Some entertainers win Oscar’s, Grammy’s, and Emmy’s. Some athletes dominate fields, courts, and diamonds. And some legends hit the holy trinity of pipes, tobacco, and accessories. Enter Rattray’s, a company of Scottish origin with 100 years of business in the bank. You know them in one way or another. Maybe you’ve spent years treasuring one of Rattray’s briar, Meerschaum, or morta pipes. Maybe you’ve closed out many a day with tobacco blends like Black Mallory, Accountant’s Mixture, Bagpiper’s Dream, or Red Rapparee. Or, perhaps you pull a bowl of ribbon cut from the fine leatherwork of one of Rattray’s pouches, tamp down your bowl with one of their fine tamps, and fire up your pipe with one of their sleek lighters. Any way you cut it, if you know pipes and tobacco, you know Rattray’s.
The legacy begins with the patriarch, Charles Rattray, born in 1880. What were you doing at the age of twenty-three? Charles Rattray was making moves. From the thriving tobacco industry of Dundee, Scotland, Charles Rattray didn’t just dip a toe into the industry, he went all in—in 1903, Rattray opened his own shop, The House of Rattray, in Perth.
An elegant street-facing Old-World storefront with living quarters above the primary floor, the antique signage proclaimed Rattray’s principal endeavor—"Tobacco Blender.” While Charles Rattray was principally a blender of fine tobacco and wasn’t a pipemaker himself, he recognized the business opportunity for selling pipes alongside his custom blends. Forging partnerships with English makers, Rattray offered private label pipes under the Rattray name.
Here the story dovetails. While Rattray operated The House of Rattray in Perth, another entrepreneur and his family nine hundred miles away in Germany was developing fine leather goods. This legacy would ultimately preside over the acquisition of Rattray’s and would shape pipe history.
The name of the patriarch was Martin Weiss. A master craftsman, Weiss produced cigar cases and custom leather cases for prestigious clockmakers. Weiss was joined by his two children and his daughters’ husband, Friedrich Kopp. By the late 1930s, business was booming, and Weiss had employed over 100 people. But with the advent and decimation of WWII, which included the almost total destruction of the company’s facility by a bomb, the company’s future was in severe distress. While the Weiss family survived the war, further tragedy struck in its aftermath: Martin Weiss passed away in 1947, and his son shortly after.
Despite the passing of their patriarch, the resilience of the Weiss family lived on through the “women and widows” who helped to rebuild the company. Bernd Kopp, Martin Weiss’ grandson, who had lost his mother to tuberculosis and his father in the war, initially resisted involvement in the family company and spent time at sea. However, just like Charles Rattray got his start early, Bernd Kopp returned to steward his family’s company. Shifting focus from clocks, Bernd Kopp expanded the product line to include pipe bags and tobacco pouches. Rebuilding requires skill, strategy, grit, and patience, and Kopp began the rejuvenation of his family’s legacy with passion and appetite.
1971 brought a season of significant change for Bernd Kopp and his company, including mergers. Founding Otto & Kopp with Lothar Otto, the new partners began importing pipes, culminating in an additional partnership with Michael Kohlhase. In the tradition set out four generations before, Bernd’s sons, Oliver & Theo, joined the company in leadership roles in the late 1990s.
Rattray and Kopp. Two groundbreaking companies who demonstrated an astonishing valiancy through trial and tribulation. Though the date is not public knowledge, Rattray’s blending and branding prowess was ultimately acquired by Kohlhase & Kopp, who had emerged as one of Europe’s leading suppliers of pipes. With two hundred and seventy employees, Kohlhase & Kopp remains “in the family” and is run to this day by Oliver & Theo Kopp. Rattray’s pipes are now made in St. Claude, France and Italy, while their Meerschaum pipes are crafted in Turkey. Beyond the excellence of their pipes, Kopp has preserved Rattray’s initial excellence in tobacco blending. Rounding out these core offerings, Rattray’s also offers desirable pipe accessories.
The Old Gowrie 11 is a well-balanced Zulu shape with a beautifully sandblasted briar bowl and an acrylic stem emblazoned with the Rattray’s Celtic knot. A rich charcoal color, the Old Gowrie affords a comfortable grip around the bowl & shank for a supremely pleasurable smoking experience. Shop the Old Gowrie 11
Carry your own gavel with Rattray’s The Judge. A sandblasted poker, The Judge features a briar bowl and a wide acrylic stem embellished with a Celtic trinity knot and an attractive aluminum band. At the base of this fine pipe, a laser imprint of Lady Justice adds an exceptional hidden detail. For a pipe with gravitas, look no further than The Judge. Shop The Judge
With sleek curves and a soothing deep walnut stain, The Icebreaker is an excellent addition to a pipe aficionados’ collection. The bent panel shape affords a sturdy grip and the silver detail culminating in an acrylic fishtail bit add a perfect shining counterbalance to the elongated shank and bowl. A statement pipe without going overboard, this fine briar offers the perfect mix of aesthetics and excellence you desire in a smoking instrument.Shop The Icebreaker
In addition to their fine briar and morta pipes, Rattray’s offers a wide array of beautifully crafted Meerschaum pipes. Made in Turkey, this billiard offers that desirable smooth bowl finish with a cosmic acrylic straight stem adorned with the Rattray’s Celtic trinity knot. Every pipe collector needs a Meerschaum, or several, and Rattray’s superb craftsmanship paired with the counterbalanced elegant stem make this model a supremely desirable pipe. Shop the Meerschaum Tobacco Pipe
For a gentleman’s pocket pipe, meet The Polly. Finished with a contrast stain that brings out the deep beauty in the slim briar bowl, The Polly is a discrete and dashing smoking instrument with a fishtail vulcanite bit bearing Rattray’s Celtic trinity knot. For added carrying ease, the stem can be turned around to mirror the angle of the round bowl and slip easily into a blazer pocket.Shop The Polly
Rattray’s refined lines are formidable, and The Blower’s Daughter exhibits that skill in spades. With a calabash shape and a fishtail acrylic stem, The Blower’s Daughter offers a beautifully balanced pipe in a sharp natural stain. Bearing the Rattray’s Celtic trinity knot on the stem, The Blower’s Daughter is perfectly crafted and provides years of smoking pleasure. Shop The Blower's Daughter - Natural
Long before Kohlhase & Kopp acquired Rattray’s and pipes became a premium product for the company, Charles Rattray had mastered the art of pipe blending. Lucky for pipe smokers everywhere, Kopp has continued to carry on that tradition with highly regarded blends.
Black Mallory is a robust and nuanced English blend expertly composed from Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental, and Virginia tobaccos. A comforting and smooth smoke with a very light sweetness and a full oaky flavor, Black Mallory has become a standby for many seasoned pipe smokers. Mid-strength with a moderate nicotine level, try out this ribbon cut in 1.75 or 3.53 ounce tins, or spring for a full 17.5 ounce bag. Shop Black Mallory
When it comes to Perique & Virginia blends, Marlin Flake is a grand slam. Prepare for a rich and savory bowl with hints of toast and fruit that also provide a pleasant room note. A perfect “anytime” tobacco, Marlin Flake is available in several tin sizes, as well as by the bag. Shop Marlin Flake
For the smoothest ribbon cut aromatic on the block, fill your pipe with Bagpiper’s Dream. This cognac flavored tobacco is composed of Cavendish and Virginia and delivers a very pleasant tin note. Reviewers reference hints of toffee with the cognac that culminate in a complex smoke with little bite. Elevate your smoking experience with this desirable aromatic—not only a bagpiper’s but a pipe smoker’s dream! Shop Bagpiper’s Dream
Just like everyone needs a good accountant, every pipe smoker should try Rattray’s Accountant’s Mixture. Straight from the 3.5 oz tin, the delicious aroma of the expertly blended Cavendish, Latakia, and Virginia tobaccos will have you ready to get down to business for an evening of pleasure or a day at the desk. Try this classic mixture and experience why Rattray’s tobacco blends are standards in the discerning pipe smoker’s rotation. Shop Accountant’s Mixture
Completing the trinity of Rattray’s product offerings are a range of highly desirable tobacco accesories to enhance your smoking experience. From elegant tamps to sleek lighters to sturdy pipe stands, Rattray’s ensures that every hour with your pipe is supplemented for maximal enjoyment.
Every good bowl deserves a good lighter. Calling on the superior manufacturing craftsmanship of Corona lighters, the Rattray Old Boy Pipe Lighter is made in Japan and bears the elegant Rattray’s logo. Sleek, shimmering, and topped with elegant mechanics, light your smoke of choice in style with the Old Boy Pipe Lighter. Shop Rattray’s Old Boy Pipe Lighter
Functional, stylish, and sophisticated, the Little Jack Tamper is the cane sword of pipe tampers. A chrome plated cream barrel holds a thin pipe tool perfect for tending to all aspects of your pipe. Complement your smoking experience with this fine addition; you’ll be well-cared for. Shop The Little Jack Tamper
A smoking table needs an ashtray, a good beverage, and a sturdy instrument to hold your pipe. Never worry about tipping over your pipe to take a phone call, reach for a book, or type an email again. Made from beautifully burnished brass, the Rattray’s Pipe Stand makes for an attractive modern set piece to your smoking area. Shop the Rattray’s Pipe Stand – Brass
Crafted from soft cowhide, Rattray’s Roll Up Pouch is a beautiful accessory designed for compact passage for your favorite tobacco. Embossed with the Rattray’s logo and featuring the Rattray’s Celtic trinity knot, this statement accessory is sure to draw eyes in your local smoking lounge. Just be sure to be a gentleman and share your bounty. Shop the Rattray’s Roll Up Pouch
Rattray’s - Enhance your Smoking Experience
Sophisticated pipe smokers know Rattray’s and know them well. From the refinement of their briar, Meerschaum, and morta pipes to the blended excellence of their tobaccos to the complementary accessories that enhance your smoking experience, Rattray’s is a storied standby with a rich catalog you won’t soon exhaust.