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First bowl of MacBaren Honey & Chocolate

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Alamo, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    Smoked from my Italian basket briar, which I've found to have Milano stamped on the side!
    Regardless of which Milano it is (as a quick google search says that there is a company callem Molina Milano, as well as a few other companies that make a Milano model of pipe), it smoked well, and seems to stay lit longer than my cob. Still went though about half a box of matches, but I guess that means I'm still learning.

    To get to the tobacco, I was very surprised to find out that I could not taste any of the chocolate in it, and only got the tiniest hints of sweetness. Also quite surprising that it seems the room note of the tobacco will smell more like ash when I smoked too hot, but smelled AMAZING when I smoked slow and cool. Is this normal for aros? Perhaps I'm also still smoking to fast/hot to get any real flavor, only time will tell.

    Any thoughts on what I've experienced?
     
  2. TRAVIS

    TRAVIS Member

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    Slowl and steady wins the race.
     
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  3. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    It seems that every time I try to go slow, the pipe goes out on me
    I need to figure out how to get a good light going
     
  4. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    I've had only one tin of McB's Honey & Chocolate but the taste of chocolate in it was almost overwhelming. IMHO, McB blends their stuff with the most consistency of any blending house but I suspect it is difficult to regulate the amount of casing in aromatics because the flavoring is so concentrated.
     
  5. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    Definitely thinking I'm burning way too hot if you say that the flavor was that strong

    This also makes me was to try smoking it again right now...
    LOL
     
  6. voodoo101

    voodoo101 Member

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    This baccy for me is great! So much so that I got a pound bag of it. Reminds me of brownies. Strong chocolate taste and faintly sweet. Smoke it slow.
     
  7. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    I want to experience this flavor soooo bad...

    Definitely need to find out how to smoke slow while keeping my tobacco lit
    Could it be that I'm packing my tobacco too tight? I really tried to pack this bowl on the tighter side
     
  8. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    If your pipe keeps going out your pack is to lose, try packing your tobacco a little firmer.
     
  9. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    Hmmm, we'll see what happens tonight or tomorrow after I trying another bowl

    Even if I don't get the amazing taste people are telling me about, I can still smell it!
     
  10. woody

    woody Aloha! Admin

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    I smoke H&C sometimes. Try drying it out some if it keeps going out on you.
     
  11. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    Alamo, how do you load your pipe?

    Try gravity filling to the top, then gently pressing down with your finger. Refill and repeat 2-3 times using small pinches of tobacco to fill. Keep in mind you want the bottom 1/3 fairly loose, the middle a little firmer and the top kind of dense. I use the flat of my thumb to press the top level.

    Char the top really well in a circular motion. Tamp it flat, gently. Relight, again in a circular motion, making sure the entire top gets lit. If it rises, tamp while puffing gently. You should be good to go.

    If you get your bowl burning evenly across the top, it should burn well with gentle puffing. If you feel the smoke thinning, tamp the ash down. Don't push past the resistance of tobacco; just tamp down the ash. It should fire right back up and improve flavor each time.
     
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  12. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    I've been attempting to use the rule of thirds method, but I'm also trying to break in the bowl so I'm only smoking half bowls as of now
    I do have what I think is a smaller pipe coming in the mail tomorrow, so maybe I can pack that one all the way and still keep my smoking time shorter

    Could it be that just starting off with a half bowl could be hindering my smoking performance? And is breaking in a pipe with half bowls really all the necessary?
     
  13. BrucePerr

    BrucePerr Member

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    I smoke a lot of McB's and what I have found is to let it dry a bit 15 min or so. Gravity feed the bowl light tamp and fire it up.
    Most aro's for me smoke great if not packed too tightly. Sit back and sip if it goes out no biggie just re-light. Keep fiddlin you'll get it
     
  14. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    Indeed I hear that relights are a part of the pipe smoking process, but going through about 10 or so matches is a bit excessive I think
    :oops:

    Alas, persist and persevere!
     
  15. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    There are many opinions on this subject, and the bottom line is, whatever works for you.

    I break my pipes in with 3 1/3 bowls, 3 1/2 & 3 3/4 before going full bowl. I rest it a couple of days between 3's as well. Getting that cake in the heel will help your pipe quickly start absorping moisture and heat instead of gurgling. If you fill a new pipe to the top, you have a chance of creating too much moisture in the heel resulting in never forming a cake in the heel. It doesn't take that long, but does take a little patience, and have had good results.

    I don't know that half bowls hinder performance, but a new pipe can have a bit of a briar wood taste at first. Smoking your tobacco all the way to the bottom is an important part of breaking in the new pipe, and quickly makes that "wood" taste go away. Dumping unsmoked leaf usually leaves excess moisture and oils in the heel.
     
  16. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    The cake is just the black carbon build up, correct?
    For whatever reason, I've been having trouble smoking all the way to the bottom of my bowls, but what I assume is the black carbon is still all the way covering the bottom

    Which also leads me to ask, you do guys clean your bowl after smoking too?

    Thanks for all the help so far!
     
  17. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Yeah, the room note smells like brownies baking in an oven. If you're a chocoholic, it is definitely the blend for you.
     
  18. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    I love MacB H&C. It's best when dried to the point of being crispy, IMHO.
     
  19. Old Codger

    Old Codger Well-Known Member

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    Smoking to the very bottom starting with a full bowl happens with some tobaccos. With others, by the bottom little bit the taste can be way off and I just stop smoking at that point.
    Yes, "cake" is the carbon buildup in the bowl. Hard black substance. No, I don't clean out the bowl. Some might clean it but I don't see why they would. Greater minds than mine will probably have a different approach.
     
  20. Alamo

    Alamo Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone!
    I'll try getting my H&C ultra crispy for my next smoke, maybe this weekend
     
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