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Time Isn't Always On Our Side.

(13 posts)
  1. derfargin

    derfargin

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    This whole aging thing has me thrown for a loop. I understand the desire to age tobacco that may be "rough around the edges" from people that buy tins of a blend, and smoke it fresh, and think..hey this could use some time to develop more. "I'll buy a few more tins, and sit on them for 6 months to a year and then see how it is then"

    But, there are individuals that buy blends(in quantity) without even smoking them first, and sit on them for YEARS. I've brought this up in other threads, and for the life of me, don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to try the new stuff just out of sheer curiosity. Perhaps get a baseline of what it tastes like new. "Paging the CONTROL GROUP??"

    Aging tobacco sometimes improves a blend, but...sometimes isn't ALL the time. I hear it does well with VA tobacco blends, but I've also heard there's occasional diminishing returns when it comes to some latakia blends. I also hear Aromatics don't really benefit much from aging due to the sauces/casing applied tends to weaken.

    I've exchanged messages with someone that says they prefer fresh Penzance to aged stuff. To which, I can respect, but at least they have gotten an idea of smoking the new stuff for themselves and know what they like and don't. I guess my issue is I see many people read about the aging thing and put a lot of their faith in reading what others have done and follow suit.

    So here's my question:

    Are they are any blends out there that you've tried fresh, and then aged them for an amount of time then revisiting the aged stuff found it's flat or not as good as it was fresh?

    The process changes too. I've seen people say actually cracking a tin of something on a given day, then letting it sit for a few months and it's much better.

    I haven't been smoking pipe tobacco long enough to know if what I'm smoking would benefit from a long winters nap. I recently tried SPC's Plum Pudding for the first time, and I can tell you I've enjoyed the hell out of the many bowls I've smoked over the past few days. I can't imagine(I could be wrong) that age could make this one any better. I'd be interested in trying some aged just so I can see for myself if that holds true for this blend, but all I can do right now is wait.

    What are your thoughts or examples?

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

    ssjones

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    Really old MM965 falls a bit flat for me. It is somewhat a one-dimensional blend to begin with but I don't think is improved beyond 10 years. That makes it tricky to cellar, as this is my favorite blend.

    Al

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    I stockpile familiar blends in quantity, and samples of unknown blends, as a hedge against unfavorable future events.
    When I've made the comparison, I've found that I prefer younger blends over aged ones, usually.
    I imagine some folks who can't smoke a particular blend will stockpile it anyway because of its popularity and future value.
    I've always felt boutique tobacco is a better investment than gold:

      It's a no-load investment going in and getting out
      The storage and security issues are less demanding
      It will always appreciate in value
      No brokerage fees on transactions
      You pay neither income nor capital gains tax on profits

    Your comment on setting a blend aside for a few months intrigued me. Perhaps the blend doesn't improve so much as the
    different smoking conditions. English blends seem to be a better choice in January, not June.

    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 #
  4. condorlover1

    condorlover1

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    You know chaps I have commented on this elsewhere so if I am repeating myself please forgive me. I got my hands many years ago on some pre-war blocks of flake from a local tobacconist that was closing down and had been in business to my certain knowledge since the 1920s. These things were like off cuts of a piece of wood but when something is free you don't complain. Incidentally they had lots of the old lead diaphragm twist tins of tobacco with the metal spike in the lid for One Pound each which with hindsight I should have grabbed and taken home - I mean opened tins of Capstan and Cottons. I put these blocks of flake on a dish and sprayed them with a mixture of distilled water and glycerine and covered them with a damp cloth. After several days of this treatment I was able to break the stuff up and chuck it in my tobacco jar. It smoked rather well but like everything else it really didn't do much for me and was probably used by me as a filler for my regular blend. In closing I suppose somethings improve with age such as wine and the like, certainly some of the tobaccos some of you smoke may improve with age but I am just sold on the idea. I would need to find an unopened tin of Condor from the 1940-1970s to see if it is any different from todays incarnation.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. numbersix

    numbersix

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    I am no expert on this subject, but to my knowledge, VAs are supposed be the predominant blend to benefit from aging. Latakia's and aros generally speaking do not. Not sure about the other blends that exist.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. troutface

    troutface

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    I can say that all the flakes I've bought on Harris' list have gotten better after they've been open six months or more. Initially I thought they were a bit rough and didn't have a lot of flavor, but they are evolving very nicely. I'm impressed enough that I will continue to cellar some more.

    "Each of you be a light unto yourself; betake yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone beside yourself." -The Buddha
    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. neverbend

    neverbend

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    Perhaps get a baseline of what it tastes like new. "Paging the CONTROL GROUP??"

    Hi Defargin,

    An excellent post and idea.

    There are no experts on ageing tobacco, everything to this point has been conjecture and anticipation but little understanding past individual cases. I've read posts (you all probably have) where tins are heated in the oven (and one exploded in a pressure cooker) but to what purpose if there's no baseline or tractable reference.

    Ostensibly, tobacco is manufactured to be enjoyed (relatively) immediately but it would be a good resource to have the community knowledge of other smokers impressions of how a blend smoked over time that could be made into a timeline.

    Cortez gives some excellent reasons to cellar tobaccos even if you aren't doing so in anticipation of improved flavor but when those tobaccos are smoked (no matter why they were kept) might we not all benefit from sharing our impressions.

    The differences in palate (not to mention pipes, methods, etc.) daunt the task of creating a database of Blend Ageing but I believe that it's a worthy project.

    Regards,

    Pete

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. mso489

    mso489

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    Aging tobacco or wine can get to be a bad habit. To have a few special tins that you are aging for
    some celebratory moment is fine, as is buying in quantity and getting a good price, and thereby being
    in a position to hold some tins for some years makes sense. But to have the whole leaf cabinet devoted
    to old or aging tins and jars seems an exaggerated homage to time's beneficial effects. Mostly, after a
    year or two, it's time to pop that tin. And if you want to try a blend right away, that makes sense too.
    Buying something good and expecting it to turn into something ecstatic by waiting is probably a mistake.
    Hope we all stick around until we are 102 years old, but meantime, better enjoy what's good.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. troutface

    troutface

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    Buying something good and expecting it to turn into something ecstatic by waiting is probably a mistake

    Ecstatic is quite a strong word. I'm just hoping it gets better than a fresh tin and so far that strategy has been working for me. My experience and that of some others on this forum is that certain blends do taste different (and maybe better) to us after some aging, and in some cases extensive aging. I think some folks here are subtly implying that those of us that are building our cellars around vintage tobaccos have somehow fallen for a line of crap, which is unfortunate. This is all about smoking whatever browns your butter, be that a fresh tub of Carter Hall, a five year old tin of Marlin Flake or a thirty year old tin of Un-obtainium Blend and having fun doing it. It's all good.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. drwatson

    drwatson

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    I have bought many blends for storage that I have never tried. Foolish? Maybe? But my process is that I kinda know what I like, so when one of the companys run a really good deal, I buy in bulk. An example of this is P&C Ole Shenandoah. New blend,never tried, but description sounded like something I would like. So when it came out buy one get one free, I bought a crap load! At like three bucks a tin, I think it's a good deal. I have never really had any blend get bad or flat after storing for awhile. The closest that I (so far) have come is P&C Gettsburg. Fresh it was too sweet and wet, storing and drying for a year has helped it for me.

    John
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. monty55

    monty55

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    derfargin, I have a deal for you. I also love SPC Plum Pudding, in fact it has recently surpassed Mississippi River in my go to every day bowl. And I just received 3 tins of it off an auction that is dated 4/13/11. So this is aged what 3+ years now. I will open a can (soon, within a week) and send you some. We can both do a sample test, two pipes, one loaded with fresh PP and one loaded with the 3 yr old stuff, we smoke them both at the same time, alternating between the two. And then we post our results on a thread. It would be from two different smokers points of view, where both like it fresh but also wondered about it aged. And from what I have studied many of the latakia blends do in fact age nicely (in the form of mellowing, blending of flavors, and taking edges off) IF they are in a flake, plug, or pressed form.. as this is.

    In return, when you get something aged of similar nature, send me a sample
    What say you? Send me a PM with your address if your interested.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. crazypipe

    Teddy

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    I buy the blends and smoke them. always did this.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    We can both do a sample test, two pipes, one loaded with fresh PP and one loaded with the 3 yr old stuff, we smoke them both at the same time, alternating between the two. And then we post our results on a thread. It would be from two different smokers points of view,

    This, to me, is what the forums are all about. Great idea!

    Posted 5 years ago #

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