How to determine the age of tinned tobacco

How to determine the age of tinned tobacco

How to determine the age of tinned tobacco is the art of reading manufacturing codes as well as history of the blend.   This is for my reference but hopefully it can benefit the rest of the community.

For English Tins, read the Pipepedia article.

Capstan (Orlik/STG, MacBaren)

On the picture on the right you see the backside of the two similar Capstan tins. Left the Orlik / STG version, right the new MacBaren. The Orlik / STG tin has 10 digits and then 4. The MacBaren one has 8 and then 5. That is the difference. As you zoom in on the MacBaren tin you see: 09130281 30212. This is how the code can be deciphered:
09 = Packing machine used
13 = Year of packing
028 = Calendar day of production. That means day 028 in 2013. January 28th.
1 = Shift (1 indicates it is packed on the day shift)
– The 5 digit number is the internal batch number.
The Orlik / STG tin code is a bit harder to crack: 1208025527 0164.
12 = Year of packing
08 = Calender day of production. That means the 8th day of the month.
02 = Month of packing.
What the rest of the digits mean, no idea.. The 4 digit number is an internal batch number I guess. But this tin comes from February 8th 2012.

Samuel Gawith has an article on how to decode the date code.   Here is a handy chart to make it easier.