Working around My Body Chemistry

Yesterday I wrote about tobacco blends that taste great but are so powerful in terms of flavor and nicotine, that I might have to lie down for a spell after smoking even a small bowl. I promised to report on a possible solution.

Lately, I’ve tried cutting these blends with a straight bland burley, and so far I like the results. Diluting with the burley has the effect of dialing back the flavor and the nicotine, and this has reduced the undesirable side effects. Of course the ratios of the two components are significant, so I am still playing with them.

The important thing is that the burley I’m using adds no flavor to the main blend. It has only a modulating effect — exactly what I am looking for.

What burley am I using? That’s the sad part of the story. I’m using McClelland X30 Pressed Burley. The problem of course is that McClelland and therefore this product don’t exist anymore. Fortunately I bought several ounces a few years ago, and I still have a good amount on hand.

But what about when I run out? I’m thinking that I could use Granger instead of Pressed Burley. When I first bought Pressed Burley, I also bought some Granger in bulk, and I recall that I thought they tasted much alike. If my memory is accurate, Granger — which I’m confident will be around a long time — should be a good tobacco for diluting the blends I have trouble with.

I’ll let you know.

Caution: some burleys, especially those from C&D, are quite powerful. They would definitely not work to dilute another powerful blend.

Tell me of your experiences.

Yes, Virginia, There Is Burley

I almost called this post “Damn Burleys!” That’s not an insult but rather an expression of respect, just as the old Washington Senators fans used to cry, “Damn Yankees!” (There’s an old Broadway musical by that name.)

What I’m getting at is that my exploration of full-bodied burleys has to a large extent eclipsed my taste for straight Virginias. I still like them, but now that I’ve smoked robust burley blends, Virginias seem kind of tame. Add perique or latakia — or both — and some Virginia-based blends hold their own. I love Dunhill (*wah*) Nightcap, My Mixture 965, and Elizabethan Mixture. I like Navy Rolls. I also love McClelland (*wah*) Dark Star and Dark Navy Flake. But to my palate, Cornell & Diehl’s Haunted Bookshop, Pegasus, and Pirate Kake really shine by comparison. I have to watch out for the nicotine hit, but these are some mouth-watering tobaccos, so flavorful.

If you think burley means only Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Granger, and the matches for Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed — all good though mild blends there’s a world of robust burley blends waiting for you.

Give one or two a try. But handle with care.