Probably My Last Order

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RSteve

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But, never say never, or this is the final.
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Below is, perhaps, my all time favorite English/Balkan blend. The components are becoming impossible to acquire. I phoned a major internet retailer this morning and asked why component blending tobaccos are becoming so difficult for home blenders to acquire. He spoke to me, "off the record."

"It's a miniscule part of our business. It ties up inventory dollars and physical space. The pipe smoking population isn't large and the number of pipe smokers who blend their own is a tiny percentage."

So while I can still get the component tobaccos I need for the blend, I ordered:

Blending - Latakia 16 oz. Item # BGM-TB-1000 40%

Sutliff Black Cavendish 5 oz. Item # AAT-TB-1000 12.5%

Blending - Red Virginia Cavendish (toasted) 5 oz. Item # BGT-TB-1000 12.5%

Sutliff Stoved Black Virginia 507-S 5 oz. Item # AE2-TB-1000 12.5%

Blending - Turkish Ribbon Cut 2 oz. Item # BG6-TB-1000 5%

Blending - Smyrna 2 oz. Item # BGU-TB-1000 5%

Blending - Izmir Ribbon Cut 2 oz Item # BGK-TB-1000 5%

C & D-Granulated perique 3 oz. tinned 7.5%


With what I have on hand this 2.5 lb. order should last a very long time.
 
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RSteve

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I should have added that if anyone is planning to assemble a DIY blend, other than Sutliff, there aren't many other component tobaccos available. I believe that most of the tobaccos that Pipesandcigars.com describes as "Blending" are also Sutliff.
 
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RSteve

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I'm starting to wonder if Cornell and Diehl and Pease aren't assembled from Sutliff components too.
 

RSteve

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Today all the component tobaccos arrived and I constructed the blend. There were no surprises, except the Sutliff black cavendish appeared to have considerably more top dressing than prior shipments. The blend smells wonderful, but I won't smoke even one bowl until the components marry for a few weeks.
The "Blending Latakia" came in a Sutliff factory sealed bag.

Every time I assemble a blend, I think back to my college years until I was about 50, when 95% of the pipe tobacco I smoked was Mac Baren's Virginia #1. My older brother smoked original Amphora and Borkum Riff. He used to tell me that when I smoked my Virginia #1, it smelled like burning horse manure.
 
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gravel

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Today all the component tobaccos arrived and I constructed the blend. There were no surprises, except the Sutliff black cavendish appeared to have considerably more top dressing than prior shipments. The blend smells wonderful, but I won't smoke even one bowl until the components marry for a few weeks.
The "Blending Latakia" came in a Sutliff factory sealed bag.

Every time I assemble a blend, I think back to my college years until I was about 50, when 95% of the pipe tobacco I smoked was Mac Baren's Virginia #1. My older brother smoked original Amphora and Borkum Riff. He used to tell me that when I smoked my Virginia #1, it smelled like burning horse manure.
Now it smells like burning tires!
 

ScienceSmoker

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But, never say never, or this is the final.
giphy.gif


Below is, perhaps, my all time favorite English/Balkan blend. The components are becoming impossible to acquire. I phoned a major internet retailer this morning and asked why component blending tobaccos are becoming so difficult for home blenders to acquire. He spoke to me, "off the record."

"It's a miniscule part of our business. It ties up inventory dollars and physical space. The pipe smoking population isn't large and the number of pipe smokers who blend their own is a tiny percentage."

So while I can still get the component tobaccos I need for the blend, I ordered:

Blending - Latakia 16 oz. Item # BGM-TB-1000 40%

Sutliff Black Cavendish 5 oz. Item # AAT-TB-1000 12.5%

Blending - Red Virginia Cavendish (toasted) 5 oz. Item # BGT-TB-1000 12.5%

Sutliff Stoved Black Virginia 507-S 5 oz. Item # AE2-TB-1000 12.5%

Blending - Turkish Ribbon Cut 2 oz. Item # BG6-TB-1000 5%

Blending - Smyrna 2 oz. Item # BGU-TB-1000 5%

Blending - Izmir Ribbon Cut 2 oz Item # BGK-TB-1000 5%

C & D-Granulated perique 3 oz. tinned 7.5%


With what I have on hand this 2.5 lb. order should last a very long time.
This is unfortunate news. I've been blending my own tobacco for a few years now... and I just started taking it very seriously. I had tin labels made up with the names of my 4 best blends, and gave out lots for Christmas. Judging from the responses, I was actually considered maybe even starting to sell my own.
 

RSteve

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This is unfortunate news. I've been blending my own tobacco for a few years now... and I just started taking it very seriously. I had tin labels made up with the names of my 4 best blends, and gave out lots for Christmas. Judging from the responses, I was actually considered maybe even starting to sell my own.
Hopefully, Sutliff will continue to make component tobaccos available and Pipesandcigars.com will continue to sell them. I used to construct blends exclusively from Stokkebye components, but the majority of those components are no longer available.
 

ScienceSmoker

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Hopefully, Sutliff will continue to make component tobaccos available and Pipesandcigars.com will continue to sell them. I used to construct blends exclusively from Stokkebye components, but the majority of those components are no longer available.
I think it is possible to buy direct from some growers or wholesalers. For example, I got a pound of whole leaf Macedonian Prilep last year. Problem is, you probably have to buy fairly large amounts. And if, god forbid, Perique ever becomes too scarce to buy as a component, it is possible to make it at home. I made a small batch of "home Perique" before, and it actually turned out pretty... ok. lol.
I would just hate to lose the ability to buy small amounts of different components. Because I love experimenting with different types of "treatments" of tobacco. I have countless jars full of weird experiments. It'd be impossible to do that without easy access to components.
 
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RSteve

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I would just hate to lose the ability to buy small amounts of different components. Because I love experimenting with different types of "treatments" of tobacco. I have countless jars full of weird experiments. It'd be impossible to do that without easy access to components.
Truthfully, this scarcity of components is personally timely.

The tobacco gods are likely saying, "Steve, smoke what you've got and be satisfied. You are old and all the unsmoked tobacco that remains after your passing will be tossed in a dumpster by your daughters."

I have more tobacco that I've blended and enjoy, than I'll ever smoke, but I'd just keep experimenting until I found the absolutely perfect blend until I decided that I should tweak it, just a bit, and again and again.

My problem over the last couple of decades is that my starting line is 40 to 50% latakia and no components included less than one ounce. A small experiment is a pound.
 

RSteve

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I had tin labels made up with the names of my 4 best blends, and gave out lots for Christmas. Judging from the responses, I was actually considered maybe even starting to sell my own.
Locally, I know and have friends who socially smoke cigars. I don't know others who smoke a pipe. Tobacco taxes in MN are so high that tobacco shops are almost exclusively cigar shops and I haven't been in a local shop in years where someone was smoking a pipe.
 

ScienceSmoker

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Locally, I know and have friends who socially smoke cigars. I don't know others who smoke a pipe. Tobacco taxes in MN are so high that tobacco shops are almost exclusively cigar shops and I haven't been in a local shop in years where someone was smoking a pipe.
Yeah, the reality of the economics of it make it impossible, but I thought maybe I'd try to just offer them to friends and see what happens. It's a shame to waste these good blends. I know there is likely some bias involved, but I honestly do think that 4 or 5 of my home blends are better than just about anything else being sold out there (except Presbyterian, of course).
 

ScienceSmoker

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Truthfully, this scarcity of components is personally timely.

The tobacco gods are likely saying, "Steve, smoke what you've got and be satisfied. You are old and all the unsmoked tobacco that remains after your passing will be tossed in a dumpster by your daughters."

I have more tobacco that I've blended and enjoy, than I'll ever smoke, but I'd just keep experimenting until I found the absolutely perfect blend until I decided that I should tweak it, just a bit, and again and again.

My problem over the last couple of decades is that my starting line is 40 to 50% latakia and no components included less than one ounce. A small experiment is a pound.
Wow... I don't think I've ever made anything with that much latakia. I usually prefer fairly light English blends. The blend I regularly make with the most lat is my Black Balkan, and that's "only" 30% latakia.

Also... you should leave you excess tobacco to your internet pipe friends! lol
 
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