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 How long can you age tobacco?

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Fight'n Hampsters

Fight'n Hampsters

Age : 41
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

How long can you age tobacco? Empty
PostSubject: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 12:23 pm

I know it will vary by type of tobacco, but at what point (if at all) will a airtight sealed tin of tobacco start to go bad? I can't imagine that it would be indefinite.

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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 12:41 pm

As with most things known, it is only from personal experience we can trust to be what we truly 'know'. My experience with aged tobacco can only go back 20 years. With tins. Virginias change for the darker sweeter aspects, blends tend to lose their playfulness and flatten out after about six or so years, Burlies just tend to dry out. Same with aros.

I have been using canning jars for some time now. Researching them, I have found that even "Ball" jars (The standard by which others are compared), are only rated for four years max for keeping a seal. I tried some other brand a few years ago and they were proud to say that they guarantee a good seal for up to 18 months!

I'm not sure if being dry as a mummy's hair would be considered being 'bad', per se, but it might require some rehydration to not have it go poof as soon as you took it to flame. The issue I have with that though, is adding hydration to replace oils tends to not be not as successful a resurrection as one would hope. BUT, dry is better than moldy.

I'm sure someone with more wisdom on this subject could shed better light than I, and hopefully others will chime in..

** The opinions expressed here are purely personal and should not reflect on documentation, other opinions or experiences of the forum or other members, living or dead, past present or future. Your experiences may differ. Comments made by the author are more than likely jaded or pedantic by other's standards. **
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Richard Burley

Richard Burley

Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 1:32 pm

I have never quite been sold on the idea of cellaring large quantities of tobaccoweed. That's not to say I don't have a closet stuffed full of stuff I'll probably never get to, some of which has attained years on it, nor to deny that I stock up once in a while (just ordered 10 tins of MacB's Acadian Perique), but I don't do it consciously or with focused deliberation, for the reasons cited by the Wiz above. Not since I had a pound of C&D's Epiphany turn to mildew. Maybe a good, straight Virginia is worth the risk, but I'm a bit leery. And, based on my experience, I do not like rehydrated tobacco, or weakened latakia.
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Fight'n Hampsters

Fight'n Hampsters

Age : 41
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

How long can you age tobacco? Empty
PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 3:13 pm

Sounds like what I have been thinking. I want to stock up on blends that will go extinct but realized that at some point I will have stored away more than I can use. Or, If I dont get to it for 25 years it would be so altered that it would not be smoke able or have the characteristics I originally was attracted to.

Makes me wonder about something like Chenet's Cake (great blend) that has a "target cellering range" of 10 to 15 years. The presumption is that it will still be smoke able at least up to 15 years.
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idbowman

idbowman

Age : 36
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 3:30 pm

Fight'n Hampsters wrote:
Sounds like what I have been thinking.  I want to stock up on blends that will go extinct but realized that at some point I will have stored away more than I can use.  Or, If I dont get to it for 25 years it would be so altered that it would not be smoke able or have the characteristics I originally was attracted to.

Makes me wonder about something like Chenet's Cake (great blend) that has a "target cellering range" of 10 to 15 years.  The presumption is that it will still be smoke able at least up to 15 years.


I've had VA aged 40 years (thanks to a VERY generous guy who shared with a bunch of us at a pipe show) and it was amazing. Yes, the more time aging has to do its thing, the less Virginia/Vaper/Latakia blends will taste like they're original version...so there is that. But they don't become worse or unsmokeable, and the quality doesn't deteriorate (provided they're properly stored, of course). If you like the natural sweetness of VA and the dark fruit nature of perique, you're likely to find VA and VaPer blends to get better and better the older they get.


But no...unless you're planning to stow away a bunch of burley blends, that same tin will be markedly different in 20 years than if you smoked it today.

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Zeno Marx

Zeno Marx

Registration date : 2010-06-26

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 4:06 pm

Fight'n Hampsters wrote:
Or, If I dont get to it for 25 years it would be so altered that it would not be smoke able or have the characteristics I originally was attracted to.
I feel this is really important to mention and to stress. Yes, it could get better. Yes, you could have the preference for aging flavors. However, there's no guarantee that the more years the better. I've had several very expensive, especially long-aged single malt scotches, and when it was time for a re-fill, I went for something else. Was it interesting to try? Sure. Is it cool to think of all that time in wait? Sure. Did the price, hoopla, time, and all the rest prove to produce an exceptional, extraordinary flavor set? Not really.

I've said this a few times on the board, but I greatly prefer McClelland #2015 freshly blended. I don't even want a couple months age on it. There are a few key notes that are lost in aging, and I can't find them anywhere else. When they're gone, I really miss them. I'm curious about how age alters flavor, but I have little interest in spending my time, resources, and smokes finding out. If someone else wants to do it and share a bowl with me, fantastic. I really appreciate that. I'm not about to fart around with it on my own.

The only reason I'd age something is because I stockpiled something before it was changed or discontinued by the blender. And then we're full circle back to the whah-whah of the stockpiled changing anyway as it sits and no longer offering what I wanted in the first place.
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Ozark Wizard

Ozark Wizard

Age : 55
Location : Mark Twain National Forest, MO
Registration date : 2014-10-11

How long can you age tobacco? Empty
PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 4:18 pm

Fight'n Hampsters wrote:
Sounds like what I have been thinking.  I want to stock up on blends that will go extinct but realized that at some point I will have stored away more than I can use.  Or, If I dont get to it for 25 years it would be so altered that it would not be smoke able or have the characteristics I originally was attracted to.

Makes me wonder about something like Chenet's Cake (great blend) that has a "target cellering range" of 10 to 15 years.  The presumption is that it will still be smoke able at least up to 15 years.

I have no idea how any blender could foresee 15 years into the future and design blends that would be even close to the target they shoot for. It is something beyond my magic, to be sure. Not to say it isn't possible though......

I went through a phase of storing up quantities of Virginia based blends, and fell across some that was certainly well preserved at thirteen years. It is a blend that I still enjoy 'fresh' today, and continue to order. (Which reminds me it's time to snag another box or two. Damn TAD!!) Short of the long of it is, I really didn't enjoy it as much as stuff that was only a month or so old. Sure, it was nice and all, but was not what originally attracted me to buying it in the first place. Now, I have a couple of pounds of Newminster's #400, in various jars of various ages. Rule of thumb is to grab a half pound every Quarter, just 'cause'. I pulled a jar of the first release batch, and though it was nice, and sweet, it struck me as something better young and bright than matured and dark.

Sounds funny. Hope it gets the idea across though. Some stuff is made and is great the way it comes into pocket. How it does later, you decide. Folks like C&D and Pease have been doing this thing for a while, and I'm sure have experienced the effects of time on pipe weed, and provided they have tried the fresh versions and kept great notes, have the ability to look into the future and predict results of aging. Greg Pease's work I have tried over the last few years, and I'm personally not a fan of cracking this year's offerings and giving thumbs up. I actually had made up my mind they were not something I would get on with. HOWEVER, when I come across the same blends when they were aged at least five years, they were absolutely delightful! So there you have it...

All a matter of tastes I guess...
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Fight'n Hampsters

Fight'n Hampsters

Age : 41
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 4:41 pm

Wow, thank you all for taking the time to write responses. I appreciate that they were not quick one or two word missives.

I found some q and a online with Pease re: aging and it was helpful.

http://www.glpease.com/FAQ.html#AGE
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Stick

Stick

Age : 49
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 4:48 pm

Anyone know if there's been any interesting finds in the world? I'm thinking stashes of 'baccy that was meant for expeditions but was forgotten and found years later, or similar for World War 1 (e.g.). I've got several books detailing the adventures of Scott, Shackleton, Hillary and the like and many of the photos feature splendid looking chaps sporting a briar. When provisioning for these trips baccy was treated much the same as food; an essential item and so was acquired in bulk. Imagine a case of that turning up!
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Fight'n Hampsters

Fight'n Hampsters

Age : 41
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

How long can you age tobacco? Empty
PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 15, 2017 5:13 pm

Stick wrote:
Anyone know if there's been any interesting finds in the world? I'm thinking stashes of 'baccy that was meant for expeditions but was forgotten and found years later, or similar for World War 1 (e.g.).  I've got several books detailing the adventures of Scott, Shackleton, Hillary and the like and many of the photos feature splendid looking chaps sporting a briar.  When provisioning for these trips baccy was treated much the same as food; an essential item and so was acquired in bulk. Imagine a case of that turning up!

That would be awesome to hear.  I have heard of Egyptian honey and beer... Very Happy Supposedly they have found some in the tombs.


Last edited by Fight'n Hampsters on Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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idbowman

idbowman

Age : 36
Location : Painesville, OH
Registration date : 2011-12-19

How long can you age tobacco? Empty
PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyFri Jun 16, 2017 9:30 am

Stick wrote:
Anyone know if there's been any interesting finds in the world? I'm thinking stashes of 'baccy that was meant for expeditions but was forgotten and found years later, or similar for World War 1 (e.g.).  I've got several books detailing the adventures of Scott, Shackleton, Hillary and the like and many of the photos feature splendid looking chaps sporting a briar.  When provisioning for these trips baccy was treated much the same as food; an essential item and so was acquired in bulk. Imagine a case of that turning up!

I once found a tin of tobacco in my old luggage that I forgot to take out after a vacation with the missus a few years prior. Does that count? Laughing
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huffelpuff

huffelpuff

Age : 48
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 22, 2017 12:04 am

Personal experience buying and smoking old tins and tubs that turn up now and then at flea markets, antique shops and estate sales is that it's always going to remain smokeable. The question is will you like it. I get around that by specifically looking for blends that are all burley or predominantly burley. I've got a tub of SWR that dates to the 40's or 50's that is absolutely Devine. I've had half and half that was over 90 years old when I bought long ago. A few folks have been lucky and gifted some of that tobacco when it was right at 100 years old. They smoked it and loved every puff. The quality of the leaf used back then was I believe superior to what's put out now. Only you can decide if you enjoy the changes brought out by aging. I find burley becomes richer and more intense after 40-50 years and that harsh notes have faded. I'm extremely sensitive to bitter flavors and find I can't smoke burley that's less than 10 years old. Va and VaPers are another creature altogether but based on my experience with half and half I'd say it's well worth a shot. Again you won't know until you try if you're going to like it but tobacco will never be cheaper or more available than it is today.

Just my 2 cents
Jim
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KevinM



Age : 76
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyThu Jun 29, 2017 10:42 pm

I find the recommended aging estimates I sometimes see to be conservative. Examp: Five years before Lat flattens out? I just had a nice bowl of 2001 EMP, and it was mighty tasty. I find that tins of English blends do best in cool, stable temps. They especially dislike heat. I think best results come from bulk tobak stored in sealed glass jars. Another contrarian opinion: I believe it is possible to restore taste to an over aged tobacco, but it takes a little patience and care in handling. Not all that hard, though. YMMV.
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joshoowah

joshoowah

Age : 33
Location : Nairobi, Kenya
Registration date : 2011-09-24

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyFri Jun 30, 2017 3:25 pm

I've had stuff that was 40 years old; it was mostly Virginia, and it was fantastic. I've had latakia-heavy blends that date 20 years or so as well, and they were awesome as well. To be honest, I've yet to try an aged blend I didn't like, but that's just my experience.

I purchase a lot of my tobacco these days because it may not be available in the years to come. I'm a young guy who loves my pipe. I'd hate to think I had the opportunity to buy what I like but didn't and had to quit smoking because of it. So, I've got 40 pounds and I think I'm good for a good long while.
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Fight'n Hampsters

Fight'n Hampsters

Age : 41
Location : Kentucky
Registration date : 2011-07-28

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PostSubject: Re: How long can you age tobacco?   How long can you age tobacco? EmptyFri Jun 30, 2017 3:56 pm

joshoowah wrote:
I've had stuff that was 40 years old; it was mostly Virginia, and it was fantastic. I've had latakia-heavy blends that date 20 years or so as well, and they were awesome as well. To be honest, I've yet to try an aged blend I didn't like, but that's just my experience.

I purchase a lot of my tobacco these days because it may not be available in the years to come. I'm a young guy who loves my pipe. I'd hate to think I had the opportunity to buy what I like but didn't and had to quit smoking because of it. So, I've got 40 pounds and I think I'm good for a good long while.

In the same boat. I will be cellaring away 'till the end. I've been exclusivly buying blends that will be going away.
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