How to Approach New Pipes & Tobacco

Discussion in 'Need Pipe Smoking Advice? Ask an Old Fart!' started by Morse, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    I'm looking for some advice on how to approach new tobaccos & pipes. Overcome with enthusiasm for my new pastime I have a modest number of pipes (5 or so) and probably 10 or so open tins/jars with another 10 or so unopened. What I find myself doing is smoking something new with every bowl and often in a different pipe, never really remembering what the last bowl tasted like - they all sort of blur together.

    Do you folks find it better to spend a week or so with a particular blend, tried in a couple of different pipes to figure out what works best?
     
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  2. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    One member of this board spent a month or so smoking a single blend - it was a "boring" blend by some standards. Not only did it offer him a baseline to sort of compare against, but it also forced him to understand that particular tobacco - how it smoked best, the flavors it offered in different pipes, etc. I thought it was a really good idea.

    That said, it is fun and exciting to try out new pipes and/or new tobaccos, and there's no reason not to do so. I think in time, no matter how you approach this, you'll come to understand what each blend is about.

    It's certainly worth experimenting with any particular tobacco. Writing something off for burn characteristics or flavor is a shame if it might have worked better packed differently or smoked in a different pipe.

    Really, if you're enjoying your pipes, you're doing it "right".
     
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  3. ruffinogoldswife

    ruffinogoldswife The Mayor's Wife

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    Great reply, Sas. Thanks.:gjob:
     
  4. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    If I'm unfamiliar with the tobacco, I work with no more than two blends at a time and pretty much smoke only those until they are gone (or until I realize they stink!).

    Sas is correct about trying it in different pipes. There are 2 blends I smoke that only work in one pipe - one! There's another that works in all my pipes but only sings in one. I don't understand why this is but I don't fight it - I simply allow those pipes and tobaccos to "go steady". But smoking a couple of bowls without this experimentation might mean you're writing off the tobacco prematurely.
     
  5. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I can't really say what's better for you, but I have a handful of unopened tins of new things around right now and most will probably stay that way for a while longer, as I spend some more time with other new things I've recently gotten into and, of course, continue to enjoy the staple blends in my rotation. I do find that new blends should be tried in a variety of pipes to see which one each blend works in the best, as it can really enhance the experience to have the right pipe for the job, as it were. Moreover, it helps keep the TAD monster at bay knowing that you have 4 or 5 new things waiting in your cellar. If you crack every tin when you receive it, you wind up with a bunch of unsmoked tobacco and you still want more.

    Herb
     
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  6. RP McMurphy

    RP McMurphy Member

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    Well, There pretty vigilant and have eyes in the back of their head but, if you wait till dark and leave the lights off then slowly, quietly sneak up on them you'll have a better chance.
     
  7. ArtisanArcher

    ArtisanArcher Member

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    I had a very similar reaction to pipe smoking for about the first 6 months that I smoked. But it took me a while to actually develop a palette that could discern the different types of toby. It is very overwhelming, all the different types and flavours of toby and all the different types of pipes, but like Sas said, if you're enjoying it, you're doing it "right." If you're to the point where you kind of know what you like, I recommend sample packs before you jump out and buy a new blend. Or ask around here on the forum and see if anybody has an ounce of a particular blend they'd be willing to trade you for something.

    If you rush out though and just buy a pound of everything, you're going to end up with some stuff you really find out you don't like. My motto is this: Don't be hasty. :D Okay, maybe that's Treebeard's motto...

    Happy Smoking
    Arty
     
  8. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    Thanks for the input and sage advice from everyone. I think I will slow down on the variety and work on a couple of blends at a time. Herb your point about not feeling the need to buy something because you still have a cellar of new things to try is well taken....................by which I mean it makes sense and SHOULD be true and yet..............I have this list....................and this forum is largely to blame!

    Thanks again for the advice folks.
     
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  9. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    and yes I will be honing those ninja sneaking skills also................ smart aleck :)
     
  10. user1975

    user1975 Active Member

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    We are a great bunch of enablers, aren't we?:beck:
     
  11. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    In time, you'll also find that you'll only
    smoke certain types of toby in a particular
    pipe; dedicating it to that type of toby.
    A pipe for English blends, and so forth.
    At least, that's what many of us do. Others,
    well, they're just weird. :D
     
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  12. HCraven

    HCraven Active Member

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    I'm no better, Morse. I have a list, too, and I still buy new stuff and try it while the unopened tins sit in my cellar. It is nice to have a few new things to try on a rainy day, though.
     
  13. ruffinogold

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

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    Its a good idea to give a blend a tin/pouch to figure it . Some people smoke 10 bowls a day while others smoke 2 bowls a week , so a reasonable amount of time is subjective as far as how long it should take to finish a tin/pouch . If yer jumping around w/ evey bowl then I can see everything blurring together as you said . If ya want to jump around .. go for it ! Nothin wrong w/ that ! But if ya want to " get " a blend , spend alittle time w/ it is all . Being your just gettin going ... just have fun ... and when one really hits you as fantastic ... you'll naturally spend more time w/ it maybe . It's good youre enjoying yourself ... what else really matters !?
     
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  14. WayneTeipen

    WayneTeipen Member

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    Lots of good advice already. It's tough to have the will power and self control to not have several tins open at one time. Mason jars are great for those of us who struggle with this. These days, I try really hard to only have a few tins open at any given time. If I get bored I go to tobaccos in mason jars since opening them isn't as detrimental to the tobacco. It would probably make more sense to transfer all tobaccos to mason jars once open anyway but I'm a bit too lazy for that.
     
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  15. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Here's a tip. I'd never seen these before but as part of a trade someone sent me a 6 piece set of tiny little one oz mason jars. They're the coolest things! Perfect for a tobacco bar with a small batch of 6 different tobaccos. I'm going to try to find more. They're perfect because they keep the tobacco fresh and they don't hinder the aging process of my larger jars. When I buy a pound now, I hold out about 4 oz and put it in a different mason jar, then move an oz at a time to these tiny jars. Works great! Also good for holding the last half of a tin for as long as it takes you to finish it.
     
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  16. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    When I first got back to the pipe, I kept hopping fro blend-to-blend/bowl-to-bowl. However, the situation corrected itself when I realized just how expensive it was getting. The situation then corrected itself, and I began to stick to blend until I finished off the tin or pouch and actually began to enjoy it all.
     
  17. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    Yes there is that self-correction mechanism :)
     
  18. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    So Ive been a little confused about the size of mason jars vs how much tobacco they hold - are these the 4 fluid oz ones that hold about an oz of tobacco or are they even smaller than that?
     
  19. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Yes.
     
  20. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    Ok thanks - I picked up a box of these and you are absolutely correct - they are perfect for holding a useable amount without having to keep cracking open the larger jars.
     
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