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Odens and Siberia by the roll.

Does ( Nasal ) Snuff Age Well ?

I age some of my pipe tobacco`s for many, many years and it gets better with age .
So i am wondering does nasal snuff get better with age as well?
If it does what snuff are you aging?


  • In my experience snuff doesn't age at all. It goes dry and stale. I believe the trouble here is that pipe tobacco is usually kept in vacuum sealed tins whereas I don't know of any snuff that is sold in a vacuum. So the air and oxygen do what they do and all you get is slow deterioration. Some snuffs do slightly better than others but that's the general rule.
  • horus92horus92 Member
    edited July 2014 PM
    Samuel Gawith is vacuum sealed but yeah most aren't; I think nasal snuff keeps pretty well for at least 6 months after opening as long as you don't dig your fingers in it. If you put your fingers in there I think the oils on your fingers can give it an off smell over time. Or maybe it's just my fingers. I've had to throw out a couple of tins due to that and these days I avoid putting fingers in my snuff unless it's one I like enough that I know I'll use it up in a matter of days.
  • As long as it is kept in an airtight environment away from light and heat it ages well and will keep for decades and as with pipe tobacco natural snuffs age better than flavored ones.
  • I'd agree with @n9inchnails here. As with cellaring pipe tobacco, snuff will improve with age provided that it's stored well. Moisture is the enemy here in my book. I have some vintage snuffs that are decades old and absolutely fine. As @horus92 points out introducing other substances to stock tins is never a good move (ditto pinching from the tin) if you're not planning to use it up promptly. There are some good threads on the forum relating to snuff storage that are well worth reading. Sterilised sealed jars are the best thing here if your intending to cellar snuff for extended periods.

    In terms of the effects; in my experience it's very similar to pipe tobacco. the 'edges' are removed from the blend, it sweetens up somewhat and harmonises in scent profile, casings become more subtle and refined.
  • @MisterPaul @n9inchnails I agree with both of you but remember snuff mostly contains salt and/or potash and pipe tobacco doesn't to my knowledge.

    Snuffs with only potash (the most modern snuffs like Wilson's or McChrystal's) will age well since the potash has the property of stimulating fermentation.

    On the contrary, snuffs with salt don't have that aging property I think because the property of salt is to stop the fermentation process.

    Some snuffs also have salmiak in the sauce, I don't know exactly what property or characteristic that has to the tobacco.

    but to @ozzyozz I would say it is not really a custom to keep a "snuff-cellar" like your wine collections. Some snuffs can be very good after years of storage but others get very dry. In the golden age in Holland people just always refilled their snuffboxes directly at the tobacconist.
  • @Salmiak - I think that your last point was probably true in in Great Britain too many years passed (sadly). I'm not aware of any tobacconists left who sell 'loose' snuff. I reckon that your bang-on, storage and cellaring definitely depends on the snuff at the end of the day I guess.
  • chefdanielchefdaniel Member
    edited July 2014 PM
    We should point out the difference between aging and storage. I have some very, very, very old Cafe Royale that is past its prime, but is still a marvel of the snuff maker's craft. It's been stored in airtight mason jars in a dark, cool environment since arrival. I've shared some with folks here, so I will let them share their thoughts.

    If there is a high percentage of Virginias in the recipe, they can age nicely under the right conditions, just like some pipe tobaccos. I also have Rattray's blends going on 30 years in jars that get better with each bowl. YMMV.

    In this modern era of snuff and storage there is no excuse for letting fine snuff go dry. A small investment of time and a few bucks and the snuff will keep for a very long time.

    If you keep it in a paper bag on your dashboard all summer long you should just send it to me instead of wasting it. :))

    I will dispose of it in an environmentally sound fashion and no snuff will be harmed in the process. You have my word on it.

    ***Is there any other kind of snuff than nasal? Lip Dip is snus, not snuff. I'm sure someone, somewhere (probably around here on the ASS thread) has come up with an anal snuff, but I don't think I'm interested. I like to think of it as olfactory snuff, because I'm working on my inner snob.***
  • Ok, well what is the best way to keep snuff for a long time?
  • After a few searches, I guess this thread is as good as any to ask this ( versus a new thread ) but -

    Let's look at this from another angle : Ebay often has snuffs in unopend tins / jars that have age on them - worth more as a collectible novelty, or worth a buy if it is something you cannot find / is discontinued?

    ( Still an aging question, but in this instance you have no control on how it has been stored over the preceding years ... )
  • @CaptShipwreck

    As @chefdaniel is often quoted "stored in airtight mason jars in a dark, cool environment "

    As with any perishable product you will want to protect snuff from its mortal enemies: extreme heat, direct sunlight and moisture. A search through the forum will reveal the same guidance, along with a plethora of other valuable information.
  • Superbly, if done correctly. Old Paris ages with magnificence. HDT loses pungency. KB Original gets even more sweet.
  • I've heard it ages like a fine woman.

    Then it asks you if it's getting mold and if it's container makes it look fat nag nag nag
  • Some women age like wine. Some women age like milk.
  • I have no experience to speak of - to say it ages would infer I let it sit untouched for long periods of time ....
  • I aged like yoghurt. Rotten to begin with and gross now.
  • Last year I decanted a lot of snuff into clean glass jars, which were then put in a light free environment, in the most temperature stable part of the house. Today, the first two small jars I opened to fill up my snuffbox had gone mouldy. It won't be the last of my stash that I have to throw out either. Sometimes hoarding snuff away pays off, and sometimes it doesn't.

    The snuff that I end up throwing away tends to be the more moist snuffs (Princes and Princes Special today). I don't tend to have such problems with the drier snuffs, although they can lose their scent over time.

    I've acquired that much snuff that whatever happens, happens, and I'm not going to get excited about it. That includes positive or negative scent changes, as well as spoilage, clumping, mould, or anything else. However, I'll not be adding any more moist snuff to the array unless I plan on consuming it all in a reasonably short period of time.
  • @50ft_trad

    I believe in the case of princes, santo domingo, best dark, and others with that base from wilsons, that if it's white flecks interspersed throughout the snuff, it's possibly salt crystals re-forming (high salt content in that base) and not mold.
  • Point taken, and I have seen that before. This was a definite threadlike structure, not merely flecks of white crystal
  • Mould spores (and any fungi for that fact) are highly intelligent creatures. One should never underestimate their resilience and survival capacities in a vast array of environments. Many of them thrive in what is not always obvious a warm and humid environment. Other variables that are out of our control come into play when we are talking about snuff contamination. One of the seems to be a sterile atmosphere, and that is (in my experience) more important than temperature and light (excluding extremes of course).

    I had both disasters and delights happen with aged snuff. 2 short examples : I just binned 3 big tins of SWS Creme de Figue infested by mould (and were kept in the fridge at 6-8 degrees Celsius for more than 6 months) but also 2 tins of SG London Brown kept at variable room temperature (20-30 degrees Celsius) for more than 2 years that have turned out to be probably the best non-artisan snuff I ever had. Delicious, salty, pungent, black moist fermented  thrills.

    I never decant my snuffs, except for those I buy in bulk, and then I take paranoic precautions when handling them, I do it as fast and clean as possible in sterilized glass containers and pray for divine protection hahaha.

    It might have something to do with a good manufacturer seal, batch variation, or ultimately pure luck.
    Still got approximately 150 unopened tins all individually generously wrapped in cling film occupying half of a  fridge. The other half is pipe tobacco. I will consider myself an extremely lucky man if a third of them will still be good when their time for consumption will come.

    I have not bought any new snuff for the last 3 months and hopefully will never have to buy again.
    Everything you do comes back to you! Respect Life, Share Peace, Live NOW!
  • @Gilliat I agree with your "ultimately pure luck" statement.

    I have over a dozen bail top jars which hold about 1 litre, roughly 60 smaller glass jars which hold between 70ml and 110ml, about 40 sealed tins, and at least 30 open tins in varying degrees of consumption (this is all off the top of my head, so I might be a bit wayward on some of the numbers).

    Even if half my stuff ultimately spoiled, I would still have enough snuff to last me many years. The 30 open tins alone will last me well into 2018. Many of these snuffs have now been lost from production lines, and I hope they retain enough of their original character to keep me enjoying those snuffs over the years ahead. If some "mature" in a good way, that's all well and good, but I hope many stay just the way I like them, with no mellowing or loss of the magic they were tinned with.

    I may treat myself to the odd fresh tin every now and again, but I certainly have no need to be placing regular (and often rather excessive) orders like I used to.
  • With my scotches I just dump them in an old, leaky, antique snuff box I keep on my desk. Never noticed any difference really whether it was from a fresh tin or one that had been opened months prior. Scotches in general seem to not go bad.
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