Whole Leaf Tobacco

Tobacco tastes?

Patriotguy

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Is there any kind of a chart or a graph that would give you information as too the basic flavor characteristics of different types of tobacco plants, or would that be all too dependent on the type of soil and climate ?
 

deluxestogie

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Is there any kind of a chart or a graph that would give you information as too the basic flavor characteristics of different types of tobacco plants, or would that be all too dependent on the type of soil and climate ?
I'm kind of a chart and graph and statistics sort of person. Sometimes those are surprisingly helpful. [In the computer game, Starcraft, it's helpful to compare the resource cost of building weapon systems, in relation their relative offensive power and defensive strength, as well as their construction time. Just looking at a list of that is not a fun experience, whereas a multi-dimensional graph of that reveals genuine secrets.]

In the late 1970, I completed most of a book (never published) on premium cigars. I was living in Berkeley, CA at the time, and had access to just about every non-Cuban cigar on the market. The book included charts and graphs and several rating systems. My epiphany came when I discovered that different boxes of the same frontmark premium cigars tasted different, and rated differently. "Cigar" were not a static product. Frontmarks were born and others died. I had been deceived by taking a snapshot of the cigars on the market, rather than making a movie. My mistake was like describing all the details of a Passenger Pigeon from a museum specimen, having never learned that they actually could fly and migrate and mate and raise young!

I think Ben's chart is a bit fanciful, and not particularly useful for tobacco. If you look at about 2 o'clock, there is a single entry called "tobacco". Which variety of tobacco? How was it cured and finished? Where was it grown? Was that "tobacco" grown during a cold and rainy season?

SUMMARY: No. There is no chart or graph. It's not possible to depict the dynamics of tobacco in a snapshot. And soil/climate are only a part of the moving picture.

Bob
 

Charly

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This type of chart is interesting when you try to identity which flavors/aromas you detect while smoking, it helps focusing.
But each strain gives something different depending on many factors : growing conditions (soil, climate, watering, fertilization, topping,...), maturity of the leaf when harvesting, positing of the leaf on the stalk, curing methods, kilning methods, aging, processing, type of cut or type of smoke (pipe, cigars (big/small, fat/thin...)), ...

You can get an interesting overview of different profiles of tobacco in Bob's post : Deciding on Varieties to Grow for Pipe Blending and Cigars
You can also take a look at Skychaser's site : http://northwoodseeds.com
On the detailled page of some strains you will find some informations about the flavors/aromas.
 

Charly

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Well, you could say that ;)
But it can be a nice tool if you are sincere with your senses.
At least it helped me putting names on what I tasted when I begun.
 

deluxestogie

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Charly, I actually believe that a complete list of distinctive flavors and aroma can be helpful in identifying a familiar taste that you just can't name. A limited list tends to encourage identifications that are not really what you are experiencing.

I suppose I'm just grumpy about the creative fiction that appears in tobacco review sites.

Now, if a "flavor wheel" included such entries as feces, cat urine, skunk, decay, then I might see some hope for it. But when I describe the undertone of most Perique as manure, some folks are repulsed by that truth.

Bob
 

waikikigun

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Charly, I actually believe that a complete list of distinctive flavors and aroma can be helpful in identifying a familiar taste that you just can't name. A limited list tends to encourage identifications that are not really what you are experiencing.

I suppose I'm just grumpy about the creative fiction that appears in tobacco review sites.

Now, if a "flavor wheel" included such entries as feces, cat urine, skunk, decay, then I might see some hope for it. But when I describe the undertone of most Perique as manure, some folks are repulsed by that truth.

Bob
I once tried to get together such a wheel at another forum and somehow the whole thing decayed into an upset. Can't remember how that happened. Maybe someone took offense at my unwashed femininity descriptor. I think I even made a nice colorful pie chart to kick things off.
 

waikikigun

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Okay, I found the thread. This was my original post, in 2017:

------------------

I'm developing a new flavor wheel. Have you yourself personally ever tasted any other "flavor notes" besides these? Thanks! (Yes, I've tasted these.)

cigar flavor wheel

burning tire rubber
smoldering plastic
soap
wet hay
wet grass
compost pile
bitterness
skank
ashtray
cigarette mouth
indescribably gross
vaguely dogshittish
burning newsprint
nauseatingly gross
turpentine
rubbing alcohol
unwashed feminine aspect
burnt wood
battery acid
sour fermenting fruit
bathroom mildew
vegetal
broadleaf-esque
maduro broadleaf-ish
corojo flavor
habano flavor
criollo chocolatey
cuban tobacco
CT Shade Creamy
CT Shade Fruity
CT Shade off
 

GreenDragon

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I literally have tears in my eyes I’m laughing so hard. However, in all fairness we should address some of the more positive flavor notes too such as:

Dark chocolate
Jasmine
Nutmeg
Molasses
Vanilla cream
Black pepper
Ancho pepper

Oh, and you left out B.O. and blue cheese.
 

Patriotguy

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Okay, I found the thread. This was my original post, in 2017:

------------------

I'm developing a new flavor wheel. Have you yourself personally ever tasted any other "flavor notes" besides these? Thanks! (Yes, I've tasted these.)

cigar flavor wheel

burning tire rubber
smoldering plastic
wet hay
wet grass
compost pile
bitterness
I taste these mostly in any gurkha that isn't the regent, in my opinion its their only good cigar I actually enjoy.
 

Charly

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Charly, I actually believe that a complete list of distinctive flavors and aroma can be helpful in identifying a familiar taste that you just can't name. A limited list tends to encourage identifications that are not really what you are experiencing.

I suppose I'm just grumpy about the creative fiction that appears in tobacco review sites.

Now, if a "flavor wheel" included such entries as feces, cat urine, skunk, decay, then I might see some hope for it. But when I describe the undertone of most Perique as manure, some folks are repulsed by that truth.

Bob
I don't think a "complete list" can ever be made, or it would take hours to read through (just imagine one entry : "fresh jasmine flower early in a misty morning after a hard night.")
And even a "complete list" could be "leading the witness".
I believe more in a list of categories or families of flavors, to help focusing.

The wheel proposed by Ben is a good start, it just lacks some "not very appetizing" categories/examples you guys proposed (like feces or some human body scents).
 

deluxestogie

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"fresh jasmine flower early in a misty morning after a hard night."
Of course, you are correct. The human brain's center of "emotion" is derived from more primitive olfactory areas. Our responses to aromas are emotional. [Grandmother's kitchen, while the coffee is brewing, etc.] Detection of smells is evolutionarily engineered to encourage us to eat non-toxic things, and avoid fatal ingestions. So we naturally associate lovely tobacco aromas with previously experienced foods, even though the aromas are not the same.

What a fun thread this has turned out to be!

Bob

EDIT: Yes! Blue-cheese. It's called moldy tobacco.
 

waikikigun

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I literally have tears in my eyes I’m laughing so hard. However, in all fairness we should address some of the more positive flavor notes too such as:

Dark chocolate
Jasmine
Nutmeg
Molasses
Vanilla cream
Black pepper
Ancho pepper

Oh, and you left out B.O. and blue cheese.
The seed of the 5 pages of descending civility that my post led to was that my true intention was not to create some universal list, but to make a humorous comment on the things I actually tasted in my home rolls, vs the kinds of things that people mentioned in reviews. I would love to roll something with Dark chocolate or Vanilla cream, but it would be part of a different wheel.

My experience was that we tended to overhype the amazingness of retail tobacco to try to get others into the cult, and I was sort of riffing on that. I run a Youtube site about home rolling that gets around 5k unique viewers a month, 1000 hours+ of viewtime a month, and from that and my Instagram about rolling I get 1-5 private messages a day--every damn day--asking for blend ideas on how to get so and so flavors. Him: "How do I get that thing with the six different honey nougats, star anise, and Belgium latte that The Katman told me was in that Ezra Zion robusto?" Me: "Uh, I have no f'ing idea. But I can tell you how to get moldy bay leaf and burnt grape skin."
 

GreenDragon

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@waikikigun I totally agree which is why I’m loving this thread so much. I never read cigar catalogues anymore, they go straight to the recycle bin. If I want to try something new, I ask trusted friends or go to the local store and buy singles.
 

CobGuy

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There is one pipe tobacco reviewer, in particular, that always makes me laugh with the over-describing of "flavors".
Every single review he does lists every individual component along with almost every possible way it could be described.

Here's a small sample from just one single blend:

" ...tangy, dark fruity, earthy, woody, bready, lightly floral, slightly spicy, slightly citrusy red Virginia"
"... dry, sour, lightly tangy sweet, woody, earthy, floral, spicy, smoky Basma and Izmir" (smoky Basma?? LOL)

It's always good for a chuckle, too, because he's got the masses drooling for his next review. :rolleyes:
 

waikikigun

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There is one pipe tobacco reviewer, in particular, that always makes me laugh with the over-describing of "flavors".
Every single review he does lists every individual component along with almost every possible way it could be described.

Here's a small sample from just one single blend:

" ...tangy, dark fruity, earthy, woody, bready, lightly floral, slightly spicy, slightly citrusy red Virginia"
"... dry, sour, lightly tangy sweet, woody, earthy, floral, spicy, smoky Basma and Izmir" (smoky Basma?? LOL)

It's always good for a chuckle, too, because he's got the masses drooling for his next review. :rolleyes:
For cigars, I think Halfwheel may even surpass Katman sometimes. The fact that people buy this stuff just makes me wonder about the intellect of these readers, seriously. Unless they're all reading this stuff for comic effect, and I'm the naive fool in the mix.
 

deluxestogie

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A review of any sort (cigar, pipe tobacco, new cinema film, stage musical) is only as useful as your personal confidence in the reviewer's objectivity--which may or may not depend on a vendor's (tobacco distributor, movie producer, big retailer) having a habit of buttering a favorable reviewer's bread with free samples. [My apologies for the food metaphor.]

If a reviewer, like whoever is writing for the on-line JR Cigars catalog--now that Lew Rothman is no longer personally writing the descriptions...if a reviewer consistently shovels the shit, the that bespeaks his true ignorance of the information that most consumers are seeking. [No apologies for the shit metaphor.]

Bob
 
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