A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middletonťs Prince Albert - Cigar Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-12-2011, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

John Middleton Co. – Prince Albert

Much like Carter Hall there is no description of this tobacco on the package but just the smokers “accolades” of it. The front of the package reads: What smokers like about Prince Albert… Taste, Aroma, Cool, Mild, No Bite, Slow Burning, The Cut, Priced Right, Best There Is. So once again one has to take the plunge on this tobacco based on its longevity and reputation.




In The Tin/Pouch
The pouch is filled with a light brown ribbon cut tobacco, that is soft to the touch, but not too moist (at least for my standards). The smell reminds me of Carter Hall, a sweet and slightly pungent odor of raisins and tobacco.

The Burn
This tobacco will burn well straight out of the pouch it lights with just one match and burns well, a little fast, but not as fast as Carter Hall (there goes the claim that it is slow burning). One of the good things about this tobacco is that I got no moisture collecting in the bottom of my pipe from this blend, I didn’t even find the need to run a pipe cleaner down my pipe during the smoke, which is always nice.

The Smoke
This seems to me like Carter Hall’s boring brother. It has a hint of sweetness, but it also seems a little flat and bland to me. Don’t get me wrong, there is a nice warm toasty straight forward tobacco taste, it just seems like Carter Hall light to me. The front of the pouch says that smokers like it because of its “taste” and that it is “cool and mild” while I would certainly agree that it is cool and very mild, I do not agree that its taste is something to be touted. The taste reminds me of someone who doesn’t want to offend anyone so they never speak, they’re just kind of there, but they never take a stand on anything. I would have liked this tobacco to “take a stand” we might not get along, but then again we might, and then we might get to know each other really well. The pouch also claims that this tobacco doesn’t bite, and I found this to be true, whether smoked fast or slow, this stuff simply won’t bite.

The Aroma
Best I can tell this produces a light neutral tobacco smell, not an awesome room note but not overpowering.

The Packaging, and Price
Like most drug store blends, this tobacco is available in both a pouch and tub. I purchased this from www.wvsmokeshop.com and paid $2.99 for a 1.5 ounce pouch, that works out to $1.99 an ounce. They also sell a pack of 6 pouches (9 ounces) for $16.95 that works out to $1.88 per ounce, and the 14 ounce tub for $24.89 which works out to $1.77 per ounce.


The Bottom Line
I know that there are plenty of people who smoke this as there daily blend, but I personally don’t feel that this is a great tobacco. Maybe once upon a time, before the internet, when people could only go to the drug store or a tobacconist where the selection was limited this was a good choice, but in today’s environment where there are hundreds if not thousands of blends available to everyone with an address and a computer I fail to see why anyone would buy this tobacco. That being said, it does seem to be good for building cake in a pipe, but so is Carter Hall and CH has a better flavor profile. Maybe I am being unfair comparing this to Carter Hall, but being an OTC blend I feel that it should be compared to other OTC blends. The pouch claimed that this was “best there is” and I would respectfully disagree, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this tobacco, and I am not going to say I will never buy this again, but I probably will not.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 08:37 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

A thoroughgoing review, Nick! You hit a lot of nice detail there. :tu

I think your main objection, its "blandness", is one of the prime attractions for me. My own review of it notes that I smoke it to "lay a foundation". I would not want to smoke PA all day, for certain, given the other tobaccos out there, but I like to start with it for exactly the reasons you fail to like it. I don't want enchiladas or Chinese for breakfast, if you get my drift. I also like to take a break with PA after something kickass, to let things calm down a bit. It also has the virtue of "mindlessness": it doesn't go out and requires absolutely nothing from me, so I can do busy work and puff away happily without fear of "missing something".

Thanks for the review, Nick! Think I'll have a bowl of PA right now!

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post #3 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 09:35 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

As always Nick, good to read your reviews as this one is actually on my radar to try someday!

I enjoy your reviews!

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post #4 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 10:11 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

I always went with PA since my FIL (name albert) always smoked it. Then I tried Carter Hall and rarely go back.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 10:50 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

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Originally Posted by Blue Raccoon View Post
I always went with PA since my FIL (name albert) always smoked it. Then I tried Carter Hall and rarely go back.
Carter Hall seems to smoke a trifle wetter than PA for me and gets a bit ashier at the end. I'd drop my wallet on the table and bet I could finish a bowl of PA in any of my pipes on one match, nothing left but ash. Not sure I'd make that bet with CH. CH is definitely a close second in the "plain" drugstore burley world, though, and it might taste a bit better, too, at least in the beginning. My review of Carter Hall is definitely positive!

Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-14-2011, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

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Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
A thoroughgoing review, Nick! You hit a lot of nice detail there. :tu

I think your main objection, its "blandness", is one of the prime attractions for me. My own review of it notes that I smoke it to "lay a foundation". I would not want to smoke PA all day, for certain, given the other tobaccos out there, but I like to start with it for exactly the reasons you fail to like it. I don't want enchiladas or Chinese for breakfast, if you get my drift. I also like to take a break with PA after something kickass, to let things calm down a bit. It also has the virtue of "mindlessness": it doesn't go out and requires absolutely nothing from me, so I can do busy work and puff away happily without fear of "missing something".

Thanks for the review, Nick! Think I'll have a bowl of PA right now!
Good point Jim, I hadn't thought of it that way. You are right it is a simple easy smoke, and that is one of its virtues. I can also see a time when a light tobacco would be beneficial, and it is certainly good for that. But I think for my tastes I prefer Carter Hall a little bit more. Thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by quo155 View Post
As always Nick, good to read your reviews as this one is actually on my radar to try someday! I enjoy your reviews!
Thanks Tommy, I enjoy writing them as well. Looks like all that writing in college paid off... now if only I could figure out a way to make money doing it...
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-15-2011, 10:08 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

50/50 hybrid of PA and CH is pretty good.

For anybody that runs across it, Prince Albert Choice is completely different from Prince Albert, if you don't like PA, you may like PAC.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-18-2011, 07:12 PM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

Lovely review, very detailed. Just a quick question, would this be a decent recommendation for someone new to pipe smoking? I've read many reviews, and most people with a developed palate don't seem to enjoy the drugstore brands too much.

Thanks
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-18-2011, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

This is a good blend for those new to pipe smoking as well as those who have been smoking for a while. I think I would have to disagree with the statement that those who have been smoking a while don't enjoy drug store blends (there are plenty of smokers on this site that regularly smoke them), and those who dismiss them because they are cheap aren't being fair to them. There is a reason these blends have stood the test of time. That said, I do think I prefer Carter Hall to Prince Albert, but that is just my tastes. Remember reviews reflect the experience of the reviewer, and your experience may differ, so don’t rely solely on the reviews of others… just use them as a starting point.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-22-2011, 11:40 AM
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Re: A tour of drug store blends, stop two: John Middleton’s Prince Albert

For some reason, I can't restrain myself from a small, idiosyncratic peeve. Prince Albert, of ALL tobaccos, certainly does not now and never did come in a tin. It came in a damn CAN!! "Do you have Prince Albert in a tin?" Just doesn't cut it, does it?

"Tub" these days, but before it was the small red can or the big red can. Prince Albert used to come in cans, now it comes in pouches and tubs.

Ever eager to light a candle rather than curse the darkness, as they say.

I love your format, BTW. Nice and organized. :tu

Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney
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