Tobacco Selections: Bright and Red Virginia


(mellow music) – Hi, everyone. I’m Jeremy Reeves, head blender of Cornell and Diehl pipe tobacco company. And today I wanted to kind
of talk with you about our selection of Bright
Virginia and Red Virginia. I brought along with me some examples of the kinds of samples that
come to me from distributors. These sorts of samples mean a
lot of smoking for me actually of different varietals and different grades of tobacco to find the one that I want to buy a lot of for
us to use in our blends. The structure of Cornell and Diehl is such that we really don’t have
a lot of different grades that we use of any given leaf type. In the case of Bright Virginia, we only use one. In the case of Red Virginia,
we’ve got three that we use and the main one, the one that gets used in the majority of our products as well as Pease products, Briar works, Captain Earle’s, Castello,
all of the products that we make utilize this Bright Virginia, and most of them utilize this Red Virginia if those components are
included in the blend. So what makes Bright Virginia
and Red Virginia different? Obviously the color, but
where does that come from? Bright Virginia tends to come from the middle portion of the stock. It tends to be picked younger. It typically is a thinner leaf in terms of the actual
thickness of the lamina itself. And it tends to have lower nicotine and thus higher sugar. That’s the way the nicotine
and sugar sort of balance in tobaccos that have sugar is that the more sugar you have, the less nicotine there is. The more nicotine there is, the less sugar there is. In Bright Virginia, you’ve
got sort of a moderate to low nicotine and you tend to have very high sugar content. Bright Virginia can bring a whole lot of zesty, lemony, citrusy kind of flavors and nuances to a blend. It can add a lot of sweetness. But some iterations, some
types of Bright Virginia can be bitey because of
the high sugar content. That is what makes Red Virginia really great too because these two leaves sort of
balance one another out. Red Virginia, being darker, it’s left on the stock
longer, it is more mature. The leaf, the lamina, is thicker and heavier, almost leathery. You’ve got increased nicotine. And from the time on the stock, just really saturating in oil, you’ve got really, really
deep punchy sort of caramely kind of flavors that can
come from Red Virginia. All right, so just gonna smoke
some Bright Virginia here and talk to you guys a little
bit about my initial take. Right off the bat, really citrusy kind of tones. Orange, lemon peel. One of the things about this grade that immediately jumped out at me was just how soft and round, almost pillowy the mouth feel is. It was actually kind of rare
in a Virginia this tone, this brighter tone with those higher sugar contents that I mentioned before. Other than that, it really
brings a really nice sweetness. Almost a vanilla tone. Creamy and citrus. And a little floral. Getting down further into the bowl. Now I’m able to really feel some of the deeper tones
that this leaf has to offer as it’s really kind of
toasting in the bowl. Even some hints of chocolate. Not deep, dark chocolate
or even milk chocolate, but just a touch of chocolate
added into a fruit sauce. That sort of sense. Just a little bit of a deeper flavor. Spicy on the light. But still very smooth. Imminently smokeable straight on its own. The sweetness is toned down. It’s a little darker, a little richer. I know from experience with this leaf that after the initial light, the flavor is much richer. Dense. Really satisfyingly dark sweetness. Molasses a bit. The flavor of Red Virginia really pairs well with things like rum, things like whiskey, bourbon. You get a tone that’s almost cherry. It’s satisfying and a little
spicy through the nose. Very pleasant. It’s not rough, it’s not harsh. Just a great natural sweetness. Still coming and going
with the floral elements. And occasionally you get a tangy tone and something a little citrus. Blending these two leaves can really accentuate the citrusy qualities that each of them have. So that is my thoughts about our Bright Virginia and our Red Virginia. Love to see the comments
and look for more of these. I’ll be going through some of our other blended components in future videos.