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Thread: Black cavendish -- sweetened or unsweetened?

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    PSU Member Odobenus's Avatar
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    Black cavendish -- sweetened or unsweetened?

    Hey folks,
    I have a cavendish question, and I apologize if it's been asked 100 times before. Having read just about everything I can possibly find on the subject, I remain confused. I understand the distinction between brown and black cavendish, and the vagaries of the black variety (Virginia or Burley being subjected to the process, depending on which side of the Atlantic you're on), and the general looseness of the terminology. My question is this:
    -- How can I find out (and why do I care, you might fairly ask), if the company will not say, whether the 'black cavendish' used in any given English-style blend has been sweetened articifially, or is sweet because of naturally-occurring sugars in the tobacco? I understand that both are possible, though the latter may be less likely these days.
    I note when a black cavendish is described as 'natural' or 'unflavored,' but that seems to refer only to the addition of flavorings and top-notes (or lack thereof), not the basic sweetening process.
    For example, 4noggins Owl's Head, a blend I rather like, but with a distinctly sweet overtone, is described as follows: "A classic mellow, sweet, and nicely balanced mixture of Orientals, Virginias, Cyprian Latakia, and a touch of Black Cavendish." Below that, it is listed as having an 'extremely mild' flavoring. (Other 4noggins blends have 'none.') When I called them, the answer was cryptic, though I was assured it was non-aromatic. But clearly a non-aromatic can have cavendish with added sweetener, right? Or maybe they use an 'extremely mild' top-dressing? Any insight?
    Other example, Peter Stokkebye 17 English Luxury: "Made of bright Virginia, unflavored black Cavendish, white Burley and Cyprian Latakia." So, no top dressing. But sweetened or unsweetened?
    Excuse the long-windedness, and thanks in advance for any wisdom on the subject.
    Non Serviam

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    PSU Member Scottishgaucho's Avatar
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    My understanding and I'm more likely to be wrong than right is that even non aromatic blends have a sugar agent added to help the fermentation/blending/pressing process.

    Good question Nathaniel. I look forward to reading the thoughts of the experts.

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    PSU Member plugugly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottishgaucho View Post
    My understanding and I'm more likely to be wrong than right is that even non aromatic blends have a sugar agent added to help the fermentation/blending/pressing process.

    Good question Nathaniel. I look forward to reading the thoughts of the experts.
    Yes, I suspect the Noble Lord Inks needs to speak!

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    PSU Member Piffyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odobenus View Post
    -- How can I find out (and why do I care, you might fairly ask), if the company will not say, whether the 'black cavendish' used in any given English-style blend has been sweetened articifially, or is sweet because of naturally-occurring sugars in the tobacco?
    You can't, at least not definitively. If the producer isn't willing to divulge the information (and who can blame them? -- the recipes and curing process of a tobacco producer is like the source code to a software company), then it's all just hearsay and guesswork.

    By the way, the distinction between Virginia-based or Burley-based Cavendishes isn't strictly divided by the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of examples of both on either side of the pond.
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