Bulk vs Tin ?

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Junior Member
Jan 30, 2019
New to pipe smoking and I am wondering when ordering online , or buying at the local B&M shops is there a difference in quality between bulk purchases over a tin “brand name “ purchase?
Are there tell tail signs that I should be looking for if I do decide to try a bulk purchase?

The reason I am wondering is with the ending of Dunhill’s Early Morning & Night Cap I am tempted to try the bulk alternatives



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
I've never bought bulk, only tins. That is not because I think there is a difference between them, but for storage its just more convienient for me to store tins. That and I am also a fan of good tin art.
But if you are looking at branching out into different English blends, buying small amounts of different ones to try just may be the ticket.



Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
Bulks are made by brand names too. Less expensive to buy as you aren't paying for the tins. Most of my cellar is bulk.


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Junior Member
Jan 30, 2019
Speaking of storage .. I plan on getting some mason jars today for the open tins that I do have. Also as pointed out , an essential requirement for a bulk purchase.



Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
Try an ounce or two of the bulk alternatives. See what you think. They may work for you, they may not. I buy both, both for long term aging (cellaring) and more immediate use.



Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
Chicago, IL
In my experience, the cost and PITA issues in jarring bulk tobaccos make tins the better long term storage option. But old tins occasionally fail; and at any rate, in some cases, like a discontinued blend, buying a bulk is the only option (like P&C's Match Nightcap). As for the differences in taste, it's hit or miss: for example, I actually prefer Match Elizabethan to the original. Most producers will say their tinned and bulk product are produced in the same manner.



Senior Member
Jan 25, 2016
Southwest Virginia
I love quality bulk, and jarring them is as simple as grabbing a flat of canning jars at the supermarket. We do a decent amount of home canning, so I have those on hand (in the actual basement to be exact).



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
Outer Space
A guy walks into his tobacconist’sp shop, “Escudo please.”

“That’s $19.90.”

“$19.90? That’s outrageous. “

“Well, a lot of guys say that Stokkebye’s Bullseye scratches the same itch for them, and it comes in bulk.”

“Alright, give me two ounces.”

“$8.85, please.”
He packs up his pipe, and...

Puff puff

“Wait a minute, this doesn’t taste exactly like Escudo, you jerk.”

Tobacconist bangs head on wall.
I hear this kind of crap at least once every time I hang out at The Briary. I’m pretty sure it’s why Skip doesn’t let us bring in firearms.



Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2017
San Antonio, TX
From the start I primarily bought bulk. Loading up a flat of jars was relaxing, and I knew I got the best pricing. Granted, some amazing blends only come in tins, so I amassed more than a few of them. The jarred bulk has held up just fine, though mishaps occur with both jars and tins. I’ve been pleased with perfectly sealed jars even 10-15-20 years old. A pint jar of 18 year old McClelland #2015 is such an exotic thrill to open.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
I'd posit that bulk and tin of the same blend come out of the same process, the same bins as it were, so the major difference is storage between the wholesaler, retailer, and customer. Tobacco keeps pretty well except for some drying; tins keep the moisture pretty steady. I've bought a fair amount of bulk over the years, and I've found it just fine. Some packaged and pouch tobaccos comes quite dry, such as Five Brothers burley, and the Belgium burley variant Tabac-Manil Semois which comes in a foil wrapped rectangular package, and I have found these excellent, all the more because you aren't paying for the weight of water/moisture, and the smoking is fine. There is a motivation for online retailers to sell well preserved bulk to encourage future orders. At a shop, you can sniff the product and shake it around in the jar perhaps, and make sure it is reasonably fresh. If it is dry and dusty, pass on it. You may find variations and choose not to buy certain bulk blends, but I have not had any complaints.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
As for the differences in taste, it's hit or miss: for example, I actually prefer Match Elizabethan to the original.
As do many others because it's modeled after the earlier Murray's version, not the later STG version.
As for bulk vs tin, one is not superior to the other. And there are something like 30 tinned relabelings of 1Q on the market to satisfy the saps who think that tins are automatically better.
Bottom line for me is, do you like what you're smoking?



Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
Just face it.... you may decide to buy tins, you may decide to buy bulk. A year from now you're going to look at your cellar and wonder how you managed to still end up with a 50/50 ratio of both tins and jars :rofl:



Sep 11, 2011
I've noticed differences in bulk vs tin of the SAME tobacco, let alone alternatives.
In other words, yes, you're likely to notice taste differences between a "brand name" tin and an "alternative brand bulk" tobacco.



Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
Some of my favorites such as Arango Balkan Surpreme only come in bulk thank goodness.



New member
Mar 28, 2018
I smoked quite a bit of Nightcap and have not tried any of the 'alternative' blends. However, Ten Russian by Hermit Tobacco and Artisans Blend by Ashton both scratch that itch and you are not sacrificing quality at all.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
Thankfully most of my favorites only come in tins. I hate jarring stuff as it takes up so much more space than tins. I also really like hearing that woosh when I open a tin that has a decade or more age to it.



Apr 30, 2018
Granby, CO
In the back of my head, I worry about deciding someday to quit for health reasons. If I did, the aged tins will sell for a lot more than bulk. Seems like when people post aged bulk for sale, it sells for less than current market value. I've bought aged bulk from other people, and it seems like it was improperly stored. So I trend towards tins. But I have a lot of bulk in my cellar too. I'd buy too much bulk when I was starting, and then I drifted away from those blends. So that seems like a waste. If I post that stuff for sale, it will go cheap. Anyone want a few pounds of 1Q? LOL


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