Cellaring - How Wide and How Deep

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tootles

New member
Feb 23, 2016
4
0
Well, I have been building my "cellar" for just over a year now. I have often heard the phrase "Cellar wide and cellar deep"
I thought I would do a check on mine and I was surprised at the results. I presently have 90 varieties for a total of about 24 pounds. It can collect fast! However, only 12 varieties of the 90 have 8 or more ounces in storage. I wonder if I am spread a little thin.
Anyone more obsessive compulsive than me ever figure out the right "ratio" of width to depth? LoL ;-)
My larger quantities are in things like the PS Luxury Flake series and MacBaren HH "Old Dark Fired". I am thinking of stocking up on more of similar blends (Star of the East and McClelland 5110 maybe?) I like 5110 but have not tried SOTE yet.
I also like aromatics a lot. I may be one of the few who like both Aro/Non-aro blend about equal. Always depends on my mood.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,546
186
I have five to ten pounds of each of my favorites, and I too like all genres just based on my mood.

 

captpat

Member
Dec 16, 2014
259
0
Northern Virginia
My cellar is about the same as yours, though now with the recent FDA ruling I've started to lay in more weight of blends I really like, Squadron Leader, Dunhill Flake, Golden Extra etc. Maybe over-reacting a bit but it won't go bad.

 

jitterbugdude

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
994
2
Get that "Cellar Wide and Cellar Deep" mantra out of your head. Cellar as deep as you can for tobacco YOU like. Why have 10, 20, 30 varieties of tobacco when you might only really like 3?

 

beezer

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2013
364
0
Variety is the spice of life, so my cellar is more wide than it is deep. I rarely smoke through a tin at a time and I have at least 15 blends on my rotation shelf, so for me I really appreciate a cellar with more width than depth. To give you a better idea, the 125+ lbs in my cellar are represented by some 200 different blends. Of the 200 different blends approximately 35 are held in quantities of 1 lb or more. Of those 35 blends -- 15 are for 2 lbs, 1 is for 3 lbs, and 1 is for 4 lbs.
The top three genres in my cellar are:
40% Virginia blends

10% Virginia, Latakia, Oriental blends

10% Virginia, Perique blends
My cellar goal for the second half of the year is to focus on VA/PER blends. I'd like to add another 15 lbs of this genre to my cellar. More Escudo, SG St. James Flake, Viprati, Solani Virginia Flake 633, and perhaps a few others.
After taking a peek at your respective cellars What goals do you all have over the next two years? Do you need to round out your cellar with a particular genre? Are you trying to reach a particular total weight goal? Are you focusing in on a particular blend that you feel is under priced? Any other goals?

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,313
9
Akron area of Ohio
It's a double edged sword. On the one hand, if I had been more focused ( less wide ) I would have more of a few blends that I really favor.

If that had been my approach, I may not have tried some blends I really like because I would have been too busy putting away blends I favored

in the early 1990's. My tastes have changed dramatically since then.

Mike S.

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
My supply is wide like the Grand Canyon but has the depth of a kiddie pool. My problem is that I'm still trying to find out what I like. One day I'll smoke an English, the next a VA/PER, the next an aromatic. Most of my supply are one-offs so I am making notes of tins I like. That being said, I should probably begin to really decide what tastes I enjoy most and begin cellaring deeper--particularly in light of the new FDA regs.

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
And on a related note and not intending to hijack the thread--are there any tobaccos that do NOT cellar well? I've read that VAs age the best and aros can lose some of their flavor. Do English blends cellar well? Are there any specific genres or blends you would never consider cellaring long term? I know that some have complained that the SG square tins don't hold up well over time and it is recommended that they be popped and put into jars for long term cellaring.

 

derfargin

Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
2,025
0
Kennesaw, GA
I'm going deep on my already discovered favorites. I'm going to try for 5 to 10 pounds depending on the type. I'll most likely go much deeper on the Va/Per blends and VA's as they'll only get better in time. As much as I enjoy English blends the thing I like is the pop they have when fresh. So, I "may" not go too crazy on that genre. I say "may". When it comes to buying tobacco I tend to get a little crazy.

 

jmatt

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2014
760
0
And on a related note and not intending to hijack the thread--are there any tobaccos that do NOT cellar well?
I think conventional wisdom is Virginia ages best. Aromatics age the worst (flavoring degrades over time). I think anything other than aromatics merits long term storage though. I'm focused on straight Virginias and VaPer blends.

 

deathmetal

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2015
7,724
0
I have often heard the phrase "Cellar wide and cellar deep"
Hmm. I'd suggest instead: try everything, keep what you find yourself reaching for again, and then in acknowledgement of our motto -- "Like what you smoke, and smoke what you like" -- stockpile a whole giant hoard of what you like.
But finding what you like is harder than one might think. You have to look at what you crave after having had it, not what you think is nifty or special, or that you should like because it's good quality or unique or whatever. There were some surprises for me.
My cellar will not compare favorably to most here, who I am certain have done a better job, but it focuses on blends that I always enjoy and can never get enough of. It's not a deliberate strategy to beat our free-fall currency and rising administrative state, nor to age tobacco. I just like beings surrounded by much goodness, as in the library, the kitchen, the church, the music folder, the beer rack, and the gun safe.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
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And on a related note and not intending to hijack the thread--are there any tobaccos that do NOT cellar well?
This raises an interesting question. There was a dust up a little while back that addressed a broader question. Here's what Germain's had to say abut the subject of cellaring their blends:
We manufacture our tobacco to be enjoyed at acquisition.
If you wish to "cellar" our blends, be it on your own head.
From our point of view, why would you want to faff around with our product?
We produce hand-made products only. Your contents may vary. That is all.
Please do not be a "cellarer" unless you are willing to admit that you think

that you can do better.

Sure, some blends do improve with age. Responsible blenders know this and use aged (i.e. properly matured) leaf in their blends. Less responsible blenders sell immature blends putting the onus on the purchaser to cellar a tin or smoke a poor quality blend.
I don't cellar at all really. Sometimes it will take me a year or two to get through a box but that's about as far as I go. Anything that I buy that is immature and requires aging does not get purchased a second time.

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
0
Chicago
I cellar widely narrow? I have quite a few different Va's and VaPers. But only 4 Lat blends. And that's if you count Mcc Annuversay as a Lat. But even then it's only about 22lbs. I smoke one 5-8 bowls a week in mostly size 3-4 pipes. I should be good to go for a long time.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,547
173
United States
I have about 40 different blends that make up my approximately 250 pounds I have on hand. 95 percent will benefit from long term(10 plus years) of aging. The only blends I din't plan on aging more than a few years are the aromatic non flakes I smoke. A blend like Esoterica Blackpool is something I won't age as the casing will wear off after a fairly short amount of time. The one Esotercia blend that gets better with age is Stonehaven. Sure it is tasty fresh, bit add ten years and it is sublime.

 

zekest

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,137
0
My thoughts:
If you can drive or take a bus to your local tobacconist and pick up what you love, there is little need to cellar or horde.
If your absolute favorite is something such as J. M. Boswell's "Christmas Cookie" or Ross Ouellette's "Ice Cream Cone" or Richard Gottlieb's "Mojo" where the hell are you going to get "that" after the FDA's Tobacco Apocalypse?
You must cellar and horde "that" blend which you cannot purchase locally.

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
0
Chicago
My goal is to have if not all, then the VAST majority of the tobacco I will need for my retirement. Tobacco is never going to be cheaper and I will not want to have to "budget" for pipe smoking. I have 3-4 years to go.
I will continue to buy and cellar the blends I love.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
0
Moody, AL
Ditto James! It's only going up in price. Also, in the post zombie apocalyptic world, tobacco will be currency.
While I have an awesome B&M not too far away, I'm generally unwilling to pay $20 for a tin I can buy online for $7. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's the state of affairs.

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,096
0
I am essentially done with my cellar so don't worry much about tobacco at this point. The feeling is liberating.

 

pipefish

Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
336
0
Here's an interesting article published last year from the good people at tobaccopipes.com:
http://www.tobaccopipes.com/blog/cellaring-tobacco-the-dos-and-donts/