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Whole Leaf Tobacco

'Oil of Havana' 1883 and other age old recipes...

Gdaddy

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#1
Disclaimer: This is a topic that is usually met with a fair amount of disdain so read at your own risk. :)

There have been many old publications that I've come across that have some very interesting recipes for cigar tobacco that have been used for well over 100 years. I believe some of these old recipes are still in use today. These are closely held family secrets that you will never be allowed to see by the tour guide while visiting the Padron factory tour.

In the following book 'Bentleys Acme Flavors for the Tobacconist' he give an interesting look into what was going on in that time period 1883. One of the things he talks about is 'Oil of Havana' is "a great secret in producing fine goods." It even improves the finest Havana tobacco. Takes crappy tobacco and turns them into a fine 'stogia'.

What is Oil of Havana? I'm not sure but my best guess is that they take stems and/or scraps and cook them down and create a condensed flavor containing high nicotine. It is highly poisonous and is outlawed for use in this country. This doesn't mean that it can't be used in cigars made in Nicaragua or Dominican and then shipped to the U.S. I have noticed that when I take a cold draw on a full bodied cigar prior to lighting it, I can taste the power of the nicotine coming through. I never get this flavor even when rolling a cigar of straight ligero. It makes me wonder about the possible addition of the 'oil of Havana'.

This book is where I first noticed him using 'Nitrate of potash' (salt petre) in many of his blends.

Open 'Full screen' at bottom of page.

Enjoy...

https://archive.org/stream/bentleysacmeflav00bent#page/12/mode/2up
 

FmGrowit

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#2
Interesting stuff. I've mentioned it before, but I'll do it again. A customer of mine told me the guy who's teaching him to roll cigars is an 80's something Cuban who rolled in Cuba before the revolution. He came to the States and continued to roll for many years. One of the things the old roller taught him was to use a rum, vanilla and cinnamon mixture on his wrapper. This is what he was told (by the Cuban roller) is what they did in Cuba.

Now you have the recipe (#3).
 

Gdaddy

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#4
Interesting stuff. I've mentioned it before, but I'll do it again. A customer of mine told me the guy who's teaching him to roll cigars is an 80's something Cuban who rolled in Cuba before the revolution. He came to the States and continued to roll for many years. One of the things the old roller taught him was to use a rum, vanilla and cinnamon mixture on his wrapper. This is what he was told (by the Cuban roller) is what they did in Cuba.

Now you have the recipe (#3).
Excellent. Ever try the recipe? I'd love to talk to that old roller and pick his brain.

The problem I've found is it takes a lot of experimenting to get the formula amounts just right. The last thing you want is to actually taste the vanilla or cinnamon or rum. It needs to be applied in proper amounts so it's non detectable yet still has a positive effect.
 

ArizonaDave

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#5
Interesting stuff. I've mentioned it before, but I'll do it again. A customer of mine told me the guy who's teaching him to roll cigars is an 80's something Cuban who rolled in Cuba before the revolution. He came to the States and continued to roll for many years. One of the things the old roller taught him was to use a rum, vanilla and cinnamon mixture on his wrapper. This is what he was told (by the Cuban roller) is what they did in Cuba.

Now you have the recipe (#3).
Yes! I've heard a similar thing. It works very very well. Everyone I sent sticks to like this last year said they enjoyed them. Well, except Webmost. I mix the cinnamon into the Acacia Fiber glue, along with a little nutmeg.

Also, Gdaddy, thank you for this thread!
 

charlie G.

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#6
I've said this before, you guys are a huge wealth of knowledge. How do you guys find these old writings on cigars.
I know now they infuse with coffee, rum, and fruit and many more flavors.
 

ArizonaDave

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#8
I've said this before, you guys are a huge wealth of knowledge. How do you guys find these old writings on cigars.
I know now they infuse with coffee, rum, and fruit and many more flavors.
Yes, they did. I tend to stray away from the chemical varieties, but embrace natural oils. Here's another keeper. The oils start on the bottom of page 52 and continue from there. Note, these are not Lorann Oils, but from places like bulk apothecary , which you can find if you add the www. and .com.

Here's the PDF, bottom of pg. 52 on: http://www.leffingwell.com/download/TobaccoFlavorBook.pdf
 

ArizonaDave

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#9
A summary of the best is listed on pg. 62, and copied here:

Note: the Cedarwood is the Virginiana type.

Cigar Flavorings-The flavoring of cigars requires a somewhat differentapproach than that for cigarettes as the natural cigar aroma and flavor isstronger and of different character than that produced by cigarette typeblends. In addition, it is often desirable to provide the product with a uniqueand distinctive taste different from the natural cigar aroma. The followingare useful examples of materials that blend well with cigar tobaccos.


Herbs, extracts, essential oils:
Vanilla

Cedarwood or Cedar Leaf oil
Sandalwood
Balsam Peru
Cascarilla

Clove
Rum
Davana


I recently bought Clove and Cedarwood (virginana) from http://www.bulkapothecary.com/raw-ingredients/oils.html
ant to my surprise the Clove bud oil smells nothing like cloves.
It smells like wood, with only a slight clove smell.
The Cedarwood has a slight aromatic cedar smell, and needs to dissipate while drying your cigar. I'll let you know in a few days how that turns out. I'm thinking of ordering some more off the list, plus a couple newer ones.
 

Gdaddy

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#10
Thanks MarcL. Man, this article left me wanting more details.

Here's another similar article showing photos of the maduro dying process. When I lay one of my maduro cigars against a Rocky Patel edge it looks artificial and a bit of an odd dark color. Very unnatural.

Take a look at this mess...

http://robustojoe.com/tobacco/maduro-cigars/
 

Gdaddy

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#11
A summary of the best is listed on pg. 62, and copied here:

Note: the Cedarwood is the Virginiana type.

Cigar Flavorings-The flavoring of cigars requires a somewhat differentapproach than that for cigarettes as the natural cigar aroma and flavor isstronger and of different character than that produced by cigarette typeblends. In addition, it is often desirable to provide the product with a uniqueand distinctive taste different from the natural cigar aroma. The followingare useful examples of materials that blend well with cigar tobaccos.


Herbs, extracts, essential oils:
Vanilla

Cedarwood or Cedar Leaf oil
Sandalwood
Balsam Peru
Cascarilla

Clove
Rum
Davana


I recently bought Clove and Cedarwood (virginana) from http://www.bulkapothecary.com/raw-ingredients/oils.html
ant to my surprise the Clove bud oil smells nothing like cloves.
It smells like wood, with only a slight clove smell.
The Cedarwood has a slight aromatic cedar smell, and needs to dissipate while drying your cigar. I'll let you know in a few days how that turns out. I'm thinking of ordering some more off the list, plus a couple newer ones.
Dave, I admire your curiosity!

I saw that on page 62. I tried the Virginia cedar wood. It is strong but it does dissipate and loses some of it's potency as it dries out. I used it just on the wrapper and liked it. Much like a Fuent'e that has the cedar sleeve on it. ( Cedarwood, Virginia, oil (87) woody, adds flue cured note)

I had a mental block about using the clove but you're sparking my interest. I really don't know what clove smells like. Please let me know your results.

Sandlewood was way too much money.

Going to fool around using Dons recipe. I haven't played with cinnamon at all. I do wonder what rum to use??? Myers dark rum? Light rum? There's a world of rum. Any suggestions?

WARNING... don't ever try Patchouli oil. I almost needed a HazMat team to remove it from my house. Once you open the bottle you can't get the smell out of the house. Horrible stuff.

These flavor profiles are available here on page 62...

http://www.leffingwell.com/download/TobaccoFlavorBook.pdf
 

Gdaddy

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#12
Alec Bradley Tempus Maduro Imperator...



"Features that same core blend as the regular Tempus line but with a unique San Andres maduro wrapper. The wrapper fermentation process includes the use of a bethune made from tree pulp that’s applied to the leaf during the fermentation process, resulting in a leaf that achieves a dark maduro color. The shorter fermentation time allows the wrapper leaf to maintain some of the strength that would normally be lost in the time required to ferment a maduro leaf."
 

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ArizonaDave

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#13
Dave, I admire your curiosity!

I saw that on page 62. I tried the Virginia cedar wood. It is strong but it does dissipate and loses some of it's potency as it dries out. I used it just on the wrapper and liked it. Much like a Fuent'e that has the cedar sleeve on it. ( Cedarwood, Virginia, oil (87) woody, adds flue cured note)

I had a mental block about using the clove but you're sparking my interest. I really don't know what clove smells like. Please let me know your results.

Sandlewood was way too much money.

Going to fool around using Dons recipe. I haven't played with cinnamon at all. I do wonder what rum to use??? Myers dark rum? Light rum? There's a world of rum. Any suggestions?

WARNING... don't ever try Patchouli oil. I almost needed a HazMat team to remove it from my house. Once you open the bottle you can't get the smell out of the house. Horrible stuff.

These flavor profiles are available here on page 62...

http://www.leffingwell.com/download/TobaccoFlavorBook.pdf
Well, my experiments with Rum yielded a sugar cane sweetness, and have tried light and dark varieties. I would definitely try them along with a bottle of Costco vanilla extract. Between the two, gives it a "Home baked" sweets aroma, like when the wife makes brownies or my wife's Brown Sugar Apple Pie. Cinnamon is also a great addition. I have an extra bottle of cinnamon if you want it?
 

FmGrowit

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#14
One thing to keep in mind with these old recipes is not all cinnamon is created equally. As a matter of fact, some cinnamon isn't cinnamon at all.

Back when these recipes were used, Ceylon cinnamon would have most likely have been used... not cassia that everyone in North America knows as "cinnamon" today.
 

Gdaddy

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#15
I'm going all in...

Bought a bottle of rum. El Dorado, a nice amber color. Notes of "tobacco and butterscotch". Cask aged 8 years. Not cheap but I'm going to drink it as well so it's money well spent. I last tried Myers dark Jamaican rum and didn't like the flavors at all.

The one item I see listed in almost every recipe is 'Valerian root' oil. I don't like cinnamon so I left that out altogether.

Here's my recipe...

Valerian root... 1 tablespoon (very earthy/woody like odor. I like it. )
Vanilla extract. 1 teaspoon
Almond extract 1/2 teaspoon
Glycern ... One eye dropper full ( to carry the flavors)
Rum... 5 oz.
Add water to make a total of 16 Oz. (one pint)

Lightly misted enough leaf to do a couple of cigars. Letting it soak in a bag for a day before bringing it back to proper case.

Nicaraguan seco
Criollo98 ligero
Aleman ligero
Piloto seco

The finished mixture is a very earthy odor with a slight hint of sweetness. The one tablespoon of Valerian root really brings out the main character of earth/woodiness that I really like and retained it over the rum. The whole mixture smells amazing. There is no soda pop, candy cane or bubble gum in this solution. I really hope some of these smells carry into the smoke.

Rolling the cigar late tomorrow using an untreated criollo 98 wrapper and let it dry for at least a week before smoking it. The results come slowly but I hope it''s worth it.

G
 

bonehead

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#16
many, many years ago i new a hippy girl from vermont that used valerian root, chamomile and some other roots and herbs to make a tea for the evening.
 

jolly

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The smell of valerian is powerful. Earthy and woody are understatements. I used to grow it. Similar to deer tongue, it flowers in it's second year -- only when it's done flowering you harvest the roots. If you're careful you can cut most of the roots off of the rosette and replant it. A hefty dose of it in tea conks me out -- but i'm not a fan of the flavor at that strength. I can't imagine applying it to tobacco, but you got my attention. Sounds interesting.
 

ArizonaDave

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#18
Valerian root by itself can smell like sweaty socks from FL, but I'm sure mixed with the other ingredients will do fine :)

I like the combo, it should turn out to be very interesting. I tried to get some from Bulk Apothecary, but they were out of stock. Valerian is the natural form of which they make valium.
 

FmGrowit

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#19
Just did a search on ebay for "sweaty socks from FL" with no luck, so I'm going to take your word for it.

Personally, regardless of what individual flavors I like (or dislike), I would follow the recipe verbatim, then make adjustments as needed. The idea is that no single ingredient is noticeable in the final product.
 

Gdaddy

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Valerian root by itself can smell like sweaty socks from FL, but I'm sure mixed with the other ingredients will do fine :)

I like the combo, it should turn out to be very interesting. I tried to get some from Bulk Apothecary, but they were out of stock. Valerian is the natural form of which they make valium.
You're right on sweaty socks but the mixture would be too sweet and needs something on the other end of the spectrum to counter balance. I'm drying the tobacco now in the sun and it smells delightful. The sock smell is pretty much gone. Lighting it on fire will be the only test that is important.

I always noticed on many of the Cuban cigars that they had a 'barn yard' odor about them. Specifically they had a faint hint of horse crap. Man, they were excellent cigars.
 
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