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TimmyBoston

Pipe Smoking

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SlowEddy
In the next day or so, I'll be off the tobacco shop to get started with pipe smoking. I can't think of anything better on a fall evening than kicking back with a great bourbon, pipe and a book.

Anyone have any suggestions or things I should discuss with the tobaccoist? I have no experience whatsoever with pipes, but I'm looking forward to learning.

I've been smoking pipes for over 30 years. The best tobacco that I've smoked is Dunhill Light Flake. It comes in a small tin and is about $8.50 for that little can. It goes well with everything--Wild Turkey and strong coffee. Don't forget to roll it before packing your pipe or else it will bite a little. Extremely flavorful and satisfying.

On the cheaper end, a good drug store brand is good old Captain Black. Very flavorful and won't bite even the inexperienced pipe smoker.

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bluesbassdad

Joel,

I didn't recall that you had ordered an English-style blend. To tell the truth, I never really grasped what that appellation means. Sometimes blends that were described as "oriental" or "balkan" seemed pretty much the same as the English.

Your mention of a cigar-like smell reminds me of a tobacco I smoked as a change of pace, Balkan Sobranie Old Virginia No. 10. IIRC, it was said to consist of cured Virginia with a touch of cigar leaf. (It may no longer be available. A search just now revealed no useful hits. However I did find this source, which I would probably try if I ever take up smoking again. Their desriptions all but made my mouth water.)

The campfire smell probably comes from the latakia. I'd never thought of it that way, but the description fits.

I believe you are wise to choose one of the larger pipes. Excess heat is the persistent enemy of the new smoker (and the pipe). More thermal mass gives the smoker a slightly greater margin for error.

An even tinier margin is associated with rough finish pipes, IMO, due to the greater surface area to radiate heat. However, I never cared for the black-finished ones; I always wondered what they were hiding. However, I had a few quality pipes that were rough but with the grain still visible through a light stain. I found them rather attractive, especially after the tops became darkened after considerable smoking.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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mythrenegade

Well,

I did it. I scorched my tongue last night. I'm pretty sure it's the fault of this:

McClelland Calypso Black -- A mysteriously provocative tobacco having a distinctive character with a universally appealing aroma both in the pouch and in the room. Soft, sweet, refined black cavendish.

I enjoyed the free "english" tobacco they gave me the first time I tried the pipe. Last night was the second, and I decided to try the Calypso Black. Wow. This stuff was exactly what I had always hoped for in a smoke. After a bowl of that I tried the Old Lodge, which was _really_ strong. It was a mistake to try it on the same night as the Calypso Black. I'll wait until a cold fall night to try that stuff again, and be sure to have something stronger than ORVW10 to drink with it...

But back to the CB. I then filled the pipe again and smoked another round. This is probably the one that did me in. This stuff burns well, it was _far_ easier to keep lit than the free pack-in stuff. It has a very nice flavor and an awesome room note. I'm planning to order at least a pound of this stuff to keep around, as well as some more pipe cleaners.

By the way, a champagne cork makes a great cork knocker, and doesn't cost $3.50 all by itself...

Joel

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Nigel

OK I'm new here but I thought you may be interested in a good little forum dedicated to pipesmoking if you're looking for more information. Pop over to www.smokersforums.org there a good bunch over there. BTW I added a reciprocal link over there. Sorry if I broke unwritten rules regarding posting of links.

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mythrenegade

Nigel,

Thanks for the link. The URL is malformed though, you should correct it.

I discovered last night that I don't enjoy a pipe as much when it is hot. I think I will keep the cigars around for summer use :-)

Joel

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bluesbassdad
Nigel,

[snip]

I discovered last night that I don't enjoy a pipe as much when it is hot. I think I will keep the cigars around for summer use :-)

Joel

Your preference may not be unusual. I was more likely to smoke the latakia-heavy blends in the cold months and lighter, more subtle blends in the summer.

Summer was also the time when I was more likely to dabble in the crowd-pleasing aromatics. Fying Dutchman was usually a crowd favorite, assuming I could get it packed right and keep it burning -- often a chore with fine-cut tobacco. It always seemed to be too dry to separate into loose clumps for packing or too moist to draw through, once packed.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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Nigel
Nigel,

Thanks for the link. The URL is malformed though, you should correct it. Joel

Thanks Joel, the correct link is http://www.smokersforums.org/? sorry for my mistake.

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snakster

Upon delivery, this is my new pipe.

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mgilbertva

Nice looking churchwarden! I've never smoked one before. How do you think they compare to other styles for quality of smoke?

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bluesbassdad

I once had a GBD bent billiard custom-fitted with an extra-long stem, and I could switch stems at will to determine the effect of the longer stem.

Not surprisingly the longer stem delivered a cooler smoke. However, it also diminished the flavor (read "tar") delivered to my mouth.

Consequently I tended to draw more often, sometimes to the point of overheating the bowl if I wasn't paying attention.

Another noticeable effect, especially with a bent style, is more aroma delivered from the bowl to the smoker's nose.

Altogether I found the churchwarden styles to be much preferable to a calabash, which is based on somewhat the same idea.

The main thing is to be as sure as you can that the body of the pipe is high quality. I saw many inferior pipes fitted with churchwarden stems. Adding a long stem to a body made of poor briar or badly made will not turn it into a good pipe.

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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snakster
The main thing is to be as sure as you can that the body of the pipe is high quality. I saw many inferior pipes fitted with churchwarden stems. Adding a long stem to a body made of poor briar or badly made will not turn it into a good pipe.

No worries there. J.M. (Boswell) does not make bad pipes. And his briar wood is top shelf.

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Dr. François

Anyone have a favorite lighter?

I gave up on matches because I wasn't coordinated enough to use them. Juggling pipe, matches, and match box proved daunting. I used a bic lighter, but it wasn't very pleasing to use. Then I switched to a Ronson butane lighter, but it burned too fast and hot. I scorched the top of the bowl pretty bad. Plus my thumb.

I just picked up a Zippo pipe lighter for around 15 bucks at the outlet mall. I love the thing.

What's your favorite lighter for pipes?

post-2784-14489814122528_thumb.jpg

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mythrenegade

It was a blast to read this thread again!

I use an orange thing from harbor freight :-) It can be adjusted and does a great job without scorching the bowl.

It's funny to see my "four times a year" in an earlier post. That was about how often I smoked a cigar. With a pipe that can now be adjusted to "four times a month" which is a considerable increase.

A year plus in I really like pipe smoking. The flavors are fantastic, I like tinkering with it, and it's considerably cheaper than (good) cigars. The smell is also MUCH more agreeable to those around me.

My favorite is still Calypso Black. I also like McClelland MC2005. The Old Lodge is very good, but only for cold weather, and it does NOT work well with bourbon. The strong flavors fight too much. I found that it overpowered ODG 114, and then when I switched to a beer (strong beer, Stone Old Guardian if I remember correctly) I discovered that the two paired nicely.

Someone suggested that I try the Old Lodge with laophraig, and I think that's a great suggestion but I haven't gotten around to springing for a bottle of it.

Joel

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