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RE-EVALUATING MY TOBY PURCHASES

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by RTOdhner, Jul 3, 2011.

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  1. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I'm beginning to re-evaluate my pipe smoking and toby purchasing habits. I had been thinking about cellaring bulk tobies, but between one unopened tub of PA and what I have out in jars I've got a pound worth, and that pound or so doesn't seem to be really going anywhere since I've been exploring the many different tinned tobies out there.

    Considering that I'm not a real heavy pipe smoker, a few tins seems to last me about a month. My weekday pattern seems to be a small bowl in the morning on my short commute to work, a moderate-sized bowl in the afternoon at work when I go for my lunch-hour walk, a larger-sized bowl right when I get home from work, and then a bowl of varying size right before bed. On weekends, I might have a couple more bowls per day than I do during the rest of the week. There seems to be only a few constants in my toby preferences: A lighter and sweeter toby in the morning, an English blend that focuses on VA's and Orientals with just a moderate splash of Latakia, "Scottish" blends, and generally VA-based flake over any other style of toby.

    Cellaring OTC blends like Walnut, Prince Albert, and Carter Hall once seemed like a great idea - as did finding a bulk that I liked and cellaring that. However, I've found several tinned tobies that I'd really rather much cellar like OGS, Erinmore, MacB Navy Flake, Presbyterian Mixture, Squadron Leader (good luck on finding any of that, eh), Club Blend, Plum Cake, Old Dublin, Sherlock Holmes, Irish Oak, Royal Yacht, 965, Early Morning Pipe, and Cairo. These are the just among the ones I've tried and really liked, and within this mix of tins is a blend blend that suites my particular smoking preference for a particular time of the day. And there are so many more left to try.

    If I was to buy a sleeve of the tinned tobies that I like, a sleeve being five or six tins, it would run anywhere from $55 to $70 per toby. I could buy about two tubs of my favorite OTC's or a couple of pounds of my favorite bulk (Stokkebye and MacBaren) for that price. Certainly, buying the OTC or bulk toby would be cheaper, but I also tire of a particular blend after about an ounce or two ounces, or roughly a tin's worth, and then I'm ready to move onto something else. In time, I once again get a hankering for a particular blend and I'll go back to it. Meanwhile, that jar full of bulk sits there hydrating and mostly gathering dust on the jar. On rare occasion I go back to it, but tinned toby (of various blend) gets smoked at least five times as often. Thus, the bulk or OTC tobies do not really offer any savings because they're rarely smoked. Even if I was to buy them in pouches, it still wouldn't offer any savings because I'd tire of them before I'd finish them off.

    This has thus far not proven not to be the case with tinned tobies. Since I suffer far for from TAD than PAD, picking up a sleeve of canned toby every now and then (in addition to a new toby or two per month) every seems like a good way to build up a fair-sized cellar while still allowing me the opportunity to buy a new cob, Pete, or estate pipe every once in a while. And it all seems sustainable within the modest allowance of $70 or so a month that I keep for myself.

    Anybody find themselves in a similar boat?
     
  2. Zfog

    Zfog Member

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    I am similar, I love variety so I cellar wide and deep. My aim is to have a Very vast cellar so years down the road I am not stuck with 40 pounds of just a couple toby's. Even if they were my current favorites I fear that I would tire of them.
     
  3. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    mmm.....don't know how long you have been pipesmoking - but I've been fortunate to find (long ago!) two or three blends that I could happily smoke daily for the rest of my days. I like to experiment a little with others, it's fun and often a big disappointment - but not urgent. You may find yourself in a similar frame of mind in time.
    OT:)
     
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  4. DocB

    DocB Active Member

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    I can relate Roy... I am still trying to figure out what I really like, and what I have found that I DO, I plan to stock up moderately when I return to the States in October. Until then, I keep dabbling here and there, and have OTCs here with me that I don't really mess with. But of the tobaccos I smoke daily, most all of it is tinned blends, such as those you mentioned. Although I like the couple of OTCs that I have, I just gravitate more towards the tins lately.
     
  5. ruffinogold

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

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    Sounds like your in the " I want to try lots of stuff " mode ! Thats cool . I always want to try stuff . I've tried so much stuff that I've forgotten if I tried that one . It's fun ya know . Honestly , theres a few blends I need and could smoke forever ... if everything else was gone ? I'd be ok w/ the 2 or 3 blends that I " need " . Cellar what ya can !
     
  6. Ozark Nick

    Ozark Nick Member

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    I tried a sample of RLP-6 and promptly bought several ounces of it thinking I could be happy just smoking that for quite some time.

    Then I purchased a couple tins and was gifted several others, and I haven't hardly touched the RLP-6 since.

    So I reckon I'm in much the same boat as you. When I started out I figured I'd go with the cheap bulk tobys so as to save money, but now I find myself really enjoying the experience of trying out the different tins.

    Not to mention that my wife and I have collected various tins for some time now, so we are both drawn to the tinned tobacco for that reason as well!
     
  7. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    Personally, my cellar is reasonably wide (though it could be wider) but almost embarrassingly shallow. The reason for that is that 1) I only smoke a bowl or 2 a day and like variety, or at least a 5-6 tobacco rotation, and 2) I've tried to cellar deep before and lost money in the bargain. I used to really enjoy Rattray's 3 Noggins, so I bought a pound and stuck it in a tobacco jar (the wisdom of using Mason jars was not as prevalent back then). Despite efforts to keep it moist, it rather quickly desicated, plus I just found other things I wanted to try and I got tired of fighting a losing battle with humidity. Tins are more manageable for me, as it takes me a long time to burn through one even if it is part of my rotation. As for SL, I bought about 4 oz of bulk last time I had an opportunity, and that will hold me for quite a while at my rate of consumption. Still have a 2 year old tin, too. I probably would just buy tins if it weren't so darn scarce.
     
  8. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I'm getting close to this frame of mind. I have about 6-7 tobaccos I could smoke regularly and be happy. I'd like to cellar 2 lbs of each of those. Add some other blends in smaller quantities for variety and I think I will be happy as a clam for a long time. I think a 25-30lb cellar would last me a lifetime at 1-2 bowls per day.
     
  9. Beale

    Beale Active Member

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    Man I am so out of this loop!! Right now I have 3 Mason Jars of Toby I like. A Tin I keep with me with a few samples. I have not bought much toby really. Three total tins? I have a good bulk supplier of PS. I have gotten most of my Tobby in trades and I like that. A Disability Check does not pay for much extra, Beale.
     
  10. Zfog

    Zfog Member

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    You should put your cellar in an online cellar database, it tells you a lot. I have about 38 pounds cellared, and at the rate of 1.5 bowls a day it will only last around 12 years. (my cellar tells me)
     
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  11. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I did the online cellar and it said my 10 lbs of toby would last around 4.5 years. I've readjusted my cellar goal to 45-50 lbs instead of 25-30. I didn't make my TAD list any longer, just added volume to the known blends. Interesting tool...
    Thanks
     
  12. soundlzrd

    soundlzrd Active Member

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    Brad I am with you. I thought ten lbs qould last forever. I smoke a bowl or less a day, on average. According to my Pipe Toll app on my phone, it isn't even 5 years!
     
  13. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like I'll need to cellar at least 100 pounds. Time to re-evaluate my re-evaluation of my smoking habits. 100 pounds of tinned toby is just not feasible on what I budget for my pipe hobby. However, about 75 pounds of bulk or OTC, and about 25 pounds of tinned toby is feasible.
     
  14. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

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    For me, I will not use an "on-line cellar" listing to do anything with my cellar. My cellar listing/inventory is nobody's business........... especially any snooping no-good nanny farts out there. It's like advertising your weapons & ammo arsenal......... just not a good idea.

    Re-evaluating your cellar or cellar purchases is wise. There probably are some blends that are and have been your "go to" smoke for 20+ yrs but now are no longer smoking them. I know a piper who only smoked the same blend for 20+ and now is opening his eyes to what's out there............

    Everytime I'm at the cash register making another leaf purchase for immediate smoke or sample or cellar, I make the decision and re-evaluate the purchase as in whether this is a leaf I want more of? Or if it's a leaf I must try...... now!?

    I know that by cellaring wide, the variety is there, in spades! I have over 17 flats of jars (at present) that are of the smaller sized 4-8 oz and each has a different blend or different vintage of that blend. What a choice! Yeah, some are my favs, whereas, some not so favored. Coming back to smoke that was "ho-hum" on previous smokes and finding the current smoke of the same blend being more exciting or flavorful is worth keeping the blend around. I know my tastes will both broaden and preferences will change over time and experience with more blends. I just can't see myself limiting my smoke to just 2 or a 100 blends. If 100's available, I'll take 100! And, no, I'm not trying to cellar or even sample all 4000+ blends out there, although, that would be quite fun! :D

    Ed
    Puff
     
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