Tin Flake vs. Bulk Ready Rubbed

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Recon Paul

Member
Aug 29, 2020
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296
New Jersey, US
You can buy 2 OZ of RR bulk cheaper than a 1.75 OZ tin.

Is there an advantage to buying tobacco in a tin if you aren't going to cellar it for an extended period of time before opening it?

I guess if you want to fold and stuff it?
 
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brooklynpiper

Senior Member
May 8, 2018
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If you're anal enough to care about gumstick perfect flakes (and there are those people, I just don't know how to better describe them), then it makes tons of sense.

If you're talking about ODF, I think the bulk version RR is amazing.
 

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lukasstrifeson

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Jun 23, 2019
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You'll probably just get more echoes of the same agreements but the different forms of pipe tobacco is mostly for storage and transportation purposes.

The effects it has on flavor is theoretically "obvious" but in reality wildly exaggerated. The evidence for long-term aging benefits of flakes/plugs are also pretty iffy.
 

mordy18

Senior Member
Mar 12, 2019
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Northern New Jersey
You'll probably just get more echoes of the same agreements but the different forms of pipe tobacco is mostly for storage and transportation purposes.

The effects it has on flavor is theoretically "obvious" but in reality wildly exaggerated. The evidence for long-term aging benefits of flakes/plugs are also pretty iffy.
Would you mind elaborating re aging flakes and plugs? Do ribbon and shag cut tobaccos age in a way that provides more benefit?
 
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cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Is there an advantage to buying tobacco in a tin if you aren't going to cellar it for an extended period of time before opening it?
Specifically to this question, no. However, there is a chance that the tin will have been setting on the retailer's shelf, and it may come with some age on it... but, since you don't mention a specific blend nor where you plan to order from, then it's hard to predict. The big online retailers are pretty much wholesalers to B&M's, so they may move tins pretty fast, and not have time to age. If you are talking about ordering from a smaller B&M, which you probably aren't, since money seems to be a big deal to you, a B&M would probably come with some age.

To the question about whether the tinned versions of a blend are the same as the bulk, go way back in the radioshows with Brian Levine, and he talks about how most sell the same thing for bulk and tins, but STG who made the Dunhill blends and still makes them labelled as Peterson blends, does use better quality tobaccos in their tinned versions.
 

Magpiety

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Dec 7, 2019
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Sometimes I buy tins of blends offered in bulk just to make it easier to store. I don't really get into the analysis of "is it worth my time to go to the store and get more jars" question, sometimes I just prefer it that way. If the tin is double the price of the bulk, probably not. If it's just slightly more expensive I'll probably order the tin.

Cost effectiveness matters a lot more if you smoke a pipe all day long. I only do a couple to three bowls per day.
 
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lukasstrifeson

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Jun 23, 2019
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Would you mind elaborating re aging flakes and plugs? Do ribbon and shag cut tobaccos age in a way that provides more benefit?

Just the opposite. Ribbon cut probably ages a bit faster but does not age as well as flakes/plugs.

@hoosierpipeguy pretty much summed it up. "Aging" tobacco is simply a controlled oxidation process.

From my experience shag/ribbon/ready rubbed blends tend to develop aged characteristics faster: something like Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture is really tasty after sitting in a jar for as little as 6-9 months, versus something like Samuel Gawith's St James Flake which for me needs to sit for at least 18 months/2 years before you start to see the same kind of change in flavor profiles.

I have some personal theories on plugs and aging but those opinions might get me banned from the forum 😂 😏

Now there are a lot more nuance to it than that but generally I hope the example illustrates the rule of thumb.
 
Jul 17, 2017
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I'll add my two cents. Cornell and Diehl Star of the East Flake is a broken flake and it's delicious. The bulk Rr version is not the same blend. Something about the flake process deepens and marries the flavors in a way that just doesn't come across in the rr version. So I'd argue there is more to flake vs ready rubbed argument. Tin vs bulk however doesn't usually make a difference. Samuel Gawith and Gawith and Hoggarth bulk and tin flakes have always performed and tasted the same to me.
 

ray47

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Jul 10, 2015
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For me I think tinned tobacco tastes better then bulk, especially when it comes to C&D blends, although there is exceptions. I generally try to buy bulk because on a fixed income it's helps me. If the blend is only offered in tins then I have no choice and I try to avoid those blends if I can.
 

bullet08

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Nov 26, 2018
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@hoosierpipeguy pretty much summed it up. "Aging" tobacco is simply a controlled oxidation process.

From my experience shag/ribbon/ready rubbed blends tend to develop aged characteristics faster: something like Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture is really tasty after sitting in a jar for as little as 6-9 months, versus something like Samuel Gawith's St James Flake which for me needs to sit for at least 18 months/2 years before you start to see the same kind of change in flavor profiles.

I have some personal theories on plugs and aging but those opinions might get me banned from the forum 😂 😏

Now there are a lot more nuance to it than that but generally I hope the example illustrates the rule of thumb.
I knew it! They add horse shit to plugs and flakes like my 9th grade teacher's uncle's hand rolled cigars from Queens!!
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
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Helena, Alabama
I'll add my two cents. Cornell and Diehl Star of the East Flake is a broken flake and it's delicious. The bulk Rr version is not the same blend. Something about the flake process deepens and marries the flavors in a way that just doesn't come across in the rr version. So I'd argue there is more to flake vs ready rubbed argument. Tin vs bulk however doesn't usually make a difference. Samuel Gawith and Gawith and Hoggarth bulk and tin flakes have always performed and tasted the same to me.
GLP's Robusto and Key Largo are the same exact things, except Key Largo is pressed, and it greatly affects the flavor.
But, as far as whether flakes age better than ribbon, NO. I mean they age differently, but being better is a judgment call. Some people are looking for those little crystals, which they've been brainwashed marketed into thinking that those make them taste a lot better or sweeter. But, in my own side by side smoking, I can't tell a difference. I'd love to see the folks that claim that they make for some sort of sublime smoke do a blind taste test.

Aging does make a fresh blend taste better. But, we are talking about a miniscule difference.

In a wine forum that I enjoy, someone had posted some great information about supertasters, those with twice as many taste buds as the majority of people in the world. It had some great clues to characteristics that a super taster would never do.
A supertaster would never put salt or seasoning on food, because they can pick up on very subtle flavors in meats and veggies that would never require having to add salt to enhance. Adding salt or seasoning, destroys a food for a super taster.
A supertaster would never drink a hopped beer. Hops adds a bitterness to the beverage that is magnified to a supertaster as being repulsively bitter.
And, foods like carrots, kale, and chocolate come across as being too astringent or bitter to a supertaster.

I've always wondered how people could drink beer, or eat carrots... or even nasty chocolate, ha ha. Now, I know... I'm abnormal.
 

shanez

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Jul 10, 2018
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I guess if you want to fold and stuff it?

Not all flakes work with the fold and stuff method. Of those that do, I tend to enjoy them more this way than rubbed out. GH&C Louisiana Flake is, for me, a good example of this. Of those that don't, it makes zero difference albeit more convenient to have the flake already rubbed out. Sutliff Cringle Flake 2020 is, for me, a good example of this (I tried the fold and stuff method with it and it was a mistake).

To answer the original question, if it's a flake I prefer to smoke with the fold and stuff method the answer is yes and if it's a flake I prefer to smoke rubbed out then the answer is no. It's pure personal smoking preference.
 
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Recon Paul

Member
Aug 29, 2020
106
296
New Jersey, US
....since you don't mention a specific blend nor where you plan to order from....
since money seems to be a big deal to you...
It's not that. We're talking a difference of $2 or something. That's not a big deal. It's ODF and if you told me that the tin was going to be far and away better I would buy two. I ordered the bulk to try a few weeks back and loved it. I'll probably order the tin to compare, but we'll see. Thanks.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
21,980
13,093
Helena, Alabama
It's not that. We're talking a difference of $2 or something. That's not a big deal. It's ODF and if you told me that the tin was going to be far and away better I would buy two. I ordered the bulk to try a few weeks back and loved it. I'll probably order the tin to compare, but we'll see. Thanks.
Actually, with ODF, I have preferred the bulk to the tins. Yeh, when I jarred it, I just crumpled up all of the flakes. Perfectly straight flakes make me angry. puffy
 

Recon Paul

Member
Aug 29, 2020
106
296
New Jersey, US
Actually, with ODF, I have preferred the bulk to the tins. Yeh, when I jarred it, I just crumpled up all of the flakes. Perfectly straight flakes make me angry. puffy
The only experience I have with straight flake is Newminster Superior Navy and I found the blend to be underwhelming. Not sure if that's the blend or I just don't like pure VA all that much. Thus far I prefer coin to flake. RR I dig though. Had good luck with 2 so far.
 
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