Contest Announcement - Name the New Blend!

8th September, 2010: Posted by glpease in Tobacco, Product News

As mentioned in an item in the soon to be defunct News page a few days ago, a new blend in the Old London Series is being readied for release. We’re all hoping to have it out in time for introduction at the CORPS show in Richmond in October. Those who read the news item may recall that I’d mentioned a contest. I know I’m asking for trouble with this, but here it is.

First, a little about the blend. This one has somewhat less Latakia than Quiet Nights, though the inclusion of more orientals and a deep red virginia backbone gives it a dark and rich presence. I’d call it a medium latakia mixture, with a very classic taste profile and a wonderful aroma. It’s more earthy and savory than sweet, and the orientals provide a lingering, fragrant smoke. It’s not as heavy as Westminster, not as tangy as Chelsea Morning. I’d think of it as orbiting the same planet as Charing Cross or Kensington without being really like either of them. It’s a wonderful addition to the series. I’ve smoked this one at all times of the day, but it seems most ideal for afternoons. If I were to attach it to the weather, it would be a crisp autumn day.

Like Chelsea Morning, this one is produced from whole leaf that has been stripped, blended, pressed and mellowed in blocks. The blocks are then sliced and tumbled to ribbons. This way of blending is one of the characteristic features of the Old London Series. The tobaccos are given a chance to get to know one another before being cut, and being cut together provides a consistency that’s more difficult to achieve with tobaccos that are blended as ribbons. It’s the way a lot of the old, classic blending houses did it in years past.

On to the contest. This one doesn’t have a name, as you’ve probably figured out, and it needs one. The “Not Contest” for Quiet Nights was so much fun, at least for me, I figured I’d do something very slightly more formal for this one. And, of course, there are prizes!

Simple Rules

  1. The contest begins immediately, and will close on Sunday, 19th September, 2010, at 11:59PM. This gives me some time to make my selections and get the labels done.
  2. Only one entry per person. This means one name, in one comment, so give it some thought before you post.
  3. Your entry must have both the name, and a brief explanation of why you think it’s a good one. Don’t write a novel where a couple of sentences will do. Try to keep it under 50 words.
  4. Entries must be posted as comments to this article. If you email them to me, they won’t be considered. Yes, this means that everyone will see your entry, but this will help to eliminate duplicate entires.
  5. In case there is a duplicate, the first entry will take precedence, so read the previous entries first. This is also an encouragement to enter early, especially if you think you’ve got the killer name.
  6. The name must not be in use, nor have been in use by another company for a tobacco product.
  7. Winners will be selected by me at the contest’s end.

I think that’s it. I’ll judge the entries without mercy or malice based on several factors. (The following is meant to be light hearted, even a bit droll, so don’t take it too seriously.)

Consider the series (Old London), the names of the other blends in it, and the loose description of the blend written above. It doesn’t have to have a place associated with it, or a time, but the name should convey a feeling.

Obscure references are always fun, but if something is so obscure that you’re the only person on the globe who has any hope of knowing why it’s a good name, it’s probably not going to win. Sure, you can explain it with your entry, but that’s not ending up on the tin, so the rest of the world would remain clueless.

If the name is too long, or difficult to pronounce, it’s not likely to make the first cut. Welsh is lovely, but most of the world uses vowels somewhat less sparingly, so the consonant clusters would probably seem impenetrable to them. Sure, you could explain how to pronounce it … see the previous paragraph.

Short is sweet. A name that takes as long to say as it does to smoke a bowl probably isn’t a good idea. Instead of naming a blend Nightwatch, say, I decide to call it The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, the original title of Rembrandt’s well-known painting. The tobacco world would soon be ablaze with Monty Pythonesque dialogues. Imagine the following scene in your local tobacconist’s:

Tobacconist: “May I help you?”

Customer: “Hello, my good man. I would like to buy two tins of The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. Do you have any in stock?”

Tobacconist: “No, I’m sorry, sir, we’re fresh out of The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. We do have some Westminster, though.”

Customer: “Westminster is lovely, but I’m after something just a bit less robust, and I have been dying to try The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch since I read of its release in the Briar & Leaf Chronicles.”

Tobacconist: “How about Chelsea Morning? Or, Quiet Nights, perhaps? They’re also part of the Old London Series, and we’ve just got our delivery.”

Customer: “Well, I will have two Chelsea Mornings for now. Do you know when you’ll be receiving a suply of The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch?”

Tobacconist: “I just called the distributor this morning asking about our order of The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. Apparently, it is currently out of stock. It’s been quite popular, and many people have been asking for it…”

The name should have some presence to it, and be easy to remember. Aardvark’s Holiday isn’t going to make the cut. (Yes, I’ve clearly gone completely mental. Now, it’s your turn.) And, it should be in good taste. I’m just sayin’.

The Prizes - Four Winners

  1. First prize - Two tins of the new blend, plus one each of Chelsea Morning and Quiet Nights, not to mention fame and immortality. The guy who named Maltese Falcon is still all gushy over that.
  2. Second prize - One tin each of the new blend, Chelsea Morning and Quiet Nights.
  3. Third prize - Two tins of the new blend.
  4. Fourth prize - One tin of the new blend.

Most importantly, have some fun with it, but not too much. I look forward to reading the entries.