If you ask a layman, they might say that all tobacco is created equal, but true connoisseurs know that there’s a pretty big disparity between these two types of products in terms of factors like form, flavor, and more.
We’ll dive into some of the most obvious pipe and cigar tobacco differences, as well as some of the more finite divergences, so you can see just how different these two really are.
First and foremost, let’s point out that there are two categories of pipe tobacco: regular and aromatic. You will sometimes hear regular pipe tobacco referred to as English, or simply non-aromatic; for our purposes, we’ll continue to call it regular.
Clearly, whether you choose aromatic or regular pipe tobacco, you’ll be smoking less of it than if you opt for cigar tobacco; this is simply because you must load a pipe, whereas cigars are constructed from tobacco. That said, choosing between the two types of pipe tobacco is often an easy selection due to their stark difference in taste.
Regular tobacco is more heavily influenced by the leaves (so it is flavored naturally), whereas aromatic tobacco is flavored during the curing process. Aromatic flavors include vanilla, rum, cherry, and more; each of these leaves a very recognizable scent in its wake.
Regular tobacco tends to be rather earthy or woody in comparison to aromatic, which is why it’s generally considered more of an acquired taste. Still, both regular and aromatic pipe tobacco are cut into thin shreds to allow for packing into a pipe, as one might imagine.
Additionally, both types of pipe tobacco are most often derived from one of seven plants: Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky, Virginia, Latakia, Oriental, or Perique. Overall, pipe tobacco offers consistent flavor, which contributes to a more uniform smoking experience.
Perhaps the most obvious distinction between cigar tobacco and pipe tobacco is that when it comes to cigars, there’s much more tobacco involved. After all, cigars are made entirely of tobacco, and they often utilize much higher quality products. Whole leaves are even utilized throughout the entire cigar as part of the wrapper; that is not the case at all with pipe tobacco.
Unlike pipe tobacco which utilizes one consistent flavor, cigar tobacco mixes a number of different harvests, even calling upon plants from entirely different countries to create a complex smoking experience within a single cigar.
Cigar tobacco is a sort of immersive experience; each cigar is designed to have a flavor that develops as it is smoked. This means that a single cigar might taste much different at the end than it did at the beginning—it goes without saying that this would never happen with a tin of pipe tobacco.
While the types of plant utilized for pipe tobacco are relatively limited, the options are virtually limitless for cigar tobacco. Depending upon the grade of the cigar, what type of flavor is desired, the size of the cigar, and a number of other factors, any number of plant combinations may come together in a single item.
Overall, the comparison of pipe vs. cigar tobacco simply comes down to personal preference. For those who enjoy a consistent smoking experience that brings them a reliable flavor profile, then pipe tobacco is a clear winner. Those who prefer a more complex taste, or who are perhaps interested in experimenting with new flavors will find that cigar tobacco has more to offer them.
If you have an interest in the nuances of tobacco, take some time to browse our lineup of whole leaf tobacco for sale.