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Gunny, I'm sure you're asking specifically about Esoterica tobacco bags but I thought I'd respond generally for the sake of conversation. Hope you don't mind.😉Congratulations on your haul BTW.

GL Pease recently wrote an article comparing tobacco to wine claiming they both improve when they're allowed to breathe a little. Decanting from tins or bags into jars would seem to serve that function. I don't generally transfer tobacco from a vacuum-sealed tin into a jar but always transfer tobacco into jars from tins without a vacuum. Solani Virginia Flake in the 50g tin stays there. Solani VF in the 100g tin gets jarred. Unfortunately, I've had tobacco dry out even in a tightly closed 2oz Ball jar, especially when it gets near the bottom. This is probably not an issue if the jar is opened infrequently.

I asked someone at Smoking Pipes whether their vacuum-sealed plastic bags will keep tobacco fresh. They said yes, so I don't open them.

The only real downside to automatically jarring tobacco is that it's harder to resell and less elegant to gift if you decide you no longer like it. Not an issue if you intend to smoke it.
 

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2021 C&D Small Batch Honey Bear. Components are bright virginias from Canada, 2014 Basma and 2013 Izmur orientals. It's lightly topped with honey. Tin note is dates and baker's chocolate, bitter, spicy but not strong. The broken flake is perfect moisture out of the tin and rubs out to a fine ribbon. Very well behaved, very mild in taste and nicotine. No bite at all. The flavor is dry, mild, pehaps very slightly sour. Despite the light topping of honey, there is no sweetness I can detect. Frankly, it's pretty bland and I have doubts about how much it will improve with age. I'll have to try it again
Drinkware Drink Ingredient Wood Font
Ingredient Food Dish Mixture Cuisine
to see if I'm missing anything.

Addendum: I decided to give this blend another quick try. This time in my Doctor's calabash with a small bowl to concentrate the flavor. I'm getting more flavor—honey, short bread biscuit. More nicotine kick. Still fairly bland.
 

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I picked up some C&D Haunted Bookshop this past April and after six bowls it just seems to get worse. It's describe as "a predominantly burley mixture with a touch of red Virginia and perique". I get some of the perique spice but none of the Virginia. JimInks, over at Tobacco Reviews, wrote "You'd better like nutty, earthy, dry, woody, unflavored bold burley with a few rough edges and hint of spice, or you won't like this even a little bit." And I have to agree. To me, this is dry, unflavored, burnt...something with a hint of spice. Apparently Haunted Bookshop is quite a popular blend, just not with me.
 

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I picked up some C&D Haunted Bookshop this past April and after six bowls it just seems to get worse. It's describe as "a predominantly burley mixture with a touch of red Virginia and perique". I get some of the perique spice but none of the Virginia. JimInks, over at Tobacco Reviews, wrote "You'd better like nutty, earthy, dry, woody, unflavored bold burley with a few rough edges and hint of spice, or you won't like this even a little bit." And I have to agree. To me, this is dry, unflavored, burnt...something with a hint of spice. Apparently Haunted Bookshop is quite a popular blend, just not with me.
I felt the same way the first time I tried it....but it has kind of grown on me with time.
 

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After checking out @GunnyJ's review of Haunted Bookshop, I reread my review of C&D Honey Bear Black Locust. My "crack a tin" review was completely wrong ... well almost completely. It does have flavors of honey and short bread biscuit—but so much more. After a whole tin, I can say this stuff is awesome! Packed with flavors, mostly in the bake-shop virginia realm, it is not at all bland.

This proves to me (1) you need to smoke a whole tin of a new blend—maybe more—before you can judge it, and (2) I am whatever the opposite of a super-taster is called. My only fear is that C&D won't produce this blend again!
 

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I was just putting down my impressions of Haunted Bookshop, of course everyone has different tastes. That is probably why this blend is one of Smoking Pipes C&D most popular blends. I'll put the rest of what I have in the cellar to revisit at some unknown point in the future, but I just don't see purchasing it again. As one person's signature says...smoke what you like and like what you smoke.
 

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Totally agree Gunny. I wasn't trying to imply that you can't decide about a blend on the basis of initial impressions. There are blends I just can't wrap my head around and know it from the first few bowls. But if i don't hate a new tobacco, I'm going to remind myself to give it a bit more time. Sometimes just exposure to air helps.
 

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Totally agree Gunny. I wasn't trying to imply that you can't decide about a blend on the basis of initial impressions. There are blends I just can't wrap my head around and know it from the first few bowls. But if i don't hate a new tobacco, I'm going to remind myself to give it a bit more time. Sometimes just exposure to air helps.
The holy grail, penzance, is the one I wanted to like. Tried it, hated it, waited six months, still hated it. Like licking old lady perfume.. think I could cellar it 5 years and woulda still hated it

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Totally agree Gunny. I wasn't trying to imply that you can't decide about a blend on the basis of initial impressions. There are blends I just can't wrap my head around and know it from the first few bowls. But if i don't hate a new tobacco, I'm going to remind myself to give it a bit more time. Sometimes just exposure to air helps.
There’s a lot of of blends that benefit from some open time. There’s been several C&D blends that I didn’t think much of at first but by the time I finished the tin I realized that I did like it after all! On the flip side there’s been a few that I really liked immediately but not so much now.
 

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Sutliff Crumble Kake Red Virginia.

Dishware Serveware Circle Font Wood

Purchased in May.
Very slight vacuum. Tin edge is corroded.
Food Ingredient Recipe Cake Dish


Looks nice, moisture is still present. Nose....acidic vinegary and unpleasant. Feels like it burned my sinuses.

Brown Food Ingredient Drink Cuisine


Drying some out, but not sure if this is smokeable.

So far, I'd give it a 1 out of 10. Because it was a good looking crumble cake.
 

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Well after letting it dry out for 5 hours, I'm giving it a proper fiery death. Have to say, it actually tastes a bit sweet and that sour nasty vinegar smell is gone.

I'd like to revise my initial grade from 1 to at least a 7 out of 10 at this time.
 

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Interesting ... I was curious about Crumble Kake. St Bruno Flake has that nauseating vinegar odor too. Luckily, I kinda like the sour flavor. Is there any common blend Crumble Kake resembles?
 

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Interesting ... I was curious about Crumble Kake. St Bruno Flake has that nauseating vinegar odor too. Luckily, I kinda like the sour flavor. Is there any common blend Crumble Kake resembles?
After it dried out, it very faintly reminded me of watch city slices.
 

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Escudo Navy Deluxe v Davidoff Flake Medallions

Several months ago Mike @Mjskia sent me an unopened tin of 2004 Escudo, a VaPer blend I had never tried even in its current iteration. The coins were gorgeous—dark gold and brown, with sparkles of sugar (not discernible in the photo). Despite their age they were still moist and pliable. The tin note was overwhelmingly dried prunes.

Since I first received Mike's generous gift, I've smoked at least ten bowls of Escudo in a variety of pipes. The smoke always seemed to start out harsh and flat, not particularly pleasant. It did sometimes improve towards the bottom of the bowl. I generally give the rubbed out coins about 15 minutes of drying time under a lamp or in the sun but, given the improvement down the bowl, perhaps this was insufficient.

Despite 17 years of age, Escudo struck me as less mellow and sweet than even recent vintage Davidoff Flake Medallions or Dunhill/Peterson Deluxe Navy Rolls, both of which I really like. I know Escudo is justly popular and has been given 3 or 4 stars on tobaccoreviews.com by much more eminent and discerning reviewers. But hey, you gotta smoke what you like and like what you smoke.

To refresh my memory, however, I decided to smoke a coin of Mike's aged Escudo and a coin of recent vintage Flake Medallions back to back. (I didn't have an open tin of DNR.) A blind comparison it isn't, but I tried to keep all the variables constant—bowl dimensions, drying time, packing and cadence.

The first smoke was one coin of rubbed-out aged Escudo in a Former egg. It started out harsh and relatively flavorless, as usual, but mellowed out towards the bottom third of the bowl. Not bad, just not particularly pleasant. There was a bit of bitter moisture, which could be either the pipe or the tobacco.

The Flake Medallions, being much younger, were lighter brown in color than the aged Escudo, with a dark center and a more complex tin note, predominantly of pastry. Both coins were cut pretty thin and were in pristine condition. Having finished the bowl of Escudo, I rubbed out a coin of Flake Medallions and packed it in a Wolfgang Becker apple. (I guess this was an apples to eggs comparison!) The smoke from the Flake Medallions was immediately softer, sweeter, breadier and more pleasant than Escudo. It was never harsh and maintained its character to the bottom of the bowl. There was no moisture.

After 17 years, Mike's tin of Escudo must be as mellow as it's likely to be. Since Flake Medallions and Deluxe Navy Rolls are mellow and flavorful right from the get-go, I don't imagine I will be buying Escudo anytime soon. Of course YMMV.
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