Dry Smoking Tobacco-Forward Aromatics?

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Skippy B. Coyote

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2023
316
3,788
St. Paul, MN
In spite of all my adventures with VaPers, VaBurs, and English blends the truth is I just love the aromatics and feel like a blend is missing something if it doesn't have a sweet, fruity, or alcohol element to the flavor. Unfortunately though aromatics are generally made to cover up the flavor of the tobacco rather than accentuate it, tend to be very wet out of the tin and smoke even wetter, and are sorely lacking in the Vitamin N department.

Or at least that's what I thought until I tried Cornell & Diehl's Autumn Evening, which was an absolute revelation to me! Here was an aromatic that wasn't wet and goopy, it was actually quite dry like a non-aromatic, with a flavor that was a beautiful mix of sweet maple topping and honest to goodness dark and bready red Virginia tobacco. I could taste both the topping and the quality tobacco leaf equally, and it even had a pretty good medium strength dose of Vitamin N to boot!

After smoking it nearly every day for a month I can safely say that Autumn Evening has become my all time favorite smoke, and I'd really like to find more aromatics that are similar to it in style! Ones that are nicely dry rather than being wet and goopy, have a flavor profile where the topping accentuates the natural flavors of quality tobacco leaf instead of covering it up and both the tobacco and topping be tasted in good measure, and has a medium strength nicotine content. I'm not looking for a nicotine bomb that would put me on the floor like War Horse or Gawith Hoggarth's Sweet Black Cherry Twist, but something with a more medium strength profile that's obviously noticeable but not overwhelming.

I've been doing some browsing around on SmokingPipes for aromatics that might be similar to Autumn Evening in all those ways I'm looking for, and the ones I'm contemplating trying are:

- G.L. Pease The Virginia Cream
- Mac Baren 7 Seas Red
- Mac Baren Navy Flake
- Mac Baren Vanilla Flake
- Peterson University Flake
- Erinmore Flake
- Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Bob's Chocolate Flake
- Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Kendal Black Cherry
- Gawith Hoggarth & Co. Rum Flake

Any thoughts on whether or not those blends might offer the kind of experience I'm looking for? I'm a little nervous about the Mac Baren blends since I've heard they can have quite the bite unless sipped very slowly, and the Gawith Hoggarth flakes will be approached with caution since I already know Ennerdale absolutely kicks my butt in the Vitamin N department, but they all sound intriguing enough to try nonetheless. I'd also appreciate any suggestions for other dry smoking tobacco-forward aromatics you might recommend trying! :)
 
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yanoJL

Lifer
Oct 21, 2022
1,386
3,938
Pismo Beach, California
C&D Founding Fathers. An aromatic blend made with seemingly quality tobacco. The flavoring is Pomegranate. Honestly, it's been so long since I've actually had Pomegranate, I can't really say if the taste is authentic. But what I can say is that the blend is not wet/goopy. And the topping is well-measured and never cloying. Additionally, it is available in bulk, so it's definitely affordable if you like it.

Boswell's Pipers Pleasure. The topping here is primarily chocolate, with a touch of vanilla and very subtle hints of coffee. I really enjoy this blend, and mixed it with other burley blends to add a bit of chocolate while still having the strength of burley. Available in bulk from Boswell's online store.
 

WerewolfOfLondon

Can't Leave
Jun 8, 2023
490
1,628
London
Judging by the list you want to try, I suspect you might be a person after my own heart. You seem to like aromatics that don't contain black cavendish. You're in for a real treat with some of those blends. Rum Flake, superb, Choc Flake, wonderful, University Flake, smashing, Erinmore, juicy fruity, and best of all, Navy Flake.

On a side note, if you do find that armotics containing black cavendish smothers the taste of tobacco, it may be worth trying tobaccos that use cavendish only as a condimental. So, off the top of my head, Marlin Flake, Germains Virginia and Cavendish (if you can lay your hands on it), and what I am smoking now, Luxury Bullseye Flake (bloody delish smoke). As it goes, I think Navy Flake is also a non-aromatic that contains cavendish, so that as well.
 
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Skippy B. Coyote

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2023
316
3,788
St. Paul, MN
Judging by the list you want to try, I suspect you might be a person after my own heart. You seem to like aromatics that don't contain black cavendish. You're in for a real treat with some of those blends. Rum Flake, superb, Choc Flake, wonderful, University Flake, smashing, Erinmore, juicy fruity, and best of all, Navy Flake.

On a side note, if you do find that armotics containing black cavendish smothers the taste of tobacco, it may be worth trying tobaccos that use cavendish only as a condimental. So, off the top of my head, Marlin Flake, Germains Virginia and Cavendish (if you can lay your hands on it), and what I am smoking now, Luxury Bullseye Flake (bloody delish smoke). As it goes, I think Navy Flake is also a non-aromatic that contains cavendish, so that as well.

I don't mind a little black cavendish here and there when it's used in moderation to mellow out the acidic edge of bright Virginias or soften the bitterness that some burleys can occasionally have, but for the most part I agree that it does tend to mute the flavors of the tobaccos I want to be tasting. So many aromatic blenders just dump in a whole bunch of black cavendish soaked with toppings as a vehicle for whatever flavor they're trying to impart to the tobacco, which could be a great thing if you want a really smooth and mellow candy-like smoke devoid of nicotine that you can freight train without consequence, but when I'm smoking a pipe I do like it to taste like and feel like I'm smoking tobacco... just tobacco with a little extra top note.

Your praise for all the flake blends I've been looking at makes me really excited to try them too! I figured I was on the right track for my taste preferences with those, but it's nice to have someone else who seems to have a similar palate for blends confirm it. I'll be ordering them all to try out next week! I may have to pick up a sample of Peter Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake to try too, since I do really like Elizabethan Mixture and Escudo and I can see a little touch of black cavindish smoothing out the harsh edges of a VaPer pretty nicely.puffy
 
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Skippy B. Coyote

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2023
316
3,788
St. Paul, MN
a warning word for smoking G&H Rum Flake & Peterson HydePark and University Fl,on empty stomach, You may notice these aforementioned ones are quite rich in Nicotine

Thanks for the heads-up! I've been pretty cautious about taking it slow and easy with G&H blends, since the one and only time I ever got nicotine sickness from a pipe tobacco was the first time I smoked Ennerdale. I was having a great time puffing away on it for about half an hour and feeling good, then all of a sudden it was like the floor just dropped out from underneath me and my head was spinning! I put the pipe down right away then proceeded to spend the next 2 hours laying in bed feeling all sorts of queasy and nursing a pounding headache, sipping water and just waiting for it to pass.

I've since revisited Ennerdale a few times and really enjoy the unique Lakeland essence flavor, but I always have to stop and put down the pipe after about 20 minutes because it really hits me like a freight train every time. I don't know if I just got an especially strong batch or what, but there's something about Ennerdale that just cuts through my nicotine tolerance like a hot knife through butter. Apparently even someone who has been a pack a day cigarette smoker for two decades like me isn't immune to nicotine sickness, and anything that says "Gawith Hoggarth" on the label has more than earned my respect and caution. 😵‍💫
 
Jul 28, 2016
7,726
37,944
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Thanks for the heads-up! I've been pretty cautious about taking it slow and easy with G&H blends, since the one and only time I ever got nicotine sickness from a pipe tobacco was the first time I smoked Ennerdale. I was having a great time puffing away on it for about half an hour and feeling good, then all of a sudden it was like the floor just dropped out from underneath me and my head was spinning! I put the pipe down right away then proceeded to spend the next 2 hours laying in bed feeling all sorts of queasy and nursing a pounding headache, sipping water and just waiting for it to pass.

I've since revisited Ennerdale a few times and really enjoy the unique Lakeland essence flavor, but I always have to stop and put down the pipe after about 20 minutes because it really hits me like a freight train every time. I don't know if I just got an especially strong batch or what, but there's something about Ennerdale that just cuts through my nicotine tolerance like a hot knife through butter. Apparently even someone who has been a pack a day cigarette smoker for two decades like me isn't immune to nicotine sickness, and anything that says "Gawith Hoggarth" on the label has more than earned my respect and caution. 😵‍💫
Been doing this road before ,and more than once, despite the fact I've been smoking from my boyhood, I have come to realize,quite a many pipe tobaccos contain much more nicotine than any cigarettes or Ryo, especially those of G&H and those containing Kentucky or Italian Dark fired Burleys
 

WerewolfOfLondon

Can't Leave
Jun 8, 2023
490
1,628
London
Peterson's Irish Flake always gives me a good nic wallop. Revor Plug is another one. Most of all, SG 1792. To the extent that it is impossible to smoke. Blends like that remind me of super spicy food; you want to eat it, and sample the flavours which smell delicious, but just can't get anywhere near the flavours because of the spice.
 

drrock

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 20, 2011
531
673
Minnesota
While it's only natural to ask the opinion of others regarding pipe tobacco blends that pique your interest, I send a word of caution.

As an old codger who's been smoking a pipe for a long time I've found that, while the opinion of others about any given blend might be helpful, you simply need to bite the bullet & try them yourself. I've been disappointed on many occasions by tobaccos others rave about only to realize I wasn't a fan.

I like Autumn Evening, a terrific Virginia based maple aromatic. Since the OP really enjoyed it, the first one on Skippy's list I'd recommend is Rum Flake. I really enjoy maple-flavored blends, and since you really enjoyed Autumn Evening you might want to look at 4Noggins Essence of Vermont, pipesandcigars.com Scotty's Salmon River, & Wilke Vermont Maple Cavendish. How's that for going against what I cautioned about!!!
 

HawkeyeLinus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2020
5,613
41,228
Iowa
If you like maple try Wilke Vermont Maple and if rum doesn’t turn you off try Wilke Rum and Maple. Dry smoking is a function of drying the tobacco to your taste, IMO. Anyway, I like them and get the tobacco in them as well. And I like Autumn Evening as well, FWIW.
 
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sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
1,169
12,280
37
Lower Alabama
I'll second the JA Dragon Flake.

My tongue hates most aros and I'm not sure what it is about them that disagrees with me. JA Dragon Flake was one of the few that didn't blow out my tongue. The others that have been fine for me are the Edward G Robinson blend and G&H Ennerdale, but they might not be to your liking. The C&D and the C&D/Warped aros have also played well with my tongue (I'm just not personally a fan of Autumn Evening), so you might look at some more of their blends.

The Kohlhase & Kopp I smoke recently only mess up my tongue a little bit. Something like Black Cordial bites my tongue just thinking about it. And I've tried smoking aros at varying degrees of dryness, it's bite city every time no matter what (and I definitely don't smoke too fast/hot, don't over-pack, etc... it's not a technique problem).
 
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Skippy B. Coyote

Can't Leave
Jun 19, 2023
316
3,788
St. Paul, MN
While it's only natural to ask the opinion of others regarding pipe tobacco blends that pique your interest, I send a word of caution.

As an old codger who's been smoking a pipe for a long time I've found that, while the opinion of others about any given blend might be helpful, you simply need to bite the bullet & try them yourself. I've been disappointed on many occasions by tobaccos others rave about only to realize I wasn't a fan.

There really is a lot of truth to that. A blend being generally well liked is usually a good indicator of whether or not it might be worth trying, but ultimately everyone's taste buds are different and what one person gets out of a blend may be completely different from what you or I get out of it.

A good example for me is Orlik Golden Sliced. It's probably one of the most widely beloved VaPers of all time and tons of people crow about the myriad of complex and nuanced flavors they get out of it, but everytime I've smoked it all I get is... dandelions. Just dandelions. I can't taste anything other than dandelions when I smoke Orlik Golden Sliced, and if I wasn't so heavily reassured that it was in fact tobacco I would be very suspicious that it might indeed be dandelions that were dried and pressed into a flake.

My taste buds can be a little odd at times though, since I also think Escudo tastes exactly the grape juice my grandmother used to serve alongside pancakes for breakfast. 😅



Bob's Chocolate Flake, University Flake, MacBaren Vanilla Roll Cake, Warped Scarecrow (unavailable currently).

I don't smoke aromatics often but these are some I do enjoy.
I second the Mac Baren Vanilla Roll Cake, plenty of vanilla flavor, but more of a supporting role to the tobacco. It is one of the few aromatics I smoke.

-dobbs

Out of curiosity, do either of you notice any difference between the loose cut, flake, or roll cake versions of Mac Baren Vanilla? I seem to recall reading an official statement from Mac Baren awhile back that they were all the same in terms of casing and toppings used, but I'd be surprised if the preparation method didn't make some difference in the final flavor. I was thinking of going with the flake version to try, since I'm rather partial to flake cut tobacco, but I'd certainly be open to trying the roll cake if people think it's tastier or less bitey!



If you like maple try Wilke Vermont Maple and if rum doesn’t turn you off try Wilke Rum and Maple. Dry smoking is a function of drying the tobacco to your taste, IMO. Anyway, I like them and get the tobacco in them as well. And I like Autumn Evening as well, FWIW.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll have to check them out! I do give my tobaccos some dry time if they need it and I don't mind doing that, I'm just trying to avoid the really wet and goopy aromatics that leave your fingers all sticky after handling them and could probably be left out for weeks and never dry. I'm looking at you, Sutliff! 👀



I'll second the JA Dragon Flake.

My tongue hates most aros and I'm not sure what it is about them that disagrees with me. JA Dragon Flake was one of the few that didn't blow out my tongue. The others that have been fine for me are the Edward G Robinson blend and G&H Ennerdale, but they might not be to your liking. The C&D and the C&D/Warped aros have also played well with my tongue (I'm just not personally a fan of Autumn Evening), so you might look at some more of their blends.

The Kohlhase & Kopp I smoke recently only mess up my tongue a little bit. Something like Black Cordial bites my tongue just thinking about it. And I've tried smoking aros at varying degrees of dryness, it's bite city every time no matter what (and I definitely don't smoke too fast/hot, don't over-pack, etc... it's not a technique problem).

I think a lot of what does or doesn't cause tongue bite really comes down to individual mouth chemistry. I've met plenty of folks who simply can't smoke the vast majority of aromatics without getting tongue bite, and the same goes for English blends containing Latakia. Personally I can't smoke bright Virginias or VaPers without getting bit unless I smoke at an absolute snails pace keeping the ember very small and burning at a low temperature, and even then my tongue is still usually a little sore feeling afterwards.

Everyone's a little different and what works for one may not work for all, but I'm glad you've found at least some aromatics you can enjoy! I really like G&H Ennerdale flake too, though I have to be careful smoking it since the nicotine wallop it packs is quite fierce to me and it has put me to bed before! 😆



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Lastly, today I got a tin of Cornell & Diehl's Corn Cob Pipe (and a Button Nose) in the mail and my first impressions of it based on the bowl I've been puffing on for the past 45 minutes is that it would be a very good recommendation for anyone else who shares my taste in aromatics! It was the perfect moisture level right out of the tin and quite dry, with no casing residue or goopiness anywhere to be found, and the tin note yields a really enticing aroma of hot cocoa and toasty marshmallows.

When smoked the cocoa and marshmallow flavors do come through a little, but only as a background supporting note. The main flavor I get from it is an exceptionally smooth and softly nutty Burley flavor with no bitterness to be found anywhere, and an equally soft and smooth red Virginia flavor backing it up. The cocoa and marshmallow flavors just linger subtly behind the tobacco without imparting any more than the smallest hint of sweetness, and while I wouldn't mind if the toppings were a little stronger it's still a lovely mix that feels and tastes surprisingly delicate for Cornell & Diehl; since their usual blending style is more rustic and bold. Even the retrohale is smooth and gentle on the sinuses, and it leaves a pleasant room note very similar to hot cocoa!

I like it, and if you're typically a non-aromatic smoker with a taste for Burley/Virginia blends who's looking for something a little different to mix things up but don't want a whole lot of topping muddling up the flavors of the tobacco you enjoy then I think you'll like it too. Folks who usually smoke aromatics should be aware that Corn Cob Pipe does pack a pretty good punch in the nicotine department though, as is the case with most Burley forward blends. If you can handle Haunted Bookshop you should be able to handle Corn Cob Pipe, but if you ask me this one is a heck of a lot tastier! puffy
 
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