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Though originally blended to match Father Dempsey's own preferred smoke, this full-bodied English mixture is now Kramer's most popular house blend and has been enjoyed by the likes of Cecil B. DeMille, Henry Wilcoxon, Samuel Goldwyn, Gene Barry, Mike Kaplan, Mel Tolkin, Fred McMurray, and many others.

Notes: The good father, an Irish priest, and my father Allen Kramer (who came to American as a child from Russia), may have seemed like an odd duo, but they became fast friends. When Father Dempsey was assigned to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, right behind our shop, he would always come in for a visit. The Father was used to buying his tobacco at Dunhill, but told my father he'd rather buy from his shop, if he could create a comparable blend. They spread out his blend on the tobacco bar and my father studied it. He was able to identify the different tobaccos, but not the proportions. So they kept trying different formulas until finally Father Dempsey said, "Stop right there! This is better than my old blend ever was." And soon so many of the Father's friends and parishioners were coming in asking for "Father Dempsey's tobacco" that it came to be called just that. My father would say it has the aroma of a campfire burning--a smooth and full-bodied Latakia based blend.

Among those in our rolodex who chose Father Dempsey's blend were Cecil B. DeMille, Henry Wilcoxon, Samuel Goldwyn, Gene Barry, John Conte, Ricardo Cortez, Howard Duff, Herb Edelman, Mel Frank, Mike Kaplan, Jesse Lasky, Sr., Fred MacMurray, Robert Sherman, and Mel Tolkin. Father Dempsey is gone now, but when he passed away he left his statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus and the medal he carried through the battle of Dunkirk to my father--and of course, the legacy of what is Kramers most popular house blend.

BrandKramer's Pipe and Tobacco Shop
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging2 ounce tin, bulk.
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 8 Users

43 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2587)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

The smoky, woody, earthy, lightly musty sweet Cyprian Latakia takes a light lead. The Virginias offer some tart and tangy citrus, with some grass, and light earth and wood as the base of the blend. The Oriental/Turkish is understated, but adds a meaningful dry, woody, herbal, floral, vegetative, earthy, lightly sweet and sour, and is barely spicy. It's more of a secondary player. Though it's medium in strength, and a little fuller in taste, it's well balanced enough to smoke several times a day without tiring out your taste buds. I barely detect the slightest note of a sweetness to the topping. The nic-hit is just shy of the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, but has a few small rough edges. Burns at a reasonable pace, cool, clean, smooth, and even with a very consistent flavor to the finish. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. It has a short lived, pleasant after taste, and a pleasant room note not always found with mixtures in this genre.


55 people found this review helpful.

Vrikkian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vrikkian (8)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the king of English blends for me. The best way to describe Father Dempsey's is "clean". It's a wonderful blend that calls out "My Mixture 965" from Dunhill - But the GOOD 965, and not the stuff that they make now (which isn't terrible, but compared against the original it's a shadow).

I'm not a huge English fan (they sometimes can be too mild for me), but if I am ever in the mood for a pipe tobacco that calms me down and isn't sweet then Father Dempsey is it. They really know what they are doing.

Strength is medium, no flavoring/casing I can detect, and the room note is pleasant (no sweetness - it just smells like pipe smoke). I haven't had this aged, but that's mainly because I can't keep it in my house long enough to find out if it matures with time.

Pipe Used: Flame-grain Stanwell

Age When Smoked: 2

Purchased From: Kramer's Pipe Shop (online)

Similar Blends: Dunhill My Mixture 965..

22 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Fr. Dempsey doesn't remind me of my beloved Dunhill's but it doesn't need to as it stands well on its own. A latakia heavy mixture that manages to be just restrained enough to allow the other tobacco's to make their presence known. Fr. Dempsey should be a fan of any full English smoker. It's a 3 1/2 star blend in my book and will find a place in my cellar.

21 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (86)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At the risk of sounding more than a little North of cliché, Kramer’s Father Dempsey English blend is the proverbial (if not literal) Holy Grail of pipe tobacco for me.

Never mind the fact that Father Dempsey is a great tasting, great smoking blend in its own right. For me, there is a somewhat deeper meaning and significance to Father Dempsey’s blend, above and beyond how it merely smokes and tastes.

Father Dempsey’s blend is the stuff I have been searching for ever since the morning I awoke to Richard Pryor’s ghost screaming inside my head: “PIIIIIIIIIIIIIPE!!! TOBACCO PIIIIIIIIPE!!! PIPE TOBACCOOOOOOO!!!”

After years of existing as a degenerate cigar smoker – and having never, ever entertained the idea of smoking a pipe – I literally woke up one day with what can only be described as a religious revelation -- as if I had been commanded by a burning bush: “The redolent scent of Jack Lundy’s pipe, from the fertile fields of your earliest childhood memories on Loma Verde in Palo Alto, 1965 – that is what you shall seek, My Son” . . .

Within three hours of that awakening, I owned my very first pipe (a Peterson rusticated Donegal Rocky, a venerable workhorse, still in regular rotation today). And ever since that day, I’ve been searching for that most sanctified scent which sprang from Jack Lundy’s pipe, more than a half-century ago.

Back in 1965, when I was 4-years-old, Jack Lundy was our next-door neighbor in Palo Alto. To me, Mr. Lundy was “the milkman”: he worked at Peninsula Creamery, delivering milk and ice cream for a living. His daily work attire resembled a World War II officer’s uniform: khaki pants and shirt, with brass buckled belt, bow tie, and a crusher-styled aviator’s cap, replete with leather visor. I remember Mr. Lundy delivering “snowballs” to our home at Christmas: a round dollop of vanilla ice cream, covered in shredded coconut, with green plastic holly leaves at the base of a red candle that sat atop the concept.

But Mr. Lundy was more than just “the milkman” to me; more than just the next-door neighbor. Jack Lundy smoked pipes. He kept a round pipe rack on his end-table, just next to the family room couch in front of the fireplace and television set, where he used to sit, impassively smoking his pipes. I remember Mr. Lundy smoking his pipes as he watched boxing matches or baseball games on his black-and-white TV. When visiting their home, Mr. Lundy would hand me wedges of colored salts that I would then throw upon the logs burning in his fireplace – salts that would produce brilliantly colored flames of red, green, blue and aqua. Turning from the heat of the hearth, I would see Jack on the couch, cross-legged, pipe in hand, puffing ever so gently on his briars.

On Sundays, in the fall, my dad and Mr. Lundy would walk me down the block to the local fire station in order to get the burn permit they needed for burning brush in the yard between our two homes. I can see Jack now, observing that burn, calmly, coolly smoking his pipe. The smell from Jack’s pipe – like the smell of those burning leaves and tree clippings – became one of the signature scents from those distant, dreamlike memories that still radiate from my childhood.

As Baby Boomers, pipes and pipe tobacco were embedded into our generational DNA: not only did many of the men around us readily smoke pipes -- fathers, grandfathers, uncles – but we were also exposed to pipes through books, movies and pop culture. Sherlock Holmes, Bing Crosby, Albert Einstein, Bob Hope, Omar Bradley, JRR Tolkien, Edward G. Robinson and Jaques Cousteau (the list goes on and on) all smoked pipes. In the early days of television – before political correctness and the culture war on everything tobacco related – there was nothing at all wrong with Santa Claus or Frosty the Snowman partaking of the pipe, just as it was equally acceptable for primetime dads like Robert Young ("Father Knows Best") and Fred MacMurray ("My Three Sons") to personify the ideal model of paternalistic benevolence and wisdom, all the while they were smoking their pipes. (Parenthetically: Father Dempsey was a blend that was apparently favored by Fred MacMurray).

Some fifty years hence, I still have no idea what make of pipes Jack Lundy owned (I’m guessing Kaywoodies or Dr. Grabows), nor what brands or blends of pipe tobacco he smoked. All I know for sure is the smell that emanated from Jack Lundy’s pipe. Smell can be a key that opens the mausoleum of memories, and I knew my search for the smell I was seeking ended when I first opened a tin of Father Dempsey. The notes from this tin -- as well as the smoke itself -- were unmistakable, and instantly recognizable: autumnal aromas of burning leaves, and the fragrant, sweet-smelling scent of smoky campfires – poignantly familiar smells that conjured my earliest memories of childhood in Palo Alto California.

Not only does Father Dempsey’s blend reawaken the distant memories of my early youth, but the history of Kramer’s tobacco shop itself only adds a little something more to the magical mystique of this blend (say nothing of the amazingly remarkable story of Father Dempsey himself, the man for whom this blend was named). Even the kitschy, old-fashioned, 1950s/1960s era labelling that encircles the tin calls to mind special remembrances of a time long gone.

Having only recently discovered Father Dempsey’s blend – along with the remarkable story of the real Father Dempsey and the House of Kramer itself -- I only even more recently learned that the original, one and only Kramer’s brick-and-mortar shop in Beverly Hills was shuttered not all that long ago (December 31st, 2017). Having picked up the pipe in 2013, not only was I distressed by the fact that I was unaware of Kramer’s existence, but more deeply saddened by the fact I never got the opportunity to make the pilgrimage, even when I had the chance to do so.

While there are many celebrated, well-known English blends out there, for the category of Quintessential English Blend, I cast my nomination ballot to Father Dempsey.

17 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (553)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I was given a good sample of this about four years ago from a forum friend. I was still a relatively new piper at the time and was just spreading my wings into latakia blends. I recall loving this blend a lot back then. In the flood of buying frenzy and sample trading that followed this one got buried.

I unearthed the jar a few months ago and finished it off. Time and exposure to several other blends have not helped in rating this blend. At the time I first tried it, this blend would have been a 4 star blend, but it has dropped to less than 3 stars as my tastebuds and cadence have evolved.

I found this blend to be fuller to my tastes than I remember and I felt the oriental component and the latakia kind of dominate the blend making it a little heavy on the smoke and sour component to my tastes at this point in time. To me this blend needs more sweetness or, in the alternative, something to smooth it out some. It is just a little too sharp and edgy. This is something I don't mind when a blend is giving me different taste profiles through the bowl, but this one is a little monochromatic in flavor, IMO.

Don't get me wrong as the blend is definitely smokable. To me it drops somewhere between 2 and 3 stars and I am going to round it up to 3 for my earlier impressions, but there are many Balkan blends I would reach for before this one.

11 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29715)
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Another "Old Timey" blend from the folks at Kramers. This one is a very full and very well balanced English blend. Great for after dinner or a chilly night. I keep reiterating how this stuff reminds me of Perretti, Wilke, and Barclay-Rex. Latakia forward with the orientals bringing up the rear. This is for the experienced smoker and the very understanding and tolerant wife. Think of Wilke's #400 or Peretti's Taskent. A very full 3 stars!

9 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (176)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is the other Kramer's Blend I bought back in May last year along with Danny Kaye Mixture, which I reviewed earlier. I smoked a bowl of each and then put them away for future scrutiny. I liked Father Dempsey better than the Danny Kaye blend and consider it to be a much more well balanced mixture. Father Dempsey presents in the bulk as an ocher-to-brown ribbon cut and the aroma tells you instantly that this is an English blend. You can sense the equal proportioning between the Orientals and the Latakia; a trait that sets it apart from it's constant comparison companion - Dunhill 965. Also, Father Dempsey is a little sweeter than 965 and you can tell this in a side-by-side comparison of aromas, as I have done. Finally, I get, consistently, a faint aromatic element in Father Dempsey on retrohale. There is nothing like that in either 965 or Aperitif; the other Dunhill Blend that some of us feel was the Father's original blend. I think its possible that the blend Father Dempsey showed the senior Mr. Kramer was, actually, a Dunhill shop blend that they had been putting together for Father Dempsey prior to his reassignment. Obviously, I agree with reviewer Steel Cowboy 2011-05-21 that this blend is not 965 but does stand on it's own merits independently. I also agree with reviewer The Sunday Evening Pipe Smoker 2017-08-04 that Father Dempsey has more Latakia than 965. For a medium/heavy English in a very crowded field, Father Dempsey does quite well for itself and I feel it deserves four stars.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Billiard - 2001 NASPC year pipe

Age When Smoked: seven years old

Purchased From: an Ebay seller

Similar Blends: a stronger and somewhat slightly sweeter 965.

8 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (379)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tobacco appears to be roughly equal amounts of black, tan and brown tobacco. It is mostly a chopped medium ribbon with a few "fish flakes." The tin note is campfire and a slightly grassy, sweet.

Smoked, this is quite good. Moisture level was fine for me, and I just codger scooped from the tin. In terms of the latakia, it is a mild-medium, and so not a bomb. There are sweet Virginia notes, and the Orientals provide a slightly sour spice. There is a lot of flavor here, but nothing really overpowers. It is a nicely balanced for my tastebuds and it is easy to follow one bowl with another. There is a light, somewhat delicate quality to the smoke, and it does not seem to produce palate fatigue as some latakia blends do for me.

Key to liking this is probably not having an aversion to latakia or a discernible Oriental note. It is easy to recommend.

8 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Gotta go against the grain here. I don't like this. The Lat dominates and I find it's flavor a bit offensive. Mildly smoky and woody. The main note I get from it is dusty/dirty and very bland. The Orientals add just a very mild woody note. The Virginias add a hint of hay and sweetness. Overall...bland.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in blandness. No added flavoring. Burns well.

Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

7 people found this review helpful.

ThePeterPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThePeterPiper (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I never had the chance to smoke this blend as mixed at Kramer’s brick-and-mortar store; however, was given the opportunity to save this storied blend from extinction—they say they are sourcing the same tobacco—so I decided to order a few tins for the pleasure of saying I smoked it.

I began by picking through the tin to see what was going on. It is a relatively coarse cut ribbon that packs easily in medium to large bowls. There are essentially three different colored tobaccos: almost black Latakia, a reddish-brown Virginia, and some lemony specks that I assume are orientals. I did find a piece of chewed up plastic, which in my experience is not totally uncommon. Over the years, I’ve found feathers, pieces of rubber bands, and other remnants in some expensive cigars.

The blend lights and burns easily. The moisture out of the tin is to my liking. If you prefer your tobacco dryer, 10 minutes out of the tin is perfect. There is a little bite. No one component outshines the other, just a well-rounded English. To my palate, this blend is solidly middle-of-the-road and could easily be smoked all day. I’ll cellar a few tins, but I doubt age will add anything of note other than what time normally adds to tobacco.

The are many more interesting blends out there, but for the price and storied past, it’s worth having around. I intend on smoking this when I’m working and don’t have time to ponder nuance.

Pipe Used: Peterson Standard 307

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

toddsmith7378 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
toddsmith7378 (41)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Early on in my pipe smoking I bought a bunch of Sutliff's match 965 because it looked like it was comparable to the real thing that was high up on a lot of people's list as one of the great's. I figured I'd be smart and just smoke the match that was 1/2 the price.

Eventually, I made my way to other blends and even the current 965. After smoking the legitimate 965 for a while I could really tell the similarities and the differences between the two. I definitely prefer the dunhill, but can taste a lot of similarity. The real dunhill is just made from a cleaner, seemingly higher grade leaf than the match. I found this to be the case with other sutliff blends that are said to match a dunhill counterpart. Elizabethan same thing. Like smoking the same mixture out of lower end tobacco.

It could be just the processing technique of the tobacco from Sutliff not being to my preference. Anyway, how does that relate to this Father Dempsey? Well, with the rumors of Dunhill's departure I ordered several blends that were supposed to be similar to 965 and Father Dempsey was on that list.

Well, when I first smoked it, I felt like I was tasting Sutliff tobacco. It just had that same overall sense of taste about it. Then, I compared the two tobacco's since I still had plenty of that match leftover in a mason jar. I can't guarantee, but I think someone is repackaging the Sutliff match maybe as Father Dempsey. The look of the tobacco, cut, taste, and all bears an almost exact similarity on close inspection. Other's who have both in their cellar, I'd like to hear there opinions on why or why not this might be the case.

5 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1954)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Kramer's Pipe and Tobacco - Father Dempsey.

Note: supplied in bulk.

I can't fault the moisture, but as this was loosely pouched that opinion's superfluous should you buy a tin. The blend's quite coarse, and a mixture of black, brown, and yellow. It sadly contains a fair amount of twigs.

The Latakia dominates the smoke, but I wouldn't call it a bomb. The Orientals sit just behind, with a fragrant, slightly floral, character, and prevent the Lat' monopolizing the smoke. I get very little alacrity from the Virginia, it isn't anywhere near as flavoursome as the other two. The burn from F.D. could be cooler, and it bites me a touch.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant.

Father Dempsey isn't the worst, but I don't enjoy it enough for anymore than two stars:

Somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

tommyboy1749 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tommyboy1749 (27)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Father Dempsey Blend hearkens back to the Dunhill mixtures of old--or at least to the early 1980s (the earliest vintage with which I am familiar) and the exclusive blends produced at Dunhill's London store before 1999.

I suspect the blend Allen Kramer was initially trying to duplicate for Father Dempsey was My Mixture 965. The blend's components are in perfect balance, with the tanginess and sweetness of the Cavendished Virginias, the smoky spice of the Latakia, and the dry, slightly sour and floral Turkish, all contributing to a unified whole, while each continues to retain its distinct identity. Father Dempsey Blend has a full mouth-feel and really leaves the air redolent with "the aroma of a campfire burning."

Finally, since Kramer's is located in Beverly Hills, a number of people associated with the movies were regular customers--check their website has some interesting anecdotes. As an old movie buff, and being susceptible to the influence of nostalgia (as no doubt many pipe smokers are), I think this added historical dimension is pretty cool.

Note: This review is for the Marsha Kramer blended version. I haven't tried the new, mass-produced tin version.

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

RondyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RondyR (7)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Unfortunately I do not have the tastebuds of the amazing Jim Amash, so my reviews are pretty crappy when compared to his.

What I can tell you is “ditto” to Jim’s review of Father Dempsey’s blend, and that I really enjoy this blend. I’ve been smoking it all day long and it’s a fantastic Autumn blend for chillier weather. It took a couple of tries to get lit (I believe due to some sort of topping, but don’t quote me on that) but once it did start going I smoked the entire bowl without another light and I’m using a Savinelli Mega Pot with a pretty massive chamber.

If you enjoy a light-to-medium English blend I believe that you will almost certainly enjoy this blend. A shade stronger than 965 IMHO, and to me it tastes a bit like Russ O’s White Knight blend; if you enjoy either of those, or blends akin to those, give this a try.

I’ve never had a Kramer’s blend before, but I’ve enjoyed this so much, in fact, that I’m gonna order the rest of the Kramer blends carried at SmokingPipes and try them all out. I definitely personally recommend Father Dempsey’s Blend (and I’m a Baptist, so that’s high praise hahaha) and I absolutely think it’s worth the price of a tin.

I would also recommend smoking this blend in a pipe with a large chamber as it’s a pretty long cut of tobacco and seems to pack better in a big bowl.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Mega 315

Age When Smoked: New tin with date of September 2019

Purchased From: SmokingPipes

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965, White Knight, numerous others.

4 people found this review helpful.

PapaLukeB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PapaLukeB (3)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Initial First Smoke impressions:

Popped the tin...smokey, woody, earthy scents like a freshly lit campfire. Smells amazing! I love the course cut. The jet black Latakia leaf contrasted by the lighter leather colored strands are absolutely beautiful. It's a little bit moist for my preference but it seems smokable out of the tin. I'm giving it about 15 minutes.

Lighting it up… not too tough to get going. Burns nicely. I'm getting a pretty big hit of sweet. It's a kettle corn sweet; the kind that lingers a little on the back of my tongue. I get the faintest sour flavor on the middle of the draw. Not much typical Latakia flavor initially. It's pretty balanced and well blended.

It is smoking medium to medium-full for me. It really sits in the same category as Peterson/Dunhill MM965 and Esoterica English like Margate or maybe more so Pembroke though there isn't an apparent topping on it.

Mid bowl the sweetness is making way for more smokiness and tangy pungency. I'm tasting some woodiness. As I finish the bowl it's still sweet and flavorful.

What I'm particularly loving about this is the consistency throughout the bowl. It's really staying true draw after draw. Many blends take you on a journey; there is an arc and a storyline to follow. Flavors mix and meld; there are transitions as the tobacco develops. Sometimes they start out really well but end up losing momentum mid smoke. Sometimes it's the other way around and there is a deepening of all the components which evolve into more than the sum. This blend doesn't do that for me nor does it seem to try to. Its a solid and dependable smoke. Its not complicated but it's very interesting. It's simple without being boring. I really enjoy this about it.

This is a comforting and comfortable smoke. It's a great chill out and relax smoke. I like this blend because it is straightforward and honest. I don't have to think too much about it but it still offers enough to contemplate.

Pipe Used: Chacom Club 168 and Royal Danish 991R

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Peterson/Dunhill MyMixture 965, Esoterica Margate, Pembroke..

3 people found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (105)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Man, I am really starting to love this blend! There is a sweetness to it that makes me think that there is some kind of topping in there but it's so well blended and natural tasting that I can't be sure if it's due to the play between the mixture of the varietals or if it's an actual topping... whatever it is, it's delicious. It almost has a roasted quality to it as well, something I've not really experienced in other English mixtures. This is certainly one of a kind and stands out in the over saturated market of English/Balkan Mixtures. It's up there with my two all time favorites, SG Skiff Mix and SH Exotique and the price is just great to boot! Full bodied, medium nicotine and a nice sweetness makes for a good all day smoke any time of the year. Usually I don't much appreciate the smoky qualities of this genre in the hotter months but I actually really like to smoke this one on warmer days as well, although that could be due to the fact that I've been smoking indoors a lot more these days. I'm going to go ahead and call this one an essential buy and it's hands down the best American/English I've ever had the pleasure of smoking.


3 people found this review helpful.

Epicur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Epicur (22)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is for me a rounder version of the STG Dunhill 965. More sweet than the 965, but due to the roundness less complex which I really miss but which also makes it an "all day smoke". Nice and easy to pack, light and to smoke. If it dries down it likes to burn hot quite easily. It has similarities to the Kramer's Engish with much more body.

Pipe Used: different briars, Falcon

Age When Smoked: some weeks old maybe

Purchased From: smokingpipes (bulk)

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

3 people found this review helpful.

airparkpiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
airparkpiper (7)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I don't love it, I don't hate it. The taste is medium, I don't find it as full as others commented. Mild nic hit. The aftertaste is pleasant. I wish I could call out every leaf in the blend as others have, but I'm not that sophisticated yet :) A good smoking blend though, no moisture, no bite. A bit hard to keep lit though, but that could've been my narrow chamber. Pick up an ounce and see what you think.

Pipe Used: Rad Davis Cutty

Age When Smoked: Fresh bulk

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

The Sunday Evening Pipe Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Sunday Evening Pipe Smoker (45)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

So let's get the myth and the reality set apart.

The myth: "This blend is superior to Dunhill Aperitif / My Mixture 965."

The reality: This blend is as good as Dunhill Aperitif / My Mixture 965.

A blend that is squarely in the Scottish tradition, combining those incense-like, slightly sour notes along with the smoky notes of the latakia. Father Dempsey -may- have a touch more latakia than the two Dunhill Blends, though hard to tell without a side by side comparison. From the first puff my impression is that they are all very similar, and that impression was confirmed down to the last puff.

When those two Dunhill blends finally go the way of the dodo, or if you're trying to stretch out your cellar from using up those blends, Father Dempsey would be a perfect substitute.

Tin note is typical latakia, campfire smoky goodness.

Similar Blends: Dunhill Aperitif, Dunhill My Mixture 965.

3 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't get the Latakia blast that many of the reviewers get and actually seems light compared to other brands. More Balkan than English. This doesn't do much for me ,bland and mild, I lose interest- 2 star

PS.- I bought my sample as Bulk, I wonder if there is a large difference from the tin? I'm much more in agreement with reviewers "Gentlemen Zombie and TallPuffO'Burley ". Seems that there were more consistent higher Stars 4-5 years ago ???

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: new bulk

3 people found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (281)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Not entirely sure why me reviews sometimes go missing, so I'm resubmitting this simpler one for my own record keeping.

Father Dempsey is another solid creation from Kramer. It is a straight forward English that doesn't 'quite' overpower with Latakia and has enough Oriental to give you a tongue tingle. It has a nice rough cut, great ready to fire moisture, and delivers a dry dose of charcoal taste. I still prefer their Danny Kane mixture with its Irish Mist addition.

This can easily be a 3 star for most, I just happened to be burned out on English smokes for the moment when I reordered this current second batch.

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Thepipehunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thepipehunter (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Kramer's Father Dempsey is sweet, smokey, and fragrant medium bodied English blend. The Appearance of the tobacco is a beautiful mix of black, dark brown, and light brown and is coarse ribbon cut. The tin tone is sweet, savory, smokey, and musty.

Upon first light the Latakia jumps ahead of the read race but only for a few puffs, then it is tied with the Oriental and Virginias. For an English, this is a very sweet blend. It has a very aromatic quality to it, but not in sense of an topping. The tobaccos are naturally aromatic, sweet, and fragrant. The Latakia is up front but it does not over power the other components. It is smokey and woody, and combined with the lightly floral orientals creates a very nice musty note. The Virginia's, which i believe are Red Virginias, works well with the Oriental to calm the Latakia and to add sweetness, tanginess, and a hint of fruit that is not always apparent. Overall this tobacco is naturally sweet, but not too sweet, naturally aromatic, but not topped, as well musty, smokey, and savory.

The blends is consistent from start to finish after the the first few puffs, burns cool, and stays lit for the duration of the smoke. It has enough going for it to keep you interested and to smoke throughout the day. Medium in flavor and in Nicotine.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 606KS, Rossi 8122

2 people found this review helpful.

LoneRider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoneRider (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Since the demise of McClelland's tobacco I have been looking for new tobaccos to replace the five blends of theirs that I smoked. Not replace in the sense of flavor (let's face it; there will never be another "Frog Morton), but just to keep my choices still varied. I started reading reviews and came upon "Father Dempsey." So many smokers, so many great reviews. Needless to say, I was intrigued. Let's just say I wasn't disappointed. I could smoke this all day. I note spices, nuts, and a bit of saltiness. These are in the tobacco, not added artificially. Just a fantastic tobacco that will be in my rotation as long as I can get it.

Pipe Used: Caminetto Cavalier

Age When Smoked: fresh

2 people found this review helpful.

Bowler Hat Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bowler Hat Piper (2)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I am new to pipe smoking, but I find that I am drawn to full bodied English/Balkan blends. After trying quite a few Latakia blends, Father Dempsey is a strong contender for my go-to every-day smoke. Described as 'Full Bodied', but I don't find this blend overpowering. it is a flavourful blend that smokes smooth and cool. All flavours blend together well and occasionally you get a pleasant blast of Latakia. Being new to the hobby I have never tried the original Dunhill My Mixture 965, but this is apparently a close facsimile of that blend.

Pipe Used: Parker Knight 395 Parker Jockey-Club 140

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Original Dunhill MM965 (Apparently)..

2 people found this review helpful.

Skibbereen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skibbereen (19)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This is a well done blend. I really like what they have done with it. The components of this blend are all blended perfectly. The Virginias stay in the background. Just enough to let you know they are there, but not overpowering. The Orientals/Turkish are just right. You Know they are there...but they but they do not overpower. And the Latakia is just right. All in all it just makes for a perfect blend. I can see why Father Dempsey loved it so much. My hats off to the blenders of this fine tobacco. It's a pleasure to smoke.

Pipe Used: Peterson No. 3

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Can't think of anything this is close is so unique..

2 people found this review helpful.

wmf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wmf (14)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I am about 30 minutes away from my 3rd bowl in the last 2 hours. It's that good. Super light (for my taste) but flavorful and easily an all day everyday 24/7 God Bless Father Dempsey kind of smoke. I. Love. This. Stuff. Campfire in the tin opens into a somehow light but flavorful gorgeous first few puffs. Flavor rolls along from there with the light and up front latakia and orientals swirling around with the va laying down a solid but perfectly dispersed foundation. Great all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I needed to dry this just a bit (30mins lol) before smoking. Could maybe dry longer but I don't wanna wait. Oh my....would you look at the time? Better go check on the good Father and ready another bowl.

Pipe Used: Various billiards, dublins

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Better than MM965.

2 people found this review helpful.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (169)
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

Really really good traditional English blend. Not enough orientals for my taste. it has a medium nicotine hit which can be just perfect for the drive home after work. The taste is nice and full but not overbearing. Solid three stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (129)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This is a really enjoyable blend. Full, but not overwhelming. Great burning characteristics, too. I don't know that it is a replacement for Dunhill blends, but it is fine in its own right.

Govern Yourself Accordingly.

2 people found this review helpful.

Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoke (14)
Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This English blend is very smooth and very full and has a more creamy but sweet taste, it can be smoked any time of the day. not sure of the wife test yet but while smoking it , I pick up a fresh maple smell and marshmallows over a campfire .

2 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (233)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to add to this already raved about blend. This is one of my new favorite morning smokes! Pairs well with black coffee, French Pressed.

Tin notes of woody, slightly smoky latakia. Plays well with the slight sweetness of the Virginias. Some say they detect an added flavoring, I'm not so sure I do. Definitely do not consider this a full blend as stated. Medium, maybe. Lights and packs very, minimal if any relights.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This is one of my favorite go to blends that I was introduced to at the LA PIPE show many years ago. Marsha was there in person and presented it for sampling back in the day. Was able to visit the shop in Beverly Hills many times while up there on business trips to pick up my 2 ounces. I would recommend this to English smokers. Miss going to the store in Beverly Hills has a closed about two years ago still available online enjoy

Pipe Used: Castello

Purchased From: Shop

Similar Blends: 965.

1 person found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (183)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is slightly lat forward for me. The lat is smokey and sweet the smokiness reminds me a little of juniper burning. The orientals at times will compete with the lat and move a little forward. They have a dry woodiness, a very nice creaminess with a little buttermilk like sourness to them a slight spicy note and a little earthiness that I think comes from them as well. The VA's form a slightly sweet base with notes of roasted grains and a little grass way in the background. This one changes just enough throughout the bowl to keep things interesting. A very good med strength lat blend definitely stands out among the many out there as an outstanding example of a med English blend.

Age When Smoked: ROTT

1 person found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (96)
Very Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I can definitely see how this can be compared to My Mixture 965, but at the same time it is different. Never in my life time will I get the chance to try the old 965 so I can't make direct comparisons to it; but it does remind me of my first tin of 965 which was the orlik version. From start to finish it is sweet. The Latakia is more leathery than smoky. It's prominent in the bag aroma and the first half of the bowl. 3/4 of the way down the Turkish starts coming out more and adds some body to the flavor. The last quarter reminded me of sweet tea. It was the same experience as my first tin of 965 but the sweet tea lasted the whole bowl with 965. It burned cool and clean all the way down. No dull spots or harsh spots. Very smooth. I do detect that there is something added to it due to its extra sweetness. Almost like sugar water.

Honestly if this reminds me of any kind of blend it is McClellands 925 which was blended to honor 965. Quite frankly, I enjoyed 925 more than 965 but sadly it is gone. Father Dempsey definitely something I will be keeping on hand.

Update 5-28-19. I recommend smoking this fresh. This blend seems to lose a lot of its complexity as it ages. I find myself chasing the flavors and risking tongue bite to find them. I'm dropping it to 3 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

ArkansasJack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArkansasJack (5)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I don't have as a refined a palate as some I'm sure, but to me, this is a wonderful blend, my "daily" smoke, that always satisfies. It just hits all the right spots for me. The Latakia is present but not overwhelming. The Orientals and Virginias bring some sweetness and sourness. It's just a dang good, extremely well blended smoke. It sort of reminds me of Presby but with more Latakia. I love it and buy it by the pound. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 3 months to 1 year.

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Planta - Presbyterian Mixture .

1 person found this review helpful.

igordzn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
igordzn (1)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Creamy, rich in flavors, sweet, Latakia is dominant. Great tobacco, suitable for smoking all day long. without any tongue bites, Excellent humidity, very nice tin smell.

Highly Recommended, join to my rotation!

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: frog morton cellar.

1 person found this review helpful.

mariusK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mariusK (25)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Not much to add here, with all the reviews describing what this blend is. And it is a very good English, indeed. Full-bodied yet not too strong, with a balanced composition of tobaccos that simply delivers. Gets a bit stronger in the last quarter of a bowl. Four stars.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo Picta Picasso (bent Rhodesian)

Age When Smoked: not sure

Purchased From: sample from a friend

Similar Blends: Cerberus.

1 person found this review helpful.

Aimrajc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aimrajc (2)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one of my long day smoke blend. It is smokey and woodie, I really love it. Perfect Engish for all occasions. You can feel the Latakia driving the bus, the Virginias and Oriental are present and provide an exquisite balance in the blend.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 320 KS

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: My mixture 965.

1 person found this review helpful.

HeavyMetalPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HeavyMetalPiper (65)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend was similar in flavor to MM 965, but milder. The latakia is a bit more understated in this blend allowing the Virginia and (particularly) the Orientals to come through more.

This is nice to smoke while focusing on it, but if smoking while doing something else it won't take your attention away from what you're doing, but it is interesting enough that you won't forget about it.

You can view my video review of this blend here:

YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Bent Diplomat Apple

Age When Smoked: 7 Weeks

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Dunhill - My Mixture 965.

1 person found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (220)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Decent, middle of the road English, not bad at all but not especially interesting either. The sample I had was some of the recent tinned production, not the bulk from the now closed shop, so the original may have been a little different, nevertheless this is what we can get now. With so many English blends on the market, this one didn’t impress me enough to try again.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Rufus T. Firefly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rufus T. Firefly (18)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Excellent bulk blend it's as good as, if not better than Nightcap. I smoked it as soon as it arrived and it's great, no bite and very tasty. As a added bonus it's 20 bucks cheaper per pound.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo Granato, Dunhill Root

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Nightcap.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29715)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I love this blend. It is full of flavor. My taste buds are not very 'developed' so a lot of English and lighter aeromatics don't really taste like anything to me. Many pipe tobaccos are very subtle. Father Dempsey however has a great, full taste. It has a wonderful natural sweetness to it. It burns well in the pipe and doesn't give much bite even when over smoked, which is something I do. This is probably my favorite blend around. It does pack a bit of a nicotein punch in my opinion. A bit more than I like bt it is a minor thing that is totally offset by the flavor.

I don't get over the hill to Beverly Hills often but this worth the drive to get.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29715)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

this is a really nice blend and you can get the story of how this came about from there website. I was first introduced to it at a LA pipe show several years ago. It is a really nice blend that has the "965" type pedigree. should try it out by all means if you are in the so cal area. Great old shop in a great neighborhood. Marsha is always ready to whip up a batch of this blend. give it a try . I just recently found my 7 year old bag of this and will give it a try .

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29715)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great one that has withstood the test of time. The Latakia is somewhat dominant but it's very well balanced, none of the top quality components overpower and the room note, taste, and moisture level are just perfect. My cupboard is pretty well stocked but it's Father Dempsey I usually reach for after a long day.

1 person found this review helpful.