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Barnyard Smell

What is that barnyard smell to be found in certain snuffs? I have heard this smell might be caused by the way the tobacco is processed. My personal theory is that the source tobacco in question was fertilized by (possibly unpasteurized) manure and the smell got absorbed into the leaf. Maybe we could hear some input from those who are knowledgeable in tobacco farming and commercial snuff-making techniques. That curious smell seems a part of snuff lore. I hope demystifying it will not take the fun away!


  • Usually tobacco (leaf and stalks) are treated with mixture made fom quick lime, amonia water + some other alkalines (washing soda or baking soda). Some manufactures also add minor portion of salmiak (amonium chloride) in mixture. Also some amonia is released during anaerobic fermentation of snuff tobacco as reluts of degradation of nitrouscompounds from leaf tobacco. Jack
  • What an excellent question! 
  • well certain tobaccos just smell like that and like Jack said there is amonia that is released from fermentation breaking down the plant. (there is similar breaking down of matter in digestion that causes us to expel amonia in our urine.

  • Yep , ammonia is the culprit!  :)

  • SammyD13SammyD13 Unconfirmed
    I get the ammonia aspect, but I'm getting a smell in bone-dry snuff. Wouldn't the ammonia have evaporated from that?
  • Now I get it. Some snuffs do release ammonia in the nose after they get wet on the mucous membrane. I noticed it with some Indian snuffs - dried out FUBAR Toasted (fresh it does reek of ammonia, though it's not that moist even in its freshest state; the talk is about older tub here, which ), extra large pinches of MG Madras on a clean palate. Some others, too, don't recall them now (Cheeta Chhap Gul?). My very first tin of SG Blue Crest did the same to me; actually, it released so much ammonia in the nose, that the feeling was close to a numbing burn of menthol (and just like with the old FUBAR Toasted, I didn't get ammonia in that tin; well, maybe just a slight hint, if any).

    @SammyD13, do you get ammonia smell in the tin, or it 'unlocks' itself in the nose?
  • SammyD13SammyD13 Unconfirmed
    @volunge excellent point and yes, it releases in the nose and is not apparent in the tin note (for the dry ones, at least). Maybe it's crystallized ammonia that gets released when moistened. 
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