probably some dumb questions

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by JoeSmall, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. JoeSmall

    JoeSmall Member

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    As most of you know I'm fairly new to all this and I was wondering if there is a description of how different types of tobaccos taste/smell. I have experience with CH, PA, Capt. Black gold, and Middleton's apple. I have unopened pouches of Velvet and H&H to try also. I could be mistaken but those are all burley blends aren't they? How do you describe the taste of Latakia or Oriental or Virginia or perique or even burley or Cavendish? I assume (and I could be wrong) that like cooking different percentages of some or all of these in different blends could lead to almost infinite flavors. I'm trying to figure out what I read on the forums to help figure out what type of blends I will enjoy and what types to avoid but I just don't understand the basics and I've tried the search function but don't know enough to type in a phrase that will give me the relevant threads. Of the tobaccos I tried the only one I didn't really care for was the apple because it seemed like I was getting steam mixed in with the smoke (which could well be my technique or lack thereof). Is there a tobacco university or some place I could read about this or can some of the more experienced members please help me resolve my ignorance?

    Besides the taste issue I'm also wondering about compressed tobacco (coins, medallions, flakes etc) and bulk tobaccos, does all the advanced stuff (not ribbon, shag, whatever) come in tins and all the easy stuff come in bulk?

    Thank you for helping me figure all this stuff out.

    Joshiah
     
  2. Thuber88

    Thuber88 Well-Known Member

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  3. scopawl

    scopawl Member

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    I don't know about all of the tobaccos you mentioned, I'm not familiar with all of the US OTCs, but I do know that CH, PA and H&H are all burleys. I haven't tried any of them but I would imagine (and I'm sure the US-based forumites are a better judge of this) that each of those would taste similar. I do have a pouch of H&H I picked up last month, but haven't gotten round to opening it yet.
    Captain Black Gold, I'm sure, is an aromatic cavendish blend so presumably you can taste a difference when comparing it to PA, for example.

    On describing the tastes of different component parts to blends, it's a little like describing the taste of anything else. How would you describe the taste of a tomato to someone who had never tasted one? You'd probably just say "try one." And that'd be my best advice regarding that too. Seek out some popular good examples of different styles and you'll start to pick it up.
    For example, for a straight Virginia, I'd maybe suggest Dunhill Flake or Hamborger Veermaster as very good at demonstrating the flavours of a straight VA.
    Try the websites Pipedia and TobaccoReviews, they've got tonnes of info. (And here too of course, I've not been posting here that long, but have picked up tonnes of information from just lurking!)
     
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  4. Smokey Tom

    Smokey Tom Active Member

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    You might be better off posting this in the "Ask and old fart!" section. There's alotta combined knowledge in there. And remember, the only stupid questions are the ones that you don't ask.
     
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  5. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Whoa. Joe. Lots of questions. And, as the old saying goes "there are no dumb questions, just dumb answers..." or is it "the only dumb question is the one that isn't asked" ? Oh well.

    Latakia and perique are kind of like spices to a blend, like adding a little pepper (for example) to a soup. Cavendish is more of a way of processing tobacco than a variety. Virginia and burley are mainstays of many blends. But, gosh, describing the taste of them, as far as I'm concerned, is kind of like trying to describe the color "red" to someone. Part of that is because I don't talk/think like that, whether it is tobacco or wine. There are others that will tell you something tastes like toffee or chocolate or is nutlike. Those descriptions may be helpful to you, but from my perspective taste is in the -- um -- tongue of the beholder and will vary by the individual.

    As for "Tobacco University," this comes close. I think of it this way: If one is not familiar with a sport, like football or baseball and they just start watching games and listening to the commentators describe the plays and rules as they come up little by little you start to grasp the game -- without sitting in a class. Doesn't hurt to watch with someone that understands the game you can ask questions of now and then, too. The PSF is great for that, you can read and learn a lot from questions asked and suggestions offered (of course, it takes a little filtering to get past the non-answers and the jokes, but that is part of the fun). Then, you can always ask questions, too. Just be prepared for a lot of answers -- sometimes very different answers -- to the same question.
     
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  6. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    Tobaccoreviews.com is a good place to read up on what any given blend consists of, and what people think of them.

    Naturally, you should avoid reading anything by anyone with one star, and treat most 5-stars with suspicion (unless written by DK).
     
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  7. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

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    This reminds me that I need to get on there and post reviews for some of the "okay" blends I've tried. So far, I've only reviewed ones I really like.
     
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  8. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I'll describe what they taste like to me but ya gotta understand it's all very subjective.

    Perique tastes peppery.
    Latakia has a smokey, leathery taste.
    Burley doesn't have much taste of it own but it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cased or topped with. It does have a very slight chocolate taste of its own.
    Virginia is naturally sweet and it smells and tastes slightly of hay.

    Nearly all tobacco is a mixture of these blends so sometimes it's difficult to isolate the flavors.
     
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  9. michiganlover

    michiganlover Active Member

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    One might say that CH, and PA are similar but H and H is not similar at all. It's the casing/ top dressing that really defines a tobacco, and the casing of H and H seems to be anise (licorice) from what I have read. That makes it quite a bit different than CH and PA.

    I have smoked all three, and I would say all three are distinctive.

    Think of tobacco as one might think of a gourmet burger: just because the base ingredient is the same (ground beef), doesn't mean the end result is going to taste the same: the toppings, and sauces make all of the difference!!
     
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  10. TheLonePipeman

    TheLonePipeman Member

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    Tobaccos just have to be experienced. Perique tastes like someone put some ground black pepper in your pipe. Latakia tastes like burning fall leaves in a campfire. Cavendish tastes...sweet. Burley and Virginia are more subtle...Burly is more earthy, and Virginia is more naturally sweet. Orientals are difficult to describe for me, but nice in the right mix. You just need to try some touchstone blends to get the right idea. Flakes and coins are cool, but really affect the burn more than the taste, maybe concentrate the flavors a bit. Sounds like you have tried several OTC's, maybe it's time to branch out into other types of blends. If you have never had an "English" style blend that would probably be the most noticeable flavor difference from what you have tried so far. :)
     
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  11. Buckshot

    Buckshot Member

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    Hey Joshiah, have you stumbled upon the FNG/FOG thread yet? It might be a good option for you. Or not but check it out if you haven't already. You can trade a tin or two for several small samples. If you don't have what the FOG wants you can purchase it and have it sent to their address. It's a good way to get a good variety of samples.

    As mentioned, you won't really know what the different tobaccos taste like until you try them for yourself.
     
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  12. JoeSmall

    JoeSmall Member

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    This gives me some idea where to start, I understand things taste different to different people but I got a wife you see and she asks questions "why'd you buy it if you don't like it" and then... well I'm sure some of you fellas are married and know. So knowing the per is peppery that will be low on my list but lat sounds like it would be high up there. Also makes sense that I'm finding the burleys a lil bland after getting used to em a lil.
     
  13. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    Don't suppose you could use, "Because," "Seemed like a good idea at the time," "It had a great label," or "Some guy on PSF said he liked it" ? :xd:

    But, really, as you start making your TAD list don't write off perique entirely -- just shift it off for a while. Later, you might find that there will come a time when you really enjoy a good VaPer blend now and then. Just a thought.
     
  14. JoeSmall

    JoeSmall Member

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    Not ruling anything out just wanna start with the things I think I'll enjoy the most. I've also told the wife the truth "obviously I didn't know I wouldn't like it, I'm not bleep clairvoyant, I'm sorry I wasted money you could have spent on a pair of shoes that you would have only worn once and then put in the closet to collect dust on something I thought idea like." She stops complaining about the money but dinner never taste as good when she's mad.
     
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