Granger tobacco tin with Kaywoodie 13B Briar. © 2017 James Hill
Greetings Pipemen! In today’s post I’m continuing my survey of three classic American burley blends. Up today is Granger. Let’s enter the lodge and light up!
Granger pipe tobacco has been available at least since the 1930s. It was first produced by the American Tobacco Company and is now manufactured by the Scandinavian Tobacco Group/Lane Limited of Tucker, Georgia. Granger, “A Pointer on Fine Tobacco”, is a semi-aromatic, rough cut burley blend. At the time of its introduction, Granger was advertised as being for pipes only. This set the brand apart from many of its competitors that were sold as being for pipes or roll-your-own (I believe this dual use claim was a means to keep sales going during the depression and a bit beyond).
Granger is currently sold in 12oz tins and is readily available. I placed an order with Pipes and Cigars (www.pipesandcigars.com) and waited patiently for my shipment to arrive. This was my wife’s grandfather’s blend of choice, so I was eagerly anticipating cracking the tin open! When my tin arrived, I opened it up and took a whiff. The tin note is cocoa, some nuttiness, and an unidentifiable fruit aroma. The Mrs. and daughter suggested fig newtons and raisins respectively. I’m not sure what the scent is, but I wonder if this could be the aroma of the mysterious “Wellman’s Process”. We have one of the wife’s grandfather’s classic Granger tins on the shelf, so we put a bit of of the tobacco in it to revive the tin’s aroma and remember Granddad Damewood. The tobacco has an almost ideal moisture level and is not sticky at all. I’ve found that this blend packs very easily with the scoop and tamp method and prefers a lighter packing. Lighting was a breeze and Granger stayed lit quite well, with only a couple of relights over a 40 minute bowl.
For my first bowl I chose my trusty Kaywoodie 13B. The aroma is pleasant and one hundred percent “Old Time Pipey”. The family has classified it as an indoor blend - everyone enjoyed the room note, except perhaps the family cat, who walked by and sneezed. The flavor is richer and not as sweet as Granger’s cousin, Velvet. The tastes of tobacco, cocoa and that very mild fruit-like topping come through and become deeper and mellower as the bowl passes the halfway point. I didn’t get bit throughout the initial bowl and those that followed. You might get a bite out of that pointer if you push him too hard, but I think he’s pretty forgiving.
I have really enjoyed Granger and have added a couple of tins to my cellar and plan on acquiring at least a few more. If you enjoy almost unadulterated burley, let me “point” you towards Granger. You really can’t go wrong with this classic.
Early Granger advertisement