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 31 - 40 of 152 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 07, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This review is current. The ancient text was as follows:

"I expected something else. I have not found the "unusual share of strength" that the package talks about. It is a tobacco that behaves well in the pipe and in the mouth, but its excessive mildness makes me somewhat monotonous. I smoke it when I'm not going to pay much attention to the pipe. It preserves the humidity in its container very well. I am sorry I cannot say anything more, to add that I am surprised by its popularity, which in my opinion is excessive. Maybe the tin I bought was too recent. Unfortunately I cannot see the date. Perhaps aging it improves and it is that great tobacco that connoisseurs say. Or maybe I have not been able to appreciate it in its worth ..."

12/23/2020: For reasons of consistency and because I have this page as my personal Tobaccos diary, I do not like to erase the revisions that I have made even if I consider them to be wrong, but I prefer to make an addition as I am doing now. The reason for this addition is to say that I have continued to smoke this tobacco daily and with pleasure, enjoying its nuances a little more, and although I will keep the three stars that I gave HOTW at the beginning, I can come close to understanding why many people like it so much. I do not rule out trying it again.

13/15/2021: And here I am, a year later, raising a star to this tobacco (in its aged version) after having smoked a 16-year-old can. It really is nothing like the memory I had from the last time I smoked it. I don't know if this is because this is an aged tin or because my palate has changed (probably both). This time it reminded me a bit of Solani's Silver Flake, a tobacco that I love, but in the case of HOTW with the delicious addition of perique. So three stars when young, four when old. Of course, I have gotten several more tins for my cellar, and I have even seriously considered whether I should include it among my favorites.

Think it can be useful for new pipe smokers to observe what can happen when we smoke a tobacco in the beginning, without having enough experience to smoke slowly and not lose the flavors, nor knowledge of many other tobaccos to be able to compare.
Age When Smoked: Young and 16 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2020 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
This is a version o Elizabethan Mixture on steroids. Everything you find on EM you will find on this blend with a depth of its own. Broken flakes, bread and citrus are all present in a much more forward way. Burns well, gorgeous smoke, no bite. Burns to fine white ash. For VA lovers like me it is a blend to keep.
Pipe Used: Several 9mm
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist - importer
Age When Smoked: 1-2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 24, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Just reaching the end of a 100g tin, so though it a good time make some notes.

Delightful tobacco. Virginia forward with notes of Red and Bright. Perique noticeable as stewed fruit taste and peppery retrohale, but less present than in Brown Clunee. Can’t say I notice the Kentucky, but the smoke has a good satisfying body and nicotine content.

It’s deceptively wet and can bite. Needs attention to get the best out of it. But I can forgive it that and intend to make this a regular tobacco for me.

Won’t compare to Brown Clunee and Old Gowrie. They each have their quirks which one must experience for oneself and all three are four star blends for me.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I will begin with a short summary of my other reviews of the Rattray Holy Trinity because I saved this one for last. Marlin Flake I never warmed up to too much and despite the fact that I like its full flavor, its the overall taste I just don't like. As to Old Gowrie, it is one of my regulars and I like the hazelnut nuances of it quite a bit but ultimately it does not offer the complexity I seek in a 4 star tobacco.

And that's exactly where Hal O' the Wynd comes in. Its taste is just more nuanced and multilayered. There's a little bit of earth, there is wood and whereas Old Gowrie for me had nuances of hazelnut, this one has a delicious nuance of caramel. This is a very smooth baccy that does not bite under any circumstances. The taste I consider to be medium to full. What makes HOTW stand out in my humble opinion though is that it has the kind of sweetness that I usually associate with a mild Oriental mixture rather than the sweetness of a straight VA. That's the feature that makes it unique in my book and I will continue to buy this as long as it is produced.

4 out of 4 stars.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2019 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This one has an interesting name to it ... I am wondering how they came up with it. I am sure that a native english speaker can bring further light to this. Any road, quite an appreciated blend it seems, and while it is unlikely that I am going to make a dent in the public opinion I am still offering my two pennies, in hope that I can share with the site enthusiasts of what otherwise is quite and excellent blend.

Now I don't know what's up with tobaccoreviews.com as of late, as some blends that were listed as being a certain type have been changed recently over and over - the present blend being the case, Irish Oak being another example that readily comes to mind. Non the less, to me this is more of a Va Per than Virginia based, as the perique is present and persistent through out the smoke, even if it doesn't confer the pregnant peppery taste that a VaPer lover may expect from a blend. The perique, in my opinion, is the discrete ingredient that makes this blend what it is. The nose of the blend is earthy and offers a hint of dry fruit, that is very welcoming. Once lit, the forefront seems citrussy and slightly reminds one of bergamot - but not as much as an Earl Gray tea, since as soon as you puff the taste is suited by a sweetness, associated with the dry fruit - raisin mostly, and a hint of honey. The perique is a key element, adding just a hint of spiciness - pepperyness, while the Kentucky brings robustness in the equation. Overall it is an above medium nicotine content blend, that discourages back to back bowls, but may be a day to day blend should the mood presents itself. I have added another couple of tins to the cellar, just to have in handy.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2017 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Hal o’ the Wynd is an accomplished VA/Per with just enough of the right KY added to make it all the more interesting. In the tin, short-ish, rough ribbons range from red-brown to medium and dark browns. Initial tin note is dark, sweet prune/plum with molasses and brown sugar in the background, over wheat. Moisture is OK right from the tin. It lights with patience then burns down well enough when puffed at optimal cadence, meaning slowly. Drying it some makes it easier to smoke, with no taste penalty. Lit, tastes and scents are soft, mellow, slightly woody, and very aromatic at first, then they sharpen as it’s smoked down. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the zesty red VAs used in original Red Rapparee, here they are, in the lead along with sweet, substantial and earthy air-cured browns. They are not really sharp, neither are they mellow for the whole bowl, but they are piquant enough at any point to counter balance the plummy Perique, which also features Middle Eastern spices that provide more and more sparkle, and it sours off as HOTW is smoked down. The KY is rich, slightly smoky, earthy, resinous, and piquant, and it’s tannic enough that it might take over, except there isn’t enough KY in the blend for this to happen. As it is, I appreciate both the “butter” and the piquancy, and the way it underlines both the VAs and the Perique, accenting them and tying them together, as it were. I love the bracing, astringent quality that for me is one of the highlights of HOTW, smoking it, as I do, in a group 6 pipe. Strength is medium. Tastes are just over medium. Room note is not bad, also not quite pleasant. Aftertaste is a lingering best of the smoke.

Of the 3 blends Rattray’s offers in this “series”, (HOTW, Old Gowrie, and Marlin Flake), HOTW is the VA/Per, and it’s a good one, along the lines of GLP’s Triple Play, though not so strong. Of the 3 siblings, OG has less piquant VAs, more KY, and less Perique. MF is darker, fruitier and sweeter, with generally darker VAs, plumier Perique, and dark Cavendish in lieu of KY. IMO, you can’t go wrong with any of these blends. Four Stars.
Pipe Used: various briars; #6 preferred
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: fresh to aged in jars
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Conclusion: This is good! Complex and easy going at the same time, I whole heartedly recommend this.

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

Mechanics: A ready rubbed flake that comes pretty wet out of the tin. Takes to the flame easily and stays lit, burning at a slow pace. Never tried to bite me. Medium to strong nicotine content.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 25, 2016 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
This is my go to tobacco. Suitable as an all day smoke but in no way is it boring or bland. The nic hit is a touch over medium in fact. There may be no better tasting virginias than you find in K&K blends (Reiners golden flake comes to mind). And this blend is perfect with the addition of just the right amount of Perique. Modest burley effect. Smokes cool start to finish. Just first rate stuff.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
My God this is excellent tobacco. I'm slow about getting my reviews written, partly out of laziness (translated-lost in tobacco ecstasy) but also because I like to give each blend a fair chance before the gavel falls. I smoked this stuff straight out of the tin at first, and it didn't do a whole lot for me. Thankfully I waited to review, because after aging for just over 6 months in jars, this is easily the most profound VaPer I've had the pleasure to smoke(with the exception of McClelland St.James Woods, of course). It's become a top 5 for me, and quite potentially a top 3.

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

The blend is incredibly balanced. The Virginias are sweet and mellow, the perique is equally sweet and a tad pungent with some sour notes. Cut is a rough shag with pieces of thin broken flake. The burn is perfect, given a little dry time. It's one smooth, medium-full powered bite-free smoking pleasure. Can't say enough good things about it. Try it out...if you find it lackluster out of the tin, give it 6 months to a year rest and experience the transformation. If you still aren't impressed, I'll handle the disposal for you.
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 6 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
Having just come off an Old Gowrie bender, I've given HOTW much more of my attention. I can see why this blend is one of the "Holy Trinity". Full of citrusy Virginia goodness, there is a much deeper, rich quality to this smoke that I'm assuming comes from the Kentucky. Very good without being overpowering as some blends with Kentucky can be. A must try for Rattray's lovers.
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