Diary of a new piper

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by ScottN, Nov 17, 2012.

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  1. ScottN

    ScottN Member

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    Do we call ourselves pipers or does that confuse us with strange men with flutes that lead rats and children away from towns?

    Anyway I thought I would share my experiences with my pipes and tobaccos. I hope you enjoy reading about my progress in the hobby and maybe can point out some things I should try or change to improve my experience.

    So last night I sat down with two episodes of the pipe radio show and my M&T rusticated pipe filled with Shortcut to Mushrooms.

    Well I should start from the beginning. The SCTM seemed a bit moist so I tried the nuke technique that I have read about and found that 15 secs is a tad much. So I mixed in some fresh SCTM and packed the bowl using the three step method.

    As the podcast started up I used two charring lights. At this point the entire top of the bowl was not charred but I went for the final light. And every thing went swell. Enjoyed the podcast and the first several good sips before a relight. After the fist podcast (episode 4) was done I had relit about 4 times.

    As for the tobacco I really tried to focus on what flavors I could find. And I got smoke flavor. Every once in a while I did get some general sweet notes but really just a smooth mellow (for lack of knowledge) tobacco flavor. I find it not very different than the wild cherry I have smoked in the past. But the room note is really where this one differed for me. I loved the smell of woodsy camp fire, really conjured up images of rangers and hobbits.

    But halfway through the bowl I started to loose the relaxation due to constant relights. Also I had some gurgling. So I assume that the condensation from the toby being drawn into the rest of the bowl is what made it hard to keep it lit. So after episode 5 concluded and the pipe went out again I called it a night.

    I wish I could articulate the flavor of the toby better but I should get better with time. All in all still a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. I look forward to my next bowl of Shortcut to Mushrooms.


    Till the next bowl,
     
  2. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Good read.

    I find that concentrating on the pipe and tobacco detracts from the enjoyment. When I get a new blend, one that I haven't tried before, I spend a good deal of time just taking in the tin note and running my fingers through it to get the feel for it. When I first smoke it, I don't concentrate on identifying individual flavors, I like to take in the the blend as a whole and get a feel for how best to sip on it. I'll probably smoke three or four bowls before I really start to think about what all I'm tasting. I really don't give that too much thought, though, because I usually can't pick out individual notes in a blend.
     
  3. Bear84

    Bear84 Member

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    I'm a Shortcut fiend. Love the stuff. It is a bit on the moist side, but I've figured out that relights are just part of the Shortcut experience for me so I just roll with it. RTO gives good advice, don't think about it too much. Just get a good light on it and enjoy it. I find a good medium body spiciness and a sweet finish that makes you want to chase it around. Technically it is an aromatic tobacco but it has a good sturdy latakia base to it and compared to many other aros I don't get the bite from Shortcut.
    If you want to dry it out, skip the microwave. I would take a bowl's worth and set it on a paper plate or napkin under a desk lamp, or just let it set in the open air for 10-20 minutes before you load your pipe. You don't want to cook it, just dry it out a bit.
     
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  4. jdto

    jdto Well-Known Member

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    Nice post. The first few smokes for me were a blur (it was also freezing cold in February). Take your time and enjoy e ride. Patience will bring good things.
     
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  5. PickingLeaves

    PickingLeaves Member

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    Do you empty out ash? I have found that some tobacco smoke better if I empty the bowl of the loose ash about halfway. Try this and see if it make it better.
     
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  6. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    When I first started smoking - I felt the same way. Then I realized something my wife says
    To cherish the journey not just the destination....
     
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  7. jhguthlac

    jhguthlac Active Member

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    I also do that. For me, it makes for a bettr smoke.e
     
  8. Atom

    Atom Member

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    Its good to read that even after frustrating relights and gurgling, you can still say you had a good time.
     
  9. ScottN

    ScottN Member

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    Thanks to all for the insight and great comments.

    I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm temps here in MN and have a smoke on the porch Saturday night. So I grabbed my Galleria Wild Cherry and spread some out on a paper to dry for a bit (this toby has always gurgled for me. I have smoked about 4 bowls of is so far). I loaded up my new EA Carey Magic Inch rusticated bent pipe and headed to the front porch.

    With just a couple of charring lights I was well on my way to a very enjoyable smoke. As I sat there listening to the wind blow leaves up and down the street I puffed and savored each sip, trying to see what was different about this smoke from the night before with Shortcut to Mushrooms. I paced back and forth on the porch (partially to stay warm) and discussed the merits and differences of this smoke with myself (I am a self talker, neighbors probably think I am a kook). I found this to be a very very light smoke. The flavor was mild to almost nonexistent. I also retro-haled and still got no extra or distinct flavors. As for the room note, I only got a few very faint notes of a sweet cherry smell that I expect would come from this toby. I blame the wind for whipping the smoke away before I could get a good sniff.

    As I worked my way to the half a bowl mark I was getting some intermittent gurgle. Also at that point the relights started coming more frequently. But I didn't let that bother me. I really don't mind the relights unless I have to do it after every sip or draw in the pipe then I get a little frustrated. But I kept on and was able to finish the bowl.

    Probably the most enjoyable part was the warm bowl. I really loved holding the bowl of the pipe. It was like holding a warm cup of tea. This helped take some of the chill out of the air. I was wondering if this is the right temp for the bowl? I have heard that smoking too hot is bad for the pipe. I also heard something about a cheek test but don't know what that means.

    Also I really feel for you guys that have to smoke in the cold, it was very hard to relax and enjoy the smoke as the cold started to creep in.

    My final thoughts are that I enjoyed the Wild Cherry, it was a nice contrast to the Shortcut to Mushroom. I think the room note is very pleasent. It reminds me of Grandpa and trips to his house on the lake. I believe I will finish my jar of Wild Cherry but I may look for another brand of cherry to replace it when it is gone.

    So till the next bowl,
     
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  10. Skiballa

    Skiballa Member

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    Stick with it, it'll only get better. The cheek test is: If the bowl is too hot to hold against your cheek, let it sit and cool for a bit. I doubt it got too hot if you had to pace to keep warm. If you like the cherry stuff, try CAO's Cherry Bomb, a nice black cavendish, with the barest hint of vanilla. It's a mellow, smooth, and easy to smoke blend.
     
  11. ScottN

    ScottN Member

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    @ skiballa, thanks for the tip. Also funny you mention CAO, I was just looking at it last night from pipesandcigars.com


    And thanks to everyone's input and suggestions. I read them all and will consider trying anything once!

    The reason behind this dairy is to chronicle and share my experiance with smoking. I really enjoy and look forward to each smoke. I am posting due to the fact that I have no one in my circle of friends that smoke, hence no one to share my thoughts and concerns with. I hope everyone enjoys following along on my journey.

    I will try to post my thoughts after every smoke. I really only smoke about a bowl a week so it should be easy to keep up with this diary.

    till the next bowl,

    go easy on the turkey!
     
  12. SouthBound

    SouthBound Active Member

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    Count me in this group.

    I do this with almost every bowl. Dense flakes seem to benefit the most from tipping the ash midway. Deep pipes like a MM General almost demand it from me. The remaining tobacco smokes better and tastier in my opinion.
     
  13. ScottN

    ScottN Member

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    I did try that once about three smokes ago and I felt the smoke became hot and harsh.
     
  14. PickingLeaves

    PickingLeaves Member

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    Did you just turn it over? i tap/knock a few times until the ash look liquid and then empty the loose ash. I don't know if it help but just about anything I have smoked lit up and tasted better after I did this.
     
  15. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    I like to load a pipe with STM and let it set on a pipe rest for at least 24 hours. I actually discovered my now preferred method inadvertently when I loaded up a cob and forgot about it for a whole day. When I did light that pipe it was so enjoyable that I'll never smoke it any other way.
     
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