During the Age of Discovery the first Swedish explorers travelled to North America. Arriving in Delaware in 1638, they rapidly established a permanent colony and began trading with the local inhabitants who were eager to barter items such as furs in exchange for goods from Sweden.
It soon became apparent that one of these locally produced items, tobacco, had great appeal in Europe. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Queen Kristina of Sweden appointed skilled craftsmen to refine the art of producing fine pipe tobacco for the Europe‘s nobility.
This tradition has been kept alive by Borkum Riff which has gained a well-deserved reputation for excellence among connoisseurs of pipe tobacco around the world.
The story of Borkum Riff starts at the beginning of the 1960’s when a pipe tobacco was launched on the Swedish market under the brand name of Borkum Riff.
Prior to 1960, the name ‘Borkum Riff‘ was only known as a lighthouse located at 53° 58‘ N, and 6° 22‘ E in the Helgoland Bay off the Dutch coast in the North Sea. This lighthouse was a landmark for seafaring men and was well-known to Swedish radio listeners, as weather reports mentioned Borkum Riff several times a day.
The tobacco launched in Sweden under the Borkum Riff name was a rough cut mixture of a blend of Virginia and Burley tobaccos. It got off to a slow start but sales increased gradually. However, it was not until the whiskey flavour was added that sales began to soar. Today, the Borkum Riff brand is the third largest on the Swedish market, after the leading Greve Hamilton and Caravelle. (...to be continued)
Prossimo articolo: The History of Borkum Riff - part II