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The Pipe "Sweet Spot"

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by WrightwoodJohn, Mar 18, 2012.

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  1. WrightwoodJohn

    WrightwoodJohn Well-Known Member

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    After the char/false light, after a few tamps & several puffs, when the tobacco gets down to 3/4-1/2 way down the bowl, a pipe seems to hit a sweet spot. It has become fully lit, a little steam has worked its way down, and the flavor seems to have maximized. The pipe in fact is hitting on all cylinders. Main point here is the maximum flavor enjoyment. Do you guys experience this as well?
     
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  2. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    I experience it mostly mid-bowl in my cobs and towards the bottom of the bowl in my briars.
     
  3. Jammer

    Jammer Active Member

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    I experience this as well from immediately after the charring light and a couple of tamps&puffs to around 2/3's or 3/4's (depending on the blend) of the way down. Since I mostly smoke Kentucky blends, the last bit of tobac usually winds up slightly bitter, which is something I don't mind but not as enjoyable as when I'm hittin' the sweet spot.
     
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  4. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    This is exactly what I seek. And exactly what I think the best pipes naturally allow. It's a little hard to explain without sounding just a little stupid, but I think what's happening is that the pipe is up to temperature, the tobacco load is as well, and there's just enough heat to make the whole thing leak out its best flavors into the smoke. I think it's acheivable in just about any pipe and any size and shape of pipe, if you get the packing and the smoking technique just so. But it's easiest (for me) in big fat briars with hard dense wood.

    This whole experience is why I tend to smoke big pipes - deep chambers and thick walls. One of the guys on here called it a "thermos bottle" effect, and I think that's bang on. The pipe is insulating rather than conducting, returning heat to the tobacco, so you don't need much in the way of a cherry or lighting. Hitting and maintaining this zone is my primary goal when I light up. It's so nice.
    So while I can get a real decent if quick smoke out of a Pete 303, I generally prefer pipes twice that size - just as a 303 is coming into that zone, having been lit for 15 minutes or so.... it's done! Boo hoo!

    I suspect that smokers of stronger or less sweet tobaccos seek a different experience.
     
  5. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

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    Great post!
     
  6. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Member

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    Interesting how the sweet spot varies from tobacco to tobacco in the same pipe. Now if I could only find a pipe that lets Mac B Mixture get into the sweet spot before the bowl is half over so I get to spend more time with Dr Jekyll and less with Mr Hyde I'd be a happy man.
     
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  7. jeff394

    jeff394 Member

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    Definitely mid-bowl on my cobs. Mac B Navy flake.
     
  8. Wideawake75

    Wideawake75 Member

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    I had wondered about this myself. My most common is between half and 3/4 down the bowl, it is the main reason I smoke a pipe..
     
  9. John Long

    John Long Member

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    Yes, mid bowl here too. Nice and sweet.
     
  10. BradNTX

    BradNTX Well-Known Member

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    I find that flavor improves after the first ash is tamped down a little and then continues to improve every tamp after. There are some blends that are more consistent, meaning, they don't improve much and others that improve greatly as the bowl burns down.
     
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