What Separates Good Quality Pipe Tobacco from Second Rate RYO Products

Great RYO pipe tobacco has a finite number of characteristics regardless of the manufacture, blend or cost you are paying. Here is our short list of finite issues you should be looking for when you think about purchasing your next bag of best pipe tobacco

Common sense issue, but first and foremost in this social media drenched world you should look for a pipe tobacco brand that garners consistent high quality reviews on the manufacturer’s web site. 

  • Our very own OHM Pipe Tobacco garners consistent high quality reviews and like most manufacturers that have confidence in their product you’ll find reviews of the pipe tobacco product right on the product page.

Good quality pipe tobacco should always be made with excellent source tobacco. Meaning, the manufacturer should be sourcing pipe tobacco from tobacco growers who pay attention to details as they grow tobacco leaf. Some lower end pipe tobacco manufacturers just buy cheap tobacco and no offense meant, but the taste is always going to be pretty mediocre. 

  • The old parable is true: “you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.” Second rate source tobacco can have a ton of artificial sweetener flavor added to it; but, it’s never going to taste great, it will smoke harsh and leave a bad taste in your mouth. 
  • Another truism about consumer products holds true with pipe tobacco too. You get what you pay for and usually cheap pipe tobacco is going to give you a “cheap” taste. 

When you extract a cigarette’s worth of pipe tobacco for your cigarette machine the tobacco should be damp enough to roll properly. But, not so damp that it clings to the machine and won’t roll properly and it it’s too damp it won’t burn properly either. Doesn’t light easily and/or won’t stay lit if it’s way too damp. 

Good quality pipe tobacco should store properly for 60-90 days if stored in a good quality container and in the right location. But, again, if the source pipe tobacco was not stored properly during the manufacturing process it will not store in your home for any decent length of time. 

Any pipe tobacco you buy should not bee to dry either. If it is too dry it’s going to smoke hot, not taste great and it won’t work properly in a cigarette machine if at all. The tobacco won’t clump properly and if it does when you light the cigarette (again) it’s going to burn hot and give you a somewhat of a dry tobacco taste and if it’s flavored in some way the flavoring elements aren’t going to taste good either. 

Great tasting pipe tobacco is going to have an organic brown appearance, it should not look too dark or light – to much dark appearance usually means it is too damp and a light color may mean the source tobacco was not high quality and the visual analysis will give you a sense of how it’s going to taste. 

  • So, when you buy a bag, give it a quick visual check when you first open the package of pipe tobacco – it will tell you a lot about what you can expect when you smoke the tobacco. 

A word about flavored pipe tobacco. Today you can buy RYO pipe with a flavor that reflects just about any taste experience you can dream up, from booze flavored pipe tobacco to anything that’s “berry” related and even exoctic Turkish blends. 

  • Lower quality flavored pipe tobacco is going to have a strong artificial taste, it wont be subtle. Using “mint’ as a guide, a good quality pipe tobacco with mint flavoring shouldn’t overpower the pipe tobacco, it should be a subtle taste, not a blow you out of the weeds taste that’s “all mint.” 
  • Lower quatity pipe tobacco made with somewhat second tier additives is always going to make the smoking experience more unpleasant; tobacco taste is mitigated. 

All good pipe tobacco is going to made with these specific types of tobacco: Virginia, Burley, Cavendish, Perique, Latakia or Turkish source tobacco. You’ll find great custom blends using a mixture of these source tobaccos, the more exotic the pipe tobacco blends will mix or match 2-3 types of source tobacco. 

Each of you has a lot of choices when you purchase RYO pipe tobacco – please know after ten years in the industry sourcing pipe tobacco products and manufacturing our own OHM Pipe Tobacco you are in good hands working with Windy City Cigars 

Learn more:

Ten Brand Defining Tobacco Products for RYO Smokers