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10+ Years in the Jar?

(24 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by rmbittner
  • Latest reply from piperl12
  1. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    I'm curious:

    I store all of my tobacco in its original tins. But I'm suddenly curious about whether anyone has had the experience of being able to sample and compare tobaccos that were aged for a good length of time in both the tin and in a jar. Does anyone have jarred tobacco that you've cellared for 10 years or more? Ever compared it with an equally old tin of the same blend?

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. taerin

    Eric

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    Tins usually are vacuum sealed which makes aging occur at a very slow rate, jars have air in them which facilitates this process.

    "The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
    Mark Twain
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    Eric:

    Yes. . .

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. crpntr1

    Chris

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    If Erics theory/statement is accurate, Jarring accelorates the aging.?.
    I have some FVF that was bought in bulk in June of '09 and jarred, anyone has any from same age thats been tinned and is opening it, lets trade some to evaluate??
    It's a long shot I know but he offers there

    The most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen...not necessarily in that order

    You may all go to hell, I'll go to Texas-Davy Crockett
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. rmbittner

    rmbittner

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    Chris:

    My original question was trying to get a handle on aging differences over a longer time period. But I have to admit I'm intrigued. . .

    Unfortunately, I only have FVF tins from 2007 and some that didn't get dated when I bought them (but are likely from 2008).

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. crpntr1

    Chris

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    My original question was trying to get a handle on aging differences over a longer time period

    Yes, I wasn't trying to hijack, but if theres much difference at 5 yrs...

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    It seems, to me anyway, aging in vacuum sealed tins (Dunhill, Mac Baren, Erinmore, etc.) will occur at a slower rate if the tins are not the "key zip top" (such as GLP, C&D, H&H, etc.) the latter type of which have more air to better facilitate aging (40% IIRC).

    When jarring pipe tobacco, I don't go crazy with the air myself -- for me, it's 1/4 inch of air at the top of a well-packed 8 ounce canning jar of tobacco.

    But cutting to the chase, yes, Bob, in my experience, vacuum sealed tins of the same blend age a bit more slowly than their jarred counterparts. I attribute this to less air in the former, but I'm also thinking there's a crap load of other variables in play as well. To get more precise and analytical would require a lot of thought, measurements, and comparisons and give me a headache.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. portascat

    portascat

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    I have a tin of Escudo going on 2 years already, never opened. Not sure what I am going to do with it. It is like some BFG weapon in a video game I don't want to use. I will probably die with it unopened, seeing as how I have a tin of it open, anyhow.

    "To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    From what I’ve gathered from G.L. Pease’s interviews, articles and my own knowledge of anaerobic bacteria this is the conclusion I’ve made on ageing not curing tobacco, which are two different things. To age at the best speed and result Jars should be packed with an air tight lid. If it’s a moist broken flake leave some room at the top, loose flake can just be stacked, you don’t want to crush those flake planks (I don’t). Ribbon cut you can smash as there’s enough room for oxygen. This allows for anaerobic bacteria to form and the ageing process to occur as the oxygen is depleted. If you open it, you allow oxygen in and then the process won’t start again until it’s depleted. The differences in quality of the ageing are at 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and then it slows to 5 year increments.

    So with this in mind a vacuumed sealed tin which has its oxygen removed will age, but slower as you need the oxygen for a greater amount of anaerobic bacteria to be present. So you’re better off taking the tins and putting them in jars for a faster ageing process. The plastic cap on a tin still allows oxygen to enter, so no ageing will take place.

    Craig

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” Patrick Henry
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Is accelerated aging necessarily a good thing? It is well known in wine circles for example, that wine aging slows at cooler temperatures and accelerates at higher temperatures, but at least in the wine game, accelerated aging isn't the best thing. There is a sweet spot temperature (around 55 degrees) for Reds that will harmoniously age the wine.

    Is it possible that the slower aging in a vaccum sealed tin will produce a better final product than if the tobacco is aged in a vessel that is not vacuum sealed? I have no idea, I just want to point out that, at least with wine, faster aging isn't always better, but I don't know if the same holds true for tobacco.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    I really haven't studied aging in wines, But I'm sure that the alcohol may have something to do with it. It will turn wine to vinegar… So it’s probably a different process. Dark and cool is the best conditions for anaerobic bacteria to thrive and multiply.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. sparroa

    simenon

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    Good point, peckinpah.

    Dragonslayer, I am not especially convinced that aging in a jar is preferable to a tin. As peckinpah notes, accelerating the aging process may not always be the optimal approach - there are likely other variables at play besides speed that affect blend quality/development.

    I doubt we will see a scientific study take up the cause, so it is likely to remain a point of debate into the future.

    I think there is sufficient evidence among us friends to suggest that tins will age quite well if they are undamaged. Whether or not that is "THE" best way to do it, I do not know...

    Regarding wines, heat will not turn a wine to vinegar (that is the role of acetobacter) but it will Maderize the wine. That is, it will have a cooked, stewed fruit character similar to the fortified wines of Madeira which are intentionally heated to achieve this effect. It is a flaw in table wines...

    The Madeira wine style was discovered when their wine emerged from the hull of a ship after a tropical ocean voyage in decidedly bad condition - but the consumers found the taste appealing. Since the age of sail, producers have devised ways to simulate the sea voyage by a process called estufagem.

    Bringing it back to tobacco, jarring may very well lead to accelerated aging, but it may also affect the properties of the tobacco in subtle ways. Whether or not it is to be preferred probably depends upon the palate of the individual...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. sparroa

    simenon

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    To portascat, the two year old Escudo you have will be noticeably milder. The perique takes a step back, and it becomes a little more harmonious. (I love it fresh, though...) You will also notice that the tobacco has darkened considerably and there may be some stains on the paper liner, presumably from tobacco oils.

    Honestly, at two years it is not that much better - it is just different. Keep it for another three and see what you think!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Honestly, at two years it is not that much better

    I agree with this and would add that it applies to most of the virginia blends I've aged.

    According to Greg Pease, the aging progression for Virginia blends is 6-12 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years and 30 years (that's as far as he's gone, but IIRC, feels continued improvements can be expected, in 10 year increments, beyond 30). And I agree with him. Well, to 10 years anyway. I've some slightly more than 10 years old in the cellar, but haven't smoked any of those yet.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. sparroa

    simenon

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    The thing is roth that there are definite differences but unless one is devoted to the same blend it is quite hard to pick them out. If you happen to have a fresh and aged tin open at the same time it is a little easier, but as soon as you begin to rely upon memory you will conflate the blends to some degree. A blending of the blends, if you will...

    Again, regarding wine, I have seen it time and time again that the average joe cannot tell which wine is cheap or expensive and they cannot tell which wine was aged or fresh. It is a skill like anything else and sometimes even the experts are wrong. I am no expert but I have passed and failed a number of blind tastings - it comes with practice and experience or just plain dumb luck, nothing else.

    This is off topic, but if people want to see the process of aging at a fairly rapid pace then try your hand at aging beer. Sometimes the difference between six months or a year is like night and day with the right styles...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    @simenon I know that wine fermentation is much more complicated due to a much broder spectrum of grape, blend, original ageing and basic quality. I don't drink so my pairings with tobacco are with my custom blend tea's and Coke Zero. I know I'm missing out on part of the fun. In tobacco though side by side, by brand the only difference would be speed. They both will get there, but at some percentage (sounds like a science experiment lols), probably not a huge one or maybe small enough by brand not to be worth it. But there's a difference for sure. It's true though that you have to take much more care in protecting the conditions of jars than you would tins. A rotted seal could not only stop ageing but make conditions favourable for mold production.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. sparroa

    simenon

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    The composition of tobacco leaves is more complex than you account for, though, dragonslayer.

    There are countless varietals which are all cured in different ways.

    Each blend is combined in a different and utterly unique combination.

    There are different grades of leaf.

    So I think there are quite a lot of similarities between tobacco and wine aging.

    (Just think about perique and all of the properties it has as opposed to the humble burley leaf it was before it underwent the maturation process. It must be a hotbed of microbiological activity or at least it must have a large effect on the aging of the blend itself because of its differences)

    I am not a microbiologist or chemist, though, so my knowledge of the tobacco fermentation process is sorely lacking. I am just looking at it from an outside-in "common sense" perspective that seems to indicate to me that there is an invisible hand at play besides the speed of aging that affects the whole process...

    We will never know the answer 100% because there is no money to be made from it, thus no research will be undertaken.

    All the same, I think it is always good for us as a group to undertake our own experiments - even if they are fallible and imperfect. That way you can discover your own truths, even if you can't quite convince anyone else of their validity...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. dragonslayer

    dragonslayer

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    Actually you bring up a very good point that deserves a new thread (plus I got to start more threads than just answering them lols)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    wnghanglow

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    Simenon, you have earn some respect from me with your replies to this thread, I have no ideal if your right but tw way you give examples to how you believe to "your own truth" statement, very well said!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. sparroa

    simenon

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    Thanks wnghanglow.

    We are all conducting our own aging experiments already but it pays for us to pay more attention to them.

    Every time you open a new tin it is an aging experiment.

    After a while you begin to see certain common denominators and abnormalities will become more obvious!

    Then you can cellar with more of a plan and see if you are rewarded with the intended effects or some unseen outcome...

    Speaking of experiments, there is a notable one that relates to my earlier posts.

    Old cajun and a few more people advocate for baking their tins. That cooking/caramelization process definitely sounds like it relates to the Maderization in wine and it is a "homebrew" attempt at the stoving used by tobacco blenders. Not only that it is an effort to simulate the taste of aged/mature product to some degree...

    Anyway, things like that are very interesting to me and it just goes to show that you can get creative with this hobby and that there is more to think about than combusting leaves in a chamber!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. jpberg

    jpberg

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    Back to the op, I smoke a lot of Old Gowrie, FVF, BBF and Penzance that have 15 - 20 years of age, both from tins and jars. It would take a much finer palate than mine to tell you that there was a significant difference between the two storage methods.

    I appreciate all the discussion, theory and science about the aging process, some of it gets a bit deep for me, but it's good stuff nonetheless.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. sparroa

    simenon

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    I think that I would be hardpressed to tell the difference based on my other experiences but I have not encountered the scenario that Bob was asking about.

    It is telling that we have to ask so many questions about this because it is not obvious by any means.

    Unfortunately trial and error may be the best judge but most of us don't want to wait 10-20 years for a conclusion that may very well be clear as mud. I wish the best of luck to those of you who do!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. portascat

    portascat

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    I don't plan on opening the escudo any time soon. It isn't my go-to blend, and there is an open tin around in case I get the urge for it. It may sit for quite some time.

    I need to do the same with a tin of Balkan Saseini, which is a go-to blend for me.

    I had the opportunity to smoke about 3 solid bowls of the 86 year old Revelation that pawpaw found a year or two back. How I got the honor for that, i don't know, but it was some sublime shit.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. piperl12

    piperl12

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    I have a tin of 15 year old Bengal Slices that is unopened I keep looking at it but can't bring myself to open it. I wonder if it will be better than it was when it was new? Anyway I have jars of tobacco and have never had much luck with retaining the taste it always seems to dry out in the jar.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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