Experimenting on myself

It’s what all good mad scientists do. There was that nice Dr. Jekyll, he did it, and I’m sure it turned out well. I’ll have to read his story again one day. It’s been a long time.

I intended to try the stored baccy after one month. It’s now five weeks. Whoops. No matter, the longer the better, really.

The leaves in cardboard were a bit overdry, but quickly rehydrated with kettle steam. The vac-packed ones (with a cotton wool pad of whisky) seem fine, the frozen vac-packed were a bit easy to snap when frozen but OK when thawed.

I shredded some of each and tried them. They all smoke pretty much the same so far. The whisky flavour is obvious when the pack is opened but hasn’t (yet) seeped into the leaves. No surprise, I didn’t expect much of a difference after just a month. I’m pleased to note there was no sign of mould on any of them. The experiment continues.

The professionally vac-packed sample from TL4U still looks and feels perfect. No mould, no drying, no change at all. I’ll continue to observe it but won’t open it yet.

So far then, it looks like vac-packed is the ideal way. I suspect Rose’s cardboard storage will work as long as the humidity/temperature of your store room is within the right range. Mine isn’t, they dried too much, but it works for Rose so it’s worth a try.

My second experiment doesn’t involve whisky. In fact it involves me drinking rather a lot less of it. I have three big projects running and New Guy isn’t quite ready to take over my long shifts yet. Therefore I have to get up earlier (deep breaths)… I can do this!

Not every day, naturally. Let’s not get silly about it. The night before a day off remains a whisky night but I will be on limited to zero whisky the rest of the time. Also limited espresso. These projects require focused eyes, a clear head and steady fingers.

The blog might become a little more sober for a while. On the plus side, this should mean fewer typos. However, the things that trigger rages are still out there so it won’t descend to sanity.

Tonight, I have no whisky.

I have a three litre box of wine instead. That should be enough.


28 thoughts on “Experimenting on myself

  1. I’ve just opened a 3L box of Arniston Bay red (South African). Cost £16.49 at the Coop within walking distance. 12.5%, so not ‘heavy’. A very pleasant beverage. I’ve been buying 3L boxes for some time now. I absolutely refuse to try to calculate how long they last. I don’t want to know. When I get near the bottom, I buy another. ‘Near the bottom’ is a deliberately inexact phrase – lift it up and judge whether there will be enough for the next night.


    • I never thought to do it by weight until now. 3 litres would be roughly 3 kg since it’s mostly water. The box and bag don’t weigh much so you could get a reasonable estimate of how much is left using bathroom scales.

      Or, just buy another one anyway 😉


      • I’m sure you know this already: it is essential to take the bag out of the box as there is usually at least a glass more to be squeezed out at the end.


    • My day to day quaffing wine also comes in a box, although in my case the box is 10 litres, for which I pay €20. I get it from a local wholesaler – it’s all Greek wine, and comes from their vineyards in Achaia. I’m currently drinking Merlot, but they also do Agiorgitiko and Cabernet Sauvignon, and in the whites they do a Mosxofilero, Chardonnay and a couple of others, I think. I don’t drink white wine, so I’m not sure. But the reds are all very drinkable, and come in at 13.5% ABV. So my vices are currently very cheap, particularly as I picked up 10 x 50g packs of Golden Virginia at Doha duty free a couple of weeks ago which cost me €46.

      And here’s an odd one that I don’t understand. A few years ago, I always bought my GV here in 50g packs, then 2 – 3 years ago, for no explicable reason, the large packs became 40g. Then about three months ago, the biggest pack available was reduced to 30g. WTF? None of the places where I buy my baccy has any idea why it has changed, and I find it mildly irritating because I prefer the larger 50g packs, and also they lasted me almost exactly a week, which was quite convenient. A minor issue, but it would be nice if the Tobacco Companies (Imperial Tobacco in this case, I think) gave some warning and explanation before arbitrarily changing the pack sizes. Or am I just becoming a grumpy old bastard?

      Liked by 1 person

        • Wouldn’t have it any other way, Gary! 🙂

          Take me as I come, or fuck off. I’m long past trying to be what others expect. In fact, I make a point of being what I am, and if they don’t like it…..well, read the above.


      • It might be some kind of sneaky preparation for ‘standard’ packaging for readymades. As Junican pointed out a very long time ago, it’s not ‘plain packaging’ but ‘standardised packaging’. It doesn’t just all look the same, it’s all the same size.

        Maybe the tobacco companies see that coming for rolling baccy too.


  2. Oh the delicious irony. From The Daily Mail

    Robinson, a non-smoker, is hoping the bronchial carcinoid tumour will be removed in time for him to return to work before May’s election.
    He remarked of his illness and its proximity to the national vote: ‘Timing lousy. Prognosis good.’
    Both Robinson’s parents smoked, but while he has admitted to the ‘odd drag on cannabis at university’, he has said he has always been so anti-nicotine that he ‘was the sort of irritating child who used primary school art classes to make anti-smoking propaganda’.



      • He can blame whatever he likes. He spent his life as an anti-smoking puritan and still got cancer. This is why I don’t want to quit smoking tobacco or marijuana. How pissed will I be if I spend the next ten years not doing what I want to and then still get cancer? Besides, after seeing those care warehouses on TV the other day, no matter how bad cancer is, it is still a better end to my life than what the state has in store for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quite agree. I’ve known quite a few people get ‘smoking related diseases’ many years after quitting. So if anything I get in future is going to be blamed on me smoking now, why worry about it?


      • Actually, I think the Italians have gone one better. I remember being in Italy a few years ago at a little eating place and, you know those large, plastic water containers which you tip upside down and put on the dispenser? Yep, full of Chianti. Open the tap, poor it into a carafe and Bingo – your house red.


  3. “I suspect Rose’s cardboard storage will work as long as the humidity/temperature of your store room is within the right range. Mine isn’t, they dried too much, but it works for Rose so it’s worth a try.”

    I may have missed mention of this in a previous post but have you considered making a kind of humidor? Not sure of the technicalities, but I suspect it’s not beyond your skill set to make a box with controlled humidity…


    • I keep mine in the far corner of the spare bedroom were there is very little heat except on a sunny day, which is probably why it doesn’t dry to brittle.


    • A basic humidor is easy enough, they are good for keeping cigars in. It’s a question of scaling up, but that could be done.

      Although if we can buy the leaves in vac packs and they keep that way for ages, the problem is solved anyway 😉


  4. I thought I was the only one who bought their wine in boxes. In my youf, they were pretty awful and wine snobs would look down at you and make derogatory remarks if you were stupid enough to admit that you bought your wine like that. Nowadays, they are really quite good. Aldi does a nice red one, haven’t tried the white yet. The only thing that puts me off, is the fact that you can forget how many glasses you’ve had, until you try to stand up…


    • That’s my only issue with boxes too. I wondered about standing it on a small kitchen scale and using 1litre=1kg as a very rough guide.

      As you say, the wine in them these days is good, and cheaper than buying the equivalent in bottles.


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