Pipes & Cigars – Dark Fired Kentucky Burley (2015)


Burley arrived in 1868 as a mutant of existing strains that possibly constituted an atavism resurrecting the strength and other characters of the pre-cultivation Nicotiana Rustica, but remains prized to this day for its large yields owing to its sizable leaves. Some say that most tobacco sold has an origin in the Burley family, including most cigarettes, but its participation in specialized pipe blends has been less assured. Long a favorite of the “codger” blends and their fans, the Burley flavor is both distinctive and a chameleon that takes on anything around it, making it good for shoring up and stabilizing a blend — including reducing burning temperature — but possibly not for standing out as a flavor like the big stars and condimentals such as Virginia, Perique, and Latakia do. Still, classic blends like Granger and Prince Albert made the Burley flavor work for generations of American men.

Enter Dark Fired Kentucky Burley. What you need to know is that this lightly smoke-cured Burley resembles the Dark Burley used by Cornell & Diehl in so many of their blends, but with its curing comes more sweetness and less of that slightly odd green vegetation flavor that Burley often expresses. This blend is perfect for an all-day smoking, tasting like a mixture of dark and light Burleys, Virginias and Dark Fired Kentucky, but having the simplicity of being a single ingredient. Since it is full-strength in nicotine, it serves well as an all-day smoke, and the increased mellowness brought on by the smoke curing makes it ideal for this role. It also serves well in blending, as blender Russ Ouellette succinctly expresses:

This is a little-known component that I use for a variety of purposes. It is a dark tobacco, similar to Burley that is cured over open fire, giving the tobacco a smokiness that is much more subtle than Latakia, a deep earthiness, and a decent wallop. I like to use a bit in a Latakia-based blend to give it a touch of sharpness, or to add body to Virginias. High in nicotine, moderate burning quality.

Mixed with sweet Virginias, this tobacco produces a blend that can be smoked for hours without exhaustion as it alternates between the sweet and sour flavors of its components. Smoked straight, it provides a depth of texture within a single flavor that has multiple contrasting attributes. My Prince Albert (yes, in a can) has languished since the discovery of this remarkable, flavorful ingredient. For those who like the codger flavor, this is essential smoking, and for anyone else who likes natural tobaccos at full intensity, it is worth trying if not blending. When touched off with a little Latakia or another full-dark dark fired blend, it introduces a sturdy body behind those flavors which normally float suspended over the rest owing to their outlier status. Although it makes English blends taste like the singed results of a fallen empire, in Oriental-forward varieties it creates a tangy, soft taste that is as enigmatic as it is appealing. For kicks, mix it with a little Five Brothers to get a full-bore all day smoke in the oldest American tradition. I feel sorrow that I discovered this tobacco so late, as with a cellar of this and a few good briars I would be happy for a long while.

Strength: 5/5
Aromatic: 0/5
Flavor: 4/5
Room Note: 3/5

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21 thoughts on “Pipes & Cigars – Dark Fired Kentucky Burley (2015)”

  1. vOddy says:

    Enjoy your lung cancer, faggots

      1. Scotty 2 Hotty says:

        That is a shit article full of cherry picked broscience. I get that it’s slightly tongue in cheek but that just discredits it even further.

        OK, first off, you typically don’t inhale pipe and tobacco smoke, unlike cigarettes. Cigarettes WILL fuck with your cardiovascular endurance, raise your resting heart rate and blood pressure, and turn your lungs black, among many other things. That article conveniently ignores these facts and instead cites dubious studies (NOT controlled experiments) from China (who are notorious for their low academic standards) about higher test levels.

        The article’s point seems to be that smoking won’t fuck with your gains in the gym, and cites numerous jacked dudes, many from Eastern Europe. Except the Eastern European and Russian Olympic weightlifting programs were notorious for their “pharmacological supplementation” which is probably going to mask any side effects from smoking. As both a smoker and powerlifter, I can assure you that I perform better in the gym on mornings where I have not yet had a cigarette.

        In short, yes smoking cigarettes is bad for you. Those who say otherwise are tryhard manly men iconoclasts.

        1. Pump Disciple says:

          The article already states it’s not good for you, I’ve ran( 3 miles ) after a cigarette it will only shave seconds off of your time not that big a deal and as for the lifting (I’ve only been lifting seriously for close to year)it’s no different for me whether I smoke or not. The blood vessel growth and brain assistance can only help I feel, but I don’t know what your diet and rest schedule is like for smoking to effect you the way it does. How long have you been smoking? How often do you smoke? How long have you been powerlifting?

          1. Scotty 2 Hotty says:

            When I was 19 and smoking a pack a day, a 6min mile was no problem. But it will catch up with you eventually. 5 years later, sprinting up a couple flights of stairs to catch a train will make me winded.

            You may not need much cardiovascular conditioning for typical curlbro workouts (light isolation movements for high reps) but powerlifting training is a different beast. When performing a heavy bench, squat, or deadlift, you want to take a deep breath into your stomach before the movement and hold it until you complete the movement. This helps keep your body tight and rigid. If you’re getting a suboptimal amount of oxygen from that breath (ie you’re a smoker) then you are going to fatigue faster and it is going to be harder to complete your set. I can still complete my workouts and I still make gains but I am certain I would improve were I to quit smoking. I’ll probably switch over to pipe smoking a la Papa Stevens before the end of the year.

            If you are a light smoker or are a heavy smoker who has only been smoking for a couple years, and I suspect you are one of those two, then you probably won’t notice much a difference in any of your physical activities. Just know it eventually will take a toll on your body.

            1. Pump Disciple says:

              Ok gotcha, I never got to smoking a whole pack a day, only around half pack a day for me, that tar buildup will fuck your lungs, still in regards to tobacco moderation is key, I don’t powerlift per say, but my best at the big three goes like this, Squat 325×5, Deadlift 315×5, Bench 205×1( with liftoff), yes my bench is shitty, I’m working at it and I weigh about 180, but it seems like you’ve been lifting for awhile so you might have some better pulls, presses, and squats. Still a long way up the mountain to climb, let the tar clear out of your lungs, than try smoking again and see what happens

              1. Still a long way up the mountain to climb, let the tar clear out of your lungs, than try smoking again and see what happens

                With enough physical activity, contaminants seem to clear from the lungs. That much is clear from the Special Forces soldiers of the world.

                1. Scotty 2 Hotty says:

                  I’m not sure there’s any way to clear your lungs of contaminants besides quitting. SF soldiers can handle smoking and intense physical activity simply because they’re the genetic elite of humanity in terms of physical ability.

              2. Scotty 2 Hotty says:

                Those are some solid numbers especially considering your weight and the fact that you’ve only been lifting a year. That 2 plate bench will come, all it takes is time and persistence. My bench is only at 235×1 at a body weight of 260 lbs (I’m tall and a bit fat). My squat and dead are decent though, at 365×1 and 495×1 respectively. I only started powerlifting this summer after a two year hiatus from any form of strength training, but you’d be surprised at how much strength you retain even from such a long break.

                I still kick myself for taking that break, though. I came up with all sorts of rationalizations that “I don’t have time”. The truth is almost everyone has an hour and a half to spare at least three times a week. So from one disciple of iron to another: Stay consistent and don’t make excuses! And another thing: you should definitely get a lift off any time you bench heavy. There is no real benefit to not doing so, only a risk of injury. Even in powerlifting meets you get a lift off.

            2. Good points, but no one has mentioned the real elephant in the room here:

              General air pollution.

              Everything that is bad in cigarettes is worse in internal combustion engine exhaust, especially Diesel.

              And there’s a lot more of that…

              1. Pump Disciple says:

                To get a more accurate conclusion in regards to tobacco smoking, testing should be done in a room or place with no air contaminants (tobacco smoke being the only one) rather hard with all the industrialization going on. Other delivery methods should be tested as well to get a picture of what the true power of tobacco and nicotine are. But to much fuckery in science now a days to get an accurate picture, all scientists want to do now is propagandize and profit. That’s why in this day self testing is the best testing

        2. hhhhhh says:

          Wow what a fag. Measuring heart rate and blood pressure is a scam to get you to go to the doctor. It changes from seconds to second and is meaningless as a stand alone number, not to mention that exercise also raises your heart rate, something I doubt you will argue as unhealthy. Nevertheless, it’s all the synthetic compounds used to flavor the floor scraps used in cigarettes and the freebasing process that are harmful. Those are toxic compounds while natural tobacco is medicinal.

          1. vOddy says:

            I specifically mentioned lung cancer, which one gets from smoke. If you chew nicotine gum or eat nicotine brownies or stick nicotine up your ass, then you will not get lung cancer.

            Bringing up things that I didn’t mention like body building and other unrelated things is intellectually dishonest.

            I’m not telling any one to stop. As long as you’ve made a rational decision that it’s worth the pleasure, I don’t look down on it.

            I just wanted to call somebody a faggot, and I saw a good opportunity, since faggot originally meant (and still means) some thing to burn, like a tobacco faggot.
            That may be why homosexuals are also called faggots by people who hate them – since they were also burned at the stake.

            1. If you chew nicotine gum or eat nicotine brownies or stick nicotine up your ass, then you will not get lung cancer.

              Tell me more about this rectal nicotine option…

          2. Scotty 2 Hotty says:

            Notice I said resting heart rate, as in you haven’t just done strenuous physical activity, you haven’t just taken a stimulant, you are emotionally neutral, et cetera. This metric should be fairly consistent. If your resting heart rate goes up, it means your heart is doing more work just to keep you alive. This is a sign you are out of shape.

            As for ‘natural tobacco’, it’s a matter of degrees. A Nat Sherman Natural is probably less harmful than a Marlboro Red, but inhaling anything into your lungs that isn’t air is probably a bad idea.

            1. hhhhhh says:

              You really don’t get it if you think anything that carries the Marlboro mark is natural. I don’t understand why you put natural in quotes as if tobacco wasn’t natural. Cigarettes aren’t natural, but tobacco is a plant that grows out of the earth. Despite all the branding, don’t forget that it is a leaf from some random plant that you are smoking. Most tobacco I’ve seen is flavored with cheap synthetic compounds because they use shit tobacco such as Virginia. Quality tobacco needs no flavoring. Besides that, the concept of smoking all day is completely absurd. It’s a product of shitty tobacco with no nicotine that people buy because it’s cheaper, but gives no nicotine buzz. People chase the high by smoking all day. In cigars it is known that that the higher nicotine leaves (ligero) are also the most flavorful. They also happen to be the most scarce on the plant. Go smoke a full bodied Don Pepin Garcia Blue Label cigar to see what tobacco is supposed to be like; you probably won’t finish the stick and you definitely won’t have an all-day craving for tobacco because you were already satisfied from the intense flavor and effect. Virginia tobacco shouldn’t even be grown imo. I guess if you want to smoke shitty tobacco all day because you think people will perceive you as above your station, then the tar in your lungs is the price you pay and you should be happy about it.

              1. While I entirely agree that mainstream cigarettes are junk tobacco:

                Most tobacco I’ve seen is flavored with cheap synthetic compounds because they use shit tobacco such as Virginia.

                There are some great Virginias! They get a bad rep because it’s the sweetest leaf and often used in cheesy blends, but also in some great ones. I think cigarettes are mostly a Burley/Virginia mix.

                What I don’t get is why Virginias are so cheap. Burleys produce better leaf yield, apparently.

            2. A Nat Sherman Natural is probably less harmful than a Marlboro Red, but inhaling anything into your lungs that isn’t air is probably a bad idea.

              This to me is the crux of the issue: do you want deposits, both particulate and chemical, in your lungs or not?

              No? Then it’s time for pipes and cigars. They also burn cooler, so you taste more of the tobacco, which drives the balance away from sweet Virginias toward leaves from higher in the plant, and blends that emphasize a harmony of flavors.

              Temperature of the combustion zone in a pipe was about 500° C. (variability, 380°–620° C.). The maximal temperature was thus relatively low, but the heat spread over an extensive area outside the actual glow. Because of this, strong dry distillation took place, and the corresponding fractions from the evaporating substances escaped into the smoke without being pyrolyzed. With a cigarette, the situation was found to be quite different. The temperature was high, averaging 650° C. (variability, 470°–812° C.), but over a very limited area. The amount of dry distillation was slight, and the low and middle fractions were burned more completely.


              1. hhhhhh says:

                You are correct about the temperature. It is incredibly easy to ruin a great cigar by getting it too hot as the margin is so narrow. I have the habit of overpuffing when lighting and sometimes get the stick too hot, which makes the cigar taste terrible; the flavor tastes strongly of ash and all the delicious flavors will vanish. There is no remedy if this happens to you so you must discard the stick. There’s some threshold that you suddenly cross with one second too long lighting that creates off-tasting compounds. I’ve found that torch lighters cause this problem very easily, but my local cigar store has a highly adjustable lighter with a mild blue flame that lights cigars quickly and brings out amazing flavors.

          3. Nevertheless, it’s all the synthetic compounds used to flavor the floor scraps used in cigarettes and the freebasing process that are harmful.

            Those are also harmful, no doubt, as well as their use of liquefied tobacco pressed into “tobacco paper.” Most cigarettes are a perfect modern product: low-cost, low-quality, high-advertising, high-margin.


            Take any type of leaf, burn it and inhale it 10-20 times a day for two decades, and you will probably see negative effects.

            I don’t think it’s tobacco per se as much as the delivery method. Tobacco may be slightly tarrier than most leaves, but even smoking parsley like that will have health impacts.

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