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

27

10

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 80 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 26, 2002 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I finally gave this highly acclaimed Rattray's tobacco a try recently. I had a tin of it in my tobacco "cellar" (hall closet - top shelf) for about three years. So, it was nicely aged.

Folks, the tin says Hal O' The Wynd has a most unusual share of strength. Well, it was smooth as silk from top to bottom and as refined as any straight Virginia I've ever smoked. It was cool, and it wouldn't nip even when the puffing cadence was stepped up a notch or two. And, it didn't seem to have a particularly strong nicotine content either. The taste leans toward a subtle sweetness, and I often loaded back-to-back bowls of this delightful weed.

It did take some work for me to get the leaf into what is my favorite style - totally rubbed out and zapped in my blender. It is loaded with broken chunks in the tin, which will allow outdoor smokers to lock and load quickly.

The only unusual thing about this tobacco is that while it produced a lot of moisture in the stem and shank, the tobacco itself burned to a mostly dry ash. While some other reviewers hinted that Hal gets stronger as you work you way down the bowl, I didn't get that impression at all. In fact, it is a fairly monochromatic smoke to me.

All in all, old Hal was an absolute pleasure to puff on and you can bet that I will be purchasing more of this delightful tobacco for my hall closet, uh, I mean my tobacco cellar.
45 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I have had a long love-affair with the Rattray's Virginias; moving back and fourth between this, Old Gowrie, Marlin Flake, Brown Clunee, and finally back to this. In my opinion these blends (with the possible exception of Marlin) are so similar in profile, that it really comes down to how strong you prefer your blends to be, and how much Perique/KY influence you are looking for. Really, that is part of what makes the lineup brilliant; there is something for everyone. Hal O' the Wynd is the one for me. It not only packs the best punch, but it has the most Perique and by extension, the most interesting flavor to my tastes. I like many blends and reserve some for special occasions/aging potential, and while I do have some Hal in the cellar, I mostly smoke it fresh. There is always a 500g jar on my desk and I smoke this when nothing else sounds good, or when I want to break-in a pipe, or when I need something familiar, satisfying and easy to enjoy. The backbone of my rotation.
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Fresh
34 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
TW
Aug 01, 2012 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Having smoked my way through several 100gm tins of this now I've a few thoughts about it I feel might be worth adding to the many reviews already here.

Tastewise, I find it pretty flavourful for a blend that stresses the Virginia/Kentucky (I don't mean to insult VA blends, merely that a Latikia-heavy blend will always have a more pronounced flavour than a blend such as HOTW). The Perique adds a depth I find straight VAs lack.

What seems to make a big difference to the flavour is the pipe itself and how it is packed. I smoke clays, which means the bowls are generally not huge, and narrow and deep in proportions. Packed loosley, HOTW is a good, medium flavoured VA/Per type blend, with little variation as the bowl burns down. Rubbed out and packed quite tightly then smoked slowly it gradually develops a very marked and remarkable sweetness that starts around the half way point the nbuilds and builds which compliments the initial spiciness very well.

It's a very deceptive blend. I first found it very basic, montone and simple, but began to appreciate it more as I got the taste for it and experimented with how I pack the pipe. It's a bit like those wines or good-quality beers,ciders and coffees that you don't think are anything particularly outstanding at first but grow on you over time.

If puffed at frantically it can (and will) bite like a starving piranha, but with a little care it's possible to get it to produce large quantities of smoke without biting at all. What you can't do is smoke it absent-mindedly. Not unless you're fond of hot tongue syndrome, anyway.

Overall, as I got the "feel" for HTOW it's raised itself from "OK but nothing that remarkable" to a through the day regular. I prefer Old Gowrie as the "breakfast" pipe with coffee, but then tend to find HOTW suits more later on.

As far as nicotine goes, I'd call it a medium, with Nightcap/Artisan's Blend counting as "High" and the Captain Black aromatics counting as "low". Slightly stronger than Erinmore Balkan Mix or Dunhill Early Morning, perhaps and certainly strong for a blend of this type.

Overall I'd recommend giving it a try, it's an excellent example of its type of blend. Just treat it with a little caution at first unless you're used to VA/Per blends already and be prepared to put in a little patience.

PS.. It will build cake at high speed if you're looking to break in a new briar and, unlike English or aromatics blends is unlikely to cause too much ghosting.
20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 11, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
If you are looking for a blend that bursts with flavors and knocks your socks off, you probably won't think much of this. However, this is a really solid mixture. I can mostly agree with JimInks' views, although I find it a bit more on the earthy side than he does. I think pipers looking for a solid, mildly complex, middle-of-the-road blend should give this a try. I wish I had years ago. 3 1/2 stars.
Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers
PurchasedFrom: Mars
Age When Smoked: 1 month after purchase
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2008 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I don't know why it took me so long to get around to filling a bowl with this brawny old Virginia, but I'm glad I finally did. The problem is that with all of the glowing reviews surrounding this blend, it's hard to find your way to the tobacco. It's hard to smoke and look directly into the sun at the same time.

It's not, sadly, my life changing tobacco. I won't remember it as well as I remember my first...um...time.

But it is absolutely a very fine Virginia. It arrives partially rubbed out and with that natural honeyed raisin tin aroma characteristic of pure, mature Virginias. It packs well, smokes well, and produces generous quantities of honeyed smoke. I think it smells like a bumble-bee fart. And that's a good thing.

I do, however, find it a little coarse on the palate and so it works best for me in the longest stem I can find.

As much as I like this, I have to admit that I started my Virginia tour in the Wessex camp and nothing about 'Hal' makes me want to leave.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 26, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Okay this is a great blend. ROTT it was a little green and so I waited 6 months. 6-24 months it was great still a little bite but not bad. Perique lead the way for me with pepper and plum with the VA's right behind sharp and toasty, a little tangy and sweet. The KY added depth to the smoke but remained in the background. However, I have just finished a jar that is 3yrs and 4 months old. The profile has changed and quite a lot for such a short time. It could be that my taste has changed and/or developed. In any case the KY's spice seems at the front now. The VA's have softened and sweetened a little. The perique which was out front is still present but comes in and out and stays more in the background now. I like this blend at the 6-24 month mark. I take aging into consideration as it is important to me. Would love for others to update as it ages too.
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs 4 months
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 20, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a nicely packaged/presented 100g tin, cool artwork as well. I liked this blend a good deal. Needed some drying time for the broken flakes and then I was off. Smoked clean and had a simple yet compelling woodsy, peppery flavor, just the right amount of sweetness. VAs are not my usual fare, but as far as this one goes, its a winner.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 25, 2013 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
A strong, stout Va/Per. Virginia forward. Perique is muted. Beware: Sip this one or suffer the consequences. Very rewarding for the experienced VA/Per or VA smoker, but not the best choice as an introduction to the genre. A niche blend. Good nicotine content - recovering cigarette smokers will like this one.

Update 11/2013: I find that I enjoy this blend much more in a large-bowled cob. The unique flavors from the cob just seem to do this blend justice and mellow it out a touch.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2010 Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
HOTW is another nice addition to my favoured VA tastes. That said, I do prefer it's stablemate OG. I'll also smoke FVF for when I want a richer and fuller experience, but that's not to take anything away from HOTW.

I find HOTW is less sweet tasting than the other two mentioned, and has a very slight peppery feel to it. Albiet a very mild one..

All in all a quality tobacco that comes in a lovely tin!
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 26, 2008 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I did not find HOW to be either sharp in taste or strong in nicotine. It is a very pleasant Virginia which I can smoke all day with pleasure, but given the options of Old Gowrie or Marlin Flake, either of those would win hands down for taste and Full Virginia Flake for nicotine content. I am partial to Rattray blends and would recommend this unreservedly as a smooth mid-strength product, good, even very good, but not quite great.
4 people found this review helpful.
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