and placed very strict limitations on the use of natural additives.
Out of these restrictions arose the traditional English blends, blends which derive their distinctive aroma and flavor from the natural properties of the tobacco as opposed to chemical additives.
Thus when you pick up a tin of English made tobacco it is important to know the age of that tin in order to determine the character and maturity of the tobacco, where the tobacco was blended and who was the actual blender.
Fortunately, it is in fact possible to approximately date English tinned tobacco.
Natural products, free of chemical additives and preservatives, change and mature with age.
Tobacco is no exception and this is especially true of in two ways.
Generally Dating English Tins There are three major types of English tobacco tins as well as some minor varieties: The 'knife lid' or 'cutter top' tin style appears to have come into use during World War I (although there may be evidence of late 19 century use) and was generally used through the 1960s.
First, preservatives will retard the aging process.
Beginning in the mid to late 1970's however, rising interest rates and the invasion of the industry by MBAs forced the use of younger tobacco.Coincidentally it was also about this time that blenders began to run out of Syrian , but the heat/smoke process consumed so much wood that in the early 1970's the Syrian government banned the manufacture to save what remained of its forests.The 1970s also saw the beginnings of a concentration of the English tobacco industry and by the end of the decade for instance, both Dunhill and had farmed out production of their blends to third party English blenders with noticeable changes in the blends resulting from the transitions.Twenty years later, in the 1990's, production of most English blends (Dunhill being the most notable exception) shifted to the Continent resulting in quite significant changes in the blending and characteristics of the blends, the most important of which being the common use of chemical additives.Personal experiences leads me to believe that for at least the first decade the chemical component becomes more noticeable as the years go by.