Hi guys, I thought I'd share this with you as it might help my fellow beginners and hopefully the more skilled smokers will see something familiar here . I just had a heavenly pipe, it was by far the best smoke I've had since starting in every concievable way. Why? I packed my tobbaco about a third as firmly as I had been doing. The result; beautiful, cool (and I really mean cool, as in room temperature), thick, fragrant and flavoursome smoke. It was simply divine and I really felt like this is what it's all about. I was smoking Gawith Hoggarth Cherry and Vanilla blend, and all the aroma and taste was coming out, it was great. Before now, all I was tasting was hot, burning tobbaco - and that was still nice enough but nothing like this. Before this my tongue had been so overwhelmed by the burnt taste and sting of the hot smoke I was missing all the smells and tastes of the blend. I had to relight twice this time but that didn't bother me at all. I gravity filled the bowl up to the top and then tamped it down half way - I dont't smoke entire bowls yet as it's still a bit chilly out in the evenings when I go out for a smoke. I was simply amazed at the difference. Also, when I emptied the ash it was all black and coarse, whereas before it had been very powdery and grey/white. So clearly something different was going on in there. Whatever it was, I'm doing it again! Do any of you experienced guys recognise something here? Do these things indicate that I'm doing it right? I sure feels right, I can't wait for my next bowl ! I hope this helps the new guys, I'm sure I'm not alone in my initial slightly hot and stingy experiences. All the very best, Will.