Getting Started-Part 2: Pipe Tobacco

Jul 2011
This is the second part to the pipe tutorial and will detail different types of tobacco and pipe tobacco blends.

This first type of pipe tobacco is a favorite among many cigar and pipe smokers alike. Virginia tobacco tends to be lighter in color, and ranges from yellow to tan, to a light brown. This tobacco can be slightly sweet, with a somewhat tangy flavor throughout. It has a slight spice which tends to develop into a nice rich base while smoking.

Burley tobacco is air-cured in large barns, much like cigar tobacco. This leaves it with an array of dull brown colors. Burley tobacco often possesses a rich nut like flavor as well as full array of flavors from oatmeal to caramelized sugar. This tobacco can contain a lot of nicotine as well.

Oriental tobacco, (often called Turkish Tobacco) is often sun-dried or flue dried depending on the area of origin. These tobaccos are often slightly sweet like Virginia tobacco, but have a pronounced spicy character to them often coupled with an exotic, Middle Eastern aroma.

Latakia tobacco is mainly grown in Syria and Cyrus and is fire cured over burning aromatics woods and herbs. Before it was changed, it was rumored that Latakia tobaccos were fire cure over flaming piles of camel dung. Whether or not that is/was true, Latakia still remains one of the most popular “spice tobaccos” available. Latakia provides a heavy, rich, smoky flavor to many blends.

Perique tobacco is a dark tobacco, and is grown in St. James, Lousiana. This makes Perique tobacco very rare; is slow burning and has a very pungent aroma, much like that of cooked prunes. Because of its rarity, Perique tobacco is often used to add nuances to an already existing tobacco blend. To offset some of the cost of Perique, hybrid perique has started to become popular. This yields a perique that is able to grow in more versatile conditions.

Cavendish tobacco is often Virginia tobacco that has added flavors infused into the tobacco, making it taste sweeter or to reflect a certain type of flavor (i.e. cherry, rum, chocolate, vanilla …etc.). This tobacco is used most often in aromatic blends.

There are three main types of tobacco blends, the English Tobacco blends, the Aromatics, and the Virginias.

This type of blend often consists of one to two types of Cavendish tobacco, and is often cased for a particular flavor. Some blends may have a little Virginia or burley tobacco in them, but are often only Cavendish tobaccos.

The English blends are usually to describe anything “non-aromatic”. These robust blends rely heavily on latakia, oriental and perique tobaccos, as well as burley. English blends tend to have a more natural tobacco flavor, along with the myriad of flavors that each component of the blend encompasses, which makes it a favorite for pipe smokers who also smoke cigars.

VIRGINIA (Virginia/Perique-Virginia/Burley)
Virginia blends often are comprised of many types of Virginia tobaccos ranging from tan Virginia to red virgina. Some blends cold have up to nine different Virginia tobaccos. These blends are often paired with a little perique to offer more bite and complex flavor, or Burley to add more depth. These blends are also very popular with the cigar smoking crowd.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person