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WHY I BOUGHT WHOLE LEAF TOBACCO:
I normally smoke halfzware imported from the Netherlands (Drum, Van Nelle) but have had difficulty ordering as of late because of Covid's effects on the supply chain. Domestic Drum is disgusting and tastes nothing like the Dutch version. Peter Stokkebye's Amsterdam Shag, a European-made halfzware sold domestically, has recently become unavailable in local stores. So I decided to make my own rolling tobacco for the first time.
A SMALL MISUNDERSTANDING:
When the package arrived I was surprised and a bit disappointed to find it contained light air cured burley instead of dark fire cured burley. Dutch halfzware is made of brightleaf Virginia and dark-fired Kentucky tobaccos, so this brightleaf and air cured burley combo is not really a halfzware kit. If I had clicked the hyperlinked "burley" in the description I would have realized this in time, but unfortunately I did not.
That said, I am pleased with the quality of the tobaccos. I first shredded some leaf and rehydrated with ambient moisture in a sealed container. The tobacco was not horrible au naturel but it did not burn quite as nicely or taste as smooth as the European RYO I'm accustomed to. The blend needed casing and I had no experience in the matter so after a bit of research I decided to use a few drops of maple syrup and invert sugar diluted in filtered water with a dash of cream of tartar for the first test run, which went fabulously. Once the casing was absorbed and the tobacco dry enough to smoke, I tried it and found it much smoother and sweeter and more like something you might find in a European smoke shop. I think I will have to order some dark fire cured leaves to make the halfzware I wanted. Hopefully I'll find a use for the light air cured burley.