Rose scented maccoboy dry snuff.
George Washington Helme was born May 18, 1822 in Kingston, Pa. George quit school at the age of 16 and went to work as a clerk for Asa Packer who was a wealthy contractor. In 1851 he moved to Shreveport, Louisiana and became a member of the Louisiana Bar. By 1852 he opened up a law office. In 1858 he would marry Margaret Appleby whose father was Leonard Appleby from Spotswood, New Jersey. Leonard established the Railroad Mill in 1825. This tobacco mill is thought to be one of the earliest snuff mills in the country at that time.
In 1866 George Helme partner with his brother in law Jacob Appleby involving the Railroad Mill property. By 1872 George was the sole owner. He would continue running the Railroad Mill until the late 1880s. George would purchase the property between Jamesburg and Spotswood which today is the city of Helmetta. This is where he would have a new Snuff Mill built along with 105 homes for his workers. He named the town after his family surname (Helme) and his daughter Antoinetta ('etta").
On June 13 1893 George would pass away of a heart attack. Over 1500 people attended his funeral.
It was reported in the Jamesburg Record Newspaper that George was the second wealthiest man in New Jersey.
February 1900 the American Snuff purchased the George W. Helme Company. In May 1900 the George W. Helme Company was dissolved but still continued under the name George W. Helme Company.
George's son George A. Helme became president of the company. The last Helme to serve as a director of the company was George A. son James B. Helme who died in 1956. In 1986 the company was purchased by the American Maize Products. The Mill continued until 1993.
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This is a hard one to describe. It's slightly smoky, but not anywhere near say, Square or Rooster. It's a paler khaki color, and has a characteristic Swisher tobacco base smell and taste. There's a slight hint of sweetness, but nothing like a Sweet Scotch. What sets Railroad Mills apart from most others is: the NICOTINE! This snuff is loaded with nicotine. According to the old IARC Monograph from 1989 and a study by Dr. Brad Rodu, this is one of the strongest snuffs along with Starr and Bruton and I can vouch for that - even though they're old studies, they still ring true. This is NOT something for novices. I'd say the smell and taste really reminds me of Swisher's Little Cigars without the sweetness, and really deeply fermented tobacco. The more I use it the more the fermented aspect comes through quite a bit. I can't really pinpoint what exactly it is that it reminds me of, other than that. Maybe Navy Plain is the most similar to this, but I have an older can and a lot of the smoke (if any) is lost. If it's nicotine you're after, hunt this down along with Starr and Bruton. You won't regret it.
This, I feel, bridges the gap between the dry nasal snuff to the transition to moister Swedish-style snuff (think original Copenhagen) It's easily pinchable and stays together in the lip very well, Maccoboy snuffs were intended originally for oral use (Altho this is much later a Helme calendar states all their snuff was for oral use in the instruction guide). It does stay together much better in the lip than every other American dry snuff I've had, sans Swisher's Railroad Mills Checkerberry.
Although it says rose scented, old Maccoboy recipes I have seen call for rosewood, which seems to be apparent here, as well as a boozy element. Boozy rosewood with a good dark fired base is the best way I could describe it. It is a very coarse grind and 100% American tobacco, and packs a potent buzz nasally. In fact it may be one of the strongest snuffs out there. It also has a high moisture content - after looking at the old IARC monograph from 1989, the RR Maccoboy has around 41% moisture content, making it very close to if not really a moist snuff in disguise - in fact on the study, it is considered to be, and you can see it is MUCH more than pretty much any other USA dry snuff.
This and Checkerberry are the only two semi-moist non Scotch snuffs still produced by Swisher. Back when they were Helme there also was a Lorillard Maccoboy but it has long been discontinued (maybe in the 90s). Be thankful this snuff is still being produced, I know I am!
This is a very fluffy moist medium grind tobacco with a decent nic hit. It’s very tobacco smelling like a nice cigar , a little sweet. The rose scent is almost non existent extremely subtle. Good snuff if you like tobacco scents . If your looking for a decent rose scent… pass this up. Worth trying though!
Lovely scent of sweet rose water. The base flour is nice as well: a pleasant little sting to compliment the sweetness. For comparison, I've also tried Toque Rose (also an excellent selection, btw!), which is less sweet and heavier in the floral punch. Toque's base flour grind is silkier than this and slightly easier to take. But having tried both, this one is my favorite!
It does have a good nicotine hit and all but it just smells horrible. It really reminds me of being in a dusty attic.