Whole Leaf Tobacco

Understanding American Virginia Types

Brad246

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Hello all. I am currently smoking Virginia Flue Cured Lemon, with about 20% Basma. I like it, and the nicotine level is good, but its a bit sweet. I'm looking accross a few websites, and finding a lot of different descriptions of Virginia Flu: lemon, orange, red, bright leaf smooth, bright leaf sweet, and just plain flue cured. I think that some of these are from the same plant, and that different colors are taken from different areas of the plant. What I want is to try a mixture of Virginia flue and basma at 50-50. Maybe not quite so sweet, but don't want a higher nicotine level either. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

deluxestogie

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Basma is lower in nicotine than most flue-cured.

While there are certainly some differences between varieties of flue-cure tobacco (AKA Virginia) that is planted, nearly all the differences you see in the finished, flue-cured leaf for sale is dependent on four factors.
  1. leaf from the lower stalk positions is lighter in color, lighter in nicotine and produce somewhat more acidic smoke, when compared to leaf from upper stalk positions.
  2. as the primings move up the stalk, the color of the finished leaf progresses from a light, lemon yellow, through an orange-yellow, on up to various reddish hues.
  3. taking the flue-curing of the leaf up to a higher temperature (up to ~185°F) in a standard-length run, or holding at the more typical max temp of ~165°F for longer than required to fully dry the stems results in a mellower aroma, and in the case of the higher temp, something akin to light toasting.
  4. flue-cured leaf that is stored for a year or more gradually becomes darker.
Bob
 

Brad246

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Seeking one more opinion. I am currently smoking Virginia Flue Lemon, with about 20% Basma. I am thinking that that the Brightleaf in this***edited by deluxestogie***along with the higher percentace of oriental, might be of similar strength to what I am using now but not as sweet. I guess that assumes the Basma and the Izmir are of similar strength. Thanks.
 
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deluxestogie

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The subtle differences between Basma and Izmir leaf differ by their exact site of origin, how they are subsequently handled, and even season to season. My general impression is that Izmir is usually a bit fuller in aroma than Basma, and produces a somewhat less acidic smoke than Basma.

Bob

EDIT: Another confusion is at "Basma" is a type of tobacco that includes Izmir, while both Basma and Izmir are also geographic locations AND distinct Oriental varieties.
 

Brad246

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Ok, I got some more if anyone cares to indulge me. I am looking at a mixture of Virginia Lemon (50%), Maryland (25%), and Orental (25%). Wondering if the Maryland and the Oriental (Basma, Turkish?) Well even each other out, nicotine wise, so that the mixture will still be similar to the Virginia Lemon. Also, is there much difference between the Virginia Lemon and its Canadian counterpart? Thanks.
 

Knucklehead

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Have you tried any of the blends at our sister site? They are already proportioned and would make a good starting point for you to play with, add a little of this, a little of that, etc.
 

Brad246

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Have you tried any of the blends at our sister site? They are already proportioned and would make a good starting point for you to play with, add a little of this, a little of that, etc.
Thanks for the suggestion. I have looked at those. They don't seem to say which Tobbaco's are in them. I'm really trying to learn whats what about the different types. Such as: I noticed that the Canadian Virginia lemon is listed as "unmanufactured". I have not yet been able to find out what that means. Thanks.
 

deluxestogie

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All the tobacco sold by WLT is "unmanufactured". That is, the central vein is still present, and it is not a tobacco "product", which would incur high taxes. I suggest you purchase a variety of leaf, and become familiar with it.

Bob
 

Knucklehead

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I think most of the guys use Virginia, Burley and Oriental in their cigarette blends, while mine consists of:
40% Virginia
20% Burley
20% Maryland
10% Dark Air
10% Oriental

Its very flavorful but some may find it a little strong.
 

Brad246

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All the tobacco sold by WLT is "unmanufactured". That is, the central vein is still present, and it is not a tobacco "product", which would incur high taxes. I suggest you purchase a variety of leaf, and become familiar with it.

Bob
Again, thanks for your reply. Not all of the tobacco leaves are listed as unmanufactured, so I assumed that the ones that were must have had something different about them.
 

Brad246

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I think most of the guys use Virginia, Burley and Oriental in their cigarette blends, while mine consists of:
40% Virginia
20% Burley
20% Maryland
10% Dark Air
10% Oriental

Its very flavorful but some may find it a little strong.
Thanks again. That does give me an Idea of what I want to do.
 

Knucklehead

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If that one is too strong you could leave out the dark air and add the 10% to the Virginia. Or not order the dark air on your first order and wait to see if you even needed it. If I were going to try three varieties first it would be Virginia, Burley, and Oriental and I would hold the Oriental down to 10-15% but that’s just me and my personal preferences. 15% on the oriental was just a little too something for me. Not floral really but something like it. Anyway, hopefully that can get you started.

Keep up with your percentages while you are experimenting and write it down so you don’t lose that perfect blend and have to start over. You don’t have to weigh with a scale, I measure by volume and that way isn’t so dependent on the moisture content of the leaf and it is much faster. I use a 10cm ruler and pretend the centimeter markings represent the percentages if that makes any sense. 4cm = 40%, up to 10cm = 100%.
 

Knucklehead

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Here’s a thread on blending by volume. If you look where the tape is marked on flue cure, that is 4cm deep and equals 40% of my blend. Burley is marked at an additional 2cm on the ruler and equals 20% of my blend, etc. I measure as I shred and that plastic tub holds about a pound of shredded leaf. For experimenting, use a smaller container so you don’t have to smoke a whole pound of a blend you don’t like.
 

Brad246

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If that one is too strong you could leave out the dark air and add the 10% to the Virginia. Or not order the dark air on your first order and wait to see if you even needed it. If I were going to try three varieties first it would be Virginia, Burley, and Oriental and I would hold the Oriental down to 10-15% but that’s just me and my personal preferences. 15% on the oriental was just a little too something for me. Not floral really but something like it. Anyway, hopefully that can get you started.

Keep up with your percentages while you are experimenting and write it down so you don’t lose that perfect blend and have to start over. You don’t have to weigh with a scale, I measure by volume and that way isn’t so dependent on the moisture content of the leaf and it is much faster. I use a 10cm ruler and pretend the centimeter markings represent the percentages if that makes any sense. 4cm = 40%, up to 10cm = 100%.
I was thinking about the Burley, but since none was available, I thought I might try the 609. I heard it was higher nicotine than other Marylands. Which Oriental are you referring to in the above post? Thanks.
 

Knucklehead

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I was thinking about the Burley, but since none was available, I thought I might try the 609. I heard it was higher nicotine than other Marylands. Which Oriental are you referring to in the above post? Thanks.
My two favorites of oriental for cigarettes are Izmir (currently out of stock I think) and Prilep but I only received a small sample of the Basma and had enough for a pipe blend but not a full cigarette blend so I really can speak to the Basma with any authority except to say the pipe blend was nice.
 

Knucklehead

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I was thinking about the Burley, but since none was available, I thought I might try the 609. I heard it was higher nicotine than other Marylands. Which Oriental are you referring to in the above post? Thanks.
The 609 being stronger than other Maryland varieties is hard to say. The lower the leaf position on the stalk, the lower the nicotine. Priming when the leaf is mature rather than ripe can influence nicotine or strength which may be perceived as higher nicotine. The same variety year to year can be influenced by that season. Fertilizer can affect the flavor and/or perceived nicotine. So an apples to apples comparison is tough.
 
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