Pipe Tobacco Private Bulk Blends – Where Do They Come From?
- Pipe Smoking Lifestyle
- Pipe Tobacco Private Bulk Blends – Where Do They Come From?
- Kevin Godbee
- Sep 27, 2009
- 0 min read
Did you ever wonder where all your favorite store blends / private blends come from? How does the tobacconist provide all their special blends? Do they have a secret tobacco plantation out back?
There are many excellent bulk pipe tobacco blends that are exclusive to specific retailers. Here’s the inside scoop on how this works.
Tobacco growers / manufacturers produce many different types of tobaccos that are available exclusively to tobacconists for the purposes of blending together to formulate their own creations. There are so many different types of tobaccos, curing, aging and fermenting methods, along with a myriad number of potential casings that the possibilities are almost endless. You will probably not find the same private store blend beyond the store that has created it.
Here is a picture of the Peter Stokkebye "Tobacco Bar" at the annual IPCPR trade show. Tobacconists can create custom blends on the spot and then place orders for the ingredients needed in the ratios required.
Here is a closer look at some of the aromatic blends retailers can pick from to make their own creations.
Now you have an idea of where some of your favorite store blends may come from.
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Written by Kevin Godbee
View all posts by: Kevin Godbee
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Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 560! Our featured interview tonight is with Jon David Cole. JD is the Owner/Tobacconist at The Country Squire in Jackson, MS, and he is the former co-host of the podcast, Country Squire Radio, which ended their 10-year run earlier this year. There was a big event to close out the show that we’ll hear about, as well as JD’s first experience as a vendor at the recent Chicago pipe show. At the top of the show, we’ll have an extended “Pipe parts” discussion with two user submitted questions – one about aging tobaccos and if there’s any difference between topped and non-topped tobaccos related to aging, and the other asking for suggestions on how to slow one’s pipe puffing cadence.
- June 1, 2023 Looking Ahead, Far, and Near
In attempting to make sense of my years-long pipes and tobacco hobby, I have looked back and ahead through the mists of time. My muses on June’s contemplative journey with you are quotes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Robert Frost, the great New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra’s unassailable philosophy of life, and the distinguished historian and writer James Michener. First the Poet: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Now the Catcher: “When you come to the fork in the road, take it!” And the Historian: “…millions of years ago, when the continents were already formed, and the principal features of the earth had been decided, there existed, then as now, one aspect of the world that dwarfed all others. 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An entire range of the treasured McClelland blends have faded over the horizon. The thrust of this epistle is today we have more opportunities to soak up treasure-troves of pipe and tobacco knowledge from online sites such as PipesMagazine.com, and a host of others—all of them rich in wisdom and advice. One can learn an encyclopedic amount of pipe knowledge in an afternoon. And this is not even close to addressing what can be found on sites selling estate pipes and tobacco. It’s enough to make your head swim in a sea of questions and answers. At the same time, many apex pipe prices that once seemed out of reach, have now risen to stratospheric heights. But now let’s switch from orogeny and ocean-formation to more historical happenings. While reading a bit of history recently, I was reminded once more of the generosity of Pipelandia. How many times have you joined your pipe-puffing buds in the local pipe club, and someone brought in a bag of tobacco to share all around? Perhaps even a bag of delicious, cellared Virginia leaf! Or, in some cases, be given a pipe with which to puff said aged blend? During World War I, Alfred Dunhill and the historic Dunhill Company sent boxes of tobacco and pipes to the boys in the trenches. If you have ever visited the graves at Verdun, the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, or the Somme-American Cemetery, you know why those pipes and tobaccos were important to the soldier boys. The boxes were from home, providing a bit of love and relaxation in a world in turmoil. Now for a notable pipe smoker of the past: Burl Ivanhoe Ives, was born June 14, 1909, and died April 14, 1995. Ives, as most of us old-timers know, was a folk-singing legend in the 1950s through the 1990s, and narrator of the classic and much-beloved 1964 Christmas television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, which still airs around Christmastime to this day. In addition, he was an actor and country music star over six decades. 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- May 15, 2023 Bones to Pick
It doesn’t happen very often – I’m usually a pretty laid back guy – but there are times when I can get really cranky. Usually, it’s over a driver performing stupid human tricks on the overcrowded California highways. Or it can be some loudmouthed wackadoodle, clearly unfettered by even a rudimentary knowledge of the pertinent facts, regurgitating preposterous propaganda. Most often, it’s something I’ve read on the interwebs about things I care deeply about that raises my ire. Maybe I’m not quite as Jimmy Buffett laid-back as I’d like to be. A brief holiday in Margaritaville might be in order, or a cheeseburger in paradise. If you haven’t sussed it, I’m proudly wearing my cranky pants today. Why? A friend made me aware of comments made by a self-styled expert in which a tobacco was described as “garbage.” No, it wasn’t one of mine; the manufacturer and the blend are irrelevant. What set my neck hairs on edge was the fact that this “expert” hadn’t even finished one bowl of the blend, and felt fully and righteously justified in proclaiming it as worthy only of being consigned to the rubbish bin. We’ve all seen similar comments; they’re all over the interwebs. A brief scan of the review sites for any kind of product reveals similar silliness; the web has made it far too easy for people to say all kinds of nasty things without the restraint of being eye-to-eye with someone when they do it. This sort of thing drives me crazy in general, but when it’s about pipes and tobacco, the twisting of my knickers is soon to follow. I haven’t tried them all, but it’s highly improbable that any pipe tobacco being made today is deserving of this sort of damning. Every manufacturer of premium pipe tobacco on the planet carefully selects their leaf, and contrary to statements made by someone who should have known better, the leaf available to us today is as good, and in many cases better, than it’s ever been. By the time we make our selections, inferior leaf has all gone on to other products, and we’re choosing from high-quality, carefully aged tobaccos. All of us. We are actually afforded some slight benefit from the fact that our little corner of the overall tobacco market is a small fraction of what it was decades ago. The competition for premium leaf is not as high as it once was, so we get to choose from some really good stuff. The leaf we’re offered is carefully managed from grower to supplier, is properly cured and aged. It’s then skillfully processed into thoughtfully considered blends. The finished product may not be to our tastes, but that’s okay. There’s a lot of stuff out there that I don’t care for; that doesn’t make it bad. Different horses for different courses. Making statements like, “This is just crap,” is not only insulting to the people behind the product, it’s also insulting to the many who might actually like it. Economic forces pretty much ensure that products would not survive long in a crowded market if there weren’t people buying and enjoying them. Garbage? I’d be hard pressed to find anything currently produced that deserves that appellation. But, the bigger deal, the thing that really gets me het up is this. I’ve said it a thousand times. Okay, maybe not, but I’ve thought it at least that many times. If we smoke a single bowl of any tobacco in a single pipe, we actually know very little about it. Last month, I talked about the ghosts of tobaccos past that haunt our bowls, and in a way, this is sort of an extension of that, and this morning’s bowl serves as an excellent example. I filled a great smoking pipe with some wonderful vintage leaf, and the resulting smoke damn near set my senses on fire, and not in a good way. There are a few factors that might have caused this: my own mood, or the way I packed the bowl, or the lingering effects of my morning java, or what I ate for dinner last night, or, I dunno, maybe cosmic rays or space alien mind-control experiments. That very same tobacco smoked later in a different pipe was pretty darn marvelous. Neither of these two experiences reveals much about the tobacco itself. I’ll have finished the tin before I would be willing to tell its story, and, to be completely candid, there is not one tobacco that I’ve enjoyedl that hasn’t disappointed me in some way at least once along the road to grokking it. This doesn’t mean we have to smoke a dozen or more bowls of anything to discover whether or not we like it. 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Fact is, no matter how long we’ve been at this, pipe smoking remains an art of exploration. It’s all about experiences, […]
Great info Kevin!
I would be in tobacco heaven. I am a dyed in the wool Stokkebye man.