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Battle of the Blends - Choosing the Right Tobacco Blend for You

Battle of the Blends - Choosing the Right Tobacco Blend for You

When it comes to smoking a pipe, there’s nothing better than a carefully crafted tobacco blend with an outstanding flavor and aroma. Because pipe smoking is so popular now, companies are starting to produce special gourmet tobacco blends that are sure to appease every type of pipe smoker.

It can be overwhelming when you’re first starting to smoke, or trying a new blend because there are thousands of options out there! However, once you understand the basics of tobacco and the wide range of varieties, you’ll be able to choose one perfect for you!

 

Pipe Smoking Basics - Types of Tobacco and Blends

  • Aromatic

Think of aromatic tobacco as the caramel macchiato of the tobacco world. It’s sweeter, has a pleasant smell, and it’s mostly preferred by the newbie crowd. Because of its sweet, savory smell, it’s the most popular tobacco blend on the market. The aroma comes from the manufacturer adding the flavor on top of the tobacco or putting a casing around it to give it flavor. The purpose of an aromatic is not necessarily the flavor, however. It has more to do with the experience that you get while smoking it. For example, if a particular blend has vanilla in it, it’s not necessarily to make it taste like vanilla, but to give the tobacco a lively, pleasant aroma and experience.

  • Non-Aromatic

Non-aromatic tobacco blends are like the black coffee of the tobacco world -  bold and strong (sometimes). Non-aromatic isn’t as popular as aromatic; however, it does lend itself to be a more bold and sugary blend that is preferred by slow-smokers. With non-aromatic blends, they tend to be a bit more foul-smelling. However, they do derive a bolder flavor from the tobacco because you have little to no added flavoring involved. The high sugar content of Virginia blends especially lends itself to a hotter pipe. This type of blend would be better suited for someone who wants the classic tobacco flavor and smell, not the fruitier, mellow aroma of an aromatic tobacco

An English blend is considered a non-aromatic tobacco, but its name comes from its origin. English blends didn’t contain additives until 1986. However, English blends are most notable for containing Oriental tobaccos such as Latakia, which has a spicy, smokier taste. Many have compared Latakia to oak and leather, a rick, smoky experience indeed. 

Other tobaccos that fall under the non-aromatic category are Virginias, Cavendish, Burley, Dark Fired Kentucky, and Perique. Virginia tobacco is known for its bright flavor and high sugar content, giving it a slight citrusy or fruity taste. Cavendish tobacco refers to the way in which the tobacco is cured, giving it properties that readily accept toppings or casings of cherry, rum, vanilla, and chocolate. Burley tobacco is one of the most common types of tobacco. It’s known for its earthy, nutty flavor due to the low sugar content. Dark Fired Kentucky is is a cured burley, smoky and full-bodied with a slight BBQ flavor to it. Lastly, Perique is a type of tobacco uniquely processed in Louisiana. Although not smoked itself, its spicy flavor is commonly added as a condiment to several tobacco blends.

 

What's your choice?

Now that you know a bit more about the different types of tobacco and various blends offered, it’s time to choose. Tobacco blends are a personal thing that depends on what kind of notes and flavors you want to experience when smoking your pipe.

The best way to find out which blends might be right for you, without having to buy a plethora of flavors, is by watching videos or reading reviews. Listening and reading other people share their experiences with different flavors can give you a good idea of what blend is best for you.  

Once you figure out which blend is right for you, pick out a couple to try. While smoking, make notes of specific flavors that you like and ones you don’t. It’ll help you narrow down which blend will be your best friend.

Finding your aroma is a very personal practice. Every pipe smoker is different and which blend you prefer says a lot about you. It can be a tricky process, but once mastered, it can turn you into a pipin’ prodigy.

 

 

References
Briar Report Magazine. (2019, March 1). What Does Pipe Tobacco Really Taste Like? Expectations vs Reality. Briar Report Magazine. Retrieved May 26, 2021, from https://www.briarreport.org/2019/03/01/what-does-pipe-tobacco-really-taste-like-expectations-vs-reality/#:~:text=Virginia%20Tobacco%2C%20referred%20to%20as,hay%2Dlike%20taste%20to%20them.
JR Cigar. (2015, June 22). Types Of Pipe Tobacco | Cuts, Blending & Taste. The Blending Room. Retrieved May 26, 2021, from https://www.jrcigars.com/blending-room/blog/pipe-tobacco/pipe-tobacco/
Stanion, C. (2020, August 7). A Closer Look at Aromatic Pipe Tobacco. Smoking Pipes. Retrieved May 26, 2021, from https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/closer-look-aromatic-pipe-tobacco
Tobacco Business. (2018, March 20). Pipe Tobacco Fundamentals. Tobacco Business. Retrieved May 26, 2021, from https://tobaccobusiness.com/pipe-tobacco-fundamentals/ 

 

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