Escudo, I’m Glad to Know You

23rd February, 2019: Posted by glpease in Tobacco

When discussing the venerable tobaccos of days gone by, it’s tempting to fail into the trap of comparing the new with the old, the what-is with the what-was, lamenting the passing of old faves, and sometimes lambasting their current caricatures. It’s fun. We all do it. But, is it really fair? Memories are interesting things. We can close our eyes and often bring up images of the past in what seems to be vivid detail. The more intense or novel the original experience, the more emotionally involved with it we were at the time, the more easily we can recall it, and the more details we’re likely to paint on today’s canvas. But, how much can we trust those memories? Like the fisherman’s tale of the one that got away, each time we tell the story, even if just to ourselves, we’re likely to embellish it slightly. Over time, those embellishments can become inseparable from the original reality, making it difficult to discern fact from our newly improvised fiction.

Those of us who have been around this pastime for a while have seen many tobaccos come and go, and it can be delightful, when the opportunity is presented, to revisit vintage blends that we may have tasted in their youth. It’s part of the fun of this strange journey we’re on. Those old tobaccos have the benefit of age behind then, with all the subtle nuances and added complexity that time’s magic has worked. When we first open those tins, old memories are brought to life, and we can find ourselves lulled into the notion that we’ll be able to experience them anew. This almost never works quite the way we think it will. Over the years, formulae can change, the component tobaccos, being subject to the whims of nature, may have evolved. It’s tough enough with a blends that have been in continuous production by the same factory, but seas become rougher if the blend has been licensed to a different manufacturer. Combine the changes in the new with the evolution of the old, and it can really be like apples and pears.

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