Are C&D Bulks Not As Good?

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carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
I just took a browse through SP's yesterday and added a whole bunch of bulk blends to my wish list that I wanted to try. I searched for tobaccos that were both medium to very strong in taste and strength. I was surprised to say that by only looking at the type of tobacco, strength, and taste as well as the occasional room note, that 90% of the tobaccos I added were from C&D. That got me thinking.
I see a lot of people talking about this GLP, G&H or Rattray's release and never actually see many people talk about C&D and their bulk availability. I see discussions on tinned varieties from time to time, but not much about their bulks. The main reason I'm getting into this is because, outside of a few other blends I really like, I'm going to start trialing my way through 1 ounce samplers of all the C&D products I added to my wish list yesterday, with the greatest intention of cellaring the ones I like best as a means of beating back the bug that drives me to search out the really good, yet very hard to get blends. I see no reason that a lot of the C&D blends can't be as good as some of the other hard to find products, and I think I'll be happier knowing that I can get my bulks any time I want instead of hanging on to the edge of my keyboard when something finally lands that I have been wanting.
So how about it? Does anyone think that the C&D blends are not as good as so many others that we beat one another to when drops land? Is it just a rarity or scarcity thing? Really just curious as to what others think. I do have to say, that G&H Rum Twist WAS mighty tasty.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,244
1
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Your strategy is a smart one.

 

blackadderlxx

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2018
364
0
Some folks say their tobacco is lower grade. I'm sure part of it is the fact that a good percentage of their catalog is aromatic and that's not usually the tasty stuff. Then there's the mold stuff they went through.
I don't know about all that but I can say that I have yet to find a C&D Virginia forward blend that I like. I'm not really a fan of American aromatics so half of their catalog is of no interest there. But my favorite English blends are GLP blends and I love Habana Daydream and Billy Budd.
All that to say that I don't dismiss them, but there's other blends out there that I prefer.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,043
51
Lexington, KY
I think some of it is the thrill of the chase, absolutely.
But I own several pounds of C&D bulks, and am continuing to get more. The real deterrent for me, and probably for others as well, is that there's just such a huge offering from C&D (101 bulk blends at SP). This makes it hard to sample your way through the catalog. I smoked a lot of 1 oz samples of stuff before settling on basically four C&D blends that I really like and cellar deeply.
I'm willing to bet that if (heaven forbid) C&D ever became scarce like some other guys, within a few years people would be waxing rhapsodic about Old Joe Krantz the way they do about Balkan Sobranie and Penzance now.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
I don't know about all that but I can say that I have yet to find a C&D Virginia forward blend that I like.
Okay, so I guess to check a few boxes, have you tried any of the following and what say you about them:
Bayou Morning

Derringer

Oriental Silk

Exclusive

Orion's Arrow

Yorktown
Those all look like pretty interesting VA blends that I have added to my list.
I think some of it is the thrill of the chase, absolutely.
But I own several pounds of C&D bulks, and am continuing to get more. The real deterrent for me, and probably for others as well, is that there's just such a huge offering from C&D (101 bulk blends at SP). This makes it hard to sample your way through the catalog. I smoked a lot of 1 oz samples of stuff before settling on basically four C&D blends that I really like and cellar deeply.
I'm willing to bet that if (heaven forbid) C&D ever became scarce like some other guys, within a few years people would be waxing rhapsodic about Old Joe Krantz the way they do about Balkan Sobranie and Penzance now.
That's exactly what I mean, Hap. And yeah, they have a lot to offer, but I'm going to enjoy going through a lot of them to find what I want and think will cellar well and something I can buy and enjoy smoking on should the apocalypse rain down on us one day. Then, I can pick up those rare birds once in a while when they hit knowing I'm comfortable in my cellar with or without it.

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,185
26
I smoke mostly C&D burley, the strong stuff. I've always bought the C&D bulks and have been pleased. I love Haunted Bookshop and have bought it in bulk for many years. Back in August I bought an 8oz tin because I read on the forums that the C&D tins are better then the bulk. Their right, I enjoyed the tin better then the bulk. It wasn't as harsh from the tin. I'm now curious and when I have to reorder some of my C&D bulks I'll reorder the tins. I'm curious to see if others have had the same experience.

 

rdavid

Preferred Member
Jun 30, 2018
654
0
Milton, FL
I'll be happier knowing that I can get my bulks any time I want instead of hanging on to the edge of my keyboard when something finally lands that I have wanting.
Yes^^^ For sure.
I got caught up yesterday and ordered a bunch of Rattray, Wessex and even a couple of tins of Esoterica so I know exactly what your talking about. Still being new, I'm obsessed with trying everything I can so my cellar is 100 miles wide and 1 inch deep.
I understand the draw towards hard to get, top tier quality blends but the aggravation is not worth it. I've never had anything bad (to me) from G.L. Pease or C&D so I'm thinking about concentrating on those easier to get blends myself. I'm going to start with a tin each of G.L. Pease, smoke through the whole tin before I decide and hopefully nail down 4 or 5 favorites so I can start adding depth to my cellar. Then, like you, I'll start the C&D tour, tins and bulks.
ODF and Quiet Nights firmly in place on my favorites and going deep on those already.
Of course, I'll continue to purchase the premium blends too if I'm in the right place at the right time and at the right prices. Not sure of the "gotta have it" mentality and I definitely feel myself falling victim and have to make a conscious effort to back off. Saw somebody recently paid $140 for 8 oz. bag of Penzance... F that. Maybe I'll be rich in my next life.
Keep us posted CCW. Be interested to hear your results.

 

3rdguy

Preferred Member
Aug 29, 2017
1,432
35
Midwest
I love burley and C&D blends some of my favorites. Two of my favorites from them come in bulk so that is a fortunate aspect as well.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,889
79
C&D blends were discussed more when I first joined here. Mostly, the raucous was over their Virginias and "why do they suck so bad?" Now, I think when we know the guys blending it and selling it are as actively watching the forum as they have been doing these last few years, we aren't as quick to take aim and fire.

We did have a few forum members where constantly singing the praises of C&D's burley blends, which are remarkable. I am not sure anyone does burleys as well as they. But, then these guys got themselves banned, ha ha.
But, after taking a break from really good Virginias cough cough:: McClellands ::cough cough and getting into curing my own Virginias, I have a healthier respect for C&Ds Virginias. But, I'll have to admit, knowing that the company is watching the forum, makes me feel less inclined to say anything about them publicly. They are good peoples, and it just feels rude. Plus, the way they handled the mold issues a while back weirded me out.
Like I won't discuss anything about smokingpipes, knowing they have eyes on everything we do. P&C seems different. Russ, having met him several times, and truly knowing that he makes some of the best blends and is a super great guy, able to be humble and truly nice, makes it easier to talk about.
But, I think that one of the main reasons that people get put off by C&D blends is that, for all of the bolster and bullshit concerning preferring less casings and additive crap, these self-same morons don't actually like tobaccos with less of that crap. It is a better tobacco product left virtually free of additives and casing on most of their blends. It does take some getting used to, but all in all, I think it is just that outside of the casings and additive free bolstering that guys do, they wouldn't realize quality and additive free tobaccos from a hole in the ground. They can go on smoking their over processed chemical laden blends, telling themselves that they are smoking pure tobacco, which is ludicrous. Then, when they taste a C&D pure tobacco or a D&R blend, they are like... tastes like cigarettes or dry, or blah blah blah...

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,889
79
One of the things that I really appreciate about C&D is that they aren't afraid of strength in flavor and nicotine. I have yet to understand why some of the US tobacco companies seem so timid on these aspects.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
But, I think that one of the main reasons that people get put off by C&D blends is that, for all of the bolster and bullshit concerning preferring less casings and additive crap, these self-same morons don't actually like tobaccos with less of that crap. It is a better tobacco product left virtually free of additives and casing on most of their blends. It does take some getting used to, but all in all, I think it is just that outside of the casings and additive free bolstering that guys do, they wouldn't realize quality and additive free tobaccos from a hole in the ground. They can go on smoking their over processed chemical laden blends, telling themselves that they are smoking pure tobacco, which is ludicrous. Then, when they taste a C&D pure tobacco or a D&R blend, they are like... tastes like cigarettes or dry, or blah blah blah...
You hit the nail on the head for me. This is why I really have enjoyed the C&D blends. Their aromatics are not heavily cased or over topped with anything and for me, that's a plus. I enjoy tasting and smelling the aroma of the tobaccos used for the aromatic structure and not using toppings to the extreme to achieve this result. I have not tried any of their burley blends, but they're also on my list.
One of the things that I really appreciate about C&D is that they aren't afraid of strength in flavor and nicotine. I have yet to understand why some of the US tobacco companies seem so timid on these aspects.
I enjoy everything with more flavor, the stronger the better. It's the reason I prefer porters and stouts to pilsner beers. I like bold and flavorful things and like you also said, I like for them to be strong. Not overpowering, but I want to know I'm smoking something with a little kick. I mean, Carter Hall is a good smoke, but it doesn't have the same punch like many of the other burley forward blends like I've seen in C&D's blends.
All of this is reason enough for me to stick with them and give a lot of their blends a good, solid shot at being a part of my cellar. Also, they're not really expensive and have the availability for me to buy it when I want instead of having to search high and low or wait forever for it to hit the market.

 

scloyd

Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
1,760
21
Matt(CCW), I have C&D samples from the Chicago Pipe show I'll send you if you want them. PM me if you're interested.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
I understand the draw towards hard to get, top tier quality blends but the aggravation is not worth it. I've never had anything bad (to me) from G.L. Pease or C&D so I'm thinking about concentrating on those easier to get blends myself. I'm going to start with a tin each of G.L. Pease, smoke through the whole tin before I decide and hopefully nail down 4 or 5 favorites so I can start adding depth to my cellar. Then, like you, I'll start the C&D tour, tins and bulks.
Yep, exactly! I mean, once I have my favorites safely in hand and stored, I will still seek out the other really good and hard to get tobaccos, but they won't likely be things I cellar. Just things I would want for a change up, or to smoke up once I get. Doubt I'll worry too much in the future for any Esoterica blends. I mean, they're nice, but for all the aggravation it takes to get it, it's just not worth it in my opinion. $140 for Esoterica is not worth it to me, but for others I'm sure it is. Just my take.

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
629
44
I've found what (I believe it was Russ) said about bulk vs. tins to be true: tins are better for the first week or so after opening them, but then they "degrade" (for lack of a better term) to the level of bulks. Probably just the result of exposure to air. That said, I find bulks to be perfectly satisfactory, and I buy them over tins when bulk is available. It usually takes me at least a month to smoke a tin because I more around a lot among the blends I smoke, so the small window of excellence is not really worth the premium price to me. The "degradation" after the tin is open for a week or so is generally just a mellowing of the flavor characteristics anyhow. It's not like the tobacco changes drastically.

 

saltedplug

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2016
1,912
2
I think the larger question is if bulks in general hold up to tinned. While bulk is attractive as economical, as the blender saves packaging costs, tobacco does lose both moisture and volatile essence in this packaging, or at least that's what the big guys claim. Myself, I never met a volatile essence. Now when I was young in the addiction, aging was very much discussed, and through what I learned and my reasoning I became of the opinion that anaerobic aging was best. But a decade later I question whether I would taste the difference. Probably not. So if bulk packaging does lessen tobacco quality, I also doubt I would find a difference, and the tobacco that I smoked the most was bulk, and in this I had no complaint.
But I thin there is a difference between C&D bulk and Pease canisters that goes beyond packaging. Frankly, I think C&D is willing to release tobaccos with nowhere near the level of sophistication as Pease's tobaccos.; he sweats the details. To me his 8 oz canisters were always the best buy, combining a price break along with high quality. But could I taste the difference? No.
So if I were buying tobacco today I would buy C&D bulk.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,043
51
Lexington, KY
+1 Salt. I'm instantly leery of people with a vested interest telling me I'm better off paying a premium on something that should theoretically be near identical.
My main reason for buying tins is that some blends I like don't come in bulk, some give me pleasure (utility) in opening the tin (like Mac Baren flakes), and some I expect to send to other people or possibly sell at some point. Otherwise, I'm a bulk guy, and my cellar is probably two-thirds bulk to one-third tinned.

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
My main reason for buying tins is that some blends I like don't come in bulk, some give me pleasure (utility) in opening the tin (like Mac Baren flakes), and some I expect to send to other people or possibly sell at some point. Otherwise, I'm a bulk guy, and my cellar is probably two-thirds bulk to one-third tinned.
I agree with you on the fact that some don't come as bulk. I love Black Frigate, but it doesn't come in bulk, at least not anymore. So for something I truly enjoy and can't get in a bulk format, I'm down for buying the tins. That is to say I still have a limit to how much I am willing to spend on a tin. A C&D tin is mostly what? $10 on average from SP's? So those I could see buying easily and more of than say, $20 or $30 tins and feel good about it. Although a tin here or there in a higher price point is not out of the question, it just won't be cellared deep. The packaging is where it gets you.
You've made me also think about how these tobaccos are stored in the long term from our chosen shop. How does SP's store the bulk products they have on hand? If we buy a tin of say Bayou Morning and a pound in bulk, were they both delivered to SP's warehouse at the same time? Hrmm, this could be another topic entirely on it's own.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,889
79
If we buy a tin of say Bayou Morning and a pound in bulk, were they both delivered to SP's warehouse at the same time?
What does it matter? What about the years that tobacco set bone dry in a barn before it got to C&D?

 

carolinachurchwarden

Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
1,682
0
Raleigh, NC
What does it matter? What about the years that tobacco set bone dry in a barn before it got to C&D?
This is very true. So basically any idea behind "freshness" is pretty much a moot point. If this is the case, then it doesn't seem to me that there really isn't much of a difference between the tinned versus bulk at all.
Some people I have seen talk about the tobacco being too dry once opened on a tin once in a while, but unless you really like smoking moist tobacco, that doesn't seem like a problem to me. I dry mine to almost crispy anyways (and sometimes accidentally beyond) so it doesn't seem like that would pose an issue for me. Does the tobacco really lose anything by being dried that long?