Should I cellar this pipe tobacco?

Here is the situation: You are already convinced that cellaring tobacco is a great idea, whether it is for the purpose of aging it or just ensuring you’ll have some on hand for a raining day.

But you have a blend and are not sure whether it is a suitable candidate for aging. Lets use GLPease’s recent “Sextant” as an example because I saw this question come up on the Tamp and Puff forums.

The member was questioning whether Sextant is a good candidate for cellaring being it has the addition of rum.

A Storm Cellar

No need for an underground bunker to age your tobacco, a cool dark closet or cupboard works great.

My advice is cellar it. In fact, that’s always my advice. When you buy a tin, buy a second and cellar it. Always purchase double what you need and set aside half for a rainy day.

What’s the worst that could happen? Assuming the tin remains intact the worst that could happen is you open the tobacco some day, taste it, and not like it. Maybe it has gone flat or muddled. The Latakia looses its punch. Its not as good as it was when it was new. That’s pretty much the worst that could happen.

My guess is that in most cases, if you pop a 20 year-old tin a couple decades from now you won’t be at all disappointed provided you manage your expectations. There are endless variable surrounding a few general rules. Tobaccos like Virginias are improved by age where Latakia will lose some of its character. Burley lacks sugar so it sort of just gets old rather than improves. Added flavorings may go stale.

When tobaccos are combined in a blend, just as each component of the recipe works synergistically with the other leafs to work magic on the flavor, different things may happen during the aging process with all the endless variables of a blend factoring in  the end result.

Remember too, that even if the other guy may not like the effect age has on a blend, it could be a vast improvement according to your tastes. This is why I recommend that when you try a blend and don’t like it, seal it up in a canning jar and return to it in the distant future.

Anything you like, or think you like, or wouldn’t want to have unavailable to you is worth setting aside for long-term storage.

Bottom line: No one is going to know what ten years of age does for a blend until they have aged it ten years or so. But it isn’t unreasonable to expect we might be paying at least twice what we are now for a tin of tobacco in ten years with taxes and inflation.

The only tobacco I won’t cellar are tobaccos I wouldn’t smoke now, and I’ve even made numerous exceptions to that rule too.