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Developing your own home blend

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Brunello

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Most home blenders start out with something simple, like combining two blends that they like half n' half. Say Lane 1Q and something with cherry. They even come up with a fanciful name like Chocolate Cherry Bomb. After a while they think they'd like a variation that is a little less sweet, so they add a portion of some plain Virginia or Burley that someone gifted them that they didn't care for. They thought: "Hmmm.... maybe if I add some of my Choco-Cherry Bomb to this awful Solani Aged Burley that will make something I can actually enjoy." And so the home blender is born.  :cheers:

Now, fast forward to the more advanced stages. Here's an example of how I went about taking RSteve's excellent blend idea, and dialing it in to my own palate. Keep in mind you can always go in a different direction, instead of going bolder like I did, you could go lighter. The key is starting with components that play well together (no casings that clash) and having good bones to the structure (the proportions) both of which RSteve has hot spot on. Here's how I proceeded:

As soon as I mixed together his recipe, smelled the components together, then smoked the blend I knew already that this was an exceptional blend (A+category). But being a tinkerer, I couldn't very well leave well enough alone, for what would be the fun in that? Down the list I went, based solely on the aroma of the jar note, I compared his PS310 against other Latakias I have on hand and decided I wanted to try McConnell's Pure Latakia. Then I smelled the four different Periques I have and decided I liked the rich aroma of the C&D. Then four different dark-fired Kentucky, deciding on John Cotton's Double Pressed which has a really rich aroma. And so on down the list, always keeping the type of tobacco the same, and the ratios the same, as I knew these worked perfectly, just finessing each individual component toward a bolder flavor profile. Keep in mind, his ingredients are inexpensive options that a readily available in bulk by Peter Stokkebye. My choices were often pricier options.

I named his original "Lion's Mane" because of his avatar (posted in another thread), my slightly bolder version I've called "Lion's Roar!" It can be made in trial-size 16 gram batches.  :sunny:

LION'S ROAR!
  • 8 parts McConnel Pure Latakia
    3 parts Sutliff 515 red Virginia
    1 part Krumovgrad Bulgarian Basma leaf tips (instead of PS313)
    1 part C&D Perique
    1 part C&D Burley Mix (half ribbon half dark Burley)
    1 part John Cotton Double Pressed Kentucky
    1 part WholeLeaf natural Turkish blend (I use a wide ribbon shredder, though next batch I may try C&D Izmir which is smelling really rich right now)
 

Blackhorse

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I’m lucky. I started ordering John Patton blends from 4 Noggins...back when it was 4 Noggins. I was going through various stuff they offered on their website, especially the blends that were a mix of VA, Burley, Perique, cigar leaf and Turkish (Izmir). Blends like Crossroads and Oriental Dusk. (Understand that I don’t do Latakia, haven’t for years.) So anyway, there was one blend that had a good looking readout but had Latakia. So I took a leap and ordered a pound of the blend but had them replace the Latakia with Cigar Leaf. Oooooooooo. It was just what the doctor ordered. A balanced blend of Turkish, Virginia, 2 Burleys, Perique and the Cigar Leaf.

I talked it up here and a number of others tried it with good success. So they made it a regular item & named it “Darkhorse”. They sell enough that it’s still offered.

If anyone out there has never had the pleasure...the John Patton blends are very much worth your time. The following three are favorites...

Storm Front: Two cube cut burleys combined with cigar leaf. (This is arguably the best Burley blend in the world, ever. Everyone that has ever tried it loves it. A perfect summer blend.)

Oriental Dusk: Oriental and Cigar Leaf dominate this five tobacco blend, with both Virginia and Burley in supporting roles.

Crossroads: a mix of three distinct Virginias, Turkish Izmir in a minor role, and just enough Cigar Leaf for accent.

And of course the Darkhorse.

 

Brunello

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Blackhorse":w4q4wn2m said:
I’m lucky.  I started ordering John Patton blends from 4 Noggins...back when it was 4 Noggins.  I was going through various stuff they offered on their website, especially the blends that were a mix of VA, Burley, Perique, cigar leaf and Turkish (Izmir).  Blends like Crossroads and Oriental Dusk.  (Understand that I don’t do Latakia, haven’t for years.) So anyway, there was one blend that had a good looking readout but had Latakia.  So I took a leap and ordered a pound of the blend but had them replace the Latakia with Cigar Leaf.  Oooooooooo.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  A balanced blend of Turkish, Virginia, 2 Burleys, Perique and the Cigar Leaf.

I talked it up here and a number of others tried it with good success.  So they made it a regular item & named it “Darkhorse”.  They sell enough that it’s still offered.

If anyone out there has never had the pleasure...the John Patton blends are very much worth your time.  The following three are favorites...

Storm Front: Two cube cut burleys combined with cigar leaf. (This is arguably the best Burley blend in the world, ever.  Everyone that has ever tried it loves it. A perfect summer blend.)

Oriental Dusk: Oriental and Cigar Leaf dominate this five tobacco blend, with both Virginia and Burley in supporting roles.

Crossroads: a mix of three distinct Virginias, Turkish Izmir in a minor role, and just enough Cigar Leaf for accent.

And of course the Darkhorse.
Interesting story! Somehow I missed Oriental Dusk, but I've tried all the others and agree they are worth exploring, especially Dark Horse. For some reason I find that there is a dusty/musty note that they all have in common that most of the year just doesn't appeal to me. Then in Autumn, especially in October and November when the leaves are falling, they jump right to the top of my rotation.

I've developed two tweaks that give them more year round interest for me:

BLACK STALLION
7 parts John Patton Dark Horse
1 part Peretti Black Virginia
1 part Sutliff Maduro Cavendish
1 part Stokkebye 702 Burley

HABANA CAFE  (coffee and cigar theme)
11 parts John Patton Storm Front
3 parts McClelland Black Mocha 620
1 part Sutliff Aged Maduro
1 part Drew Estates coffee-infused maduro cigar
 

Blackhorse

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Huh?  Interesting. I’d pin the “dusty & musty” thing on the Izmir + cigar leaf mix.  And your tweaking nudges things a little higher on the cigar leaf scale with sweet coffee added.


And...I totally get the Autumn thing...except for the Storm Front which is still more a Summer blend for me.
 
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