Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spending Time with Prince Albert

"Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" My mother told me about this prank call before I ever knew what Prince Albert tobacco was. I had gotten the impression that they didn't even make it anymore (prior to turning 18 more than a decade ago). At first I avoided this tobacco because it is the cheapest tobacco I have found (there is one exception, but I don't want to talk about it). Later, upon doing a little research, I thought it would be time to give this tobacco a try.
It loaded differently than the bulks and the boutiques that I was used to, I don't think I had ever had a blend with that much burley in it. I tried it at a go with a number of other tobaccos that sat next to it at Walgreens. The others I tried at the time were Carter Hall and Half and Half. I liked all three, but Prince Albert was the king of the all for my taste. The smoke was cool (though if I smoke it too much, or if it's too dry I have gotten a bit of tongue bite from it), and nutty. I really enjoyed the consistency of the smoke and it really does taste simple. It's a great "off to work" tobacco and the relights are great (even after a long absence).
I found myself wondering at first if it was okay to enjoy this cheaper tobacco. Had I somehow lost my mind? A little research assured me that I had not. This has been a quality standard in the world of Pipe Tobacco for years. Online reviews display many a wonderful humble old codger who has smoked this blend out of a corn cob pipe for more years than I have been alive. It is a beautiful testimony to the simple things in life. It doesn't pretend to be more than it is, and it doesn't over sell itself.
Many pipe tobaccos will promise the moon and 28 complex flavors that are hidden in this tiny tin (for 25 bucks) and many are very good, but the marketing is well into the world of fantasy. Not Prince Albert. Prince Albert just is what it is, the funniest thing about it (aside from the stand by prank call) is the suggestion made by the Wikipedia article that states that Prince Albert (the real one) didn't actually wear his beard long as the picture suggests.
There will always be someone who won't let themselves enjoy something simple. Perhaps another mouth can't enjoy Prince Albert. That is okay. I sure like it and always have some on hand. On top of all of the other things I like about pipe smoking this tobacco makes me feel connected to the great past of American Pipe smokers. I like that too.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you have become a smarty pants pipe smoker, for sure.