Have Any Blends Gotten Better?

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makhorkasmoker

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 17, 2021
575
1,375
Central Florida
C&D’s dark burley changes every year. Actually every 1lb bag I order, every 3 months or so, tastes slightly different from the last—I think because it is aging while being stored. I think this year’s dark burley tastes better than the last two years. So I would say yes, some blends do get better—tho I guess some might say dark burley is less a blend than a blender.
 

Mr_houston

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 30, 2020
540
4,580
Texas
This is all a bit disheartening.

Maybe the improvements are about blend that have gone from non-existent to existent. There are many good blends coming out these days. I don’t feel lacking.

Stock up while they’re good and store them right.
 

jeff540

Part of the Furniture Now
Jan 25, 2016
514
788
Southwest Virginia
The only blend that has improved, to me, was SWR regular. To my tastes it went from unsmokable sawdust to a tolerable, occasionally simple enjoyment blend when SGT started producing it.

Many of the VA blends I enjoyed 10-15 years ago have either vanished or are shadows of their former selves. I've also found a strange, saccharin note to several of the K&K manufactured blends, including the more popular Rattrays VAs that I used to enjoy (Old Gowrie and HOTW).

EDIT: This is my taste buds post-COVID, which have definitely taken a hit for the worse.
 
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Zamora

Can't Leave
Mar 15, 2023
378
986
Olympia, Washington
Exactly. When MacBaren reintroduced 3 Nuns I was very interested, having smoked it in the '70's and was somewhat nonplussed by the Kentucky version. It also matters if you like the substitution leaf. I was never a devotee of DFK except for Old Dark FIred, which uses a very fine leaf. The cheap West Aftrican stuff being dumped into everything tastes like an assault on my palate. Others may love it.
I'm kinda baffled they reinvented it into a totally different genre, maybe they they felt VaPers are much more saturated in the market now than in 3 Nuns' heyday and decided Kentuckys were a better fit. It was high on my "to try" list when I was under the impression it was largely the same one CS Lewis favored, but knowing it's not even the same genre anymore has moved the place down significantly to later when I can handle stronger nicotine.

I also think you learn blends over time. Sometimes you learn that they are much better than you thought, and other times you learn that they aren't nearly as good as you thought.

And as I mentioned above, sometimes your taste for a blend just changes.
I'm that way with cigars. I started out with Connecticuts as per standard advice but quickly got bored with them and moved onto stronger stuff. After a few bad brushes with nic sickness I decided to start playing it safe more and now I can actually appreciate Connecticuts and Ecuadors more, before they just tasted like milk to me but now I can actually get more out of them. Still I prefer full Nicaraguan sticks and will build up to those again eventually. So with pipe blends changes in preferences are a given to me.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,762
45,313
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I'm kinda baffled they reinvented it into a totally different genre, maybe they they felt VaPers are much more saturated in the market now than in 3 Nuns' heyday and decided Kentuckys were a better fit. It was high on my "to try" list when I was under the impression it was largely the same one CS Lewis favored, but knowing it's not even the same genre anymore has moved the place down significantly to later when I can handle stronger nicotine.
The story I heard on this is that when MacBaren bought the rights to the Three Nuns IP they thought they had bought the rights to the Va/Per only to discover that they had bought the rights to the Va/Ky by mistake.

I remember opening my first tin of it and thinking, "This stuff stinks like a filthy jockstrap." Smoked it anyway, decided it wasn't what I wanted and never bought another tin.

Then when Doblone d'Oro first came out I was happy again. It's still an excellent blend, just not the Three Nuns Va/Per clone that it once was.
 

FLDRD

Lifer
Oct 13, 2021
1,732
6,508
Arkansas
Checked out Jim's review on Elizabethan Mixture, and it seems to have gone through a few iterations and landed on a better spot. But that "improvement" was after an apparent decline...
 
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fishmansf

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 29, 2022
285
637
PNW
I’ve seen a fair number of blend reviews saying that the blend has changed for the worse. I may be that a more expensive component has been swapped out or reduced due to cost or availability (such as HU Directors Cut, with the perique being cut and replaced with KDF). Or Latakia blends where, due to the disappearance of Syrian and even Cyprian Latakia, the overall quality has just declined.

Can you name any blends which have improved in recent years?
I might be burned at the stake for saying this and this is just my opinion but I think that the Peterson Elizabethan Mixture is significantly better than the Dunhill blend. I can taste much more of the perique and Va that I did with dunhill, granted, I have only had one tin when it was still under Dunhill.
 
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renfield

Lifer
Oct 16, 2011
4,317
32,312
Kansas
I’ve never found a blend that improved over time and others that changed in ways I didn’t care for. That being said there are many new blends, like the stuff from Watch City, which are excellent to make up for the losses.
 
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LeafErikson

Lifer
Dec 7, 2021
1,924
16,441
Oregon
I remember reading that Velvet went through a period where it was terrible and has been recently resurrected. This seems to happen less frequently to the boutique blends.
 

Browny

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 10, 2022
116
253
Great Southern Land
I also think you learn blends over time. Sometimes you learn that they are much better than you thought, and other times you learn that they aren't nearly as good as you thought.

And as I mentioned above, sometimes your taste for a blend just changes.
This is very true indeed, everything can and often will change over time, including ourselves.

One example of my own.
Before my hiatus Celtic Talisman was one of my regulars, I enjoyed it as did others around me the 'room note'.

I don't feel the same with the recent pouch though, can't put my finger on what exactly, but it's not 'up there' like it was 10 years ago.

I still have 2 tins from I think 2013, but not sure if I should crack one to see which of us has changed. Let's face it, it's most likely my tastes.

I'm enjoying other easily found options so it can wait for another time.
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
15,782
29,601
45
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
This is very true indeed, everything can and often will change over time, including ourselves.

One example of my own.
Before my hiatus Celtic Talisman was one of my regulars, I enjoyed it as did others around me the 'room note'.

I don't feel the same with the recent pouch though, can't put my finger on what exactly, but it's not 'up there' like it was 10 years ago.

I still have 2 tins from I think 2013, but not sure if I should crack one to see which of us has changed.
I'm enjoying other easily found options so it can wait for another time.
sometimes you know who changed and sometimes you just aren't sure. A tin can seem relatively the same and yet lose the luster or suddenly scratch the itch. But sometimes it's certainly not what you used to buy.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
19,762
45,313
Southern Oregon
jrs457.wixsite.com
I might be burned at the stake for saying this and this is just my opinion but I think that the Peterson Elizabethan Mixture is significantly better than the Dunhill blend. I can taste much more of the perique and Va that I did with dunhill, granted, I have only had one tin when it was still under Dunhill.
If you're referring to any Dunhill blends made in the past 15 years, they were made by STG under license to BAT, the holder of the rights to the Dunhill blends. Around 2018, BAT decided to stop allowing the Dunhill blends to be made.

STG also owns the Peterson Tobacco IP, so when they finally negotiated with BAT to resume making the Dunhill blends, the only change was to the tin art, with the Peterson name being substituted for the Dunhill name.

Same manufacturer, same pipeline, same people overseeing the production, same tobacco stocks.

Given that sources have been more markedly changing over the several years, it's possible that some components going into those tins have been swapped due to availability. But it's the same company and facility making what were the "Dunhill" branded blends and the "Peterson" branded blends. Dunhill hasn't made their own tobaccos since about 1980.
 

Jbrewer2002

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 17, 2023
612
4,515
Somerset Ohio
I also think you learn blends over time. Sometimes you learn that they are much better than you thought, and other times you learn that they aren't nearly as good as you thought.

And as I mentioned above, sometimes your taste for a blend just changes.
Heck there are times I don’t like the same tin even though I loved it a week ago and then I’ll like it again a week later. Just depends on what my taste are like that day.