cellaring 101 tutorial

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by haikucub, Aug 8, 2013.

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  1. haikucub

    haikucub Member

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    i'm a relative newcomer to pipe smoking. i would greatly appreciate some help understanding the basics of cellaring. i'm not sure i smoke enough for it to be worth my time and money, for starters, but more fundamentally, i don't fully understand the process, aside from the obvious fact that tobacco gets stored for future enjoyment, and, i gather, to improve its qualities.

    here are some of my basic questions:
    1. are all tobacco styles worth cellaring? i've heard that virginias are particularly worth aging, but i don't smoke those. my tastes lie more towards balkans (saseini, tashkent, l&p balkan #2, etc.) and scottish styles (pride of loch lomond, highland targe, scottish woods, etc.), and a couple english styles (black mallory, celebrated sovereign).

    2. should tinned tobacco be kept in the original tin, or can/should several tins of the same blend be cellared together in the same jar? (i.e., if i have several tins of saseini, should i leave them alone, or consolidate them into a single container to age together?)

    3. what's the best type of jar to use? it seems most people use mason jars, but what about the jars with the gasket and latch, for instance?

    4. is the actual process itself as simple as just putting the tobacco in the jar and sealing it, then storing it in a cool, dry, dark place? should jars be filled to the top? should the jars be cleaned and thoroughly dried first? is there a method for eliminating moisture from the jar before sealing it?

    5. how long should a tobacco be cellared before being enjoyed? can a tobacco be overcellared (i.e., stored for too long, such that it "turns" or loses the benefits of being cellared)? does this vary depending on the type of tobacco in question?

    any other essential/useful information is welcome. thanks for your help.
     
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  2. TheModernGent

    TheModernGent Member

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    If you have any more questions feel free to PM me.


    TMG
     
  3. haikucub

    haikucub Member

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    thanks, TMG, that's helpful. one more question, below.

    2. should tinned tobacco be kept in the original tin, or can/should several tins of the same blend be cellared together in the same jar? (i.e., if i have several tins of saseini, should i leave them alone, or consolidate them into a single container to age together?) If they are the actual factory sealed metal tins, make sure you keep them in a cool dry place. You don't want moisture to rust through the tin while you age, other than that you most certainly can (and I'd suggest) leave them in their original factory sealed tins/cans. There is nothing wrong with popping 3 tins of Saseini and tossing them in a jar either. what about storing tins of mcclelland tobacco, the ones that come tinned with a peel-off seal and plastic lid (as opposed to saseini, which is in the vacuum sealed all-metal tin). i think i'm inclined to just combine a few tins together in a jar, anyway, but just curious if the mcclelland tins are alright to store.
     
  4. davidmackv

    davidmackv Active Member

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    I cellar Aros. I have some that are three years in the jar and taste the same as the day I jarred em. If the seal is sealed where is the flavor going to go?
     
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  5. haikucub

    haikucub Member

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    i like the 3 months at a time approach - that makes good sense. i've done this, albeit inadvertently, with saseini. first batch i got was really wonderful. purchased a few tins more, and it took a few months to work through the first tin. second tin didn't seem as rich and complex as the first one. hard to tell, though, if that was that particular tin, my shifting tastes as a noob, or if perhaps cellaring saseini isn't the way to go. i have one more tin from that purchase still sitting, so it will be interesting to see how it smokes when i get around to it.
     
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  6. haikucub

    haikucub Member

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    davidmackv, so you're take on cellaring is that it preserves the original quality, rather than enhancing it, like aging the right wine would? or is that just with aros?
     
  7. TheModernGent

    TheModernGent Member

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    Yup as long as its in a factory sealed container (jar, can, tin, what have you) it's good to just leave as is.
     
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  8. davidmackv

    davidmackv Active Member

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    Some people claim that certain tobaccos age and others don't. I have read where some people say Burley with age is no different that it is new. I don't know that is peoples opinions. Most everyone agrees that Virginia's do age and it helps with the flavor, again this is people's opinion. I just read where a lot of people say you cannot cellar aros, but I do and I don't understand why they think that. Now if the jar does not seal and leaks air in and out, I could see deterioration of the flavor, but my jars seal after a few days and stay that way if they go undisturbed.
     
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  9. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Member

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    Everything I get goes straight into mason jars. Partly for their aesthetic/ uniform appeal, and partly because if I go off a blend for a while, when I come back to it after a while its a fresh as the day I jarred it! Also, they're so dang cheap it seems daft not to!
     
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  10. Lukasaurus

    Lukasaurus Member

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    Also, I can definitely vouch for FVF improving with age. Recently, I've noticed that fresh out of the tin it has a sour kick, probably due to the speed at which SG are churning these out just not, leaving no time for them to age in the tin. A month in a mason jar and the stuff already begins to smell orgasmic :)
     
  11. Eric Pierson

    Eric Pierson Resident Giant

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    I personally think age does not work so well with Latakia. I have two lat blends in my cellar that are more than ten years old. I find the lat to have a kind of stale taste to it. One was a bulk that I purchased dry in the bag so I can't really use that as the storage was improper to begin with, but the other is a tin of Blakeney's best Lat FLake. A fresh tin of BBLF is much better than my aged tin that I opened less than a year ago. Since then I have avoided buying any aged stuff that contains Latakia and I never buy a lot for storage purposes. I would be interested in others experiences with this.
     
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  12. haikucub

    haikucub Member

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    thanks, eric. that's helpful input. that supports my experience with my modest sasieni stock.
     
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  13. Eric Pierson

    Eric Pierson Resident Giant

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    I only age Virginias with or without Perique. There is no doubt in my mind that these blends benefit from it. I have had several aged Vas and had the opportunity to compare them with fresh and it is a night and day difference in favor of the aged.
     
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