Whole Leaf Tobacco
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  1. #1
    Senior Member DistillingJim's Avatar
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    Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    I'm hearing stories today about how there's a terrible shortage of 'quality' Red Virginia being grown and how McClelland 5100 is being retired because they cant get the leaf anymore and meantime I'm sitting here, 12 months into playing with whole leaf (bought and grown), and I already have more tobacco than I could smoke in 5 years, most of which I prefer to the stuff I could buy, and I'm literally just chuckling.

    I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I wanted to share.

  2. #2
    Moderator Jitterbugdude's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    I know a few years ago WLT did not have any Red Virginia. Don said it was too crappy and that he would not sell it. Maybe there is something to the supply not being up to snuff (or is it snus?) but I suspect the real reason McClellend stopped producing their 5100 is probably related to other issues such as lack of a certain chemical for casing. It sounds much more noble to say that you are not going to produce 5100 because of inferior leaf as opposed to saying you can't source a certain chemical for your ketchup casing.

    It would be nice if Don can chime in with more details on the quantity/quality/availability of Red Virginia.

  3. #3
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jitterbugdude View Post
    I know a few years ago WLT did not have any Red Virginia. Don said it was too crappy and that he would not sell it. Maybe there is something to the supply not being up to snuff (or is it snus?) but I suspect the real reason McClellend stopped producing their 5100 is probably related to other issues such as lack of a certain chemical for casing. It sounds much more noble to say that you are not going to produce 5100 because of inferior leaf as opposed to saying you can't source a certain chemical for your ketchup casing.

    It would be nice if Don can chime in with more details on the quantity/quality/availability of Red Virginia.
    It could possibly be a FDA thing with ingredients that are used .

    You have to remember that quality for big tobacco is not as important as the quality that Don sells . Don makes sure that leaves are good and of good quality for his customers .
    Now big tobacco will complain if quality is not good from farmers but they will take any leaf , good quality or bad and thresh it up in small pieces . Good , bad and trash tobacco gets mixed together and made into cigarettes .
    Tobacco Farmers used to hand tie tobacco everywhere tobacco was grown, Appearance of a farmers tobacco was important to farmers back then . They took pride in their years work . Then tobacco companies started buying in small bales 1' x 3' x 2.5' in size . In small bales tobacco was laid with the ends pointing out and is somewhat orderly . Now days tobacco companies are buying big bales . With big bales there is no order , tobacco is tossed and tromped into big 4' x'4 square bales all mangled together .

  4. #4
    Senior Member DistillingJim's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    Interesting insight. Would certainly explain why there is only one specific tobacco in jeopardy from only one company. Will be interesting to see if other companies have issues and I would also love to hear Don's insight.

  5. #5
    Founder FmGrowit's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    I was told there was no Red this year. Last year I couldn't get Cutters, but had plenty of Red. This year, I have tons of Cutters and no bales of Red. We'll grade out the Red from the Bright crop, but we'll definitely be short on Red this year.

  6. #6
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    I am lucky to have a pound of red from 2 years ago and letting it age. I still have not tried the red tips yet. I just shredded some lemon from 2 years ago an its tasty and yellower than the crop from last year. This years crop I posted a pic on the sale for Black Friday. It seems that leaf changes every year and like wine some years are a really good vintage. I find Bigs orangey lemon to be more of a natural red. This years lemon had a different taste because it was completely new leaf after pressing it and letting it sit it got better and better. I have one or 2 bags left from my first ever order and that stuff was pure yellow in colour. I can hardly wait to try some of that. The good thing is with exceptional quality the leaf will get better and better as it ages. That is the beauty of Dons and Bigs leaf. The other stuff from the competition not even close. There Canadian does not change its commercial leaf and it feels like its just as Big mentioned a bale put together and called Canadian. I am only buying now from Don and Bfg.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CobGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    I've been seeing the same thing on pipe forums and laughing all the way to WLT.com

    My last Red Cake pressed from WLT's Red FCV ( about 30% of it Stoved / Cavendished via pressure cooker) was phenomenal.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DistillingJim's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    Any perique in that blend CobGuy?

  9. #9
    Senior Member CobGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    Quote Originally Posted by DistillingJim View Post
    Any perique in that blend CobGuy?

    Not in that one ... just sweet Red goodness.

    For another recent one, however, I used Big B's Aged Brightleaf and I added about 25% Perique. Light, tangy, creamy and not too sweet.

  10. #10
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    Re: Virginia Shortage? What Shortage?

    No question on the quality..

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