It’s always intrigued me that Einstein favored the pipe tobacco called Revelation. One might call it a coincidence, but since pipe smoking is often connected to contemplative moments of deep thought and inspiration, there just could be a subtle satisfaction in drawing one’s wisdom through a bowl of a blend whose name was chosen by men of like minds. After all, Half and Half aficionado President Gerald Ford was more inclined to bum tobacco from anyone he stumbled upon, and Mixture 79 fan Hugh Hefner wasn’t known for smoking Three Nuns (in a manner of speaking). So at the risk of organizing random chance into a theory of relativity, I revisited the legendary favorites of a few famed puffers.
Rotund actor William Conrad only smoked Amphora Red Full Aroma. Author J.R.R. Tolkien, famed for his adventurous questing trilogy, had a great fondness for the taste of Player and Capstan Navy Cut tobaccos. Brain addled occultist and imbiber Aleister Crowley ritualistically chose a heady straight Perique soaked in rum. French patriot and philosopher Jean Paul Sartre may well have relived his military apprenticeship by ranking Caporal among his favorites, and the Académie Royale award winning Belgian novelist Georges Simenon, admittedly an avid sea voyager, could not be drawn away from his Dunhill Royal Yacht.
Conversely, many of us gravitate toward blends that not only suit the physical taste, but satisfy an inner need to align oneself to admired icons of popular culture. Especially poignant examples would be Bing Crosby and Edward G. Robinson. Crosby garnered a reputation for endorsing whatever product paid him the most. But as he was tied to his peculiar personal deertongue blend, his local blender eventually managed to make it available to the general public. Indeed, the style of his favorite pipe was also commandeered for sale. So now we can appreciate a much fuller experience beyond the products themselves. To this day Cornell and Diehl’s aptly named Crooner blend and Savinelli’s Bing’s Favorite pipe continue to be mainstays of nostalgic fans. And of course, a similar situation evolved into today’s often overlooked but equally engaging Edward G. Robinson’s Pipe Blend, still distributed by Sutliff.
I suppose a popular smoking parlor game would be to assign fictitious relationships in similar fashion. Did Rembrandt pass out Dutch Masters cigars to his cronies sitting around the table to celebrate Sigaar Feestelijk? Is Sylvester Stallone out there somewhere secretly loading his first bowl of Cult Blood Red Moon into his Peterson Rocky? And as Sherlock Holmes remains alive and well, he should most certainly be enjoying a large bowl of Solani X Sweet Mystery as packed into his shiny new Butz-Choquin Calabash!