Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Sides of the Crop

My dad used to smoke Half & Half, and my grandfather used to smoke it, and my great-grandfather smoked it. I'm sure as hell not gonna drop the ball now.

I tried my first box of H&H today, mellowing out on the back patio reading Erle Stanley Gardner and finishing off the last of a bottle of cheap wodka; man, this is livin'. The product's name comes from it being an anise-cased blend of Burley and Bright (sounds like a law firm or a comedy duo), based on a 19th century American formula. And as bottom-shelf old-geezer tobaccos go, it's just fine - you have to love the price, a mere $2.50.

H&H seems to burn really hot and really fast, which sort of threw me for a loop. I tend not to pack the pipe full, and on my first H&H trial I incinerated the whole load just from my initial deep draw to get it lit. It's cut in finer, smaller bits than other pipe tobaccos I've tried so far, and this probably has something to do with its quick burnout.

The anise isn't very pronounced, which also suits me just fine because I don't really need my tobacco to taste like anything but tobacco (although I'm still enjoying my pack of Bourbon Whisky Borkum Riff.) I think I like H&H better than Sir Walter Raleigh, another drugstore pouch that makes the snobs cringe, but so far my favorite smoke has been Captain Black Gold.

I checked out these reviews to see what the Peanut Gallery has to say, and as usual, some are raving that this is the greatest smoke on Earth (which it ain't) and others are ranting this is the most godawful disgusting trash known to man (which it ain't). It is what it is, boys, and you get what you pay for. What do you expect from one of the most inexpensive brands on the planet?

- - JSH

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