How do you decide what tobacco to try

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May 16, 2017
Tobaccoreviews can be your friend. Average rating at least 3.0 and a decent number of reviews has never disappointed. I always go for no more than 2oz, if I really like a blend I buy more and cellar it while going on with new tobaccos.


Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
I look at reviews on (particularly JimInks) and also go on the advice and opinion of forum members. After a while you begin to recognize members who have similar taste/palate/preferences. That and experience with the blender's other stuff weigh in heavily.
This is pretty similar to my own methods.


Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
Monterey Peninsula
Lots of good replies here. I'd add only that often there's little correlation in how pleasant a tobacco smells and how pleasantly it smokes. But the strength test above is a good one.
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Junior Member
Jul 25, 2019
I use three criteria: 1. No toppings (casings are okay) 2. Straight Virginias and/or Burleys only traditionally cured (no orientals, latakias, etc), 3. either sourced in the US, blended by or for a US company to support US businesses. Pretty simple.


Preferred Member
May 13, 2017
For every 20 tobacco’s I probably only like one I would buy again.
Reading some reviews I wonder if they are smoking something different.
I have my favourites and am likely not to try anymore.
It’s just too expensive to be disappointed.
However stumbled on Samuel Gawith Sliced brown And Sliced Black Twist Aromatic. It was worth waiting for.
Also Samuel Gawith Caribbean coconut is also great.
Beats E A Carey’s Sliced Black Twist and their Caribbean coconut by miles.
Just shows you!
But then Samuel Gawith full Virgina Flake was poor in my opinion and would not buy again.
Therefore are reviews helpful?
I suppose you have to try because you can’t try before buy. No samples any more.
Once you hit gold stick to it.
Reactions: burleyboy


Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Reputation (reviews, recommendations); trial and error, so you know the base tobaccos you like best, which condiments, flavoring if any; buy in small quantities for several years, as in an ounce or two, one tin, one pouch. Save (jar) the ones you like, but also the ones you don't to try in a year. Your tastes will change. Take your time. Don't get frantic. You'll dislike some of the crowd favorites; so what?


Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
Chicago, IL
My decision is based on leaf type used and categorization as a non-aromatic. Even so, I still regret maybe half my trial purchases because what I'm really doing is buying ho-hum variations on a theme.

I should just stick with established benchmark blends, but the adventurer in me forces me to abandon self discipline. (cf. Einstein's definition of insanity.)

In retrospect, I could have had -- and would have been better off with -- a shitload of Escudo, rather than the olio of also-rans represented in my cellar.
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Apr 28, 2019
Whatever JimInks says, that's what we smoke. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. However sometimes I wait a few weeks just to enjoy the illusion of free will.


Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
Whatever JimInks says, that's what we smoke. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. However sometimes I wait a few weeks just to enjoy the illusion of free will.

In all seriousness, I was going to recommend to first figure out which styles of tobacco you like, and then buy whatever blends people here speak well of that are in a style / genre of tobacco that you like. This forum really does have the hot takes on all things tobacco related.


Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
I do a Tarot reading. One Card only. Then whether it’s a Fire, Water, Air, or Earth related card, go from there.

Fire= English/Balkan
Water= Aromatic or semi Aro
Air= Vaper/ Virginia
Earth= Strong Burley or VaperBurley
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Junior Member
Mar 30, 2019
perdurabo I really hope you've taken your own advice (your namesakes' advice) and kept notes on what tins you bought after pulling what cards. I bet the 8 of cups one is one of those blends that sometimes hits the spot about half way down but doesn't start out strong.
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