Isnt it funny how pipe and tobacco tastes change in just a short time.

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by craig, Jan 4, 2013.

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  1. craig

    craig Active Member

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    Hello ladys and gents hope your all well.

    So its close my first year of been a pipe smoker, (end of march start of april '12).
    And in that time my tastes have changed dramatically.
    When i first started, i done a lot of reading about and watching videos on youtube, on where i should start, and i decided, that my first pipe shall be a missouri meerschaum corn cob and a 4 pack of half ounce samplers of different styles.

    One of the samplers was two aromatics, bagpipers dream and g&h cherry and vanilla, i absolutely adored these tobaccos, inside was rattrays 7 reserve and g&H louisiana flake, didnt really care much for the 7 reserve, the lousiana flake was ok but i fluffed up the packing and left it a few months.
    I found i very much liked pipe smoking so i went out a few days later and bought two more corn cobs followed a few days later by another one.
    I found i wanted a bigger bowl so i went for the general and the macarthur a few months later.
    although i like these pipes they have only been smoked about 5-6 times between them, and i found stronger tobaccos do make me feel sick in such a big bowl.

    back to the drawing boards.....

    In this time, i built up a hoard of tobaccos of all different styles, the balkans well take them or leave them.
    condor and st bruno, well the condor took a couple of bowls, but it soon became a firm favourite, st bruno well i dont mind it but its not my favourite.

    Then i went back to the louisiana flake and i got it right!!....i loved and still love the stuff, so i was at the point were i found three styles i liked, vapers, aros and condor.

    Then came the revelation in august this year.

    Although i love the corn cobs, i wanted to branch out, so when my birthday came, my mother and father said they would buy me a pipe, so i had a look in the local smoke shop and after two hours of deliberating, i decided on a falcon.
    Although i had a few teething problems with it, i soon found this was and is the pipe for me, im a bit of a wet smoker, and the design combats this problem for me and also i have always been intrigued and liked the look of the falcon design, theres just something about the design that seems ageless and makes it look as new and exciting today as it was when it was invented over 70 years ago.

    The problem was this was going to be my first dedicated pipe, so i wanted to choose a tobacco group that was going to be easy to get hold of over here and one that i think would suit best.
    The revelation came with a tin of orliks bullseye, and by god did that tobacco sing in the falcon, it was some of the best smokes id ever had to date, then i remembered the louisiana flake, so order went in, and it just gets better and better, the louisiana flake sings beautifully in my falcon.
    So thats the first dedicated pipe done.

    Then the next revelation was as i was getting better and better smokes, i learnt that less is more and i dont need a big bowl for the pleasure, so i tried going for a smaller bowl.

    Which came in the form of my clay pipe this year, the bowl is what i would call tiny but just in that small bowl, with a perfected cadence, is right up there with my best smokes, i get the same levels of enjoyment, pleasure and relaxation from my clay as i do my falcon.

    Third revelation came just last month.

    Although i love a good complex deep tobacco, i was on the look out for something simple, something that can give pleasure and enjoyment with no complexities, just good honest to goodness tobacco flavour and enjoyment.

    So in a trade with a fellow member, i recieved some carter hall, and it hit the nail right on the head, a good honest decent tobacco with lovely flavours that doesnt require working out and just works in harmony with you, the pipe and a good smoking session, the triangle of harmony i call it.
    But one problem the new falcon bowl i got was for condor but the carter hall goes wonderfully in that so now im a bit oo er on wheter to buy another or not lol.

    Then christmas this year i recieved a bent falcon from my parents, so i had the christening smoke christmas day, but with current illness i havent been able to smoke my pipes at all, but from what i remember it was a glorious smoke, the draw factor was perfect, perfect weight/balance ratio and just an awesome smoker.

    The fourth revelation was....
    The sterotypical brit style of open pouch, pack light and enjoy isnt my thing, i do dry my toaccos if they are exceptionally moist, and i find it works better than just stuffing them into the pipe straight out the pouch which is what i used to do which just resulted in a gurgling hot mess which resulted in me having to puff furiously away, a lot of relights and a very sore tongue.
    I found drying slightly, a more controlled and relax smoking cadence really does make all the difference.


    But now i am a full on falcon and carter hall fiend, i still smoke my cobs from time to time, they were my first pipes and i would never ever get rid of them even if someone offered me a 6 figure sum for them, they are mine, i couldnt ever invisage them as someone elses, and they have pride of place on my tobacciana shelf.

    My tobacco tastes now generally go for more savoury tobaccos generally vapers, and a straight up burley virginia mix occasionally, although i still love the sweet aros, i generally dont smoke them as much these are more of a treat now.
    my day to day smoke at the moment is carter hall i just cant get enough of the stuff :D.
    And my general day to day pipes are my falcons, my clay is for the days when i dont have the time to kick back and relax, but still have an hour or less spare to enjoy a pipe.
    And my cobs are reserved for the times when i just want to go back to basics, and enjoy a bowl when i dont really have the time for the wider bowls of my falcons.

    I know this may be boring to many but i just thought i would give a bit of a detailed insight into my pipe smoking life :D
     


  2. pauljmjr

    pauljmjr Member

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    Part of what makes our hobby so interesting is that there are as many paths as their pipe smokers. In my case, almost immediately upon starting to smoke a pipe 40 years ago, I was drawn to English / Balkan / Latakia blends. And while I do always have one or two Aromatics and a few Burleys and Virginias on hand, to this day I predominantly still smoke those English / Balkan / Latakia blends. Granted, I've tried lots of different ones over the years, but I still favor that type of blend.
     
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  3. craig

    craig Active Member

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    sounds good paul, balkans and lats im still trying to get into, but vapers are my go too they would be my desert island smokes
     
  4. fogpipe

    fogpipe Member

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    Interesting :) I started with latakia blends and flakes and now i smoke mostly burleys. I didnt know the one finger cram was a typically brit packing method, i just sort of evolved into it from more complex methods.
     
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  5. craig

    craig Active Member

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    lol, packing straight out the pack with out drying is from what i heard an older boys packing method i have had some american tobaccos, and the moisture is noticeably lacking but to me the perfect moisture content.
     
  6. mtsgsd

    mtsgsd Active Member

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    I started with Capt. Black and went straight to Balkan/latakia blends exclusively. Then I discovered navy flake and other VA types and smoked those exclusively, then changed to aros for a while. Now I smoke a little of every thing. :)
     
  7. StubrnDutchman

    StubrnDutchman Member

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    Not boring at all! I enjoyed reading your story very much. Isn't it great to look back and see how far you have come in such a short time. The journey seems to take a lot of twists and turns and is what keeps most of us interested in piping.
     
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  8. pauljmjr

    pauljmjr Member

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    craig -- try McClelland's Frog Morton as a nice entry into English / Balkan / Latakia blends.
     
  9. craig

    craig Active Member

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    It is nice to look back been a pipe for less than a year and already ive changed so much who knows what the next year will bring
     
  10. 5H4N3

    5H4N3 Active Member

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    One of these days I'm gonna have to try a Falcon.
    I remember my dad had one in the 70'S, and about 4 bowls with it.
    Until I started on this forum I always saw them as more of a gimmick than a serious pipe, but my curiosity has been sufficiently sparked now.
     
  11. craig

    craig Active Member

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    They are good pipes shane your curiosity will not be dissapointed.
     
  12. krusty

    krusty Active Member

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    Well craig, sorry to be the one to tell ya but... yer normal.
    Most go through whole spectrum changes much as you've described, it is a grand aspect of the briar!
    Here's to hoping you haven't really settled in yet, when it comes to tobacco there's so much to explore (-:
     
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  13. Coda

    Coda Well-Known Member

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    I started proper in March. Three years ago, I had quit smoking cigarettes, and looked into a pipe. I bought a bent MM Washington "Rob Roy" shape, and the guy at the shop sold me some BLWB. It bit...I tried to get it down, but just couldnt figure it out, so I put the pipe down. A year later, I tried again, to the same results. Then, last March...spring break. I was a bit bored, and wanted to endeavor upon some task to occupy my time. I dug out my old Washington, and bought a pouch of Half and Half. Then I found this site, and a number of videos on Youtube. I got it right this time. My grandmother gave me some pipes that were laying around her house...belonging to my grandfather (who doesnt smoke a pipe anymore), and my great-grandfather (who passed in '75)...two Grabows (a smooth Omega and a rusticated Grand Duke)...

    I spent most of my time smoking Half and Half and Middleton's Cherry. I had a pouch of PA, but I found it was pretty tasteless. Eventually, my interest in English blends was peaked. My local sells Altadis bulk Heavy English, and I bought some. Then, a youtuber sent me some Stokkebye Balkan Supreme, after I messaged him asking about it. I eventually bought some of my own, as well as a tub of Half and Half...Pinkerton version, the Lane stuff hadnt appeared yet...I spent all summer smoking mostly H&H and Balkan Supreme...with some London Mixture, Squadron Leader, and Sutliff R-Blend mixed in. I still smoked Middletons occasionally too, but had basically sworn off PA...

    Then, in August '12, something happened...Tongue Gremlins. I couldnt taste anything when I smoked, irregardless of what I was smoking. I decided to smoke much less frequently, and hoped it remedied itself. I also changed how I smoked...instead of heavy puffing, I began lightly sipping at the pipe. By this time (September, or so) my taste had returned. I had acquired quite a number of tobaccos (samples, anyway), as well as a number of pipes (estates and cobs, mostly). My my tastes had changed since the Gremlins...I began to notice that certain tobaccos had different tastes with my new technique...

    This led me to revisit a few smokes...most notably, PA. I bought a fresh pouch and...wow. I loved it. Delicious...like a fox. I ended up buying a tub. I smoke it everyday, usually through a cob. I bought a nice, big Kaywoodie in November, followed by an estate GBD as a Crimbus gift to myself. I used to be all about English blends...but now, I am fine with some PA...or some LNF...or some LBF...or R-Blend...

    I would say that I too have changed quite a bit in my first year of pipe smoking. I left some stuff out, but hey, what do you want for free?...
     
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  14. 5H4N3

    5H4N3 Active Member

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    I've got 5 of em working on Ebay as we speak my friend. :th1:
     
  15. Morse

    Morse Active Member

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    Excellent stories Craig and Coda
     
  16. Eric Pierson

    Eric Pierson Resident Giant

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    nearly a year and a half for me. Started out with sickly aromatics then discovered Latakia and went a little nuts with it. I think I may have burned myself out on some of it and am finding I now like it in lighter doses. Although, I still tend to enjoy Odyssey most full Lat blends just dull my tastebuds too much. So most of my blends are Scottish types or have some Burley to smooth them out. I do adore Squadron Leader though. I still have several different blends in my rotation (like 30 jars and tins), but find I most enjoy dipping into Vas, Vaper, VaBurs and straight Burs with Cavendish. I even have rekindled with Aromatics, ableit of higher quality carefully selected only after reading many reviews. I can't stand too much chemical taste. It seems like my tastes change everytime I have a pipe as I am always in the mood for something different.
     
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  17. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I started with a huge Wiley Freehand that my wife got me for Christmas. There were 4 oz samples of Lane 1Q, Burley Light, Chart Topper and Blue Ribbon. Of course I loved the two aromatics, and didn't care for the VaPer or the Burley. Then I found PSF...

    Ruffinogold, Puff, jpberg, t-bear, Moo, and others started getting me thinking about trying blends besides aros. These Fab Five of the pipe smoking world were exerting peer pressure on us newbies. I went TAD crazy, purchasing tins, sample packs and grabbing everything I heard about. At one time I had nearly 100 types of blends, but most were 1 to 3 oz in quantity. It took me a little over a year to smoke through all that stuff and find out what I really liked. Through the process, my tastes changed. I began to notice subtleties and nuances I'd never noticed before. I found my sweet spot in flavor profiles.

    There were PSFers like HCraven and Snake that I traded some recommended blends with. A few veteran hobbyists sent me unbelievable gifts, and I call them gifts because it was too much to call a sample. A couple of boxes were several pounds each. I mowed through these as well, and honed my preferences into my ultimate TAD list.

    Now, a year and half and twenty-five pounds into starting my own cellar, I feel I have a firm grip on what I like, what I need to buy in quantity, and what I don't. I thank the Fab Five and others who influenced me to try Solani ABF, which opened my eyes to Burley. I appreciate members like strongirish that talked me into trying Virginia again, and finding Hamborger Veermaster.

    My tastes were also shaped by my improvement in technique. Again, PSF veterans shared their knowledge, and helped me refine my habbits. I became a fold & stuff pro, a charring light fanatic, and a tamp without thought smoker. These improvement allowed me to taste tobacco like I had never before.

    Once confusing acronyms became fondly familiar. Yes, I like Va's, VaPers, VaBurs, and even VaBurPers. I enjoy Lats on a now-and-then basis, especially when combined with a sweet oriental. Thank you veteran pipe smokers of PSF, for bringing my enjoyment of the hobby to a whole new level.

    :bing:
     
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  18. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Here, here! I too thought they were just some 50's marketing gimmick, but after buying an estate Falcon on a whim and giving it a go, I've since changed my mind about them.
     
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  19. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    My tastes in pipes and tobacco have changed a few times over the years, and at one point those tastes were even influenced by what I thought would impress others. It wasn't until I hooked up with PSF a couple of years ago that I learned how to truly appreciate what I was smoking, and in the course of those two years my tastes changed a couple of more times as I came to understand pipes and pipe tobacco blends.

    It seems that I have really come to love plain old Burley and Virginia blends. SWR and MacB blends like Golden Extra, Plumcake, (which has a little Latakia), Scottish Mixture, and London Burley Blend are the bomb. Ditto on flake blends like Luxury Navy Flake, OGS, Erinmore, and MacB ODF. As far as "English" blends go, I prefer Oriental-forward blends like Squadron Leader, English Oriental Supreme, or Dunhill Standard Mixture; blends like Middleton Walnut or MacB Solent Mixture are also very good, but they're more "English-Like" than "Actual English." I also prefer softer tobaccos, and MacB ODF is about as heavy as I can take. There are many other blends that I like, but if you peek into my cellar then these are the blends that you will see in force because these are the blends that I like. I've come to favor them because they deliver what I'm looking for: Nothing more that a relaxing bowl of tobacco that requires no real effort to detect and classify the nuance or complexity. (A decent room note is also important, cuz if it's too "manly" the wife is gonna banish me to the back yard).

    Pipes? I certainly do appreciate a beautiful, hand-crafted, and Artisan-made pipes; however, all I really want is a pipe that is well built, functional, and is not butt ugly. Thus, I do most of my pipe smoking with my Falcons or cobs. I've got a couple of artisan-made pipes and a bunch of Petes that are all great smoking pipes, but it's still the Falcons and the cobs that get the most smoke time.

    Well-considered or natural change in tastes are good, but running chaotically from blend to blend (especially with an eye for impressing others) is not. Hopefully, you will appreciate a range of styles and blends and find a few blenders who make what you think are truly killer blends. But just be sure you like what you're smoking based on its own merits. (I may be about the only guy on the planet who thinks that Tobacco Gallaria's Fox and Hound or Sutliff's CD Blend (both Altaidis lines) are not really all that bad, but I don't care cuz I like them).
     
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  20. craig

    craig Active Member

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    great to hear all your takes on pipe smoking guys, i guess it really does show that time is all it takes to round us off into the smokers we are, and given more time im sure we will be rounded into something else, but hey its a journey im happy to take and relax and go with the flow.
     
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