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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.

Notes: The homepage Kohlhase & Kopp says "Kentucky- Virginia-Perique". Flake rubbed by hand.

BrandRattray
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsKentucky, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50g Tin, 100g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 28 Users

3.4
203 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
111
3 star:
62
2 star:
24
1 star:
6
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imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Perhaps my favourite Virginia is McClelland's 5100 - "Red Cake", even though I find that I lose most of the flavour when smoking it in anything other than corncobs and small briars and meerschaums. In my quest for something in a similar vein, albeit stronger and more complex, I come now to Rattray's "Hal O' The Wynd".

First of all, this tobacco has none of that ketchup/vinegar smell so often associated with McClelland. Secondly, the tobacco lights very easily and burns evenly, leaving a fine white/grey ash in the pipe. The flavour and aroma are similar to those of 5100, although the taste, in particular, is quite a bit stronger and multi-layered than that of McClelland.

Despite my impressions of "HOTW", I am STILL primarily a 5100 fan. Rattray has a reputation of fine products, but they do tend to be a bit merciless on the wallet. Also, there are times when I still prefer the more monochromatic sweetness of the 5100.

Even though the Ambassador is fine for daily driving, it's nice to know that the Javelin sits in the garage, all gassed up and ready to go. I don't see why a fan of red virginias can't have both.

8 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (586)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The Virginias are mildly citrusy sweet and tangy with a hint of grass. The Kentucky adds some strength and mild sweet, slight tart notes. The perique is a minor player, but it has a little pepper, raisin and fig flavor that adds a nice dimension to the blend. The nicotine hit is less than I expected, but the flavor is rich, creamy, and rather filling without being overly strong. It may need a little dry time, and you may have to relight a few times, but it's most certainly worth the effort. It's a mixture that can be habit forming.

4 people found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

Another decent stuff from Rattray.

Not that much strong as tin says, not that much bland for an every hour smoke either. It needs to be dried before smoking for a satisfying flavor. Tends to moist a bit but you can adjust this with your puffing skills. With a careful smoking I am sure you can taste the real tobacco taste with a subtle sweetness.

Leaving a dry and clean ash, demonstrating the presence of high quality leaves.

4 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.

4 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

4 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.

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

3 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (123)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

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 earth sweetness that makes smoking this blend a real pleasure, It has less of the hay one would expect in 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

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
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!

2 people found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (25)
★★★☆
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.

2 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.

2 people found this review helpful.

BriarChef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarChef (100)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Although this sounds like something you blame on the dog while in polite company, this is actually one tasty Virginia.

Overall a perfect delivery of rich flavors accented with sharps and flats...all in perfect harmony, although the sharp notes can be interpreted as bitey I find their brightness to be their virtue.

Excellent.

2 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (53)
★★★☆
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

1 person found this review helpful.

oldorder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldorder (15)
★★☆☆
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

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (178)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Hal O' Wynd . The broken Flake is all very even pieces and not sporadic in sizes . It also contains a good moisture amount , making it light with great ease . It gives a splendidly even burn , requiring not many re-lights if not left to sit too long unattended . The smoke with this one contains a good balance of the Tobacco flavours for me , being mainly the Virginia but you get the zest of the Perique gently in the background . It does tend to be a little hot if drawn too harshly so be gentle . Nicotine is about the same as Peterson "De Luxe" mixture and I get no tongue bite from it unless I go too hard. For me the taste becomes a little boring after a while , but that doesn't make it a bad Tobacco as our tastes are subjective . I would have this only every now and again , but if you favor a Virginia/Perique then this will not disappoint you !

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

1 person found this review helpful.

USVI sailor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
USVI sailor (6)
★★☆☆
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.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (51)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (507)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a nicely packaged/presented 100g tin, cool artwork as well. I liked this blend a good deal. Needed some drying time for the broken flakes and then I was off. Smoked clean and had a simple yet compelling woodsy, peppery flavor, just the right amount of sweetness. VAs are not my usual fare, but as far as this one goes, its a winner.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (83)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I tried Hal O' the Wynd many years ago but didn't use up the tin and threw it away. I didn't remember why I didn't like it so I decided to try it again, since I have come to love Virginias. I don't like Kentucky and found it overpowering the Virginias in Three Nuns, so I felt sceptical about HOTW.

This time around:

First bowl made me disappointed. The tobacco was very moist and had difficulty staying lit. The taste: HANGOVER! It reminded me of the taste in my mouth the day after drinking too many beers and smoking cigarettes. Stale dark beer, cigarette ashes and bile.

Second, third and fourth bowl, I let the tobacco dry on a piece of paper for 15 minutes and rubbed it out some more. I finally find the taste of Virginia behind the "hated" Kentucky. Some Virginia sweetness start to take the place in front of the acrid cigarette ash and bile taste from the Kentucky. The nicotine content is higher than in my staple tobacco, Blue Capstan.

HOTW is the only tobacco I have to smoke during the Holidays, and I'll have to live with it. It's not a tobacco I will buy again, but I give it two stars anyway. If you like dark beers and whisky you might like HOTW. It's a high quality tobacco, but it just doesn't get along with my tastebuds.

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.

donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (18)
★★★☆
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!

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
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 -

1 person found this review helpful.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (59)
★☆☆☆
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.

Trippwire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Trippwire (58)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tastes very malty. Pure unadulterated tobacco, reminds me of old england. It's like old gowrie's older cousin, similar but distinctly heavier with a fuller taste. It was a good smoke, but after 100g of this, I've given it a good run and it just didn't grab me. I won't buy more, I'll get Old Gowrie instead.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

This tobacco promotes itself through its strength. I suppose the strength refers to the nicotine not the volume of flavour.

This isn't to say that HotW is bland. This tobacco has a gorgeous acid tartness that develops as you progress down the bowl, but it doesn't smack you in the mouth with flavour (in the way that 1792 does).

The nicotine stands out in this one. Nicotine is a chemical and it shouldn't come in different varieties, but this does seem to be a perky nicotine. Go figure.

The broken flakes are prepared just right, so you don't need to rub anything out for an instant yet slow burning smoke.

Not just Highly Recommended, this is the dog's.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

vinnie799 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vinnie799 (33)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm just about finished my first 100gram tin of this tobacco. I recieved a sample of this from a friend and after a few bowls decided that it's pretty nice stuff. It is written as having "an unusual share of strength and will quickly perk you up".

Ok, so I smoke on through and find that it is rather moist and being a VA sometimes they need to dry a bit for that VA Sweet to come through.

It did come through but still I haven't seen much strength like is written on the tin and in other reviews. Strength to me is a good nicotine hit. I didn't find it much here although there is some. For a novice piper it may be fine.

It is a nice cut but like I said before i find it better handling and smoking with some drying time, like 15-20 min under a desk lamp or just sit a pouchful out for a few good hours. Makes fo better lighting and smokeing as you won't have to relight it much. HOTW will try to bite if not careful so smoke 'er slowly. 'Breath Smoking' helps find a little sweetness in it too.

After about 3/4 of the way through the 100gm tin I started to feel like, Ah, it's really not all that, nothing to write home about. I'd suggest purchasing a 50gm tin once in a while at best. HOTW, bein's it's a stoved Red VA is in fact a little sharper that a regular bright VA. I'm not complaining just reviewing a tobacco. I do recommend it to one who smoke straight VA regularly for a pleasant change of pace just don't be looking for a much strength, its' a stoved Red VA that's all.

I'm giving it three Good stars because objectively speaking it's pretty a pretty good VA tobacco. I guess I was expecting something more like Haddo's Delight.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lars (2)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I really like Virginia's, but this is a disappointment. Kind of flat, two dimensional. Lacks that sweet and herbal character that I like in VA's, It's quite peppery though. Not really strong, if you compare it with a strong tobacco it's a medium. A bit to twiggy. Burns slow and cool. I've tried about 6 pure va's so far, this one is the most boring. Works god if you don't have any other VA at hand.

1 person found this review helpful.

JESTRAB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JESTRAB (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Excellent tobacco, one of the best virginia blends on the market. Smells great, tastes delicious, provides full and dry smoke. Variety of different mild tones could be found in the taste. Highly recommended to those looking for real quality and complex taste.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lex (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

HOTW is a wonderful offering from Rattray. Well worth it. this will be iin my perminate rotation

1 person found this review helpful.

Plex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plex (39)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I don't find this overly strong or overwhelming. But it is highly flavorful and a delight when you have the time and inclination to relax, set a spell and savor a truly good Virginia. Not tolerant of being rushed, HotW is natural tobacco with nature's sweetness there for the enjoyment. Treat yourself sometime, you know you deserve it.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (563)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (22)
★★☆☆
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.

1 person 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.

1 person found this review helpful.

BrittPark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrittPark (41)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

In the Tin: This is a rubbed out flake that has a slightly sweet slightly sour aroma as one would expect of a matured Virginia.

Packing and Lighting: I packed my Dunhill bent bulldog with the tobacco as it comes out of the can, a coarse ribbon or partially rubbed flake, depending on how you like to classify it. Took longer both for the char and the final light than average. But once lit stayed lit.

Taste: Pretty pure Virginia taste, weaker in the beginning of the bowl and more pronounced at the end. Produces wonderful billows of rich smoke. From such smoke I expected a richer flavor than I found. Perhaps this would be better if I rubbed it out more for packing.

For me this was a modest dissapointment. I found this a kind of limp Virginia. Given the great number of excellent Virginia blends out there I don't see why one would buy this in preference to one of GLPease's Virginias or even Dunhill's Royal Yacht.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★★
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Flyersfan_92 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyersfan_92 (10)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is almost uniformly light brown, with the occasional lighter or darker shade, the aroma is typical of flaked virginia tobaccos, rich and sweet, and slightly spicy. I rubbed it out to a nice fluff and it was perfect to go right into the pipe

I packed it into my clay tavern pipe as the description on the side of th box said for the finest Virginia weed, and i thought to have it. It packs nicely and lit quickly only having to relight twice. This pipe is about 15 inches long so it is quite different from other pipes, i seemed to have to give it a few draws to get a mouthfull of smoke.

The flavor was rich and slighly sweet reminiciant of almost rum cake of some sort, a bit light in the beginning, but about halfway through it intensified a bit, a very cool smoking blend, which may have been due to the pipe as well. My wife found the smoke to be pleasent, i guess passable would have been a good way to describe it for her.

Overall i really enjoyed this tobacco, it smoked cool with no tongue bit whatsoever, and is a nice relaxing smoke to read a nice book to. I would have to give it a 4.25 out of 5 Excellent smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one of the nicest Virginia flakes I've ever tasted! It's rich with the flavor of matured tobacco, has a piquant sweetness and an underlying strength that is /very/ satisfying. It burns down with a beautiful fluffy white ash that leaves the bowl walls clean and leaves my pipe fresh tasting.

It does get rather heavy as the bowl burns down, but the flavor stays fresh and pleasant and it responds really well to the DGT. If you like Virginia flakes, you owe it to yourself to try this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

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.

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (131)
★★★★
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.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Great tobacco all day smoke and I don't even like Perique

Nobody has rated this review yet.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I really enjoy marlin flake I just could not warm up to this one good tobacco just not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RonPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonPiper (5)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I really wanted to like this blend being part of Rattray's "Holy Trinity" along with Old Gowrie and Marlin Flake. Bought a 100g tin five years ago loaded up a bowl and yuck! Fast forward to present day. I dug this out of my cellar and it was still fairly moist but a little on the dry side. I rehydrated this blend for two days and got it to the right moisture level. I loaded up a bowl and found it more tolerable but not very enjoyable. I did finish the bowl out of respect to those who enjoy this legendary blend but to me it tastes like a good quality cigarette. Love the name but not the blend. If your curious about this blend, I do recomend you give it a try. Out of the three, Marlin Flake by far is my favorite.

Makin' my wife rich one bowl at a time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (31)
★★★★
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.

Gestalt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gestalt (7)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Smokes like a good sweet Virginia with the Perique just noticeable in the snork. The Kentucky boosts the nicotine a little and helps it burn a little cooler, keeping bite at bay, but I can't detect it in the smoke.

A nice, hassle free all-day smoke, which is good for Virginia lovers who can't give their full attention to the smoke or puff a bit too hard, but a little flat and lacking complexity.

Good, but no rival to ‘Hal O' the Wynd'.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (218)
★★☆☆
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 (120)
★★★☆
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.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was gifted a sample of this and have tried it in briar, meer, and clay, each pipe allowing for different intricacies. I wasn't bowled over by this blend but still liked it quite a bit. I found that an orange/citrus tastes would come through especially in the meer, that was to my liking. At other times more of a toast flavor would dominate. Overall a good blend. Recommended.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (120)
★★★★
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 (52)
★★★★
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 (14)
★★★★
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.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (507)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A fantastic Va flake. It is Less sweet and dried fruit-y and more earthy and burley-like than old gowrie/marlin flake. It is also fuller bodied and higher in nicotine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (75)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

IanTimothy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IanTimothy (8)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Never thought I would say it but Hal is a better tobacco than Full Virginia Flake..I know they are different, but Hal has the edge, more taste, sweeter, burns well after the second light and the flavour gets better as the smoke progresses, I just love it and the consistency is far better than my previous favourite FVF, In fact I am going to re-review FVF on this site, so Hal is a super tobacco and it is consistent tub after tub..I love it

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.

vsvsvsvsvs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vsvsvsvsvs (1)
★★★☆
Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

try the first puff today,real nice fruit tin aroma and perfect cut strong srength for me,va dominate the most,great taste,3 star cause none sweet sence at all

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OldComoyYoungGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OldComoyYoungGuy (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I smoke a lot of this in a grp 4 sized pipe dedicated to it. It is a slow, cool burning broken flake with lots of flavor but not too much. Unlike others, I find the strength only medium (keep in mind I am a big smoker of Dark Flake so strenght might be relative). Although it is billed as a pure VA blend, I swear I taste a little burley in here somewhere. It is easy to pack - no rubbing out required - and burns well and evenly. Consistency from tin to tin is excellent. A little spicy and a little bit malty. I like a previous review that stated this blend is like the country fair... It is a fun fresh hay type Va with enough complexity not to get boring. I also like this blend for breaking in a new pipe with as it is hard to get to burn hot and builds cake quicker than some other pure Va blends I smoke.

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.

Wood Chuck Gardner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wood Chuck Gardner (6)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Unnoticeable

This ain't no hay ride in the country. Hal is the equivalent of all the fun rides at the county fair.

This concoction never fails to surprise and delight me. There is a whole melange of bright citrusy flavors here with a solid nicotine hit in the punch.

Setting : Summertime sunset on the back porch with a glass of iced tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mesh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mesh (20)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

An excellent tobacco. Rich VA flavour in abundance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hendu3270 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hendu3270 (4)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this one at the recommendation of a friend and it didn't quite live up to what I had hoped. I also got no sweetness or tartness from this blend. full body flavor though so that was a plus. it does have a decent nic hit to it so to me it's avery relaxing smoke. I also found it needed little tending to in terms of the burn. It lights up from the beginning and burns straight through. Won't be a "go to" tobacco for me but I will but I will see if my tin improves with a little age on it.

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 (56)
★★★★
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 (110)
★★★★
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.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
★★★★
Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Appearance is a medium brown broken flake. Tin smells of hay and dried fruits, mostly fig. Tastes lightly sweet and grassy with bready notes.

Nice sweet smoke with a lovely grassy flavour, developing aromas of a bakery. When I want Virginia this is what I reach for. With all Rattray's, like a fine wine, they benefit from airing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
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.

beardedhermit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beardedhermit (30)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I found very little sweetness in this blend but more savory spicy flavors. Smooth and fairly satisfying, though it does burn quite hot. Deepening in flavor and strength as I smoke down the bowl with no bite. Going to buy 2 or 3 cans for aging.

====Update====

working on my 3rd bowl in a row, half way through it I can taste lots more sweet coming through in the smoke like burnt sugar, the Perique has stayed throughout but moved more to the shadows. I find it a grassy hay like finish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★☆
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.

mr.335 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mr.335 (20)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

in the same style as old gowrie but a bit stronger. Great virginia.

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 (53)
★★★★
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 (234)
★★★☆
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.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★☆☆
Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Tin: Sharp, funky aroma of dried fruit, wet hay, malt extract. Mostly dark red-brown hue. Mostly ribbon form with an occasional thicker chunk, all quite flexible, supple, due to ample moisture.

Packing & Burning: Due to the moderate suppleness, the tobacco will almost stay stuck together in a ball when rolled between the fingers. This tells you to be careful and not overstuff the pipe or it will not draw. Pack it firm but so that it is springy.

Taste & Aroma: HOTW is not nearly as sharp and pungent as the tin aroma. Top of bowl had a malted pancake aroma mixed with metallic wet straw taste. Towards the bottom, there was a mixture of earthy malt or old lumber aromas.

Nicotine: Definite queesiness that lingered for 3 hours

Room Note: Good bowl: combination of bread dough and hay. Bad bowl: smoky and slightly acrid

Overall: The original disagreeable taste, of the first bowl, ceased with the next few, which were like Tom Servo described. After that, it transitioned into a consistently mild charcoal burnt grass taste.

I'm sticking by my initial assessment of the first bowl, even though it may have been due to the pipes. It seems that the tobacco changes, after the tin has been unsealed for a while.

Still supple, after the tin was unsealed four weeks, speaks on the use of humectant(likewise for MF and OG), and a possible source of that initial odd taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

apipeareyouserious? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
apipeareyouserious? (21)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Perfect moisture out of the tin, burns beautifully & has an absolutely amazing taste...at first. Eventually, by about 1/2 way through the bowl, it turned into a giant cigar/cigarette taste for me...got really strong all of a sudden. The room note is super strong & I smelled like I'd taken a trip to Hell and back when I was done. Pretty decent nic hit, too. There are days when I really want something that'll put hair on my back, and I'll keep this one around for just such an occasion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jazzmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jazzmoke (57)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Good blend but not the best (I still like Solani Virginia Flake with Perique more) even though this is the kind of tobacco that you keep in you rotation.

Update: I've smoked a 100g tin, and almost each time I've got a sore tongue, and I mean sore. I can taste although that the tobacco is of good quality, even so I assume that it will never befriend me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Strong

This is similar to Astley's 44 in terms of taste and tin aroma.

But Rattray's HOTW is no 44 on steroids.

This was strong, yes, but so harsh it became unpleasant. And the smoke proved harassing to my nostrils.

Maybe a bit of aging will address the problem.

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.

jhenley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jhenley (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I love this stuff. It smells a little funkier out of the tin than most other Virginias, but it smokes so nicely. Just a little moist out of the tin, but smokes very easily, stays lit and burns to a pretty white ash. This to ME is one of the most naturally fragrant tobaccos I have smoked. It has got a very straight forward sweet taste and aroma to me. I roll my windows up in my jeep after I get out of my car from smoking this stuff so that I can smell it again later! I'm not so sure about the consistency of this blend from tin to tin though. The first tin I smoked seemed a little more heavenly than the last tin I just bought. I wished they put the canning date on the tin like McClelland does. I would also like to try an old tin of this stuff someday. I guess I will age some. I love to smoke this blend when I know I want a more sweeter smoke. It's not that sharp, but really mellow in a full-bodied way. Kind of a toasty smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Punisher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Punisher (44)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Strong

This is the strongest VA, Kentucky and Perique mixture I had the pleasure to try. The ideal tobacco before I go out at nights.

As the nicotine content is high, be advised: this will not only perk you up....It could knock your socks off if you are not careful at first!

I believe that a 2-3 year aging would be beneficial to smooth it down because Hal O' The Wynd releases an acrid note that irritates the nostrils.

But it still is a solid smoke if you need to wake up, or get a hold of yourself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★☆
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.

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

Not as endearing, to me, as Rattray's Old Gowrie or Marlin Flake...and not as sweet as I would have liked. Finding that Hal O' The Wynd was slightly more sharp and bitter than I generally prefer...I committed the sacrilege of mixing in another constituent tobacco.

I employed the outer edges of MacBaren's Club Blend curlies (tossing the Cavendish cores into the trash)...enough to comprise approximately 10% of the final blend. The end result, for me, was extremely pleasant, and allowed me to enjoy both blends...otherwise, I would not find either singular blend overly satisfying.

A companion infusion: a Belgian Witbier (wheat beer with orange) like Rickard's White or Blue Moon.

UPDATE: 04/25/10 Leaving the tobacco out to dry much longer and employing "breath" smoking at a very slow cadence has brought out the sweetness and removed all instances of it being sharp and bitter.

Increasing my recommendation rating accordingly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fellow traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fellow traveler (64)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Good and strong by itself, if you like virginas. I smoke it once every few months by itself and chop and add it to other stuff to perk them up.

Its a virginia, smoke it slow and by the way:

Taking more of this medication than recommended may cause serious breathing problems.

Do not take alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.

May cause drowsiness. Alcohol may intensify this effect. Use care when operating a car or dangerous machinery.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A fuller, stronger version of its sister blend, Old Gowrie, HOTW is not as sweet and complex (it's even grassier), but I find it more satisfying, with zero bite or bitterness. However, the tin language about it containing Virginia tobacco "of a most unusual share of strength" is a bit of hyperbole.

It looks and smells nearly identical to OG and the texture of the Red Virginia ready- rubbed flakes is the same (a thing of beauty). If there's perique in here as reported, it doesn't tip the scales, nor do I see any printed reference of it on the auxiliary label at the bottom of the tin as stated in one of the reviews.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tortuga Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tortuga (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A love it or leave it blend from Rattray's a la K&K, I fall in the "love it" category.

A friend sent me a generous sample and I dove right in, not having had any Rattray tobaccos yet.

There really isn't much tin aroma to speak of. It's pretty neutral before lighting. Smoking reveals a flavorful Va with probably a little dark fired burley, and it wouldn't surprise me if there was a hint of perique as well. The red va is assertive and one needs to calibrate their cadence to make it work. Think of it as slow dancing with a beautiful woman -- whose gown is covered in razor blades. Get a little over-eager and you may regret it. The first time I smoked it, I didn't realize it had bitten until an hour or so after finishing. It hasn't bitten since then, and I'm not sure what I'm doing differently other than not over-puffing on light- up.

I love the flavor. There is an agent used, I think, to give it some additional taste. I don't know what it is and I am dreadful at making food analogies, but it absolutely works. I especially like the room note and that dense aroma that presents itself at the top of the burning bowl. The cut is a very thin, ready rubbed flake that is easy to load and burns well. I could highly recommend this blend, but can't guarantee which camp you'll fall in. Love it, or Leave it be. How well will it age? I will tell you in five years.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gnarlly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gnarlly (6)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Not a bad pure VA blend, though the description on the label can be misleading: "of a most unusual share of strength." I guess that phrase could be interpreted several ways, but I expected a stronger, fuller flavor from this blend. It is very mild in my opinion. The scent from the tin is like a bag of dried fruits; nice indeed.

Moisture content was high with my fresh 100 gram tin, so it may be best to let it dry for a bit before packing, or you may get a fair amount of moisture in your pipe or possiby need to relight. Otherwise, it smokes very well down to the bottom of the pipe.

The taste is pure, very mild VA. A mellow and relaxing tobacco, without very complex flavors. Nice amount of nicotine. A little bland for my tastes, but still recommended for when you want a more simple, pleasant smoke. Personally, I prefer Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake for a sweeter, more complex taste, But Hal O' The Wynd is nice for a quick smoke, without the need to rub out flakes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Slow Draw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Draw (26)
★★★★
Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This tobacco is a master piece. The presentation is a chunky straw like ribbon cut. I will either rub the ribbons out further, or ball them up and insert, depending on the bowl shape. Drying time is needed before smoking, and the results in flavor are drastic. Deep caramel and earth. Hay dipped in honey. Pancakes with butter. Burns very well once lit. If you love virginias, this is a MUST TRY. A great tobacco for the long term cellar as well.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

31z40 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
31z40 (5)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is a full Red Virginia Flake that impressed my from the first puff, after the first few bowls I'm hooked.

Medium strength with a full taste without the bite or harsh taste of tobacco. I found it to burn slow and smooth down to the bottom of the bowl without the bowl getting hot in a Bjarne Bent Brandy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (64)
★★★★
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.

dogwood Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dogwood (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

4 stars. This is a fantastic tobacco. I prefer OG to this but Hal is also a must for the virginia lover. It produces sweeter smoke and a definate nicotine punch compared to OG. It's smooth and balanced. It's not as pungent as a red ribbon and more refined.

The strength refers to nicotine content of which Hal has a very hight amount.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dryfly11 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dryfly11 (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Very good stuff!

I like to smoke HOTW in the evening, enough nicotine for the end of the day. Dried out properly you get a tasteful VaPer with a special hint (Kentucky). I guess it's the Kentucky which sets HOTW apart from other VaPers. Everything is said about quality, flavor and taste of this baccy!

4 stars! Period!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Coskun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coskun (23)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I am a big fan Old Gowrie...Take to old gowrie add some nicotine you ll find HOTW...

Mostly dark brown and red Va, broken flake easy to fill...

For me its need 30min to dry...Than easy to lit and smoke perfect...

Generally i use group3 bowl...Its perfect match...If you like Va and nicotine use HOTW...Another winner from Rattray's...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mrmcmc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mrmcmc (15)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Hello All;

I have not been happy with most Rattray's blends, and after my recent experiences with Marlin Flake, I was ready to give up on this House of Tobacco.

After perusing the many reviews of Hal O' The Wynd, the vast majority four stars, I decided to give it a try. I purchased 2 100 gram tins, one which will age a bit, one I am smoking now.

The tobacco appeared moist fresh out of the tin, thus I allow it to dry a bit before smoking. Tobacco quality appears to be excellent, and chosen carefully.

I find this to be a nice blend, with good Virginia Tobacco sweetness through the bowl, with a hint of spice added for complexity. I do not find this to be an extraordinarily full tobacco, nor do I find it to have any more than a medium nicotine content, if that. The taste is nice gaining depth through the bowl, but not necessarily gaining complexity, and somewhat on the monotone side of flavors, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I am not crazy over this tobacco, thus I rate it a solid three stars. Don't get me wrong, this is a good tobacco, and I like it well enough, that being said: I am not certain this will make my everyday rotation yet, but it could, time will tell. Pending smoking an aged tin, this rating may move to four stars.

My current, and all-time favorite, and I would give it 5 stars if I could, is Solani Aged Burley Flake. To me, the Aged Burley Flake is what tobacco is all about.

Happy Smoking, and Happy Holidays!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ProdigalWeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ProdigalWeb (18)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After gaining some experience with Virginia and Virginia/Perique and/or Oriental blends, I thought I'd revisit my review of this tobacco.

This is tasty stuff and has become one of my favorite straight Virginia tobaccos. When I open a new tin of this tobacco, I'm presented with the notes of raisins and figs that I've come to expect from a good Virginia. I've gone through 4 tins of this tobacco now and they have all been a little wet for my taste. I empty the tin on a sheet of paper, spread it out and let it sit for a few hours until the moisture feels OK to me and then put it back in the tin. This takes care of getting it lit easily and the heat issues later on.

If you pack this tobacco lightly so that it has just a little spring when you press it with your finger, it lights easily. Initially there is a sweetness and unadulterated tobacco flavor and aroma that comes from an uncased, nicely cured tobacco. As the bowl progresses, I get a very nice, pungent savoriness that I usually associate with perique or oriental blends. The flavor and aroma stay that way until the end of the bowl.

If you like unadulterated Virginia tobaccos, you will like this blend. No additives to change the flavor. A pure Virginia experience.

Original Review: This is the second tobacco I smoked after coming back to my pipes. While Balkan style blends had always been my favorites, more-or-less straight Virginias had always been next on the list. Because I was essentially a new smoker again, my technique left a lot to be desired with this coarse cut tobacco. It was also quite wet out of the tin and I didn't know to let it sit for a while to dry out a little. As a result, I had a heck of a time getting it lit and keeping it lit. It smoked pretty hot for me at first. I think because I packed it too tight and puffed too hard, it also knocked me on my butt.

On the positive side, I loved the aroma and the flavor early on before things got too hot. I ended up mixing the rest of the tin with some Old English from Pipes and Pleasures. It let me smoke the rest of the HOW, but it wasn't really recognizable anymore.

Now that I have some time and experience with technique under my belt, I think I'll revisit this tobacco. The flavor and aroma at the beginning of the bowl would be worth it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (50)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

The last 4 months or so I have been breaking in a Savinelli Virginia KS (no filter) 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 can 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.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I had a box kept aside for more than one year. I opened it and the first impression, from its natural perfume but also from the perfume of dry fruits, was very positive. A humid enough smoke, with monotonous, but also mild flavor for me. It has enough Nicotine.

PIPESTUD writes that it burned dry up to the end. I will not agree with him because to me, on the contrary, it was so humid till the end of bowl, that it felt a bit tiring.

A good tobacco, but for me it is worse than GOLDEN SLICED of ORLIK and SILVER FLAKE of SOLANI.I emptied the tin by mixing it with AUTUMN EVENING.

It needs a lot of attention when filling the bowl, it does not need pressure. A tobacco good as a time-out, after Oriental or aromatic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★★
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.

Poker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poker (2)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tabacco is just to strong. It leaves a accid feeling in my throad and nose. I cant immagine an enjoyable way of smoking, to not have the depicted feeling. Maybe take a puff and puff out as fast as you can. Or ruin your throad and not feel it anymore. Sorry I have contradict to the good rewies that made me buying Hal O'the whynd. I thing all of that comes from the RED FIRED Virgina, so watch out for that one. Best Regards

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tyro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tyro (10)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Good god almighty! HOTW is about as subtle in presence, and nuanced in taste as a monster truck rally.

10 for nicotine, 7 for taste... 8 overall

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.

Gigilos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gigilos (24)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Upon opening the tin one encounters a wonderful bouquet of sweet and earthy aromas that range from wood, to honey, passing through raisins, dried figs and dried grass in a summerfield.

Upon ignition the bouquet becomes more smoky emitting sweet but also mildly bitter/truffle-like signs. This process increases toward the mid-end of the bowl and though doesnt overwhelm like other Virginia-Perique blends still manifests potency.

Thankfully the added tobaccos to the virginia basis (perique and/or kentucky?) do not alter the main grassy-sweet and deeply warm body of this blend but rather add a quirky bitterness that complicates this very good tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KAW999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KAW999 (5)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This was the first pipe tobacco that I bought, October 2008. I bought it two tins, one to smoke and one to cellar. Being an ex cigarette smoker HOW perked my curiosity because it is a Virginia/ Per blend and I thought this would be a good place to start, cased tobacco does not appeal to me. The smell is pure unadulterated tobacco strong and harsh, I smelt no magical grassy or woodsy overtures; I guess that my nose needs more time in this new found hobby of ours to develop a keen smell , this isn't a bad thing but since this was my first pipe tobacco that I tried I believe that I was overly excited. I wanted HOW to be the end all tobacco, I guess I need to pay my dues and put in more time; which isnt a bad thing, to develop my palate to appreciate this supposedly fine blend. I blame myself for not enjoying HOW and look forward to the day that I develop my nose and palate. Happy smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (204)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Saluki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Saluki (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Subtle but satisfying, Hal O' the Wynd is a cool and dry smoke. No relights are necessary once this blend is given a moderate amount of air time. I put some up in Mason jars and will be anxious to try it in six months.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-arazzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-arazzo (71)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

FYI, this is not really a pure virginia. From the Kohlhase, Kopp website describing this tobacco:

"Feuergetrockneter Kentucky, Virginia und Perique wurden hier kombiniert, zu Flakes gepresst und von Hand gerieben."

The three elements--Kentucky, Virginia and Perique--are blended seamlessly, giving a sweet, spicy, "mushroomy," smoke with plenty of body. There's a nice quality of hickory smoke or something in that basic range, it seems to me. This is a bit wet in the tin, but performs very well even straight out of a freshly opened tin. Very user-friendly...just stuff it in and light it. The complexity is such that you can get whatever you want out of this tobacco, whether it be a nice easy pleasant smoke or something more contemplative. Very close to a "desert island" blend for me. Totally worthy of its immense popularity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Husserl08 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Husserl08 (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

This is my first Virginia and I am blown away. The flavor is full and rich. It has a full, sweet flavor that still manages to be deep rather than sharp and tangy, with some undertones of spice. It gets smokier as the bowl goes down, but by no means does it get worse. I've noticed that most cavendish requires some concentration to identify the flavor, but there's no mistaking the flavors in this one. My only criticism is the price, which recently went up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dedalus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dedalus (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Order a ton, let it age, dedicate a pipe exclusively to it. I find this to be the equation for maximum enjoyment of this blend. I am also a huge fan of SG FVF, which I find is not quite as finicky of a tobacco (and easier on the wallet). However, because of the quality, HoTW gets four stars despite the price tag.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Mine has a few years age on it. It's sweet tasting, cool burning, has enough nicotine to satisfy. This has moved to my favorite virginia. Give this one a few years of age and smoke slowly to maximize enjoyment.

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.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Got a tin of this. Straight out of the tin, the tobacco is extremely moist, but I had to try it anyway. The tastes I get are the typical coffee taste of aged flakes, such as Full Virginia Flake, but also a spicy taste of red virginias. It's sweet, but not overly so. I've had a couple of bowls so far. Both were steamy from the high moisture content, but unlike Esoterica Tobacciana's Stonehaven, there was a lot of flavor even when very wet. I set some aside to dry; perhaps I will find this a four star blend then. Surprisingly no tongue bite, but I think I've either grown immune or it's a delayed reaction; every night when I brush my tongue it stings like a terrible case of tongue bite times the amount of bowls I've smoked that day. More to come.

UPDATE: Dried it out and had a much more pleasant smoke. It's not better than Full Virginia Flake, but different. It tastes like an aged McClelland 5100.

UPDATE #2: Even more dried out, it tastes exactly like Prince Albert. I love the tin design, but for $15 I honestly expected a lot more from this highly rated blend. If it was cheap, I'd go ahead and give it three stars, but because it's so expensive, I have to give it two.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlyle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlyle (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As a smoker of Virginias exclusively, I find this blend to be arguably my favorite Rattray, though I would rank Marlin Flake as equally good for different reasons.

Certainly, Hal O' the Wynd has a more complex character as it burns than does Marlin Flake. HOtW starts off as a very light, fruity smoke, mellowing and deepening significantly during the latter half of the bowl. The distinctive fruit palette remains but becomes much richer as the bowl burns. Natural tobacco notes also become more pronounced later in the smoke.

I found that if I paced the smoke I didn't get any of the bite that some people find unpleasant in Virginias, but then, as I mentioned, I smoke Virginias exclusively, so I 'm used to nursing the tobacco leisurely by default.

In my Rattray rotation, I find HOtW and Marlin Flake commanding my attention about equally, while Old Gowrie's distinctive and predominant grassy notes make that blend far less appealing for my taste.

This is an excellent blend, as others have affirmed. If you find you like it, I recommend Marlin Flake as a less complex but equally satisfying smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (197)
★★★★
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.

steak2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steak2 (3)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

95 reviews counting mine and rates 4 stars ! I smoked a few bowls when I first opened the tin and didnt find that is was too good. Six months later , I can tell you that this is a very good tobacco. Great flavor , sweet with deep notes . I can not add more than the previous 94 folks did . Buy some , let it sit for 6 months or so . Well worth the waite

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piperpan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piperpan (9)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After 2 tins of HOTW, I can confirm (to myself) that this is the most complete pipe tobacco that I have smoked. Several Months ago I bought FULL VIRGINIA FLAKE, STONEHAVEN,LONG GOLDEN FLAKE, BEST BROWN and some more blends (from the most reviewed and top ranked in this web), and after smoking them daily, MY PREFERENCE (without doubts)is HOTW.

Full Virginia Flake and Stoneheven are also very good but I don't still enjoy smoking them because of their humidity. They have been packed in a jar to get old and fermentation in the drawer.

Five Stars for HOTW!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oouder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oouder (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Fantastic smoke. Ribbon cut ( I prefer flake). Great virginia taste. I usually smoke this or SG FVF. Can not say enough good things about this blend. As with all virginias smoke it slow or it will bite you, but if you are smoking it fast enough to bite you are not getting the full flavor of this blend. Let some age you will not regret it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vincenzo peruggia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vincenzo peruggia (13)
★★★★
Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I told myself i would not review this tobbaco because it would be redundant! So many good reviews ! Well deserved too. If they were bringing Vincenzo to the firing squad today and asked him for his last smoke preference Hal O the Wynd In anypipe would be the request! I would not even sweat till I was finished. Thats today gentleman and I will keep searching for better Va! With the dollar weak or euro strong either way it's high! if you like Va"s get some vincenzo ! If your in front of a firing squad get as much as you can ! The state pays !

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.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (507)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Much has been said about this baccy so I'll keep this brief. This baccy needed a little drying time, but packed well, lit well, produced a good volume of smoke, I felt as though the smoke was substantial and something I could get my teeth in and the aroma was excellent...caramelized, sweet hay-like. This didn't bite me at all and I did some fast puffing to see how it would react. 3 stars even though I'm more partial to burley/va blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

UPDATE:

it's a little sad to revisit this classic, after having become acquainted with the few british virginias left. too many additives, too little taste.not exactly bad, and perhaps in a few years i may upgrade it again, when i open the tins i've stored for aging.

03-20-07:

warning: this is a very good tobacco, but it is not for the beginner or the careless smoker!

tin aroma isn't that obvious, but it's classical pressed-and-rubbed-out red virginia: a little sharp, a little malty, slightly raisiny-sweet.

taste is similar, really, though much more powerful. it has a lot of edge, which i like, and is prone to tongue burn. no problems if smoked slowly, though. the winey and elegant sharpness recedes during the smoke, and the maltyness comes to the foreground.

i do find it kinda difficult to keep it lighted all the way to the bottom, and the last few minutes are not always a joy... still, a high quality tobacco.

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 (9)
★★★★
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.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another stop in my search for the perfect Va. blend. The search will go on (most likely forever.) I always wonder if the next one is "the one". I found that this blend is a little grassy, semi sweet,and a fairly strong Va. tobacco. The tobacco is nicely cut, easy to load, and light after a little drying. This blend can be HOT, and bland if hurried. Sip slowly and you find it a very decent smoke. How good is it? I have enough faith in it to purchase several 100 gram tins to cellar. I think it will mellow with age. and probably moveup a notch. For now I rate it at *

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.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
★★☆☆
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Surprsingly, I didn't enjoy Hal O' the Wynd at all!!!!

I found the tobacco annoying in smell and in taste, it was irritating my eyes and my nostrils...and my wife didn't approve at all the room aroma, she disliked it - she said the smell was irritating.

The flake is not that dark, I bought it first in bulk, it was a totally different tobacco, very dark with almost a strong coffee aroma, that was about 10 years ago, and it was very enjoyable, so when I saw it on Smokingpipes.com, I said Atta boy, let's order it! But here is a good proof of how a bulk and the original are so different...I preferred the bulk version a lot better, which had a cappucino aroma and tasted pure matured VA tobacco.

The tobacco in the tin is definitely red VA, but it's not dark at all, and the taste is irritating to my senses...I don't know what is was, maybe a bad batch...it happens, but I am not ready to retry it for a good while, I was truly disappointed, especially after all the praises I read about this Bakkie....

Such is life. Somewhat recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

A well-reviewed tobacco from Rattray's and I can see why. To me, this is Old Gowrie with less finesse - and I prefer it that way.

My 100g drum was bright yellow, full of broken flake in the Rattray's way. The presentation is great and with all the Virginia tones and sweetness promises a great smoke. No problems at all with packing and lighting. I just stuffed it in and off I went. An easy tobacco to live with.

The first impression is of the caramel sweetness of Virginia, earthy tones, with good mouth-filling. Some brightness but well-controlled. Not as complex as Sam Gawith FVF but still very interesting. Nice earth/peat tones on the nose. Nicotine seems medium ? about right as an all-dayer. Enough kick in the taste to satisfy though a little bit monochrome compared to the best. There is some bite if going too fast ? not much. Also smokes hot and wet if I go too fast. Strength a bit higher than I had first thought ? call it medium/strong ? about right for me. McConnell Scottish Cake and FVF may be a bit better, but it?s close.

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 (76)
★★★★
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.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

My favorite Virginia was McClelland Blackwoods Flake. Now it's this. I let a tin age for a year before I opened it, and when I did it was like the skies opening. Gotta taste to believe, Virginias are so great, I don't know why I smoke anything else sometimes. But I won't give up the burleys that's for sure. Anyway, what's the point waggin my fingers over the keys when so much has been said already. Here I am participating in mob mentality I guess. I need to try an obscure tobacco that is great sometime.

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.

Tobacco Saves Lives Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tobacco Saves Lives (31)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The reports of strength are overrated. Its just another quality, stronger that most VA. If you like it natural, and fairly strong, this is for you. i found no real suprises here and for the price there are better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puff Daddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puff Daddy (43)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, everyone is allowed their opinion, right? I wrote that to me, Escudo is a holy grail of VaPers, and few would disagree. So now I'll say that HOTW is now added to my list of the very best. When I bought my first Hal, I wasn't much of a VA lover, but the years have changed me. I think I've tried most of the VA's on the market, newer blends and older classics. Some are fine, but I always come back to HOTW. It's my #1 favorite VA, no question. So consistent, packs like a dream, moisture content is excellent out of the can. It cellars magnificently, it's rich, somewhat complex, full-flavored, and a touch strong, but not overpowering. If I was only allowed one VA blend for the rest of my life, this would be it. Four full stars for me.

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.

ken_mays Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ken_mays (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I ordered a tin of HOTW on the strength of the recommendations here.

I'm used to stoved VA flake, so it was something of a departure to see the bright colored quasi-flake. The tin aroma is lovely - sharp and tangy enough to make your mouth water, with that not-unpleasant metallic overtone that I've come to associate with a freshly opened package of quality cigarettes. The usual vinegary ketchup McClelland odor is thankfully all but nonexistent.

Much too moist out of the tin, but still smokeable without too many problems. It's best dried out for a few days. The semi-rubbed out texture is great because it can just be stuffed into a pipe without having to break up the flake. The first few puffs are a bit reminiscent of the honey casing on MacBaren, but after the first few minutes, this disappears and you are left with a good straightforward Virginia taste. The room note is sweet and enjoyable. It burns well and rarely requires a relight. Potential for tongue bite is moderate, but seems to be tamer than most of what McClelland sells. The last quarter of the pipe tends to turn a bit harsh and loses some flavor.

The nicotine content is slightly greater than I am used to. After a large bowl of this stuff, I am not always completely steady on my feet.

While HOTW doesn't really have a lot of subtle flavor interplay, there are times when this is exactly what I want. I bought eight ounces of Stonehaven at the same time, and I am already halfway through my tin of HOTW. I am definitely going to be stocking up on this wonderful blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gnossos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gnossos (39)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Just go get some.

Trust me.

OK, OK. A few more details. This is like a slightly milder version of Scottish Cake by McConnell's - and no wonder, it's blended by the same folks (K&K Co). I don't notice much of a nicotine whomp, I mean, it's there, but I've been smoking it out of pretty big bowls and I haven't needed to take a break. I could actually see this as a solid,robust all day smoke... maybe a little too robust for that. Still... that said, while I can see myself smoking this all the time, I wouldn't be against a more robust version flavor-wise (let's see how many times I can slip the word "robust" in here). But then it would be somewhat harder to smoke bowl after bowl after bowl of, so that's such a minor quibble. It beats Old Gowrie in my book, which is also a very solid blend, so that's saying something as far as I'm concerned.

Enjoy!

...

robust.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (256)
★★★★
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 (46)
★★★★
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 (47)
★★★★
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.

bigbowls Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigbowls (12)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A nice Virgina, although I didn't find it as tasty as SG Best Brown Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brutos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brutos (11)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I am a smoker of Latakia blends most of the year, switching to VAs in the warm months. My staple is SG Full Virginia Flake but recently ordered a tin each of Old Gowrie, Marlin and Hal o the Wynd to try. After one month of comparison and letting the tobaccos dry a little, Old Gowrie has my #1 vote, then a tie between Marlin and HOTW. There are strong similarities (dried figs, raisins, oatmeal, brown sugar), and all are very good, and all benefit from time in an opened tin. Marlin tends gets stronger and slightly bitter toward the end, HOTW gets sharper on the tongue, while OG remains very constant right to the end leaving a nice dry ash. It has the oatsy aroma and VA sweetness from start to finish. All three come rubbed out/ broken to varying degrees and I would prefer if these came as solid flakes so I could adjust the burn rates and smoking qualities to suit outside wind, temperature etc. I give all these three very high marks.

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.

Maimonides Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Maimonides (70)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

STRAIGHTFORWARD UNILATERAL VA TOBACCO FLAVOR

What a great VA. With strength, but no foulness. I would almost say mild on the palate yet full and flavorfull. It remains consistant, I find that unique. (some might find this lack of development boring). I like it, it stays in the toolbox- I really recommend Brown Clunee over it as it is more interesting in that it develops from mild to spicy keeping interest.

BETTER PICK: MCCLELLAND CHRISTMAS CHEER 05' OR 06

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After trying, and liking, Old Gowrie and Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake, I decided to try Hal O' The Wind. I wasn't prepared for this delicious blend. From the reviews, I expected Hal O' The Wind to be a strong blend, and maybe not to my liking. What a surprise. I found HOTW to be a mild to medium strength, flavorful blend. This great blend burned clean and dry with no tongue bite, but beware, hasty puffing could possibly lead to "cinder tongue". A good blend for a change of pace smoke for the Latakia lover. Highly recommended to any Virginia smoker.

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.

Intermezzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Intermezzo (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The deep red gold color and the tin aroma of dried apricot and honey tell you right off the bat that this is all Virginia. Perfect ribbon cut that packs well.

This is a fairly full-bodied Virginia with flavors of dried apricot, nuts and a balsamic vinegar sharpness. It burns slowly and must be smoked slowly ? excessive puffing will bite you back. The flavor evolves through the bowl, picking up hints of cinnamon and black coffee as you reach the finish line. The room aroma is rich and pleasant. The burn was slow, and required frequent attention, leaving a medium gray ash with a bit of moisture at the bottom of the bowl.

Overall this was a very rich and pleasant smoke (that produced a slight but noticeable nicotine buzz). In my limited experience with Virginias, this is far and away my favorite

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 (64)
★★★★
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.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I just don't like it. Marlin Flake is an order of magnitude better. In the tin, it is an ugly tangle of partially rubbed out flake.

Smokes with a certain hotness that makes it seem too peppery. If you try to really puff it, it will bite in an unbelievable way.

When I just barely puff it, it has a nice sweetness, but produces so little smoke that it is not worth it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Anyway you slice it, HOTW is a masterpiece, probably the quintessential red Virginia. It's sweet, tangy, citrusy, and full bodied. I recommend you let this air for a while after you open the tin. The perfect blend to end the day completely satisfied. Highly recommended for Virginia tobacco lovers who want something full-bodied, but still sweet and tangy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCElder (24)
★★★★
Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant

After reading all the ** reviews I just had to get me some of this. I'm glad I did. I've learned to smoke this in a small bowl (my preference for this particular weed). The descriptions by the other reviewers are right on. This is a remarkably mild tasting tabac compared to it's strength. It's easy to get caught off guard with this one. Smoke it slow and easy and don't stand up too fast! You just might catch a left-hook! WOW!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (137)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

January 2006.

Hal and I,have begun what I'm sure will be a very long friendship.So far,I have loved all the Rattray virginia's on offer.

Upon opening the tin I removed enough tobacco to fill two pipe bowl's,then let it sit on a sheet of paper for ten to fifteen minate's before,packing and lighting my pipe.

As the flame from lighter touched this superb blend I knew immediately,that I was in for a real treat. It was a little stronger than I first expected,but not in anyway overwhelming at all.It is absolutely delicious and only required a second light,and a few tamp's to have a wonderful smoking journey right through to bowl's end.It leave's a very nice grey white ash,with no goop at all.

Just as well that I removed enough tobacco for that second bowl,honestly,I could hardly wait to re-pack,and light up again,and when I did I was in no-way let down at all.

Hal,definitely stand's up in it's own right amongst the very best of the red virginia's that I have tried so far,with Hal earning the #1 ranking so far!

I can't wait to order many more tin's of Hal,so I can not only enjoy it when it arrives,but also age a few tin's as well.

Hal,is a definite winner in my home.

More,than very highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Something was lost when this was no longer 'blended by' the gifted Scott, but this still is a fine treatment of Virginia tobac and for me, the cornerstone of the Rattray line. Sweet and full, it taught me to smoke it on the verge of the pipe going out. In truth, I'm always with a tin of this open, with at least a couple in reserve. One can lasted ten years before being opened and made a memory of lasting gratitude to a man I've never met. I most likely would have let it age longer but it started to eat it's way out of the can. Pity that I did not put more aside to journey thru time. Still, the newer 'blended for' is worth the coin and the time. If you've not tried this one yet, then you're in for a wonderful example of how good Virginia's really can be...

Meerschaum Man Smoking an Altinok Canadian Smooth

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My room is becoming increasingly populated by tan tins and this blend is yet another reason why. After I began smoking Old Gowrie with great regularity, I wanted to try some other Rattray blends. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted by the same fantastic aroma as Old Gowrie but the similarities pretty much end there. The "lemony-sweet" lilt that I enjoyed in Old Gowrie is all but hidden under the fragrant and floral flavor of the very pronounced red virginias in this blend. This prevalent floral note makes HOTW a bit more monochromatic in comparison to its lighter brother. However, similar to most of the Rattray line, HOTW is very well behaved in its burn and a pleasure to smoke. I tend to reach for this over the Old Gowrie later in the day, when I'm looking for something with a little more "pick me up". It isn't part of my regular rotation but it is nice to have around when I want something stronger than OG, but not as mischeivous as some of the flakes I have. Good stuff, a very robust virgina blend and a complement to any VA lover's arsenal.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Notes: The latest iteration is blended by the ubiquitous German firm Kohlhase, Kopp und Co., while a few decades ago this was of course made by Charles Rattray, the famed Scot. The German version is substantially less impressive, but it is still excellent in its own right. To me, this blend finds its own flavor best in a narrow-bowled Danish chimney briar.

Appearance: A standard Rattray's flake, I have seen it cut to fit the container and also as a partially rubbed out broken flake of light to medium nut brown fairly uniform thinnish ribbon.

Aroma: Lots of nutty goodness, spice cake, mild hint of vinegar, buttercream frosting, vanilla, a hint of wood shavings and sawdust.

Taste: Chock full o' nuts, certainly. Malt vinegar, Mozzarella di Bufalo (or perhaps Monterey Jack cheese, for a more familiar touchstone), creamy buttercream frosting, smooth and only very slightly sweet.

Comparisons: Stands among the best Virginia flakes unabashedly. Sharper than the mellow sovereign of Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake. Nutty in style as opposed to Rattray's own Marlin Flake, which is a sweet-style Virginia flake.

Bottom Line: One of the very best Virginia flakes. For those who love nutty-styled Virginia blends, but resist the urge to give into the extremity and torpor of Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake, preferring instead their smoke with a bit of sharpness and fervor, this is the ideal.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend is what awakened my love for Virginias. It is an excellent and beautiful example of what Virginia tobacco can and should do in a blend. It is smooth, full, slightly peppery and unspoiled. I would very highly recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

raz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
raz (16)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

After falling head over heels for Rattray's Marlin Flake and hearing all the good rap this blend I just had to try HOTW out.

And it is a nice one. It's pretty strong, nicotine-wise I'd say it's stronger than Marlin Flake, and in taste it is definitely a bit sharper. In a way, if you think whiskey, this is like a 10 yo compared to a 15 yo. Both Rattray blends are great for their occasions.

In the tin, as expected, this is straight Va. and the nose feel is good. It is a bit wet, though, maybe a bit of drying out is needed?

Packs okay, might do better, but it's down to technique. Lights up well, and burns nicely to around mid-bowl. (Tends to go out there, but that could be just me, or the weather).

A bit monochrome for most of the bowl, but approached the right way, this is no detraction from HOTW's value. This is great tobacco, and a lovely, potent one at that.

Need to try this one out more, though. Still a bit early to form a definite rating.

[Update 170706] After a break of a few weeks, I returned to this. Mmmm. a lot less astringent, a lot less "immature", and now this is approaching that "Wow". A very good and tasty Va. and a good compliment to Marlin Flake. This I will keep coming back to. (Good that I bought a 100g tin, too).

[2107055] Again, sweeter, tastier, more balanced. Seems to benefit from a larger bowl. Maturing steady in taste with the "throat tightening" only coming here & rhere. Definitely a keeper. Judging from the head-swimming effect it seems quite heavy on the nicotine this time around, certainly after the mid-bowl. As I often enjoy a bowl with a glass of a brew or another I do tend to fit drinks & weeds together, too. HOTW does seem to work very well with a full-bodied Red Wine. And at times the two distinct tastes veer on conflicting, but actually mingle brilliantly and most of the time they just compliment one another very, very well. (Here a light lager just wouldn't do).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the best virginia blends I've ever smoked. It smokes cool, slow and is full of tobacco flavor. 4 out of 4 solid stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

One of the very best virginia blends to come down the pike. It smokes cool and slow. Every puff is full of tobacco flavor. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

See my review on Brown Clunee for overall impressions of Rattray's Flake tobaccos.

HOTW is fairly potent, full of flavor and not a smoke for the absent minded. Like the rest of the flakes in this line, there is not much migration of flavors as much as there is a roundness and depth that comes from blending and stoving several varieties of flue-cured leaf. Smoking straight through or DGT, it is pleasing, rich and satisfying.

It is in good company with Full Virgina Flake by Samuel Gawith and McClelland's Blackwoods Flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

HOTW is the other great VA from Rattray. Quite strong, rich, spicy, with concentrated flavor that seems like the essence of the red VA leaf. A top favorite VA flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Cellarmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Cellarmaster (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My daily smoke, Great straight VA, subtle sweetness, good strength. burns well, fine aftertaste. With age should be fantanstic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the world's most premium Virginia Tobaccos. If I were to rate this with Marlin Flake,I would be in a jam, for these both are No1. pipe tobaccos. Hal O' The Wind,is as mysterious as it's creepy name. But I like that about it. This is pure enjoyment in tasty spicey leaf,that smells as good in the tin as it does when smoked.

update;

This is just what the description says it is,dark sharp red

virginia that is potent. Open a tin then age the tobacco,it

does nothing to age a tobacco that is vaccum sealed,think about

it,it's like an MRE,or C-ration if always vaccum sealed.Do you

think an MRE vaccum sealed will be better in a year? That's

funny! What I mean is open the tin,and then close the plastic

lid again.Let the tobacco have some oxygen. Then age it. Aged

Hal o the Wind has a tin aroma of Earl Grey tea,but still has a

wonderful taste,it mellows,and is more fragrant.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a zesty full-bodied medium brown VA that comes in a broken flake. Excellent tin aroma. Nice moisture. No need to rub out although you can for a quicker burn.

I believe this tobacco is loved by die-hard VA folks. For me, an occasional VA smoker, it was too strongly flavored and a bit too bitey. I much prefer the lighter Old Gowrie. When I want a fuller VA flake, I tend to go for McClelland's Blackwoods or Dark Star, which I find easier on the palate.

Top quality for sure . . . just not my style.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ralph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ralph (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

HOTW is very good to me, it has a natural sweetness that plays well with the earthy characteristics of the smoke. This blend responds very well to the DGT. I believe that it enhances the flavors of this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dizzy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dizzy (13)
★★★★
Strong Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a full-bodied smoke that has a depth that is kept from being too heavy by its tanginess. Like many Virginias, it has a citrus quality to it that might be like a blood-orange compared to its lighter, more refreshing cousin, the navel orange. The flavor evolves from being too sharp at the to slowly gaining a depth and richness that ripens throughout the bowl. If smoked too quickly it can be a bit bitter and burn hot, so it is a tobacco that needs attention. The care needed, combined with its complexity, keep it from being an everyday smoke for me, but I will definitely keep a tin around for when the mood strikes. It has a subtle sweetness combined with a fullness of body and a nicotine kick that is unusual in a straight Virginia. Overall: A-, weekly smoke, pleasant aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (297)
★★★☆
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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much more needs to be said about this tobak. I have been smoking on various opened tins of whatever for a while now, but I HAD to pop the top on one of the three aged (6-7 yrs. old) tins I have cellared after reading these reviews and being reminded of how tasty HOTW was and still is. It does not get much better than this, folks! As others have noted, that figgy/datey/raisiny aroma when I opened the tin was delicious to say the least, and the smoking experience is as fine as frogs hair; rich and savoury. One of the best VA tobaccos anywhere. Norrmm, Briar North, Tantric, ArtGuy and others have justifiably noted this tobaks worthiness for being included in any VA smokers top ten, or maybe even top five. I gave it top-billing, but I will make these three tins last as long as possible, and pick up more to take their place in the cellar. Most definitely works for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Le2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Le2 (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A great red Virginia but the new tin with glossy paper (more yellowish) is in all aspects a step down compared to the old one pictured.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cruelraoul Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cruelraoul (24)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is a power bomb. Very tasty and bold. I enjoy it very much. The only reason that it gets an "on occasion" rating versus regularly is that, while being in my rotation on a regular basis, and always enjoyed, it can be a little overwhelming to me. That is, I notice that I am less appreciative of other blends for a few days thereafter. So, when I get the craving, I run to HTW, and relax. It is a strong, solid Va. that a new Va. smoker should be careful with, IMO.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As a part of my (hopefully) never-ending quest for the perfect tobacco, I picked up some of the fabled Hal O' the Wynd.

I enjoyed it in every pipe I tried it in, several different shapes and sizes. This is a weed I will enjoy on occasion. I realize that I am risking being burned at the stake for rating this below 4 stars, but I calls 'em as I see's 'em.

The tin description says this is a 'sharp' blend. For the first third of the bowl, this is true. It has a sharpness akin to that of very old cheddar. A bit of a bite - not in the tongue-bit sense though.

Once you pass the sharpness, you are rewarded with a nice full, natural Virginia flavor. This is a very rich tasting Va, no doubt about that.

I found that if I rub it out just a bit more than the way it comes, it burns extremely well, relights only needed when I have set the pipe down. I had no problem with tongue bite, but then I went into this meeting with Hal with great respect. I suspect that if I got the least bit insolent, Hal would have noted my lack of respect and I would have suffered greatly.

Definitely not for the new smoker, and even experienced smokers of English blends will need to be careful if this is their first Va.

If I could figure out how to smoke just the last 2/3 of the bowl, this could be a favorite. I just didn't care for the edge that the top 1/3 posessed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I used to say quite often that I had not had a virginia flake by any company that can hold a candle to the McClellands.

With Hal O the Wynd I have been proven wrong. This is a wonderful virginia flake with a very carefull balance of rich full taste and a slight sweet tang.

It comes rubbed out but I usually rub it just a little more. Good in any sized pipe, it will burn trouble free to the bottom with a silky cottonlike ash.

This blend made such an impression on me that after only 3 bowls I went online and purchased 4 tins of it.

Truly one of my top 10 favorites of all time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

prison chaplain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
prison chaplain (38)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

03/03/2004 I have been moving into some of the heavy hitters in the nicotine rating. That includes Hal O' The Wind and Royal Yacht, quite different tobaccos, aside from nicotine content.

There must be some residual effect from my pack a day Malboro habit back in my 20s (now 30 years ago). But aside from an occasional tight little lump behind and below my sternum, neither of the above two blends has really whalloped me.

I like Hal; I respect Hal, but I don't love Hal. It is a top quality tobacco in every respect. It does all the things that a premium pipe tobacco is supposed to do. It excels.

It is a better quality tobacco than McClelland 2015, which remains my favorite. It just hasn't captivate me. (I am sounding like a woman about to break up with a lover!)

I've been trying Hal and Royal Yacht for about two months now. I enjoy them both. I also have learned the importance of a good nose when enjoying tobacco. When I first tried these tobaccos I had a miserable head cold. No tobacco tasted good. I might has well have been smoking cardboard.

I do enjoy the taste and scent of Hal O' the Wind. It is easy on the tongue and relatively easy on the wallet for a premium tin. It is well worth the investment. I would encourage anyone who likes quality Virginia to try it. It will return the investment with consistent smokig pleasure

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brother Buford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brother Buford (8)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Having started my voyage into Virginia blends, I picked up a tin of this to give it a try. It's not half bad, but I find I enjoy McClellands Blackwoods Flake more and find myself reaching for that more often. That's not to say that this blend is bad by any means - I just enjoy the taste of the other better. It's a good "clean" tasting blend that produces not much in the way of a smell in the room as far as I can tell, and the taste is that of a vague light sweetness at times as it is smoked. Fresh out of the tin, it has a somewhat raisiny/grassy smell about it (which interestingly smells really great right after having smoked a bowl of it), and it packs easily. It's a good smoke, but I don't think it'll be on my top tier - there's a little something non-descript about it overall.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has such a classic taste it almost beggars description--it's like trying to define good vanilla ice cream...it is what it is: perfection! It's almost easier to describe it for what it is not: it's not too bitey, not too citrusy, not too spicy, not too rich, not too strong....it's just straight down the middle fastball Virginia perfection. Totally distinguished, utterly refined, no bells, whistles or gimmicks. Any quirks to it are easily remedied: too moist? Let it dry. Too chunky? Rub it out. And so on. Should be on every Va lovers top five list. Folks, there is little else to say but put this in your pipe and smoke it!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pittacus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pittacus (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

In the week after receiving my first 113 gram tin, 50+ were consigned to ash.

Hal may not be the 'holy grail of va's' but it's close.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Henry B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry B (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

A classic pure Virginia. Even in its current form (being made by Kohlhase and Kopp in Germany), it still is quite remarkable. It comes in 100g tins and upon first touch, the tobacco feels almost silky. The dark sweet aroma of figs and chocolate is delicious. I would give it one week to air out a little. Better yet, open the tin, put the plastic lid back on and forget about it a couple of weeks. When lighting up, the smoker is greeted by a naturally sweet taste of high-quality Virginia. Hints of roasted nuts make their way into the sidestream smoke. The smoke has a thick and creamy texture - and it comes in two colors: Grey and blue. In the taste there is also a creamy quality, which adds to the impression of smoking a rather full-bodied tobacco. It can bite you, if you puff too fast, and I recommend giving your pipe full attention. It is of medium strength and leaves a natural pipe tobacco scent in the room, which might not be appreciated by all by-standers. I rediscovered this recently after I hadn't smoked it for some time, and I am glad it found its way back into my tobacco bar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nimrod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nimrod (29)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable

I my search for the ultimate virginia I decided to try this one. Having finished the tin I now feel qualified to say some things. This stuff is good, but I find it very easy to get tounge bite smoking it. Perhaps I'm just inexperienced.

Anyway, this stuff tastes like tobacco and has a subtle sweetness that needs careful smoking to bring out. It's not nearly as sweet or spicy as some others I've tried (such as patriot flake) but it has a very strong "tobacco" taste that is quite good.

I found this stuff a bit moist and usually I would let a little dry out on some paper before loading it into my pipe. Unless I did this I would have trouble with wet dottle that wouldn't burn.

I think I'll have to get a little better at smoking slowly before I buy more of this, but it's quite tasty once you get the hang of smoking it and I'mm sure there are more tins of this in my future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fourshephards Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fourshephards (51)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Hal O' the Wynd is the Red Virginia that started me down the road in my love for Virginias. This particular VA has changed a tad since being taken over by C & K but not in a negative way. Sure, it appears that there are some humectants now present, but does this detract form the enjoyability of a bowl of HOTW? I think not.

HOTW starts off with a little tanginess on the palate, but quickly settles down to a mellow and (from what SWMBO says) and "nice smelling" smoke. My wife says the aroma is slightly akin to that of a chianti. I generally have to use a couple of pipe cleaners during a bowl as the broken flake is so rich in sugars. HOTW smokes very cleanly and stays sweet from top to bottom.

Take a little care, though, because if you get too aggressive when smoking this stuff it can nip your tongue a little.

This is an staple of mine and I can only give it highest marks. 5 x 5 on this even now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Hal O' The Wynd is another great virginia tobaco from Rattray's. It comes in a dark brown rubbed out flake form and has excellent burning qualities (though I usually let the tobacco air out a bit as it is a bit moist). It's got a rich, dark tin aroma yet there is a sweetness to it which is rather enticing. The smoke itself is wonderful, sweet with almost a hint of fruitiness at times. This is not as delicate as most virginias, it's got some backbone to it. It's a strong tobacco, stronger than most virginias. It's fairly cool smoking and tends to burn slowly to a very attractive ash. I recommend slow puffing both to avoid being overwhelmed with it's strength and because it brings out more flavor, and there is plenty of flavor to be had. I won't say that this tobacco is one dimensional, as it really isn't, but it is fairly consistent as it's smoked. If you like a robust virginia, do yourself a favor and get some.

Nobody has rated this review yet.