Comparing Bulk Englishes

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May 22, 2018
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I was looking for the perfect bulk english to cellar. So far my thoughts, and what are yours? They are listed in order of my preference, best to worst.
Star of the East - the ideal bulk English just overflowing with flavour

Father Dempsey - very close to MM965 with a smoother taste

Engine 99 - a bit milder and still very flavourful, the closest to all day English in bulk variety

Super Balkan - not bad but came in very dry, is that your experience as well?

Aromatic English - I found it to be a little too mild and bland, with the topping not adding anything really

 

mikestanley

Preferred Member
May 10, 2009
1,313
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Akron area of Ohio
If you ask me, GLPease blends in the 8oz and 16 oz tins are great. To me, they are good value because of the cost/oz. in my personal experience, they store very well. I’ve opened several from 3005. The tobacco is beginning to dry but in great condition. I then put some in 2 half pint jars and on larger jar. Once I smoke the two half pints, I’m usually ready for a change.
Mike S.

 

blendtobac

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2009
1,212
23
That really depends on your preferences and how long you plan to cellar. If you like more Latakia-forward blends, bear in mind that the Latakia will soften as it ages. Blends with less Latakia and more Virginia will have more noticeable changes as they age.
Russ

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
662
79
I have given this issue thought as well. One blend that I keep coming back to is Peter Stokkebye Balkan Supreme. It is just a good basic English blend, and seems forward on the orientals similar to the famed Balkan Sobranie (I've only smoked the new / current production). Balkan Supreme does not give the nuanced experience of finer English blends, but it is a good straight-forward English nonetheless.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,319
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Las Vegas, NV
I'm not a fan of English blends, but I have heard that they tend to get a little flat around 10yrs, so the ideal aging for them in most people's opinion is between 5-8 years.

 

jpmcwjr

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May 12, 2015
13,546
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Monterey Peninsula
I'm not a fan of English blends, but I have heard that they tend to get a little flat around 10yrs, so the ideal aging for them in most people's opinion is between 5-8 years.
So, for a blend type about which you know little first hand, you "heard" some things, and then you quote "most people's opinions". How did you garner this consensus?

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
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FWIW, my favorite bulk English is Peterson's Old Dublin. There's a lot of room for it to fade and still be quite strong, Lat-wise.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
25,940
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I really like Super Balkan. You can add moisture, but I found the somewhat dry leaf kept in a jar remained perfectly smokable for many months, as long as it remained unsmoked. I like C&D Stratfordshire, Sutliff Lord Nelson, C&D Tuggle Hall, and PC Midown series Chestnut, to name a few. Chestnut is tub tobacco, not bulk, but moderately priced.

 

ben88

Preferred Member
Jun 5, 2015
1,184
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10 to Midnight. Very Latakia forward blend. I find it a bit rough when fresh. A year in the jar improves it a lot. Also PS English Oriental Supreme, if you prefer a milder blend. Lancer Slices is another fantastic mix.

 

slowroll

Member
Apr 25, 2017
283
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As a lataholic, I would say you can't go wrong with SOTE, Engine 99 and Arango Balkan Supreme. They are among my favorites FWIW.

 

spartan99

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Mar 10, 2017
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I have a decent amount of C&D Stratfordshire, Lane Crown Achievement, PS Proper English, and SG Squadron Leader cellared. I got my first batch of Crown Achievement right after the re-release. That one benefited the most from cellaring. It allowed the flavors to marry together.
Grand Croupier Boneyard has taught me that it's almost impossible to screw up a medium English if you're using quality tobaccos.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,116
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I believe that Arango and Stokkebye's Balkan Supreme is the same blend. However, I cannot say with 100% certainty
In the oast, RussO has verified in a similar thread that they are indeeed the same. Good choices IMO.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,244
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Having sampled a lot of vintage English blends back when we were creating the John Cotton line, I can tell you that Latakia blends do not cellar well past twenty years or so. However, I have some whole leaf Latakia from 1993 that is just spectacular. Orientals also tend to loose some of their aroma and taste. My suggestion is to cellar separate components and mix up your own on the fly. That way, you will be able to compensate somewhat as the different tobaccos change over time. It is damned near impossible to mess up blending your own English mixture. Just work in small batches, weigh everything and record your tasting notes so that you can repeat your victories and bury your mistakes.

 

bluto

Preferred Member
Aug 24, 2018
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Would you cellar whole leaf in the same methods as blend ?
Leaving them whole ?

 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
662
79
Having sampled a lot of vintage English blends back when we were creating the John Cotton line, I can tell you that Latakia blends do not cellar well past twenty years or so. However, I have some whole leaf Latakia from 1993 that is just spectacular. Orientals also tend to loose some of their aroma and taste. My suggestion is to cellar separate components and mix up your own on the fly. That way, you will be able to compensate somewhat as the different tobaccos change over time. It is damned near impossible to mess up blending your own English mixture. Just work in small batches, weigh everything and record your tasting notes so that you can repeat your victories and bury your mistakes.
Sounds like a great idea. Got any recommendations on where to buy and what to buy? Any recommendations on blending proportions? I am building my cellar for the long term, and would love to experiment with this.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,244
1
Yes, that's what I do. I bag them up in vacuum-sealed Mylar, label, date and forget about them. Which reminds me, it's time to look for some more whole leaf.