What tobaccos to cellar and other obscure tips?

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geopiper

Member
Jan 9, 2019
130
19
Looking for obscure cellaring tips and tips on increasing cellar variety.
I'm familiar with cellaring basics (mason jars or properly sealed tins from the factory. Dry, dark location. Label and date the container. Purchase more tobacco than is smoked which results in cellar growth)
Tip that made sense when I heard it: Don't store one blend in one large jar: use several smaller jars so one can be opened allowing the remaining sealed jars to continue to age.
Now for the subjective question. How can one increase their cellar variety? Is it as simple as buying several tins/bags of a previously untasted tobacco and cellaring if you don't like it, or buy more if you do like it? How to know what will taste better after being aged? There's hundreds of blends out there: it's unrealistic to buy some it all just to cellar.
thanks

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,000
1,257
Now for the subjective question. How can one increase their cellar variety? Is it as simple as buying several tins/bags of a previously untasted tobacco and cellaring if you don't like it, or buy more if you do like it? How to know what will taste better after being aged? There's hundreds of blends out there: it's unrealistic to buy some it all just to cellar.
As has been suggested, sample blends to find out what you like. Buy more of what you like, while continuing to sample new to you blends. While it's possible that you will come to like, at some future point, a blend that you initially did not like, I wouldn't count on it. So I would not cellar blends I dislike on the hope that I will someday like them. I cellar deep on blends that I return to again and again and again, blends that survive those cycles where my tastes change and other once favored blends sit untouched.
All of which is a way of saying that building a good cellar isn't just a case of amassing a bunch of tobacco that others rave about. A good cellar is the reflection of your considered tastes in tobaccos. And building that takes time and knowledge.
As for aging, no one can predict how a blend will age. If you have an optimal place to keep the tobacco, cool, dry, dark, then whatever happens, happens under optimal conditions. Tobacco doesn't improve with age. It changes with age. Whether you find that change to be an improvement is really your choice.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,296
112
As for aging, no one can predict how a blend will age. If you have an optimal place to keep the tobacco, cool, dry, dark, then whatever happens, happens under optimal conditions. Tobacco doesn't improve with age. It changes with age. Whether you find that change to be an improvement is really your choice.
And is very subjective. I have blends that I prefer fresh and blends that really zing with age, but I am the lone arbiter.
An example TO ME is Solani 633. Fresh I'm on the fence, aged about 5 years in and this is just wonderful.
Another example to me is Reiner Blend 71 - Long Golden Flake - Fresh is tastes like a good glass of lemonade of hot day. Aged it has muted plum with a wisp of lemon. Both are great, but both are different.

 

geopiper

Member
Jan 9, 2019
130
19
Thanks for the info everyone. Sometimes I need to hear logical statements like “cellar what you like” to affirm my thoughts. Also, hearing that unpalatable blends don’t evolve into “must have” blends gives me peace of mind.
Any other subjective or objective tips?

 

trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,655
2,408
Geo piper, I would caution you that if you are new to pipes, your taste will change. Some blends you don't like may be ok later. I have definitely grown to like some blends that I thought taste like crap at first. This is not always true but enough to take a wait and see attitude. Blends I liked off the bat, I still like so those I stack deep.i do agree "smoke what you like".

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,000
1,257
Tastes absolutely do change over time. Blends that I didn't like I sometimes do find that I like later one, and the converse is also true. And sometimes blends go in and out of favor and then back in. For example, when Viprati first came out I really liked it and I stocked up on it. Then I recently opened up a tin a just hated it. Also, blends can change depending on who is making it. I love Escudo, both fresh and aged. But the Escudo I loved aged was made by A & C Petersen. I recently opened up a tin of STG made Escudo that was 5 years old and was very disappointed in it. Where the Petersen made Escudo developed a wonderful richness and fruitiness in place of the black pepper, the STG made Escudo hadn't changed much at all. It was rather a dull smoke. Fortunately, I still have a few tins of the A & C Petersen product. And it's possible that the STG Escudo will eventually develop into a great smoke.
Different makers source different tobaccos to make their blends. So going by a blend's past reputation alone is no guarantee of quality when the maker of that blend has changed.

 

mechanic

Member
Dec 1, 2018
244
1
Im still searching blends but did jar a few pounds of sutliff va slices from the last sale. So im just cellaring stuff i like if something has rave reviews i might get a oz or so to try before buying pounds to cellar.

 

lucky695

Preferred Member
Apr 2, 2013
770
15
buy all you can of whatever you can. If you don't like it, there is a good chance someone else does; and when the curtain is finally drawn, you can sell a "vintage" tobacco tin with a free gift of tobacco in it to go along with your vintage tin.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,171
428
Lexington, KY
and when the curtain is finally drawn, you can sell a "vintage" tobacco tin with a free gift of tobacco in it to go along with your vintage tin.
I don't know how long this will be able to continue. I imagine there will always be a way to swap tobacco between people, but I'm not planning to retire off the proceeds from my tobacco, and I certainly wouldn't buy anything I didn't like just because it may be valuable later.

 

mtwaller

Preferred Member
Nov 21, 2018
526
212
30
Atlanta, GA
Lots of good advice on this thread. I’m super new to pipes myself, I have about 8 blends I’m rotating right now, I only love 2 of them. A couple I think will definitely get better with age. A couple of them I’m trying to convince myself that I like when I really don’t care for them all that much. I also want to expand the variety of my tiny cellar, but rather than trying a shit ton of new blends (which I eventually will), I might just stock up on 8 oz of Plum Pudding and a couple more tins of Orlik DSK! Smoke what you know you like and sample some new ones when you get burnt out on your old reliables. Me personally, I’d rather have a treasure chest full of nothing but Plum Pudding than 50 different blends that I’m ambivalent towards. But everyone’s different, half the allure of getting into pipes is the endless possibilities of different blends. I wish you luck on your ever-growing cellar. Let us know if you find something new that blows your mind!

 

lucky695

Preferred Member
Apr 2, 2013
770
15
I certainly wouldn't buy anything I didn't like just because it may be valuable later.
I am not advocating this as a money making effort, just get tobacco while you still can...

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
10,000
1,257
With regard to packing density for jarring and aging, pack flakes dense enough that you can still pull one without necessarily destroying it. With ribbon cut, pack at a 1:2 ratio, that is 2oz tobacco in a 4oz jar, 4oz tobacco in an 8oz jar, etc. That is a density similar to commercially vacuum tinned tobacco. Leave about 1/4" air space at the top so that the little critters can do their work before they croak out. If you want to retard aging, vacuum seal the jar.
Short of a cutter top tin, few tins are good for long term aging. They weren't designed to do that. The worst seem to be the small rectangular and square vacuum sealed tins. This makes sense considering maintaining a consistent pressure around a squared perimeter would be a neat trick. They're good for a few years, maybe as much as 5-7 as the seal leaks and the pressure equalizes and the good inside dry out. Some of them hold up a long long time while others crap out. It's up to you how into gambling you are. So you can jar them fresh, which is what Greg Pease now recommends rather than keeping the tobacco in the tin. You can bag the tins or reinforce the seal with metal tape. Round tins hold up better, but I wouldn't trust any of them for long term storage. There will be the inevitable codger who will post that he opened a 15 year old tin of Armpit Aromatic and it was just moist and perfect. Assuming that's actually true, my response is congratulations and guess what? You're not the entirety of the Known Universe. You might enjoy rolling the dice with your investment. Don't go telling others to do the same.
BTW, you want to satisfy yourself that tins leak? Fill a locked-top bin with tins of Virginia, Va/Pers and the like. Fill another lock-top bin with English and Latakia tins. Seal them in and wait a few weeks, then pop the top and take a good deep sniff. The Virginia bin will smell of Virginia and the English will smell of Latakia and Oriental. Guess where that smell came from, besides the interiors of your "sealed" tins. There will also be a person or two who will proclaim that he doesn't smell anything, to which I suggest that he make an appointment with his doctor for a physical, 'cause that smell ain't faint.
Even jars aren't a permanent solution, but they're pretty darned good.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,755
1,748
Great post, Sable... I am reminded of the guy, four or five years ago, that posted that he was in India where there were no glass jars. He posted that he was sealing two bowls together with tape to store his bulk blends.

There is no 100% risk free way to ride this. You have to either be willing to risk loss, or get out of the game. :puffy:

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,381
315
If you want to retard aging, vacuum seal the jar.
OK, I'll take issue with this, without a shred of empirical evidence to back up my opinions:
By the time pipe tobacco has reached our sweaty little hands, it has been exposed to the air for a very long time. Perhaps years. So, it has had sufficient time to undergo whatever changes will happen in an oxygen-rich environment. Leaving headspace in the jar isn't going to do anything to promote further aging. What is needed is less air, so that the anaerobic process can begin.
Discuss.