What Are The Best Bright and Red Virginias for Home Blending

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ScienceSmoker

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So what are the best, or your favorite, straight Virginias for blending. A while ago, I mixed up quite a bit of a 50/50 mix of C&D's Bright Virginia and C&D's Red Virginia and added a small amount of sugar. It's been in my cellar for over a year now, and I've been using it for the Virginia component of a few home blends. But I'm wondering if there are any better alternatives. Which Virginias do you prefer?
Thanks!
 
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ScienceSmoker

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I grow my own, but why in the heck did you add sugar? That would add to the harshness and bite.
I wrote a number of prominent blenders when I started bending asking for advice and thoughts on things. It's strange that the things that literally all of the ones who responded told me are normal practice in the professional pipe tobacco blending world are "ridiculous" or "silly" on the forums. I don't know. I guess the forums just have much better blenders than the major manufacturing companies.
 
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ScienceSmoker

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I grow my own, but why in the heck did you add sugar? That would add to the harshness and bite.
Higher pH (alkaline) causes bite, which is why perique generally lessens bite when added to Virginias. When sugar is burned, it actually lowers the pH of the smoke. That's not why I added them, since it only makes it slightly more acidic, though.
I added them for taste, and because I originally intended to let them age a very long time, the plan was years. It didn't pan out, though.
I'm curious though... did you come because you have an answer to the question in my post? Do you have a favorite blending Virginia?
 
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cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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I wrote a number of prominent blenders when I started bending asking for advice and thoughts on things. It's strange that the things that literally all of the ones who responded told me are normal practice in the professional pipe tobacco blending world are "ridiculous" or "silly" on the forums. I don't know. I guess the forums just have much better blenders than the major manufacturing companies.
I didn’t think it ridiculous or silly. I know that commercially they use lots of casings and such. But, I don’t have the reasons they do.
I don’t find my straight Virginias nearly as bitey as the commercial Virginias.
Having burned sugars in chemistry class, cane sugar, honey, etc… I didn’t find it appealing for me. But, for your own blends, do what you want.

I okayed around with apple juice, honey, citric and mallic acids…. then I just gave it a year to age without anything, and came to appreciate the more subtle nuances of uncased. YMMv

When I got into growing and curing, I called and talked to many different farmers, manufacturers, and a couple of blenders… and I still have a whole shelf of books to develop my own Best Practices for me.
I wouldn’t tell you how to do what you obviously enjoy. However, I might just suggest that there are other ways. That’s all.

It’s pretty awesome to smoke your own. And, I applaud you!!
 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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I wrote a number of prominent blenders when I started bending asking for advice and thoughts on things. It's strange that the things that literally all of the ones who responded told me are normal practice in the professional pipe tobacco blending world are "ridiculous" or "silly" on the forums. I don't know. I guess the forums just have much better blenders than the major manufacturing companies.
You seem to have more answers than questions. Enlighten us!
 
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ScienceSmoker

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You seem to have more answers than questions. Enlighten us!
Aren't you the guy who basically told me to just screw off when I commented on the Secret Santa thread, after I commented essentially with "wow, this is cool"?

Jesus... you guys are just the worst. Sorry I tried. Goodbye.
 
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ScienceSmoker

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You seem to have more answers than questions. Enlighten us!
Yep, the very same.
Here's the link:
 

woodsroad

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romaso

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Dec 29, 2010
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For bright, I use Stokkebye PS 701, has just a bit of humectant, but no added flavorings that I can detect. Low Country Virginia is good but can have some rough edges, as can D&R Windsail.

For red, prior mentioned Sutliff 515 Red is very good.

The Sutliff Red Ribbon is much lighter and good quality, kind of a tea like flavor when new. I've got some but never found a good use for it. It's darkened significantly with just a year or so of aging.
 

Bluemonter

Member
Jun 29, 2021
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I've been recently trying my hand at blending as well.
Thus far using Sutliff 515s, red ribbon, Turkish mix and perique.

I stumbled across a thread on another pipe forum that was started by Ernie Q from Watch City, that provided some really good tips for novice blenders.

One of the bigger take aways I gleaned was to not re case already cased tobacco (don't add additional sugars). As simple as that sounds, for a beginner blender (me) that was an important tip.

I'd like to also hear what Virginias others are using to blend...