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Different types of pipe tobacco and how they age

TomStrasbourgTomStrasbourg Member
edited October 2012 in Other Forms of Tobacco
I just received an order today that focused mainly on aromatics, with Dunhill's Navy Rolls and 965 along with Peterson's Irish Flake thrown in. I've already jarred good sized portions of the Navy Rolls and the Flake and am wondering if anyone knows how they age. I'd really like to know how specific types of tobacco age. I've heard burley doesn't age well, while Virginias sweeten and Latakia mellows. What about orientals, cavendish and Perique? Any info and experience you can share will be valued. Further info on the different types of Virginias would be great too.


  • I've heard enough to think no one really knows. Try it out see for yourself. I've heard that this one doesn't age well, while my pallet has said yes it does. I'am saying don't trust pipe smokers.
  • GrimGrim Member
    edited October 2012 PM
    @TomStrasbourg When you are thinking about ageing, Virginias will age like a good Scotch, ive heard of people ageing some up to 20 years and it being damn good!!

    With Latakia based pipe tobaccos I think I remember G.L. Pease saying after 5 years they just start to lose character and do not really gain anything by ageing.

    Perique will age well also. I believe a special Perique that was aged over 10 years was cracked open a year or so ago to be used in blending so ageing a VaPer blend has shown to age quite well.

    I could not tell you about cavendish though, as I really havent smoked too much of that.

    Right now I am cellaring some Union Square, St. James Woods, Black Woods Flake, and Three Oaks Syrian. The reason I am ageing the 3 oaks is because I wanted to hang on to a few tins in case the Syrian Latakia becomes unavailable to blenders.

  • I've got to agree with @bob There are so many different types and blends of tobacco these days that it is difficult to know how they will age. People know about some of the old classics like Balkan Sobranie and original Dunhill blends because they were cellared 20+ years ago and they open them up now and smoke them and can taste how they have aged.

    But no-one seems to know about things like Lakeland blends - my personal favourites - because although some of those have been around for hundreds of years no-one seems to have cellared them. I've got some Ennerdale and Grasmere flakes cellared and older tins of Grousemoor but I suspect that they will mellow too much and that "in your face" flavouring that I love will become very subtle. That is fine if you just want the underlying tobacco and I am sure they will taste great in the future but will they have that initial burst of flavour? Only time will tell so I am cellaring some and smoking a lot of them fresh immediately after purchase to get the full flavour.

    I can report back in years to come but can't give any immediate, timely advice now.
  • chris. I have some conniston cut plug that I've had for 3 years jared in a half pint mason, and it is just as in your face as it was when I ordered it and the strength of the base tobacco does not seem to diminish.
  • one thing too ad the mason jar in a dark place ages pipe tobacco almost right away. A month later the change can be noticable. I know that some people say aging aromatics is stupid but good god I have had ones that I thought never buy this one again, and then a month or two of aging and I think wow this is amazing.
  • Another thing I"m wondering about aging is does the jar HAVE to stay sealed for the whole interval? Does opening it even once in between prevent the aging process or severely hinder it?
  • n9inchnailsn9inchnails Moderator
    edited October 2012 PM
    Yes opening the jar stops the aging process, once you open it you have to start the aging process all over again. Also the vacuum sealed enviroment in tins might keep it fresh but it severely hinders the aging process, if you want to age tinned baccy faster open it and transfer to a mason jar
  • Thanks for all the info. I've been keeping many of my baccys in jars since last month with enough remaining in the tin to (hopefully) last six months. Come April I'm going to have some really nice EMP, Sweet and Savory, and Balkan Sasieni provided I can be patient. In the meanwhile most of my smoking is aromatics or burley blends.
  • There seems to be some tendency for aromatics to not age well, I'm talking about maybe 20 or 30+ years. The flavor can just fade away or turn kind of nasty. Some also seem to just smoke harsher than before. I'm not saying all of them will change in that way but some for sure do- and the vintage VA's and Englishes I've had were as good but often better than newer stock. My two cents...
  • Even a small amount of ageing is prettyimpressive. I could see some of mine going off after many many years.
  • Just my personal observations, your mileage may vary:

    As a general rule of thumb, Burley doesn't exhibit much change with age, but one does run across occasional exceptions.

    Virginias not only become sweeter with age, but also develop complexity of flavor. This seems to be most pronounced with bright leaf. Virginias also benefit the most from long-term aging.

    Perique mellows, and the stewed-fruit undertones become more prominent. However, it always retains some of that black-pepper spiciness.

    I don't care for Latakia at all, and my experience with the other orientals is limited, so I won't venture any opinion.

    Cavendish is not a variety of tobacco, but a method of processing it with a heavy dose of sugared water. The process seems to retard any benefits of aging. Personally, I wouldn't bother with trying to age a Cavendish, or indeed, most aromatics.

    As with any organic process, Mother Nature is apt to throw a wrench in the works of any tobacco aging experiment. But that doesn't stop most devoted pipers.
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