How long did it take you to start noticing flavors?

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by 1stGenRex, Jul 20, 2011.

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  1. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    As someone who is a cigarette smoker (although I do want to cut back, or even quit here soon), I find myself not really noticing too much of the flavor nuances that people speak of in pipe tobacco. It could be that I'm just doing it wrong, or maybe my taste buds are getting screwed by cigarettes, but how long did it take you to start noticing flavors? Is there something you guys would suggest? Honestly, right now, I'm finding VERY LITTLE flavor differences.

    Just curious, is all. I've learned a method for packing that produces less burning flavor and seems like the correct way to pack. So I think this is all just a product of being a stupid n00b :P Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     


  2. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    1. Pipe tobacco carry a lot of nuances but many (most) pipe tobaccos taste, uh, ....dramatic!
    2. Cigs will deaden your sense of smell (hence taste).
    3. Smoking too hot (too fast) kills pipe tobacco flavor.
    3a. Filling a pipe too tight may result in a hard draw, too much heat and loss of flavor.
    4. A wet or dirty pipe (or pipestem) can ruin the experience. What pipe are you smoking?
    5. Some briar pipes are finished by dipping in stain thus coating the outside AND inside of the pipe. Stained bowls taste uniformly bad for many smokes.
    6. There is some flat out terrible pipe tobacco. What are you smoking?
    6. It's all in the snork.

    So whattaya think? Any bells ringing here?
     
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  3. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    I think another big factor includes just letting yourself taste it, not being afraid to pick something it tastes similar to.

    Some tobaccos taste earthy. How much dirt have we tasted for comparison?
    Some taste grassy, or hay-like. When was the last time you ate some hay?

    I feel I had a big advantage in this, having been trained to taste nuances in coffee, wine, whisky and beer, and self-taught to appreciate some of the nuances in cigars and fine dark chocolates as well. A HUGE part of this is not second guessing yourself. You can't be wrong in what you taste, even if it doesn't match up with the experience of another person!

    Also, ditto to what Moo said :puffy:
     
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  4. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    in terms of pipes, I've got a couple cobs as of now, with some briar on the way (some new, some estates). In terms of wet smoking, I don't notice any excessive moisture, just a tiny bit on the inside of the stem, like condensation, but very light.

    In terms of tobacco, I decided to start with a few OTC blends. I've mostly smoked Captain Black White, but I also have Sugar Barrel, and Carter Hall. I smoked a single bowl of Mac B Mixture Modern, and attempted (but failed) to smoke Mac B Navy Flake. I'm very diligent about cleaning a pipe after smoking (and the pipe cools). I might be guilty of smoking too fast, and inproper packing. I'm not frustrated at all by the learning process, in fact, I rather enjoy it. Just wanting more info is all.
     
  5. woody

    woody Admin Admin

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    Something I think that would be helpful is a video of someone puffing properly.

    And not some fat guy trying to make sexy faces to the camera. :puke:
     
  6. mtsgsd

    mtsgsd Active Member

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    Well that leaves me out.
     
  7. nesta

    nesta Well-Known Member

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    Puffing too fast/hot really does lessen the flavor of tobaccos. I do it all the time, I should know haha. When I settle down and make it a point to sip it nice and slow and let the smoke last, it really is a much better experience. I'm just a bit tight strung sometimes....especially since I stopped drinking (Friday is 90 days, woot)

    But even when I smoke a little too hot I get enough flavor to know what I like as long as it's not so hot that it just tastes like gum that's lost it's flavor haha
     
  8. ArtisanArcher

    ArtisanArcher Member

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    I'm kind of with you Rex, I'd read all these different flavour nuances on toby reviews and I just didn't seem to understand. Then I realized that tobys I had smoked were few in number. It took me a year and a few months before I ever tried an English blend, or anything with Latakia in it all. I think it just takes some time and a lot of exposure.
     
  9. ruffinogold

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

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    Youre in need of a Lat Bomb . Smoke a bowl of CH in yer cob and then an hour later smoke a lat Bomb . You'll notice a difference I promise . If not , after 4 hours , see a doctor :)
     
  10. gic

    gic Member

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    TBH it took me a few months of pipe somking daily to start realizing the taste of tobaccos in an enjoyable level, though i never somked cigs before.
     
  11. Duke

    Duke Member

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    I like smoking one or two tobaccos day in and day out. By doing so I find the nuances of a specific blend that I find satisfying over the long haul. Once defined I’m not inclined to search for the next Sobranie. For me, there simply isn’t enough time to sample all the tobaccos fully and fairly. So looking for a daily smoke is vital to my smoking enjoyment. I like the familiarities: how it packs and lights; how it smokes from beginning to end; is there enough nicotine for me. When Dunhill went missing from the American market I was pissed. I was smoking at that time Light Flake and My Mixture 965. How do you go about replacing those tobaccos? It wasn’t easy, because finding something similar seemed never to hit the mark, so I looked for something distinctly different. I landed on Hal’ O’ The Wynd for the Light Flake and never quite found a an English replacement. When I thought I enjoyed HOTW, I bought a pound to see if I tired of it over a longer trial. Now I buy pounds. I find that when I’m not focusing intently on the smoke do the true subtleties appear. I’d suggest cut out the cigarettes and smoke the most favorite blend of the several you’d mentioned for a span of several weeks. Also, you’ll acclimate your tongue and cadence to pipe smoking. Good luck.
     
  12. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    Thanks for the tips, guys. Like I said, I'm not at the point of frustration.

    As an aside, I found it rather comical that today, while at a different base, I saw a dude smoking a pipe! He seemed like he was in a hurry, so I didn't want to bother him. I KNEW he was smoking Captain White! He puffed and puffed and puffed for like 2-3 minutes straight. I was thinking there is NO WAY this guy is getting any good flavor out of that pipe! I mean, I try to smoke at a slower cadence than when I smoke a cigarette, and even then I find that I think I'm smoking too fast! Then, when he was "done", he tapped his briar pipe rather heavily on a metal can to empty out his pipe. No pipe tool either, or tamper. To me, pipe smoking has great potential to be something to do to wind down, and relax, but this guy was in a huge hurry!

    Anywho, I was tempted to order a few other blends, but just decided to stick to the 6 blends I already have, and learn to smoke them PROPERLY before moving on to other blends. I have a few more blends on the way, but the majority of my stuff is OTC Burleys, and I enjoy them so far. They seem VERY easy to smoke, and they're not overy heavy, so I can smoke 3-4 times a day if I could find the time.
     
  13. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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    Your OTCs and Sugar Barrel are burley. I find fast smoking of burley and a lot of other non-latakia <aka "english" or "oriental"> blends makes for bland or even ashy tastes. If the bowl is dry at the bottom when you're done, good job. Fill the pipe a little looser and tamp as lightly as possible to maintain combustion and light resistance to your draw. Smoke slower.

    Try the MacBarens Navy Flake again; make sure it isn't too moist (it should fracture a bit when you bend it in half) and rub it out well so there are almost no flake-chunks left and make you a famous Sasquatch Cannonball and gently mash it in your cob, filling the bowl to light draw resistance. Smoke slowly, not tamping it any tighter than your starting, easy draw. Relight as often as needed. Don't let the cob get any warmer than feels comfy on your fingertips. If you are a carpenter and your hands are sort of like shoe-leather, touch the bowl on your cheek for a temp check. If you are a lumberjack and your face is completely insulated with hair then you will need to find a hairless, sensitive spot such as... well, that's up to you. (One of those crested hairless Chinese dogs would be a good barometer. If it squeals - too hot.)

    You should definitely find a taste if you get this tuned in - a tad edgy, a little citrusy and nearly peppery on the snork. Do you snork, by the way?
     
  14. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    I'm afraid to ask...but....Snork?

    And I thank you again for your tips! By the time I'm done, the dottle is pretty dry. I only get a tiny bit of condensation on the see through stem I have, nothing a single pipe cleaner doesn't take care of (although I do follow it up with a few anyway to make sure I'm not missing anything.)

    Usually, I can hold the pipe in my hand with no problems. As advised by the Savinelli site, hold the pipe in your hand and count to 6. If you can't make it to 6, your pipe is way too hot.
     
  15. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

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  16. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    I'll try this next time FOR SURE! I've done it with cigarettes for some unknown reason, but never thought about doing it with pipe smoke!
     
  17. jeff394

    jeff394 Member

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    Just make sure you don't inhale!
     
  18. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Stop smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes really jack with your sense of taste and smell, which are the two senses you need most to enjoy pipe smoking. As long as cigarettes still controll your sense of smell and taste, you're not going to be able to really appreciate any pipe tobacco. As a former cigarette smoker (I smoked them for about ten years, and have been off them completely now for about 15 years), I can guarantee you that if you quit you'll feel much better after your system has had the time to cleanse itself of all the nasty stuff that comes with cigarettes. I can also guarantee that you'll hack up all manner of substances in colors that you won't find in your box of Crayolas.

    Your sense of smell and taste will come back, and you'll begin to really appreciate food, beverages, and pipe tobies - especially pipe tobies. You'll notice the nuances that every body talks about, and you'll be able to fully appreciate any blend you try. However, you'll also need to recalibrate your taste buds. This is where it will become improtant that you focus on types different of tobies so that you can discern the flavor profiles of Virginias, Burleys, Perique, Orientals, Latakia, and Cavendishes. Make notes. Frinstance, to me Virginias taste like hay or wheat bread, Burley tastes like nuts, Perique tastes like prunes or raisins, Orieitnals taste like citrus fruites or spices, and Latakia tastes like leather or a mesquite wood fire. You'll have to be make your own associations, and you're not going to be able to do that as long as the cigarettes are beating your sense of smell and taste into submission.
     
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  19. 1stGenRex

    1stGenRex Member

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    I quit for a year, then I came back to the desert, and started smoking again :/ I guess this is just another reason to quit!
     
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