The time had come to collect my thoughts, and render a review on a tobacco I smoke everyday. One would think that reviewing a tobacco you smoke everyday would be simple, but what can one really say about Prince Albert that hasn’t already been said?
Prince Albert is produced by John Middleton Co., which is currently owned by Altria Group. The Middleton tobacco company is the current driving force behind some of the most iconic American “OTC” (Over The Counter) classics, including Carter Hall, Walnut, Sugar Barrel, Kentucky Club, and of course – Prince Albert. Prince Albert was introduced in 1907 by R.J. Reynolds, and has been an icon of American tobacco ever since. It is purported online that Prince Albert was the original base tobacco for Camel cigarettes, but I have found no definitive evidence that points to this being true.
Prince Albert is, at its core, a simple burley blend. It is easy to smoke, tastes decent, and it doesn’t break the bank… all of which are traits generally endemic to American OTC’s. I find its flavor to be savory enough to keep me interested, uncomplicated enough to not get in the way of other thought processes, and soothing enough to bring a bit of relaxation to most any day. I find PA to be a pretty light blend, and as such, its flavor is colored by the vessel it’s smoked in. I favor smoking it in a well broken-in cob, which renders a nutty almost almond-like flavor on my palate.
One of my hardcore requirements for any tobacco, is that it not bite or react adversely to my body chemistry. Given that I am sensitive to propylene glycol, it can often be a challenge to find tobaccos that don’t set my tongue ablaze. Although Prince Albert does contain some PG for shelf-life, I don’t find it to be in a concentration that upsets me greatly. I find it to be a tad drier in a tub, as opposed to the pouch, and I’m currently smoking PA from a tub I opened about a month ago.
I don’t generally care about room note, as I smoke for my own amusement and not those around me, but my girlfriend does like the smell of Prince Albert. It would be fair to note, however, that she also enjoys the smell of a lot of cigars, and smokes cigars with me once in a while. Many describe PA as having the aroma of cigarette smoke, an assertion I bristle at, but I wouldn’t argue the point with individuals who don’t have a strong understanding of the differences between various forms of tobacco.
Over all, Prince Albert is what it is. It’s an American classic that has stood the test of time, it is a blend most pipe smokers are familiar with, and it finds as welcome a home in my pipe as it has for many generations of codgers before me.