GH Ropes

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badbriar

Senior Member
Oct 17, 2012
441
775
Central Florida
What is the difference between Brown Irish X and Happy (Brown) Bogie?
I am not able to find any discernible difference between the two, or for that matter, Brown Twist Sliced (Happy Bogie Sliced). All are fairly stout, but smooth as silk and easily remain lit throughout the bowl. I usually use these blended with a good, but milder tobacco that needs a bit of bulking up. Works well and the twist keeps the burn going.
 

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
3,971
22,699
38
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
I have only had the X (and No. 4 size from Samuel Gawith), but it is good to know the Bogie is essentially the same despite a difference in size. Also that the sliced version is just as good.

I agree that for their formidable strength, these ropes smoke surprisingly easy. Smooth, yes, and very cool as well. Sometimes I blend them as well, to add some oomph to Latakia blends, usually, and I like the results
 

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danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
3,971
22,699
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San Francisco Bay Area, USA
No VA in brown bogie; it's dark fired and dark air cured according to Gawith. Tobacco Reviews has it mistakenly listed as a "straight virginia" blend.
This is where things get confusing. I was always under the impression that VA=Flue Cured, Burley=Air Cured, and Dark-Fired= Fire Cured, Air Cured Burley. Well, maybe in the USA, but that's clearly not the case overseas. Plenty of blends advertise air-cured Virginias. And while it may be less common, I know some of the whole leaf suppliers offer fire cured VAs, so those exist as well. My understanding is that the ropes and Dark Flake consist of 100% Virginia seed tobaccos. That said, it's a categorization that is mostly useless because who the hell thinks of Virginias when they smoke brown ropes? It sure isn't Orlik Golden Sliced! On the other hand, Gawith does makes lighter, sweeter VA-based ropes such as Clegir and Holler Twist for Synjeco. Those latter two taste like Virginias!

I suppose it probably makes the most sense to just call 'em like Gawith... Dark Air Cured and Fire Cured. With Dark Flake, we get regional detail. Indian Dark Air Cured and Malawi Dark Fired. But I do believe they're from Virginia seed tobaccos. It's all pretty confusing and causes me to indigestion 😆
 

logs

Preferred Member
Apr 28, 2019
1,773
4,754
This is where things get confusing. I was always under the impression that VA=Flue Cured, Burley=Air Cured, and Dark-Fired= Fire Cured, Air Cured Burley. Well, maybe in the USA, but that's clearly not the case overseas. Plenty of blends advertise air-cured Virginias. And while it may be less common, I know some of the whole leaf suppliers offer fire cured VAs, so those exist as well. My understanding is that the ropes and Dark Flake consist of 100% Virginia seed tobaccos. That said, it's a categorization that is mostly useless because who the hell thinks of Virginias when they smoke brown ropes? It sure isn't Orlik Golden Sliced! On the other hand, Gawith does makes lighter, sweeter VA-based ropes such as Clegir and Holler Twist for Synjeco. Those latter two taste like Virginias!

I suppose it probably makes the most sense to just call 'em like Gawith... Dark Air Cured and Fire Cured. With Dark Flake, we get regional detail. Indian Dark Air Cured and Malawi Dark Fired. But I do believe they're from Virginia seed tobaccos. It's all pretty confusing and causes me to indigestion 😆

I agree. It's African and Indian leaf used in the rope, like in many of the other Gawith blends. "Empire leaf" is sort of a class of it's own. I've given up on trying to translate it into American categories like Virginia / Burley / Dark Fired Kentucky. It doesn't taste like any of them.
 

rushx9

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2019
2,301
17,162
39
Shelby, NC
I agree. It's African and Indian leaf used in the rope, like in many of the other Gawith blends. "Empire leaf" is sort of a class of it's own. I've given up on trying to translate it into American categories like Virginia / Burley / Dark Fired Kentucky. It doesn't taste like any of them.
The confusion arises because the type of VA that was common before brightleaf was air or fire cured brown VA or Orinoco. This leaf was given up on by most US farmers in favor of brightleaf long ago. Some manufacturers like MacBaren refer to this leaf, either mistakenly or because they feel it makes more sense to the consumer, as burley. Gawith and other UK producers refer to it as dark VA or Brown VA, or fire/air cured VA.
The old style of Dark KY, both air and fire cured is closer to the original burley, but when most Americans (and, I presume, Europeans) hear burley they think of "white" or light burley, which is a mutated variety of burley that is spongy, pale, very low in sugar, and, most importantly, soaks up casings better than any other variety. It became popular as a cigarette filler because it soaks up additives so well, and eventually became the most popular tobacco for OTCs and cheap cigars because it's so easy to flavor... and because it's a cheap filler by nature.
The English and Dutch had their colonies growing tobacco for them, and these regions have continued growing the older, bolder style of brown VA because the locals prefer it, and because they are the only suppliers to the euro market.
The story is often recounted that oriental tobacco seeds were brought to the US, but after a generation they just looked and tasted like burley. I believe they are just regionally adapted brown VA, but saying they taste like burley is the easiest way to describe without having to go through the history of cultivated VA like I just did🤣
As a side note, they are now growing Orinoco on George Washington's estate (as he did). I have a suspicion that Maryland leaf is also an offshoot of this Orinoco, as it's often described as having low sugar and a flavor similar to Ky, but the thin leaf structure of VA.
I would describe African and Mysore dark VA as tasting a bit like a cigar wrapper, but with as much variation due to curing methods and growing region as cigar leaf, so that's a fairly wide descriptor.
 

Charlie718

Member
Mar 25, 2021
277
1,950
Bronx, New York
The confusion arises because the type of VA that was common before brightleaf was air or fire cured brown VA or Orinoco. This leaf was given up on by most US farmers in favor of brightleaf long ago. Some manufacturers like MacBaren refer to this leaf, either mistakenly or because they feel it makes more sense to the consumer, as burley. Gawith and other UK producers refer to it as dark VA or Brown VA, or fire/air cured VA.
The old style of Dark KY, both air and fire cured is closer to the original burley, but when most Americans (and, I presume, Europeans) hear burley they think of "white" or light burley, which is a mutated variety of burley that is spongy, pale, very low in sugar, and, most importantly, soaks up casings better than any other variety. It became popular as a cigarette filler because it soaks up additives so well, and eventually became the most popular tobacco for OTCs and cheap cigars because it's so easy to flavor... and because it's a cheap filler by nature.
The English and Dutch had their colonies growing tobacco for them, and these regions have continued growing the older, bolder style of brown VA because the locals prefer it, and because they are the only suppliers to the euro market.
The story is often recounted that oriental tobacco seeds were brought to the US, but after a generation they just looked and tasted like burley. I believe they are just regionally adapted brown VA, but saying they taste like burley is the easiest way to describe without having to go through the history of cultivated VA like I just did🤣
As a side note, they are now growing Orinoco on George Washington's estate (as he did). I have a suspicion that Maryland leaf is also an offshoot of this Orinoco, as it's often described as having low sugar and a flavor similar to Ky, but the thin leaf structure of VA.
I would describe African and Mysore dark VA as tasting a bit like a cigar wrapper, but with as much variation due to curing methods and growing region as cigar leaf, so that's a fairly wide descriptor.
That was a interesting and informative read. I just learned I have A LOT more to learn about tobacco, but if you don’t learn something every day... well we know the rest lol
 

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