How Does Burley Age?

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mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Virginias are the premier leaf for aging, by all I read. If you want the experience of aging a blend, to compare the just-opened tin with the aged blend, Virginia is your schoolhouse. Aromatics are said to fade. Latakia keeps sharp for a while and eventually recedes almost entirely, some report. How about burley? It isn't commended for its aging qualities that I have seen, but it seems to hold up over time for some years. Any benefits from aging burley? Or is it simply that it remains "good" if you are one who likes burley. I know some of the old over-the-counter blends sort of embalm burley with preservatives and it lasts into perpetuity; that's not what I'm talking about. I mean how does burley age in its own right? I love the stuff, but I just don't know the answer to this question, and I'd like some of the tobacco experts and others to comment.

 

doctorbob

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Mar 18, 2014
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I am working my way through a tub of 40 year old ERR, and it pretty much tastes like the reviews of yore suggest it should.
So age doesn't seem to have hurt or helped much.
Doc

 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
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50,256
My thinking would be that Burley doesn't have the high sugar content that Virginias have for fermentation to occur. So an aged Burley would probably mellow, but taste virtually the same.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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I've smoked mid-20s Half&Half and both the Va. and burley were as obvious as they should have been. I've smoked SWR from every decade from 1945 on, and they all taste the same. Same for Edgeworth Ready Rubbed.

 

jerwynn

Preferred Member
Dec 7, 2011
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I don't know if this is appropriately relevant to the topic... but my discovery of Solani Aged Burley Flake(via Shane Ireland's review on spc) was something of an epiphany with burley tobaccos. I had avoided mainly burley blends prior to this experience due to some less than happy other burley blends. I don't know how much that particular burley is aged... but, oh what fine and splendid thing! It opened my mind to try a whole another genre! (Oh great!! Now another category to stockpile before it's too late!!)

 
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jmill208

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Dec 8, 2013
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Maryland USA
I've smoked mid-20s Half&Half and both the Va. and burley were as obvious as they should have been. I've smoked SWR from every decade from 1945 on, and they all taste the same. Same for Edgeworth Ready Rubbed
So, Cellar away on the burley blends? Age may not improve them, but won't hurt either? Sounds good to me.

 

hawky454

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Feb 11, 2016
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Austin, TX
So I've wondered that to. If Burley doesn't improve with age than why do we have Solani Aged Burely Flake? There must be something to that, otherwise the name would be meaningless.

 

ophiuchus

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Mar 25, 2016
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I've observed that, over time, burley ages much more slowly than Virginias or orientals, and that they retain most of their flavor profile, but there's a faint astringency associated with the "nutty" flavor that becomes much less sharp over time. In a burley blend, the body remains, but the flavor component's influence on the overall blend diminishes.
Go ahead an cellar it, though. It doesn't get worse or anything ...

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
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If Burley doesn't improve with age than why do we have Solani Aged Burely Flake?
I've always figured it refered more to the time to marry the different tobacco flavors together as they are being pressed, not cellar "aging" as we are referring to here.

 

atboth

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2012
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Some of the Bob Runowski blends age spectacularly well. Old Joe Krantz, Haunted Bookshop ......
I've got a short piece on his stuff here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2015/09/appreciating-morleysson-blends-by-bob.html

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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C&D is the master blender of burley blends. It's noteworthy that some burley blends are sold very dry and keep well, and smoke well, in that status. Five Brothers and both Tobac-Manil Semois versions, thick cut and medium cut, ship very dry and smoke well (best I think) that way. You do get a lot of tobacco for the weight without moisture.
Burley is not a universal smoke. Some really don't like it at all, and others can't taste it at all (and probably don't like it much for that reason). But if you enjoy it, it is a lovely smoke.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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I'm getting some year 1925 Edgeworth Ready Rubbed in a few days. I can't wait to see how it tastes.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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MSO489: The year is actually 1926, not 1925. I smoked a bowl and though the topping seems to faded a little, it's basically the same flavor I've gotten in the later versions. The burley has held up very well, and is a little more nutty than the other years. But that could be due to the fact that I do believe it lost just a little molasses topping. I'd say the burley has a certain aged taste I have noticed many times before, meaning a slight wood, dry note has creeped in. I have an ounce of this and if my opinion changes after I smoke more of it, I'll report it.

 

weezell

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Oct 12, 2011
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Some of the Bob Runowski blends age spectacularly well. Old Joe Krantz, Haunted Bookshop ......
Huge difference between the OJK I smoke from 2013 verses the pound I got this week! New stuff is harsh and is a ribbon cut. Will let the new fade away for a few years...

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
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Ah, Jim, sounds quite good. In this case, the burley rewarded aging, I would say. It seems to me that even with just several (or a few more) years of aging, you get some of that maturity, less nutty and more savory, woody as you note. 1926, that's really notable.

 

jiminks

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Aug 31, 2012
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I'm having a second bowl and funny enough, the topping seems just a little more obvious than the first bowl did. But I sure am liking smoking aged burley.

 
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