Sunday, October 11, 2015

Old Mill Artisan Snuff

The number of choices a snuff-taker has when purchasing snuff tobacco is pretty over-whelming.  The fact you can order online from scores of different companies from all over the world, means there are hundreds of snuffs one could choose.  There are even alternatives to buying commercial snuff, in the form of artisan snuff-makers.  One such snuff-maker here in the United States is Chef Daniel Richards of Old Mill Artisan Snuff.

As the word "artisan" suggests, artisan snuff are normally hand-made snuffs, created in small batches, and with an inordinate amount of care and artistry.  For example, here is a description from Chef's website:  
"The scenting and flavoring recipes take up to a year to reach their peak, and after application to the leaf the maturing process can take up to two years.  I use toasted oak barrels, Spanish cedar crates and a variety of woods such as cherry, alder, birch, walnut, apple, pecan and maple to apply pressure and scent to several of the leaf blends.  I also use Himalayan Pink Salt slabs to subtly season many of the more exotic snuff tobaccos."
Daniel is a certified chef, and brings four decades of culinary experience in professional kitchens to his passion for snuff-making, and his discipline and creativity show in the artisan products he creates.  Another benefit of the artisan approach, is that you can't order from Old Mill on their website.  You want their snuff, you email Chef Dan personally, order what you want in the email, and arrange the rest of the transaction by email.  There is a personal touch to this approach that is somewhat old-fashioned, but also comforting.  You aren't ordering from a company or a website.  You are ordering from the snuff-maker himself.

Thus far, my personal favorite from Daniel's creations is his Pure Virginia Toast.  Here is his description of this amazing snuff:
"A combination of Flue Cured Piedmont Red, Eastern Carolina Gold, Canadian, Middle Belt Orange and Lemon Virginias steamed then gently toasted to bring out the natural sweetness, milled to a fine grind for easy use, aged for one year in Virgin Oak Barrels allowing all of the delicious layers of flavors and scents of pure,  aged Virginia leaf to harmonize into the ultimate Toast.  Due to the inevitable variations in crop years, the 2015 vintage is slightly darker than the 2014 batch but maintains the sweet, grassy and hay like aromas that only perfect flue curing, long aging and gentle toasting can create.  A wonderful expression of flue cured tobacco."
If you haven't tried one of Chef Daniel's snuffs yet, or you are simply looking for some amazing hand-crafted snuff tobacco, go to the Old Mill website and treat yourself.

Mark Stinson

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