1. This forum section is for discussing pipes, it is not for advertising in any fashion.

Does pipe shape affect taste of tobacco?

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Gary, Oct 4, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gary

    Gary Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    864
    In the wine industry a particular wine glass maker made claim that particular wines each deserved their own unique shaped glass to bring out the best flavor in that style of wine. Of course some disagree and others could care less.

    Bringing this to tobacco, I've noticed that after only a few bowls of a particular tobacco (R. McConnell Irish Flake, but that's irrelevant) taste best smoked from my Stanwell Colonial (straight) than out of one of the bent pipes or a cob. It made me curious if there's ever been any discussion on the topic or whether others perceive there to be differences in tastes when smoked from different shapes.
     


  2. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    This is the riddle of the pipe-sphinx.
     
    HCraven likes this.
  3. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    6,509
    IMHO, of course it does. Absolutely.
    One would be daft to think otherwise. ;)
     
  4. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    How daft? Totally daft, mostly daft or only partly daft?
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    864
    These are pretty much the responses received when the subject comes up in wines. Just was curious and searched the forums before pisting. Could very well be the condition of my pipes. The Stanwell is an estate pipe while the others are all relatively new.
     
  6. TxPipesmoker

    TxPipesmoker Active Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,067
    To me it depends on what was last smoked in the pipe not so much the shape. Some pipes smoke cooler or hotter which will change the taste a bit.
     
  7. Gary

    Gary Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Messages:
    864
  8. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2009
    Messages:
    12,017
    A good answer is hard to offer. But seriously -

    The classical external shapes all work well for the usual necessaries; they accept a pipecleaner, don't fill up with water, disperse heat and fit in your hand. Now, if someone made a spikey pipe that looked like a sea urchin it would probably manage heat brilliantly but it would be fragile and uncomforatble to hold. Then there are some drop-dead beautiful original designs out there but, if they wander far from conventional geometry, it may be risky to assume they handle heat well OR feel good in the hand after you plop down $1000 for the pleasure.

    Another complication. The nature of the wood itself cannot be seen. Two pipes with identical geometry may perform very differently based on hidden internal flaws, or the age- or origin of the wood, for example.

    Experienced pipesmokers probably consider the size or shape of the smoking chamber and the airway (the bored-out parts) to be more significant than the shape of the pipe. Here begins a discussion with flexibility for one person and some absolute laws for another. The size of the airway, possible disturbances (both psychic and laminar) within the airway, conical vs. cylindrical chambers or bore sizes at/over/under 0.75" can generate toughtful and even passionate discussion. Pipemakers often have very definite opinions about shape-elements which we pipesmokers may never see.

    And then comes a lot of harisplitting fun about this pipe shape vs. that kind of tobacco. I like this tobacco in a small, conical briar pipe; the next guy says it only tastes good to him in a large cylindrical clay pipe and so on. There doesn't seem to be a right or wrong in all this. Each piper figures which pipes performs best with which tobacco on which day.

    And when all the measurements are tested to perfection and all the tools are precise and all the wood is genetically identical - when all the science is complete - someone will why every corncob pipe is different but most of them smoke brilliantly.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Paul, Gary and WillH like this.
  9. whitebriar

    whitebriar Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    604
    i can't tell you why, but for me everything seems to do better in a bulldog--but then i smoke mostly burley based stuff
     
  10. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,654
    I'm always experimenting with my pipe and tobacco combinations, looking for the one pipe that smokes this tobacco or that style of blend better than any other, and I occasionally strike gold. I'm smoking a Savinelli Dry System 232o right now that I have dedicated to Escudo. It's a big Author shape with a wide, somewhat conical bowl that comfortably accommodates two coins and, for me, smokes Escudo better than any other pipe I own. I agree with TxPipesmoker in that what was smoked in it last enhances (or detracts from) your experience with what you are smoking now, but to me that's a secondary consideration, which is why I occasionally marry a pipe to a tobacco; it just gets better once the flavor permeates the cake. I don't know of any formula for figuring out which pipe will work best with a tobacco, so it's just a matter of trial and error, in my opinion. All the more reason to buy more pipes!

    Herb
     
    Gary likes this.
  11. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    6,509
    mostly daft.... mostly (Newt voice).
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.