Newbie sampler suggestions

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by jwb4707, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. jwb4707

    jwb4707 New Member

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    Hey All, just joined up, and I'm looking to get exposed to some different tobaccos, so I though a sampler would be a good way to go. My local tobacconist has a decent bulk selection, but they all have names like "Autumn trails"(my current favorite, which I'm told is a neutral, whatever that means), and windsor court, etc... So I'm not sure what to go for, I do know I want a vanilla, as my go to aromatic, I tend to love everything vanilla, but I would like to sample a bit of a range, so if anyone has a particular sampler that they have seen, or know of that they think would be helpful, please share.
     
  2. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

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    Depending on your smoking history, aromatics are certainly the most common and easiest ways in. As to the aromatics, if you like the smell, give it a try! Obviously it's at least worth trying some other things (which I think you recognize by asking this question!). Look for an English or two, perhaps a Virginia/Perique blend, flakes are fun to try (Navy flake is pretty common). You may find some things you like, you may find some things you don't like. It's all good to experience. Even if you don't like something, it never hurts to come back later. I swore off flakes after my very first sub-par experience, but I've gone back to try again and now I'm going crazy for 'em. Your tobacconist should be able to offer some direction (and if they staff on any given day doesn't include pipe smokers, they should at least be knowledgeable enough to identify different types for you).
     
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  3. Bent

    Bent Member

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    There are two ways you can go about "sampling the range" but keep in mind that, in some cases, it takes a relatively long time for you to find your spot.

    First, you can go to your tobacconist, take a whiff at the jars, and try whatever smells good to you. The issue with this, is that the tin smell isn't always going to tell you, with much accuracy, what to expect. Many blends out there have a heavenly smell in the jar but are quite bland smokers (and vice-versa). Another problem with this technique is that some English, Balkan, Va's and such, along the more natural range, don't always have the most inviting smell in the jar, but smoke like a dream. You will see a lot of people here say something like "the worse it smells the better it tastes" and that is largely true.

    The second approach is the one I suggest to any new pipe smoker. Get an ounce of different style blends, see what you like, and continue experimenting in that particular direction. Don't be put off from latakia blends just because so and so said aromatics are the best way to start, don't be put off from aromatics because so and so said aromatics are for girls. What I would suggest, to be specific is:
    An ounce of a couple of different aromatics (some lightly cased, some more heavily cased)
    An ounce of a couple different Virginias (Straight VA, VA/Per)
    An ounce of a couple of different English blends with varying amounts of Latakia
    An ounce of a few different burley based blends
    A pouch or two of some of the best regarded OTC's (Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Sir Walter, Captain Black, etc)
    And maybe a tin of what I, personally, consider "semi-aromatics" which I define as aromatics without overly sweet and goopy casings, MacBaren's plumcake, for example, come to mind.

    I realize it sounds like you are buying a crap load of tobacco, but you will be surprised at how fast an ounce disappears.

    Experiment with the whole range, see what agrees with you the most, and continue in that direction.
    Above all, enjoy the ride
     
  4. Marker

    Marker Active Member

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    Great advice by Bent. I am going to sample a wide variety of tobacco. Then find someone here with a lot of years behind their pipes with similar likes. Follow their advice on what to try next. Better than guessing at the 500+ versions of tobacco out there.
     
  5. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Active Member

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    To reiterate Bent, buying by the oz. is the cheapest way to try a lot of different quality blends. If you have to narrow it down because of a lot of choices, I'd suggest trying simple blends with a few components ahead of those with more of a "kitchen sink" approach ("a mix of matured and stoved Va/burley/oriental with a dash of perique with a whisper of latakia"). These may be great, but the simpler ones will give you a better idea of what types of tobacco you like and don't like at this point.
     
  6. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

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    Playing off of this, if you DO find some tins that you'd really like to try before going all out on one, I suspect you'd find some kindly folk in the forums here that would be willing to pack up some samples for you.
     
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  7. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Wrightwood expatriate

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    Nice photos & pricing on such said samples at smokingpipes.com
     
  8. user2725

    user2725 Active Member

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    The best Vanilla aro I have tried is Just For Him's Magic Flute
     
  9. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

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    I never tried a "neutral" yet, could you do me a favor and find out what's in that Autumn Trail?
     
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