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 What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?

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DrT999

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Age : 59
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:33 pm

If there is one thing we learn as pipers, it's that there aren't as many hard and fast classifications as there might at first seem to be, especially with some pipe shapes and many category of blends (there are any number of old threads here as folks defined differences between English, Balkan, & Oriental blends for example). So, in your mind, what type of blend(s) do you think of most when you think 'aromatic'?

Would it be any blend where the added flavor(s) is stronger than the component tobaccos? (If so, I think most wouldn't include strong Kentucky or Latakia blends . . . or would you?) Do the flavors have to be on the sweet side? Very sweet? Any blend even hinting at something added? Only fruit flavors plus chocolate & vanilla? Some might add floral & herbal flavors, others might classify them separately, the same with toppings like rum. Do you only (or mostly) think of the popular (mostly but not exclusively American & Danish) blends largely based on flavored Cavendish (i.e. the Captain Blacks, Amphora, Borkum Riff type blends)?

Not looking for any disagreements and certainly not any hard and fast judgements, I'm just curious how my fellow pipers regard the term.

BTW, while I know many (most?) have a much wider definition, my first thought when I see the term is flavored Cavendish type.
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Lonecoyote

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Location : The Seventh Planet From The Sun...Uranus
Registration date : 2016-10-15

PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:43 pm

For me an aromatic blend consists of overly topped or flavored blends. Basically where you only taste the topping/flavors that were added and not any of the natural flavors of the tobacco's.
There are many blends or flake tobacco's on the market that are NOT in the category of an aromatic and might even state " NO ADDED FLAVORS ". But in reality by the scent alone I'm able to tell " something was added to this blend other than natural tobacco "! Just my 2 cents worth.....an aromatic is a tobacco blend that has ANY added flavors other than just the natural tobacco 🍃 leaf 🍃.
So technically your favorite blend might not state it's an aromatic, but if it's topped I would consider it an aromatic.



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Brewdude

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Location : Near the Emerald city
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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:18 pm

I usually define aros as those that have flavours such as vanilla, licorice, cherry, rum, maple, spice, and such added. Basically anything other than what the natural leaf offers.

And then of course there's the argument that there are really no unflavoured blends, apart from perhaps Semois, Union Square, Tambolaka, and one or two others.

Even simple burley blends have some sort of topping like sugar or molasses. But those I don't consider aros. Nor even McC straight 'ginnys.

So ya, there are aros and there are aros. Just depends on how one wants to define it. And frankly our own BH did a great job on his extensive evaluation of aros in the sticky.


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RR
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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Strictly speaking, I think all blends are aromatic. Seems more like a marketing term than anything else.*

(I don't necessarily believe that; I just said it to cause trouble. But seriously, does adding latakia to a blend make it an aromatic? Seems like it ought to, by some definitions.)

* Case in point: Kramer's House Aromatic, a very good tobacco. But I'll be drawn and quartered if I can detect any kind of extra flavoring or topping. Maybe there isn't any--or dementia is starting to take its toll.
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Lonecoyote

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Location : The Seventh Planet From The Sun...Uranus
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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:51 pm

Richard Burley, I tend to agree with you! Are we both losing it??...lol

If it's naturally cured tobacco's no matter the method used and NO flavor or toppings are added it's a non-aromatic. Any type of topping/flavor in my opinion puts the blend in the aromatic category.
Others may feel differently but that's how I've always based an aromatic from a non-aromatic.



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fsu92john

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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:37 pm

I tend to think of "aromatics" as blends with very sweet flavors/aromas based on foodstuffs (fruit, chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup).

I don't generally think of Lake District-type scented tobaccos as "aromatics"--they are their own category in my entirely subjective taxonomy.

For example, if I were a Secret Santa for someone with a declared preference for aromatics, I'd send along some Vanilla Cream Flake, Autumn Evening, and Top Black Cherry, but not Ennerdale unless the recipient also indicated an interest in the Lake District style.
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huffelpuff

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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:11 am

Will play devil's advocate here. I think there is a difference between topped and aromatic. As almost all blends have been topped with some kind of something to round off harsh flavors but not necessarily change the flavor itself. Rum for example can be added in small enough quantities that yes you can smell it but you'd be hard pressed to find any trace of flavor from it. Its purpose is rounding out and enhancing the tobacco flavor. So for me aromatic tobacco means American and Danish style food flavored blends. I have a hard time putting the likes of G&H cherry twist into that category as yes it is scented but pretty much the only thing you will taste is the tobacco. Its an oily almost diesel fuel tasting tobacco but still all tobacco. I don't think adding latikia or other orientals makes something an aromatic. Do those additions improve the room note? Hell yes they do! But I still wouldn't call them aromatic blends. Just my idiosyncratic 2 cents

Jim
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Blackhorse
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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:20 am

I’ve read time and again that ALL tobaccos have sweeteners or flavors added during basic processing. Maybe not something like Tambolaka, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that too had a sweetener. The above being the case I can’t use the “natural” tobacco thing by which to define an aro...since there really are no natural leaf blends.

I fall back on the obvious “sweet flavored = aro” thing...the cherry, rum, cocoa, vanilla, whisky, etc. Especially where sugar, PG and the flavors are sprayed on the tobacco as a last step. I usually don’t Class most of the Gawith things as aros. The Brit thing with scenting is a totally different process.

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Lonecoyote

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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:05 am

The majority of tobacco blends have some type of casings used and usually it's a well kept " secret " by the Master Blender. Casings are usually made up of either corn syrup or sugar to help bring out the flavors of the tobacco leaf. Some blenders use licorice oil to case a particular blend....still in the non-aromatic category. That's what I meant by natural. It's those blends that are overly topped or flavored that put it into the aromatic category for me.



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SpeedyPete



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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:50 am

Two blends which I smoke almost every day is MacB 7 Seas Regular Blend and Amphora Full Aroma. This is supposed to be aromatics...right? Wrong!

I thought about these blends as aromatics and smoked them in secret, not wanting my fellow pipe club members to know about it. Then I climbed out of the cupboard and, lo and behold, ALL the other members were smoking them too!

The only real aromatic I can think about now is Rum & Maple who's only purpose in life is to make women like your pipe.

Back to the original question: An aromatic tobacco is one that does not taste like the topping at all....a cherry topped tobacco that does not taste like cherry is topped with cherry to enhance the room note ...it does not make the tobacco taste nicer/better.

Clear? As clear as muddy water, for sure

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KevinM



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Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:46 pm

“Aromatic” (adj — A tobacco manufactured to enhance the non-tobacco smell and taste of the smoke, usually to simulate that of sweet food. The word is often used pejoratively, with a negative connotation, particularly when the tobak is a hot smoking burley that is painful to smoke past the bowls mid-point.

There are examps where the traditional meaning doesn’t fit — like Plumcake, which has a hint of Lat, has a “natural” taste, doesn’t taste much like the namesake treat, and can be comfortably smoked to the bottom of the bowl. Plumcake I would classify as a light English blend, since the topping, mild as it is, doesn’t make the tobacco smell or taste like anything else.

If you argued that the word aromatic is shifting to mean tobaccos that smoke hot, wet and bitey, and light English refers to artfully topped tobaccos that still deliver a satisfying, mostly “natural” piping experience, I would likely agree with you.
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DrumsAndBeer

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PostSubject: Re: What do you count as an 'Aromatic' blend?   Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:35 pm

As with everything else related to our wonderful hobby. This is quite subjective. I have always thought that if a tobacco is processed to taste like something other than tobacco, it's an aromatic. If one was to count every mixture that had some sort of flavor addition or casing, you would probably have to implicate almost everything on the market. I remember seeing a chart from STG that displayed all of the flavorings added to their blends, many of which most would not consider aromatics, and it was amazing to see all the honey, sugar, licorice, maple sugar, etc., many of these blends I smoke, have smoked or at the very least at some point enjoyed. I think Greg Pease wrote something some time ago about how almost everything on the market has some sort of flavor additive/casing, and that without these additions most of our tobaccos would be harsh to the senses and downright tough to keep lit. All said there are also a variety of aromatic types. The American aromatics trend towards the unabashed flavored burley that screams "put the chocolate cupcake in your pipe a light it on fire." Where the Europeans typically use high quality Virginias that have been Cavendished and lightly flavored. The scented Lakelands are entirely different and even the most overtly scented are still quite tobacco forward in their flavor profile. Even the Germain produced stuff, some of which is dowsed with licorice and fruit flavorings, tastes like good, spicy tobacco enhanced with a subtle, but quite natural tasting enhancement.
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