Do I Just Not Like Virginias?

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ssavarimuthu

Member
Jan 14, 2016
179
0
So here is my conundrum...
I've been branching out with different tobaccos, ranging from aromatics to english. Early on, I tried Orlik Golden Sliced, and really did not care for the grassy hay notes to it. I gave the tin to a buddy of mine.
Lately, I've been loving me some Frog Morton. Specifically the original and Cellar. After a pipe of the original, I decided I wanted something with a little more oomph to it, and went for some Dunhill Early Morning Pipe. I absolutely love the almost chocolaty nutty after taste I have with it, but I'm really not liking the grassy taste (I'm assuming that it is coming from the Virginias).
So my question is, is it the Virginias that I'm picking up on that I don't like? Also, what is the chocolate nutty taste that I am so fond of? And is there a Frog Morton like blend that has the oomph that I'm looking for, without that grassy taste?
Thanks! :puffpipe:

 

ssavarimuthu

Member
Jan 14, 2016
179
0
That's just it cosmic. I kind of veered away from Virginias since the Orlick experience. Any time I do pick up on the grass/hay flavor, I have just assumed that it was the Virginias.

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,584
1
So my question is, is it the Virginias that I'm picking up on that I don't like?
Sounds like you don't like light Virginias, which often have a hay/grass taste to them.
Also, what is the chocolate nutty taste that I am so fond of?
Sounds like you like Burley and may want to try Solani Aged Burley Flake?
And is there a Frog Morton like blend that has the oomph that I'm looking for, without that grassy taste?
You could always try McClelland's Balkan Blue?

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,800
2
Bethlehem, Pa.
I get it. I've found myself gravitating more and more toward plugs like Warrior, Velvan and Peterson Perfect Plug; all of which have some burley. For me, they are not grassy at all and very full bodied.

I also like Frog Morton On The Town. The Basma in it gives me a very smooth, almost velvety, smoke.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,799
1
Definitely try some other VAs - Union Square, Full VA Flake, Best Brown Flake, any of the McClelland VAs, etc. I love VAs, but have never liked Orlik Golden Sliced -- I don't mind the grassy flavors, but the orange/citrus just didn't appeal to me.

 

ssavarimuthu

Member
Jan 14, 2016
179
0
So it looks like VAs can have a range of flavors...
Is there some rubric to go off of. Like: Light VA=grass and hay; latakia=smoky/camp fire; etc.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,914
98
I get some grassy from the beginnings of FVF. But, yeh you might try some of the more red Virginias, like Red Cake 5200. It will have a deeper darker side to the flavor, but still light, as in like the aroma bread cooking. FVF was just frustrating to me in the beginning. If I had of stopped with FVF, I would have never returned. Astleys 109 is when I had that moment of epiphany. It just made my briars sing.
EMP, I just don't care for it. It leaves my mouth feeling abrasively scrubbed. I'm not sure if it is the Virginias they use, or if there is cedar chips added to it. But, they can keep it.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,921
91
Virginia forward blends are their own thing, and there's no law saying you have to like them, though many do. Some people are made physically ill by burleys (which I really enjoy by the way). Rather than trying around at ten dollars a tin, I'd try some bulk versions in one-ounce samples, and see if you like any of them. If you don't like Virginias per se, I think you may like some blends that include them, since they are in so many different-tasting blends. But again, there is no rule; for you, they may just be something to avoid. Or perhaps they are, for you, an acquired taste. Open your mind, and try around, and see what you like, or don't.
Two easy-going possibilities would be the newly offered Lanes 125th Anniversary Va/Per and MacBaren's Modern Virginia, a very lightly flavored Virginia aromatic in a pouch, and the ever-popular (with many) McClellands 5100 Red Virginia. None of these may please you, but still others might.

 

ophiuchus

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2016
1,205
9
Couple of things to keep in mind with Virginia-forward blends ...
Due to the sugar content, it's very easy to smoke this stuff too hot, even if you've got some technique worked out. It took me many, many bowls of Virginia flake and Virginia/Perique rolls before I refined my own technique to fully appreciate the bright leaf's nuances. I've found blends like this are best appreciated when you have enough control of draw and cadence so you let the ember cool, stoke it back up a little (choke the airflow with a couple fingers over the top of the chamber), then let it cool down again while sipping. (Orlik's Golden Sliced is a blend best appreciated this way.)
I've also found, however, that some folks just don't react to Virginia biochemically. No matter what they do, they experience something that is mistaken for tongue-bite or mouth burn, but is more of a chemical burn. Not everyone acclimates to this.
I'd suggest moving on to something else for a while, and revisiting Virginias once in a while to see if things improve. Don't give up on the stuff. Set it aside an come back after trying some more forgiving varieties; you may find that you like it later.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,914
98
I'd suggest moving on to something else for a while, and revisiting Virginias once in a while to see if things improve
I second this motion. Virginias are just for a more experienced and refined palate. An aficionado of the Virginia is just not made over night.

 

checotah

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2012
505
0
I'm in the "don't care for VAs" camp. Tried several straight and had the same problem with the hay/grassy taste. Don't mind them in blends as long as they are not the predominant flavors. I do like burleys, to the point that they are my daily work-in-the-shop, go-shooting, drive-around smokes, but prefer English/Balkan blends for relaxation.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
0
VA's have a wide spectrum of flavors, but very generally, the brighter the leaf the more likely it will have a grassy note. The same goes for citrus notes. You don't have to stretch too far to get a sense of the bigger picture. Maybe pick up a few oz's of McC's bulk and see if anything sticks. The red blend 5100 is a good bet as is 2035 for dark va.
Try to use a clean or neutral pipe. A lat ghost will overwrite a lot of va's nuance.

 

ericusrex

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2015
1,177
0
There are lots of brown VA tobaccos to try. I am loving G&H's Best Brown #2 right now.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
0
Moody, AL
I never cared for straight va until I developed a love for va/per. After awhile I found myself wanting the sweetness minus the spice. I started smoking straight va and haven't changed since.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,921
91
A sabbatical from Virginias might work. You could just happen on a blend that really tasted good and discover it was predominantly Virginia; it could dawn on you.

 

peteguy

Preferred Member
Jan 19, 2012
1,092
0
My personal approach to VA's is they fall into two camps, hay/grass and sweet (this is just my approach, nothing technical or factual). I prefer the sweet VA's. Try some 5100, or Red Ribbon as these are tasty right out of production (pre-aged maybe?). This is one of the main reasons I smoke aged VA almost exclusively. The sweeter the VA the better and the age really boosts up the sugar content. Even the hay/grass VA's sweeten up a ton with 5yrs of age.

 

checotah

Preferred Member
Feb 7, 2012
505
0
I think age also plays into our taste preferences. I remember reading that our taste and olfactory senses generally start dulling after about age 40. I know I definitely prefer less sweet in my diet than I used to, and now prefer bitter things like IPA beers, strong, black coffee, peaty Scotch, etc.
I've come to realize there are a whole lot of good tobaccos out there that I DO like (and so many I haven't even tried!), so I generally will be quick to set aside those that don't make it past the 3 bowl test. Once in while, I might cellar one that I don't care for that has gotten generally rave reviews but didn't make it past the 3rd bowl. Too many blends, not enough time..... :lol: