Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by buistd, Apr 16, 2012.
Hi there - Just wondering if anyone can tell me what elements make a 'Navy' tobacco a Navy tobacco?
I'm no expert but I've noticed most blends labeled as navy are pressed into flakes or rolls and they generally have a high content of Virginia leaf. Sometimes they they are cased with rum and/or honey but not always. Two blends that come to mind are McB's Navy Flake and Dunhill's sliced navy rolls. I've tried them both and they were good but not my favorite mixtures.
I believe it has to do with compression, blend notwithstanding, but prefer to think it's the virginia tobacco and Jamaican rum. Yo ho.
Part of what makes a navy tobacco a navy tobacco is tradition. When back when, and I really mean waaaaay back when, sailors used to go on voyages for months at a time, so they brought a nice supply of tobacco on board. A lot (but not all) of the tobacco they brought was pressed into flakes/plugs/ropes and was sealed in tar in an attempt to prevent the tobacco drying out mid voyage.
At one point they were storing tobacco in empty rum barrells sealed with tar, and realized that the tobacco had absorbed a lot of the rum aroma from the barrell.
What makes navy tobacco today might be a point of much debate, each blender has its own recipe. However, like the previous post state, most navy tobacco contains a large portion of virginia and often a rum casing. In general, when I see "navy rolls" or "navy mixture" or "navy anything" that's pretty much what I expect: Virginia and booze.
Keeping up with tradition, then yeah, that's it. Today, many people perceive the pipe as a "navy thing" so you will find many "navy blends" out there that don't have a historically sound basis, like how many tobacconists will rename bulk blends like captain black, for instance, as "sailor's choice" or whatever pipey name might catch you eye.
Yeah Captain Black must be one - it makes me seasick
A classic Navy is "Escudo Navy De Luxe," which is one of my favorite smokes. On top of what has been said above, there is a lot of perique in the rolls, giving it a distinct flavor.
Could not have said it better.
Who am I kidding - I couldn't have said it nearly as well!
i believe it has to do with pressed tobacco;
ie: rolls, ropes, twists and plugs
and many cured in RUM, to keep the tobacco from drying out too much on long voyages--
When I think of a Navy blend, I think of Virginia Cavendish aged with Rum.