CELLAR RATS: DO YOU HAVE A STRATEGY?

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by RTOdhner, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    What is your strategy for cellaring tinned tobaccos? I'm not talking about your favorites that you smoke day in and day out - I'm talking about those blends you keep around to smoke when you're in the mood for something different or special.

    Right now my cellar is comprised mostly of bulk tobaccos. Most of those bulks are VaBur blends that I smoke about once per day, and the rest are a few "English" or Lakeland blends that I put out on the tobacco bar and smoke when I get the urge. These can be out there for four to six months at a time. I also have a goodly supply of bulk flake blends like LNF and LTF, because I smoke those quite a bit as well and a couple of ounces will last me a couple of months.

    My main cellar is more like a pantry than a cellar in the proper sense of the word, and it is devoted to those bulk VaBur and flake blends that I smoke at least one a day or so. I built it up primarily as a hedge against the day that mail-order tobacco became a thing of the past, and I wanted to be sure that I had enough of my favorites to hold me over. Well, mail-order is still going strong and I have about 20 years worth of my favorite blends on hand. My workhorse smoke is SWR, but I don't cellar that because I can just walk down to the store or drive over to the tobacco shop once a week to pick up a new pouch of that.

    My focus is now on cellaring tinned tobacco, and I'm talking about cellaring in the proper sense of the word. Heavy aros or Lat Bombs are not really my thing, so I'm not particularly interested in those. I'm interested in Virginia, Burley, VaBur, VaPer, English, Balkan, and Lakeland blends that I would like to keep on hand for aging and to break-up my regular rotation of SWR or bulk VaBur blends that fill the majority of my smoking needs.

    What do y'all cellar, and how many tins of each do you keep on hand? I've already got my sights set on MacB Club Blend, Dunhill Early Morning and Standard Mixture, Solani ABF, Pete Irish Oak and Old Dublin, McConnnell Red Virginia, Frog Morton and FMOT, Pease Cairo, and Captain Earl's 10 Russians. I think about three or four tins of each would give me a pretty good supply of these outstanding blends.

    My cellaring focus is now on tinned tobaccos. I'd like to be able to cellar a blend or two per month, cash permitting. So I'd like to know what says the peanut gallery when it comes to cellaring high-end, tinned blends? What tinned tobaccos would you cellar, how many tins of each would you cellar, and why would you cellar those blends in the specified amounts?
     
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  2. tyler 32

    tyler 32 Member

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    Ive ben a pipe smoker for about six months. im just now building up bulk tabbaco. When yo store tabbaco you want them to be in a seled jar in a daark cool place like a celler or basement. With the tin as long as they have not ben opean its fine to store them. if they have ben opean put them in a mason jar. The tins when they are new are sealed with a air tight seal. With storeing tabbaco it ages and will be the best stuff you ever smoke. Within 6 months to a year with out opeaning any of the jars or tins it ages just like wine. I have some altadis rum and maple down staris ageing. I put some in a jar for every day smoking and the rest in a big mason jar to age down starirs. after a month of being seled up down stairs the tast has became 10x stronger then when i bought it. It is by far the best stuff ive smoke. When age always age 8 ozs to a pound in a single jar. When i bought the rum and maple i bought a poud. I put 4ozs in a mason jar for every day smokeing. 120z to age. One more thing when agesing tabbaco every month or so go down and shake you jar to stir the tabbaco up. i hope this is helpful and sorry for the long post.
     
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  3. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    Currently my "smoking" cellar has more variety than my aging cellar. My system is the same for bulk as it is for tinned. I have one open tin (of whatever, transfered to a mason jar) in my smoking cellar. When that one starts to get low I ask myself if this is something that I would like to keep on hand. If the answer is yes I order at "least" two tins of it, One for the smoking cellar and one for the ageing cellar. I never pull anything out of the ageing cellar, I just add to it. For example, Wessex Campaign Dark Flake, my favorite stuff in the whole wide world, I have one open tin in the smoking cellar and 8 tins in the ageing cellar now. I do this same process with bulk. I don't top off jars with stuff in the ageing cellar, I just order more.
     
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  4. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    As with Goat, my aging cellar is different than my smoking cellar. The stuff I'm letting sit for the next decade or so is fairly narrow. Mostly McClelland virginias, G&H florals and Pease blends, as well as a bunch of tins of LGF.

    The smoking cellar is where most of the variety is. As it stands, at least half of the smoking cellar is going to end up becoming very old before it is cracked. But the bulk jars are getting dipped into regularly, so they will age differently.
     
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  5. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I'm ordering new blends to try faster than I can smoke them so most of my stash consists of untried tins. As I find more blends that I want to put into my rotation I'll concentrate on buying them. I'm like a kid in a candy store now that I can get blends on-line that were never available to me before.
     
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  6. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    This is where I find myself. So many blends to chose from, and no way to know what really age all that well. Virginias age well, but there are only a gazillion blends to choose from.
     
  7. tyler 32

    tyler 32 Member

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    Ive ben a pipe smoker for about six months. im just now building up bulk tabbaco. When yo store tabbaco you want them to be in a seled jar in a daark cool place like a celler or basement. With the tin as long as they have not ben opean its fine to store them. if they have ben opean put them in a mason jar. The tins when they are new are sealed with a air tight seal. With storeing tabbaco it ages and will be the best stuff you ever smoke. Within 6 months to a year with out opeaning any of the jars or tins it ages just like wine. I have some altadis rum and maple down staris ageing. I put some in a jar for every day smoking and the rest in a big mason jar to age down starirs. after a month of being seled up down stairs the tast has became 10x stronger then when i bought it. It is by far the best stuff ive smoke. When age always age 8 ozs to a pound in a single jar. When i bought the rum and maple i bought a poud. I put 4ozs in a mason jar for every day smokeing. 120z to age. One more thing when agesing tabbaco every month or so go down and shake you jar to stir the tabbaco up. i hope this is helpful and sorry for the long post.
     
  8. ShawnP

    ShawnP Member

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    To be honest my Cellar is so unorganized and haphazardly thrown together with no well thought out plan.

    All my sealed tins sit in one spot not organized and they consist of things I like and things I've never even tried yet LOL. I do have some bulk that is aging and jars for smoking now.

    I guess I'm different. I look at my Cellar as the tobacco I will have to enjoy until I die regardless if it ages well or not. I just see it as my own little store front :)

    Hope that makes sense because my cellar doesn't.

    Shawn
     
  9. Bear84

    Bear84 Member

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    I'm similar in my thinking pattern as RTO when it comes to how I approach cellaring. I primarily smoke CH and I don't cellar it because I can pick up pouches at the local grocery store. The tobaccos that I cellar are the ones that I've got to order online. I'll try 4 or 5 different blends when I make an order, some quickly become favorites and those are the ones that I'll order in larger quantities next go round. Just did that with some 5100 and Briar Fox. I ordered a couple oz and love it, so the next order was half a pound and that'll be in the cellar.
     
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  10. Artistik

    Artistik Member

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    Like Bear84, I primarily smoke CH and some SWR. However, due to the prices in Florida and the fact that I can only buy the pouch here, I order tubs of both on line. I have one tub of each unopened in my "cellar" (there are few cellars or basements in FL) and one tub of each jarred for smoking. I do have a couple of unopened tins of new to me tobaccos (I just opended Plumcake yesterday) to try and if I like them I will reorder a couple of each. I really like #5100 and plan on my next order to purchase a pound for storage. I plan to experiment with other VAs and when I find ones I like, will probably store a pound or so of them. I'm 65 and about ready to retire, so I want enough tobacco in storage to last a few more years. I am sure I will smoke more when I retire than I do now.
     
  11. muddler

    muddler Member

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    My cellaring strategy has been driven by the fact that I live in South Africa & buy all my tobacco online from the USA. The local stuff is unspeakably bad. So I pay high (about 35%) postage costs & still get hit with some duties & VAT here. Still, it's worth it compared to cigs or cigars (or so I tell my wife). I've been cellaring since 2007. I started with mainly bulk & moved into tins as I refined my tastes - less of a shotgun approach. About 50% is now in bulk, the rest in tins. About 70% is Va's, 30% English/Balkan. My cellaring is now pretty much complete - I'll be OK until my mid-70s I figure. I'm sure I'll be buying new tobaccos that appeal though - why miss out on good things?
     
  12. FlatbushPaul

    FlatbushPaul Cellar is located in an undisclosed bunker

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    I am closer to 80% Va's, Va combo blends and 20% Balkan/English. I only have a small amount of Aromatic blends.
    Although I most likely could get away with not having to buy much I still hoard! Hey, what if I live longer than I thought!
     
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  13. LostDog13

    LostDog13 Yes, I'm a New World Samurai

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    I am so new it isn't funny. Right now just ordering samples and tins <in pairs> to try out. There are a few blends I have found that I really like, and will be ordering more of those to stick in the "cellar". After that I will order stuff here and there to try as I smoke through my "smoking cellar" and ignore the stuff in the aging "cellar". I'll add to both more slowly over the years, and then see how much I can smoke through once I decide to stop and tear down what I have built.
     
  14. Iain

    Iain Active Member

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    I only cellar to age and I view it as just an experiment really so it's a pretty narrow selection.
    If mail order disappears I can pop to the local store for Condor :byg:
     
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  15. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Member

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    Ageing and storing are two different things. The only thing that really ages is the VA. Now if your blend has some VA in it you will see some ageing in the flavor. Storing of aromatics (especially cased) is just that, you’re storing to have a supply and don’t keep opening the jar because you’re letting the moisture out and it will dry and lose flavor after about a year. Yes, there’s a flavor change in complex blends but what you taste is just the melding of the flavors not a true ageing. It can be argued that is ageing but not in the true sense. For the VA ageing to really make a difference in a blend, it has to be a good proportion, and heavy flavors will cover up that taste, because VA mellows.
     
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  16. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Member

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    Oh I forgot. Always transfer your open tins to small jars, I use little 3 oz. snap tops. You will keep moisture in and stable. There’s also the chemistry involved with tobacco exposed to oxygen, moisture and tin. It’s a small amount but oxidation is occurring. This can change the flavor, and the plastic top on that just keeps allowing more oxygen in.
     
  17. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    Strategy complete with one exception - I'll still buy a lot of Reiner LGF at shows if/whenever deal prices can be had.

    Otherwise, living between two JR stores (recently with very low Carolina tobacco tax) and making several trips to Bermuda (then offering tax/duty free Murray's Dunhill) I bought heavily on high virginia content blends for cellaring. The majority of stored tins were purchased for $4.95 (Dunhill/Bermuda) to $6.95 (Dunhill, Escudo, Christmas Cheer/JR Cigar). I've bought and aged enough Stonehaven bulk when it was available to keep me smoking at 6-year old flakes.

    I buy a tin or two of what I like but I buy a LOT of things I like that are solid choices for improvement in the tin and value added over time. I think the Murray's Dunhill is the best part of my retirement portfolio. ;)
     
  18. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer Member

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    BBF and FVF for the win lols, But I do stock escudo, as a treat. Pull out 2 coins and it's desert! I do have a thing about nightcap every once in a while. But I'm ageing some VA blends and VApers for long term, I think AK is going to be something suprising and very special in 5 years, let alone 10.
     
  19. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    I agree. I said earlier that I'm putting my bulk stuff and tins I like in my "ageing" cellar, but a more accurate description would be my "hoarding" cellar. :ohyh:
     
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  20. jdto

    jdto Active Member

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    I have a few blends of which I have bought a pound or more and they are cellared in jars. I have a whole bunch of individual blends, either small quantities of bulk or tins, that are on my exploration list (ie. we'll see if I like them and if so, buy to cellar). I'd like to build up as much of a stock as I can so that if things get tightened up at the border, I can be assured I have a good stock and buy in smaller quantities domestically going forward.
     
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