I'm confused

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by OrganizdMadman, Nov 20, 2011.

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  1. OrganizdMadman

    OrganizdMadman Member

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    When I was younger I remember the old timers smoking pipes filled with a tobacco that had a rich sweet, almost incense quality. A smoke cloud that made my nose do a pleasent double take.
    This being said, I recently tried MacBaren's Vanilla flake. First I rubbed it out and filled my pipe...badly. Since I'm a noob at this realized a lot of practice was ahead of me to perfect the art, I opted to try the fold method for a quick test smoke. It was hard to light (too wet perhaps?) but once set for a bit it lit up beautifully.
    Here's where my disappointment started. To me it tasted like a slightly above average cigarette, the smoke smelled no different, a slight vanilla note maybe, no tongue bite thankfully, but not the rich sweet smelling smoke I remember as a child. What could I have been smelling?
     
  2. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

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    CBW
     
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  3. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I don't find Mac Baren's Vanilla Flake to be overly aromatic. Yes, the vanilla is there in sufficient quantity to be a consistent presence throughout the bowl, and I find that it tastes more "natural" than many vanilla blends on the market (doesn't get sour or bitter toward the bottom), but the beauty of this blend for me is that the natural taste of the tobacco still shines through. I think the reason for that is that a high-quality Virginia leaf constitutes a good portion of the blend as opposed to a large proportion of Cavendish backed up with some nondescript Burley that just helps with the burn. Many of the blends we may remember from childhood fall into the latter category, but (IMO) are far more pleasing to the bystander than the smoker.

    Though it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on your technique (a relative noob who doesn't get Mac Bitten deserves an attaboy), you still may want to back off your puffing cadence just a little, or work on packing with a little lighter touch. Most tobaccos can lose their flavor if allowed to get hot, which can result from both overpuffing and/or overstuffing. Have another go at it, and sip gently, maybe 4-6 times per minute. Though it may not be exactly what you're looking for, Mac Baren Vanilla Flake is one of the best aromatics for my money. I hope you come to enjoy it, too.

    Welcome aboard!


    Herb

    Edit and PS: Just read your post about your new pipe. Gurgling - another possible sign of smoking hot. :sh:
     
  4. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    For pure aroma, Jesla's probably right - the Captain Black, particularly the white package, is one of the best.

    The other thing to remember is that what other people experience compared to what YOU are experiencing as the pipe smoker, is quite different.
     
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  5. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Herb gave you some excellent advice. The only thing I would add is if you want to get full benefit of the tobacco's flavor you will need to "snork." Do a search on "snork" here in the archives and you will get detailed info about it.
     
  6. mtsgsd

    mtsgsd Active Member

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    I tried that, but every time I took a puff and said "snork" my wife would start giggling. :confused:
     
  7. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    The first pipe tobacco I ever smoked was Lane 1Q, which is sold under many different labels at stores that sell pipe tobacco. Some will tell you what it is and others you may have to ask. It's one of the most popular tobaccos in the country, has a nice vanilla flavor and my wife, who has a picky nose likes the smell of it.

    Another great tasting, great smelling blend is Villager Stokkebye 1888 Mid Day. Its a caramel & vanilla aromatic that's easy to find, and sold by the tin.
     
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  8. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    SWRA is another good choice for a pleasant room note.
     
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  9. Ol Brokedik

    Ol Brokedik Active Member

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    I think flakes can be difficult for a new pipe smoker. You might start with ribbon cut. It's a lot easier to smoke. There's hundreds of aromatics in ribbon form.
     
  10. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    +1 for the Captain Black
     
  11. mtsgsd

    mtsgsd Active Member

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    Since no one else has mentioned it, PA soft vanilla is a good one too.
     
  12. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    Welcome to the Noob conundrum! I was so disappointed when I loaded up my first pipe with CBW and it tasted nothing like and smelled nothing, to me. like my uncle's tobacco. I think it's like listening to you voice on tape for the first time. You say, "That's not what I hear all the time when I speak"!
    You'll get it. I did so anyone else out there is going to be able to. I didnt have the benefit of this forum either 20 years ago, so I did my best with cigars and have no complaints there, but thanks to the good people here and the advice I have received, if I had to choose, it would be my Peterson XL02 and some SWRA, CH or a blend called Fr Dempseys from a shop out in Calif.
    Good luck, stay positive!
     
  13. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    Did I just come up with a new word/ "Noob Conundrum"?:puffy:
     
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  14. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    Oh crap, now every time I snork I will get a mental image of that.
     
  15. ArtisanArcher

    ArtisanArcher Member

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    This happens to me all the time! I'll be enjoying a certain toby or another and have a friend come over and try it, and when he lights up (if I'm smoking something different than him) I'll have to check the label to make sure I packed the right thing for him. The "listening to your own voice on tape" analogy that Mak talked about is spot on in my opinion.
     
  16. Jayson H Bucy

    Jayson H Bucy Member

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    If you can find it locally, CAO's Cherry Bomb is a really good aro to start with as well.
     
  17. MakDragon

    MakDragon Wizard of PSF

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    I'm a cigar fan too and love CAO's line of cigars. Never tried the pipe tobacco though. Thanks for the heads up! I saw it at a local B&M so I will try it.
     
  18. OrganizdMadman

    OrganizdMadman Member

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    I never really thought about it tasting different than it smelled. See, this is why I joined this forum, all the friendly advice and helpful info! I'm going to look around for some Captain Black and some of the others listed here to try. Thanks!
     
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  19. jirohen

    jirohen Member

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    I'm still having the same problem of not tasting the tobacco, but thanks to everyone here I'm learning as much as I can to get better at it. oh and I had just ordered some mcb vanilla flake and some GH bobs chocolate flake to plus two new maple ozark pipes. I loved the cherry. its annoying to clean.
     
  20. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    Taste is very subjective, and one can often be disappointed by others reviews or thoughts on something (My dad once told me that Black Frigate was a medium to dark blend, I told him I wasn't so sure after I threw up). In my opinion though, a lot of the OTC blends like Carter Hall and Captain Black, were what our grandfather's were smoking. At least I know my grandpappy was, and although at the time all I knew was that it smelled good, I didn't know it was a "cheap" tobacco, and even if he knew, that was what he could afford. Not all OTC's are good, but there are a few that just seem to complete the taste/aroma factor that we are all looking for. Good luck!!
     
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