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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Pics of your sticks!!

deluxestogie

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The banana shape is due to my inattentive rolling. The untrimmed Bolivia Criollo Black (BCB) wrapper was grown by @OldDinosaurWesH in 2017. He had kilned it for 30 days at 120°F. When I first received it from him, the bag aroma and taste revealed the same distinctive terpene that I find in my own BCB, though not nearly as intense.

I allowed this to sit for a year in low case. Today, the terpene bag aroma was gone, so I decided to give the tobacco another go. Both the binder and wrapper are BCB, as is about half the filler. The remainder of the filler is WLT Corojo viso, with a tiny shred of webmost's Habano 2000.

The terpene taste is still definitely there, but at a much subdued level. It's taste immediately reminds me of the slightly bitter, though quite smokable Dominican Negrito wrapper. I am enjoying smoking this cigar. I believe that if I had simply used this BCB as wrapper, without also using it as the binder plus half the filler, it would just add a slightly edgy taste to a cigar. This BCB might also make a reasonable minor blending component--much less than the 50% that I used.

My conclusion is that the terpene taste is inherent in Bolivia Criollo Black, and is one that is shared by Dominican Negrito and possibly Paraguay Flojo and Silver River. Somehow my own cultural practice, curing and processing brought out that terpene taste with far greater and totally unacceptable intensity, when compared to Wes' approach.

The specific terpene (whatever it is) would strike an old cigarette smoker as "menthol" initially, but on further consideration, is definitely not menthol. It's more like pine, and has no "cooling" sensation that accompanies menthol. Menthol is not bitter. This terpene is slightly bitter.

I do believe, based on the black burn margin, that at it's low kilning temp, it might have benefited from more than 30 days in the kiln. My own BCB burns better, but tastes godawful, even after several years of aging.

As you can see, it makes a pretty wrapper.

Thank you, Wes, for sending the leaf, and allowing me the opportunity to better understand the terpene issue with this variety. My terpene is stronger than your terpene, and its presence is a genetic trait.

Bob
 
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Bob:

You are a patient man, allowing my BCB to age for a further year. Your experience with the BCB that I grew, vs. the sample that you sent from your grow has demonstrated to me how much difference that soils and climate can make. And, (not bragging) we have really good dirt around here. Did I mention I took soils as part of my curriculum in my Agricultural studies?

Continue to be patient, and I will reward said patience with some of this years' crop. That will take a while, as I'm still color curing before I can start kilning. My whole-stalk hung Swarr Hibshman is coloring fairly well so far. (fingers crossed). I am attempting to pile cure my Corojo 99 and Piloto Cubano. I don't know if this method will work, but given my lack of luck with air curing these types, it can't hurt trying.

I agree with your assessment of the "Pine" flavor. An appropriate analogy. I have had Silver River before, and it was some pretty nasty stuff. Also, I still have several hundred leaves of BCB "hanging around" from last years crop. When I walk past them, they smell nice. A good solid cigar scent. I'm sure these will get better with time.

I also have some now year-old Connecticut Shade that I'm interested is trying out as a wrapper. That should be interesting.

Tobacco seedlings 10-10-18 swarr curing itself.jpg

A photo of Swarr Hibshman taken just before cutting it down and hanging it on 10-10-18. I still have one S H standing in my garden, as we haven't had a hard frost yet. We have had one night of 32 degrees which burned the squash down, but didn't ding the tobacco. All I have left standing are the one S H, several seed plants (stripped of most of their leaves) and some others that I haven't bothered picking, as they weren't worth fooling with. This weekend will finish off what little is left to pick and hang. I'll leave the seed heads to freeze out. My source tells me that a freeze won't damage the seed heads.

Wes H.
 
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