Limited Edition Tobaccos?

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Smoke 80, Oct 25, 2010.

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  1. Smoke 80

    Smoke 80 Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    I've got a question.

    I'm becoming cognizant of what I like and dislike and made my rounds, for the first time, re-purchasing, in slightly bigger quantities, those blends which I enjoy: Ebony, Dark Velvet, etc.

    My question is, over time, do most custom blends die out? Since I like those particular blends, instead of buying an Oz or two, should I be buying in much larger quantities and stockpiling? I figure the Captain and the Prince aren't going anywhere, but PipesandCigars Anniversary Kake, or other custom blends, should I be stocking up on preparing for their inevitable demise or do most shops keep their most popular blends on tap indefinitely?

    I'm trying to figure out where mason jars fit in with my particular style and I don't see any need to do that if I can purchase these as readily as I can a can of Coke when I run out. I don't have the forethought or space for a masonry jar collection. I view masonry jars as those tobaccos which are vintage and would be passing on in my estate. I think I would blow the lids off the jars within weeks of sealing them just due to sheer necessity.

    I'm only buying what I intend to smoke is what I'm getting at here, but I won't be if these blends have a production shelf-life.

    Thanks guys.

  2. jmiket91

    jmiket91 Member

    Jul 15, 2010
    It's never a bad idea to have some sort of cellar. Who knows what could happen to your favorite tobacco? I use mason jars if I want to open a tin of something and only want one bowl full. The rest goes into a mason jar, and I probably won't pull it out for a few weeks or months. It would dry out if I just left it in the tin.
  3. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    How long can you store tobacco in mason jars before it's no longer good to smoke? Does it depend on brand/type/preservatives? I'm curious, because the local "Statesman" mix is pretty good (if a bit more mild than I'd like) and I wouldn't mind having more than an oz. around, but don't want to commit to buying a pound, say, if it'll go bad more quickly than I can send it up in smoke.
  4. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2009
    Don't think anyone knows but I've heard it's still good for decades.
  5. kreinhard

    kreinhard Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    Ah, no worries then. I was concerned it was more on the order of a month. Although I don't know why, as I have cigars that are years old and they're just fine.
  6. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

    Dec 21, 2009
    I have some that's been laid away for 10-12 years and is still some cases, even better than when I put it up.

    As for how long a blend will be around, Balkan Sobranie and GLP's Bohemian Scandal were favorites of mine...regulars in my early rotation. I never gave thought to their demise....until they were suddenly gone.

    Since then, I've decided not to get caught short on a new favorite.
    I love Squadron Leader for example, so I stock-piled some few pounds over the years. Now SG and G&H blends are having production/distribution problems....but I have numerous jars and tins to tide me over. Same with a few other favorites....if they were to vanish from the market tomorrow, I've got enough to enjoy for an extended period.
  7. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

    Feb 9, 2010
    I think that the short answer is yes. I wrote down a list of blends no longer available since I started smoking, and stopped at twenty. If you add in blends that are no longer available in the states, and blends that have changed owners/manufacturing facilities (Dunhill, anyone?), the list gets a lot bigger.

    Cellaring a little tobacco is never a bad idea. I've had a few stretches through the years where buying tobacco didn't fit the budget very well, and I'm damned glad that I had some put up to tide me through.
  8. telltime

    telltime Active Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    While I certainly "cellar," I don't do it because I think some tobacco is going to no longer be available or be a ltd. edition. I'm a firm believer that demand will drive production. Dunhill, for example, did not give up this business because it was making them a lot of money... And those people who loved these tobaccos were able to find a reasonable substitute. It's not to say that they don't miss the old stuff, but sometimes I think that's partly nostalgia.

    Another point to "cellaring" because you want, say, a lifetime supply is that if you decide to do this, you are taking SOME (be it a limited) risk. Say for arguments sake you fall in love with a tobacco to the point to where it's the only (or at least primary) tobacco you want. You hear a rumor that it's going out of business and not selling its recipe so you'll never get it again. You run out and buy up all you can find and store 100 lbs. (O.K., maybe 20 but you get the drift) of it in your cellar. What are the risks?

    - The tobacco does not age well and you don't like the taste of it after it's aged 5 years. You still have a bunch of it and nobody else wants it either. (fully admit that this is unlikely, but possible, unless you don't store it correctly)
    - Your taste simply change and you find a different tobacco you like better.
    - Someone duplicates the recipe and even if it's not exact, it's close enough that you like it.
    - Natural disaster strikes and ruins your storage

    This happened back in the 60s with cigars and the Cuban embargo. Several people rushed right out and purchased as many boxes of their favorites as they could. Some of those are available today, but are considered like a Dom Perion of cigars... mostly collectible and very rarely smoked. Cigar smokers of those years will SWEAR the cigars were better, but some mighty fine producers of cigars came out over the following years, esp. in the 80s. And this was no accident!

    Many of the people who rolled cigars left Cuba in the "great flee" on boats, rafts, etc. and settled in Miami and other areas of the Carribean (Honduras, Guatemala, etc.) and they took that cigar rolling knowlege, and even some seeds, with them. Not exact, but very similar (and some say better) cigars were the result.

    I cellar not to collect. I cellar what I think can be reasonably consumed in a reasonable amount of time and I want to have it readily available. I have about 4-5 pounds in my basement right now, which at 2-3 bowls a week probably would last me close to a lifetime. But some will be given away to friends/fellow pipers (either because I think he'll like it or because I didn't and he does), so I will still buy some here and there. Other than tins, though, I can't remember the last time I bought less than 8 oz. If I like it, I intend to eventually share so I'll either buy a 1/2 to 1 lb. But that's just me (and why I have so much in my cellar right now!).
  9. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Hi All,

    I supect we will have quite a lot of different opinions on this one - which is as it should be. This is my take.

    A friend on another Forum once asked me to help with a reasearch project he was doing and could I make a contribution on how the availability of British tobacco had changed in my lifetime. The list of old established British favourites which have been delisted in the past 10 years is extraordinarily long - this of course co-incides with the reduction in the numbers of pipe smokers here.

    It is often argued that when a favourite disappears the pipe smoker will find an alternative pretty near in taste to the "lost" tobacco. This can be a long and arduous task and often there is no direct alternative. For example I was a big lover of Player's Pipe Tobaccos - in particular "No Name" "Sherwood" and "Gold Leaf" - it has taken me since the mid 80s to find McLelland's "Beacon" which is near enough Gold Leaf but I have never found substitues for the others; ditto with John Sinclair Flake. Benson and Hedges Mellow Virginia is a weak substitue for the firm's Rich Virginia, a tobaco I loved from its introduction in 1971.

    I now cellar the ones I like. I am lucky in that my preferred tobaccos are virginias which do store well. The other argument for cellaring is of course price - take a look at prices over the last 10 years; I personally can only see things getting worse regrettably - so at age 60 I am working on acquiring 10 years worth!

    That's my twopence worth!

    Best as ever

  10. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    I agree with cellaring tobacco. Most of the blends I like age well and it's nice to know I've got some to see me through the hard times.
  11. AndyLowry

    AndyLowry Member

    Aug 28, 2010
    Yes, Dunhill! And I wish I'd known enough at the time to put away a bunch of Rattray's tins, 'cause the German-made stuff isn't the same. But I didn't.

    Right now I'm putting away various Syrian mixes I like, such as 3 Oaks, because Syrian Latakia supplies are limited and likely to stay that way. I'm also stocking up on my favorites within the McClelland Collector/Pipe Club blends(Scottish Mixture, Wilderness, et cetera), because I don't expect them to be around forever either.
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