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Cellaring Tobacco You Haven't Smoked

(51 posts)
  1. derfargin

    derfargin

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    I popped open a nice VA flake last week, my first tin of Dunhill flake. I have a pretty good stockpile of this stuff going...

    I've got a few tins of DF in the cellar, but I've not tried any yet. I might have to crack one soon!

    These are quotes from a recent Dunhill Flake review I saw, and am perplexed by. There are some of you that cellar tobacco(some with considerable stocks)that you haven't even smoked once? What's the logic behind that? Is it a type of tobacco you currently enjoy, and you think will age well? So you buy a bunch and sit on it for a few years? Do you think that "Well if I don't like it, I'll just sell it to someone else"?

    I'm of the try before you invest in more school of thought. If I don't like the taste of a fresh tin of tobacco, chances are I'm not going to fancy a tin with a few years of age on it. Or does age change the blend so much that it completely different smoking experience?

    There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. beefeater33

    beefeater33

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    I ALWAYS cellar tobacco I haven't smoked. Once I smoke it, it goes straight to the ashtray--- NEVER back in the cellar!

    "We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream..."
    Willy Wonka
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I usually cellar tobaccos I have tried before. They represent the majority of the tobaccos I cellar. Then, every once in a while, I buy single tins of tobaccos. If it happens I really like some of them then I will add quantities of them to the cellar.

    The point of cellaring is not chronical insecurity but the fact that tobacco usually gets better and better with age.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

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    It's cheap stuff, I tend to buy no less than five or so tins of anything that I think might be interesting. Heck compared to cigarettes, might as well. I also gather more than I can smoke in a month, so sometimes it may be quite a few before I get to some blends. And, sometimes I forget I even bought it. I don't like to keep too many tins open. I get confused that way, LOL.

    Heck, if I don't like it, I just give it to my friends at the the pipe club. Someone will like it.
    What does it matter to you?

    Michael
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    As someone whose cellar consisted of about 2 pounds of odds and ends when I joined the forum and has currently amassed a roughly 75 pound cellar here's what I have done.

    I try it first and then buy/hoard more if I like it. There have been a few exceptions but those initial buys were five tins or less. The minimum amount I generally buy in bulk is four ounces.

    I am lucky enough to travel quite a bit so I visit B&M's in the SW and pick up a tin here and a tin there of stuff, in some cases I've never heard of, and go from there.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. cmdrmcbragg

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    I never buy a ton of a blend if I haven't had it before. I always get a tin or a couple ounces to start before I buy more. I always try to buy in bulk if I like a blend though because it saves on shipping or trips to the store down the road when I would like more. Unfortunately not everything comes in bulk size so we're forced to buy tins ... and for some that means a box of tins. I don't go overboard with hoarding blends I like. I buy bulk for smoking, not saving it for the days when tobacco purchases are outlawed and the ATF goes door to door inspecting homes for caches of leaf.

    Plus I have an appropriately small space to work with so I don't go overboard. I've already been accused of having too much with only a handful of unopened tins and 14 mini-mason jars of all blends I have had.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. rmbittner

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    I'm mostly like junkyarddawg. But if something comes out that I think I'm really likely to enjoy -- usually from a blender that I know I love -- I'll often buy 11 or 21 tins: 10/20 for the cellar and one to try in the near future.

    Usually this works out fine for me. But sometimes I do end up with a number of tins that I decide to sell/pass along later.

    Sometimes, I'll pick up one or two tins of something new and just put them in the cellar, thinking I'll give them some time to rest before trying them.

    Bob

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. northernneil

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    I have a good selection of tobaccos in the cellar that I have not tried yet. However, I only stockpile the blends I have determined to be good. When buying a new blend, I like to get 3 tins. One to smoke soon, one to smoke later and one to save for long term aging. If after the first tin I find I really like the tobacco, then I start ordering more to store long term.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. cosmicfolklore

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    I also like to buy pipes that I don't intend to ever smoke. No, not to collect or increase in value or anything. But, sometimes I buy pipes to prevent other people from smoking them. Yep, tobaccos I haven't tried, and pipes just to keep others from smoking them.
    I'm that guy, lol.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. rasselass

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    Over here in Bushmills,Northern Ireland,i would say,there are few who cellar their Pipe Tobacco,over here the "Cost of Living"is high ie. 50 grams of Condor/Dunhill N.C. is approx.$20-21 U.S.,i smoke 100 grams a week,and petrol/diesel costing $10-11 U.S a gallon....how i envy you guys and i'm curious as i'm sure others in the U.K. are ,what you pay for Tobacco and Petrol/Diesel in different parts of the world....Apologies if i'm "off topic"but this i find interesting...Good Luck.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. cosmicfolklore

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    According to a post by Per Jenson of Mac Baron Tobaccos, it's mostly just an American phenomena to begin with. However, the idea is spreading.

    No one back in my grandfather's time was purposefully stockpiling tobaccos to get a better flavor.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. peckinpahhombre

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    I am cellaring huge quantities of Mixture 79 - not to smoke, but just so others don't have to suffer.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. cosmicfolklore

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    Thank you!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. escioe

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    By Greg Pease's account, among the first people to cellar was Robert Rex at Drucquer & Sons in Berkeley in the late 70s, wherein he would hold back house blends for five years and sell them at a premium.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    harlockfan

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    I am celling alot right now. Mainly when I get a good deal I typically buy. I probably have enough for 3 years now. Most of the stuff I have to celler I haven't tried yet. Not just for aging because about half of them are aromatics which would serve no purpose.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. derfargin

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    What does it matter to you?

    It doesn't matter to ME at all, I was just curious about the practice.

    I can understand buying a few tins as "northerneil" said. some to smoke now, some to smoke later, and some much much later.

    But I can't see how you can buy a number of tins of something, and sit on it for a year and not smoke it once.

    Different smokes for different folks I guess.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If I see blends routinely getting positive reviews,and they are of the types that I like, I tend to buy and cellar, even if I have never smoked it.
    Admittedly, I tend to like everything I have tried...of course I like some more than others.

    Just when I thought that I liked va/pers, and English blends the most, I opened a bag of Queen Anne's revenge and Trout Stream that knock my socks off.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    There are some blends out there for about $20-30 a pound, so compared with buying a single tin, sometimes it makes more sense to take the plunge and buy a whole pound block. If you end up hating it, give it out as Christmas gifts
    I've wasted more money at the movie theaters.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. peckinpahhombre

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    I have some stuff in the cellar that I have never tried, but not a whole lot. For example, I have a bunch of Pelican. Have no idea what the stuff tastes like. I will try it some some day, but even if I don't, the stuff sells like hot cakes, so I don't see how I can lose. I also have a bunch of PH Dark Strong Flake. No idea what it tastes like. Figure I can't go wrong with that either. I also have a bunch of assorted GLP blends that I have never tried yet. For me, I not only was worried about US tax increases, but also changes in the customs landscape and getting the stuff across the border - so I decided to cellar with abandon. Anything I have cellared in quantity though (my definition: over 3 lb) I have tried and like.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. cosmicfolklore

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    The biggest mistake I've made with buying too much was Sutliff's Great Outdoors. Before I decided to start stockpiling, I bought twelve tins of the stuff based on the review here on PM. Little did I know that it was going to be the one blend that would turn my stomach. But, my local pipe friends enjoyed getting a fresh tin for Christmas. A close second mistake was buying 1oz each of the lakeland blends to give them a shot. I now have two rose bushes with a mulch that gives off that English tobacco aroma in the heat of summer, ha ha. I couldn't find anyone local that would even try the stuff based on the smell. If I had of known that people on here liked the stuff, I would have gladly sent it to them, but... hindsight and all that.

    Otherwise, I don't think I've bought too much of anything else that has turned out terrible. (knock on wood) Straight Virginas and VaPers don't turn my stomach. However, the 10+ year old stack of tins of Tilbury isn't a favorite of mine, but when I add a good dose of perique, it becomes tolerable. I wouldn't make a rash purchase of a latakia blend or aromatic. So, some of it has to be calculated risks.

    I'm not scared of laws or taxes. I just have to get what I want before Peck or Harris get wind of them, lol. Otherwise, I have to get on a waiting list

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. beezer

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    The majority of the blends I have in my cellar currently are of stuff I have never tried. I'm afflicted with the "collector bug" and will usually purchase between 2-7 tins of a particular blend based off of a combination of reviews and the blend's availability matched up against what I know my own likes/dislikes are. To put it in perspective I've currently got approximately 45 blends for a total of about 175 tins in the cellar of stuff that I've yet to try. For blends that I know I love I might cellar a pound or two.

    I have no concern or worries about what to do if I end up not liking a particular blend that is in my cellar. Reiterating what others have said, I'll either sell, trade, or gift it away if that ends up being the case. For me half the fun is the collecting aspect. I love chasing hard to find blends and I love cracking open a tin of something I've never tried before.

    Heck, I've got a list of blends sitting on the desk in my office of some 30 blends or so that I've never tried, but that I plan on adding to the cellar this year! I might just have to head over to P&C and take advantage of that Father's Day coupon!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. latbomber

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    I will only stock up on something I've tried and liked. Seems like simple logic to me.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. captainsousie

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    I'll usually buy at least 2 tins of a blend I might like, one to smoke and the other to cellar, but at the rate I smoke it can take me a year or more to get to a particular blend. So yeah, I might have a few blends in the cellar that I haven't tried (19 untried blends at present) but I'll get to them all someday. If I hate them, there's always somebody who is willing to trade for them.

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. drennan

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    I will only stock up on something I've tried and liked. Seems like simple logic to me.

    Seems like simple logic to me too.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. fnord

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    Derfargin:

    I'm a Latakia junkie. Everything about an English blend buzzes my buttons and my modest 20 lb. cellar is built around them.

    However, in case my tastes change, I've still got three to four lbs. of VAs and VaPers simmering. One of these days, if Nightcap, Low Country Black, Gaslight and Stimulus Package no longer hold their allure I'll have Anni Kake and Escudo to tide me over. Otherwise, I've got some killer trade bait on forums like this.

    There's nothing wrong with hedging your bets.

    Fnord

    It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says - like dumb - I'm smart and I want respect!
    Fredo Corleone
    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. petes03

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    Normally, I do tend to try a blend before I stockpile it, but there are exceptions.
    For example, Brigham Klondike Gold. I went purely off of reviews from people I trust and who have ever so very similar tastes to mine.
    Klondike Gold is a blend that has a reputation for being hard to get at times, so I bought a pound without having tried any.

    Same with Dunhill Flake. I bought almost a pound of it without having tried any.

    I will usually buy "new" blends two tins at a time. But if it's something that I'm almost certain I'll like, and hard to find, I might buy more.

    Incidentally, I still haven't tried the KG or DF.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. rmbittner

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    "But I can't see how you can buy a number of tins of something, and sit on it for a year and not smoke it once."

    This isn't difficult at all. I've got over 800 tins in the cellar and new blends are being introduced every year. Since I only go through 2oz/50g about every week, I have more than enough options to choose from. So it's not hard at all to end up with a number of cellared blends that I have yet to try. And I'm not worried, since they were bought based on my track record with the blenders, their ingredients, and reviews; odds are, I'm going to enjoy them. And if not -- well, then I've got tins with a fair amount of age on them to sell on or trade.

    I just checked, and I only have multiples of a couple of as-yet-untried blends. But one is Pease's Laurel Heights. I've got 12 tins that I bought in 2006. As far as my records show, I haven't tried it yet. . . but I have a feeling that when I do, it's going to be fantastic after 8+ years of cellaring.

    Bob

    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. murf

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    I have a modest cellar, but will probably last me most of my life. My cellar is wide, but not deep. With the exception of PS LBF (3 lbs), PS LTF (1.5 lbs), and MacBaren Silver Cube (1 lb), I have only a few oz or tins of each blend.

    My cellaring strategy can be quite erratic, and I wish I would have found this forum before I started my (inadvertent) cellar. I bought more than I could smoke, and bought a large variety, only smoking a few bowls of each before moving onto the next.

    However, with the tobaccos listed above, I tried them, really liked them, and then bought bulk and jarred it.

    I bought 1 lb of H&H AK when there was a sale on 8oz tins, without every having tried it. I'm glad I did, because I really enjoy it. I did the same with some other H&H blends during the same sale.

    I got a tin of Escudo and really enjoyed it, so I bought 5 more when SP.com was having a sale. At the same time, I bought 5 tins of OGS to add to the 1 unopened tin I had during the same sale. Still haven't tried it, but plan on it eventually.

    I like Dunhill Flake, so if I'm at my B&M, I'll buy a tin. I think I have 3 tins in the cellar now.

    What I try to do now is buy 3 tins of a given blend that I think I'll like. 1 for smoking, 1 for short term cellar, and 1 for long term cellar. If I don't happen to get to the 1st tin for a while, oh well. I'll get to it eventually, and the other 2 will have more time to age. If I happen to get through that 1st tin and really enjoy it, I'll add another tin or so on my next order.

    I think with all the talk of the Tobacopalypse approaching, it caused me to be erratic in my purchases. There's so much to try, and so little time. If you think of making a cellar as a marathon, rather than a sprint, you will probably have a cellar that is very representative of your tastes. If you sprint to cellar, you might end up with a lot of stuff you don't care for, or at least full of blends that don't knock your socks off. But, I suppose you can always trade or sell it.

    If I had the chance to do it over, I would like to do it more methodically. But, who knows? I might get to a 5yr old tin of something I have never tried, and be really glad that I bought a few. But, I'm also glad that I KNOW I have blends in my cellar that I've enjoyed fresh, and will most likely enjoy aged

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. trucha

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    I've done this with a few blends that promised to be really good like hamburger veermeister and Elizabethan mix. I am glad I did because both are better with age. Others I've ordered without trying are McClellan Syrian and Germaine royal jersey.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. escioe

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    I just checked, and I only have multiples of a couple of as-yet-untried blends. But one is Pease's Laurel Heights. I've got 12 tins that I bought in 2006. As far as my records show, I haven't tried it yet. . . but I have a feeling that when I do, it's going to be fantastic after 8+ years of cellaring.

    Dear Bob: I am smoldering a bowl of that blend and vintage right now. It's very good rather than great, but it's worth digging out a tin.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. derfargin

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    Interesting viewpoints. I had thought maybe the type of by manufacturer/blender had lots to do with the decision.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. msandoval858

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    I do this pretty often. I have a thing for buying larger quantities of tobaccos I try simply because of the cost per ounce savings. Particularly with H&H, C&D, GLP, etc. who offer 8 oz tins. If a blend comes in that size, that's what I'll buy.

    As a result, I wind up with a good inventory of stuff that I've never smoked. In most cases if it's something I don't care for I'll wind up sharing it with friends or just put it up for trade. Worst case scenario it sits there awhile and maybe when I revisit it down the road I will be surprised and wind up liking it.

    Mike
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. rasselass

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    During the Metric changeover in the U.K. as a member of The Tobacconist Retailers Association,we complained to the Tobacco Manufacturers 50 grams was only 1.76 ounces and with moisture content a true figure was 1.75 ounces,now this may seem petty(that was their view)but the maths are easy...8 tins or packets of 50 grams the actual total weight is 14 ounces(approx) or 7 tins or packets of 2 ounces and guess what the price was the same before switchover....confidence trick by the Tobacco Companies...and no-one noticed..the reason i state this on this thread its nearer 9 tins or packets of 50 grams to equal one pound in weight when assessing cellar contents...switchover sure was a big con. over here in the U.K...Good Luck..

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. derfargin

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    It's actually a 2-3 part lesson. 1) Let it breathe. 2) Don't judge it on just one tin (or bottle). 3. Try it new versus aged. You will see what I mean when you read the first sentence of the review.

    The quote is from a recent Tobacco Review for C&D Morning Drivetime:

    Points 1 - 3 just make sense to me. Which is why I can't understand why you would age tobacco before trying it.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. cortezattic

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    The only aging my tobacco gets is incidental to stockpiling.
    G.L. Pease says the aging milestones, where significant changes occur, are roughly 6mos., and 1, 2, 5, 10yrs., etc.;
    but I've never noticed dramatic changes at any of those points. Maybe my memory can't span those time frames.
    What changes I do detect are subtle, and are not worth intentionally depriving myself.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. peteguy

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    I am about half and half. Of the half I haven't tried I will say that 90% are from 3 vendors that I think make the "good stuff". I would love to list these 3 vendors but then it would be even harder to find.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. judcole

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    The point of cellaring is not chronic insecurity but the fact that tobacco usually gets better and better with age

    Completely agree.

    I cannot fathom buying large amounts of something you haven't tried. I see this a lot with new pipers. They've been smoking a week - they smoke, say, 1Q and Carter Hall. They get in here, read a bunch of posts, and are out buying 8 ounces of Larry's Blend or some other complex blend their palates are not ready for. Then they post about how awful it is. (Well, I bought 8 ounces 'cause the per oz price is lower than if I just buy 1 oz.) Sure, you can jar it and set it aside,'cause tastes do change, but there are some blends that are never gonna work for some folks. I've got blends like that; I'm sure most of you do.

    I buy one tin - sometimes two - of something new. If I like it, then I'll get more, some with the deliberate intent of not popping the tin (literally or figuratively) for 5 years or so - the cellar - or simply based on the theory that I like this a lot and It's not going to get any cheaper.

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. effektor

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    I have tobaccos that I've never tried in the cellar simply because I'm afraid that sooner or later it will get hit with huge taxes and I don't want to get caught up in a panic.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. riffraff

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    Since I have a fair amount of tobacco already in my rotation, I will order blends that I want to try and incidentally put them in the cellar until I get around to them. Blends that I enjoy, I will order multiple tins and cellar them. So I basically have two categories, tins that are aging, and ones that are waiting to be put in the starting lineup.

    Bill - A Faithful Follower of St. Claude
    "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill
    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. rmbittner

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    "I cannot fathom buying large amounts of something you haven't tried"

    One explanation for why I do this -- and this may apply to others here as well -- is: SmokingPipes.com gives you free shipping if you spend more than $100. So rather than buy one or two tins of something that, by all account, I'll thoroughly enjoy -- and then pay shipping -- I'll pick up 11 or so tins, which usually puts me over the minimum purchase requirement and gives me a tin to smoke in the near future and 10 more to cellar.

    Of course, I could still get free shipping if I purchased a dozen or so single tins of a dozen or so different blends. But for some reason, my brain doesn't work that way!

    Bob

    Posted 5 years ago #
  41. cosmicfolklore

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    My earlier question of "why do you want to know?" was because the initial questions asks us to justify what we are doing, as if it is strange. Some may justify with fear of future big brother taxes or laws, some with fear of higher prices, some save money by buying bulk, and some purposefully want to age stuff.

    It's not weird at all. However, some people may have to save and scrape money at a minimum wage job for weeks to buy a single tin of tobacco, maybe. So, to buy a few tins of something that they haven't tried may seem crazy. But, for some the price of a tin is less than we would tip at dinner. All in all, we can do what we want with our money. For me, I like to rent monkeys to balance the tins on their heads while they dance to my ukulele.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. ocpsdan

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    I am into this practice along with the others. If someone recommends a tobacco that is similar to something I like, I'll buy a few tins and put them away for aging and get to them when I will.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    pipejunky

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    I never store anything without making sure I like it first.You buy something sit on it for a year or two and pop it and don't like it.That is a waste of money. On the other hand you could find out that you really like it and have wasted time not enjoying it sooner.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    lawmax3

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    Most of what I cellar is something that I have tried.
    I also have a few blends that I have not sampled yet.
    Sometimes when a good deal comes around it is worth taking a chance based on recommendation.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  45. tlag77

    tlag77

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    IF I made a large amount of money, I would probably cellar everything, tried or untried, but I'm poor, ergo, I keep only what I am smoking at the time.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  46. metalheadycigarguy

    metalheadycigarguy

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    I have about 35 tins or so in my cellar. Of those I would say 70% are of blends I've never tried. I also have about 35 mason jars which I will smoke from, so I have plenty of blends available in my rotation. No need to open anymore tins for the time being. As I smoke through blends in my mason jars I'll open a tin or two here or there.

    I buy tins based on my previous experience of enjoying the tobacco from a sample I've tried, and/or I will buy tins based on reviews I've read and for blends that I really want to try. I never buy more than two tins at a time, at least for the time being I don't. Down the road that may change.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  47. portascat

    portascat

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    I am developing a bit of A cellar over time.

    It fits a twofold purpose.

    One is the entire aging thing for its myriad reasons.

    The other is that it gives a bit of a reserve for the months I am unable to purchase tobacco for one reason or another.

    I figure if I just went to what I have on hand, and was conservative in my smokin but not overly restrictive, I could pull 3-4 months easy, 6 with some planning.

    "To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there."
    Posted 5 years ago #
  48. cobguy

    Darin

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    I like to rent monkeys to balance the tins on their heads while they dance to my ukulele.

    I like the way you think ... got rubber pants for those monkeys??

    Posted 5 years ago #
  49. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    They come with rubber pants. You have to pay extra for the pants-less monkeys, but I'm not throwing around that kind of money. That'd be crazy.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  50. dochudson

    dochudson

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    I stockpile to beat the price/tax/availability issues coming. Any aging is simply a byproduct. I stockpile blends I've tried and like. I prefer to stockpile tins but.. who could pass up the recent Dunhill sale by the pound. I also loaded up on Dunhill tins of Navy Rolls when I could get them below $9 a tin. I have G&H Bosum Cut by the pounds in 8oz Mason jars. I'm currently loading up on the 8oz Gaslight tins and DE Toasted Black Cavendish, Meat Pie, 7th Ave Blonde and Central Park Stroll. Unless I'm really over my monthly budget I always include a tub of CH or PA.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  51. andrew

    Andy

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    I am cellaring huge quantities of Mixture 79 - not to smoke, but just so others don't have to suffer.

    Godspeed soldier.

    Pesonally I can usually just tell by a description if I'm going to like something or not. Like pretty much all Va's I like, Vapers, and I haven't smoked a straight up english blend yet I could say I don't like. When you're used to paying over 40$ for certain tins that are only 50 grms, ordering 4 ounces of something you haven't tried just doesn't matter much when it's only 12$.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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