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hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,221
627
Met up with Michael at a relatively new cigar bar near his home last week when I visited Birmingham on business. Michael showed up with a couple of Christmas presents for me, small mason jars stuffed with two different kinds of his home grown pipe tobacco. Thank you! One is a light VA with a darker leaf added, not sure if this is perique or what. The other one is light VA. Didn't weigh it but I'm guessing 3 to 5 oz of each.
I finally got around to smoking a bowl of the mixed leaf tonight. I guess perique as the adder as this blend of Michael's has a nice sweet and spicy tone to it, especially in the first half of the bowl. As the bowl progressed, the smoke became very sweet and creamy. I tell no lies, this is superb tobacco and were Michael to go into business, I am certain people would purchase it.
Thanks again Michael, it was great to see you and spend time chatting tobacco and other subjects. Hope to see you again when I visit in the first quarter. Hope you and your family enjoy a great holiday season.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,437
1,076
Hey, it was great to see you too, and thanks for the beverage and cigars! I will have to go to that place more often. It’s nice to be able to smoke inside with music and company so close to the house.

I didn’t use any perique in either of those. One is a straight Virginia blend and the other had some fire cured Virginia added as a condiment. I did the fire cure myself a few years ago. It is best used in small amounts, because it is spicy. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The straight Virginia blend has some of the upper leaves in it, which may give it a spicier flavor.

I’m saving the cigars for New Years Eve. It seemed like a good time to imibibe in the best.
Let me know when you’ll be in town again.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,221
627
I thought I remembered you saying no perique but there was clearly something dark and spicy added, I thought my memory could have been mistaken. Regardless, quite good. Hope you enjoy the cigars, the big Cuban Anniversary Cuban should keep you occupied for several hours on New Years Eve.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,645
1,005
Do not be deceived; making smooth smoking leaf out of the plant is no small accomplishment. You have to have the pipe spirits guiding your hand.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,221
627
No question. When I first tried Michael's home grown tobacco, I wasn't expecting much. Not much at all. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,437
1,076
Well, I would encourage anyone wanting to give growing tobacco a try to do it. It is a rewarding hobby to those with the patience. I am not exactly a genius, ha ha. Any backyard gardener could easily do this.
It's about that time when you'd want to be selecting your seeds and getting your stuff ready to start your seeds. February is the best time to start your seeds.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,437
1,076
Yeh, when I saw the title, it triggered my reflexive "looking for the black helicopters" scan of the skies. Is it my imagination, or is there a tiny red light on my forehead? :puffy:

 

buster

Preferred Member
Sep 1, 2011
1,305
0
So I’m a backyard gardener. What seeds do you buy? I’ve thought of growing tobacco in the past but have never pulled the trigger. Figuring the process to make it smokable would be a challenge.

 

jitterbugdude

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
994
2
What seeds do you buy?
That all depends on what you like and how much effort you want to put in to post harvest.
Burley is easy, just stalk harvest, hang in barn/shed/basement.. then let it age a year or put it into a kiln for 4 weeks. There are Burleys with very little nicotine and there are one's that'll know your socks off. You can also use Burley to make Perique (very easy to do)
Virginia is also easy but you would not stalk harvest but rather harvest the leaves right off of the stalk. You would also need to build a flue chamber to allow you to set the sugars. If you let a Virginia air dry you'll get a rather bland tasting tobacco due to the lack of sugars.
Turkish: Also easy to do but gives small yields per plant. You can flue cure, sun cure or air cure. I air cure all of mine. I've tried flue and sun curing but never noticed much of a difference between those methods and air curing. Turkish have a little bit of sugar in the leaves so that's why they are traditionally sun cured
Semois: A tobacco class all by itself! Easy to grow, easy to cure.. and very tasty.
Cigar leaf: grow/cure like a Burley
Primitive: not to be confused with a Rustica. These are varieties that the USDA couldn't find a category for so they threw it into the "Primitive" category. Typically, these have not been bred or cross bred as most modern tobaccos have been. There are some that are very tasty. Most seem to have a high nicotine content.
Rustica: grow/harvest like a Burley. Smells like cat pee while growing but is very tasty and usually has high nicotine content. They also have a greenish-yellow flower while all other tobacco flowers are white (with a few being pink and even fewer being a dark red)

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,437
1,076
I jumped right into Virginias, which gave me a lot of loss in crops as I wa figuring out the best process of flue curing. But, I was attracted to that "cooking" process of getting different flavors from the cure.

If losing a lot of leaf in the beginning isn't a big deal to you, and you like building things, and monitoring heat and humidity seems like a thrill, ha ha, then Virginias would be ok to start with.
Same for cigars... you can take the curing process to the same lengths as Virginias.
But, if you want easy excellent results right off the bat, then burleys would be a great place to start.
The biggest hurdle is always getting past those thousands of crazy seed variety names. It is overwhelming. Virginias are the easiest, as there is just one major seedstock, *Virginia Gold. But, burleys seems more daunting, from Ky to red leaf to weird names like George's red tail seed stocks. Maybe Jitterbug will have some suggestions for low nicotine to high flavor seed stocks?
*but of course there are many other heirloom brightleaf varieties out there also.