Smoking an Entire Tin as a Learning Process

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hairvise

Senior Member
May 23, 2018
370
1,929
San Francisco
As I have been moving from English blends to Vapers and Virginia-orientals (thanks to samples provided by @musicman as well as purchases from Watch City), I decided to dedicate my pipe smoking to learning about straight Virginias. To do so, I cracked open a new tin of Wessex Campaign Dark flake and smoked it almost exclusively over the last two weeks. As I'm enjoying the last bowl's worth right now, a couple of thoughts came to me as was half-way through the bowl. I hope that some of these might be helpful to newish smokers like myself:
  • Cracking the tin and leaving it unjarred gave me experiences with different moisture levels over time
  • smoking using the stuff and fold, air packet and completely rubbed out method helped me to learn about what packing style and moisture level worked for me to derive maximum flavor
  • smoking the tobacco with both unfiltered and filtered pipes (9mm charcoal) taught me that flavor seems more dependent on my smoking technique than any perceived flavor loss from filters
  • No surprise, but sipping the tobacco and slowing down my cadence brought the flavors out--mindlessly smoking while working decreased my ability to notice the subtleties
  • At the same time as I was saying to myself, "What's so special about straight Virginias?", I also starting really looking forward to the next bowl of the same tobacco
  • When I found myself struggling to "taste" the tobacco, I let the pipe go out, sipped through the unlit pipe, and thought, "Aha, there it is!" and tried to find that flavor again while the tobacco was lit
Those are just a few thoughts. I can highly recommend smoking through an entire tin, or sample, of one tobacco, as a way of really learning about how to get the most from a particular tobacco and pipe smoking in general. Of course, YMMV!!
 

d4k23

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2018
404
528
Texas
I smoked through a tin of Campaign once (almost exclusively) because it was just that good! But I definitely agree when I start to lose flavor or burn too hot when smoking a Va, let it go out and relight. Flavor often comes back better!

Good assessment on the dry time, I find myself pulling an extra flake or two and letting it sit for a day or more sometimes before smoking, prelight is easier and much easier for the tobacco to stay lit.
 

bullet08

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
4,526
22,117
RTP, NC. USA
I try not to smoke same blend back to back. Main issue I have with it is, my palate get use to it and I taste less. Changing blends tend to give new "perspective", doesn't happen often. Another issue is, if the blend is rather intense, my tongue get fatigued quick. But I can see how it might work for others.
 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
2,365
4,902
I can highly recommend smoking through an entire tin, or sample, of one tobacco,
Great post. I have never made a decision to rebuy a tobacco until I have smoked a whole 50 or 100:g tin, or at least a few ounces of a bulk. You can certainly work in other things along the way, put the tin in a zip lock if you are concerned about it becoming too dry.

Other tobacco social media I follow are filled with requests for samples, guys offering samples, bombs of samples, etc. I have seen guys do four way splits of 50 g tins to “sample”. No. Just no.
 

LikeDadDid

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2021
426
971
Virginia Beach
My version is to smoke just one tobacco all day, which was difficult with Old Joe Krantz. Something in it made me want to choke. The front end was nice but the back was itchy, and made my spit taste nasty. I assume it was the red Virginia but don't know. I'm sending the whole package to @Jerry144. Maybe he will like it.
 

Jerry144

Junior Member
May 2, 2021
76
147
Wow - great post. Thanks! I appreciate your systematic approach to learning.

I had a bit of a breakthrough this week because, for the first time, I smoked a whole bowl effortlessly with out fighting with the pipe. I celebrated.

But then I realized I was smoking my first Virginia vs aromatics, with a new pipe vs estates, of better quality (Nording), and my first churchwarden, and... too many variables to really be sure what I had learned. But still - it was encouraging!
 

Jerry144

Junior Member
May 2, 2021
76
147
My version is to smoke just one tobacco all day, which was difficult with Old Joe Krantz. Something in it made me want to choke. The front end was nice but the back was itchy, and made my spit taste nasty. I assume it was the red Virginia but don't know. I'm sending the whole package to @Jerry144. Maybe he will like it.
Good bro. I will trade you for that tin of cherry stuff that I bought... plus all my 1Q. I am done with that too.
 

hairvise

Senior Member
May 23, 2018
370
1,929
San Francisco
Board myth: board myth: board myth: drying tobacco: drying drying tobacco: drying drying drying tobacco. Unnecessary. The problem is elsewhere. Water flushing: wood and water don't mix. Microwaving tobacco: barbaric.
I agree with you on this. Even the flakes that were two weeks in the tin didn’t get dried out. So the flake that I rubbed out today still had what I would consider a decent moisture level in it.
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
9,153
17,007
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
basically I have a few bulks (Edward G., Yorktown, Cairo, Dark Twist, Mountain Camp, Key Largo) and I'll crack a tin as well. And I pretty much agree with your point. You really get to see very well what moisture effects each blend has. You also notice there are lots of things you don't notice jumping back and fourth between different blends.
 

hairvise

Senior Member
May 23, 2018
370
1,929
San Francisco
basically I have a few bulks (Edward G., Yorktown, Cairo, Dark Twist, Mountain Camp, Key Largo) and I'll crack a tin as well. And I pretty much agree with your point. You really get to see very well what moisture effects each blend has. You also notice there are lots of things you don't notice jumping back and fourth between different blends.
I'm thinking that my next experiment will be to smoke two different types on vapers with differing levels of perique-- maybe something like Orlik Golden Sliced on the light end versus something like Bayou morning, to figure out what my sweet spot is.
 
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anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
9,153
17,007
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I'm thinking that my next experiment will be to smoke two different types on vapers with differing levels of perique-- maybe something like Orlik Golden Sliced on the light end versus something like Bayou morning, to figure out what my sweet spot is.
you'll probably find no such thing. Just how much you like perique. Me personally seem to like it on the lighter side more but also like a bunch of it too. Just very different things.
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
7,382
12,253
The Arm of Orion
When I found myself struggling to "taste" the tobacco, I let the pipe go out, sipped through the unlit pipe, and thought, "Aha, there it is!" and tried to find that flavor again while the tobacco was lit
No, thanks! When the pipe goes out all I taste is the wet rag taste of moisture: not something I'm gonna be chasing upon relighting. ?

That one aside, interesting findings.

I once tried to try something similar: smoking only straight tobaccos (just not perique or latapukia, mind you) to learn their unique flavours and then be able to pick them out when blended, but never really got it going, aside from straight VA, it's very difficult to find straight anything else. Well, there might be straight boo-rley, but that one bites like a snapping turtle, so no.
 

jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
20,157
15,905
Carmel Valley, CA
Board myth: board myth: board myth: drying tobacco: drying drying tobacco: drying drying drying tobacco. Unnecessary. The problem is elsewhere. Water flushing: wood and water don't mix. Microwaving tobacco: barbaric.
So glad you combined all your rants in one condensed post. You are wrong on all counts! A trifecta of shakey opinions.