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 1 - 10 of 27 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2009 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is my second-favorite after Escudo. Not as strong a nicotine hit as many reviewers claim. Great with the morning coffee on a cold winter day. It is a bit wet coming straight out of the can. Needs some drying prior to smoking. Rub it out, or not, it will smoke down to a fine, white ash and leave you happy.

Don't know what is was like back in the day when it was made in the UK, but the Kohlhase & Kopp reproduction is great.

I've tried it "fresh" and after a couple of years in the cellar, and I can't tell any difference. It has a strong scent of dried figs in the tin, and this may be the K & K house topping, which I suspect has some honey in it, but the very light casing does not detract from the flavor of the weed.

My wife (a very attractive and intelligent woman) keeps telling me how much she likes the smell of this smoke. She has asked me to make it my usual or regular tobacco. So I will be smoking more of this in the future.

Update, 4 May 2013: I'm downgrading this from my original 4 star rating. Hal was one of the first blends I ever loved, but the old passion is gone. Not just HOTW, but all Kohlhase & Kopp blends seem bland to me now, sort of one-step-up from cigarette tobacco. There is just not enough flavor. I've found better Virginia blends. And Hal is still only a medium in the nicotine department.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 03, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Hal O' the Wynd, enjoyed 100 gr. tin. But I find I love the smoother Old Gowrie so much more. HOL is not harsh, and the strength is much the same, yet Old Gowrie just comes across smoother and tastier to me. They are so similar yet noticeably two different smokes.
Pipe Used: various briars and cobs
PurchasedFrom: pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: two months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 01, 2012 Strong Very Mild Overwhelming Strong
One of the reasons I switched from cigarettes to pipe smoking is because I was tired of the inherent acridity in cigarette tobacco and I wanted to experience the other tastes present in tobacco. Well, this blend is like licking the bottom of an ashtray. Acrid all the way. However, it is constant and it will burn nicely from bowl to bowl. You will get use to the taste in the end but don't look for too much subtlety in this one.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Be fore I start I'd like to say I'm smoking a fresh tin. Also I never had the previous blend,just the koalhaus and klopp version.

Tin note is very nice. Strong smell of nice a nice sweet, and hay like VA. A very subtle and full note of the Kentucky followed by the dark fruit smell of perique. Nothing out of the ordinary but none the less promising. You can tell there is quality tobacco used here.

Moisture content is conducive to smoking out of the tin, but I have chosen to dry it for 10 mins.

The mostly broken flake load nicely, and burns just as well.

Flavor wise I feel was a bit of a let down, but still enjoyable. I get nice sweet, dry hay notes, followed by a quasi earthy note from the KY, with a quails breath of perique's fermented (in a good way) flavor bringing up the rear.

This is a tobacco that isn't overy complex or nuanced which I really appreciate, and its very well behaved w no chance of bit. But it needs a slow puffing cadence or will taste ashy. Unfortunately it's not a bell ringer. Both in flavor or vitamin N.

I'm going to amend this review in a few weeks for 2 reasons. First I've only just popped the top. To my pallet a tobaccos flavor really opens up after it gets a chance to breath. Much like a bottle of wine, decanting changes the flavor profile quite a bit ( in this case being moved to a mason jar for a few weeks to a few months.)

Second, I've only tried it in 2 pipes so far, and we all know how much a pipe impacts a tobaccos flavor (that's one thing that I really like,and find amazing about pipes and tobacco). So take this review w a grain of salt, and I'll revisit it and have a review by end of Oct.

Edit: 20 days later and 2 oz in I find the tin note shows mostly earthy Kentucky notes with a whiff of VA sweet graham under tones. I personally don't rally pick up perique on the tin note.

Flavor wise it is a touch more rounded, still has a few rough spots but the earthy KY flavor hihas developed nicely, and the ever so familiar hay like sweetness associated w VA has settled into a nice mild back up role.

I like mine in morning, taste is nice, uncomplicated, clean, and not too much of a nice hit but enough for me to be satisfied. If say 2.5 stars. I like having it around but won't have to ALWAYS have an open tin.

UPDATE. 5/11/2022


So imma up it too 2.9 stars
Pipe Used: Webber poker, vauen billiard nose warmer
PurchasedFrom: Brick and morter
Age When Smoked: Fresh
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 21, 2016 Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A broken flake, mostly mid browns with occasional bright leaf. There is no black leaf to indicate the presence of Perique, nor can I smell or taste it in this K&K blend.

On the nose I mostly get bread and molasses aromas with some chocolate and spice notes.

Packs and burns well. This is a fairly sweet and spicy Red Va forward VaBur that has been touched up I believe with a smidgeon of fire cured leaf and a touch of sweet casing. The net result is not a lot different to a plethora of tobaccos made by MacBaren imo. My tin of tobacco produced some ammonia notes when burning and the comparison to cigarettes made by some reviewers seems understandable to me.

Not a bell ringer for me, tho it is interesting enough that I can see why this is a popular tobacco.
Pipe Used: Lepeltier
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Rattray's tobacco blends used to be one of my favorites back in my college days - in particular Black Mallory and Accountant's Mixture. Last year I purchased a can of Hal O' the Wynd to try - well I opened it a few weeks ago after having been on a steady diet of Escudo (I love that stuff). It looked and smelled great, but way to wet smoke. Set some aside for a few days to dry and decided to try it in one of my Ben Wade pipes from the very early '70's - narrow deep bowled with thick walls and a quarter bend- perfect for Va / Perique blends.

So this review follows after about 10 bowls in the old Ben Wade;

It packed OK after rolling it out a little with my fingers. The Perique is very very subtle - so subtle that if I hadn't read somewhere that it contained Perique I probably would have missed it. The majority of the taste and aroma comes from the matured Virginias. Outside in open air it does have that grassy taste and smell, so I usually smoke it indoors. The nicotene content seems to be quite a bit higher than Escudo or Bayou Morning and I have difficulty smoking it to the bottom of the bowl without one or two, maybe 3 on a good night, of Obans to cleanse away the nicotene. Overall, I'm not impressed especially when one considers the high price of Rattray's blends. I'll finish the tin and then go back to Escudo or Frog Morton On The Bayou or Bayou Morning Flake.
Pipe Used: Ben Wade Freehand - early1970's
PurchasedFrom: local pipe / tobacco shop
Age When Smoked: 14 mos
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2012 Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I tried Hal O' the Wynd many years ago but didn't use up the tin and threw it away. I didn't remember why I didn't like it so I decided to try it again, since I have come to love Virginias. I don't like Kentucky and found it overpowering the Virginias in Three Nuns, so I felt sceptical about HOTW.

This time around:

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

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

HOTW is the only tobacco I have to smoke during the Holidays, and I'll have to live with it. It's not a tobacco I will buy again, but I give it two stars anyway. If you like dark beers and whisky you might like HOTW. It's a high quality tobacco, but it just doesn't get along with my tastebuds.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is a nice VaPer but not one on the top of my list. The cut is fairly fine and tends to burn a little fast and hot. My style of being a faster Vaper puffer doesn't help. I also find this on the milder side and one dimensional. If I had a choice, I think Marlin Flake has more interest and Old Gowrie is smoother. Most would consider this a solid 3 star blend, but under MY rating system, it only gets a 2. I won't buy again, not because it is bad , but only because I like other VaPers better.

I think that reviewer, "TW 08/01/2012 " , might be correct in that experimenting with the pipe and packing could greatly improve this blend.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 30, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Tastes very malty. Pure unadulterated tobacco, reminds me of old england. It's like old gowrie's older cousin, similar but distinctly heavier with a fuller taste. It was a good smoke, but after 100g of this, I've given it a good run and it just didn't grab me. I won't buy more, I'll get Old Gowrie instead.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2010 Medium Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm just about finished my first 100gram tin of this tobacco. I recieved a sample of this from a friend and after a few bowls decided that it's pretty nice stuff. It is written as having "an unusual share of strength and will quickly perk you up".

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

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

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

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

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