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My first briar pipe - WOW

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by perch, Dec 21, 2010.

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  1. perch

    perch Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    So I've been smoking a pair of Missouri Meerschaum corncobs for a few months now and have tried a few different tobaccos through them. After a week or so I figured out how to pack the bowl and smoke properly, and was enjoying it alright. But something was always a bit off, especially more than halfway through the bowl. I always got a sort of rancid, sour, corny taste. I wasn't sure if it was the pipe, the tobacco, or if smoking a pipe just tasted like that. I was almost thinking maybe pipe smoking wasn't for me. I still wondered what a proper briar pipe would be like, but couldn't really imagine how it would be that much better. I kept reading about how corncobs were so dry and pure, how they let the tobacco flavours through.

    I walked into a little tobacco store in a town I never visit today and wasn't impressed with their selection. But a Vauen (a name I'd never heard of until today) kind of spoke to me. It was $56 and I figured it was kind of a second rate pipe maybe marked up a bit in this little hole in the wall I was in. I ended up getting it because I had been wanting a briar pipe now for nearly as long as I have been smoking a pipe.

    I also got a new tobacco.

    I filled this pipe up halfway (before reading on Vauen's site that no break-in was necessary) and started to smoke.


    A completely different experience. The smoke was so rich, thick, flavourful, delicious. I actually started giggling.

    Yes, out loud. A grown man giggling for seemingly no reason while smoking his pipe.

    I figured it was probably the tobacco and that the pipe just happened to be there for the first smoke. I tried the tobacco out of one of my cobs and no, it was messed up. It was different than the other tobaccos I had smoked but bad in the same way; sour and corny.

    I got home and tried looking the pipe up. It only says 92 on the bottom (other than Vauen) and the guy at the store had no clue about it. I finally found it on a couple random pipe shop sites and figure it's the Prince model, which I guess is discontinued since it is not anywhere on the current Vauen site.

    The biggest bonus was that it ranges online in price from $100-$130. I guess I got a good deal at $56! My guess is that it's been sitting in that hole in the wall tobacco shop for 8 years and they just never adjusted the price for inflation or what have you.

    Anyhow, I am completely taken by pipe smoking now and can't wait to expand my collection. The thought of smoking those cobs between Prince days is not a pleasant one.

    I just took a picture of the pipe. If anyone has any ideas on why I got is so cheap, let me know.


  2. Mister Moo

    Mister Moo Normal Cow Moderator

    Jun 10, 2009

    A word on cobs - they do need a little breaking in. They ALL need a few smokes to char the stem and, sometimes, to burn through that corny taste you mentioned. Don't give up on them too fast - that burnt wood and corn flavor goes away leaving a pipe that is particularly well suited to burley and virginia tobaccos.
  3. Stoked

    Stoked Member

    Feb 11, 2010
    Yes, what Moo said. Some guys here put a number on it like 10-12 bowls to break the cob in.

    Also, you've been smoking a pair of cobs for several months. It's very possible you have not allowed them to dry sufficiently between smokes, hence the "sour" taste. I find that cobs require at least 3 days between smokes, air drying, but 5 is much better and 7 is perfect. Let your cobs dry, then try them again. If you decide they are smoking good again then your solution is to get a few more cobs for a proper rotation.

    My guess is, you'll be in love with your briar for quite a while and will shun your cobs. Then you'll try your cob again and wonder why the hell you thought the briar was so much better. Then you'll go back to your briar and enjoy it equally as well. It's a vicious cycle! :yes:
  4. Hothog

    Hothog Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    Nice shaped beginners pipe and a nice grain too. Take out the filter if it has one.
  5. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

    Jun 13, 2010

    Weicome! I own a cob, but don't smoke it
    but a few times a month. I have plenty of
    briars (mostly Italians), and enjoy them
    all. Not to say that the cob is bad.. just
    a personal preference. Welcome again
    to the brotherhood of the briar.

  6. freestoke

    freestoke Member

    Nov 28, 2010
    You have been assimilated. Resistance is futile.
  7. Falconeer

    Falconeer Active Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Hi All,

    Nice pipe and glad to hear you are enjoying it! I'd agree very much with the previous posts - the two things about cobs are that they do need a certain ammount of burning in before they start to taste really great and they do indeed need proper drying if they are to remain sweet.

    With a new cob I smoke it for a week with a burley tobacco to break it in - then it goes into the rotation and comes out every seven days. In good breezy days in the better weather I put my corncob pipes outside to dry in the air and this does help them stay fresh.

    May you have many years of pleasure from your new pipe!

  8. perch

    perch Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Well, my cobs were certainly broken in. One of them I had to scrape out due to the cake building up so much.

    I didn't know cobs had to rest; in fact I think I read specifically that they needed no rest. That explains a lot in retrospect. I have had a couple decent smokes in the cobs, but they were rare and I seem to recall them being when I would smoke one for a while and then go back to the other.

    At least there is a solution: get more pipes!
  9. cmw00

    cmw00 Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Even while breaking in a new cob, I never get horrible smokes.
  10. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2010
  11. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    That's a lovely pipe and you've done quite well for yourself, perch! I had a little MM Ozark and I could never get past burning it in either. Fortunately, a very kind soul way off in Scotland sent me a couple of vintage cobs that were already well burned-in and I can say a cob is perfect for OTCs! Enjoy the Vauen in the best of health and as others have said, you'll probably have fun "leapfrogging" between it and your cobs.
  12. Burner

    Burner Member

    Apr 27, 2010
    Loaded a humble cob with royal yacht last saturday and had a magnificent smoke on a snowy walk round the village. Never discount the Cob!
  13. ruffinogold

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

    Sep 25, 2009
    The prince shape is my top 5 favorite shape ! You scored a real nice pipe and from now on you're ...... screwed . A few years from now you'll be happy that only 10 % of your income will be going toward this " hobby " ha ha . Anyway ... Enjoy !
  14. Whalehead King

    Whalehead King Active Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    I enjoy my briars. Just luckily added two to the rotation and they are different animals. Neither is better than the other. Like someone said above: Never discount the cob. You may purchase it at a discount but it will treat you as well as you treat it. That's true of most pipes, like people.

    Enjoy what you've got and experiment. All good advice above. The Devil, as always, is in the details.

    Best wishes and welcome aboard.
  15. Pecci

    Pecci Active Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    I enjoy cobs, very much also. I've never had a bad smoke, and have never broke them in.

    I'm glad you've found a new, enjoyable hobby, Perch!

    .....But enough with the giggling, ok? :lol:
  16. chambers11283

    chambers11283 Member

    Jul 3, 2010
    Well first off, welcome to the wonderful world of pipe smoking, it is an amazing hobby and like ruff said alot of you money will go to this hobby in the future but it is so worth it. Now that briar is very beautiful great find!!!! :thumbsu: . Now i have just as many briars as i do cobs and i am a huge fan of the cobs and i blame Puff the Magic cause he converted me lol. But like it has been said before I just want to say it again, dont give up on the cobs, they can be a fantastic asset to any pipe smoker.
  17. Grim_Puffer

    Grim_Puffer Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Nice pipe.

    Ive had/have MM Cobs and 2 real meers and I honestly enjoy my briars more. Now its like pokemon man, you gotta collect them all!!!!!!
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