Aromatic Vs. Non-Aromatic Tobacco

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

fuel52

New member
Mar 14, 2017
22
0
New Orleans, LA
My intention is not to start a war. I simply would like some insight on this subject. I'm only 2 months into the pipe smoking hobby. Like most beginners, I smoke aromatics. I'm enjoying myself smoking aromatics and I believe eventually I'll get to non-aromatic blends. Now to my question...
If the tobacco market is comprised of 95% aromatics, why does it seem like the vast majority of tobacco reviews, commentary, opinions, videos, podcasts, etc all focus (as it seems to me) on non-aromatic tobacco? Are pipe smokers ashamed of discussing/reviewing aromatics? Is it not "cool" to smoke aromatics? Personally, I could care less what other smokers think of me being an aromatic smoker, I just find it strange that all anybody seems to talk about are non-aromatic tobaccos. Maybe non-aromatic tobacco is just that good. It's possible it's just my perception and there's plenty of discussion on both sides.
Just an observation after lurking around the hobby.
Anybody else notice this or am I off base?

 

murica

Member
Jan 4, 2017
176
0
People do love aromatics. And I believe that when the percentages are thrown around, they are indicating that most tobacco has casing and or topping applied. Rather, very few tobaccos are untouched.
I smoke a few aros. But I smoke a lot of Virginia's and burley too. For every one of us on a forum, there's probably 10 or so guys out there smoking carter hall or captain black in a plain ol pipe they've had for decades. Think of this as a niche, premium tobacco.

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,486
89
United States
I am newly returned to pipes and smoking what I like. It happens that I Prefer Virginia's, perique as condiment at times, flakes, and a mix of different types Of Virginia's. That said, I do enjoy some aromatics and the crossover blends that have a light condiment level of Latakia. But too much Latakia kills my taste buds for anything else for the day.
Oh, And War Horse Bar is an animal of a different color. Forward flavor with a good bit of nicotine.
Smoke what you like.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,164
541
...because, what the heck is there to talk about when it comes to aromatics? No one can taste them. Practically anybody can smoke them. And, search the forums, there's just nothing to talk about when it comes to aromatics, unless we start talking about the tobacco that makes them up, and then that will start a fight, absolutely every time.
Nope, it is merely because there is nothing worthy of discussion, even among passionate aro-smokers. Don't blame us. You guys may talk all you want, but you don't so there.
Non-aromatics though, are actually good. And, mysterious. And, generates discussion.
Then there is the thought that aro-smokers do not really exists. The tobacco industry uses aromatic tobaccos as the introductory tobaccos. Giving out candy to kids to get them into the hobby. I watch The Briary sell the first pipe and a bag of aromatics to guys all day long. The B&M makes a bit of money, and a guy goes home and tries to smoke that crap, doesn't taste anything, scorches his mouth trying, and throws the pipe in a drawer where it stays for a decade or more. End of story for about 95% of all first pipes sold. The rest of us just toughed it out, found the forums, and started smoking real tobaccos and hung in there. Therefore sure, more aromatics tobacco is sold, but only a fraction of first-time smokers stuck with it because they find non-aromatics.

Just a theory, but makes sense to me.

 

ltstone

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2015
483
0
Its probably just because the people more likely to review or discuss tobaccos have delved more deeply into the more complex tobacco. The casual aro smoker just doesn't see the need to say that Vanilla black cavendish has a great natural vanilla flavor on top of a neutral tasting leaf. BTW I love most tobaccos and have a time and place for all of them.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,276
39
It doesn't matter. I'm sure many are already offended beyond repair and are sulking in a corner.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,164
541
Aromatic reviews

Name Brand Apple Pie - Taste like candle wax, wife says smells good.

Name Brand Caramel Sunday - Tastes like candle wax, wife says smells good.

Name Brand Tootie Fruity - Tastes like candle wax, wife says smells good.
By the way, I do smoke the occasional aromatics. I don't dislike them at all. In fact, there are many that I really like. There's just nothing to talk about at all with them. That's all I'm saying.

 

fuel52

New member
Mar 14, 2017
22
0
New Orleans, LA
Then there is the thought that aro-smokers do not really exists. The tobacco industry uses aromatic tobaccos as the introductory tobaccos. Giving out candy to kids to get them into the hobby. I watch The Briary sell the first pipe and a bag of aromatics to guys all day long. The B&M makes a bit of money, and a guy goes home and tries to smoke that crap, doesn't taste anything, scorches his mouth trying, and throws the pipe in a drawer where it stays for a decade or more. End of story for about 95% of all first pipes sold. The rest of us just toughed it out, found the forums, and started smoking real tobaccos and hung in there. Therefore sure, more aromatics tobacco is sold, but only a fraction of first-time smokers stuck with it because they find non-aromatics.

Just a theory, but makes sense to me.
If non-aromatics are truly a better smoke, why don't shops push them more to beginners instead of the stuff that's going to burn their tongues and taste like candlewax?

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,486
89
United States
That said, I did add some virginia to autumn evening and it became a smoke with much more substance. How much substance, I am not sure. My problem with most of the Aro samples I have is exactly what Cosmic has said, they do not taste like much of anything and if smoked at much above a snails ass pace, they bite. I have some Planta California Dream which I can taste orangey citrus and it shocked me. I really did not expect to taste it in the smoke. Only expected to smell it. But Old Gowrie, it just tastes good. I cannot imagine what a well aged Virginia tastes like but from what everyone says, it is good stuff far beyond fresh non-aromatic tobaccos and anything aromatic. Therein lies the difference...smoke for the smell (Aromatics, with some exceptions apparently) or for the taste (non-Aromatics)...IMHO.

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,486
89
United States
Fuel52, maybe for the same reason that the cigars you purchase at grocery stores and minute markets are flavored...people like the smell. Or in the case of swisher sweets, they like the flavoring you can taste on your lips.
I would say, for you, grab a tin of a recommended non-aromatic (ask here or go to Tobacco reviews) and do nothing but smoke that for a week. Give it some time and contemplation. Then smoke your old Aromatic that you like. See how they compare.

 

fuel52

New member
Mar 14, 2017
22
0
New Orleans, LA
I would say, for you, grab a tin of a recommended non-aromatic (ask here or go to Tobacco reviews) and do nothing but smoke that for a week. Give it some time and contemplation. Then smoke your old Aromatic that you like. See how they compare.
Good advice, I will do...

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,164
541
If non-aromatics are truly a better smoke, why don't shops push them more to beginners instead of the stuff that's going to burn their tongues and taste like candlewax?
It's easier to sell what smells good.
Remember, this is just a theory. I do like aromatics. Especially the good ones. But, besides which ones are the "good ones" I am always at a loss for what to discuss. Even at pipe club, when we ask the aromatic guys to talk more about their favorite blends, they just don't have much to say. But, ask someone about their favorite latakia or perique blend, and you have to ask them to shut the F up, so that we can all get home before our wives kill us.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,266
474
I could ruminate on this one for several pages, but won't. I too started with aromatic blends and enjoyed them for years. Then I explored non-aromatic and smoked those almost exclusively, for the purity of the experience with the actual tobacco itself. Now I've come back to include some tobacco-forward aromatics where the flavoring actually manages to emphasize the flavors of the constituent tobacco leaves. The aromatics serve as a nice counterpoint in the rotation, so when I smoke non-aros they come into full bloom. The rivalry between aro and non-aro smokers is sometimes good sport and fuel for jokes, but it also becomes tiresome. Aromatics support the industry, but non-aros are an experience not to be missed. So take it all under advisement.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
0
NY
Fuel seriously do me a favor. Go pick up a tin of McClelland's Yenidje Highlander and smoke it. Then pick up a tin of H&H Blackhouse or Magnum Opus and smoke it.
Then come back and let us know if you think you have more to discuss about those two blends compared to discussing something like Lane 1Q aro.
I like almost all genre's of tobacco except that Lakeland crap. The non-aro's are just much more complex and of better quality tobacco(usually) which gives you more to talk about.
Now if you want a quality aro made with good virginia leaf try PS Luxury Twist Flake. Not everyone will say it's an aro but it does have a topping that smells and tastes to me like vanilla and coconut.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
0
NY
If non-aromatics are truly a better smoke, why don't shops push them more to beginners instead of the stuff that's going to burn their tongues and taste like candlewax?
Because new pipe smokers associate pipes with aro's. That's what they think it's all about. Are they going to pick a bulk VA or a bulk aro? They are going with the bulk aro because that's what they think pipe tobacco is supposed to smell like. A tobacconist near me tried to push me towards trying an english many years ago and I thought it was the most horrible smelling thing. Then one day I relented and found I loved it.

 

ttakata73

New member
Jan 12, 2017
26
0
I noticed what the OP has since I am only a few months in too, and all the replies makes good sense. My first tobaccos were all aromatics (1-Q, Vanilla Custard, BCA) and ordered based on the load of positive reviews at Pipes&Cigars. I have a new palette and haven't perfected my methods, but I can already see; taste varies a lot. I find 1-Q worthless, Vanilla Custard is OK, and BCA is the best of the 3. I bought some Captain Black Gold to see what a cheap OTC is like and its better than 1-Q to me. Then I got the non-aro Frog Morton on the Town based on the tobaccoreviews numbers and don't really like it. I feel like I am smoking a campfire with that one. So far BCA is my favorite, but I have 8 different Dunhills in the mail now so look forward to finding a "real" baccy I like.
As many recommend; store what you don't like because a few months/years from now you might enjoy them since your technique has improved and tastes change. I tried Durian fruit 20+ years ago and it smelled/tasted like sewage on several occasions years apart. This past year I started to like the more expensive versions because they don't have that sewage odor or taste. I just never knew there were different species of the wacky fruit and quality levels within them.
I'm so glad this forum exists because I tried & abandoned pipes 20+ years ago. Since I didn't know anything then; my bad technique and OTC blend from Walgreens drugstore wasn't a good smoke.