Did You Like Burley From The Start?

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CoffeeAndBourbon

Junior Member
Jun 18, 2020
80
151
Wilmington, NC
I am getting back into pipe smoking after a 20 year hiatus. I have primarily smoked VaPers, Straight Virginias and English/Balkan blends.
I bought some C&D Haunted Bookshop (had good reviews, etc.) but did not care for it very much. I also have several other blends that are burley based which are not high on my favorites list.
Is burley more of an acquired taste? Has anyone here liked it from the start? Just curious. I'm sitting on these for a while and will re-visit them at a later date.
 

Bowie

Preferred Member
Oct 24, 2019
980
4,290
Minnesota
I did, and burley is still king for me. I had Prince Albert and SWR first and moved on to other blends, but I still enjoy these two as well.

In my opinion, do not judge burleys by Haunted Bookshop alone. I've tried HB several times over the last few months, and I do not really enjoy it. This may not match the majority of opinions about HB, but I find it harsh and dull.

If you want to try some non-OTC burleys, I can recommend Sutliff Ready Rubbed Match and Peter Stokkebye PS41 Cube Cut as inexpensive bulk brands to sample.
 

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BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
6,674
20,136
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IA
I am getting back into pipe smoking after a 20 year hiatus. I have primarily smoked VaPers, Straight Virginias and English/Balkan blends.
I bought some C&D Haunted Bookshop (had good reviews, etc.) but did not care for it very much. I also have several other blends that are burley based which are not high on my favorites list.
Is burley more of an acquired taste? Has anyone here liked it from the start? Just curious. I'm sitting on these for a while and will re-visit them at a later date.
nope.. not a huge fan. I like it in some blends where it's a background player.
 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,578
829
Although I haven't tried Haunted Bookshop, I have smoked many C&D burleys and many codger blends so I think I can speak to the subject.
I think that if you are not enjoying a blend that has been favorably rated that it is your palette that requires 'training'.
Sure, there are some exceptions, as there will be whenever. ( I use the editorial 'you' and 'your' above.)
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
I am getting back into pipe smoking after a 20 year hiatus. I have primarily smoked VaPers, Straight Virginias and English/Balkan blends.
I bought some C&D Haunted Bookshop (had good reviews, etc.) but did not care for it very much. I also have several other blends that are burley based which are not high on my favorites list.
Is burley more of an acquired taste? Has anyone here liked it from the start? Just curious. I'm sitting on these for a while and will re-visit them at a later date.
yes. And same with viginias too. I do find it smokes somewhat differently. Over smoking a Va hurts over smoking a burly ruins the flavor.
 

Country Bladesmith

Preferred Member
May 2, 2020
1,354
6,156
Louisiana
If you don’t like Burley, that’s perfectly ok. If you want to try to like it, maybe try starting with some “codger-style” or mellow blends like Carter Hall, Chatham Manor, Peter Stokkebye Cube Cut, etc, that also have some Virginia, and concentrate on the taste of the Burley. Those are mild enough that most people that don’t like Burley can still enjoy the blend. You can step up the Burley presence with stronger blends later. If you aren’t an immediate Burley fan, don’t go full Old Joe Krantz right off the bat.
 

CoffeeAndBourbon

Junior Member
Jun 18, 2020
80
151
Wilmington, NC
If you don’t like Burley, that’s perfectly ok. If you want to try to like it, maybe try starting with some “codger-style” or mellow blends like Carter Hall, Chatham Manor, Peter Stokkebye Cube Cut, etc, that also have some Virginia, and concentrate on the taste of the Burley. Those are mild enough that most people that don’t like Burley can still enjoy the blend. You can step up the Burley presence with stronger blends later. If you aren’t an immediate Burley fan, don’t go full Old Joe Krantz right off the bat.
I have some OJK too that I like better than Haunted Bookshop, but it is not something I find myself reaching for very often either.
 

Bowie

Preferred Member
Oct 24, 2019
980
4,290
Minnesota
I think that if you are not enjoying a blend that has been favorably rated that it is your palette that requires 'training'
I respectfully disagree. The only reason for not liking a popular blend cannot be that one is just a rookie smoker with an underdeveloped palette, "because surely the masses cannot be wrong about a tobacco."

It could be a body chemistry conflict, or just a plain dislike for something. I enjoy several C&D blends with burley, but I dislike Haunted Bookshop, plain and simple. I also cannot stand asparagus, and no about of "palette training" will change that.

My advice is to OP is simply to broaden the burley sampling spectrum a bit. It's not a matter of "if you don't like Haunted Bookshop (or whatever), then you don't like burley."
 

dcon

Preferred Member
Mar 16, 2019
1,459
5,359
Jacksonville, FL
In defense of newbroom, I don’t believe that he is saying anything much different than Bowie. To disparage a complete genre of tobacco based upon the sampling of a few blends is no more logical than liking a blend due to its popularity. I believe that we all should smoke what we enjoy. For many of us, that journey includes sampling all types of blends. I hate asparagus, too. And, it just may be that the OP may never acquire the taste for Burley. I, also, think that, many smokers that are new to a particular leaf, have taken some piss-poor advice on introductions to that varietal. For example, someone new to Burley should never be directed first to Haunted Bookshop or OJK. They may be (are) good blends but, they are “different” enough to not be representative of Burley itself. In such an instance, I would suggest March Edgeworth RR, Sutliff J4, or PS41 Cube Cut to present a milder, more straight forward approach to the genre. When I managed smoke shops, I would never introduce someone new to cigars with a cigar from the San Andres Mountains. That potent smoke would be off putting to a new smoker. We do not do smokers any favors by simply recommending our favorites.
 

aguineapig

Member
Mar 12, 2014
132
750
I started with cigars, graduated to codger burleys later, and then discovered C&D burleys around the time I was discovering everything else, so for me there wasn't any palate shock. My first experience with HB was a well aged tin though, and it was absolutely beautifully fermented, married, etc. It's definitely worth aging for a while, which all C&D blends benefit from.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
30,622
13,182
I'm a burley devotee, so take my comments accordingly. My dad smoked Granger around me from my birth, so there's that early imprinting. It seems to me that burley is experienced differently by cohorts. A large cohort doesn't taste much, and another cohort really doesn't like it, some so much they literally throw up. I think another cohort enjoys it selectively though it isn't a favorite, and then there is the cohort of mild to ardent burley fans. I usually enjoy any mostly-burley or entirely burley leaf, with only a few brands leaving me completely cold. Most English blends that include burley taste better to me than most that don't. I suspect some fence-sitters can cultivate a taste for burley over time, either as a blending condiment or in itself. Many others like it or don't, and don't change much. There are so many superb Virginia blends, with and without Perique, and with many various condiment tobaccos, you can have an entirely happy pipe smoking life without burley. But for those of us who really like it, burley is irreplaceable. Give it a try, and if it isn't for you, there is a wonderful vast array of blends and single leaf you can enjoy without burley.
 

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