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November’s Pipe Guys Pick: Three Nuns

November’s Pipe Guys Pick: Three Nuns
November 5, 2013 The Pipe Guys

Three Nuns is one of the most recognizable pipe tobaccos on the planet. If you’re not a veteran in the pipe community, you might be wondering what the buzz is all about. Not to keep you in suspense, we’ll say right at the outset that Three Nuns has been around for well over 100 years and counting, which makes it one of the oldest remaining pipe tobaccos in the world. Certain theological students have also reported that it was a tobacco often smoked by the theologian and thinker C.S. Lewis, which for theological students is reason enough to love it!

The Origins

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Starting in the late nineteenth century, Three Nuns pipe tobacco was blended by J. & F. Bell of Glasgow, Scotland, the originator’s of the beloved blend. Sometime in the mid-twentieth century the blending was moved to a production house in Liverpool called Ogden’s. Thought it was quite a popular tobacco in America and abroad, the blend ceased to be distributed to the United States about eighteen years ago. Smoker’s were devastated. It was the Y2K of tobacco…well, perhaps that’s going to far.

A Joyous Return

Alas, rumors began to spread that Three Nuns may make it’s way back to U.S. shores. The rumors proved to be true and pipe smokers rejoiced! A fair bit of controversy has surrounded the reintroduction of it to the United States market in the summer of 2013, because the last time it saw US soil it was of a slightly different recipe. Formerly a “va-per”, which is a Virginia blended with Perique, it now consists of Virginia and dark-fired Kentucky leaf. The dark-fired Kentucky picks up where the Perique left off, adding some tang to the sweet Virginias. I know, you’re thinking “My question still hasn’t been answered. What’s the big deal about this tobacco?”

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Living up to the Hype

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Three Nuns is a truly great pipe tobacco. There’s no doubt about it. It is a solid blend of quality leaf, and may just make it’s way onto your “top-10” list, unless you’re of a very particular taste. However, as is the case with the pursuit of a mythical beast or the search for the fountain of youth, if your expectations are that you will grow a golden beard when you open the tin, and that after smoking it you will live forever, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll open the tin, and smell a wonderful hay-like aroma, but your facial hair will not be changed. You’ll smoke a bowl and experience the delicious deep, smoky flavors of the dark-fired Kentucky married sublimely with the sweetness of the Virginia tobacco, but you’ll age nonetheless. So, why is Three Nuns the Pipe Guys’ Pick for November? Because it’s a damn good pipe tobacco. And now, you can have the legendary Three Nuns for the unbeatable price of $10.90, now through Friday (11/8)! 

All of this Year's Picks

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