Something about dark-fired Kentucky does me in nearly every time. This form of burley is beloved by many, but it doesn’t love me. Mac Baren Bold Kentucky overwhelms me with nicotine and sheer flavor. In technical terms, it applies its loafer to my derriere with great force. So does Peterson Irish Flake, which is a blend that only includes Kentucky. Even Amphora Kentucky Blend, which I expected to be milder, isn’t much milder. (On the other hand, Mac Baren Old Dark Fired is too bland.)
So what to do? When in doubt, blend!
I blended the Amphora 50-50 with Sutliff 515 RC, a wonderful red Virginia. (Lovers of the late great McClelland 5100 Redcake, check it out.) The Kentucky was more manageable but still too strong. So I increased the 515, maybe to 2-1. Now it is lovely!
Let that be a lesson. Before you trade or chuck, blend! What’s to lose?
If you are curious about types of tobacco and what they mean for the pipe smoker, Cornell & Diehl, a company I grow fonder of with every passing day, has an excellent two-part primer on its YouTube channel. Jeremy Reeves, C&D’s head blender, gives a good, clear presentation from which I learned much.
Here is part 1.
And here is part 2.
PS: The YouTube Pipe Community (YTPC) is a great source of pipe-smoking tips and and reviews. In the future I will post about my favorite channels.