Rattray Hal O' the Wynd

(3.39)
"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".

Details

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

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.39 / 4
152

80

28

10

Reviews

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Displaying 71 - 80 of 80 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 21, 2008 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 * * *
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2008 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 14, 2006 Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
A nice Virgina, although I didn't find it as tasty as SG Best Brown Flake.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 11, 2006 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2005 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2005 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 21, 2005 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).
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2005 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2004 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 04, 2003 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.
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