Strengths of English blends...

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by user2725, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    This might seem like an elementary question but what are the factors involved in designating a English blend as light, medium or full, is it the amount of Latakia in it?
     


  2. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    As with any blend there are at least two main ways of looking at it - "strength" of flavor and "strength" of nicotine.

    As regards flavor, strong English blends USUALLY rely on a more substantial amount of latakia than milder English blends. That said, English blends generally contain Virginias, Oriental and latakia, and blends referred to as "English" may also contain burley, dark fired Kentucky, perique, unflavored cavendish, etc. So they are really a complex group of tobaccos, and you can achieve pretty full flavored blends with relatively little actual latakia. A great example is Presbyterian Mixture, which is pretty much medium-full, but has next to no latakia in it (some claim it actually does not contain any latakia). On the other hand, Star of the East contains 50% latakia, yet to my palate it doesn't taste that much more robust than many English blends with far less. I like it, and I don't like a lot of latakia usually!

    In terms of nicotine, it's quite subjective. What one person finds strong, another may find perfectly tame. I tend towards tolerating a decent bit of nicotine, personally, and find English blends to generally be pretty mild. There are some exceptions, sure, but I rarely find a latakia blend to ever be much more than a solid medium in terms of nicotine, and most are pretty mild. That said, for somebody used to nothing but vanilla cavendish, a large bowl of most latakia blends might be a daunting idea. Oriental tobaccos in general are moderately strong, and Virginias are usually milder but definitely CAN be pretty strong in some cases (look at GH Dark Birdseye). Latakia, however, is pretty low in nicotine. So in many cases, where the fullness of flavor is determined by latakia content, the stronger the flavor the lower the nicotine.
     
  3. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    Thanks for the 411 :)
     
  4. MacNutz

    MacNutz Active Member

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    Nesta, can you, or anyone, name a few "English blends" that have much burley in them? I'm an English/Latakia smoker who also love the burley. It sounds like a good combination.
     
  5. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I beilieve the term "American English" is descriptive, and it moves from fairly traditional tobaccos with what amount to condimental latakia (and often a mild aromatic addition) like Revelation of yore, like Spilman (or something like 4noggins Harvest Moon now), to more English-y blends that have condimental burley in them: Engine 99 from C+D, also their "Billy Budd" if I remember right....Ashton's Consummate Gentleman has some burley... GL Pease uses burley in some of his, and usually describes it so on the can.
     
  6. MacNutz

    MacNutz Active Member

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    Thanks. Yes, Billy Budd, I had forgotten it. I must try some.
     
  7. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Nesta, a strength of an "English" blend depends on the Latakia content. However, someone once suggested that Lat Bombs be designated as "Russian" blends in honor of the ever so sublime 10 Russians blend. (Try a tin and you'll know what I mean).

    This thread has the potential to launch a whole 'nuther What Defines an English, Balkan, or Scottish Blend debate.
     
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  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Oh god I hope not!
     
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  9. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Walnut is an "American English." It's an old Middleton OTC blend, it's still available (but only in tubs), and it is very good.
     
  10. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, Consummate Gentleman has some burley, but it's not my favorite. It's not too heavy on the latakia, but there's not much noticeable burley either, and I generally dislike lat blends that don't contain other Oriental varieties as well. It never tastes balanced to me.

    C&D Adagio is a good English blend with burley in it, and it has a pretty traditional flavor to it. The burley really is in the background, honestly. I just hate the cut of it - all chunky. But it's well blended.

    Peter Stokkebye makes a few English blends, and I think only the Proper English is made without burley, if memory serves.
     
  11. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    I "think" the new PSF English blend is a light English (light on the Lat) and has a decent amount of Burley in it. Ask or PM Rewster to be sure.
     
  12. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    And then there's Condor, which I'm puffing on as we speak.

    Strong in flavor, strong in nicotine. No latakia, all English. :bing:
     
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  13. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

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    How about we just all agree to compromise, do it my way, and call them Irish blends? No there is no logical sense about it, but I'll curse at you while dancing a jig around the room in silly-pants, and shadow-boxing. Then I'll recite some Keats, badly.
    No, I don't drink. It's not nice to stereotype.

    Slainte!
     
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  14. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

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    Okay, when Spillproof climbs down from the pink elephant and sends his leprechaun friends home, someone remind me what this thread is all about.

    Crazy Irishmen. They must be from Texas.

    Forum Running
     
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