The First Taste

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by JBarton, Jul 6, 2010.

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  1. JBarton

    JBarton New Member

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    Having recently begun educating myself on all the different types of tobacco's and blends, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the glorious amount of choices for my first taste! A few of the shops I've been in have suggested a tasting of 3 different types... but I can't really remember much about them (it's been a long time). Should I really only sample 3 (or 4, or 5)? Are there some staples of first time tobacco's that I should purchase? Virginia's, Cavendish, Burley, aromatic or not, etc? I think I actually have some anxiety about missing out on a certain type or not giving it a fair chance by sampling a cheap tobacco. Can you fine gentlemen (or ladies) with all of your combined wisdom help me out?

    Josh
     
  2. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Josh, there are probably 3 or 4 sort of "main categories" of tobacco, and they split down into probably 3 or 4 more each.

    At the roughest cut, you can make a distinction between an aromatic tobacco and a ...non-aromatic tobacc. An aromatic has some flavoring added to the leaf - vanilla, cherry, rum, whatever. This is often used as a contrast to "Enlish" mixtures which are in theory just tobacco, in terms of flavor.

    Usually, we use the term "English" to denote a tobacco that is made up mostly of virginia and latakia (and maybe some other oriental tobaccos).

    A pure Virginia or "straight" virginia is also fragrance-free, so to speak, but has none of the campfire taste of an English. Sweet, can be a little sharp.


    Aromatics, or Danish aromatics, are often black cavendish based, with a bit of burlet to sort of fill out the smoke, and some kind of topping flavor.

    So that's probably the "big 3" but within those, you get Balkans and orientals in the english mixes, virginia/perique mixes, and the virginia types - brown, red, black, orange, yellow green... whatever, and then there's about 50 million tobaccos which are kind of a mixture of all those things. Bit of this, a bit of that, some topping flavor.... lots of tobaccos are not quite classifiable.

    In terms of a new guy looking to experience the world a bit...

    I recommend Frog Morton from McClelland as a sweet easy intro to latakia. Presbyterian Mixture (solomon) will show you what adding oriental tobaccos will do, offering some tea and plum flavors and a sweet/sour mix.

    Navy Flake from Mac Baren is really easy to smoke - vague honey flavoring on a Virginia and burley flake. One of these unclassifiable tobaccos.

    McClelland makes some great virginias, but the broken flake can be hard to deal with for a newer smoker. Something like Marlin Flake from Rattray might be easier to start with.

    For a good aromatic.... the Benjamin Hartwell tobaccos are yummy. Chesdin or Evening STroll.

    You'll also be told that Carter Hall and Prince Albert are tasty and easy to smoke. These sorts of lies are unbecoming of gentlemen.
     
  3. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

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    I think if you wanna try different types of tobacco there is an online vendor i get alot from and there house blends are amazeing. The place is called Milan Tobacconist.com, and like i said the house blends are sooo good and they are very fast at shiping. If you like aromatics i would suggest Poochies Blend and Black Forest 2 very very good smokes...
     
  4. ruffinogold

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

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    I always say try some blends and report back which ones ya like and why ... then it makes it easy to make suggestions for other blends ... otherwise I'll just throw out a list of my favorites ... Ya gotta try M.B. Golden Extra ... gentlemen smoke it ... and guys like me . It's the most killer Burley . IRC Buttered Rum is an off the map aromatic and P.S. English Oriental Supreme is a cool smoking flavorfull English blend . Petersen & Sorensen Tradition is a great Virginia Flake .... Man , there's so many good blends and plenty of great ones ..... good luck
     
  5. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    i will fight you to the death over that remark! burley london blend is superior. EN GARDE!!
     
  6. Strongirish

    Strongirish Member

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    I will argue about the Carter Hall, Prince Albert comment earlier. I recommend all new pipe smokers start with Prince Albert as it is a good basic burley, stays lit well, will put a good cake in your bowl, it won't bite, and is easily available. After getting the hang of it on that, i recommend a blender like C and D and order a sampler. Tell them you are just stsrting out and want to try a good sample of each type of tobacco and they will work with you. It's a fun path to follow, i have smoked a pipe for 40 years and I am still always trying new blends.
     
  7. woodbutcher

    woodbutcher Member

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    There's another reason why I keep PA and CH around. Besides being a teaching tool for smoking technique and building cake on new pipes, simple burley blends are my way of "calibrating" my taste buds. They set a "baseline" to compare other tobacco flavors to.
    After a bowl of PA, I can light a bowl of "trial" tobacco. The differences are more clear and it is easier for me to taste the sweet virginias, the peppery perique, the thick latakia, etc. It just makes it a quicker way to decide if the new blend is one I want to check out further, or if it is just not what I am looking for.
    Everyone's tastes are different and only you can decide what you like. These burleys just give you a starting point for making that decision.
    Hope it helps and good luck finding the blend(s) that are right for you.
    Dan
     
  8. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

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    I do the very same thing, couldn't agree more! :roflmao:
     
  9. JBarton

    JBarton New Member

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    Has anyone tried Old Gowrie as opposed to the Marlin Flake? It says it's a bit milder... or am I looking for a bolder taste when it comes to Virginias? As for the others, I think I will try Frog Morton and Evening Stroll.
     
  10. user0003

    user0003 Well-Known Member

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    I would conceder "mild" to mean less bite and some what less flavor in this case. Of course you really need to smoke all Va's slow..... I attribute this to the naturally higher sugar content of Va's in general. "Full" having the highest.
     
  11. ruffinogold

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

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    London blend is good no doubt but c'mon Golden extra man ... :phew:
    As far as " full " being used in virginias ... I thought it had to do w/ nicotine . When the Sg stuff first hit the states I tried some of them and which ever one had full on it [not sure which one ] really kicked my ass w/ nicotine . So since then I've been carefull w/ full virginias just in case my head would be swimming I'd have a place to chill out . I enjoy the full one though I just gotta take em alittle slow :hot:
     
  12. dubhdarra

    dubhdarra Active Member

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    i'd tend to agree with you with american made VAs but to me but i've had a different experience with foreign stuff. seems like "full" is just something they say to make it sound better. cause MVF is definitely sweeter than FVF...
     
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