To Cellar or Not to Cellar

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docrameous

Senior Member
May 6, 2019
368
986
Colorado
It may be a bit early still, but as a new piper I have not really yet considered whether I should create a cellar because my tastes have not been developed yet. However, I can see a few possible favourites starting to emerge.

Also reading on here, I am seeing that some are cellaring in anticipation of laws passing which will adversely affect the ability to get at least some tobaccos... which I assume will put another squeeze on some companies in terms of whether they can continue to stay in business.

So to a newbie, what would you advise you would do if you were just starting out today? How aggressive should I be in cellaring? Do I stockpile only some tobaccos or rank certain types with priority? Is there a chance of a pipe tobacco apocalypse and all types of pipe tobacco will disappear? I have done some searching on the internet and it is not clear to me.

At the end of the day if we lose all tobaccos, life will go on and I'll find other pursuits... but it seems a bit prudent in my new hobby to at least take a considered position and be intentional about whatever I do.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but any advice or speculation appreciated! :)
 

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briarbuck

Preferred Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,844
3,850
Welcome. Being new, you may want to learn how to use the search function. There are numerous threads regarding all of these issues currently being discussed.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
17,035
29,344
63
Sarasota Florida
I would do my best to search out blends that one day you will want to cellar. I would not cellar anything without first smoking a lot of it to make sure it is a good fit.

If I were new I would check out each genre i.e Virginia, Virginia/Perique, Virginia/Burley/Kentuccky, English, aromatics. I would check out flakes and plugs and other types of cuts. I would be very careful of buying things just because they are allegedly popular. I would use tobaccoreviews.com as a source to find blends you might like.
 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
24,344
23,093
Helena, Alabama
If you don't know what you like yet, then buy a lot of everything, ha ha... JK.

Really, some people's tastes will narrow down to one blend or one genre, while others will expand to encompass more variety. Me? I am constantly narrowing and expanding, usually with the seasons.
Tobacco is tobacco, and I have only ever tried less than five blends that I just could not bring myself to smoke. I could randomly select five different blends from any website line up and add them to my cellar and be forever happy.
That said, when I do find one that I can constantly smoke year round, I definitely cellar it deeply.

What should you do? I always suggest buying three or four tins of anything new. One to smoke now, one after a couple of years and the rest can cellar for the long haul. If you like one that you try a lot, then buy a whole lot more of that one. It won't fill up your cellar quickly, but tastes will change. What you hate today, you may love in a few years. I have found this to be the most true aspect of the whole hobby. YMMV
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
6,915
10,853
The Arm of Orion
If you don't know what you like yet, then buy a lot of everything, ha ha... JK.
Well, no joke if you ask me. That's basically what I've been doing. I've never really re-stocked a given blend, though I've purchased 2-4 tins of the same blend at once (Nightcap, due to the Dunhill demise that never was). Most of my 'cellar' consists of one jar of different blends.

Just buy by genre if you haven't found your 'favourite'. In the 28 months I've been piping I haven't found a favourite yet. I just keep buying whatever strikes my fancy.
 

Casual

Preferred Member
Oct 3, 2019
2,049
7,166
NL, CA
Nine months in and my palate is still developing rapidly. Who knows what will be a favourite when it settles down? That said, having a few extra tins of ones you liked immediately will likely not go to waste. The 10 pound bulk purchases should probably wait until you’re sure.
 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
5,658
10,963
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
If You are liking one particular blend as of now,I would suggest to not smoke it all the time- all day long cuz it may turn out you may start to disliking it ,same way If You're eating one same porridge' all week long ,so taking a little pause with your very favorite blend would not do any harm but rather opposite ,then when You are back to this your very favorite ,say one -two weeks later, you might be amazed how good it tastes again after all that crap' you been smoking during those 'fasting days
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
6,915
10,853
The Arm of Orion
If You are liking one particular blend as of now,I would suggest to not smoke it all the time- all day long cuz it may turn out you may start to disliking it ,same way If You're eating one same porridge' all week long ,so taking a little pause with your very favorite blend would not do any harm but rather opposite ,then when You are back to this your very favorite ,say one -two weeks later, you might be amazed how good it tastes again after all that crap' you been smoking during those 'fasting days
This. Definitely. That's another reason I buy assorted. No matter how tasty a blend is, by the second bowl in a row I become bored. There's no such thing as an 'all day smoke' for me, even if I did smoke all day, which I don't.
 

Bowie

Preferred Member
Oct 24, 2019
981
4,339
Minnesota
I've only been a piper a few months, but I've started a mini cellar of brands I like. I'm not waiting to discover The One Tobacco to Rule Them All or The One Tobacco I Cannot Live Without. There's plenty I know I could smoke happily if it's all I have such as C&D Pegasus and Lane HGL. Bulk quantities of both are inexpensive and easy to get.

It seems that there is always "another" unfound tobacco that may be better, or "the best." That's part of the fun of this hobby/pastime/lifestyle/activity - finding new things. But don't let the search deter some pragmatic stocking up,

In my opinion, if you have the funds and the room, it would be foolish not too have at least a few months' worth of tobacco on hand, for all of the reasons you've read on this forum. Even if more restrictive state and federal regulations don't materialize (which is unlikely), your personal financial situation may change due to layoffs, recession, etc. Start that Tobacco 401(k).
 

docrameous

Senior Member
May 6, 2019
368
986
Colorado
What should you do? I always suggest buying three or four tins of anything new. One to smoke now, one after a couple of years and the rest can cellar for the long haul. If you like one that you try a lot, then buy a whole lot more of that one. It won't fill up your cellar quickly, but tastes will change. What you hate today, you may love in a few years. I have found this to be the most true aspect of the whole hobby. YMMV

This is excellent and practical advice! I am thinking at least of doing a 'two for one'... always buy at least double and storing what I am not going to use.
 

docrameous

Senior Member
May 6, 2019
368
986
Colorado
Just buy by genre if you haven't found your 'favourite'. In the 28 months I've been piping I haven't found a favourite yet. I just keep buying whatever strikes my fancy.

I have this going in my favour. So far, everything I have smoked I have liked so far, except maybe for heavy Latika... but I plan on revisiting this as my tastes are changing and it is possible that I will like it more.
 

docrameous

Senior Member
May 6, 2019
368
986
Colorado
If you have found a couple of blends that you think you may smoke going forward, cellar. Particularly if they are recent blends (FDA deeming) or could benefit from aging (thinking VAs). If you find your tastes change, you can always trade or sell it later.

Is anyone maintaining a list of recent blends that could be under threat from deeming?
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
34,069
28,490
Here's my standard advice for newer pipe smokers about buying tobacco. Buy a number of carefully considered blends in small quantities -- a tin, an ounce or two of bulk, a pouch, etc. Try different genres -- English, Bulkan, Virginias, Va/Perique, select aromatics, burley blends from C&D, old-time pouch blends. What you don't like, seal in a jar and try again later, in a year or so. As you say, your tastes will develop and evolve a lot over time. What is delicious now won't necessarily be in three years, or a year, so don't fall in love and buy a pound of anything. Just doing as I suggest, you will accumulate more than you will smoke, and this will serve as a cellar. After a few years, if you want to buy a few tins of the same blend, or a pound of a blend, try that, but only with a blend or a few. If the regulatory situation changes, you can always order four or five tubs of something you like, but I wouldn't do that unless online retailers disappear. I don't have a "cellar." That would be too high flown for me. I have a stash, and it would likely hold me for five years, or more if I didn't smoke a bowl or two every day most days. That's my best shot. I could be wrong. If you feel you need five pounds of "something," that's okay, but you may not want to smoke it in a year.
 

cohibajoe

Preferred Member
Mar 2, 2018
587
601
Branchburg, NJ
It may be a bit early still, but as a new piper I have not really yet considered whether I should create a cellar because my tastes have not been developed yet. However, I can see a few possible favourites starting to emerge.

Also reading on here, I am seeing that some are cellaring in anticipation of laws passing which will adversely affect the ability to get at least some tobaccos... which I assume will put another squeeze on some companies in terms of whether they can continue to stay in business.

So to a newbie, what would you advise you would do if you were just starting out today? How aggressive should I be in cellaring? Do I stockpile only some tobaccos or rank certain types with priority? Is there a chance of a pipe tobacco apocalypse and all types of pipe tobacco will disappear? I have done some searching on the internet and it is not clear to me.

At the end of the day if we lose all tobaccos, life will go on and I'll find other pursuits... but it seems a bit prudent in my new hobby to at least take a considered position and be intentional about whatever I do.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but any advice or speculation appreciated!:)
There's a lot to learn. It costs money to learn it.
You may not know it...But this question to me is a look back to when I started pipe smoking. For me it started in 1979 - 1998 then off and on...but relighted in 2018...to parallel Cigar's 1980 to today. Working in NY 1985 - 1998 I was fortunate to have walked into many fine smoke shop's, throw in a couple of fine pipe makers and $$$$'s spent...yet I did not cellar at the time..Move to 2018 and a issue of Pipe & Tobacco magazine (and few other's Mag's), dusting off the Pipe rack during the years and this Site relighted my pipe bowl. As I look back...the US tobacco industry, Congress and today's attitude has changed as to when my Grandfather smoked (1920's) to what we have today. I saw this in NY when Phillip Morris in late 90's settled pending law suit's with the states "Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement". Phillip Morris and the tobacco lobbyist was huge back in the day and way before me. Speaking with the pipe shop's owners during my time in NY and when Phillip Morris settled was a sign to what we are seeing now.

So the Question "to-cellar-or-not-to-cellar"....Pipes you can always buy...But with Tobacco (in the US) is what I have decided and have accumulated since 2/2018. I would follow "mos489" sound advice as mine may cost you a relationship.

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