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Showing posts with label virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label virginia. Show all posts

Friday, January 21, 2011

The different kinds of tobacco that comprise a blend

As the commercial goes, "What's in your blend?" Or was that wallet?

There are quite a few basic types of baccy leaf that are, well, blended into our much loved blends. Often a topping is added to, well, top the mixture. The combination of tobacco types and topping(s) (if any) are what gives each blend its own uniqueness.

Virginia tobacco has a natural sweetness due to its sugar content, but tends to give "tongue bite" due to its chemical composition and burn characteristics. Mostly VAs are mixed with other types to reduce the bite, yet retain the flavor. Virginia ages well, cellaring results in a smoother smoke, especially after many years of aging.

Another technique used to tame virginia is to "toast" or "cook" it (called stoving), this results in the type called Cavendish. While more mellow than VA, the taste tends to be sweeter.

Burley is probably the most used tobacco type. Many aromatic blends use burley as a base, mainly because burley tends to take of the flavor of whatever it is added to. While simple aromatic blends do not age too well (the toppings break down and go poof), burley and virginia blends do indeed age very well. Esoterica Tobacciana's Stonehaven for example, ahhh heaven, at any age.

Perique is a condiment type leaf, depending on what it is blended with and how much, perique can go from a scorching spiciness to a figgy sweetness. Escudo, of course, is the flagship of a VA/Perique blend.

Oriental leaf adds a herbal/salty/spicy taste, depending on the type used. Latakia is technically a kind of oriental tobacco, but is flavored by burning herbs to give it the unique barbeque smokiness making it a different animal.

Aromatics are generally classified as blends that have an added artificial flavor topping that completely overwhelms the true flavor of the base tobacco.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Escudo tin date codes

From my Escudo tin date thread on Puff:

Escudo date code left of barcode
On the left of the barcode on the backside of the tin, the series of number is:
YEAR DATE MONTH (and four digits of gibberish) this fine tin appears have been born on July 9th 2008.

The "old" Escudo tins were made by Copes, they have a white painted lid (not a sticker). Some still live on fleabay, so if you hit the lottery, pick one up. There are reports of date codes since 2001 versions. But if its a painted lid then you got something really old, regardless!

From my other Escudo thread on puff:
The "oldest" Escudo tin I have seen is the A&C Petersen made batches, apparently from 2006 onward.


Newer tin labels changed the wording from "Fine Tobacco" to "Pipe Tobacco" around 2009. By my guess, July 11th 2009 was among the last batches of ACP made Escudo tins. New production has a red dragon like logo and is made by Scandinavian Tobacco Group (also in Denmark). All bear the same date code formats.

Monday, January 17, 2011

How long should I wait before popping a tin?

The big brown truck pulls up, a muscular stud flings your latest TAD (Tobacco Acquisition Disorder) package across your lawn with reckless abandon. The fiend! Dosth thou not know how hard it so to get those tins of [insert name of rare/discontinued baccy here]?

So how long do you wait before popping the lids of all those ninety odd tins in your order? Personally, I like to give all blends, especially Virginia heavy blends, at least 6 months to "awaken". After 18 months, they start to "age". Purely aromatic blends, usually, do not benefit from aging, they simply go "flat". Latakia blends, also usually, may not benefit from aging in excess of 5 years.

There used to be a very good aging FAQ out on the Internet, but it seems to have disappeared. I'll try to post salient details and links to references on this blog as I find them.
 
 
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