Sloppy blending or sign of quality Mr Pease?

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thomasmartin

Senior Member
Jul 13, 2015
324
0
Unesco world heritage
I could not fail to observe these huge junks of Latakia in Abingdon (a blend I really love). I do not question the genious of Mr Pease and would never dare to criticize him but I cannot see how such large cuts could in any way improve the smoking. Quite the contrary, I think this would make the aroma inconsistent depending on how many of these would end up in my bowl.


 

admin

Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
7,914
52
St. Petersburg, FL
It would be interesting to know what the date sticker reads on the bottom of the tin which would tell if it is old production, or more current.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,799
1
Well, it's Cornell and Diehl who mix and tin the stuff, so maybe someone there could weigh in on this. I've always thought that the large chunks were in there by design -- my one tin of Abingdon (2013 vintage) had some large chunks of Latakia.
In any case, larger chunks, rather than smaller, well-blended pieces will give a different smoking experience.

 

lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,635
1
Chester County, PA
Yo tho
Actually, several American houses create blends that are somewhat unruly, compared to the elegant, almost shag-cut ribbons that characterize some British and Euro mixtures. I rather enjoy the little flavor bursts that pop out during the smoking. They provide a continuing array of palate pleasers rather than subsiding into an amorphous homogeneity.
hp

les

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,799
1
+1 what Les says. My ideal Latakia blend is Early Morning Pipe, so I'm not a big fan of large chunks of the black leaf. Make mine smooth and monotonously tasty, please.

 

thomasmartin

Senior Member
Jul 13, 2015
324
0
Unesco world heritage
I cannot decipher the production date. In fact one of these mandatory gruesome picture decals was put over it. According to Daniel at Synjeco it was part of a fresh delivery from the states which make me think it's a current batch. And please don't get me wrong. I enjoy these large cuts it was just the inhomogenity of the cut that made me think.

 

brass

Preferred Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,840
0
United States
Ohhhh, like LesTrout, I like the chunks and the little sparks of flavor. Kind of like the chips in a chocolate chip cookie. I also prefer flakes and plugs over ribbon cuts but that is probably aesthetics. Russ Oulette makes some great shag/ribbon cut tobaccos as does Rich Gottlieb and Greg Pease and Mike McNeil. Still, I'll all things, even if not quite even, I'll take plusg, flakes and coins. Pax

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,888
67
Cutting and rubbing blends is almost a separate specification that doesn't always get described by the online retailer or on the outside of the tin. I haven't cracked the tin yet, but I understand McClellend's Dark Star is notably uneven, and still highly recommended by at least some Forums members. (I'm aging it some, per recommendations.) With noticeably uneven cut tobacco, I think it is advisable -- maybe after a first trial to see if it works really well as is -- to cut it more evenly or rub it out smaller to see if that improves the smoking characteristics. I don't care at all about the uneven look, and taste bursts can be a real treat. But if the burn is uneven or the flavor doesn't meld well, or you have too many relights, it's no treat.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
I haven't cracked the tin yet, but I understand McClellend's Dark Star is notably uneven
Dark Star is a single leaf blend, at least all one "type" maybe not the same crop. But, the reason we use grinders and such with Dark Star is because it is hard hard hard flakes that are like tree bark. That is a little different from big chunks of different leaves.

Maybe Greg was drunk when he mixed this batch up, ha ha. Or, the guys down at C&D were sabotaging his blends. "Sticking it to the man," so to speak, ha ha.

 

jeremyreeves

Junior Member
May 14, 2015
52
0
Thomasmartin, I'm Jeremy, head blender and production manager for C&D. I am sorry to see the rather unsightly chunk of Latakia that made its way into your Abingdon. We have actually made cut consistency a primary focus over the last few months, and I'd say we have made great strides in accomplishing thinner, more even ribbons in our chopped blends. Also, we checked the tracking on the Synjeco order which we shipped to Switzerland week before last, and while the shipment is in Switzerland, it has not yet been delivered to Synjeco, so I think that this tobacco is most likely from December 10th, 2014, which is the last time that we shipped Abingdon to Synjeco.
Personally, I do not like the over-large chunks of Latakia, but I know there are those that do. I can tell you that you can expect thinner and more consistent cuts in all of our ribbon tobaccos, and lot of the new production cuts should be present in the most recent Synjeco shipment, when it arrives to them.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,888
67
Thanks for the follow-up, Jeremy. I was a little awed in your recent pipesmagaine interview to hear about C&D accommodating its space limitations by breaking down hundreds of pounds of leaf by hand, and it greatly increased my respect for the remarkable blends you do, several of which are all-time favorites with me.
Cosmic, thank you for the explanation on Dark Star's distinctive texture. When I do open the tin and adjust to its larger pieces, I'll appreciate how it came to be.
I enjoying mixing leaf myself, in a pottery bowl, and occasionally hit on some really sublime mixes -- I wouldn't elevate to calling these "blends", no pressure, no aging. It always piques my respect for what professional blenders can do, and it's always good to hear the details of how it is accomplished. Thank you for this inside lore.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
502
6
Let's not forget that these tobaccos are hand - blended. Personally, this does not bother me. I just break it up to my own liking and then, it's all good.

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
I tend to rub out ribbons anyway to get a more even texture, because I think the burn rate is better that way. It's mildly annoying but anything for a good smoke.

 

sothron

Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
3,734
0
Who the hell is this Pease guy? And what the hell does he know about tobacco blending?
And what's this "C&D" thing?

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
502
6
"Who the hell is this Pease guy? And what the hell does he know about tobacco blending?
And what's this "C&D" thing?"
Perique, I have no idea....I, for instance am just repeating stuff I read here so I can blend in with the group. :nana: