Why are aromatics from jars at the local shops usually bitter?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Peterson Tobacco Ad
Not open for further replies.


New member
Nov 27, 2014
Almost every time I pick out an ounce or two of blended pipe tobacco (usually an aromatic) from a jar at any corner tobacco shop it turns out to have a bitter/sour taste when lit and throughout most of the bowl. I first started to notice this flavor when I began smoking high quality tinned tobaccos without such a flavor. It really stood out in comparing high quality tinned aromatics and the jar blends down the street.
What urged me to pose this question was smoking a pretty high regarded aromatic blend from pipesandcigars.com - Trout Stream. I have read great reviews about this aromatic and was looking forward to smoking it. Soon after lighting up, I noticed that same bitter characteristic as any other run-of-the-mill aromatic from a jar. I was surprised to see that, for some reason, most people who generally rate aromatics low rate Trout Stream high. It just seems to be like every other aromatic from a jar.
A couple of aromatics I enjoy that do not have this bitter note are Dan's Devil's Holiday and Sutliff's Molto Dolce.
So I wonder...Is there a type of tobacco blended in most of these aromatics that I just don't like or is it the casing or are these aromatics past their prime or is it simply cheap tobacco with pleasant aromas? What's up with this bitter note?



Junior Member
Nov 18, 2010
There are lots of factors that come into play here, but I'll take a shot at giving you my opinion to it. A lot of bulk tobaccos are packaged/shipped wet because they have a tendency to sit for a long time. So sometimes it's the extra moisture (usually with some sort of pg solution) that can add a chemical or bitter note to the tobacco. Also how well/often you clean your pipe plays a factor and anything you eat before you smoke. Especially if you like spicy or greasy foods can coat some of your taste receptors and alter flavors. Try this, take some of the jar tobacco and lay it on a clean paper towel or paper napkin for 20-30 min then smoke it. Sometimes drying the tobacco out a little bit before smoking can eliminate or at the very least lessen the bitter from a wet areo. Good luck



Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
Las Vegas, NV
I would agree it's probably the PG solution added to prolong the shelf life of the tobacco.
Personally I've noticed it in the Sutliff blends I've had from local B&Ms. Drying the tobacco out a bit has helped diminish that odd bitter taste and bring the true flavor of the blend out a bit more.



Preferred Member
May 11, 2012
everyone opening the jars and sticking their nose down in the jar? also, handling way more for a sample they need and dropping the extra back in the jar?

Not open for further replies.