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Thread: Pipe Smoking

  1. #21
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    Joel,

    As a recovering chain-smoker I find such restraint unfathomable. My habit was such that I smoked cigs, cigars and pipes from sunup to sundown. If it weren't for sleep, showering, sex and sustanence, I would have smoked 60/24/7.

    At a rate of four bowls a year you may not finish breaking in your first pipe while I'm still alive to hear about it.

    Such intervals remind me of a monk joke.

    The monks took a vow of silence, but with one exception. Each year before the start of lent one monk was allowed to stand at dinner and utter one sentence. Needless to say, their conversational skills became rusty.

    One year a monk stands and says, "The soup is too salty."

    The next year another monk stands and says, "I think it's just right."

    The third year a monk stands and says, "If you two don't stop the constant bickering, I'm going someplace else for some peace and quiet."

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  2. #22
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    A great starter pipe tobacco is Regular Captain Black.

  3. #23
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    I'm doing some work online at a local Irish pub. It's a warm night, I'm outside, and it seemed like the right time for the pipe.

    I brought two tobaccos with me: straight Virginia and an English blend. I'm not too familiar w/Irish whiskey, so I wasn't sure what the best pairing would be. After tasting some Red Breast, I decided on the Virginia. Not enough smokiness in the whiskey to justify any Latakia character.

    Well, I think it was the right choice. The nut and sandalwood notes in the Virginia really play off of the fruitiness of the whiskey perfectly, and there's a melding of the two on the palate that morphs the slight waxiness of the pot still into a creamy, full richness.

    Really a great pairing.

  4. #24
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    A lot of people seem to recommend Virginias with whiskey. What Virginia's do you prefer? What is a good brand I could try out?
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  5. #25
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    DrinkyBanjo,

    It's been a long time since I smoked a pipe, but thinking back, I remember liking McClelland's no. 2015 Virginia Flake with Perique. Because Virginias sometimes "burn hot," I didn't always enjoy them (due, no doubt to my poor smoking technique) but the no. 2015 seemed a bit easier to handle than others. A few words of caution: McClelland sells bulk tobacco so you can't buy it in a tidy, attractive tin. Your tobacconist will simply stuff the desired amount into a ziploc and hand it over, so there's less aesthetic pleasure to be derived from the act of opening and handling the tobacco. Because it's sold in bulk, it might be over-or under-humidified at the time of purchase, so let it dry out a bit or hydrate as the situation warrants. Also -- and I'm working from memory here so I might be wrong -- the tobacco isn't uniformly cut so you might need to do a bit of work before packing the pipe. Hmm . . . . that's a lot to think about and I'm starting to remember why I stopped smoking a pipe.

    I also enjoyed some of the Rattrays Virginia blends, but I think the McClelland might give you a good baseline. Plus, as a bulk tobacco I believe it was substantially cheaper than tinned alternatives.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #26
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    I have Rattray Old Gowrie at home, would that be Virginia? That one goes great with a nice cup of coffee.
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  7. #27
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    Tim,

    Rattray's Old Gowrie is a Virginia. If you're enjoying it without any tongue bite, I'd say you've got your technique down pat. Rattray's makes a couple other Virginias that you may like, as well -- I remember them as very nice, non-syrupy tobaccos. I never really enjoyed the cavendish-style, sweet stuff, though. You might also try the Full Virginia Flake from Samuel Gawith. It's an experience, either way -- the tobacco arrives in big, leathery flakes that you have to cut up, fold or roll into the pipe.

    Hope that helps.

  8. #28
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    Every bit of information helps! Thanks!
    Tim

    I am going where streams of whiskey are flowing...

  9. #29
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    Random comments follow:

    Here's some information regarding tobacco varieties (species?). I think it is generally accurate. One curious omission: no mention of cavendish -- the result of one of any number of processes, not a species. It's a word often seen on some of the slightly pricier, drug-store blends. Also on some premium-priced blends.

    I've mentioned before that my pipe smoking, which spanned 25 years, started with cheap aromatics, then progressed through better aromatics, Virgina/oriental blends, matured Virginias and blends of same, and finally a bulk tobacco sold as "Carolina Red".

    During the transition to matured Virginias, I liked a bulk blend called "Mohave Malawi", which I found only in a shop in Beverly Hills, whose name I've long forgotten. The base tobacco was allegedly from Malawi; the tobaccanist added Latakia -- which as far as I know has no connection with anything named "Mohave". He also let me try the base tobacco, which I found less flavorful, but quite satisfying. I've seen no other mention of Malawi tobacco in connection with a manufactured blend.

    Carolina Red was and remains something of a mystery. The shop owner, who hardly qualified as a tobacconist, said it was a single species, not a blend, which she bought in bulk. It was ribbon-cut, slightly clumpy, and as much brown as red -- although the reddish cast set it apart from other blending tobaccos. As I recall, its aroma was both sweet and spicy. On the palatte it tasted so right that I had a hard time describing it.

    Now when I search for ' "carolina red" tobacco ', nothing useful turns up. Online information about Carolina tobacco suggest that it is quite bland, on the order of Maryland, whose blandness is its main characteristic. Perhaps the Carolina that I smoked was cured to produce the aroma and flavor I found so satisfying. Some tobaccos attain their unique character by being pressed tightly and subjected to heat. Perhaps this was one such, although it was hardly dark enough to have been heated very much.

    I remember which pipe I was smoking the night I decided to quit "just until my sore throat got better"; it was (is?) a bulldog shape from the bargain bin at Leavitt & Pierce in Cambridge, MA. I bought it within days of going away to college. I was convinced it made me look cool. That's doubtful, considering I was from a hick town in the midwest and had just turned 17, but the pipe turned out to be a gem. It was the equal of many pipes I bought later at ten times the price. (Curious as to whether that shop still exists, I Googled it and came up with many hits, including this one.)

    It's at least an even bet that the last tobacco I smoked was Carolina Red (even though I always kept several different blends on hand for variety's sake). If I were to dig through the still-packed storage boxes in the garage until I found the dozen or so pipes I didn't eventually throw away, I wonder whether that pipe would still have some of the aroma of Carolina Red imbedded in the cake -- after 24 years.

    If I knew the world was coming to an end during the next six months, I'd make an effort to pick up where I left off. There were times, before my addiction turned me into a non-stop smoker, when the pleasure of smoking was almost overwhelming.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  10. #30
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    Re: Pipe Smoking

    Just a note to say that I had my first Wathens today. It's a bottle from '98.

    I have never had a better pairing with my pipe tobacco (currently a 95/5 Virginia/Burley blend). In fact, I have never had a better whiskey-and-smoke pairing, period.

    Also, Dave, if you ever need someone to take those pipes off your hands, let me know.

 

 

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