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Tasting the Toby

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Dondi, Oct 8, 2010.

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  1. Dondi

    Dondi Active Member

    Jan 7, 2010
    When I ream my briar pipes, I notice some diminution of flavor. And when I clean out the shank (using a shank brush and alcohol), the diminution is much more noticeable. So I might conclude that much of the taste that comes from "ghosting" actually comes from the cake formed inside the shank of a briar pipe.

    Given that there's little or no chance of cake forming inside the shank of a metal-stemmed pipe, what does this imply for tasting? I'm thinking it probably means that smoking a tobacco blend in a metal-stemmed pipe such as a Falcon will probably taste closer to what one would get when smoking it in a non-caking pipe such as a meer or a cob.

    What do you think? What's your experience?
  2. Tas Gunsmith

    Tas Gunsmith Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    I think I would agree with your assumption Dondi. I guess this is why Meers are so good. I have a couple of cobs but haven't used them as yet so can't say. They seem to be getting cut up somewhere along the line :whistle:

    I have found that falcon bowls taste a bit queer at first but I think that's to do with the stain. I think it was Will who mentioned that he sanded this out prior to smoking his falcon. This has never occurred to me but I will try it next time.
    I like my cake thin and as mentioned here elsewhere today, black and shiny. Cake can sneak up though and when it does I ream back to near wood. In some pipes I can taste the briar and it's good so why cover it up.

    Cheers Rolf.
  3. Puff The Magic

    Puff The Magic Active Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    A clean pipe is so very important in maximizing your experience(s), toby AND pipe!

    Ed Puff!
    Cogito ergo puff
  4. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

    Jun 13, 2010
    I will counter with an old Irish saying (at least
    I think it's Irish): The old pipe gives the sweetest smoke.
    I am in the "cake helps impart the flavour" camp.
    Which may be why I also dedicate pipes to
    certain tobies.

  5. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

    Sep 17, 2009
    Cake will cool the smoke and pipe and it can impart a little flavor to the smoke as it contains oils from previous smokes. But in the shank, you are just smoking a clean pipe and that makes a difference. I too am in the cake loving camp, a caked pipe smokes sweeter! If you are tasting the briar TASGUNSMITH then you are burning the bowl of you pipe, not a good thing!
  6. ted

    ted Member

    Mar 25, 2010
    Put me in the "cake" catagory.
    Once had a huge bent that was caked so thick that I removed the eraser from a #2 pencil just to ream it. Cake was 1/2 inch. Only could smoke it for a few minutes, but it was wonderful. One day I reamed it to a "dime". It never was worth a s*** afterwards and I gave it away.

    Give me cake, and a lot of it.... ted
  7. AndyLowry

    AndyLowry Member

    Aug 28, 2010
    I'm in the "The thicker the better" camp when it comes to carbon. I'll grudgingly ream a little when I can't get the tamper all the way down anymore.

    I don't think it's the carbon ghosting providing the flavor, though-- it just makes the smoke cool enough to actually taste. If I salt-and-alcohol a bowl, it removes ghosting, but the tobacco is still flavorful.

    I really wish the sellers of estate pipes would just leave the damn cake in the bowl and let me clean it, rather than making me go through the agonies of building it back up. :)
  8. commonsenseman

    commonsenseman Member

    Jul 16, 2010
    Count me as a cake lover too. Smokes cooler & drier, tastes better, & it even seems to bite less. Whenever I'm breaking in a new pipe, I seem to get tongue bite.

    I actually don't own a reamer, I just use a pipe-knife to scrape a little off every time I do a thorough cleaning.
  9. cigarsarge

    cigarsarge Active Member

    Jun 13, 2010
    I've got a couple of pipes I've been breaking in...Cake makes the pipe smoke better. I've noticed a vast difference as cake built up especially in the temperature of the bowl.
  10. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Balaenius Rex!!

    Jan 23, 2010
    This is some strong pro-cake sentiment. I just cleaned the shanks of my pipes with brush and alcohol and I have to admit I didn't taste any difference afterward. I've just recently started dedicating the pipes though, maybe two weeks of daily smoking with the same or very closely related tobacco and I don't have a lot of cake in the bowls.

    I should also admit here that I don't think I have much of a sense of taste anyway. I like to think I'm a gourmet but I'm as happy with plain food as something expertly prepared. When asked to describe a dish it is either good or not so good. This is how I categorize tobacco too.
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