Changing Recipes without Changing Labels

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SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
576
1,685
NE Wisconsin
A few months ago, I got a couple tins of 2014 Wessex Classic Virginia from another guy's cellar. It's been my favorite VA to date. I'd stockpile this for life, if I could.

(I like it far better than their more expensive and highly rated Campaign flake.)

But, having read that the recipe changed since these first tins were made, I ordered just one tin (to make sure that I liked it as much).

It's a completely different tobacco. I mean, this isn't just an adjustment to the recipe -- it's an altogether different tobacco.

The older version was a mixture of reds and browns, the tin note was stewed fruit and bread dough, and the taste was something like toasty, slightly caramelized bread.

The new version is all yellows (now with perique), the tin note is pure hayloft, and the taste is (to me) ashy.

Why do tobacco companies think it's OK to apply one tobacco's label to a different tobacco?

I know that Three Nuns is a famous example. How could a VaPer's label rightly be applied to a VaKy?

A tobacco blend is not Theseus's ship... it has no continuity of identity through time when components are replaced. If it's a different tobacco, it should have a different label.

This has not been a productive post, I guess. Just a complaint. I'm in mourning for the loss of a lady I didn't love until after she had died.

P.S. If anybody wants to suggest a replacement for the original Wessex Classic VA, as described above, I'm all ears.
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,332
53,086
Helena, Alabama
Tobacco being a natural product, where the exact same seedstock can change flavors based on so many variables year to year, this has probably been going on since tobacco became a commodity.

All of the Astley blends, Erinmore, Escudo, Balkan Sobranie…. just in the small time that I have been smoking pipes have become totally different blends. It is the very reason why casings have become so proprietary and necessary for companies. It’s what keeps them somewhat consistent, even of they have to modify the casings to compliment the new flavors of the tobacco.

Yeh…. it’s frustrating, but it’s one of the reasons I switch blends in my rotation. Ever changing blends keeps me from becoming infatuated with a single blend to where my lament for its change becomes too disenchanting.
 

SBC

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 6, 2021
576
1,685
NE Wisconsin
Shit happens. Availability of leaf changes. Any number of others things. There’s thousands of blends, no big deal.

Try F&T Special Brown Flake. Astleys 44. SG FVF and BBF. Capstan Blue. There’s numerous somewhat similar blends just not an exact match.
A couple of those I do still need to try - Thanks for the recommendations.
 
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Merton

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 8, 2020
638
1,738
Boston, Massachusetts
The problem lies actually not in either the smoker nor the crop but, rather, in the label. Wessex (or perhaps wessex as produced by K&K ) is notorious for changing labels and confusing labels. In this particular instance i think the OP might have enjoyed what is more often labeled Wessex Brigade classic virginia or Brigade fragrant virginia. This is probably my favorite blend and is the one that is flavored with west country cider. Not really an aromatic in my view as the flavor is nuanced. However, lots of sites sell wessex classic virginia with the fragrant virginia description. However, on arrival you receive a decent but rather bland straight virginia. This got so vexing and confusing to the very nice folks at Tobacco Pipes simply dropped tne fragrant virginia description all together and stopped selling that blend.
 
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Aug 9, 2013
29,332
53,086
Helena, Alabama
The problem lies actually not in either the smoker nor the crop but, rather, in the label. Wessex (or perhaps wessex as produced by K&K ) is notorious for changing labels and confusing labels. In this particular instance i think the OP might have enjoyed what is more often labeled Wessex Brigade classic virginia or Brigade fragrant virginia. This is probably my favorite blend and is the one that is flavored with west country cider. Not really an aromatic in my view as the flavor is nuanced. However, lots of sites sell wessex classic virginia with the fragrant virginia description. However, on arrival you receive a decent but rather bland straight virginia. This got so vexing and confusing to the very nice folks at Tobacco Pipes simply dropped tne fragrant virginia description all together and stopped selling that blend.
So like you’re saying K&K are a bunch of bumbling morons just randomly putting labels in stuff as it rolls off the line? I kinda like that idea…. like an old I Love Lucy episode going on in there.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
15,888
27,952
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Why do tobacco companies think it's OK to apply one tobacco's label to a different tobacco?
Because it has a built in market and they figure that the average pipe smoker won't notice. And they're often correct about that.

Changing tobacco blends is a time honored tradition. When Gallaher took over production of Balkan Sobranie, they gradually cheapened the mixture over time, as Murray's did with some of the Dunhill blends.

Escudo isn't Escudo, Balkan Sobranie isn't Balkan Sobranie, and even the closest Three Nuns clone, Savinelli Doblone d'Oro, has of late become a dark fired dumping ground.
 

fireground_piper

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 30, 2020
871
3,101
New Jersey
So like you’re saying K&K are a bunch of bumbling morons just randomly putting labels in stuff as it rolls off the line? I kinda like that idea…. like an old I Love Lucy episode going on in there.
Well there is that picture in the sillems thread that had a Robert McConnell Latakia flake label on top of a sillems commodore flake label. So maybe? Those are K&K too right?
 
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Aug 9, 2013
29,332
53,086
Helena, Alabama
Because it has a built in market and they figure that the average pipe smoker won't notice. And they're often correct about that.

Changing tobacco blends is a time honored tradition. When Gallaher took over production of Balkan Sobranie, they gradually cheapened the mixture over time, as Murray's did with some of the Dunhill blends.

Escudo isn't Escudo, Balkan Sobranie isn't Balkan Sobranie, and even the closest Three Nuns clone, Savinelli Doblone d'Oro, has of late become a dark fired dumping ground.
I was just wondering, so many people now have acclimated to these bad recipes. I wonder if magically they brought back all of the originals for these, if people would respond well or revolt to the change?
Like if Budweiser actually put good beer in the cans, would their base get pissed off? It’d make for an interesting story. “I WANT MY SWILL BACK!!”
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
15,888
27,952
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
I was just wondering, so many people now have acclimated to these bad recipes. I wonder if magically they brought back all of the originals for these, if people would respond well or revolt to the change?
Like if Budweiser actually put good beer in the cans, would their base get pissed off? It’d make for an interesting story. “I WANT MY SWILL BACK!!”
Good question! My guess is that people so acclimated would probably not like the actual original blend as well. We prefer what has become comfortable and familiar.
 

jpberg

Lifer
Aug 30, 2011
2,063
3,946
Because it has a built in market and they figure that the average pipe smoker won't notice. And they're often correct about that.

Changing tobacco blends is a time honored tradition. When Gallaher took over production of Balkan Sobranie, they gradually cheapened the mixture over time, as Murray's did with some of the Dunhill blends.

Escudo isn't Escudo, Balkan Sobranie isn't Balkan Sobranie, and even the closest Three Nuns clone, Savinelli Doblone d'Oro, has of late become a dark fired dumping ground.
Well put, O Old and Wizened one.
 
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Razorback

Lurker
Jan 4, 2019
40
165
Atlanta, GA
@sablebrush52 when was Astley’s changed for the worse? About 2016, correct?

Also, can you confirm that HU Directors Cut is back to its former glory, back to the old recipe?

I remember you commenting specifically on those two blends, so I wanted to ask.
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
11,289
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you think we're bad about this expectation of consistency that just doesn't exist in nature (trust me in plants consistency often equals blandness, example the first time someone has a not beefsteak tomato) you should see snuff takers freaking out that the one tin is slightly darker smells the same (probably why snuffs are mostly scented so they don't have to hear the complaints about the leaf changing.)
 
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anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
11,289
21,347
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I was just wondering, so many people now have acclimated to these bad recipes. I wonder if magically they brought back all of the originals for these, if people would respond well or revolt to the change?
Like if Budweiser actually put good beer in the cans, would their base get pissed off? It’d make for an interesting story. “I WANT MY SWILL BACK!!”
of course Budweiser isn't bad just dull and boring. It tastes like generic beer and otherwise then having nothing interesting about it the stuff isn't bad. I think you're thinking of PBR. ;) (just teasing)
 
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