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Tobacco dates

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Mington, Nov 13, 2010.

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  1. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    Does it matter on the date of tobacco when buying??
    Is older or newer better?
    The reason I ask is that when I bought my Mac Baren's Navy Flake today, they had 2 tins.
    One was dated May of 2009 and the other Oct. of 2009.
    I went with the older one, only because I have read here that the more aged of the tobacco, the better it gets.
    Which one should I have gotten, or does it even matter since it was sealed?
  2. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Older is better IF it is sealed. You did well, better if you got both.
  3. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

    Feb 11, 2010

  4. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Scary Cow Moderator Moderator

    Jun 10, 2009
    (+/-1) Older is not necessarily better.

    -0.25 Some aromatics are reported to fade in the tin and burley in general isn't known to improve over time. As far as MacB Navy Flake (which lists burley as the first item in the blend) I claim a modest exception having recently tried some about 8-yrs old or older. It was modestly better than fresh but that could be aging or the virginia component or it could be due to blend deviations over time. Stonehaven, another burley/virginia, gets markedly better if properly stored over 5+ years.

    -0.25 Latakia blends may meld and soften over time but at least one I experienced got to the point where it lost the edge that made it special. I've aged some Penzance 5-6 years and I would call it diminished compared to 0-1 year.

    +1 Virginia tabaks are regarded as the best to age if you want improvement. My experience with vapers over 10-years bears this out.

    -0.25 The famous Balkan Sobranie, grail of the english smoker, came in many iterations up to the mid-1990s. Those that were later in the game were relatively nondescript and, you could say, if they went in the tin sub-par you shouldn't expect genius to come out 15-20 years later.

    -0.25 Some packages are notorious for rusting or losing seals - caveat emptor on that aging effect.
  5. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

    Mar 12, 2010

    An excellent synopsis on aging, Moo.

    Aging tobacco that is.
  6. Stoked

    Stoked Member

    Feb 11, 2010

    it has been stored properly during that time!

    Excessive heat will merge the flavors over time even in a sealed can, rendering the tobacco more monolithic in flavor than the originally intended blend. This is not viewed as a good thing.

    Proper storage is not really a concern if the tin is acquired from a B & M, but I would be a little leery of a private seller.

    Also, as Moo stated, there is a point of diminishing returns even when stored properly. And +1 to Moo for that.
  7. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    And it looks as if Mr Moo has done it again! What? That he'z all mixed up? Nope. He speakz truth! Va's & Va-Perz do age beautifully, while Burleys remain about the same. Latz don't age well overall and do lose some of their appeal but for me, I don't notice that much difference.........could also be the differences in blending the same recipe but with what toby is available to the blender. Ya gotta work with what'z available.....otherwise, yer just stuck in pipe-dreamz.

    Orientals i'd guess fit in the Lat category but since they are cured differently (as in not smoke cured) they may age as well as Va's. I don't have any aged orientalz to judge....started cellaring late in the game and was not "into" orientals or lats prior to this year.

    Ed Puff!
    Cogito ergo puff
  8. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Balaenius Rex!!

    Jan 23, 2010
    I bought a tin of Squadron Leader that was rusty around the seal and the wax paper around the tobacco looked like a butcher had wrapped meat in it and left it to dry. The paper was as oily and supple as leather though. It was a good smoke, obviously well aged. This is my only experience with a tin that may have seemed "off" or "expired beyond its shelf life." No complaints and the forum members assured me this was something to look for. They were right, it was an excellent smoke.

    I would be hesitant to do it again but I usually just buy in bulk and put it in jars for as long as they last (not too long, I'm afraid, I'm not a hoarder).
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