The Psychology Of Cellaring

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Jun 25, 2016
211
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There are people who think cellaring is crazy.

There are people who think NOT cellaring is crazy.
Who is right, and who is wrong? Well, that comes down to the individual concerned. There is NO universally correct approach.
To the casual observer, there are two apparent "factions" in the pipe world; the "must have's" and the "don't care's". The "must have's" seem to have decided that they will be a pipe smoker for the rest of their lives, and are actively (sometimes frantically) trying to future proof themselves against rising prices or potential lack of availability. Sometimes having squirrelled away enough to last them the rest of their lives, they still feel utterly compelled to keep buying more and more. The "don't care's". Seem to actively choose to be at the mercy of legislative changes, and have no stash to fall back on should prices rise or products become unobtainable. There are people in each camp who look upon people with the opposing mindset in sheer disbelief, and even openly mock them. There are also, of course, many people who fall between these two extremes.
I believe that cellaring several years or decades worth of ANYTHING (not just pipe tobacco) is a reaction (some people may say over-reaction) to a deep underlying anxiety. Some anxieties in life are rational, and some are not. Some start off being rational, and then get out of control. It is down to the individual to examine their own anxieties, and decide for themselves the rationality of their own thoughts.
Personally, I have chosen to live without the anxiety.
This comment may sound flippant, and indeed may even read as condescending or derogatory, but I have had to put a lot of work into eliminating some of my own life anxieties, which I am not prepared to discuss here. I have also had some training in addressing this with other people - again, not for discussion here. I will say however, that as a former cigarette addict, part of my own perspective is a very strong aversion to feel controlled by a need for something. I am consciously aware of this and have made life choices accordingly. My anxiety about becoming dependent (again) trumps any anxiety I might have about future costs or availability of pipe tobacco.
If people feel more comfortable addressing their anxieties in a different way to me, that's entirely their choice. Providing it truly IS their free choice. With real life friends who engage in any form of of stockpiling, I would try to ensure they are doing this consciously and thoughtfully rather than impulsively or obsessively.
Awareness and free choice underpin whether our decisions are rational or not. It's perfectly fine to cellar if you do so with an open mind and rational thought, and not just to satiate a deep and not consciously recognised anxiety. Also if it is done with disposable income only, and essential bills do not go unpaid due to these anxieties, or compulsively hoovering up all available stocks before anyone else does. However, it's also perfectly fine to not cellar and just buy as you go if that is your choice, again if you have made the conscious decision to accept whatever legislative changes come your way. Even if those changes mean at some point you may never be able to smoke a pipe again.
While I do not cellar, and I have no problems with other people cellaring, I do have concerns about "promoting" cellaring and creating anxieties in other people that wouldn't ordinarily be there. To me, this is becoming commonplace in online discourse. These anxieties can (and do) become infectious, and people who would otherwise be perfectly comfortable without cellaring, have the anxieties effectively imposed on them through group psychology. Imposing our anxieties on others can have a negative effect on their lives. We've all seen newcomers to the pipe start stockpiling several kilos of leaf, or asking what they should cellar, before they've even discovered their own personal tastes or overcome the "hurdles" of tongue bite, relights, ghosting, or which leaf works best in which pipe. Stockpiling because they think they should, based entirely on the actions and anxieties of others.
Personally I think we need to be careful to not get caught up in what is "right and wrong", and to both respect the life choices of others, and ensure they are not merely becoming victim of the life choices of others. If we truly wish to help our fellow man in this regard, we should promote awareness, free thought, and a balanced approach to the perceived risks.
Both ways.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,296
95
I cellar; therefore, I'm not anxious.
More to your point.....I started cellaring hard and deep a few years ago and have approximately 180 pounds cellared. The FDA deeming has had very little effect for me. No anxiety.
I really enjoy Klondike Gold, but it has gone the way of the Dodo. No worries, it's very well represented.
Are there baccys that I'll miss....maybe down the road....a very long road.
We each have our own journey and your mileage may vary.

 

wlrountree

Member
Jan 4, 2015
140
0
Very well written and I enjoyed the read. I am in the no-cellar camp at the moment, but it's mainly because I cannot simply buy a new to me blend, and not smoke it. I am very interested in seeing what some age will do to some of my blends, but I simply have not put forth the effort to make it happen. Also, as I mainly buy in bulk, it would take extra time and energy to package up whatever I decided to cellar. I do understand that if you have a certain blend or maker that you smoke with any regularity, you may want to put it away to avoid cost increases or shortages. I do not have anything that would fall into a regular smoke for me, and I doubt it will change.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,782
9
I have watched the price of a pouch of tobacco go from $2 - $3 steadily up to $35. Then they decided to outlaw, out right ban, aromatic tobaccos. It will only get worse and that is why I cellar. When they finally ban internet sales I will smoke my meagre hoard until it's gone and hopefully have a homegrown substitute. No, not that homegrown. :mrgreen:

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,411
1,017
I keep trying to read this, but then the damned squirrels keep crawling out of the dark spaces on the screen and attacking me. It's really obnoxious as to why you would have written this with so many squirrels tucked away behind the letters.
I cellar, because I can do what I want. Once the asteroid has hit us, and the martians have feasted on the spinal fluids of all of our governments. I will be the guy laughing on his big pile of tins. They may force me to work in the pixiedust mines while shooting pure kryptonite into my brain, but I'll be laughing. You'll see, ha ha, you'll all see!!

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,842
33
I have also had some training in addressing this with other people - again, not for discussion here.
Followed by:
I do have concerns about "promoting" cellaring and creating anxieties in other people that wouldn't ordinarily be there.
Kind of seems like you went ahead and discussed addressing this with other people. An interesting discourse, but it sure got a bit preachy at the end.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,411
1,017
I have seen quite a few guys who either got sucked into cellaring, or had the money at the time... but, then they came back to sell off everything because the credit card bill came or they lost their jobs. If you can't cellar don't. If you could but then cannot any longer, then sell. Usually, we will take your losses off your hands for a fair price. Unless you start wanting more money for age or jacking up the Esotericas... then you can just sell it to the squirrels, or ebay... same thing. :puffy:

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
0
It all comes down to security, or lack thereof, and certainty, that you will have what you want, when you want it.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
I have absolutely nothing against cellaring tobacco, nothing at all. I just wish that folks would have a thought for their fellow smoker before clearing the shelves of suppliers in one fell swoop. There really is enough to go around if we all buy sensibly.
Regards,
Jay.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,411
1,017
Has there ever been anyone who has done that Jay? I can't recall anyone ever boasting of doing that on here. Are there people in Cornwall that do that?

 

jensen

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2016
378
7
In a few minutes I will take on my shoes and cross our street and walk into the tobacconists shop and buy 100 grams

of My Own Blend 111 as the tin is empty. We shall have a chat about wind and weather,that is important.

 
Jun 25, 2016
211
1
Kind of seems like you went ahead and discussed addressing this with other people. An interesting discourse, but it sure got a bit preachy at the end.
I actually rewrote the last bit several times because I also felt it was getting bit preachy. Maybe I was trying to preach that we shouldn't preach....
It also seems that some people who cellar took exception to me saying I have no problem with people cellaring, and trying to balance the post by pointing out the downsides of not cellaring.
I guess I failed. Maybe I was destined to.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,842
33
I'm not upset with you, aimless, just pointing it out. As I said, it is a very interesting conversation. I appreciate the post, as it caused a fair amount of reflection.

 

voorhees

Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
3,618
172
Gonadistan
I'm one of the in between guys. I wouldn't mind having a nice cellar, but I cannot get in over my head. I have enough for today, tomorrow and some days ahead, although not as many as others. The overall total is not enough for the long haul, but I buy as I can.

 

pipehunter

Member
Dec 20, 2016
212
1
Interesting thread. I think the OP brought up some rarely addressed issues.
The more time I spend on pipe forums, the more pipes and tobacco I find myself buying. And, if you're not careful, it doesn't take long to feel left out or like you are the lone idiot who is going to regret it when you see other people socking away hundreds of pounds of tobacco and discussing to no end looming FDA and other regulations and possible prohibitions.
It's easy for me to see how some small anxiety can arise from this, and I've felt it myself. For people particularly susceptible to this kind of influence, I can also see how it could easily blossom from a small anxiety to a big problem. It's just like drinking in that sense.
The one thing I'd like to point out about the OP is that it doesn't take into account that some people also cellar tobacco for the same reasons they cellar wine: to have what they want available when they want it and to age the commodity to their liking. I don't know that there is any anxiety underlying or associated with this class of cellarists. I've been cellaring wine for decades and don't feel the least anxious about it (whether as motivating factor or result). That said, I don't hang out on wine forums awash in news of the latest great vintages, limited allocation offerings, or disappearing favorites. That might make me anxious.

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
0
A few folks have announced snapping up a limited supply of-- whatever --, that is not the issue, on any given day anything can happen. As a matter of habit, well, you can only smoke so much, and I really think a lot of fears are overblown on the future of tobacco, but as a matter of hoping to later gouge weak-willed people and make a living at it may not be the most noble thing on the planet. But that is your right.
What is really at issue here is sites either not limiting how much you can buy so it gets spread around more, or even better, some of these companies out there stepping up production! Unless they are really afraid of getting stuck with inventory.
Thing is, this whole mess only came up a year or so ago and demand for tobacco has really jumped--- and it can take 1-3 years to produce a batch of many of the most sought after blends.
Let's not lose sight of the real villain here, our good ol' FDA.

 

fitzy

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2012
2,933
0
NY
I have a small cellar. I try to stock my cellar anytime there is a good sale and I don't cellar out of anxiety but to get tobacco I love at a good price. With NY looking to implement a tax on goods purchased online as well as their 75% tobacco tax I may as well cellar what I can while it's still affordable. Also cellaring for me is equivalent to aging cigars. Why wouldn't I want to smoke well aged baccy?
For example that summer sale on top of the 20% off discount code from P&C had me buying my favorite H&H tins for $6 per tin. How can I not cellar at that price?
Another good example is PS Luxury Twist Flake that I got for about $1.80 per ounce from P&C when they had a sale on PS tobacco's. Wish I could have combined that sale with the 20% off code but they weren't overlapping.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,411
1,017
I cannot imagine a company ever limiting how much someone can buy online. I can see a B&M just releasing Esotericas to walk ins only, because it would increase the sales of pipes and other items in the store. Basically, using rare blends as a way to get more people through the door. I have mentioned this to Skip at The Briary, but he says that if someone calls and buys all of it at once on the first phone call, it saves him a lot of work mailing out a hundred separate boxes if he can just mail back out the boxes they were shipped in.

But, he will hold blends for his regulars if we ask him.
This happens with other stuff. The zoo sales the pachyderm poop as an excellent garden fertilizer. But, when my local Co-Op gets it in, the first person to call gets it all. Month after month. So, in many ways, Penzance is a lot like hippo poop.

 
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