Are some english blends bitter?

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nunnster

Member
Apr 17, 2019
141
57
Hey guys. So I just had a question about english blends because I dont have a ton of experience with different ones. Over the last few months I have been enjoying them and have tired a couple different ones that I have really enjoyed. Yesterday I recieved a new blend I was excited to try (comoys cask number 1). My first impression is that the blend is pretty good, but it has a bitter undertone. Like, a bad tar type bitter that lingers on the tounge for hours.
My pipes are clean, and they are fairly well rested as they usually sit for a day or two before they get smoked again. The bowl finished with minimal moisture left, and I tired to smoke it slow and cool, so I do not think it is my pipe or technique,(although it could be since it's a new blend to me and I haven't learned its intricacies).
This leads me to believe that some English blends are just like that? Or is my assumption incorrect and It would be time for a deep salt/alcohol treatment? The pipe I am smoking in only is used for english blends.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
7,068
31,207
Some may have some bitterness. But some are really sensitive to being smoked too fast and getting hot. They'll start trading like a cigarette when they get to not. I also think if they're too wet and packed too tight they can get bitter.

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
1,288
1,721
Hoosier is right! Some Englishes heat up pretty easy and don’t taste well in that state. My personal weaknesses that cause this occasionally for me are enjoying the flavor too much and over-puffing, or also trying to keep the bowl going and over-puffing. A lot of the English blends I enjoy are rough cut and I don’t usually dry my tobacco pre-smoke, so it makes it easy for me to get overzealous during a smoke.

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
1,288
1,721
I should have also mentioned that yes, some blends are better than others. When I say that, I am not referring to the blend itself, but to the quality of the leaf. That’s all part of the process, though... finding out which brands / suppliers your taste is drawn too and exploring there.

 

nunnster

Member
Apr 17, 2019
141
57
Thanks for the input. I'll give it a few more shots and slow down more and see how I like it. If the bitterness is still present than this one might not be for me and I'll move on

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
1,288
1,721
A wider bowl may also help you for this particular blend, if you haven’t tried that already.

 

redglow

Preferred Member
Jan 7, 2019
1,739
2,154
Michigan
+1
I concur with Hoosier . Drying an overly moist English only helps in my opinion.
I mentioned in an earlier post this week about having a 1 ounce ziplock bag of PS Balkan Supreme that was so dry that it was crispy.
I smoked it anyway and the flavor is tremendous.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
36,083
37,139
I've had a few English blends that tasted harsh but not bitter. This could be a difference in language to describe the experience, but I haven't gotten bitter from an English blend that I recall.

 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
19,684
14,744
Carmel Valley, CA
Was this tinned or in bulk? I have tried several of the Cask series, and while I don't recall bitterness, they are not among my favorites.
And salt and alcohol treatments seem more suited to removing ghosts from other blends than regular cleaning.

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
4,110
9,182
SC Piedmont
My tongue is set more for full Englishes than most, so TBH I personally've never experienced it, but I know hoosier's particularly right -- as with almoist [typed by accident & I figured it was apt so I'm not changing it, Nyah!] all blends, if too moist & you stoke it too much Englishes are going to go after your tongue like two blowtorches. Plus, too moist in the case of Englishes is definitely going to tend to condense into bitter if pushed too far. I've not smoked the Cask, but in general my take would be that if it starts to go nasty, dry it more & smoke slower. Yeah, free advice, & probably worth even less than it cost. -laugh-
Bill

 

nunnster

Member
Apr 17, 2019
141
57
It was bulk, I picked up a couple oz from my local BM because I enjoyed cask number 11 alot and they smelled similar. I tired it in another (wider) pipe as someone suggested and went really slow (to the point of constant relights) I really enjoy the flavor but I cant get over the bitterness I'm picking up and it's kinda ruining it for me. I think I'm just gonna set this one aside for a while and try something else. Anyone got some decent recommendations? I'm just getting into the English side I've only had a few. I dont want a lat bomb, I prefer something with a mild to medium smokeyness with some sweetness to it. I like cask number 11 alot but I would like it to be a touch sweeter.

 
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