Virginia Experiment (Tonka/Blackberry)

Virginia Experiment (Tonka/Blackberry)

So found out I can get tonka beans on Amazon and thought let's give this a go!

It is some quite fragrant stuff! To me it smells like white cake with cream cheese frosting!

So made up the sauce:

  • 150g Water
  • 150g Sugar
  • 1 Tonka Bean
  • 1 cap full of distilled white vinegar

Put in a sauce pan and put on medium heat. Let it boil until sugar dissolves. Let stand and cool.

So I did 100g Bright Virginia with the blackberry casing (0.5oz) and 100g Bright Virginia with tonka casing (0.5oz). I will let these sit in air tight bags all night and drop in the press tomorrow.

Boiling up Tonka casing

After sitting all night I combined the two batches and dropped in the press. The tonka cased Virginia smells amazing.

After compacted I pulled the form and put a C-Clamp on it. I will keep it pressed for about a week and then maybe stove.

After a week I stoved it for 3 hrs at 200F. The result is beautiful . . .

Smoking the burnt ends now, which were quite dry, and getting heavy rye bread and a little something in the background that will likely develop nicely with a little age.

Update: 4/26/24

The experiment above has been a slam dunk. It just get's better and better with age and honestly could sub for Capstan Blue for me. Decided it call it Monkel's Best after my good friend CigarPanda.

But let's try a slight variation on this recipe and do half lemon Virginia with tonka casing and half bright Virginia with blackberry casing. Also after de-stemming 2 lbs, I settled on doing 175g plugs which works perfect on the math. Basically 1 lb de-stemmed will yield two 175g plugs. For this run I will be doing the big press and do all 4 plugs at once. Next week should be a hot one here in North Carolina so I will let it stove in the cab of the truck next week while pressed.