Sean, The Story Teller

Jul 30, 20193 min

Is Dunhill Pipe Tobacco Coming Back?

According to the press release published by Scandinavian Tobacco Group ("STG") on July 3, 2019, STG closed a deal in which they acquired certain premium pipe tobacco trademarks and designs from Dunhill Tobacco Company of London Limited that includes the trademarks for Early Morning Pipe, Nightcap, Royal Yacht and Elizabethan Mixture that were previously sold under the Dunhill brand. In the press release, STG states it will market the acquired trademarks as sub-brands to existing brands in the company’s portfolio and believes the acquisition will strengthen their product range in the premium pipe tobacco segment in important pipe tobacco markets such as the U.S., Germany and across Asia.

Since this information was published, there has been much speculation about which sub-brand(s) Dunhill blends will be sold under and whether Dunhill (tobacco blends) will be exactly the same as their originals. Pictures surfaced on the internet a few months ago showing Dunhill being marketed under the Robert McConnell brand, and, more recently, under the Peterson brand. Click here to see the information that is fueling the Peterson brand speculation. We have been unable to confirm whether or not the image shown in the link was produced and released by STG or if it's a clever PhotoShop job. The image cannot be found anywhere on STG's website or LinkedIn page, STG has not responded to inquiries regarding the image, and the only places it has appeared so far are in a thread on Reddit and as a JPG file at STG has only stated that it will market the Dunhill trademarks as "sub-brands to existing brands," which implies that more than one brand may be used, but they have not released information stating which brand(s) they will use.

As everyone knows by now, Scandinavian Tobacco Group purchased the rights to the entire premium pipe tobacco brand portfolio of Peterson Pipe Tobacco from Kapp & Peterson Limited in July 2018. However, while the Peterson brand may be a good candidate under which Dunhill could be marketed, no definitive information has been released by STG stating that either Robert McConnell or Peterson will be brands selected for marketing the Dunhill line.

As for whether or not Dunhill sold under a different brand name will be the same as the originals, consider that Orlik, a company under the STG umbrella, was the licensed manufacturer of Dunhill blends for British American Tobacco (BAT).

But, the real question is whether or not Scandinavian Tobacco Group will be manufacturing the actual Dunhill blends from the Dunhill recipes. Go back to the first paragraph of this post and you'll notice that I italicized the phrase "premium pipe tobacco trademarks and designs" in STG's press release. The press release doesn't say anything about STG acquiring the rights to the Dunhill blend recipes. Recipes are not able to be trademarked or patented unless the combination of the ingredients or the way in which they are processed produces something unique and unexpected. Recipes can be protected as "trade secrets" and the rights to recipes can be sold or freely shared. So, did STG acquire the rights to the Dunhill blend recipes? Again, no information has been forthcoming.

If ... and that's a big IFF at this point ... Scandinavian Tobacco Group has acquired the rights to the Dunhill blend recipes, then I would venture to say the Dunhill blends it manufactures and markets under one or more of its existing brands should be the same as the originals. However, if STG did not acquire the rights to the recipes, then it's likely we'll only see the production of new "match" blends. Unfortunately, the only way we will know is if STG publicly states they are using the actual Dunhill recipes or through strict comparison testing after the "Dunhill" blends are released.

In the event STG's "Dunhill" blends end up being new "match" blends that don't measure up to the originals, here are some alternatives you might consider trying:

Dunhill Dark Flake -- try Peter Stokkebye's Luxury Bullseye or Navy Flake, Samuel Gawith's St. James Flake, or G.L. Pease's Telegraph Hill or Triple Play

Dunhill De Luxe Navy Rolls -- try Escudo Navy DeLuxe

Dunhill Early Morning Pipe -- try G.L. Pease's Chelsea Morning, Wessex English Mixture, or John Cotton's Numbers 1 & 2

Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture -- try G.L. Pease's Stratford or Fillmore

Dunhill Flake -- try Capstan Gold or Capstan Blue

Dunhill My Mixture 965 -- try Samuel Gawith's Commonwealth or Squadron Leader, or Sutliff's Match 20

Dunhill Nightcap -- try Cornell & Diehl's Haunted Bookshop, Captain Earle's, or G.L. Pease's Quiet Nights

Dunhill Royal Yacht -- try Seattle Pipe Club's Plum Pudding, Cornell & Diehl's King Cake or Speakeasy Navy Blend, Germain's Plum Cake, or Rattray's Black Virginia or Wallace Flake

Dunhill Standard Mixture -- try Cornell & Diehl's Awakened Elder, G.L. Pease's Cairo or Embarcadero, Seattle Pipe Club's Hood Canal, or Sutliff's Crumble Kake

In the meantime, we'll post updates as we learn more about what STG has in store for the Dunhill blends.

Happy Piping!