Rattray Hal O' the Wynd

"A pure Virginian tobacco of a most unusual share of strength". This is a strong, sharp aged red Virginia blend that will perk you up quickly. New tin description: "Hal O' The Wynd" is an unusually strong Virginia-based mixture. Fire-cured Kentucky is added to a base of a variety of Virginias and Perique completes this mixture. It is then pressed and finally rubbed by hand.
Notes: The booklet inside the tin says "A full-bodied Virginia tobacco with a slight sweetness and extremely pleasant smoking characteristics. The name comes from that of the armourer in the novel "The Fair Maid of Perth" - a man who had "a most unusual share of strength". In the German decription is written: "und einem Hauch wurzigem Perique" that means: "and a touch of spicy Perique".


Brand Rattray
Series British Collection
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Kentucky, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


Medium to Strong
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.39 / 4





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Displaying 21 - 30 of 152 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2019 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The tin note is amazing, tangy and yeasty tobacco scent with ripe citrus overtones. The flakes are broken so they can be loaded straight away with ease without further rubbing, yet a few minutes of drying time will make the smoking experience better.

This is a juicy, almost natural tobacco where all the components are in harmony. I cannot sense the Perique or the Dark Fired Kentucky but within the overall smoke. It is not overtly complex but it’s very flavorful with dark fruity Virginia notes and maybe a trace of cocoa. It is quite sweet on the palate with a nice counterbalancing bitter finish presumably from the Kentucky. It is round with no roughness and strength is only medium, I do not find Hal to be a particularly strong tobacco. Nevertheless, it is a very satisfying in the nicotine department. Smokes slow to ash and needs only a few relights. An excellent all-day tobacco.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 14, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Smell out of the tin: Opening this tin you get a really nice ripe figgy raisiny smell. Anything I get reminds me of a mix of berries and all types of fruits that have rather tangy sweetness to them. Nothing sugary here, if you think of fruits this rather is a blackberry than a melon. Strength: I consider this a pretty strong blend, it won't knock you off your socks, but it will wake you up for sure. No headache or nic hit though, it's not that far on the strong side. Taste: Full it is. The kentucky works wonders with the virginias inside, the perique is not too much, maybe it could even use a bit more, but the blend it's great as it is. The taste is consistent for me throughout the bowl. Room note: I would think it can be hard on non smokers, not much of a room note that could be compared to a pleasent smell for them.

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

If you are interested in this review in a video form, I did a review of it on YouTube as well: https://youtu.be/lULyOwsX0Q8
Pipe Used: Peterson 303 Standard System
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 0.5 year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 22, 2020 Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant
I've smoked most of the Rattray pipe blends over the years, but, this one escaped me. My favorite, up to now, was Marlin Flake. When I lit the first bowl of Hal O' the Wynd, everything changed and Hal moved comfortably into the top position. By the middle of the top third, I already knew we were never going below three stars. By the middle of the bowl, I knew we were, almost certainly, in four star territory. I like VaPerBurs and this one was in a special category to my tastes. I'm not going to wax further in my praise and state that I agree with everything every reviewer said about this blend that was positive. I am a little skeptical about some of the comparisons to other blends, but, it illustrates the reach that other reviewers had to go to to categorize their feelings about a blend they obviously liked a lot. I used old Hal in micro blending and it was, thoroughly, a fine experience. I found the addition of a black Cavendish/dark Virginia in a half and half mixture with Hal to be as four star as Hal O' the Wynd itself.
Pipe Used: Charatan half-bent apple billiard Free Hand Relief
PurchasedFrom: an Ebay seller
Age When Smoked: unknown, but at least two years old
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2019 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Ole Hal O' The Wynd tends to grow on you. Upon first blush, I found this to be somewhat of a mild, flavorless concoction. Certainly nothing that would inspire a letter home to the family. Nor an entry in your daily journal extolling the virtues of tobacco bliss for future generations to discover.

With the progression of time, however, Hal reveals more and more of his complex personality. A citrusy, tangy sense of humor melded with a sweet, creamy, sensitive side that sets hearts aflutter amongst our lady friends. All the while, a simmering pepperiness just below the surface that gives life to the party.

This is a fine, complex, yet subtle mixture. Suitable for moments of tranquility which allow you to study the various flavors presenting themselves.

Perfect when relaxing after a New York strip sirloin at your favorite, mahogany paneled steakhouse. Or, perhaps, while lounging on the beach in your favorite Adirondack chair. Toes in the sand. Basking in the warm glow of the bonfire after the annual clam bake.

Highly recommended.

PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 3 months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2014 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.
PurchasedFrom: n/a
Age When Smoked: n/a
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 06, 2012 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Aaahhh.... Hal O The Wynd!

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

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

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

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

- Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark -
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2008 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.

3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2003 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.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 12, 2001 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.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2021 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant
Although it seems like eons ago, back when I first indulged in the pleasures of piping, like most newcomers I managed to sprout my smoking legs on the usual aromatic mixtures of the day. Ah yes, the memorable delight of the old Middleton Cherry and Apple based mixtures, your assortment of Smoker’s Pride flavored Cavendish, and some select house blends crafted by my local brick and mortar. These sweet and airy episodes of smoking ecstasy blessed me with a leathery tongue, having been pickled by languishing bouts of bite, and an engineered mastery on the proper excavation of residual gobs of dottle. Yet despite the grandeur of these merry concoctions, which pleased me for the longest time, with advancing taste callings, scarred palate, and crippled fingers, I began to yearn for something totally different; imagine that.

Being a previous cigarette smoker with minimal collective knowledge of tobaccos in general back then, my naiveness led to the recognition that “real” tobaccos were made from the Virginia leaf. Combining that notion with the romantic image I held regarding the illustrious history of tobacco growing within the great state of Virginia, I re-chartered my piping diversions by sticking my big toe into that water. Little did I suspect a hopeless love affair was about to entrap me, even to present day.

As luck would have it, I happened to be flipping through the original PipesandCigars printed mailer one day when I came across a presentation on some blends of tobacco offered by Charles Rattray of Perth, Scotland. I vaguely remember looking at a modest photo of three or four unfamiliar yellow tinned products of what has been labeled as their British Collection. Seeing that several were Virginia-based mixtures the listing immediately gathered with my attention.

Maybe it was the heartfelt mystique of my Scottish ancestry, the charm of the classic old English script artwork, the label proclamation of unusually strong Virginia flavor, or perhaps the ominous name Hal O The Wynd that caught my fancy, who’s to say? So, on an emotional gamble I proceeded to purchase it. Unbeknownst to me, the seed that would flourish my enduring devotion to this singular blend fell quietly at my feet upon that very day, taking resolved root.

Hal O The Wynd (HOTW) is appropriately named after the legendary Henry Wynd (aka Gow Chrom) whose remarkable strength prove to be a decisive factor during the infamous Scottish Battle of the North Inch in 1396. This mixture embodies the essence of Charles Rattray’s assertion that the expertise of a cunning hand and intuitive senses must be properly applied for the optimum production of truly regal tobaccos. Rattray’s standard process relied on the precise application of heat by panning and pressure that acted to unite the oils of the constituent varietals imparting a rich and charming fusion.

Marketed as a ready-rubbed product, this popular blend has been manufactured by German-based Kohlhase Kopp & Co. since the late 1970’s per the original century old recipe. Extensively pressed, cut, and hand rubbed as an integral facet of Rattray’s classic production methodology, HOTW is a full-flavored, strong mix of select Red Virginia, bawdy Kentucky, and a dash of Louisiana Perique.

In keeping with the virile and dauntless image of the renowned Scottish fighter of its namesake, Rattray’s amalgam shows the smoker a hardy and dense mass of rich tobacco. Noble clusters of long swarthy strips of finely pressed, brown-variegated morsels are interspersed with a rollicking helping of wooly, coarse, shag-like ruffling that weave its sensational tartan. Dark and manly of face, Hal O The Wynd projects unreserved images of the coming eminent smoking experience.

Having one remarkably charismatic tin note, first encounter with Hal O The Wynd meets with a vibrant waft of spiced earthiness sweetly wrapped in bold citrusy tang. The Virginia dominants the base impression with its temperament of stewed raisin-weathered hay. Peppery prune notes springing from the Perique and deep woodiness earmarking the presence of dark Kentucky circulate a supporting ambience. The blend has such a plentiful beguiling aroma I find it frankly mesmeric to the senses.

For myself, packing the pipe involves pinching a healthy sized pillow of tobacco and rolling it into a nicely formed ball. I finish the preparation by filling the top of the bowl with loosely placed strands. Using this method, I have found that the tobacco ignites easily and provides for an even continuous burn for the entire smoking session, leaving a lovely white speckled ash. Virginias can be challenging to smoke at times, Hal O The Wynd, however, burns cool and dry without any grievous burden on the tongue. As such, one can drawl quite heartedly but the blend is best experienced with a slow measured cadence.

As a ready rub, the tobacco is primed for immediate smoking. However, heeding to the wisdom of Rattray, I do allow a little set-up time as moisture “denudes the delicacy” of the flavor. At first light the deep woody earthy Red Virginia richly fills the bottom registration supported by prominent spicy grassiness; of vivid and commanding aptitude. With each draw the smoky influence from the Kentucky exquisitely intertwines with just the slight peppery but mostly dark fruitiness of the Perique. The full and robust fused taste profile is distinctly toasty, citrussy, and buttery, folded within a mellow tang. Willowy accents of caramelized sugar/honey notes, musty figs, and sweet creamy nuttiness flow generously, leaving a heavenly aftertaste of note.

The ratio of Perique and fire-cured Kentucky in this medium-full bodied blend is perfect in my opinion. As a pinnacle Virginia-based recipe, there are ample enough compliments to make Hal O The Wynd a memorable aptly balanced mixture. One gets the best of a choice Virginian strain with the splendor of colorful and complex offsetting nuance. Furthermore, with this blend one will find about halfway down the bowl all the noted flavor descriptors tend to get deeper and get darker, holding a consistent elegant flavor to the very end. Mild on nicotine, Rattray’s mixture makes for an affable day-long excursion. With the burn, the tobacco produces a handsome cloud of luscious full smoke. The onsetting room note provides the immediacy of lovely honey sweet, crisp grassy character of standard Virginia that is congenial and comforting. Personally, it is one of the best aromas that I have yet to encounter in all the different blends that I have experienced.

As humans we seek out that which is pleasing. With great devotion and seriousness of passion we gravitate toward these ends whether that be a person, a place or thing, in this case a tobacco. The best love affairs are those which have no ending after all. My best hope is that this old friend will be ever present until my pipe smoking days come to a parting close. Hal O The Wynd was my gamble of chance. A chance that yielded much more than I had ever hoped for when I ventured forth into the genre of Virginia.

FINAL NOTE: I recommend reading Charles Rattray’s original “A Disquisition for the Connoisseur”, an interesting study covering this pioneer’s thoughts on blending tobacco.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula
Age When Smoked: 5 months
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