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How Long Does Tobacco Keep?

(31 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by elcincogrande
  • Latest reply from iamn8
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    elcincogrande

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    I'm new to the forum and new to tobacco pipes (had a stint back in '96). I saw the thread asking for folks to show their tobacco stashes. Saw some impressive collections. My question: generally speaking, how long does tobacco keep while keeping it in a ziplock bag or tin?

    I'm sure the question has been asked and answered before, so I appreciate your patience with this newbie question.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    Welcome Elcincogrande,.... William The Big Five,

    That is a good question. Some Perique was recently opened after 10 years, and will be available next year.
    I have kept some Wessex Brigade Apple for at least 10 years. (sadly its all gone)...

    If it is stored correctly it can last a very long time.

    Great question, and again... Welcome aboard!


    "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." Winston Churchill
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    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. ohin3

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    I have 8 and 10 year old jars of escudo and 1792. I just keep them tightly sealed in a mason jar. I have never had tobacco go bad.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. surfmac211

    surfmac211

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    Being in Florida everywhere in my house is either hot or cold even in the closet, so I like to keep my tobacco in a ziplock and then I pop it in some kind of screw top, plastic container. Only reason I do that is because sometimes I might not put a good enough seal on the ziplock ,or if its a cheap ziplock it can come undone. I have a couple bags of tobacco that are still in great smoking shape that I've had for 5 years. Obviously some people here have had them stored much longer than me like pstl. Main thing is if it sealed well you will be fine.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. dunendain

    dunendain

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    The longer , the better. As long as you use a mason jar, and make sure there is no tobacco particles on the seal, it should last many years.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. hauntedmyst

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    Assuming you mean an opened tin or bulk plastic bag, it will last a few weeks to a few months depending on the blend and environment. I'd highly recommend storing the tin in a freezer bag which will extend its active use life greatly.

    A tattoo on a beautiful woman is like graffiti on a Ferrari.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. cortezattic

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    Welcome to the forums, elcincogrande,
    I share ohin3's opinion. And...

    Some tobaccos, most notably Virginias and Virginia blends, seem to have the longest life expectancy; I've smoked Three Nuns that was over 50 years old, and it was simply amazing. Latakia mixtures don't seem to improve for as long, but still a long time. I've smoked stuff that is over 30 years old, and it's wonderful, though some 40+ year old Balkan Sobranie I smoked last year had become a little disappointing.

    GL Pease, 2001-02-02
    (Quoted from the Pipe Tobacco Aging, Storage and Cellaring FAQ.
    You can Google it, but it appears the site is down right now -- temporarily, I hope.
    )

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. fred

    fred

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    Non-Aromatics can age for 30 years, or longer if they are stored in a tin or glass jar
    and kept inside the house. They can be allowed to dry out and be rehydrated when the smoker wants to burn them. Most blends will benefit from age as aerobic or anaerobic fermentation and the marrying of the blend components occurs. There is a degree of controversy about the use of plastic containers, as some say it flavors the blend or that the flavor gets absorbed by the plastic. It's a good idea to avoid keeping the tobacco moist for long term storage, as the possibility of getting mold increases.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    elcincogrande

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    Thanks, all, for the insights and the friendly welcome.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. igloo

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    Once you pop a tin it is best to transfer to a good ziplock bag , if you plan to keep it in the tin .

    “There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. chuckw

    chuckw

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    First, allow me to welcome you to the forum and group

    The life expectancy of pipe tobacco depends greatly upon how it's stored. Some good suggestions have already been given.
    Another factor to consider is the type of tobacco. Most OTC tobaccos are treated with a food grade humectant to keep them moist while setting on a warehouse and/or dealers shelf. I've had an open pouch of Carter Hall that was left in a winter coat pocket for two years and was just as moist as when I bought it.
    Virginia blends tend to improve with age as long as they are left unopened and kept out of the heat.
    Latakia blends, one the other hand, tend to loose their earthiness with to much age. I have a friend that gave me 4 pounds of 20+ year old Dunhill 965. Imagine my excitement at the thought of haveing some of the real stuff as blended by Dunhill. It was as flat as the proverbial pancake.
    I can't give an opinion about burley based blends. I've never had any around long enough to allow to age.

    I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. maduroman

    maduroman

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    if you have a hot house, put your mason jars of tobacco in coolers. i am to cheap to keep our house real cool so my cigars are stored in coolers, not humidors. dame with pipe tobacco...

    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. pstlpkr

    Lawrence

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    I have kept a gift I got from my mother-in-law about 15 years ago.
    It was a pound of straight latakia.
    I keep it in a dark green ceramic bail top coffee jar.
    It is soooooo mellow.
    I only smoke it my church wardens....
    Still have about a half pound.
    Hmmmm... time to buy more and store.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. cortezattic

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    I've kinda overlooked the obvious response to your question, elcinco. Check out Bob Tate's excellent blog on storage.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    nickyp

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    60+ year old tobacco
    I found a box of cigars in my deceased grandfather's sock drawer. They were in an original box and came with a card which read "It's a boy!" I can only assume this tobacco is from my uncle's birth. This is 2012 and he is at least 60 years old.

    I decided to try one of the cigars this evening. I was wondering if nicotine breaks down and found this website (pipesmagazine.com). I normally smoke the popular chemical filled mainstream cigarettes, but lately I have switched to the purer American Spirits. After reading this forum and then seeing the rest of this website I think that I would like to quit cigarettes all together, cut back, and smoke a pipe a day as opposed to a pack a day.

    I am envisioned because of the enthusiasm and technique discussed in this website. You make this truly classy and please stay at it. I hope to see people keeping pipe smoking and tobacco collecting a sophisticated hobby far into the future. This site brings me back to a childhood vacation to a relative family's house in Norfolk, VA where my uncle had just gotten out of the Navy. As I sat on their porch quietly reading a book, my uncle a tall, loud, energetic, jovial, bigger than life man stepped out onto the porch and walked to the edge. He faced away from me as unbeknownst to him I inquisitively watched him lift a pipe to his mouth, his gaze fixed on the sea, to my surprise he released small billows of smoke from his pipe and mouth. I inhaled and took in an amazing breath of good tobacco mixed in with the salty breeze of the bay. I watched this old sailor finish his pipe and tap it out while he simply had a moment to himself. He walked back inside, unaware that I had watched him from the corner, and I knew I wanted to store this memory for the rest of my life. This is what I hope that each and every pipe smoker can have in their own unique way, their own story about their own favorite moment to themselves.

    Quite honestly, I am inspired now to use my artistic talents to create one of a kind hand carved pipes for tobacco smoking. I am glad that I found this website. And I hope that pipe tobacco can give me the inspiration I need to trade in smoking packs of nasty cigarettes for a pipe and a moment in time to myself every now and then.

    Thank you all for this amazing site.
    Sincerely,
    Nicholas P

    PS: I am well into this 60+ year old cigar after writing this. I find that the taste of the tobacco is definitely not the same as if I had bought fresh tobacco today. What I have tastes very stale. However it has a quality that I like... Simply knowing that the tobacco in this cigar is from at least 1952 I am able to distinguish the parts in it that make it unlike any tobacco grown today. This is real tobacco.

    It was kept inside a normal wooden box which was in a sock drawer on the second floor of a house. There was virtually no moisture I could think of that these cigars were exposed to. They did not have mold and were in perfect condition, just stale. If anyone would like to try one simply let me know. I would be interested in finding out if there are ways to rehumidify them.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. judcole

    Jud

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    Welcome to the forum, Nicky, and thanks for an interesting first post.

    I would not venture an opinion on trying to revive those cigars - I am not enough of a cigar guy to know.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. spartan

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    A Monumental first post indeed. Glad to have you, and welcome to the family.

    This site has a sister site called Cigar Chronicles that is advertised on here as well.
    They might be more equiped to help you with your Cigar Needs.

    As far as pipes and pipe tobacco goes. You will find no greater place.

    I have no relative to pass on to me any precious pipe smoking memories, but rather thought of pipe smoking as a very gentlemenly thing to do. And as I view myself as such, and greatly valued the tobacco leaf, I thought it a very welcomed step.

    Back to the main point of the thread...

    Tobacco will keep longer than you will live.

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. captainbob

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    NEVER STORE TOBACCO IN A BAGGIE! USE A MASON JAR.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    jeffthechef19

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    I am a newbie as well and just bought some sir Walter Raleigh. Its dry but tastes supreme. In the pouch it came in how long will it last?

    Posted 9 months ago #
  20. 12pups

    12pups

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    misterlowercase invited a dozen of us to post a review of an unopened 65-year-old Thomson & Porteous of Edinburgh "Scots Cake." It was still awesome, after all those years. Wonderful.

    Good on him for sharing!

    A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. -- Carl Jung
    Posted 9 months ago #
  21. pilgrim

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    Hello! so i'm new right and i'm reading and reading and reading and asking questions....will it ever end? i read where it is discouraged to put our tobacco into a humidor...they say don't mix in with cigars..got it. are there pipe humidors as well as cigar? some pipe racks have a glass container with a wood lid with a humid disk fastened under the lid. these are for pipe tobacco very short term storage and i assume it's just filled enough for, what, maybe a few days? is the moisture disk there because the wood lid fits loosely? i'm looking at an antique one that has no seal at all. Thanks!

    Posted 2 months ago #
  22. buroak

    buroak

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    NEVER STORE TOBACCO IN A BAGGIE! USE A MASON JAR.

    +1

    Even when I buy only 2-3 ounces of a bulk tobacco try, I dump the bag into a small Mason jar. I have had good luck using Mason Jars to store even very moist tobaccos. The glass may get "fogged" a bit, but I have yet to lose a tobacco to mold. I suspect the fog on the glass would have escaped a well-sealed plastic bag.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  23. toby67

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    I'm in agreement that you shouldn't store tobacco in zip locks. I'm not even sure that they are BPA free, so there is the possibility of cancerous chemicals seeping into you tobacco, maybe this is why they think pipe smoking is bad for you ... lol

    I am fussy about storing my tobacco in jars, also jars small enough to only hold about 2oz so I can use one jar at a time to keep my rotation jars full and not compromise the seal of the other jars to give them time to age.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  24. phred

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    If I remember correctly, BPA is used specifically to make plastics clear and tough (specifically polycarbonates, e.g. the classic Nalgene water bottles) and tends to leach mostly in the presence of heat or acidity. No BPA in baggie plastic. With Ziploc baggies, the major issue for pipe tobacco storage is that they're gas-permeable and thus tobacco stored in them will dry out over time.

    As for pipe tobacco and humidity, I live in a fairly dry climate (Colorado) and have not had too many problems with drying out tobacco over the relatively short-term (2 years at this point) that I've been smoking. Most of my storage jars are either Ball canning jars (for long-term storage) or bail-top jars with silicone seals that I got at IKEA (for short-term storage of blends I'm smoking). European-style tins that are closed will stay nicely sealed for decades, and I have yet to purchase any tins not in that sort of container. I have some smaller jars that don't seal all that well for the last ounce or two of a blend, and I've had one or two get slightly crunchy, but those blends actually benefited from some drying time, IMHO. I have yet to use any of the hydrating disks or other methods you'll find digging around in the archives here...

    I suppose that with a wooden tobacco jar that has no silicone seal, a humidity disk might not be a bad idea, but I'll let the experts weigh in on that.



    "De gustibus non est disputandum."
    Posted 2 months ago #
  25. huntertrw

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    "How Long Does Tobacco Keep?"

    A pouch of Mixture 79 was among the artifacts found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and subsequently
    cataloged by the late British Egyptologist Howard Carter. A pipe-smoker himself, he could not help but sample the well-aged leaf. It is purported that, like the King, he found it to be well-preserved, and that there was no difference between it and the currently available version: both tasted like violets and orange peel.

    A box of Twinkie cakes was also found, similarly well-preserved, but was never placed on display, as they were devoured one afternoon during a tea break by Mr. Carter's assistants.

    The Smoking Lamp is lit!
    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. kcvet67

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    A pouch of Mixture 79 was among the artifacts found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and subsequently
    cataloged by the late British Egyptologist Howard Carter.

    Now we know the real cause of the curse of Tut's Tomb.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
    -- Thomas Jefferson
    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. mso489

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    Tobacco that is cured to dryness will last a very long time and remain smokeable.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. melvinsunsmokedcastello

    melvinsunsmokedcastello

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    Proper;y kept it will last forever...and forever is a very long time.

    Samuel Gawith/Gawith & Hoggarth rope and plug junkie..
    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. pilgrim

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    Humidor? is that what you call those wood lid glass bowls in some pipe racks? They have a moisture disk under the lid. I know this thread is about Long Term storage; for the Short term, for just the stuff i'm smoking this week, isn't it proper to put it in one of those? Thanks

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    username

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    A very long time I just cracked a tin of half and half from we think the mid 40's based on the tax stamp but you never really know since that only means the stamp was from that series. Anyway It smokes just fine.

    As for short term storage I just transfer what I am currently smoking from the tin/pouch to a mason jar and have yet to have a problem with it drying out as I am smoking it also works great for when I decide to smoke something else just screw the lid back on and put in the cellar.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  31. iamn8

    iamn8

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    It's been my experience that tobacco doesn't keep long at all. It almost seems like once I smoke it it's gone. I've been unable to successfully keep tobacco more than a month. It's frustrating and expensive. I've tried jarring and vacuum sealing and I'm frustrated. I just seem to keep smoking it.

    Nate @ Birmingham AL
    Posted 2 months ago #

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