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Showing posts with label escudo navy deluxe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label escudo navy deluxe. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Short term storage vs cellaring tobacco

Cellaring your tobacco collection is pretty simple. Mason jars, or factory sealed tins. Done.

But what about short-term storage of your baccy once you pop the seal after aging it to perfection all those years? If you had it stored in a mason jar, viola, just put the cap back - and open as needed until the contents of the jar are exhausted (or you are exhausted, whichever comes first).

Tins on the other hand, are a different animal. Several different animals really. Round screw on tins like Escudo are pretty good for re-closing. Even though the seal has been popped, you can still keep baccy fresh (while using it) for several weeks - simply by screwing the cap back on tightly. Care must be taken when popping the seal - use a dime or similar sized coin to ease the seal apart (giving the POP). Don't hammer the lid off and bend it, or it will not close back tightly again.

The GL Pease and C&D tins, with the pull off caps, will never seal air-tight with the supplied plastic "hat". Ditto with the rectangular/square tins such as Samuel Gawith. Both these kinds require a little ingenuity, and this idea comes from Greg Pease's posting somewhere, sometime ago.

Take regular kitchen aluminum foil. Tear off a piece that is much more than twice the opening of the tin you have popped. Yes, new foil only. Don't be cheap and try to reuse the foil from roasting your turkey. Fold the foil in half, so now you have a 2-ply sheet that is larger than the opening of the tin. Place this double layer of foil over the open tin, about centered so there is an even amount of slack all around. Take the lid, and jam it on (without tearing the foil). Magic, you just resealed the tin! This can last several weeks while you burn the contents of the tin. Note that each time you open/close this foil seal, you do weaken the foil, and it will become lesser and lesser efficient in locking in your baccy freshness.

Personally I also throw the whole tin into a suitable sized ziplock baggie (genuine ziplock only!) and zipper it shut. It may help keeping moisture from seeping in/out. Ziplocks by themselves are only good for keeping baccy fresh for a few days. But doubled with the foil ploy described above, I have retained opened tins for nearly a year this way without too much drying out occurring. An additional benefit of the ziplock is to protect the tin contents from an accidental "oops, I dropped it". Rather than have to sweep the contents of the tin off the floor (and smoking it anyways) - everything will be neatly collected within the retaining ziplock baggie. Now you can see why I often have twenty or more open tins at any given time!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Long term tin cellaring issues

Factory sealed tins, usually, are perfect for cellaring as-is. However, three bad things could happen to tins during long term storage. The tin seal could get compromised, and thus result in dried out baccy after years of patient cellaring. Or the tin could catch rust and disentigrate, with the same dried out baccy results. Or the baccy inside could "over-ferment" and make the tin swell to the point of exploding. These bulging tins should be opened (carefully!) immediately and the contents, if not spoiled, transferred to a mason jar to resume their cellaring nap; or consumed expeditiously.

Different kinds of tin seals can be tested in different ways. Square/rectangular tins like Samuel Gawith stock are easy to check. They are basically held together by the vacuum of the seal, when compromised the lid just falls off. A light tug on the lid will quickly reassure the cellaree about the status of its seal. Round pop-off tins such as GL Pease's stock are much stronger in maintaining their sealed state - and it is easier to eyeball the pull-off cap to see if any gaps have opened in the seal/rim. Round screw on tins such as Escudo have probably the sturdiest seals. The only real damage these round tins can suffer is from blunt force impact (typical in snail mail shipping) that could deform the tin shape and pop the seal. Undamaged round tins such as these can also be re-sealed by hand closure during content consumption, remarkable technology.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who (really) makes your favorite blend?

So who makes that blend you love so much?

Ah, the name on the label may not tell the whole story. Let us take a look at our friends at Villiger Stokkebye International. Villiger brand tins and Peter Stokkebye bulk blends? Oh yes of course, and ...
Orlik
W.O. Larsen
Stanwell
Erinmore
Escudo
Balkan Sasieni
Skandinavik
Sail
Troost

Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself!

But wait, hold the presses. Check out the site for Scandinavian Tobacco Group (the name on your Escudo tin). The same names, and even more brands! I assume this is the parent company to Peter Stokkebye. But who actually MAKES the product? Your guess is as good as mine!

And more breaking news. On their homepage, the news release states:
"14 January 2011 - Scandinavian Tobacco Group A/S signs agreement to acquire Lane, Limited, which strengthens its US market position and global leadership."

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.
 
 
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