Need a introduction guide

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by Squatch347, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Squatch347

    Squatch347 Member

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    So new to this forum, I've been a pipe smoker for a couple of years. My dad was one when I was younger and I always thought it looked interesting. I ended up picking up the hobby in Iraq part one as it was the easiest tobacco to get and I wasn't really a fan of cigarettes or dip.

    To the chase, I have been lurking here, but still have a hard time following the subjects. Is there an introductory guide to tobacco styles, blends, etc that I could read to get up to speed? Or is this a "needs time" kind of thing?

    Thanks for the help everyone!
     


  2. NewKidOnTheBlock

    NewKidOnTheBlock Member

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    Welcome aboard! There are many helpful and nice people here to tell you what you need.

    Here is a site that I have found to be quite helpful http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Also, I take it you were in the Service. What branch?
     
  3. Trendsetter

    Trendsetter Member

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    I second pipedia, its the site i try to recommend to all the newbies! We're all here to help!
    TS
     
  4. ArtisanArcher

    ArtisanArcher Member

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    I'll third for pipedia. I only just found it yesterday, but there's a lot of good info on there. Also, keep trollin around the forum and you'll come across a plethora of knowledge; most of it useful, some of it silly, and a lot of it fun :) Welcome to the hobby and forum

    Happy Smoking
    Arty
     
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    :judge: (the gavel slams the podium) and the motion for Pipedia has been carried :judge:

    Once you read up on the pipe issues and various tobaccos you'll really begin to understand what the guys are talking about when they mention certain manufactures and their blends. You'll become curious about some of the reports to the point where you might be interested in buying it. But you really should look at a broader group of peoples impression of whatever it is that has your curiosity.

    I would then suggest you check out Tobacco Reviews and look up the toby your interested in and see what people's impressions are. You might just toss your interest out the window or you just may want to buy it even more. Its a useful tool indeed.

    Welcome to the forums. and most importantly.......

    (I'm assuming you are or were Military)
    Welcome Home Soldier and thank you for your Service

    Mr Ben
    USAF (med retired)
     
  6. Trendsetter

    Trendsetter Member

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    Ewww, I don't recommend Tobacco Reviews. Well maybe, just maybe, if you take the reviews with the world's LARGEST grain of salt. You'll realize quickly that alot of the people don't know much or think they know more than they do. And I'm really not trying to be mean, I just want you to be careful.
     
  7. Mington

    Mington Well-Known Member

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    I don't necessarily pay attention to the reviewers there (except maybe Kyle) but I like to see what's in the tobacco (Virginia, Burley, Latakia, Cavendish, etc.), how it's cured and read the description of the tobacco.
     
  8. woody

    woody Admin Admin

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    Got to be very careful when reading TRs.
     
  9. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    Retired squid here.

    I don't know what will work for you, but for me I began pipe smoking with classic drug store blends like Prince Albert, Granger, Sir Walter, and Carter Hall. I think they're a good place to start because they're mild and deceptively simple. They are also inexpensive and easy to find, and I think they make for good everyday smokes. I'd recommend that once you get used to these, then move into Virginia-based blends, then English/Balkan blends, and then aromatics.

    Take notes on them, learn to distinguish the key tobaccos found in most pipe tobaccos: Burly, Virginia, Cavendish, Latakia, Orientals, and Perique. Smoke them thoughtfully and learn to associate known flavors with the tobaccos you're smoking. Frinstance, for me Burly = walnuts, Virginia = wheat bread, Latakia = Mesquite Camp Fire, and Perique = Prunes.

    Then just experiment. Try a couple of ounces over the course of several smokes, in different pipes, at different times of the day, and in combination with different foods and beverages. Frinstance, my daily smoke right now is Prince Albert and it smokes well in all of my pipes, especially my corncobs, later in the day and evening but is mediocre at best in the morning. I've got some Peter Stokkebye Natural that is really underwhelming except in a corncob pipe in the morning with a cup of coffee - then I think it becomes simply outstanding. I have an English blend, Cornell and Diehl Epiphany, that is alright in my corncobs and most of my briars, but is wonderful in my Peterson briar. Finally, I have a mocha blend (aromatic) from McClelland that smokes well in any of my pipes but I seem to enjoy it most in my really big-bowled pipes.

    What works for you, I'm sure, will be different. Build a small collection of pipes, say, a briar or two and a corncob or two so that you can rotate them and allow them to dry out, and I think you'll be set. I think the real enjoyment of pipe smoking is had in trying the huge variety of pipe tobaccos that are out there. So experiment, find a few that will be your base smokes that you look forward to smoking, and experiment some more. Above all - enjoy and welcome to a truly rewarding hobby/art.
     
  10. Edlj

    Edlj Member

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    Welcome to the forum! Lots of info out there but, if you can't find an answer don't hesitate to ask any questions you have.Of course sometimes you may get 50 different answers!!!
     
  11. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Pot, meet kettle. Easy there, OF, they're
    just opinions. What helps with TR is
    finding a person with similar tastes,
    which in this case may be a learning
    curve, then trying their recommendations.

    TR is also good to see what blends
    have what. I use TR for this purpose.

    Squatch, you may want to peruse the
    "ask an Old Fart" section where many
    newbie questions have been asked and
    answered.

    dp
     
  12. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    TR is the bible, and I'm a fundamentalist. Sure, there are some questionable reviewers, but Apocryphal texts and heretical writers are par for the course. Except for the writings of St. yinyang, that is.

    If St. yinyang says GAF will have you speaking in tongues, you can take that as gospel. In addition, when the saintly one says Paladin will burn said tongue with hell fire, you best say amen.

    Pipedia is good too...it just doesn't have any wisdom of St. yinyang to impart.

    PSF has the anointed one's approval, BTW, so it is an excellent source of instruction.


    Where was I going with this again? Oh yeah....yinyang = good....pipes = rapture. Enjoy the learning! It's worth it.

    -Kyle
     
  13. Trendsetter

    Trendsetter Member

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    wow snake, I'm not really sure what I did to you, but it was apparently something pretty bad
     
  14. Snake

    Snake permanent ankle biter

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    Saint Yinyang has spoken! Verily I say
    unto you that thou shalt headeth
    his words or be thrown into a very
    small boat and float down Styx
    for all eternity without a single
    flake of GAF in all of Hades.

    Yes, my epistles make little sense.

    dp
     
  15. yinyang

    yinyang Some rim charring is to be expected.

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    Verily I say unto you...those that maketh the least sense, beareth the sweetest fruit. So sayeth the harbinger of all things Virginia.

    Truth!
     
  16. WyoBob

    WyoBob Member

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    I like Tobaccoreviews. The more reviews there are, the more validity the ratings have, IMO. If you have, for instance, 30-40 plus reviews and most reviews are 3-4 stars and a very few are 1 or 2 starts, I throw the few bad reviews out of the mix and go with the majority.

    If you only have 2-10 reviews, you're on your own.

    WyoBob
     
  17. Sweatsack

    Sweatsack Member

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    I'm skeptical of TR too because it seems like a significant number of the posts read something like this:

    "I don't smoke [Aromatics/English/Whatever] blends but I will review this anyway. For this type of blend which, again, I do not smoke, it was actually quite pleasant. Great flavor profile which really flourished on my palette as the bowl developed with certain pleasant undertones and notes of awesomeness that made me feel like I was swimming in a pool full of money. But since I don't smoke [Aromatics/English/Whatever], I have to rate it zero in all categories."

    Basically people smoking something they know, or at least have a preconceived notion, that they won't like it, and even if it turns out they do like it a little bit, just knocking it down for the sake of being opinionated or whatever.

    That being said, I definitely use it when I go to make a big purchase, but what I'll do is just go "window shopping" and pick out a big ol' herd of blends I might want to try. Then I use Tobacco Reviews to narrow the list down, starting with similar blends (for example, different brands which are essentially the same thing) and look at what people actually say rather than just the star ratings. You just have to be careful to disregard the d-bags.
     
  18. Trendsetter

    Trendsetter Member

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    I agree with Sweatsack wholeheartedly. This is exactly why I would be wary of it, but it can work well if used properly. And by the way, good job ignoring my post Snake, you're a real hero.
     
  19. jpberg

    jpberg Moderator Moderator

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    The reason that TR is such a great resource is the massive amount of easily extractable information. I suppose if you can't figure out how to pull out what you need you may have a problem with it.

    Edited to mention that I don't think that Snake is a hero, Trendsetter, I think he's a guy that has figured out how to use TR to his full advantage.
     
  20. Bri2k

    Bri2k Active Member

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    I think TR is great for getting some basic info and usually by reading as many reviews as possible under a blend, I get an idea if it's something worth my while. If I still want to know more, I google it and then I'll ask about it here if by that point info is scarce or sketchy and I'm still considering buying it.
     
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