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Blends that don't age well

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Brunello

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I've had experiences with a few blends that I enjoy when the tin is first popped, and usually for several weeks thereafter, but when I set aside a portion in a mason jar to see how they will 'develop' they lose all charm. This seems to mostly affect subtle semi-aromatics like Erinmore or Stanwell Jubillee, Moisture level seems fine, so it's not that they have dried out, which is a common cause of aromatics losing some flavor. The lesson learned: some blends are better with a little baby fat, so enjoy them in their prime!

Anybody else have experience with these kind of "Carpe Diem" blends??
 

RSteve

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At Pipedia, Greg Pease writes:

There are two things of interest here, namely "casing" and "top flavouring." They are two distinctly different approaches to altering a blend's flavor. Some tobaccos employ both.

Casing requires that the tobacco be sprayed with or soaked in a "sauce" that may contain sugar, molasses, liquorice, alcohols like rum or whiskey, and various flavourings, natural or otherwise, depending on the manufacturer. Once the tobacco "drinks" the sauce, it's conditioned in large cylinders that dry it back to the desired moisture level, generally between 12% (on the dry side) and 22% (very moist). Optimal moisture for smoking depends on the smoker, but it's generally in the 13-16% range. The aromas and flavours imparted by casing will remain in the tobacco pretty tenaciously, and will affect the smoke throughout the bowl.

Top-flavouring is added by spraying the finished blend with scents and flavourings. This is a much lighter application, and doesn't alter the moisture content of the leaf dramatically. Sometimes called "top-notes," this can be quite ephemeral. Because of the volatile nature of many of the commonly used components, a tobacco left to "air out" may lose a lot of the perfume that's applied this way.
What you've experienced may be a result of the dissipation of the "top-flavouring."

https://pipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_Tobaccos#G.L._Pease_on_aging
 

Brunello

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Yes, the matter of casing vs topping clarifies why this happens, but I'd rather know all of this before the post-mortem report, when I'm deciding whether or not to set some aside or smoke it all now. Since blenders don't always reveal their exact methodology (to protect their secret process) I have to either learn the hard way or stumble across a review that mentions it, or hear from other members on the forum who have experience with a particular blend.

Right now I'm still wondering about the casing vs topping issue with Sun Bear. Although reviewers, including Jim Ink, talk of toppings, Jeremy Reeves, the blender, mentions only a "range of unique and nuanced casings." I can beleive the honey and elderflower are part of the casing sauce, I still think the tequila is too volatile to have been part of the casing process. I left some out on a paper plate for 21 days and the tequila completely disappeared, while the honey and elderflower remained.

So I'll rephrase my original question:

What are some popular blends that members might know about that are best enjoyed when they are fresh?
 

Ozark Wizard

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I noticed that with Mac Baren Modern Virginia. Once you open the tin, the clock's running on the sauce. Once it's gone the blend is just a light sweet lemon Virginia.
 

Brunello

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Ozark Wizard":zoohfi2t said:
I noticed that with Mac Baren Modern Virginia. Once you open the tin, the clock's running on the sauce. Once it's gone the blend is just a light sweet lemon Virginia.
Good to know. Another one I can cross off my list. Never had it but it sounds like a pleasant summertime blend, if you could dedicate a couple weeks to finish it off. I always have so many pots in the fire that the clock would run out on me with something like this. Maybe somebody with discipline, like D.L. Ruth, who only opens a new tin when he's finished another.
 
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