Five Issues Every Pipe Tobacco Smoker Needs to Know to Live Large

Pipe tobacco is, in the end, a consumer product that is somewhat subject to the vagaries in the manufacturing process and sourcing of the tobacco in a specific region or state. As a roll your lifestyle smoker, we thought it would help make you aware of a few issues that are not always discussed in the industry.

Don’t scrimp on cigarette tubes (paper) or filters. If you are in a pinch using tubes or papers from a convenience store will work. But, if you intend to use these kinds of lower-cost tubes in the machine production environment with associated production volumes, experience has taught us this will probably not work out well.

Whether you are using a machine injector or a pure-play high volume cigarette rolling machine, a lower grade of tubes will not hold up to the manufacturing process’s pressure. Some percentage of your cigarettes will burst as you try to produce them or, worse, fall apart when you fire them up.

Also, lower-cost tubes can taste harsh, and the burn characteristics can be low, too, with an uneven burn produced as you smoke the cigarette.

Recognizing pipe tobacco has a specific shelf life despite what some manufacturers tell you. In our experience and based on talking with thousands of customers in the last ten years, good pipe tobacco will stake “smokeable” for 30-90 days, and that’s assuming it a well-made product, and it has been stored properly.

Yes. You can revive pipe tobacco that has dried out on you, and pleas review our video below pulled from our YouTube channel.

Here are the three types of pipe tobacco:

Aromatic pipe tobacco: during the actual manufacturing process, “casings” are added to the tobacco depending on how the manufacturer wants to impact the flavor.

  • “Casings” is just an industry term for flavoring agents, and these can range from the ordinary to the mundane: rum, apple, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, strawberry, blueberry. The actual casings volume also defines whether or not the pipe tobacco is categorized as semi-aromatic or just lightly aromatic.
  • Using casings as an additive or flavoring agent is a standard industry practice. Don’t believe all of the marketing materials “around” organic – this designation is commonly thrown around by some manufacturers, which may not mean a lot. This is, of course, true for many consumer products, not just pipe tobacco.

Non-aromatic pipe tobacco: as the term implies, this is pipe tobacco that derives all of its flavors and aromas purely from the actual tobacco, with no extra ingredients.

  • In some cases, the tobacco may be fermented or aged to give it more sweetness. A raw mild sweet tasting Virginia tobacco can taste dramatically different based on how it is aged and how it is stored across the retail distribution process.
  • All of our pipe tobacco products are correctly stored in a temperature-controlled warehouse. This is not always the case with some retailers, which can and does impact the flavor of the pipe tobacco you are buying.

English blend pipe tobacco: up until the late 1980’s additives of any kind were not allowed in tobacco made in the U.K. – over time, and the term evolved to mean non-aromatic tobaccos in general, whether or not it was or is accurate for certain manufacturers is a complicated issue to “run to ground.”

  • Like aromatic or non-aromatic terminology, this descriptive phrase is not always accurate as it could or should be.

Today, a real English blend is considered any pipe tobacco blend containing just oriental sourced tobacco, with a mixture of Latakie, which helps define whether the pipe tobacco is mild, medium, or a full-bodied, rich-tasting “classic” English blend.

  • Here in the U.S. this term, i.e., “English blend,” is somewhat more loosely applied to a broader type of pipe tobacco. Frankly, some manufacturers use the term more for branding than as a definition of the pipe tobacco taste.

As we share with many of you on the phone, pipe tobacco and cigar selection are always subjective. If you are early in selecting a pipe tobacco product or a cigar, give us a call. All of our staff are either pipe tobacco or cigar smokers, and we are knowledgeable about the products we sell.