Did You Like Burley From The Start?

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newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
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On the topic, I got in some Amphora Burley and some 5 Bros yesterday. Quite a contrast. i've only smoked 2 bowls of Amphora and one of the 5 Bros (that in a small apple meer...key word..small)
The Amphora is a sweet and smooth burley to me, and it supposedly has some VA in it. A MacBarren product. The 5 Bros is more akin to Semois in dryness with more subtlety. Strong that one.
 

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Simmerdown

Preferred Member
May 2, 2018
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I did not take to burley blends at first. I found them harsh, dull and lacking in flavor as I started with Captain Black & Lane 1Q in the beginning. My affinity for burley really started developing within the past couple years. I stepped away from many aromatics, which often lace over and cover up the true flavor of the 🍂, and came to appreciate the truer flavors of tobacco without the “cover ups/toppings” that many blends have integrated within. Now, I smoke a burley blend every, and often multiple times a day. My first bowl of the day over the last 8 months or so been Haunted Bookshop in a cob. Absolutely love this blend matched with a cup of strong ☕, and now buy it by the pound. It’s simple and always satisfies.

Side note...Just blew through a tin of MacBaren HH Burley Flake in a week and found that a wonderful experience. Cheers!☕
 
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pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,958
259
One thing about burley is that it can take on a wildly different character, depending on how it's processed. The famed Cornell & Diehl burleys are generally unsweetened and haven't been treated with heat or added flavorings. So you get a very "dry," sour, bitter, nutty version of burley.

Others, like Wessex Burley Slice, Solani Aged Burley Flake, and others of that ilk are sweetened and processed in a way that the sour, bitter notes are mostly gone, but some of the nutty flavors are still there.

"Burley" can mean very different things from blend to blend.
 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
1,112
1,274
I enjoy burley. My first bowl was Amphora burley blend, and while I didn't mind it, it didn't strike the chord quite like Va did for me. After a few different blends of burley, I have come to enjoy it quite a bit, especially in the morning with a good coffee
Yes, agreed. Burley goes GREAT with coffee, especially black coffee if you're into that.
 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
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United States
Most burleys are acrid and bitter as hell to me. I have always wondered why some blends have an acrid, bitter aftertaste while other similar blends did not. It was white burley. Maybe. It may be all burley but for toasted burley flakes which seem ok to me. In any case, it definitely leaves a bitter, cigarette-like taste in my mouth.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
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13,337
Cornell & Diehl is central, to my mind, in the resurgence of burley as a blender's leaf. Burley has always been a staple of OTC codger blends and a base for many aromatics, as well as the base for various condiment tobacco processes. C&D took it from there to some original artisan blending. An earlier post on this thread commented that they found C&D burley blends harsh. I've certainly encountered that; my first go around with Bayou Night was a put-off. But a second try brought home its virtues. They now make such a wide range of burley blends, if you like burley at all, you can probably find at least a few that are pleasant. Craig Tarler was the C&D founder and master of the elevation of burley in premium blends (or one of them anyway), but Jeremy Reeves at SP, now that they are home to C&D, has further refined and expanded blends and made them more accessible to a wider swath of pipe smokers. In my mind, C&D was/is to burley what McClellands was to Virginia tobaccos, certainly not alone in the blending industry, but a central force.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
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Burley is repelling enough to some people they shouldn't struggle with it, a little like red Virginia for others; it's just not compatible with their chemistry. Smoking a pipe is about enjoyment, and lacking that, I'd leave it alone.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
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Burley is repelling enough to some people they shouldn't struggle with it, a little like red Virginia for others; it's just not compatible with their chemistry. Smoking a pipe is about enjoyment, and lacking that, I'd leave it alone.
Right. I love red VA and not a big burley fan. A lot is just your taste buds. Some drink black coffee, others drink it full of sugar and milk. 👍
 

kschatey

Member
Oct 16, 2019
272
433
Ohio
Aromatics and English/Balkan-style seemed easy for me to like right away. I didn't really like or dislike either predominately Burley or Virgina blends at first; I just didn't understand either of them. My approach was to get several blends within a genre and then just focusing on them for awhile to explore. For me, I was able to find a particular blend that "clicked" with me and things would start to make sense to my palate. Then I would go back to the other blends and was able to find more enjoyment with them. For me, the "Aha!" blends were "Watch City Slices" and then concreted by "Uhle's Crushed White Burley" for Burley and "Capstan Blue" for Virginia. I'm pretty much a tobacco omnivore, but there are definitely blends in each genre that I enjoy way more than others.
 

lawdawg

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2016
1,112
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Burley blends have been the first to satisfy me, but I was coming from cigars. They are still my favorite blends.
Burley is definitely a go-to recommendation for any (former or current) cigar or cigarette smoker. Stronger than most pipe tobacco as far as nicotine goes, and plenty of smoke volume-wise, and doesn't bite even when pushed too hard.

Aromatics and English/Balkan-style seemed easy for me to like right away. I didn't really like or dislike either predominately Burley or Virgina blends at first; I just didn't understand either of them.
Same for me with Virginia, initially. Several years in, I finally learned to slow down my cadence and really get a cool smoke. After that, I was greeted with a very pleasant experience once I tried Viriginia tobaccos again. The style is just finnicky. Quite the opposite of burley.
 

kschatey

Member
Oct 16, 2019
272
433
Ohio
Same for me with Virginia, initially. Several years in, I finally learned to slow down my cadence and really get a cool smoke. After that, I was greeted with a very pleasant experience once I tried Viriginia tobaccos again. The style is just finnicky. Quite the opposite of burley.
I think you nailed it with that comparison. Even Burley flake or cube-cut seems to burn/smoke without much effort compared to most Virginia flakes or cube-cut prepared Virginia flakes. And not to beat a dead horse too much more, but if it's Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake then it's a lot like chasiig a three year old around for the entire day when it comes to smoking that one! There are exceptions, of course, but Burley seems easier overall. Neither is better or worse - it's all preference and I like them both - but your statement resonated with my experience so far.
 

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