Am I Allergic to Virginias?

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Chicken Cod

New member
Feb 6, 2020
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Hello brothers. I hope this finds you all in good health and safe at home. So, here's the deal. I've been smoking pipes for about half a year now so obviously still a noob. I have followed the standard advice to try a little bit of everything to see what I like and I've found that the vast majority of the tobaccos out there torch my mouth something awful. Except for Burley. I love Prince Albert. I love KBV's Burley Morning Coffee. I love Lane Limited Ready Rubbed. I have found that I can enjoy bowl after sublime bowl of any of these burley tobaccos with absolutely no tongue bite whatsoever, but any time I try to mix in anything containing even a minor trace of Virginia my tongue inevitably gets burnt and stays sore for at least a day or two. It almost feels like I'm allergic because I feel the burn as soon as I take the very first puff of smoke on my charring light. I've read that some folks are allergic to certain types of Virginia tobacco but not others but my question is has anybody ever heard of someone being allergic to ALL Virginia tobaccos regardless of type? Would love to know if anyone else has experienced something like this or if I'm just weird. I'm happy that at least I've found a few tobaccos that I can rely on to give me an enjoyable and satisfying smoke but I'm definitely bummed that for the moment at least, so many incredibly popular and beloved tobacco blends are out of reach for me because they're Virginia based. Any insight or light you may be able to shed on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.


Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
You wouldn't be the first. Most that are allergic have problems with Red Va. Perhaps you should try a Virginia blend with light Virginias to see. Hopefully you're not allergic to anything that is Va as that would limit your selections substantially. But not the end of the world. lots of good blends left.

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Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2018
Sounds like a bad reaction to me. More body chemistry than allergy but you may want to avoid VAs.

Much of a muchness either way. If it hurts you then it won’t be enjoyable.

Lots of nice burley blends, Latakia, etc., to enjoy pain free.


Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
Burlington WI
I am exactly the same as you. I have tried for years to try to like Virginia blends. Everyone talks about the wonderful tastes, smells, flavors etc. To me it's tongue sizzling horror.

I have been strictly Burley forward blends for many years now. I've stopped trying to like or handle Virginia's. Not worth my time.


Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
Just power through it! Just kidding, Virginia’s take a real cadence. It can take a while before you are skilled smoker or have a trained smoking cadence to really enjoy Virginias. Or maybe you don’t have the body chemistry for Virginia tobaccos. You wouldn't be the first and are not certainly the last my friend. Smoke what you enjoy and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Enjoy....
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Preferred Member
Dec 25, 2010
Columbus, Ohio
It took me a couple tries to get Virginia's. Stick with smoking what is working for you and lay off the VA's for awhile, then revisit. I had a lot of the same issues as you and still cannot tolerate fresh red Virginia's.


Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
There are only a handful of blends that don't contain virginia of any kind. It's pretty much the base of everything. Having to smoke only straight burley or straight basma... it can be done, but it's like existing off a diet of soda crackers and cantaloupe.

I'd move on to cigars.


Preferred Member
Aug 1, 2018
I would try drying your tobacco more than you think is necessary, packing lighter (even just gravity filling), and smoking as slow as possible taking very slow sips. If virginias still cause excessive discomfort, there are plenty of excellent burley blends available.
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Ahi Ka

Preferred Member
Feb 25, 2020
Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Despite my earlier comment, I do feel for ya man, as your VA tolerance sounds pretty unforgiving.

Personally, I react to Red Virginia. I’m not sure I would go as far as saying I’m allergic, but my PH is definitely wired in a way that can’t handle them. I find this fascinating actually, as I’ve come to conclude that this same chemistry makeup is the very reason I find burley SO delicious.

I feel physically sick from the room note or tin note of straight red va. Just smells (to me) like soggy rollies and piss at a bar the morning after. I had to trade a tin of sutliff krumble kake upon opening just to get rid of it...for an open pouch of 79 (to put in perspective).

I have learnt how to somewhat to adapt my sipping if a blend has a small bit of red in it and do enjoy the gentle bite in conjunction with the other flavours. Kind of like tangy Apple candy. Beyond this though, I want to spew.

Sutliffs revelation match is an example of a blend I enjoy this way. Newminster 400 and 403 are others.

I’m assuming from your original post you have tried a wide variety of blends from different houses, which use different leaves and/or processing techniques?

Only reason I ask, is that bizarrely one of my favourite smokes a few years back was a dried out tin of stoved red Virginia. It was from the c&d small batch series. Leaf was from Italy if I remember and was dark.

you could try ordering whole leaf if you wanted to get to the bottom of which Virginia’s you can/can’t handle.

but as before...consider yourself part of the lucky chosen few that find those burley codger blends to die for.


ps: send all your open Virginia stuff my way and as I’m happy to volunteer my time and palette to the cause ;)
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Preferred Member
Aug 27, 2016
Only reason I ask, is that bizarrely one of my favourite smokes a few years back was a dried out tin of stoved red Virginia. It was from the c&d small batch series. Leaf was from Italy if I remember and...

Sounds like CD Sansepolcro, released in 2016 as a small batch. Blended red Virginia’s with dark fired Italian florets.
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Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
There's red Virginia, which is problematic for some, and light Virginia, and there is Virginia as base tobacco and as condiment. The bad news is, you may have a sensitivity to some Virginia. The good news is, you enjoy burley. Some can't taste it; some really dislike it; and some nearly always enjoy burley as base or condiment, like us in this case. Develop your enjoyment of burley blends, and nibble at various Virginia blends to find out if any of them agree with you. Sip rather than puff, with any blend.


Preferred Member
Sep 4, 2019
It’s also just possible you’re overly sensitive to them. A lot depends on your body’s PH. Burleys tend to burn my mouth yet I can smoke most VAs smooth as silk.
Same here dude. I have to take extra care with burleys or it burns my mouth easily. Not so with Va
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