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Ageing without hoarding

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Toking Tommy on YouTube. He is in Halifax. One of the best reviewers I’ve found. Look him up. You could even understand him. Worth a look. Most of his reviews are tobaccos you have access to even the OTC’s. There are a lot of reviews he has posted.
Ahh OK. I don't spend much time on PooTube, but I'll check him out :thumbup1:
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Earlier, my thoughts drifted (via another thread) as to when I finally get around to opening the tins. Then what? Managing the open tins isn't something I'd given too much thought about... or enough thought about, I should say.

IMG_20201015_155005_edit_edit.jpg

These "one ounce" tins are what I've been smoking the samples out of, and it's a great method for me of managing the immediate smoking choices. However, these tins realistically hold about half an ounce, without compacting the tobacco too much. That leaves me with the other 35g left in the original tin.

Being just an occasional smoker, and planning on having 5 or 6 blends in play at any time, that means that those tins could take a year from first pop to being finished. By that time, it'll probably be starting to turn to dust/snuff :lol:

I do have ten small (120ml/4 fluid oz) glass jars that I could use, but they're currently all busy holding various tobaccos already. That means they'd all need smoking after finishing the samples, delaying opening any tins even further. Or I could smoke half of them, pack half the 50g tin in that and seal it up for the latter half of the year, while I just juggle the tins for the first half.

Dunno.

I'm just kind of thinking out loud at this point. What I don't want is more jars. Managing the existing ten jars and the five small tins, is quite enough to have to juggle. I need to give this more thought.

It was so much simpler when I bought one pouch, smoked it, then bought another. :001_tongu
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
I'm laughing with you. Not at you. I wasn't planning on cellaring as deep as I am but there were a lot of deals then panic buying when FDA had too much control. McClelland went out and I bought a bunch of what I could and then when I see something that doesn't come around often I get it. Now it's the occasional tin.

I need to clear up space. 😁 Wife wants some jars back.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I'm laughing with you. Not at you. I wasn't planning on cellaring as deep as I am but there were a lot of deals then panic buying when FDA had too much control. McClelland went out and I bought a bunch of what I could and then when I see something that doesn't come around often I get it. Now it's the occasional tin.

I need to clear up space. 😁 Wife wants some jars back.
I understand all too well, John. 🤣 I went full retard when nasal snuff looked threatened, and bought more than I will ever consume. No plans on repeating that ;)

With pipe tobacco, it's different. Not only am I still feeling like a blithering idiot from doing what I did with snuff, but pipe still feels more like a treat than a "need". Also, I'm not looking to stock up on any one blend. There's only one blend that I have more than one tin of, and I'm not looking to add any more duplication.

If I was to add ten more tins tomorrow for some reason, they'd all be individual blends, and different to what I already have. I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather have one tin each of thirty blends, than half a dozen tins of five blends. I initially did that to find what I like, and it turns out that what I like best, is that variety :biggrin1:

On reflection, I think the most sensible way for me to work through the stash, based on me only smoking 5g to 10g per week (or less), is "try" to stick to one or two blends at a time, and only open a third, if I really get fed up with the other two. Not sure I'll be successful :001_tongu but I probably ought to aim for that.

Who knows what direction I'll want to head in six months from now. :lol:
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I understand all too well, John. 🤣 I went full retard when nasal snuff looked threatened, and bought more than I will ever consume. No plans on repeating that ;)

With pipe tobacco, it's different. Not only am I still feeling like a blithering idiot from doing what I did with snuff, but pipe still feels more like a treat than a "need". Also, I'm not looking to stock up on any one blend. There's only one blend that I have more than one tin of, and I'm not looking to add any more duplication.

If I was to add ten more tins tomorrow for some reason, they'd all be individual blends, and different to what I already have. I've come to the conclusion that I'd rather have one tin each of thirty blends, than half a dozen tins of five blends. I initially did that to find what I like, and it turns out that what I like best, is that variety :biggrin1:

On reflection, I think the most sensible way for me to work through the stash, based on me only smoking 5g to 10g per week (or less), is "try" to stick to one or two blends at a time, and only open a third, if I really get fed up with the other two. Not sure I'll be successful :001_tongu but I probably ought to aim for that.

Who knows what direction I'll want to head in six months from now. :lol:
Another conundrum I believe Al.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
After more thought...

I'll probably wait to open any of the tins, until I've got at least a couple of jars emptied, and try to stick to only having a couple of tins open at once. I stuck to one or two blends at a time from 2013 to 2019, as that was all that was here before last year :biggrin1: I was quite happy with a tin of English or a pouch of Coniston Cut Plug, and then a pouch of Condor or flavoured shag tobacco. I don't see why I can't go back to something similar. Most of my blends are "easy smoking" ones, so one of those and a more robust "fireside" smoke open, should see me just fine.

Lighter VaPers, Virginias, aromatics, and non-Cavendish aros (topped Virginias and VaBur) should handle the bulk of the daily smokes without too much need for change. I do have some more robust tobaccos for sitting by the chimenea with, such as Irish Flake, or the heavier English or Perique blends, and I'll never need more than one of those open at a time. Lets keep it simple.

I'm also quite content that everything is just one tin... well, kind of. There's three tins of Ye Olde Signe (Elizabethan Mixture, without the Perique), and then some equivalents rather than duplicates...

Irish Flake + Stirling Flake
University Flake + Wallace Flake
Consumate Gentleman + Roberts Mixture
(something else too, I think)

... and others are on the future shopping list. Smoking something different every time, rather than feeling the need to stock up on individual blends feels quite freeing. No doubt I might revisit some in the future, but I've still no urge to hoard any for when the inevitable discontinuations happen. I'm quite happy (so far) just having "something" ageing, rather than fixating on specific blends.

As for the January update, all these samples still remain, so all the tins are staying sealed for some time yet.

IMG_20210106_042638_edit.jpg

Yes, there's some cigarillos in there too, but they were freebies I got given.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Gawith Hoggarth New Prince, and Gawith Hoggarth Ennerdale Mixture samples have both been smoked up. That leaves the following in the live blend tins

Eng: Kendal Balkan Mixture (or was it Peterson’s?)
Vir/Per: Sam G Cabbies Mixture (just one smoke left)
Aro: GH American Delite (just one smoke left)
Lake: *currently empty*
Misc: GH Reunion Brown House Roll Cut

As refills are needed, I thought I'd do an audit of what's left. Samples left to refill them with are:

Eng:
Sam G Balkan Flake
Kendal Exmoor Flake

Vir/Per:
Sam G Golden Glow
Germains Virginia Gold Leaf

Aro:
Sam G Palace Gate
Radfords Mixture

Lake:
GH Ennerdale Flake
GH Bosun Flake
GH Dark Flake Unscented

Misc:
GH Broken Scotch Cake - Chocolate (already started)
GH Best Brown #2 Unscented
Sam G CH Flake

(+ a few other samples with just one smoke left)

I'm quite surprised how evenly spread these have worked out towards the end. I started this little exercise to figure out which tins I'm likely to be opening first, but it's obviously not clear yet. It won't be English though, as I'm not smoking much of that right now. I still have a couple of the jars to clear too, which muddies the waters further, though they'll most likely Virginias/Perique that I'm smoking.

I'm glad I did the exploration of the samples, but I'm also glad things will get simpler from here on, with less tobaccos in play. While all the ageing blends are different, no more than five will be open at any time (more likely just two or three). In contrast, I consider all these samples as open, as they're just in the rolled up weighing out bags, and some are drying out a fair bit now, which is mildly concerning. Some might need the slice of apple treatment before smoking.

With tax bombshell day coming in early March, I also need to be considering if any more tins should be laid away for longer term ageing (I already have the next five years covered). Making purchase decisions bourne out of fear are not something I'm prone to doing these days, but I have wondering if pipe smoking will still be affordable for me afterwards, especially if they pull an Aussie style tax hike. If so, that would make this pretty much my last chance to stock up.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
In other news, I was looking at new pipes online yesterday. Didn't want one. :eek2: Even pipes like the Nording Compass which I really liked, but I'd told myself I couldn't get until after Christmas. Didn't want one. Too many damn good pipes here already, for the same money or less.

Pipes actually seem to be leading the tobaccos at the moment too, by which I mean I seem to be picking the pipe first, which then dictates what goes in it. Unless it's a cob, then anything goes. As an occasional smoker, even if I smoked my pipes in rotation (which would send me to the loony bin, as I hate systems like that), every pipe would give that "ooh, I haven't smoked this one for a while" feeling.

At eight briars (including the Falcon), that's nearly three weeks worth of smokes, without the Brogs and cobs. With those added in, at my average consumption rate, I could go almost 6 weeks without smoking the same pipe twice. I don't. I stick with the same two or three for a while then swap, which means many of the pipes go even longer between uses. I think the penny has finally dropped that more pipes would just mean even less time with my favourites.

Nice to know I've got at least one part of this hobby well sorted :D
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Decision made.

As I mentioned in another thread (RookieGuy's), I'm actively moving away from online purchasing wherever possible. I'm sick and tired of it. Waiting for late deliveries, damaged goods, wrong items sent, the hassle of sorting returns, all the data harvesting, it's a nightmare! So, after the debacle of 2020, I decided to go back to in-person shopping wherever possible. Walk in, put cash down on the counter, and immediately get in my possession the items I've paid for. No delays, no being stalked to see what shop windows I looked at before buying from that one, no personal data sold on or algorithms run. Buy, leave, forgotten. Done!

The problem with that in terms of tobacco, is that locally I can only get Condor pouches, possibly St Bruno pouches, and weighed out portions of Gawith Hoggarth bulk. No tins. So I would be waving goodbye to a heck of a lot of tobaccos. With shaving soap I decided to stock up over the last couple of months, so I wasn't just dependent on local pickings. The question I've been facing over the last few weeks, is whether or not to do that with tobacco too.

It's a far different prospect and mentality to what I had when I started this thread, but back then, I was still happy to place another online order as needed. Going back to analogue shopping changes everything. There's also a very real prospect of a big tobacco tax hike in 6 weeks time. So, it's one last hoorah, or call it quits. Literally, now or never. How the heck do you start making a decision like that?

I decided to make a list of everything available in the UK that I'd still like to try but haven't yet, plus everything that I've liked a sample of, that I'd like a full tin/pouch of at some point. Far, far, FAR too many! Then I scratched off everything that wasn't in tins. Then I scratched off everything with Latakia in. Then I scratched off everything with Cavendish that might not store well. I decided a bit of Cavendish was OK, so long as it was still a dry-ish blend. No gloopy stuff.

Still WAY too many left on the list.

Then I scratched off all the duplicates of ones I hadn't tried, so I didn't have both Peterson and Charatan versions of Royal Yacht, for example. Then I ditched MacBaren, as I haven't liked anything I tried from there. Getting better, but still too many. I then ditched Stokkebye, Comoys and other brands I haven't already approved to myself yet. Then I put Erinmore Flake back on...

Eventually, after much editing, I got down to a list that while bruising to the bank account, was not too ridiculous, and ordered one tin of each. It means I'll have a few tins still left over after 5 years smoking at my snail pace, and with a bit of shuffling around, I can make sure they are all the round Peterson style tins of Virginia, Vaper and lightly topped VaBur. The sporadic pouches from the local shops will then pad that out while ever it remains affordable.

Still no hoarding of individual blends though. The tins are all just one offs, and unlikely to ever be replaced. I can still buy tins with cash, but it would mean a train journey, and then paying maybe 20% more than online, so I don't expect that to happen. Instead, every tin I crack will be something different, and once finished, gone forever. Back to being carefree and just aimlessly wandering. The only goal being to have days left at the end of the tobacco. Bliss!
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Interesting and well thought out. In anticipation of tax hikes, I’ve been buying quantities of bulk (yess hoarding). Fortunately, I’ve had fifty years, of when pipe tobacco was cheap, bouncing from blend to blend and I have a good idea of the styles I like and have found satisfactory blends available in bulk. This allows me to stock up substantially for minimal cash outlay. Unless you are living in close proximity to a city, tobacco shops that carry pipe tobacco are not likely available. There are many vape shops now and some carry cheap large bags of pipe tobacco garbage and cheap flavored cigars so mail order will be my only practical option. I’ve likely accumulated eight or ten pounds so far so I’ll be comfortably set for three or four years now picking up odds and ends now and then again. I need to accumulate fly tying material in lieu of tobacco for a while now in lieu of tobacco as I am moving to trout heaven in a couple of weeks. Too bad one cannot sit down and tye up a bunch of pipe weed. Now if only I can get moved, unpacked and organized before spring fishing. That’s my current problem.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Interesting and well thought out. In anticipation of tax hikes, I’ve been buying quantities of bulk (yess hoarding). Fortunately, I’ve had fifty years, of when pipe tobacco was cheap, bouncing from blend to blend and I have a good idea of the styles I like and have found satisfactory blends available in bulk. This allows me to stock up substantially for minimal cash outlay. Unless you are living in close proximity to a city, tobacco shops that carry pipe tobacco are not likely available. There are many vape shops now and some carry cheap large bags of pipe tobacco garbage and cheap flavored cigars so mail order will be my only practical option. I’ve likely accumulated eight or ten pounds so far so I’ll be comfortably set for three or four years now picking up odds and ends now and then again. I need to accumulate fly tying material in lieu of tobacco for a while now in lieu of tobacco as I am moving to trout heaven in a couple of weeks. Too bad one cannot sit down and tye up a bunch of pipe weed. Now if only I can get moved, unpacked and organized before spring fishing. That’s my current problem.
Thanks. Yes, much head scratching was involved.

I think the treats will come on short breaks. One of my online tobacconists is based at the coast, about a 1.1/2 hour rail journey away. If I can get away for a few days, when the country starts getting back to normal, I can see me nipping in there for a Cav/Lakeland fix once a year, maybe.

If I've learned anything this year, it's been that the lightly topped medium strength blends are the ones I reach for most, and that's what I've concentrated on. I do have some moderate strength English, and heartier blends, but I have to be in the right mood for them. The lighter (Virginia + Perique/Burley/topping) blends can be smoked anytime, much like your codgers, just not Burley based.

I'm quite happy too that every tin will be different. I have found a few blends I could stick with, but am much happier roaming free, knowing every tin is a new adventure.
 
I too really enjoy brick and mortar shopping, not just for tobacco. The closest stores, though, only sell (for bulk) in C&D and some aros like 1q or Sutliff blends. I have to cross state lines to find anything different.

Al, you'd be handicapping yourself if you leave out Stokkebye. I'm not suggesting going hunting for it, but if you come across a Stokkebye flake (LBF or Navy or LTF), they would fit nicely in your 5 year plan. In the States, Stokkebye is a very good value of quality for the price.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Al, you'd be handicapping yourself if you leave out Stokkebye. I'm not suggesting going hunting for it, but if you come across a Stokkebye flake (LBF or Navy or LTF), they would fit nicely in your 5 year plan. In the States, Stokkebye is a very good value of quality for the price.
None of those are available here, Bill. The tinned Stokkebye blends here are Erik Stokkebye 4th Generation, which is 6 or 7 different blends which all have dates for names. Three sound promising, but didn't make the shortlist. Occasionally you might find a weighed loose Peter Stokkebye blend, but they seem like pretty standard and rather uninspiring mixtures.

No room for anything else in the five year plan now, other than the additional Lakeland and Cavendish aromatics I'll need in the later years. The overspill is all round-tinned Virginia based stuff, and that too has gone as far as I'm prepared to take it.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
The last smoke of Cabbies Mixture is on the go in a Washington cob, and the last smoke of American Delite has been packed in the Parker Panel for tomorrow. That left three of the "live blend" tins needing refilling with different samples, and if I don't make note of it here, I'll forget what I filled them with... again. 🤣

Eng: Somebody-or-other's Balkan Something (can't be certain which)
Vir/Per: Germain's Virginia Gold Leaf R/R
Aro: Radfords Mixture
Lake: Gawith Hoggarth Bosun Flake
Misc: GH Reunion Brown House Roll Cut

It'll be a lot easier to keep track of when I move to tins, because there'll be a part full one in the drawer to remind me :001_tongu

That leaves the following samples remaining:

Eng:
Sam G Balkan Flake​
Kendal Exmoor Flake​
Vir/Per:
Sam G Golden Glow​
Aro:
Sam G Palace Gate​
Lake:
GH Ennerdale Flake​
GH Dark Flake Unscented​
Misc:
GH Broken Scotch Cake - Chocolate (already started)​
GH Best Brown #2 Unscented​
Sam G CH Flake​
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Those "live blend" tins I keep prattling on about, are perfectly sized for me. Here are the three I refilled yesterday with 10g samples.

IMG_20210117_162407_edit.jpg

That means that each parent tin will refill these four or five times before it's empty. That just makes my cellar feel even larger than it did before. They're very pocketable too.

Oh, and when I placed this last order, I actually remembered pipe cleaners for once. Filters too, except they were out of my preferred Sav 6mm balsa, so I ordered some White Elephant 6mm meerschaum cartridges to try instead. Filters might be the one thing that force me to make the occasional online purchase.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I've been crunching some numbers.

32 x 5g samples
Maybe 20 x 10g samples
Approx 200g - 250g of other tobaccos

That's what I reckon I smoked last year. The equivalent of around 10 50g tins, roughly. I knew I'd smoked a bit more than normal, with all the excitement of getting the new stuff, but it's actually less than I thought I'd smoked. I reckon I'll smoke a little more than "normal" (the old normal) this year too, simply because it's here, and I've put a lot of effort (and funds) into making sure what is here, is what I enjoy.

I'd initially based my calcs on smoking six tins a year, then revised it up to six to eight. I have a sneaky suspicion that eight-ish is going to be the new normal. Maybe smoking a little less in the colder months, and ramping up when the clocks go forward. That two tins might sound very insignificant to you all, but it makes me feel a lot better about that last order. It seems rather less excessive than it did a few hours ago, as it knocks 25% off how long my stash will last. Maybe more.

That brings it all back into a time frame I'm comfortable with. I'm still overstocked, but now I'm comfortably overstocked, rather than burdened with excess. The five year plan has a buffer, but not baggage.

I'm back smiling again now :)
 
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AimlessWanderer

Contributor
First smoke with the White Elephant 6mm meerschaum filters today. I'm smoking Brown House Roll Cut in a Rob Roy Legend, after smoking some of the same in an unfiltered briar yesterday. Taste wise, there's no impairment, but the draw is very noticeably more restricted. It smokes like I've packed it too full. I think long term, I'll be sticking with the Savinelli balsa.

The smoke is noticeably drier than yesterday, so it's not without benefit, but the balsa filters offer that without choking off the draw. The 45 in the box will be used, but probably not replaced. Of course, my opinions on that may change over time. As the draw strength isn't yet intuitive, I do find myself occasionally drawing a little too hard, and smoking a bit hot, but that's my own unfamiliarity, rather than any failing of the filter.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Well, I timed that right!

We've not even got to scary tax time, and UK prices have started noticeably increasing. :eek6:

I noticed because I'd decided to reassure myself about the savings I thought I'd made on some pouches I have on the way. I was right. The 40g Three Nuns pouch I just got for a tenner, from the shop I think might be winding own, is listed at £13.65 at my usual haunts. Can't grumble at 25% off! The total order was £55 delivered, and would have been £70+ anywhere else. That's like a 50g pouch free!

While I was there, I decided to check a few other things, as I thought last time I was browsing that Rattray's looked a bit pricier than I remembered paying. I fished around in my old emails, and comparing them with the prices I bought at a few months ago. Sure enough, they've gone up £1/tin or more, and some of the very recently bought items have also just been bumped up too. Up to 10% on some items. I'm rather glad I didn't wait longer!

I think by March, I'll definitely have a feeling of neenerneener.gif

I got in just in the nick of time! All doubts and reservations about the recent cellar boost, or indeed about having a cellar at all, just went bye bye :biggrin1: When the Budget happens in 6 weeks time, I'll report back with how many tins I got "free", by building the cellar when I did, compared with the post-budget 2021 prices. ;)
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
The discounted pouches arrived today, and just from squeezing the packets, appear to be in good order. :thumbup1: They're now double bagged and stashed in the drawer. They may still need a little rehydration when I get to them, but they're not breaking down into snuff.

Assuming they're all decent smokes, I may well have enough packet tobacco, including what's left of the samples, and a pouch of Condor that's already in the drawer, to not need to open any ageing tins this year. That's not to say I won't, just that I might be able to keep all tins sealed if I choose to.

One on the bunch is Brookfield No.4, a non-Cavendish bourbon topped VaBur. What I wasn't expecting, is this is made by Gawith Hoggarth, and the packaging bears both liveries. According to tobaccoreviews.com, this used to be made by Poschl. I'll spare you all the pictures though, as all the pouches are predominantly unpleasant imagery and warnings.

As for what's in the bowl right now, that's more Brown House Roll Cut in a filtered cob. Damn fine smoke.
 
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