How Many Bowls?

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by Coastal Bend, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    A bit of time spend around the Tobacco Review site (before I discovered PSF) left me curious. Reading a number of the reviews I would often see a recurring theme. The reviewer would wax eloquent about the blend of the moment, describing various nuances, then confess in words something like: "This is my first bowl of this blend, but it could become my everyday blend..." or some similar phrase like, "...my go to blend," or "my all day blend."

    I would read that and think, "Really? Really?" Maybe it is just me, but I've found that it takes more than one bowl for me to determine if I really like this or that blend. (And, yeah, it may also take several to determine I really don't like one, too.)

    So, let me toss it out to the vast collective intelligence -- how many bowls to decide it a blend is "by golly the one and only, go-to, all-day, every day blend"? Or, more specifically do you make that determination with just one bowl?
     
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  2. 5H4N3

    5H4N3 Active Member

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    I'm a little different than you. I can usually tell by mid way through the first bowl that I really like a blend.
    Sometimes though, it takes several bowls to determine that I do not like a particular blend.
    My current favorite is Middleton's Walnut, and for me it was love at first puff. I didn't even need to get all the way through the first bowl to know it was "the one".
     
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  3. Harry

    Harry Member

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    I have been a pipe smoker for only a short time (13 months), so I think it fair that to compensate for my still improving technique I will give a new tobacco 4-5 tries before deciding if it's a keeper.

    Having said that, it only took one bowl of Frog Morton for me before I tossed the rest. Thankfully, it was only a small sample which I received in trade.
     
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  4. craig

    craig Active Member

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    well there has been quite a few blends when ive been a few draws in and have been like yeah this is pretty special and when i first smoked gawith and hoggarth louisiana flake as soon as i smelled it in the pouch i knew i would love that blend before i even lit up and its a love affair that continues this day i always have at least an ounce in my stores and i still love it as much now as the first time i tried it.

    But there is blends were it has took me a few more bowls to grasp and enjoy it condor was one of them it took me a while to enjoy it but again i always make sure i have some in my stores (even if i dont its pretty easy to get hold of every shop that sells tobacco almost always has this or long cut available).
    balkan blends as well all though i have got the knack on how too propperly smoke them and have a good smoke out of them i still dont know if i actually like them.
     
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  5. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    It only takes one bowl or less for me to like or dislike a blend, and no, I do not jar it up to come back to it later, I move on.
     
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  6. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    I will go through the whole tin (or sample) in a number of pipes before deciding if something is not for me. If I like it right off the bat, OK. I have had tobaccos that only seemed to work well in some of my pipes so I give anything new to me a shot in as many pipes as I can before I slam the door on it.
     
  7. Old Ted

    Old Ted Active Member

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    I spend at least a day with one before making final judgement, but some (aromatics!) have been dismissed after half the bowl!.
    OT
     
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  8. craig

    craig Active Member

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    it didnt even take that for me with a bowl of clan!!
     
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  9. afiaowo

    afiaowo Member

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    I've wondered the same thing while reading the reviews on TR.

    For me, deciding if I absolutely dislike a blend happens on the first bowl. I do smoke a few just to make sure.

    The majority of blends I smoke 1-2 ounces because they don't hit me either way. Good yes, but not bad or great.

    Only a couple of blends hit me straight away as something I would cellar. Cornell and Diehl Bayou Night and Dan Tobacco Old Ironsides.

    Dunhill Night Cap, Royal Yacht and Solani Ages Burley Flake are a few more that I think should be included but I haven't had them in a while.
     
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  10. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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    I have to confess that it is true, I have in the past decided I did not like something in a bowl or less. Sometimes I try to revisit it -- just in case -- but for "don't likes" I agree with Old Ted, Cobbsmoker and Afiaowo, it usually doesn't take long. On the other hand, maybe it is a commitment thing but I find it goes against my being to smoke one bowl and declare, "That's all, this is IT. This is the blend that I want to have every day, all day, from now on..." That's just me. YMMV :bing:
     
  11. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    A sad fact is that once this happens everything in your cellar becomes very expensive crap. :shead:
     
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  12. RevSmoke

    RevSmoke Member

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    I can know in the first bowl whether or not I want to smoke more of a blend or whether to give the rest of it away. To know if it is a "go to" blend or not, whether or not it will even become a part of my rotation, that may take a a few ounces to determine.

    I have been smoking long enough that it has to be something special to end up in my rotation.
     
  13. RevSmoke

    RevSmoke Member

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  14. YAPPG

    YAPPG Member

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    I'll try something new in different pipes to see if i'm going to keep it or not. A few I know befor I try that are going to be great, eg Rev and Craid were my enablers of GH LPF. After reading both there reviews and seeing what they have listed in this forum, I knew I would have a new favorite when I got to try it and I was right. Irish flake and Irish Oak caught me off gaurd tho. Didn't like them in any pipe. Not even a slight buzz.
     
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  15. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

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  16. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    It varies for me. Some blends, the first few puffs are a "holy cow" experience where I'm just blown away by how good it is. I remember that being the case with Reiner Long Golden Flake, for example. It didn't take me half a bowl to recognize that that one was a keeper. Some others that are now favorites did not click right away, like FVF. The first several times I smoked it, I either prepared it wrong or did something wrong and didn't really understand the hype, but I stuck with it, and now it's probably my overall favorite tobacco.

    As far as disliking a blend, I can usually tell that pretty quickly too, but I never throw away perfectly good tobacco. That's just wasteful. I always jar it up and revisit it a few times at least, and then if I really don't like it, I'll try to find a good home for it. There's always someone who likes that blend that you hate. As a rule, I don't smoke aromatics, so those don't factor into the picture here. I do like Classic Burley Kake, which is an aromatic, and I like 4noggins' Bald Headed Teacher as well. But I don't like things like Middleton's Cherry or Lane 1Q.

    Then, the last category would be things that aren't that good when I first open the tin but then develop into something incredible after a bit of time in the jar. Old Gowrie is an example of this, as is Dunhill Flake. Those really take on incredible amounts of depth with a little bit of airing out and/or aging time. So, basically, it varies as to how long it takes to determine if I like something, but I never waste good tobacco by throwing it out.
     
  17. fogpipe

    fogpipe Member

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    With a lot of tobaccos i know right away that its a keeper, just like MM above. Some i know on first bowl that i will never like them, too spicy with perique or too much latakia for instance. OTOH somtimes i will smoke something and not like it that much but come back to it and try again and eventually end up liking it. Two of my current favorites pegasus and OJK were like that.
    I tried a couple of new tobaccos recently. One, grousemoor i liked immediately and will probably always like it, the other, Escudo, i like ok, but after a couple of bowls dont think ill buy it again, there is just nothing really special about it to my tastes. Dorchester imo does the same thing better.
    But as far as knowing on the first bowl that it will be a go to smoke, I havent had that experience yet.
    I have to say tho that recently with Grousemoor when i smoked the first bowl of it i did feel that way breifly. Its a unique taste and bowled (no pun intended) me over on the first smoke. I just wish it had more nicotene in it.
     
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  18. Pfeifenraucher

    Pfeifenraucher Member

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    When I don't like the taste of a blend, it's almost immediately after I light-up. If I like a blend, or it intrigues me, It might take several bowls before I commit to it. :bing:
     
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  19. F1guy

    F1guy Member

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    Though I'm still new around here, I do know when I find something I don't like.

    Dorchester, I have a love-hate relationship with, but again, this can be due to my lack of experience in the craft.

    Carter Hall, I'm getting into slowly. I've had two bowls, and I liked how it smoked, smooth, long-lasting in my cob, but I still liked the flavor of the PA more, if only for the subtle nuances of it. I do value the CH and PA because they are solid tobaccos, even for someone as new as I am. Any tobacconist will tell you what an affront to the art of tobacco they are, but they aren't buying or smoking it for me. :ohyh:

    To the question, unless it's crap, like Red Cap, which took all of one draw for me to decide to dump the pipe and toss it, I'll give a new blend 3-4 bowls before I make a concrete decision to buy the tobacco again. After all, in most cases, you did pay for an ounce or an ounce and a half, may as well make the most of it.

    Unless you have a really cool tobacconist who will let you return what you didnt like, then by all means smoke a bowl and give the rest back.
     
  20. upinsmoke

    upinsmoke Member

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    It may differ from pipe to pipe.
     
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