits that have rather tangy sweetness to them. Nothing sugary here, if you think of fruits this rather is a blackberry than a melon. Strength: I consider this a pretty strong blend, it won't knock you off your socks, but it will wake you up for sure. No headache or nic hit though, it's not that far on the strong side. Taste: Full it is. The kentucky works wonders with the virginias inside, the perique is not too much, maybe it could even use a bit more, but the blend it's great as it is. The taste is consistent for me throughout the bowl. Room note: I would think it can be hard on non smokers, not much of a room note that could be compared to a pleasent smell for them.

I highly recommend this to all puffers, it's really easy to work with, doesn't require much of drying time or preparation.

If you are interested in this review in a video form, I did a review of it on YouTube as well: YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Peterson 303 Standard System

Age When Smoked: 0.5 year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Hal o’ the Wynd is an accomplished VA/Per with just enough of the right KY added to make it all the more interesting. In the tin, short-ish, rough ribbons range from red-brown to medium and dark browns. Initial tin note is dark, sweet prune/plum with molasses and brown sugar in the background, over wheat. Moisture is OK right from the tin. It lights with patience then burns down well enough when puffed at optimal cadence, meaning slowly. Drying it some makes it easier to smoke, with no taste penalty. Lit, tastes and scents are soft, mellow, slightly woody, and very aromatic at first, then they sharpen as it’s smoked down. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the zesty red VAs used in original Red Rapparee, here they are, in the lead along with sweet, substantial and earthy air-cured browns. They are not really sharp, neither are they mellow for the whole bowl, but they are piquant enough at any point to counter balance the plummy Perique, which also features Middle Eastern spices that provide more and more sparkle, and it sours off as HOTW is smoked down. The KY is rich, slightly smoky, earthy, resinous, and piquant, and it’s tannic enough that it might take over, except there isn’t enough KY in the blend for this to happen. As it is, I appreciate both the “butter” and the piquancy, and the way it underlines both the VAs and the Perique, accenting them and tying them together, as it were. I love the bracing, astringent quality that for me is one of the highlights of HOTW, smoking it, as I do, in a group 6 pipe. Strength is medium. Tastes are just over medium. Room note is not bad, also not quite pleasant. Aftertaste is a lingering best of the smoke.

Of the 3 blends Rattray’s offers in this “series”, (HOTW, Old Gowrie, and Marlin Flake), HOTW is the VA/Per, and it’s a good one, along the lines of GLP’s Triple Play, though not so strong. Of the 3 siblings, OG has less piquant VAs, more KY, and less Perique. MF is darker, fruitier and sweeter, with generally darker VAs, plumier Perique, and dark Cavendish in lieu of KY. IMO, you can’t go wrong with any of these blends. Four Stars.

Pipe Used: various briars; #6 preferred

Age When Smoked: fresh to aged in jars

Purchased From: 4noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Old Gowrie and Hal O’ The Wynd are two very similar blends, with the same characteristics. Not so for Marlin Flake that is completely another mixture. Here I want to speak about the differences between these two blends, from the point of view of Hal O’ The Wynd compared to Old Gowrie. First of all they have the same ingredients (Virginia, Kentucky, Perique) without any casing. But there are three essential differences: 1) HOTW is stronger than OG. It is a more robust smoke. 2) HOTW has more Kentucky and less Virginia compared to OG. Kentucky is really leading. 3) HOTW has more Perique than OG. Both are Virginia based mixtures, but HOTW could also be considered a Perique mixture (not so OG where above all Virginia but also Kentucky are leading and Perique is really a “bit player”). Personally I prefer HOTW but it’s just a matter of taste. Finally, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 9 and three and a half stars.

Similar Blends: Old Gowrie.

2 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (152)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin discription:for gentlemen only!Hal O' the Wynd, handmade!this tobacco is really special!when you crack the tin you get a sweet citrusy smell combined with spices and some sourness!this is a broken flake with a bit moisture..might need some rubbing and drying time.for me only rubbing because after drying i noticed some of the flavours where not so strong.needs a bit effort with the lighting and some relights are needed.while burning you definitelly feel something unique is there!citruses,grass notes,earth are combined with spices,figs and sour notes!all these in a sweet creamy flavour!burns slow and cool with medium temperature to total ash.no tongue bite for me.the nicotine level is medium.in the discription is says it is a strong blend.i found it medium and very pleasing.the room note is tolerable.i detected some similarities with 3 nuns.definitelly a must try blend that can make your whole day very special!

Age When Smoked: Straight from the tin andrubbed out

2 people found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (60)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Conclusion: This is good! Complex and easy going at the same time, I whole heartedly recommend this.

Taste: A sugary sweetness fills my mouth with hints of raisins, honey and dried apricot. The sweetness lingers on the finish for a long time. There is a touch of wheat, freshly baked bread. Now and then I pick up a taste of almonds, marzipan. Further in, a discrete note of leather and cedar tree enters the mix and mingles with the rest as the sweetness recedes slightly, also notes of pepper appear in the nose. The sensation of this blend is so full and round that it almost makes me want to chew the smoke! There is no bitterness here, no harshness, just a silky smooth smoke. Last third of the bowl offers up some increased pepper heat and an absolutely magnificent pinch of salt, wich blends naturally like flakes of sea salt on a chocolate creme brulee. This is a slow smoke, and even though the the first pipe I had was one with a medium sized bowl the transitions were many and very pronounced. Accessible is a suitable term for this blend. It is very rewarding without being challenging.

Mechanics: A ready rubbed flake that comes pretty wet out of the tin. Takes to the flame easily and stays lit, burning at a slow pace. Never tried to bite me. Medium to strong nicotine content.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kunsan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kunsan (76)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Bought a tin of this based on all the good reviews. Disappointed. The tobacco has a sticky feel, as though it's been coated with preservative (a common thing with tobaccos made by K&K). However long I left the tin the tobacco wouldn't dry out. I don't like tobaccos that have been coated with preservatives.

This tobacco recently changed manufacturers and is now being made by K&K of Germany. I didn't find this smoking experience particularly special, the tobacco didn't really produce handsome clouds of smoke. I smoked the tin but won't buy it again.

2 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This is my go to tobacco. Suitable as an all day smoke but in no way is it boring or bland. The nic hit is a touch over medium in fact. There may be no better tasting virginias than you find in K&K blends (Reiners golden flake comes to mind). And this blend is perfect with the addition of just the right amount of Perique. Modest burley effect. Smokes cool start to finish. Just first rate stuff.

Similar Blends: Reiner's Golden Flake and My Own blend #111 (paul Olson)..

2 people found this review helpful.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (58)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Having just come off an Old Gowrie bender, I've given HOTW much more of my attention. I can see why this blend is one of the "Holy Trinity". Full of citrusy Virginia goodness, there is a much deeper, rich quality to this smoke that I'm assuming comes from the Kentucky. Very good without being overpowering as some blends with Kentucky can be. A must try for Rattray's lovers.

2 people found this review helpful.

Winchester38 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Winchester38 (11)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

To my relatively inexperienced nose, the tin note seems to be mostly Virginia, with a faint sweet (figs? honey?) scent, and a slightly spicy tang to it.

It seemed slightly moist out of the tin, so I let a small amount air dry for a few minutes before packing a bowl. Packed a full bowl in my Savinelli 310.

Lighting was a bit difficult, and required some extra puffing, along with a few char/tamp/relights. Once it got going, I needed to relight twice before reaching the bottom of the bowl. Next time, I'll let this dry for a little bit longer before smoking.

Taste wise, I found the Virginias to be driving this one, with a light hint of spiciness through the whole bowl. The spice seemed more noticeable in the first half of the bowl, with the second half becoming a notably stronger smoke, which slightly masked these nuances.

I'd say the smoke was somewhere in the medium range. Not too strong, not too light. Just about where I'd like it to be.

Overall, I liked this stuff, but don't think it was really able to show it's truest colors due to the moisture. I look forward to revisiting this one, and to trying to get it just right. Taste was good, just my excecution was lacking I think.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Trevi 310

Age When Smoked: New

2 people found this review helpful.

Smokeybear86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokeybear86 (14)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Just to let you know I tried to smoke this blend with only 30min dry time and it wasn't good as in it smoked really wet so i stopped and left some baccy out over night approx. 10hrs to dry and then it was a little too crisp but i did the review based on the crisp tobacco.

Tin Note: The Sample bag smelt like a dark chocolate mixed with, well, Tobacco. It actually smelt like cigarette tobacco in some way.

Initial Light: Took 2 charring lights to get this pipe lit it was burning really well.It started with a very mild flavor that leaned towards the spicy side more then sweet.

Mid-Smoke: The mid bowl was an okay smoke it wasn't bad just very 1 dimensional and rarely any change in the smokes flavor, however it was nice thick smokes from light sips. If it maintained this consistency then it would make for a decent smoke for when you just want to mindlessly puff away at a pipe.

Bottom of the Bowl: Pipe began to smoke really hot again and the consistency disappeared into a harsher smoke but the spice was still there. about mid way through the bottom it began dripping out juice from the stem and became rather difficult to continue smoking.

Room Note: It was a tolerable room not.

Dottle: Left behind a clumpy ash with lots of moister accumulated near the draft hole.

Smoking Duration: 45min

Overall: As for Va/pers go, this blend started off good with a nice mild spiciness but as you progressed it was taken over by heat and moister and it seemed the smoke worked against you rather then along side you. The Kentucky and perique are the most noticeable while the Virginia is undetectable. I will not be cellering this blend simply because there are way more enjoyable choices out there for a good va/per's.

Recommendations:

1) Min 5hrs dry time. 2) Smoke slow with this one as it heats up quickly. 3) Pack lightly 3 step method is good.

Pipe Used: Amphora Dublin

2 people found this review helpful.

oldorder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldorder (22)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Hal O' the Wynd, enjoyed 100 gr. tin. But I find I love the smoother Old Gowrie so much more. HOL is not harsh, and the strength is much the same, yet Old Gowrie just comes across smoother and tastier to me. They are so similar yet noticeably two different smokes.

Pipe Used: various briars and cobs

Age When Smoked: two months

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Delicious. Smooth. Buttery. Silky. Consistent. Tasty. Quality. And, not necessarily in that order, to me describes Hal O' the Wynd. I'm impressed with HOTW and I recommend this blend for those who love the taste of the natural tobacco and want a high quality blend. IMHO Smoothest Va-perique out there.

This blends requires air drying time of about 15-30 minutes to reach it's intended flavor purpose.

Purchased From: JR Cigars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I'd give this blend 4 stars if not for the casing. Slightly puts me off. Fortunately it fades about a third of the way through the bowl. The rest of the bowl is very nice. I use it as a change of pace blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Sir Walter Smiley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sir Walter Smiley (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I didn't know this had perique from smoking it, yet there it is in the description. The Kentucky leaf adds strength in nicotine, but the taste is just virginia. A damn good virginia. This now is my favorite virginia blend, just in front of McClelland's Blackwoods Flake. My top vaper is still Blakeney's Best Bayou Slices(also McClelland). I have always loved the flavor of virginia leaf, yet virginia lacks a heavy mouth feel(like a full bodied cigar) and strength. This delivers those two things. It will burn hot, so smoke slow.

2 people found this review helpful.

donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (22)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

the tin aroma is very vinegar-like; very sour with a slight sweetness to it. it might sound disgusting but I love it. you can definitely smell that this contains perique. I'm wondering, however, if my tin might not have some age on it. I haven't read any other review stating a metallic or vinegar-like sourness in the aroma AND there's sugar crystals all over the flake chunks. who knows...

taste is amazing. great sweetness, some spiciness in the background and a slight (very pleasant!) bitterness. a bitterness that isn't harsh but good-tasting. this blend is delicious and CREAMY. perfect moisture out of the tin (at least for me, but I prefer my tobacco to be a little on the moist side... it's not dripping wet or anything. maybe sort of like a plug when freshly cut.) slow burning and cool to my palate... this tastes so good I wish I could eat it at times.

love it! recommended!

2 people found this review helpful.

scottyspipesebay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
scottyspipesebay (25)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Hal O the Wind: Crack O the can is exquisite. Room note is nice, providing you allow a flow through. 1st light is wonderful. 2nd light is pure soft sweet VA. Flavor is overall good VA. This is a first for me to crack a can; love what I smell; light it up and have the flavor nearly the same as the first impression I get from the fresh, raw, unsmoked note. This is a good morning smoke, with black coffee. I like it best with good strong black iced coffee in the summertime.

The flavor is at first, nutty wood; flowery with the scent of apricot and fresh cut Honduran mahogany. I used to mill wood, so you must allow me olfactory license.

It is easily prepared with very little drying time. It breaks up and stuffs evenly. Lights quickly; stays lite, but burns warm. The flavor stops 2/3 down and leaves a tary dottle, but few blends are perfect.

This is by no means a favorite, but it is very good straight forward red Va with a hint of Parique in the back and has a fair nic kick, that's never overpowering. Give it a shot. It's nice for the price as either a stand alone, or as a MEDIUM blending base to add fullness and mild sweetness.

2 people found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Very good stuff that burns slowly. In the same league as Full Virginia Flake and Union Square. Superb value for money and easier to get than FVF. Others have said the rest. An all time great.

2 people found this review helpful.

cgar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cgar (37)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

HOTW has a beautiful balance and presentation in its 100g tin. It's a subtle slow smoke that commands respect with its vitamin N, but has the perfect balance in flavor and burn quality. I couldn't be more surprised how well this leaf smokes and how well its flavor from the Virginia's and perique come together to provide one of the finest Vaper smokes I have experienced. It's not too sweet or too spicy but a fine common middle to some of the other Vapers on the market. A highly recommend and a deserving lifetime rotation for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

HOTW is another nice addition to my favoured VA tastes. That said, I do prefer it's stablemate OG. I'll also smoke FVF for when I want a richer and fuller experience, but that's not to take anything away from HOTW.

I find HOTW is less sweet tasting than the other two mentioned, and has a very slight peppery feel to it. Albiet a very mild one..

All in all a quality tobacco that comes in a lovely tin!

2 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The tin description is, for once, quite accurate, although I do not find the flavour of this classic blend either typical of the usual Rattray virginia flake OR particularly strong, either.

I agree that it could be an "all-day" choice for someone not prone to tongue bite.

The "broken flake" contents in the tin were quite moist upon opening, and the first bowlful seemed bitter?the wrong kind of bitter?in a large bent Peterson ["calabash-shaped"]. After some airing out, and in a small, Vijja dublin, the "red" flavour came through more purely. OK. If you want something like MARLIN FLAKE, only more, this is not it.

Once I got the flavour of my favourite Rattray virginias out of my mind, though, this became pleasant, though not distinctive enough for me to go back to it very often.

2 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Another winner from Rattray's and the most enjoyable red VA flake that I've smoked. The dark, rubbed out flakes are intermixed with much smaller amounts of golden tobacco. Packing and lighting are easy and the overall burning qualities are excellent resulting in a cool, effortless smoke. I don't judge it as "with a most unusual share of strength" as advertised on the tin and find it perfect as even an all day choice. The natural sweetness that this blender develops just from high quality VA tobaccos puts many other cased, sweet tobaccos that are out there to shame. A rich, clean, smooth smoke without a hint of bite that is recommended to all VA lovers.

2 people found this review helpful.

BatmanPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BatmanPipes (9)
★☆☆☆
Overwhelming Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Horrid experience both in price and cut. Rattrays have turned a Virginia into a bad tasting burley that has problematic wetness. Pay attention to the negative reviews. The only way you might get a good smoke from this is if you are into Burley that is strong but want a change from Burley. This Virginia offers that angle and only seasoned Burley enjoyers might get it. Virginia users will be hard-pressed to find the Virginia or the Perique. Kentucky is supposed to be there. Looking at the long ribbons you get that this is not tobacco worthy of small premium quality tins. It is not a good selection. It is like the quality you are presented within one of these big value bags that has been processed into something just untasteable hitting you with strong steaming smoke. Then you get a spice taste that hits sour. I tried several bowls over the course of a month. My tin is more than halfway down and now it is at the back of the pile. I am not sure I would give this away in case someone felt I was trying to joke them. This is definitely for a very particular pipe smoker of a very strange taste. It is far too wet. A day of drying can't help it. Same with over a month. Don't purchase it unless you know it. Worst spice hit I have ever had. Maybe if you want a non-flake non-Burley to knock you for reasons better or worse, this is it. Otherwise just get better Burley flake tobacco that will do the same and taste better.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 68

Similar Blends: Your dad's socks..

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

HOTW is a sharp VA, to my senses anyway. This is not a bad thing, there are some dark flavors here as well (burnt caramel, roasted nuts). This is a stout blend for a VAPER, but not the strongest I've had mind you. This blend really shined after leaving the contents exposed to air for about 8 hours; after this it really took off. I broke it up a little more than it already was and it filled the pipe well, accepted flame, and made some nice clouds of smoke in no time! Very fresh aroma and taste, this would be sublime after some aging, I'm wagering. Very nice tobacco. LETJC

1 person found this review helpful.

USVI sailor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
USVI sailor (8)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Rattray's tobacco blends used to be one of my favorites back in my college days - in particular Black Mallory and Accountant's Mixture. Last year I purchased a can of Hal O' the Wynd to try - well I opened it a few weeks ago after having been on a steady diet of Escudo (I love that stuff). It looked and smelled great, but way to wet smoke. Set some aside for a few days to dry and decided to try it in one of my Ben Wade pipes from the very early '70's - narrow deep bowled with thick walls and a quarter bend- perfect for Va / Perique blends.

So this review follows after about 10 bowls in the old Ben Wade;

It packed OK after rolling it out a little with my fingers. The Perique is very very subtle - so subtle that if I hadn't read somewhere that it contained Perique I probably would have missed it. The majority of the taste and aroma comes from the matured Virginias. Outside in open air it does have that grassy taste and smell, so I usually smoke it indoors. The nicotene content seems to be quite a bit higher than Escudo or Bayou Morning and I have difficulty smoking it to the bottom of the bowl without one or two, maybe 3 on a good night, of Obans to cleanse away the nicotene. Overall, I'm not impressed especially when one considers the high price of Rattray's blends. I'll finish the tin and then go back to Escudo or Frog Morton On The Bayou or Bayou Morning Flake.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Freehand - early1970's

Age When Smoked: 14 mos

Purchased From: local pipe / tobacco shop

Similar Blends: no similar blends come to mind.

1 person found this review helpful.

ThePuffingLibrarian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePuffingLibrarian (5)
★★☆☆
Strong Very Mild Overwhelming Strong

One of the reasons I switched from cigarettes to pipe smoking is because I was tired of the inherent acridity in cigarette tobacco and I wanted to experience the other tastes present in tobacco. Well, this blend is like licking the bottom of an ashtray. Acrid all the way. However, it is constant and it will burn nicely from bowl to bowl. You will get use to the taste in the end but don't look for too much subtlety in this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (105)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Much lauded and hard to get blend in the UK.

I'll have to admit to having only a 5g sample, but even so there was little here to inspire a massive purchase of 100g which is - apart from samples - the only size available here.

Oh sure, it's a pleasant enough smoke.

If you like your tobacco tasteless and lacking in any character whatsoever, that is.

Disappointing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I often don't like Virginias, I prefer latakia mixture. This said, the fact that Rattray makes Virginia blends that I enjoy is nothing short of a miracle. I don't know what particular processing this brand applies to the tobacco, but I happen to like it from the first moment to the last. As you open the tin, you are welcomed by an attractive view of reddish/dark brown broken flake, and an irresistible smell of dried fruit. Smelling the unburnt tobacco is a wonder, a delicious experience: sweet but not overly so, and wonderfully natural. The smoking experience is very similar to the one offered by Rattray's Marlin Flake (of which I suggest you read my review): the only differences are that HOTW is a bit stronger, exhibits a more subdued sweetness, and has some slightly harsher/piquant notes instead which become evident towards the end of the bowl. A top quality natural Virginia tobacco, which gets my highest recommendations: it's hard to find a blend of this kind that offers so much taste and a such intriguingly pleasant complexity. Of course it has to be smoked slowly, and I recommend some light packing of the bowl to avoid wetness (yes, it tends to produce a lot of it). I still prefer Marlin Flake for a sweeter, more rewarding smoke for the whole day (and this is the ONLY reason why I haven't given it 4 stars), but this is great stuff, too!

1 person found this review helpful.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I am on my summer, experiment with Va's thing. This tobacco is in the form of broken flakes, and mostly dark in color, with a few light strands. The tim aroma is that of straight Va's, with perhaps a slight topnote, it is slightly moist, like most Rattrays, so exposure to the air does help. Packs easy in the bowl, and light's with one match, the tobacco has a nice clean taste, and burns relatively white, with some grey overtones. The tobacco increases it's strenght as the bowl progresses down, however, the flavor remains constant. This tobacco calls for alot of strenght, hence the name, but it is very tame to those familar with Va's. Stronger than Old Gowrie, and not cased like some other Va's I've tried.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1643)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Rattray - Hal O' the Wynd (British Collection).

One of the early reviews I did, where due to my head injury I was struggling to articulate myself. So, I ordered a fresh tin to re-post. Hopefully I can ameliorate on my previous review of it!

The unlit blend's rubbed to the perfect consistency to fill straight away. It's a little damp, but not too problematic in that area. Generically speaking the colour of it's medium brown, with very close inspection being a requisite to identify the few different shades.

The smoke: LOVE IT! The Kentucky's the lesser of the three, just adding a very subtle character. The prominent taste is one of Virginia/Perique. The quantity of Perique is PERFECT; giving gentle spices, and dark fruit. The stronger of the bunch is the Virginia, being sweet, ripe, with a little sharpness. Hal O' gives an impeccable burn, and a cool smoke.

Nicotine: above medium. Room-note: a little strong.

Adore it. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King U.K.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Medium brown ribbony broken flake. The smell I get in the tin is a thick syrupy sweet aroma. Others describe fruit notes, but I dont get any. It's a hint on the moist side. It's fairly well behaved right out of the tin, but it does benefit from a little drying time.

I've read other guys' reviews, but I don't see anyone describing the dominant flavor I'm getting. I do taste the malty-yeasty flavor others describe, but it's subtle. Stronger than that is some sort of herb or root or something that I can't quite put a finger on. The closest thing I can think of is root beer. There! I said it. HOTW tastes like root beer to me. No vanilla and no pepper like some root beers....but whatever essence there is that makes root beer distinctly taste like root beer is what I'm tasting. It's not at all strong or overpowering (and not even quite the dominant flavor) but it's quite distinct and once I noticed it, I taste it with every puff. On top, the biggest most up front flavor to me is a very distinct syrupiness (is that even a word? LOL). When I was a child, I remember my grandmother making homemade biscuits for breakfast when I stayed over with her. She always served them with some kind of syrup that came in a big brassy metal can with a pry off lid that looked like a can of paint. It was thicker than most breakfast maple syrups are today, and it tasted different....I dont know what exactly it was, to be honest. But it was sweet, had an interesting "other" flavor to it, and I loved it. I probably haven't had anything like it in 35 years. But that old timey country syrup in the big brassy can - that's the dominant flavor of HOTW.

Good stuff, recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ash K Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ash K (12)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Am currently smoking a bowl while writing this. Its a shame that its hard to get in my part of the world, I've already gone through 2 cans of it and still can't get enough of it.

Opening the can/tin you are greeted with a sweet raisin smell. Some say fig, but since I hardly eat the fruit its hard for me to say.

The hand broken flakes are a joy, it saves time prepping for it. The sizes of the broken flakes are just right, and moisture content are almost always perfect.

It burns easily, and once you get the amber going, you don't need to relight. Tamping every once in a while is of course required, but not as often than most. Burns into a fine white ash.

The rich, sweet and full taste of the Virginia stays throught the bowl, the Perique adding complexity and depth to the flavour.

I always try to stock up on these, but sadly I consume more than I can save.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: 1 years old in a jar

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bifkinator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bifkinator (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

With fall finally here this was the one non aromatic tobacco I wanted to smoke. With a name like Hal O' the Wynd it just sounds like the perfect tobacco for this time of year. I had to pick up a tin along with some maple flavored tobaccos I've been wanting because this is a tobacco I've been wanting to try for some time now. Since its the first day of fall its time to pack a bowl with this stuff.

First off, this is tobacco unlike anything I've smelled in the tin. As a Virginia and Perique blend I was expecting it to be a little on the light side and it is but its also extremely interesting to my nose! Right off the bat I get tomato hard but it starts to open a bit the more you smell it. I also got hay, a slight vinegar smell, oats, strawberry, an almost fish oil smell in a very delightful way, some subtle fig, and subtle citrus. So I smell a lot of different things and I love it!

The cut is kind of a rubbed flake but really nice and the look of this tobacco is beautiful. A super balanced blend and feels fantastic! Its more on the moist side which I like a lot. When I pack it its super springy and compresses really nicely making it great for packing! Being a rubbed flake it does kind of clump up when I try to fit it into the bowl so you may need to pull it apart a bit. It took a little bit longer than usual to get it lit for me so I recommend giving it a little char before lighting all the way. Once its lit though it matures fast and has absolutely no bite! Like, none. Its awesome!

It produces a pretty good amount of smoke and man is it tasty. Its actually has a pretty simple flavor and I like it a lot. Up front I get hay, some of the tomato comes through, a little bit of oat, that fish oil smell translates into an olive oil taste, and a little bit of fig. Pretty simple and very similar to the smell. Its pretty light and I want to smoke this stuff throughout the day! You'll never hear me say that either.

Man, Im digging this tobacco a lot! Its so light and a very relaxing smoke. Its nice on the palate with a not so complex combination of notes and I can honestly say this is one of the only tobaccos I would want to smoke all day long, even in the morning and I NEVER smoke in the morning. I love this stuff already and have a feeling its going to become a favorite of mine. I know that Rattray's has some other similar blends to this one and I want to give them a try but so far this one is taking the cake for me! Trying Rattray's non aromatics is really impressing me! I highly recommend to all smokers, even new ones because this stuff is so dang smooth!

Pipe Used: Gepetto Straight Rusticated Pot

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (106)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My God this is excellent tobacco. I'm slow about getting my reviews written, partly out of laziness (translated-lost in tobacco ecstasy) but also because I like to give each blend a fair chance before the gavel falls. I smoked this stuff straight out of the tin at first, and it didn't do a whole lot for me. Thankfully I waited to review, because after aging for just over 6 months in jars, this is easily the most profound VaPer I've had the pleasure to smoke(with the exception of McClelland St.James Woods, of course). It's become a top 5 for me, and quite potentially a top 3.

I honestly had no idea there was Kentucky in the blend. Blown away as I was at the transformation in flavor with time, and the easily discernible depth of the Virginia and perique, I knew there was something else there lending a little extra spice that set it apart from all my other VaPers. But I just couldn't put my finger on it with certainty. Lo and behold, this page reveals a Kentucky component. And given my penchant for burley and dark-fireds, it's no wonder I love this like I do.

The blend is incredibly balanced. The Virginias are sweet and mellow, the perique is equally sweet and a tad pungent with some sour notes. Cut is a rough shag with pieces of thin broken flake. The burn is perfect, given a little dry time. It's one smooth, medium-full powered bite-free smoking pleasure. Can't say enough good things about it. Try it out...if you find it lackluster out of the tin, give it 6 months to a year rest and experience the transformation. If you still aren't impressed, I'll handle the disposal for you.

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: St. James Woods.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A broken flake, mostly mid browns with occasional bright leaf. There is no black leaf to indicate the presence of Perique, nor can I smell or taste it in this K&K blend.

On the nose I mostly get bread and molasses aromas with some chocolate and spice notes.

Packs and burns well. This is a fairly sweet and spicy Red Va forward VaBur that has been touched up I believe with a smidgeon of fire cured leaf and a touch of sweet casing. The net result is not a lot different to a plethora of tobaccos made by MacBaren imo. My tin of tobacco produced some ammonia notes when burning and the comparison to cigarettes made by some reviewers seems understandable to me.

Not a bell ringer for me, tho it is interesting enough that I can see why this is a popular tobacco.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sanel418 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sanel418 (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was my first Va/Pe blend and my first love. I like it a lot. For me it’s superb blend, with great full taste. For details I don’t know what to say after all good comments in review below. When you finish the bowl, you want more of it. You can have it for all day smoking. Great job Rattray.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great blend! I am actually having a second bowl right now. The more I smoke it, the more I like it. It has a pretty monochromatic tin note that most VaPers have (grass/hay). It is a rubbed flake, but I found that rubbing it out even more helps with the packing and makes it smoke a bit cooler. It takes and holds a light well after a good false light.

This is more robust than other Rattray blends I've tried so far. It's sweet, but to me I get more of the sweetness on the back of my tongue. It's citrusy and fragrant, but not annoying. The Perique is definitely there, and the Kentucky teams up with it to add the signature "robustness" this blend offers up. I can see this becoming a good cold-weather tobacco, as it warms me up whenever I smoke it. The only thing that bothers me about this blend: the nicotine is weaker than I anticipated. I was really hoping for a kick in the teeth, but it's definitely not a deal breaker.

Pipe Used: Meers, Various briars

Age When Smoked: 6+ months

Purchased From: JR Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (106)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

For whatever reason this tobacco calls me in the fall. It tastes strong and makes a good long smoke. Packing the pipe is stright forward as is first light. So when the temp falls down to the 60's this will shine. Good hour smoke with no relight and a flavor that you will not forget. Low Nicotine and little Perique just a lot of sweet Virginia and Kentucky.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Peterson, Savinelli, Comoy

Age When Smoked: Tub over 2 years

Purchased From: Westlake Village CA

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (60)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a very nice blend. It is on the rich side, which I like. Medium to full flavor with the nice crisp spiciness of the Perique to remind you how well it blends with a Virginia and Kentucky. Not as spicy as a Escudo or St James flake.

It does have the slight ketchup aroma, but I never detect it once I smoke it. I consider the balance towards the rich Virginias and Kentucky, while fuller than the other Virginia blends. A great smoke when you want a Virginia/Kentucky with a nice touch of Perique.

Purchased From: P & C

Nobody has rated this review yet.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

All three famous Rattray's vaper I like Hal O' The Wynd the most because of it's depth and full flavor. It is rather strong and tangy, fruity but not over sweet. In the category of Kentucky Vaper, I find HOTW to be the top 1 choice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (166)
★★★☆
Strong Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

At first the tin smell put me off a little. I thought this must be another pure Virginia with a little preique and no character. Well, I was wring. It's one of those tobaccos that gets better and better as the bowl goes on. Stick with it if you don't like it at first. It quickly grows on you. Not as strong as the label would suggest.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fredkao Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fredkao (11)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Not so strong, a medium blend. I'd really wenjoyed my first VA Bayou Morning so I was expectating a good smoke with HOTW. It isn't. It's flat, very flat. The moisture is to much as other said. It have the perique taste but not so much. I can't recommend it as I didn't find anything enjoyable.

Pipe Used: many different

Age When Smoked: new in bulk

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I finally took the plunge and decided to give this blend a go. Am I very glad I did. The different weeds come together to form an excellent blend. The Vitamin N level isn't as lethal as advertised on the tin. It is a strong blend, but shouldn't knock your socks off despite your shoes. Highly Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (76)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is some good stuff. I lean towards Virginias and VA/Pers and this may be one of the best, in my opinion. I had tried Marlin Flake in the past and I'm not sure which I like more.

The tobacco in Hal is a nice blend of mostly red Virginias, a little burley, and a bit of perique. The flavor is a mainly tobacco that's a bit on the sweet side with a little perique wang to it. Thant being said, it's not for everyone (like all tobacco). It's not going to knock your socks off or change your perception on the universe. As a matter of fact, the tobaccos that have had that "knocked my socks off" the first time I smoked them usually end up being one that I don't reorder.

This is a contemplative tobacco that, many times, becomes a "nivana" smoke for me. Very few Full English or Oriental blends do that for me. Of course, this is just my opinion... I could be wrong. :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

o3Ho3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
o3Ho3 (28)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm rarely against any kind of tobacco... (not true). This one is, for me, one of the most flat, disgraceful and useless tobacco I ever tasted. I tried with a full tin (100gr) and give my all tolerance... but... Sorry guys, whatever I tried and even mixture with whatever I have (and I have) is incredible bad. Sry again. I really tried....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a nice VaPer but not one on the top of my list. The cut is fairly fine and tends to burn a little fast and hot. My style of being a faster Vaper puffer doesn't help. I also find this on the milder side and one dimensional. If I had a choice, I think Marlin Flake has more interest and Old Gowrie is smoother. Most would consider this a solid 3 star blend, but under MY rating system, it only gets a 2. I won't buy again, not because it is bad , but only because I like other VaPers better.

I think that reviewer, "TW 08/01/2012 " , might be correct in that experimenting with the pipe and packing could greatly improve this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Kohlhase & Kopp has nailed it with this one. The three tobaccos have a good thing going on, the Kentucky is nicely complemented by the Perique and the Virginia. Nice dry fig smell off the tin, burns well with plenty of smoke. A dry, cold smoke with woodsy and spicy tones better enjoyed in the evening or at any time in winter.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I'm not sure which I enjoy more, this or Old Gowrie. Sweet fragrant bready/yeast notes that excel if dried for a bit. I rubbed mine out a bit more that packaged, and it burned like a dream. As others have said, easier to obtain than FVF and just as good (if not better).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

p4p4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
p4p4 (59)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Probably the best straight virginia in the world. The taste is full, and the flavour gets better as the smoke progresses. Aroma: yeast, bread, pure virginia. For virginia lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

salopst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
salopst (15)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I bought 100g of this after hearing someone not exactly extolling this blend's virtues, but talking of it as a very good example of an excellent VA/perique. He was not wrong.

It is quite sweet, I find, but in a natural uncloying way (the VA) and tangy/sour (the perique), and the combination is quite heavenly. Perhaps it is the old Barling straight billiard I am smoking it in, perhaps it is the way I pack pre-rubbed flakes-- I don't know-- but I cannot get this to burn evenly. Not that that concerns me as the flavors and balance I find quite, quite lovely.

A lot of reviewers find the nicotine level to be high; I cannot quite find that, and think about right for me.

There is zero burn from the Virginia leaf in this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
★★★★
Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A softer version of Ashton Black Parrot. Softer in every aspect: softer broken flake, softer in taste, and softer in flavor, too.

Maybe I am not judging fairly between the two blends: ABP aged 1 year versus HOTW newly ordered. I believe HOTW will perform much better given some time. With ABP no longer available, HOTW will serve as perfect replacement.

---Updated on 25th Dec. 2011---

HOTW performs even better if you let it dry a little bit (an hour probably) after a pipeful packing. There is more sweetness throughout the entire bowl from bigging to end, and this characteristic overperforms ABP.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Top-notch stuff.

I'm a relative novice at Virginias and Va/Pers, but I find this tobacco very satisfying.

Other reviewers are spot-on in their tasting notes. I taste a sort of malty, bready Virginia that is slightly sweet, with a richer, heavier texture than expected.

My frame of reference is small, but this has a similar flavor profile to Escudo. Compared to Escudo, this is stronger, richer, and tastes better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (50)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

An excellent tobacco. Rich VA flavour in abundance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Lacks the usual tangy edge of other Vas, it has a rounded almost malted caramel like overtone but with absolutely no sweetness that I can sense. Quite strong, I like the fine shag cut and it is not fussy what pipe it wants to be smoked in. Overall, a good Virginia, but I guess I miss the slight sweet edge too much for a four star rating.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (57)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A sweet, full bodied straight Virginia smoke. No more need to be said, go get some :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A top class tobacco, as you would expect from Rattray. There's a very satisfying, unusually full Virginia flavour, and the tobacco behaves itself well from first light to last puff. It's a very consistent, reliable smoke, and stronger than you might expect an unadulterated VA to be. I like to take it slowly in a big bowl with a strong black coffee. It needs to be enjoyed at leisure, with “breath smoking,” otherwise you miss the nuances. Also, it gets hot if you rush it; but what doesn't? Perhaps a little strong for the beginner, but a great choice for the experienced VA lover. It'll age well, I think.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I didn't expect this one to dissapoint and it sure hasn't.. Hal o the wynd lives up to its reputation. It is similar to old gowrie, as people say, but it does have a touch of spice to it and quite a bit more nicotine.. sweet, bready, grassy, maybe a touch of perique.. I will buy more to age.. i tried to age this one but the curiosity was killing me.. next up marlin flake.. I hope to find another great virginia in that flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (108)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is what I think of as a quintessential VA blend. I think that if there is something that Rattray really does well it is VA. Hal O' The Wynd will not disappoint the discerning smoker, with a nice perky, bitey flavor, it's like aged cheddar. The flavor reminds me of dry hay in a barn if you've ever jumped into a pile of it, kind of scratchy, but fun none the less. This is not my favorite smoke, but it sure places itself as a classic in it's genre for me. The room note is not to be sought after, but it's a good blend, I can't comment on the tin note as I've only ever had baggies of it. I think it would be worth an experiment to smoke this in tandem with GLP Union Square just for an interesting compare and contrast, two different VA's might be good partners in a VA lover's rotation. I found I really like this blend in fresh new pipes, meerschaums and narrow small cobs like the MM Pony Express. Give it a shot, it's curiously strong, kinda like Altoids...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was reluctant to try this tobacco. The only Rattray blend I'd previously tried was Red Rapparree, a strong English blend that almost made me burn my pipes. But after hearing raves about it, I decided to give it a go and see what the fuss was all about. The tin arrived in a box with a bunch of Pease blends, innocently hiding behind styrafoam packaging. I immediately cracked it open, and was at once delighted by the tin aroma – the sweet, thick scent of a good Virginia. The tobacco was a bit moist, but a few moments of drying before loading into a bowl cured that. The leaf is a nice golden-brown, ready-rubbed.

The initial flavor was stronger than I expect from a Virginia, though in a good way. There was a real sweetness to it, and I could almost detect a hint of fruit. After a few minutes, with the bowl burning nicely, the flavor became really robust, which again is unusual for a Virginia. With strength comes flavor, though, and this tobacco has flavor. I like my coffee strong, too, after all. This strong flavor stayed, consistently, through the smoke. Though there is a development, or progression, of the strength through a bowl, it is about as consistent in flavor as a Virginia tobacco can be, start to finish. Though the first few puffs seem to be plotting a case of tongue bite, I've yet to experience a bite from this blend.

Additionally, Hal O' The Wind DGTs extremely well, which I like because I often smoke a pipe on the 20-minute drive I make to work each morning, leaving me something to look forward to on the drive home. In fact, the strength of the tobacco seems to wake me up just a bit for the afternoon drive, while keeping a smile on my face despite the traffic.

This isn't a blend for the beginning Virginia smoker. That said, it's one of the absolute finest tinned Virginias I've smoked, equaling, in my opinion, even the delights of such favorites as Red Flake. I know I'll keep this tobacco available on my shelf from now on, and will turn to it often. Hal O' The Wind is a pleasurable and enjoyable smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Hal smokes great after a couple of relights. Settles down into a mild, tasty smoke with plenty of tobacco flavor that provides a good nicotine boost.. The slight flavoring enhances the tobacco flavor & aroma. I think there is a smidgeon of Perique & portions of the flakes are very dark. This review is based on a five year old tin. This stuff didn't bite me and the initial harshness quickly faded. I found this to be a quality blend that compliments the briar. Very flavorful for me to the end and didn't finish harshly. This blend needs to be rubbed out really well and then dried a bit before stoking. It will be hard to get a good burn rate if you don't. Hal O' The Wynd merits four stars, IMHO, of course.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sweetbriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sweetbriar (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I like this one slightly better than Old Gowrie because it's a tad stronger. great stuff to kick off or end the day with..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A lot of reviews clain this one as strong. I will say it will get your attention, but it is not particularly strong in my book but full bodied yes. It is really quite tasty and it has to be paid respect too or the smoker could end up with tongue bite with this one. But having said that, if one smokes it nice and slow, they are rewarded with a very creamy, slightly nutty and spicy smoke that is great savored with a glass of red wine or a full bodied beer. The tobacco in the pouch is a pretty uniform brown in color and is a ribbon cut broken flake. It has a sweet but peaty pouch aroma and is very easy to load in the pipe. One light to start it, a tamp to the rise and then a good light and one can sit back and enjoy the smoke without constant relights. it burns nice and slow, and one can taste the sweet VA in the foreground and then whisps of the perique spice comeing and going. The kentucky just gives it body. It has a nice strong but sweet room note, won't make enemies but won't make friends either. It burns down to a medium grey, fine ash all the way to the bottom of the pipe with no dottle and no moisture. It really smokes clean. I smoke mine a little dry though so right out of the tin, it could smoke a touch wet. The taste remains consistant all the way down, it picks up a little more of the VA sweetness as it burns down and the perique notes retreat a little. All in all, this is a fine smoke and I find it quite enjoyable and therefore recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently tried three of the Virginia blends (Marlin Flake, Hal O' The Wynd and Old Gowrie) from Rattray as they tend to get lumped together and I wanted to know what seperated them.

Definately the strongest of the three and (to my mind) the best.

To me this stuff smells like wet hay and malt extract in the tin and has a similar rich but subtle sweetness under the match. I could believe that it contains Kentucky leaf because of the strength and richness of the flavour, because of the slight spicy edge I could also buy that it's got some perique but the tin says not so I wont argue.

Smooth and tasty all the way down to the bottom of the bowl, gathering a little momentum towards the end. I always want to repack and relight as soon as I've finished a pipeful of Hal o' the Wynd just to make the pleasure continue but then I'm greedy, especially with really nice things!

Great tobacco. Will revisit regularly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Not a bad virginia at all, prhaps the strongest of the trio, Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake and Hal O' The Wynd bringing up the rear. My main problem with this otherwise very fine tobacco, is that I can only get it to work if I let it air for 24 hours on a sheet of newspaper, put it back in the can, then leave it for a further month.

This seems to smooth it out for me as it can be a little steamy straight from the can with a mild tendency to try to bite.

However, having prepared accordingly, a smooth and tasty evening smoke for the summertime follows.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Open tin smells like warm fig cookies in an old hay loft, perfectly rubbed flake packs well and burns great. Bowl starts with dry grass notes and light VA sweetness. Develops subtle but amazing complexity - hay and old lumber, raw grains, bread dough, pancake batter, sweet malt, hot buttered Cream of Wheat - the second half of the bowl mixes in saddle-soaped leather and whispers of spanish cedar that remind me of aged Dominican cigars.

Despite the description on this site, I don't think there is any Kentucky or Perique in there. I suspect the description on the tin is correct - full Red Virginia flake. This stuff has more than a little age on it already, but I imagine more age in the tin would make this stuff incredible.

I smoked a pipe-full with my favorite single-malt scotch “Highland Park” - 12 Year Old. The malt syrup, canned fruit, leather and cigar box flavors of the whisky complemented this tobacco brilliantly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I have read reviews of this blend for some time now and have always meant to try it. The problem is that I have tried other Rattrays that I have not been all that fond of (accountants, dark fragrant, seven reserve) and really didn't want to get shaved for anoher handful of dollars to be let down again.

Well, my nature got the best of me and I plunked down another $14 to get a can of HOTW. Man, am I glad I did. This stuff is amazing! If all the Rattrays were this good, I would have tried it long before now.

A little drying time is necessary fo me, but after that it's off to the races. This is one you will get the most out of by smoking it slowly and sipping the bowl. I will not even try to describe the flavors as it is impossible. Suffice it to say that I have found what I believe to be one of the all time best va blends out there.

This gets 5 stars!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (64)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

The last 4 months or so I have been breaking in a Savinelli Virginia KS using this blend, and it just keeps getting better and better (both pipe and tobacco). The VA is outstanding, sweet and cool, and the KY lends strength and spiciness to the mixture, and you end up with a full, round and sweet smoke. Can't really say I pick up on the perique, but it may very well be in there somewhere.

Fresh out of the tin it is rather moist and do benefit from some airing, most certainly there is humectant involved, but never the less, it burns quite well and doesn't cause any difficulty keeping lit. It does however improve a great deal after being opened a month or so.

All in all this is an excellent medium-strength mixture with a good nicotine hit, very satisfying, but not tiring to the palate, even after a big bowl. I can't imagine tonguebite being an issue for anyone smoking this. It's remarkably cool. A solid 3/4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

HOTW is the only virginian by Rattray which I had the way to taste before the K&K era. I'm happy to say that the current K&K's is as pleasant as the older was.

The 100grms can (inner strap and plastic lid) is the packaging available in Italy.

The smell at the open tin is wonderful: fruity/sweet&sour. The cut is a medium-fine ready rubbed; unlike the EM of the same brand, which are largely wet, the tobacco was ready to smoke for the very opening. The colour of the weed is a mix of mostly medium brown with occasional lighter and darker flecks.

A old Castello Old Antiquari KKKK straight apple having a narrow chamber has been very easily filled and lighted.

HOTW smokes cool and dry, robust - I truly cannot share the opinion that it's strong or more, those reviewers should try Irish Flake instead... - and substantial; fruity and somewhat earthy sometimes; always sweet, sometime faintly sour; biscuity and peppery to the nostrils; the palate is pleasantly tickled from mid bowl.

I'm feeling a very rewarding smoke, and wondering why I have been far from HOTW so long (some five years or more from the last can). It has all the features I may ask to a Virginian.

My highest recomendation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

eamonclever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eamonclever (45)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This is my virginia benchmark.There is nothing more to say than 4 stars. The only thing is - take your time and don´t start pipe smoking with this fine tobacco, because it is a bit nasty as it comes out of the tin a bit wet, but it smells so good-a bowl has to be loaded once you crack the lid, i preferably load my pipes with the franks method, this is a perfet tobacco to get used to this method. I would recommend it to the experienced and the non aromatic smoker guild.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Duke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Duke (41)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

HAL O? THE WYND. Its tin aroma blossoms of fine tobaccos. Upon its ignition is a roar of pure tobacco flavors. Hal will put a crease in your pants if you don?t mind your smoking cadence. To the ancients Hal would be hoarded like salt. This is a great tobacco, and if you don?t find it satisfying, please don?t insult its blender or its fans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
★★★★
Medium Medium Very Full Pleasant

This is the best straight, natural Virginia you can find out there.

Bright golden broken flake with an incredible natural aroma, well balanced and unique flavor and taste with many levels of complexity. This is my top favorite straight golden Virginia flakes out there, certainly not my everyday or all day smoke (like with any good wine), but I really enjoy this blend when I want to spoil myself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

now thts what i call a worthy smoking expensive tobacco,,the most pure virginia i have ever tried with a hit of strength that gives you something to think about while you are packing the next bowl instantly,,all day smoke easily lit and burns into thick layers of somewhat sturdy ashes which needs tamping if you want to keep the pipe lit without many relights after 2/3 of the bowl,,burns very clean and definitly worth trying even for an avid aromatic smoker like my self!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

catdaddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
catdaddy (18)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

"I simply cannot find one bad thing to say about this exceptional blend. It burns well, very smooth if puffed slowly, and has a fine taste that anyone would enjoy. There is no doubt that these are quality tobaccos and perhaps after some aging another star may well be in order. It just doesn't ring bells the way Abingdon and British Woods did with me."

note: As it turns out I woke up the next morning with a terrible sinus cold and my taste must have been screwed up because this is a 4 star blend if ever there was one. This tobacco is to be savored.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The fullest taste of the three Rattray's famous 'British Line' tobaccos (the other two being Old Gowrie and Marlin Flake).

It's got almost the same 'edible' tin aroma that Marlin Flake is famous for and which is more subdued in OG. Kentucky and Perique components are more pronounced here than in OG, hence the full and rich taste, and red ripe Virginia makes it a top-quality and delicious blend. I have a strong association with red wine regarding the three tobaccos: Old Gowrie is like a reserved dry wine, Marlin Flake a rich sweet variety, and Hal O'The Wynd an old full-taste sweet Porto.

Four stars for the high quality, but... Yes, the nice yelow tin is pricey and does not contain enough of the great stuff. Three stars all in all, glad I tried it, but I'll be sticking to other blends of similar quality and a more adequate price, such as

(here the review suddenly ends up with some illegible text and blurred images of tobacco tins presumably but not necessarily of the UK origin)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Laudante Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Laudante (29)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Besides the very funny joke BriarChef makes with the name of this blend, I agree with him in that this is a great tobacco.

I cannot avoid finding it very Scottish, maybe because of the natural malty and fermented taste it comes from time to time, making it close in flavor to good, pure malt, aged whiskey. (Or it might simply be because it is Scottish indeed)...

It has nice nutty and honey undertones as well, especially in the first half of the bowl. The second half, as usual, becomes stronger, but never as much as one would expect from the label. Actually, the strength is very pleasant and the nicotine is relaxing.

It burns very well until the end. I´ve smoked many tins without any single dottle or similar problem. I´ve been smoking it in very hot and humid southern weather and it works quite well.

Sweetness is perfect... neither cloying nor sour. It will be one of my regulars for a long while.

Many people compare it with Old Gowrie. I haven´t tried this one yet, but I have a two year old 100 gr. tin in my cellar (drawer) which I will open soon (the tin, not the drawer). I will be able to make a comparison then.

But today this is still, as far as I remember, the very best straight Virginia I have ever smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a real eye opener first thing in the morning and a good pick-me-up late in the afternoon. Rich tasting but not too strong and no bite. Hangs in there with you right to the end of the bowl.

Only peculiarity is in lighting and getting it settled down. Raises up like a ghost out of the grave on first and second and then third char. Has to be tamped down frequently during first third of the bowl because it keeps raising up but then settles down to a comfortable smoke.

I really like this for a rich, satisfying smoke. Wouldn't make it my all-day baccy though, the nicotine high can get pretty demanding and I don't even inhale. For this reason, I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner.

I put it in my top regulars and is definitely a keeper.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

drdave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drdave (15)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

A great tobac. Sweet, refined, and elegant with just a touch of wildness. Like a fine young lass, dressed for a formal dance; her hair all done up, pearls round her creamy neck, standing barefoot on wind-blown mountain top.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I Truely enjoyed this blend,good stuff.Just a little dry time and of ya go.I give it a seven out ten

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Not much to add to previous reviews: along with Old Gowrie and Marlin Flake, this could perfectly be the Holy Trinity of Virginias. Sharper than OG, but not much stronger, and a bit less tasty.

As a side note, I enjoy this blend more on meerschaum than briar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, this has got some good things going for it. It's easy to smoke without tongue bite; not very strong (for me at any rate) and generally a pleasant tobacco. You can tell I have reservations! I'm not swayed by this adulation, that's the trouble. It's a fair VA, not great, but fair. Mick McQuaid Plug beats it hands down. HOTW is a perfectly acceptable standard VA...it's monochromatic, it doesn't show me the subtleties that would make it a great tobacco. Some of the McClellands are far better (some are not so good though)....this is so easy to smoke and puff away at that its almost like an aromatic. There are times when that's a positive advantage...working on the PC, outdoors walking the dog, painting or reading. But to be a great tobacco it has to have depth and treasure tantalising you to find and enjoy. And HOTW doesn't.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on my qualifications for a great tobacco, Hal O' the Wynd meets all criteria. The cut makes it easy to load; it takes to the match easily and stays lit; it has ample flavor; and is strong enough to be satisfying. It is my default tobacco for those times when I don't need to concentrate on the smoke, but still want to be aware that I'm smoking something refined and rich. I seldom smoke more than one bowl in a row, but one bowl is enough to satisfy,,,,,,Excellent

Update: Like many of us, I am not always afforded a schedule that allows me to sit and relax while smoking. So, often as not, I am engaged in some other activity while smoking my pipe, which results in careless puffing. Although HOW is one of my favorites, it does not forgive sloppy technique. With this in mind I became curious about Pipestud's preparation of this weed, as listed in his review below. So I rubbed it out well and then zapped it in a food processor. The result was a cut slightly more coarse than ground coffee. Voila.......no more bite.....an amazing transformation. I might need to try this approach with a few other hotties.......

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A moist, ready-rubbed matured Virginia that began quite sweet, mellowing out as the bowl progressed.

Rattray's Old Gowrie is my current go-to Virginia. Hal o' the Wynd is stronger and, perhaps, a bit harsh by comparison. Given its higher nicotine content as well as its near-monochromatic flavor profile, I found it to be a tad wearying as I neared the last third of the bowl. Still, it was not an unenjoyable smoke.

Between these two Rattray's blends, I personally prefer Old Gowrie, which strikes me as both mellower and richer. But the quality of both blends is excellent. If you enjoy a higher-nicotine Virginia, you certainly owe it to yourself to take the Wynd-ing road.

UPDATE: 1/21/07 - I have upped my rating from Recommended to Highly Recommended on the basis of the transformation that takes place when this tobacco is smoked very slowly. "Sipped" might even be a better word here. Sipping it reveals layers of sweetness and rich creaminess -- while diminishing the harshness -- that I'd never encountered before in Hal. If this one isn't working for you, I'd recommend taking very slow, measured puffs; it can become an entirely different blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (43)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Bought this on the overwhelming recommendations of the guys here. I'm not usually a smoker of straight Virginia pipe tobacco, but thought I would give it a go. If everyone says something is good, it must be, right? Even Cavendish lovers like me must be able to appeciate it...

Out of the tin, the smell is one of maturing fruit cake or raisins maybe. Not too strong, but noticeable. Colours are an attractive Autumnal mottling - leaves in the Fall. Easy to pack, light and maintain burning. The only relights needed are if the nicotine gets a bit much and I let it die deliberately. Even then, the relight carries no discernible yak.

As far as taste is concerned, I am still a little undecided. I think it depends on the size of the bowl I use, but it tends to hover between a cool and citrus taste (light lemons?) tending toward a fairly harsh and 'lively' smoke. 'Perky' may not be descriptive enough. I am not sure I would want to smoke this on an empty stomach - particularly when the train carrying the nicotine pulls in to the station. Hard puffing not recommended! Not a great deal of taste variation as the bowl runs out, but the increase in nicotine is fairly intense. I've never been a cigarette smoker, but my wife reckons it smells as though I am slipping a sly one if she comes in after I have had a bowl of this.

As for the residue, white ash without wetness.

Am I converted to straight VA? Not yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

In my humble opinion this is the improved version of Old Gowrie. Good nicotine and VA-taste punch from this animal! Apart from Samuel Gawith FVF, this staff is 2nd to none!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is another legendary Rattray blend, and with good reason: It is superb. It is also surprisingly gentle to my palette. As with other blends in this line, it will benefit from some drying.

This has plenty of the warm red Virginia taste, but it can be a bit much in a large pipe if you are nicotine sensitive. This is a very simple, straight-forward blend. If you are looking for a Virginia with many flavor nuances, this will not make you happy.

If you love red Virginias, this is sure to please.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (47)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Love this stuff; beautiful texture, color, presentation, smell is all wild and wooly from the tin like exotic mutant fruit raised in vinegar. From first char to last sip it stays wonderful and full flavored rainbow pure Virginian, nice nicotine hit to it too. I am an all day sucker for Virginians which is the only caveat I?d have to stating ?Go out now, no time to dress, go out this minute and pick up at least a 100g of this stuff, even if you already have some. I?m serious. Go now. I?ll wait.?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (70)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent tabac. Hal O' The Wynd is full of flavor and satisfaction. This one leaves me satisfied for hours after a bowl full. A true and honest weed that has very mild flavoring a great companion to the nutty sweet flavor of high quality VA's. Smells wonderful from the tin, a nice apricot, nutty/sweet aroma.

Like most VA's this blend lends itself to slow reflective enjoyment. Excessive and eager puffing can lead to a hot tongue. Packing this fine tobacco straight from the tin leads to a stronger fuller smoke. I like to rub this one out a bit and let it dry for a half hour or so this technique leads to a milder cooler smoke. Hal O' The Wynd smokes dry and complete with one light or two. The dottle left behind is light grey and dry.

Hal O' The Wynd is a VA smokers little bit of heaven. This will always be a part of my rotation of VA's. A true blue smoke. Four Stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

geocritter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
geocritter (20)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Hal O' The Wynd is a good blend, although I find it a little bitey until I let it set a little and dry. Flavor is very much a nice, smooth virginia, without the typical McClelland fermented smell we often characterize virginias with.

I like this one, although I don't know that I can give it 4 stars. Room note isn't all that great. Maybe a little time will change that, and I'll re-review it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jazzplayer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jazzplayer (9)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a 4 star Virginia!! Take it nice and slow or your tongue will hate you for a while. The nicotine punch is there as well, especially at the bottom of the bowl. The aroma upon opening the tin is that of honey and apricots. Not for the beginner in my opinion. One must smoke this fine gift with a seasoned pipe to truly enjoy the vast flavors this tobacco has to offer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cell biologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cell biologist (21)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

I had read about the orgasmic experience of smoking Virginia but had not experienced it firsthand until trying a freshly-opened tin of Hal ?O the Wynd in my tall and narrow-bowled goose egg briar. The first part of the bowl gave hints of that tobacco smell that tickles the nose and makes you want more. It took a bit of puffing to get it to stay lit, by which procedure the smoke becomes rough until it settles down. I let it settle down with some slow puffing and occasional blowing through the pipe. Long slow draws into the mouth, while inhaling through the nose, then releasing the smoke and taking some into the nostrils is my technique for enjoying tobacco.

Malty, with a flavor reminiscent somehow all at the same time of the grain scent of a fine pilsner beer, cognac, malt whisky, chocolate, aromatic nuts, but also different from all these. The smoke is the smell of something you want to swim in, a kind of ambrosia, when you get the burn rate just right, just barely going. It goes out a few times and I occasionally scrape the ash away with a matchstick and blow it out before re-lighting. The orgasmic flavor builds to a crescendo right to the bottom of the bowl, which is the best part, even the very bottom, which is hard to light because it's almost played and a bit wet (it?s easy to get overzealous with the lighter at the expense of the tongue), but the flavor awakens olfactory neurons of gustatory pleasure heretofore unstimulated. The thing is, the pleasure is sustained, the receptors or neurons don't saturate like smells normally do, like those first few sips of coffee that are the best but then the intense flavor goes away. The first bowl of this was a remarkable experience second to none. Subsequent bowls reproduced the pleasureful flavor, but the ambrosia was harder to sustain. In some cases this clearly was my own fault because I would get too excited puff too hard, exceeding the optimal burn temperature. There may also be some dynamics upon exposure to air that change the tobacco and make it more finicky after the tin is opened. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorites, if its finicky nature is mastered there are outstanding rewards.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (66)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This is an incredible Virginia blend. Upon opening the tin you get a great aroma of dried fruits and matured tobacco. I found it packs rather easily into my pipe. Then you light up and are immediately greated with an excellent flavor. An edgy, sweet, virginia taste that definitely satisfies. Throughout the bowl, I found it slowly mellowed out and became smokier tasting, but this was no disappointment. This is one blend that I highly recommend. As far as nicotine strength, I noticed some nicotine, but not enough to make me sick. I was extremely satisfied with this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scottgun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottgun (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

How dare I give the third person in the trinity of Rattray's virginias less than four stars? This is a quality tobacco no doubt, and I went through an entire 100g tin of it, so it provided some excellent smokes. Sometimes it was harsh on the pallate, even when nice and dry. I was also fighting moisture buildup in the bottom that I have not experienced with other blends. I found that frequent run-throughs with a pipe cleaner helped this. On several occasions I was left with a sizzled tongue. While still a recommendable baccy, it's not for the beginner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (180)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I tried this becuse I love Old Gowrie and Marlin Flake, and read that this was the last of the triumvirate. It tastes nothing like Marlin Flake and only vaguely similar to Old Gowrie. I liked it, but it is a distant third in this lineup to me. The Virginia flavor is much more sharp and not as bright as O.G. I will keep trying this blend every so often in hopes it will mellow or that my appreciation will grow. After about 2/3 of the bowl I felt the nicotine kick in and was surprised by the strength. The tin says it has an unusual share of strength and that is an understatement.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a ready rubbed, straight Scottish style virginia flake, but the flavor is up a good notch due to some special process or weed (perique?). No nonsense tabak. "Very Nice!"

It is a bit heavier than Old Gowie but not as strong as Marlin Flake can be to me (due I gather to the stoved virginia added). It is more comparable to Hamburer Veermaster flake and SG Medium Virginia Flake, but with more body. PS Navy Flake is not too different but with a nuttier virginia and more obvious perique. Dunhill's Elizabethian has close to the body but not as good a virginia accompanyment IMO. Olsen's 111 flake is stronger (with burley).

HOW has an airy, woodsy quality to the leaf (which some may call sweet but not I) and good, steady flavor. Cool, steady burning, and dry. Easy to pack and puff. Don't get carried away though.

A high quality product that has not changed as far as I can tell in the past 10 years or so. Don't know what the true original was like. Highly recommended to the straight virginia smoker who desires a somewhat fuller (but not heavy) experience at times.

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sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

To be a straight Virginia, this is a full satisfying tobacco, a rather rare case for my taste. The smell upon opening the tin is wonderful, sweet and reminding of dried fruits. The rubbed flakes can be packed and smoked easily, they don't even need too much air to dry out, but I leave the tin open for some minutes the same. Smoking it is a great experience, it fullfills your senses even without the deepness of the orientals and the smokiness of latakia. Truly one of the best Virginias around.

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Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This rubbed-out flake is stronger than most Virginias. It is a pleasurable smoke but too strong (for me) for an all day smoke. If strength and big flavor in a fine Virginia are what you seek give this a whirl!

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RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

05-06-2005 Another pleasant suprise!

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Broken flake with mostly red leaf and a smattering of mohagany and golden leaf. Smells delicious! The predominant odor is of fragrant red VA leaf.

Packing and Lighting: I tried this in several pipes, but prefer group 3 sized pipes. You can further rub out, but packing the broken flakes as is, worked just fine. Moisture was perfect out of the tin. Lit after 2-3 lights to the bottom of the bowl.

Initial Flavor: Aaahh! Delicious red Va from the get go, marvellously fragrant. Reminds me of McCranie's Red ribbon.

Mid-Bowl: Delicious round full flavor. No need to puff hard to get satiated. DGT works excellently. Room note is to die for!

Bottom of Bowl: This is where beginners can get in trouble. This develops lots of strength and if you don't slow down, you will make yourself green from the nicotine quick! If you sip, you will be pleasantly satiated. I usually DGT quite a bit at this point.

Overall: I was afraid of this blend for many years, so my tins have just aged and aged. Recently, I got the courage to open a tin and I glad I did. It took me a while to finish the 100g tin due to the fact that I can only smoke a bowl of this blend once every two days because of its strength. Regardless, this is now my favorite VA from Rattray's with regard to flavor even though I still smoke more Marlin Flake by the same. The Red VA in this blend is spicy, but not as spicy as any of the McClelland, McCranie, or C&D offerrings. I find the strength a nice change due to the fact that I usually smoke Balkan or English blends. VA blends usually don't satiate my palate and I end up smoking a Balkan to end the day, but not so with this one...

Highly Recommended!

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Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

The last stop on my trip down the Rattray Va line, and I have to say by far the cream of the crop. This tobacco is nice and strong and has the typical sharpness associated with these type of blends. It can bite if provoked, although it smokes cooler than its cousin Marlin. But what truly makes it stand out from the pack? I'm not sure that I can explain it other than this: It's just damn tasty! Its that simple: this blend just tastes great! At first char it seems to taste like a hundred other straight Va's. And then you start to notice a little something. This stuff is the shiz bang! Simply Awesome! Go out and try it, then you'll get it.

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Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I do not have the time to describe the attributes of this tobacco in detail as others do. However, as I do wish to contribute some feedback, I will simply rate this tobacco on a scale of 1 ?10, including tenths.

I rate this tobacco 9.9 out of 10. I am a fan of the Rattray baccys.

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JohnnyFlake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyFlake (17)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

(5/27/03) This tobacco is a course, rubbed out flake that is mostly dark brown in color. As with most Rattray Tobaccos, this blend is too moist, at least for me, to smoke without considerable drying time. The aroma is a very deep & rich and remindes me of semi-sweet bitter chocolate, with hints of figs & dates. I usually fill a pipe with this tobaccy and then let it sit for several hours before lighting up, sometimes as long as six and even eight hours. Afterwards, it lights easily, considering how course it is. The flavor profle in the first third of the bowl is very deep and earthy, pure quality tobacco with a subtle but consistant sweetness in the back ground. In the middle third the flavors stays about the same with perhaps a slight increase in sweetness. The final third is where it works best for me, where it becomes less sweet and it picks up a little bit of spice and I sense a build up in the nicotine profile. It never gets harsh and so far has never bitten me and I'm an aggressive smoker. This tobacco is full bodied and delicious but I do not believe it to be overly strong with respect to the nicotine content. If you like pure Virginias, you must try this tobaccy!

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