Teach Me How to Enjoy Aromatics

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Russ H.

Fight The Good Fight
#41
I usually cut aromatics with some kind of burley. The burley blends I have tend to be drier and help even out the overly-wet aromatics. If you are brave you can try a little aro with a latakia mixture. Either way I think it's best to mix only a little at a time (a couple of bowls worth) so you can adjust as necessary. Once you get something you like you can mix more. I have a couple of 'custom' aromatic/burley mixes I smoke on a regular basis.
I too agree. Burley helps the blend burn is what I was always told. My go to is Boswell's Premium Burley. Some say it's more of an aromatic than Burley. I mix their Dan's blend(Virginia) with it. A 50/50 mix. It burs nice, and even, and behaves well for me. I guess it would be considered an aromatic if we look at the blend ingredients. I never force this belnd. I just sip, and enjoy, and have encountered no real issues. The quickest way to ruin any blend is to puff hard, and fast.
 

WalkinStick

Not a daisy at all
Sales
Patron
Old Ted Award Winner
#42
I’m another Burley cutter. One of the blends that I smoke more than anything is Pegasus, a pinch of McClelland 5100, and a pinch of Wilke Vermont Maple Cavendish. I only mix a pipe worth at a time though, otherwise the flavors seem to get a bit muddy.

Any of the Wilke blends are good in that mix. I use 187, 192, Lord Nelson, Rumcake, etc.
 

Sorringowl

Busy Bird
Sales
#43
1. Get your hands on an old, Danish pipe. Most of these will have smaller draught holes on the tenons than you'll see on modern day pipes (many of which you can drive a Fiat through). The Danes (at least, in the '60's and '70's) smoked a lot of Aros, and the smaller draught holes and smaller bowls of those hey-day era pipes are optimal for blends, like Aros, that pack a lot of flavor. Smaller, or taller, narrow bowls, also help, I've found, when smoking most aros.

2. As stated here before, smoke slowly. Practice just breathing normally when you smoke aros, or, better yet, "sip" aros.

3. Focus on aros you really enjoy, and toss the ones that taste just okay.

4. Put your tobacco out to dry. The wetter, the longer. A day of drying is not too long for really moist aros but 30 min. to an hour will go a long way.

P.S. I don't smoke these much anymore but, I've also found that modern-day Savinellis, with balsa filters, work well to cut down on the moisture of a lot of fussy aros.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#44
If you don't dry out your tobacco, the answer is pipecleaners - lots and lots of pipecleaners. There used to be a guy on our old forum that bragged that he never got a wet heel from these tobaccos. I asked him if he could also fly, since the laws of physics apparently don't apply to him. A byproduct of combustion is moisture. Add to that the moisture in the goop they use to make the heavy flavoring adhere to the leaf. Voila! Moisture and lots of it.

I like the suggestions above, particularly about drying your aros. You'll lose a bit of the flavoring but you'll have a much dryer, more flavorful overall smoke when you're not fighting the goop.
 

Spillproof

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
Sales
#46
Lots of great tips and recommendations above.

Now I will muddy the waters.
What IS an aromatic tobacco?

I find little enjoyment in most classic american aromatics (flavored cavendish). There are exceptions, like Vermont Maple Cavendish and Rumcake from Wilke Tobacco (which I cut with burley or virginia or both).

There are flavored Virginia's.
And there are flavored burleys.
Then there's stuff like Watch City Deluxe Crumb Cut which EVERYONE likes, or they're goofy in the head.

You're not going to like all aromatics.
Perhaps you, like me, want something with a little backbone and some real tobacco flavor. I recomend you look at aromatic Burleys and VaBurs. Consider trying some of the G&H stuff too. If you're interested in sampling the aromatics that I smoke just send me a PM.
 
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JustScott

Well-known member
#47
So...
I have had a couple of bowls of aros that were AMAZING... And about however-many-aro-bowls-I've-had-minus-two that tasted like lightly sweetened cavendish. The same blend has done both, too. The most striking was MB 7 Seas Black. The first bowl was just incredible, amaretto and creamy, sweet vanilla, flavors I couldn't believe. The second bowl tasted like lightly sweetened cavendish. I have no clue what I did differently. My question to the aro-smokers is, do you have smokes like that first one every time? Or does it taste like lightly sweetened cavendish most of the time? Or somewhere in the middle? The amazing bowls make the "meh" bowls really disappointing, even borderline unsmokable, for me. If they could taste like that first bowl every time, I would definitely smoke aros more often. But I think it may have been one of those "perfect" bowls, like that once or twice a year (for me, usually) thing where it's just everything you could ever imagine, we all know those bowls. Had a bowl of OGS once where the bergamot came through so beautifully and the VA was so sweet and crisp along with the hay, and the rest of the pound or so of OGS I've smoked has been... well, it's been OGS. So, that sort of thing may be what happened there. If so, and I would need to smoke a couple hundred bowls of "boring sweetened black and gold cavendish" before I could expect another of those, I think I'm just done with aros.
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
#48
So...
I have had a couple of bowls of aros that were AMAZING... And about however-many-aro-bowls-I've-had-minus-two that tasted like lightly sweetened cavendish. The same blend has done both, too. The most striking was MB 7 Seas Black. The first bowl was just incredible, amaretto and creamy, sweet vanilla, flavors I couldn't believe. The second bowl tasted like lightly sweetened cavendish. I have no clue what I did differently. My question to the aro-smokers is, do you have smokes like that first one every time? Or does it taste like lightly sweetened cavendish most of the time? Or somewhere in the middle? The amazing bowls make the "meh" bowls really disappointing, even borderline unsmokable, for me. If they could taste like that first bowl every time, I would definitely smoke aros more often. But I think it may have been one of those "perfect" bowls, like that once or twice a year (for me, usually) thing where it's just everything you could ever imagine, we all know those bowls. Had a bowl of OGS once where the bergamot came through so beautifully and the VA was so sweet and crisp along with the hay, and the rest of the pound or so of OGS I've smoked has been... well, it's been OGS. So, that sort of thing may be what happened there. If so, and I would need to smoke a couple hundred bowls of "boring sweetened black and gold cavendish" before I could expect another of those, I think I'm just done with aros.
I'm not really a aro smoker, but I'm also trying to get them.

that said, there's only one aromatic blend for me that has really been consistent: CAO Black.
I've only had one tin of that (yet) because it's impossible to get in europe. the only one I got was
via a forums trade here.

That said, a friend from the USA is bringing over a couple of tins at christmas.

For me, it's the same as you: sometimes, it's incredible. but most of the times, the aromatics just don't
do it. I ususally have about 1-2 bowl of aromatics a week just to keep at it, but most of the times it's just
not what I was hoping for.

As for the CAO Black: it seems to be much more forgiving temperature wise. Maybe CAO is doing something
different then the "pipe tobacco companies" because after all, they are a cigars manufacturer.
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
Patron
#49
I’m another Burley cutter. One of the blends that I smoke more than anything is Pegasus, a pinch of McClelland 5100, and a pinch of Wilke Vermont Maple Cavendish. I only mix a pipe worth at a time though, otherwise the flavors seem to get a bit muddy.

Any of the Wilke blends are good in that mix. I use 187, 192, Lord Nelson, Rumcake, etc.
Wilke blends on the list of “To-Try” though two things:
1) I’ll likely order Boswell first since they have a ton of other tobacco, namely GH, that I want.
2) I’m not discerning or lucky enough to have a supply of tasty tobacco to mix up in order to find what I want. My tasting notes are like my vision in the morning without glasses or contacts - just feeling around in the dark until I hit something and yell out
 

Chico

Well-known member
#50
Wilke blends on the list of “To-Try” though two things:
1) I’ll likely order Boswell first since they have a ton of other tobacco, namely GH, that I want.
2) I’m not discerning or lucky enough to have a supply of tasty tobacco to mix up in order to find what I want. My tasting notes are like my vision in the morning without glasses or contacts - just feeling around in the dark until I hit something and yell out
Throw in an oz of Piper's Pleasure. If you don't like it maybe you just don't like aros!
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
Patron
#51
1. Get your hands on an old, Danish pipe. Most of these will have smaller draught holes on the tenons than you'll see on modern day pipes (many of which you can drive a Fiat through). The Danes (at least, in the '60's and '70's) smoked a lot of Aros, and the smaller draught holes and smaller bowls of those hey-day era pipes are optimal for blends, like Aros, that pack a lot of flavor. Smaller, or taller, narrow bowls, also help, I've found, when smoking most aros.

2. As stated here before, smoke slowly. Practice just breathing normally when you smoke aros, or, better yet, "sip" aros.

3. Focus on aros you really enjoy, and toss the ones that taste just okay.

4. Put your tobacco out to dry. The wetter, the longer. A day of drying is not too long for really moist aros but 30 min. to an hour will go a long way.

P.S. I don't smoke these much anymore but, I've also found that modern-day Savinellis, with balsa filters, work well to cut down on the moisture of a lot of fussy aros.
Ya know - I have always heard that tall, narrow bowls are best for VA blends. In fact, you’re at odds with our preeminent aromatic extraordinaire @millarddj 😉
The reasoning that the Danes smoke aro’s and therefore should use their pipes makes sense, I’ll have to give both big wide bowled pots and tight narrow billiards a go to see what works best for me. This pipe stuff is confusing.
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
Patron
#52
Throw in an oz of Piper's Pleasure. If you don't like it maybe you just don't like aros!
I think @Spillproof nailed it - and someone earlier too mentioned that maybe I just don’t like black cavendish. However - i don’t like the idea that I can’t just “get” something, I’d rather have an understanding for how people enjoy it but aware that it’s not my cuppa tea. Maybe I’m just too much of a people pleaser and like to acquiesce... so sue me.
 

Peacock

There is no spoon.
Patron
#53
I have had decent luck with Boswell’s Aromatics. Their Sweet Tea, Boswell’s Best, and Christmas Cookie come to mind. All burned very well and minimal relights. I smoke like a freight train tho. Still working on that bit...
I have a feeling this is my problem too. I THINK I’m getting flavor but I’m still drawing too often. I have been monitoring it the last few smokes and find that I’m closer to ~8 sec between so I’ve been trying to slow myself. I’m certainly not capable or willing to be counting or aware of my timing with every smoke, that would completely ruin the experience for me
 

millarddj

Perpetual whippersnapper
#54
Ya know - I have always heard that tall, narrow bowls are best for VA blends. In fact, you’re at odds with our preeminent aromatic extraordinaire @millarddj 😉
Don't you EVER let me catch you saying something like that again, y'hear!?!? If Victor were still around with any kind of regularity, he'd send me back to aromatic kindergarten!

In my experience, the old adage "different strokes for different folks" is almost as applicable to chamber dimensions as it is blend types in the first place. I am glad to see that I said "I recommend...I think...I feel" regarding this - because it's all my experience. I absolutely LOVE my Savinelli 320 for aromatics, and my brain tells me it's because I need more surface area and "oomph" from the tobacco with blends that have less inherent kick.
 

Merk3030

Well-known member
Sales
Patron
#55
I have a feeling this is my problem too. I THINK I’m getting flavor but I’m still drawing too often. I have been monitoring it the last few smokes and find that I’m closer to ~8 sec between so I’ve been trying to slow myself. I’m certainly not capable or willing to be counting or aware of my timing with every smoke, that would completely ruin the experience for me
Agreed. I try the breathing method and watching my timing and completely ignore the flavor/taste or it is lost due to my over thought. Trying to keep it simple and not over think it...
 

craig

Well-known member
#60
My 2 cents worth.

Aromatics are like any other group of tobacco, you either get along with them or you don't.
Personally I am not a fan of black Cavendish heavy aromatics, precisely for the reason that most of them are beyond saturated and are just too much of a faff on to get them to smoke able level.

However I do enjoy European style aromatics where they are more virginia and burley foreward.
A particular aromatic favourite of mine is ennerdale.

If you do wish to persist with aromatics I would suggest a wide chambered pipe or even better a falcon if you have one.

It might just be you do not get on with them full stop, it might just be a learning curve you have to crack., either way I wouldn't flog a dead horse for too long, smoke what you know you like, not what you think you should like.
 
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