Many pipe smokers enjoy the occasional cigar, and I know of a number of cigar smokers who have a bowl of tobacco from time to time. We tend to think of them as very different things, but there’s a lot more overlap between them than one might think. There have been a bunch of pipe tobacco blends that contain some cigar tobacco, most notably the long departed Sobranie Virginian #10. I’ve incorporated cigar tobacco in Virginia Spice, StrikeForce, Stogie and Virginia Memory #10. It’s a great component in blends that don’t burn well and for ones that produce a thin smoke. Cigar leaf, which is usually thinner than most pipe tobaccos, will burn more readily, and the thick, creamy smoke that it produces will add a silky richness to a pipe blend.
There have been cigars that contain some pipe tobacco as well. The ones that have probably been around the longest are the American-made Italian-style cheroots. They are typically made of Burley from Tennessee and dark-fired leaf from Kentucky. The Drew Estate Natural series use some pipe tobaccos, and there have been a few that use aromatics in the blend. Drew Estate also stepped in with the KFC (Kentucky Fire Cured), and George Rico used US grown tobacco, including Kentucky, in his American Puro.
The newest thing are small cigars that are made to be smoked in a pipe. We’ll have some of these for sale pretty soon, and it’s an interesting concept. I don’t see it becoming a huge part of the market, but if you only have 20 to 30 minutes and you’d like a cigar, it might be a good choice. If they go over well, maybe we’ll see a variety of blends become available. It’ll be a cool trend to watch.
What has me writing about this today is a recent addition to our lineup on P&C. Not long ago, we brought the Spectre cigar on board, which is a rich Nicaraguan cigar with some Latakia added to the blend. It has a really intriguing flavor, and I really enjoy it as a change of pace. The balance of the blend is exceptional, which is very important, as some other Latakia cigars I had tried either hid the Latakia or the Latakia dominated. The popularity of the cigar has gotten people thinking about doing more cigars like it, and even the thought of making a pipe tobacco based on the cigar. Keep your eyes open; this will be a fun ride.