Do You Lean Virginia Or Burley?

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Though I am a burley devotee, liking burley as both a base and as a condiment, and also liking all-burley blends or single leaf quite well, I also regularly enjoy Virginia based blends, Va/Per, and Virginia as a condiment or single-leaf. I think people tend to prefer one to the other, burley or Virginia, some entirely, most enjoying both. Which do you prefer, and how adamantly? Do just not smoke one or the other, or only rarely? My sense is the Virginia has the edge on Forums, but burley people may be more vocal, realizing we're in the minority. What's your pleasure?
 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Helena, Alabama
I used to be much more of a Virginia guy. I still love a good Virginia, and honestly, if McClelland was still making the Virginias that I prefer, I probably would still be a Virginia snob. But, no one makes a Virginia that comes close to what I loved about McC, IMO. I mean, FVF and a few other flakes out there are good, but doesn't ring my bell at all. YMMV

Now, I had to find something redeemable about C&D tobaccos, because I just don't really care for the other US tobacco companies because... I just don't like them at all. And, MacB and PS have a few ok tobaccos, but I just don't get excited about them.

I tried to smoke C&Ds Virginias, and I can smoke them... but they just don't have a large selection of Virginias that I would smoke often. So, I just found the Burleys and burley blends that they do best IMO. I had to find something that I like about them, or else I would have just quit. I wasn't about to just smoke things I find mediocre to just keep smoking. If I don't love it, I just won't make the time for it.

So, that's my story, Virginias and Burleys, but I'm picky as hell. Haha! I can live with that.
 

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newbroom

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Jul 11, 2014
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I think my exposure to good VA is limited mostly to samples rather than long term indulgence, but a nice smooth VA with some time is always nice.
When I mix I usually use both about 50/50 and add something with zest if I feel like it. Perique, or Izmir, or one of two bulk aros I have for that purpose, typically.
To choose a favorite before having had a full VA experience is not really 'scientific'.
I will say that I believe that burley is more prominent in most blends, one way or another so that if you think you don't like it, you are likely wrong. Good burley seems easier to get (of more variety) than 'good' VA. pricewise and availability wise.
 

jerseysam

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2019
413
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Liberty Township. OH
I'm still more a latakia/Orientals smoker as compared to either Burley or Virginia's.....but to your question Burley has been coming on strong in my rotation the last 5-6 months. Codger/sweeter/toasted style blends more then dirt n' earth bombers that Burley devotees go for. But a lot of Burley none the less.

I've come to enjoy certain VaPer blends that lean to the plummy/spicy side.....especially in flake format. Straight Virginia is still a bit hay/cigarette-ish to me. I do think, at least 'culture' wise, Virginia's are seen as the connoisseurs choice in the experienced smoker base (on average).
 

Mr_houston

Member
Dec 30, 2020
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Texas
I think people tend to prefer one to the other, burley or Virginia, some entirely, most enjoying both.
I fall primarily into the VA category and don’t enjoy burley blends. However, this time around I’ve become more open to VaBur blends. I recently bought Wessex Curly Block and am mightily impressed with it.

In the VA space, I primarily smoke red VAs and similar blends. Samuel Gawaith flakes, Rattray VAs, McClellands, Sutliff matured and stoved VAs.
I could use some recommendations on RedVa-Bur blends that are VA-dominant.
 

jyrreb

Member
Apr 6, 2019
134
1,424
Virginia 100%.

early in my pipe smoking journey I tried the typical OTC burleys and had less than pleasant experiences. Shortly thereafter I tried Escudo and Union Square and was hooked from first puff on Virginia’s.

In all fairness, I haven’t given burley it’s fair shot. Aside from Briar Fox (which I found quiet enjoyable) I haven’t really gone out of my way to try any of the more well known burley blends (HH, Solani, Wessex etc.). I suppose once I feel my cellar is adequate with my Virginia favorites I’ll start to spend the time and money exploring burleys.
 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Helena, Alabama
I tried the typical OTC burleys
I just don't find most OTC to fit into what I think of as a burley. I mean, I know that it is a burley, but they are usually so heavily cased that i can't enjoy the tobacco flavors, and probably wouldn't enjoy the flavors of the burelys in those. Maybe.
If I thought of these OTCs as burleys that would open up a lot of aromatics into the category, IMO.

The burelys I enjoy are so barely cased that I am not sure if they are even cased at all. YMMV.
 

rushx9

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Jul 10, 2019
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Shelby, NC
If I had to pick only one tobacco type to smoke forever, it would be oriental/turkish, but of the two you mention, I'd pick VA all the way.
The broad range of VAs, from bright yellow, gold, orange, red, bronze, brown, and even dark air and dark fired cured, and the range of processing, pressing, stoving, and maturing/fermenting keeps me interested, and the level of sweetness and depth of flavor they add makes them my favorite base for any blend.
As far as burley, I've found I enjoy the Ky Dark Leaf varieties very much, to the extent that I don't event think of them as burley varieties any more than I do perique. I think they are only roughly classed as burley bec6of their low sugar, high oil content.
I tend to associate the word "burley" with white/light/yellow burley that is used mostly as cheap, highly casing/humectant absorbent filler in cigarettes, gas station flavored cigars, OTCs, and goopy American aromatics.
When I smoke American burley based blends, I inevitably get a gruff throat and my ears get stopped up and pop, often painfully, like a childhood earache. Ky Dark Leaf will gruff up my throat a bit, but never gives me the earache symptoms. After much experimentation, I still haven't concluded if it's caused by the light burley leaf, or perhaps something that nearly all American burley is sprayed or cased with by the farmers during curing, before it even gets to the manufacturers/blenders.
 
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anotherbob

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Mar 30, 2019
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honestly Virgin tobaccos (I will insist they are Virgin as in never had that kind of fun where burly has had a few fun nights) are the ones I lean into slightly more. I like both and would be really sad but survive if one went away and the other stayed. I just don't quite get the same wow factor from burly. It's great and wonderful but it almost never blows my socks off, comes close. Burly though is great for more inattentive smoking for me. A slightly off cadence isn't a big deal. So. If I look at what I smoke it would be Virgins slightly past the half way point.
 
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irishearl

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Aug 2, 2016
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Kansas
I used to be much more of a Virginia guy. I still love a good Virginia, and honestly, if McClelland was still making the Virginias that I prefer, I probably would still be a Virginia snob. But, no one makes a Virginia that comes close to what I loved about McC, IMO. I mean, FVF and a few other flakes out there are good, but doesn't ring my bell at all. YMMV

Now, I had to find something redeemable about C&D tobaccos, because I just don't really care for the other US tobacco companies because... I just don't like them at all. And, MacB and PS have a few ok tobaccos, but I just don't get excited about them.

I tried to smoke C&Ds Virginias, and I can smoke them... but they just don't have a large selection of Virginias that I would smoke often. So, I just found the Burleys and burley blends that they do best IMO. I had to find something that I like about them, or else I would have just quit. I wasn't about to just smoke things I find mediocre to just keep smoking. If I don't love it, I just won't make the time for it.

So, that's my story, Virginias and Burleys, but I'm picky as hell. Haha! I can live with that.
Didn't like C&D's all Virginia blends that well. But do like them in blends such as Bayou Morning, Orion's Arrow and Oriental Silk. Years ago I was more into burley, but don't use it much anymore.
 

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