Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Nutty Buddy: Burley

Ah, the delightful Burley leaf!

How I truly love the taste of a good Burley! So often we hear about Virginia blends, Latakia and Oriental concoctions, but it seems that the Burley leaf is one of the most underappreciated tobaccos there is.

A good burley is sweet, nutty, full and creamy. Blends like Barbary Coast, Nut Brown Burley, Wessex Burley Slices and Solani Aged Burley are all top-quality leaf. There are some blends that contain terrible burley and they taste bitter, harsh and even a little sour. Usually these blends are found in drug stores or discount stores like WalMart.

Burley is to tobacco what rice is to cooking. Unlike the Virginia leaf, Burley does not have a high content of natural sugar, so it makes a good neutral base for a can compliment almost anything it is used takes on the flavors of the other ingredients. Burley is used in most aromatic blends because it absorbs the flavorings that are added.

Most Burley comes from Kentucky and Tennessee. It can be ribbon-cut, flake and (my personal favorite) cubed. Many smokers praise the combination of Burley smoked in a corn-cob pipe. Another great combination is a fine Burley smoked in a meerschaum. Because of the lack of natural sugars, Burley does not experience the drastic changes from aging that Virginia leaf does.

If you have not yet explored the wonderful spectrum of flavor that quality Burley can provide, why not check out some of the above mentioned blends and sit back for a real treat.

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