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Deconstructing an English

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Jayson H Bucy, Nov 20, 2011.

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  1. Jayson H Bucy

    Jayson H Bucy Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    I'm trying to figure out how to deconstruct blends so I can find out exactly what it is I like about them. Right now I'm stuck saying, "I don't know what it is about it but its good."

    With that being said I would like to start with a simple one. PS English Luxury. It's my current favorite and go to tobacco for every day. It's listed as having: Burley, Black Cavendish, Virginia, and Latakia. I know the Cavendish note is the mellow back tone. I think the Virginia is what gives it the sweet taste on the tongue. I'm assuming the Latakia gives it the little bit of spice that compliments the sweet. And, I have no idea what the Burley does.

    Is that a pretty fair sumation of the aforementioned blend and the roles that the different tobaccos play?
    Mister Moo likes this.
  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

    Feb 7, 2011
    Burley is usually added to a blend to provide body - to keep the blend from being thin tasting. I've not smoked this particular blend so I can't say what burley does for it specifically - I'm just speaking in generalities. Burley also acts like a sponge for flavorings in aromatics. Your basic aromatic is mostly burley with a bit of virginia thrown in.

    I would imagine the black cavendish in PSLE is what gives it most of the sweetness, although the virginia would add to that.

    Sounds like you're well on your way to figuring this stuff out. When you get to "orientals", you may want to throw in the towel. Most blends don't say "which" orientals they're using and there's several sub-types. I can usually not tell which ones are used unless a blend only uses one varietal that I'm familiar with. The McClellands Grand Oriental series helped a lot by isolating one strain within a basic virginia blend. I can tell you that every blender from Stokkebye to Pease keeps their recipes pretty secret, particularly as they pertain to orientals.
  3. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Reassuring Bovine Moderation Moderator

    Jun 10, 2009
    At the risk of further encouraging your disorder, I'd suggest you smoke each new tobacco you try in a clean meerschaum pipe first time around. Meers tend to put blends into clearer focus than briars and cobs for me. They definitely help me deconstruct (good word, that one) a blend I want to understand.

    Your summary sounds good, by the way. I'd add that PS blends tend to be very well thought out - all those that come to mind put the "whole" ahead of the sum of the parts. Burley mixed with lots of other things, or even under the cover of one punchy virginia, can be hard to sort out: try MacBarens Navy Flake and try to figure what's virginia and what's burley in that tin. There are easier and less complex blends, not so well balanced as Stokkebye offerings, to diagnose. My take, anyhow.

    Tell you what. I tried some C&D Repose yesterday (and then gave the tin away). If you want to know what turkish tobacco tastes like, try Repose. It isn't bad, by the way - neither is it complex. Once you meet turkish this up close and personal you'll always recognize it elsewhere.
    Kiowapipe likes this.
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