Looking at getting away from OTC

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by F1guy, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. F1guy

    F1guy Member

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    So now that I've gotten the hang (relatively) of pipe usage, I want to step away from the OTC blends, and I was wondering what was a good starter?

    I've heard good things about Davidoff, and Dunhill. Any tips? For now it has to be good in a cob because I don't have a good briar (don't know what one looks like really)
     
  2. Capt

    Capt Active Member

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    If you are gonna try a Davidoff blend, try the Flake Medallions.
     
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  3. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Dunhill is what made me love English blends (specifically Nightcap and London Mixture), so if you want to try the world of English blends without going out of your way to find stuff, those are excellent starting points. Nightcap is stronger, London is more smooth and balanced.

    I think if I were running a B&M and you came in with this question, I would sell you a tin of Escudo and a tin of London Mixture, with a warning to smoke those tins until they're empty before making a decision as to whether you like them. As an added bonus, Escudo is a nice, easy transition into the flake world as well. Really simple to deal with.
     
  4. F1guy

    F1guy Member

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    I think I'll start with the London mix and see how it goes. I'm starting to play around with some blends now that I'm moving up.

    How strong is the nightcap?
     
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  5. Johnny

    Johnny Member

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    If you are smoking burley based OTCs, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend some Cornell & Diehl burley blends. Old Joe Krantz is a good one though some say it is a bit strong, Haunted Bookshop is similar but not quite as heavy as the former.
     
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  6. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Nightcap is quite strong, actually, both in nicotine content and in flavor. I'd say it was the first time I smoked a blend and was blown away by it in every way. It really catapulted me into pipe smoking head first. It's hard to describe how strong it is, but to put it simply, it isn't going to kill you or anything, and I definitely recommend that you try it at some point. It's kind of a benchmark tobacco, to my thinking.

    London Mixture is just plain good, though, and I think you'd do well to start there. If you find yourself bored with it (which would be surprising, but if you do), try Nightcap. They're very different, but they're both great. If you find that you really love the English style blends, I have some stuff from Pipeworks and Wilke up in Vermont that I can send you samples of. It's a big old world out there. :)
     
  7. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    MacBaren Solent for an intro to Latakia , MB GE for the best Burley made by man , PS LTF or SG Firedance for a mild flavored aro flake , Escudo for a Vaper , Dunhill Flake [ in order to understand the word .. Devine ] and SG Skiff and Dunhill Std Mix Med for an " everyday " English . IRC buttered Rum and IRC Cherry Cordial to grasp what all American Style Aros should aspire to . Thats my 2 cents :)
     
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  8. F1guy

    F1guy Member

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    I might take you up on it. I'm a bit bored of Budweiser. Once the London comes in, I'll see how she smokes. Will it do well in a cob? Anything I should do to prep it?
     
  9. Coda

    Coda Well-Known Member

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    Why?...:p:
     
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  10. F1guy

    F1guy Member

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    Ah because I Really want to try something a bit fancier. Not that I'm discounting OTC blends at all, but I think I'd like to move up little bit. PA is an excellent blend, and I am enjoying it very much, but it's getting a bit boring.
     
  11. PipeWife

    PipeWife Active Member

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    If PA is getting a bit boring, try some (Lane) Half & Half or a pouch of SWR Aro ... while waiting for the "big brown truck" to bring all the bulk samplers. Note: I have a pouch of PA on my desk, and a pouch of SWRA next to the clock ... and an empty pouch of H&H just finished up yesterday in my trash can. And a tub of CH on the carpet next to the desk, after going through a pouch the other week, along with 7 tins of various brands, 5 bags of Boswell aros plus a good half dozen bags of bulks from my B&M plus some 1-Q. We won't mention the box from P&C in the living room, or hubby's shelf of tins there either.

    Variety at all price points and availability levels.
     
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  12. menachem

    menachem Member

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    I think it is impossible to tell if a pipe is a good smoke from looks. A good briar doesn't mean that it has to be expensive, but from my experience, you get what you pay for. For a lower end pipe, I would recommend Big Ben or Stanwell. If you can find a good Parker, then you have a Dunhill second. On the higher end of the scale there is Ser Jacopo and Preben Holm, but those are relatively higher priced. You can, however, find some really good "brand" pipes on e-bay and if you look long enough, you can find some real steals. I have a Stanwell HCA that normally goes for over 150 euros. Got it for 15. So, I'd look there.
     
  13. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    Dunhill stuff is easy as pie to deal with. Might benefit from a tad bit of drying, but it won't need much. I don't see any reason it wouldn't smoke well in a cob; most things generally do smoke well in cobs. I smoke mostly burley and the occasional VA in my cobs, though. Just try it in all your pipes and see which one smokes it the best, that's what I would do. Once you find one, stick with it, because Oriental/Latakia blends can ghost a pipe.
     
  14. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    Obviously I can't give any advice on this topic ?:old:
     
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  15. colorduke

    colorduke Active Member

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    Why would you want to get away from otc's?
     
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  16. MeerSteve

    MeerSteve Member

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    Those of you recommending dunhill nightcap or other similar tobacco's need to keep in mind something. If somebody is newish to pipe smoking, or used to the low nicotine OTC blends, don't recommend to them a VERY high nicotine blend like nightcap. It will make them sick probably. Not everybody is adjusted to high nicotine blends.
     
  17. dwaugh

    dwaugh Moderator Moderator

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    Steve, I'm no expert, but I think most OTCs have similar levels of nicotine compared to Nightcap. Some certainly have more, like Five Brothers.
     
  18. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    On the contrary, us crabby old guys are damn near obligated to give advice on any topic whether we have any real background on the subject or not. It's obvious that this topic is right up your alley.

    F1, you go right ahead and dilly dally with them fancy tobaccos, get it out of your system, have your fling and then buy another tub of PA. :blah:
     
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  19. muddler

    muddler Active Member

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    If you've been smoking OTCs you've probably been exposed to burleys. The next step is to establish which of the other major tobacco blend classes you like. I suggest trying a tin each of the following:

    Virginia - GLP Union Square
    Lat - GLP Meridian
    Vaper - Escudo

    From there you can explore the different blends in the broad genres that you like.
     
  20. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    My decision to not chime in is because I have no experience with those fancy blends. Back in the 70's I tried some kinds of Scandinavian aro blends, but quickly dropped them in favor of OTC's. I am fully aware that there may be something out there that I might like better than Carter Hall. I am just unwilling to expend the effort to search for it. And I am unwilling to try to tell someone my way is the right way. But it works for me.:puffy:
     
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