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Pipe Tobacco Classification System

This is a discussion on Pipe Tobacco Classification System within the General Pipe Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; I thought it would be fun to work out a more "official" and complete classification for my pipe tobaccos. I ...

  
  1. #1

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    I thought it would be fun to work out a more "official" and complete classification for my pipe tobaccos. I drew up this chart as a rough draft. I know there's a lot of opinions on tobaccos like Erinmore and Lakelands and I'd love to hear them! I think it'd be fun to try to make a final draft that most accurately classifies every tobacco we pipe puffers smoke!


  2. #2

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    ...and for those of you that aren't familiar with the word "aliphatic," it is used as an antonym for "aromatic" in organic chemistry. It doesn't have anything to do with olfactory properties in that application but I like the word and decided it fit!

  3. #3

    Deviant Gentleman The Mad Professor's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Nice job! Looks pretty good to me.
    The Mad Professor's Pipes Page.................. .................My modest TobaccoCellar....................................Product Design Portfolio(shameless plug)

  4. #4

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    I'd demur with regard to "English" containing Latakia perforce. Royal Yacht is very much an English tobacco.

    I feel like a Johnny One Note with this link, but if we're getting formal about things, then it's a bit different from letting "English" become a synonym for Latakia blends.

    What is an English Pipe Tobacco Blend? | With Pipe and Pen

    Jim (who in real life is an insufferable pedant)

    A good start, though, Kyle. I like "aliphatic"!
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  5. #5

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    I'd demur with regard to "English" containing Latakia perforce. Royal Yacht is very much an English tobacco.

    I feel like a Johnny One Note with this link, but if we're getting formal about things, then it's a bit different from letting "English" become a synonym for Latakia blends.

    What is an English Pipe Tobacco Blend? | With Pipe and Pen

    Jim (who in real life is an insufferable pedant)

    A good start, though, Kyle. I like "aliphatic"!
    Thanks for the help Jim! I welcome all nitpicking. This must be PERFECT! What about changing "English" to "Turkish." Latakia and oriental are technically turkish tobaccos. Then "Latakia" and "Balkan" can be subsets of the turkish group.

  6. #6

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by karatekyle View Post
    Thanks for the help Jim! I welcome all nitpicking. This must be PERFECT! What about changing "English" to "Turkish." Latakia and oriental are technically turkish tobaccos. Then "Latakia" and "Balkan" can be subsets of the turkish group.
    Well, Latakia is in Syria, which certainly confuses things. "Turkish" tobaccos came to us from those grown in the old Ottoman Empire, so it includes the Balkans and Turkey for sure, and Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire too. So Turkish seems like a better grouping than orientals -- I think "oriental" puts things a lot farther east in modern parlance -- but still, the "Turkish Empire", aka, the Ottoman Empire, doesn't carry a lot of steam these days either, the Orient Express notwithstanding.

    You face a daunting task, Kyle! Carry on. Bon chance!
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  7. #7

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    Well, Latakia is in Syria, which certainly confuses things. "Turkish" tobaccos came to us from those grown in the old Ottoman Empire, so it includes the Balkans and Turkey for sure, and Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire too. So Turkish seems like a better grouping than orientals -- I think "oriental" puts things a lot farther east in modern parlance -- but still, the "Turkish Empire", aka, the Ottoman Empire, doesn't carry a lot of steam these days either, the Orient Express notwithstanding.

    You face a daunting task, Kyle! Carry on. Bon chance!
    From wikipedia...

    The modern Syrian state was established after the First World War as a French mandate, and represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled Arab Levant
    and

    It is initially sun-cured like other Turkish tobaccos[1] and then further cured over a pine or oak wood fire, which gives it an intense smokey-peppery taste and smell.
    So is "Turkish" accurate enough to describe Balkans and Latakias?

  8. #8

    Sot-weed Bohemian freestoke's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by karatekyle View Post
    So is "Turkish" accurate enough to describe Balkans and Latakias?
    I'm not sure. Latakia is like perique, somewhat "special". A stoved tobacco isn't really a smoked one, for example. Perique is just fermented, aka "aged", tobacco run amok. Latakia seems to be as much a process as a tobacco type, somewhat like Cavendish but with a narrower definition of the underlying tobacco type. We even have the cyprian and Syrian versions.

    To me, "English" can include blends with a high Turkish content (as opposed to Latakia content), VaPers, VaBurPers, pure Virginias, and even the Lakelands. I'm sure there must be some tobaccos out there that are 60/40 burley/va, but would still be called a VaBur. This all leads me to reject the entire subbranches of the Aliphatics. You've stated that the Aliphatics are blends of non-aromatics, so I would proceed to name those tobaccos, rather than those tobaccos in combination.

    Latakia -> Syrian, Cyprian, (any other smoked tobaccos?)
    Oriental
    Virginia->stoved, air cured, sun cured
    Burley -> ditto
    Perique
    ...and so forth.

    Seems like there's got to be some way to fit in the method -- what do we do with Cavendish?

    Just brainstorming...maybe something will eventually congeal here.
    Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney

  9. #9

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by freestoke View Post
    I'm not sure. Latakia is like perique, somewhat "special". A stoved tobacco isn't really a smoked one, for example. Perique is just fermented, aka "aged", tobacco run amok. Latakia seems to be as much a process as a tobacco type, somewhat like Cavendish but with a narrower definition of the underlying tobacco type. We even have the cyprian and Syrian versions.

    To me, "English" can include blends with a high Turkish content (as opposed to Latakia content), VaPers, VaBurPers, pure Virginias, and even the Lakelands. I'm sure there must be some tobaccos out there that are 60/40 burley/va, but would still be called a VaBur. This all leads me to reject the entire subbranches of the Aliphatics. You've stated that the Aliphatics are blends of non-aromatics, so I would proceed to name those tobaccos, rather than those tobaccos in combination.

    Latakia -> Syrian, Cyprian, (any other smoked tobaccos?)
    Oriental
    Virginia->stoved, air cured, sun cured
    Burley -> ditto
    Perique
    ...and so forth.

    Seems like there's got to be some way to fit in the method -- what do we do with Cavendish?

    Just brainstorming...maybe something will eventually congeal here.


    Here's 2.0...

    I think Cavendish is a semi-aromatic. 2.1 will change the explanation to say "cased or treated to bring out the natural flavors), sweetness in the case of cav being the natural flavor brought out.

    2.1 will also include spelling corrections and more blends under the aliphatic sub heading (VaPerBur, etc).
    Last edited by karatekyle; 11-30-2011 at 05:36 PM.

  10. #10

    Brand Manager, Lane LTD Trout Langston's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    I just got back from spending a full day with leaf buyers and master blender at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group pipe tobacco factory in Assens, Denmark. So maybe I can be of help (or at least offer my two cents and confuse the matter even more). Here's how I would classify things as far leaf/tobacco types:

    Leaf/Tobacco Types:
    Virginia
    Pipe Tobacco Classification System-photo.jpg

    - Air cured Virginia
    - Cavendish (Virginia that has been cased with sugar/rum and carmelized to varying degrees)

    Burley
    Pipe Tobacco Classification System-photo.3.jpg
    - Air cured Burley
    - Kentucky Fire Cured (Burley that has been, well, fire cured)

    Orient
    Pipe Tobacco Classification System-photo.2.jpg

    - Sun-cured (either in Turkey, Syria or elsewhere in the region. Same basic leaf, which in its raw form smells a bit like tea to me)
    - Latakia (Fire cured Orient)

    Perique- The leaf is grown only in Louisianna and processed at only one factory

    As far as casings are concerned... Maybe it's just semantics, but there are two processes they refer to at the factory in Denmark and at our factory here in Tucker, GA:

    Casing:
    ALL pipe tobacco has some amount of casing. The main purpose of this process is to add moisture (humectant) to the tobacco. Varying, but usually subtle, amounts of flavoring can be added (sugar, rum, cocoa, licorice).

    Top flavor:
    Essence of fruit, liquor, etc. are added to the tobacco. Typically, the more top flavor, the more aromatic the tobacco.

    As far as blends are concerned... I think this gets pretty subjective, but the folks in Assens spoke in terms of 4 blends:

    English:
    Heavy on the Latakia. Heavy on the Virginia. A bit of Orient. Hints of Periuqe and Cavendish. For example: 40% Latakia, 40% Virginia, 10% Orient, 5% Perique, 5% Cavendish. Minimal if any top flavors.
    American:
    Mostly Virginia and Cavendish, with a maybe a hint of burley. Typically ribbon (aka loose) cut. Heavy on the top flavors (highly aromatic). (Think Captain Black.)
    (Note: This definition seems to exclude some of the true American classics such as Half & Half and Sir Walter Raleigh, which are ALL burley and with minimal top flavors.)
    Scandinavian:
    Similar to American, with a bit more Virginia and a bit less Cavendish. Typically a mix of cuts (loose, broad, ready rubbed). Less aromatic. (Think Borkum Riff.)
    Dutch:
    Mostly Virginia. Sometimes a bit of burley. A bit of Cavendish. Maybe a hint of Perique. Almost no top flavor if any. (Think Orlik.)

    Anyway, there's my two cents. I'm still sort of processing all this knowledge myself so I'm sure I'm getting some of it wrong...
    Last edited by Trout Langston; 12-01-2011 at 09:14 AM.

  11. #11

    Old Man Nachman's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Kyle, did you miss the word "not" in the classic aromatic description?
    Those that know don't tell, and those that tell don't know.

  12. #12

    Awaiting Confirmation karatekyle's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachman View Post
    Kyle, did you miss the word "not" in the classic aromatic description?
    I did! Good catch, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout Langston View Post
    I just got back from spending a full day with leaf buyers and master blender at the Scandinavian Tobacco Group pipe tobacco factory in Assens, Denmark. So maybe I can be of help (or at least offer my two cents and confuse the matter even more). Here's how I would classify things as far leaf/tobacco types:

    Leaf/Tobacco Types:
    Virginia
    - Air cured Virginia
    - Cavendish (Virginia that has been cased with sugar/rum and carmelized to varying degrees)

    Burley
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - Air cured Burley
    - Kentucky Fire Cured (Burley that has been, well, fire cured)

    Orient
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - Sun-cured (either in Turkey, Syria or elsewhere in the region. Same basic leaf, which in its raw form smells a bit like tea to me)
    - Latakia (Fire cured Orient)

    Perique- The leaf is grown only in Louisianna and processed at only one factory
    This flow chart is more for blend dichotomy, not tobacco dichotomy. Though this information is very helpful!

    As far as casings are concerned... Maybe it's just semantics, but there are two processes they refer to at the factory in Denmark and at our factory here in Tucker, GA:

    Casing:
    ALL pipe tobacco has some amount of casing. The main purpose of this process is to add moisture (humectant) to the tobacco. Varying, but usually subtle, amounts of flavoring can be added (sugar, rum, cocoa, licorice).

    Top flavor:
    Essence of fruit, liquor, etc. are added to the tobacco. Typically, the more top flavor, the more aromatic the tobacco.
    Good point. I think I'll be changing "casing" to "topping" and being more specific as to the difference in my next draft.

    As far as blends are concerned... I think this gets pretty subjective, but the folks in Assens spoke in terms of 4 blends:

    English:
    Heavy on the Latakia. Heavy on the Virginia. A bit of Orient. Hints of Periuqe and Cavendish. For example: 40% Latakia, 40% Virginia, 10% Orient, 5% Perique, 5% Cavendish. Minimal if any top flavors.
    American:
    Mostly Virginia and Cavendish, with a maybe a hint of burley. Typically ribbon (aka loose) cut. Heavy on the top flavors (highly aromatic). (Think Captain Black.)
    (Note: This definition seems to exclude some of the true American classics such as Half & Half and Sir Walter Raleigh, which are ALL burley and with minimal top flavors.)
    Scandinavian:
    Similar to American, with a bit more Virginia and a bit less Cavendish. Typically a mix of cuts (loose, broad, ready rubbed). Less aromatic. (Think Borkum Riff.)
    Dutch:
    Mostly Virginia. Sometimes a bit of burley. A bit of Cavendish. Maybe a hint of Perique. Almost no top flavor if any. (Think Orlik.)

    Anyway, there's my two cents. I'm still sort of processing all this knowledge myself so I'm sure I'm getting some of it wrong...
    Very interesting! These all seem to be more connotative meanings though, something I'm trying to remove. An "english" blend for instance may or may not be made in england or may or may not contain latakia, per people's different definitions. I'd rather base this off the purely denotative meanings of tobacco types.


    Thanks again guys for all your input!

  13. #13

    Young Puffer Fish CJBianco's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    I love this! Thank you. =)

    Christopher

  14. #14

    Certified Clubbin'-Seal HugSeal's Avatar


     

    Re: Pipe Tobacco Classification System

    The topic came up in chat so I dug up this thread and when I read it again I remembered I didn't RG you before. So here you go

    Great posts!
    Bjorn to smoke
    (Credits go to Josh[AStateJB])


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