Pipe Newb here...sort of

Discussion in 'The Brown Leaf' started by rickcharles606, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Hello Gentlemen, I smoked cigarettes for 20+ years and quit using Swedish snus. I regularly use snus and by that I mean, constantly, lol. I love the occasional cigar (twice a week) and pipe. Although the pipe has taken more of my time to learn, I find it a bit more enjoyable than cigars. So I've noticed that I've been smoking them far more frequently...which I love.

    I'm in the tobacco business and get to frequent tobacco shows all over the nation, and at the last show I was able to pick up a couple pounds of Mac Barens 7 Seas: Cavendish and Black Blend. I enjoy the Cavendish more than the Black Blend, but find them both relatively wet smokes.

    I've read that many English blends are drier and have a different flavor profile and room note and would like to try some. However, I'm lost in the world of pipe tobacco and would love some recommendations, or am even open to trades. Swedish snus I know because it's my business, but pipe tobacco is lost on me. Help? Thanks in advance for the assistance gentlemen ;-)
     
  2. English blends are a love or hate type thing. Traditionally they are drier due to a lack of Cavendish and the introduction of Latakia (think old ashtray,) which also alter the taste. Mild English like Balkan Sobranie are a good choice for a introduction to an English blend, it adds Louisiana Perique to make the taste more complex. If you are very daring individual, a fishermans blend or something along the lines of Dunhill Nightcap would be an experience for you. They tend to be very dry and intense.

    The 7 Seas line of MacBarens is a "wet" blend from them, sort of a mid range I think. I am a huge MacBaren fan, I buy Vanilla Flake by the pound. If you want to try something very interesting from them, look for a few ounces of Cube. Cube has a sweet and complex mix of Virginias and Cavendish; very light and satisfying.
     
  3. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus

    I am one of those blessed souls who enjoys all genre of pipe tobacco, although I'm most finicky with regard to aromatics. Latakia, a common component of English blends, is a tobacco that is cured with the smoke of hardwoods and herbs and has a campfire aroma, in a good blend will provide a sweet smoky flavor. I'm a huge fan of Squadron Leader and Frog Morton is highly recommended as well. You can dry your aromatics a bit and see if that improves them.
     
  4. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Thanks for the info and suggestions, and I've read many good things about the Dunhill line of pipe tobacco, so I'll be sure to give it a try.

    I wondered this very thing earlier today and took about 2 ounces of my cavendish out of the bag and placed it in a dish to dry for a few day, thanks for the confirmation of this and the suggestions ;-)
     
  5. jwhite

    jwhite Moderator Emeritus



    You should be able to measure dry time in minutes not days especially in low humidity wintertime. If a bowl isn't noticeably dryer in less than an hour's time in this climate it's either loaded with PG or at the bottom of a lake. PG will suck moisture and the tobacco at the bottom will suck up any moisture of an already wet tobacco as it burns providing a wet smoke. Still dry it out but its an uphill battle with a bunch of PG.
     
  6. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Thanks for the info James...I'll let it go for a little longer then give it a try.
     
  7. A lot of Balkan blends are essentially English blends, but many have a greater variety of Orientals added, and a little less Latakia (or even no Latakia). I enjoy these much more than a regular English blend; less oppressive room note, and sweeter flavor. My favorites are McClelland's Bombaby Court and their 221 Baker St. series Black Shag. GL Pease Caravan is another outstanding example of this type. Don't let the "ketchup" smell of a new tin of McClelland scare you; they age very well.
     
  8. Try McClelland's Frog Morton. I quickly went from Aro's to it after being a cigar puffer for over ten years. To me the layered fulness of flavors is a home run.
     
  9. I prefer english blends, while my roommate and one of my closest friends are cigar guys and they both say that my pipe "smells like a campfire should." English blends are smokey and more full flavored than most aros and most dont have a casing so you get a lovely tobacco taste. Some have a smokey taste (latakia) and other are more spicy (orientals). I vote try Frog Morton or possibly Pembroke. Both are lighter english blends, and pembroke has a very light cognac casing. I will worn you the tin note, along with the room note, usually are either love or hate
     
  10. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    I enjoy the occasional cigar, but find that I'm enjoying pipes far more. Which is why I'm moving forward on educating myself on the tobaccos and what I'll like the most. I appreciate all the input.


    I'm definitely getting the Frog Morton ;-) One thing, where is a good place online to buy samples, because I can absolutely see this being yet another expensive AD, lol. My wife is beginning to hate it when I sit and read threads on B&B.
     
  11. Man, you're not kidding. Ever since I stumbled onto B&B I've gotten into all sorts of expensive and collectible quality-of-life improvements; razors, soaps, creams, etc., pocket knives, leather wallets, quality footwear, fountain pens and now I've just bought a pipe. B&B is turning the economy around one forum member at a time.
     
  12. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    I'm thinking we should get a commission from the vendors of all our AD's...whenever we bring someone new to B&B, lol.
     
  13. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Thanks for all the suggestions...here's what I went with:

    1 Tinned Tobacco McClelland FrogMorton 50g tin
    2 Pipe Tobacco CUBE
    1 Pipe Tobacco AND SO TO BED
    1 Pipe Tobacco BILL BAILEY'S BALKAN BLEND
    1 Pipe Tobacco LONDON BLEND
    1 Pipe Tobacco SQUADRON LEADER
    1 Pipe Tobacco DUNBAR
    1 Pipe Tobacco SAMUEL 1792 FLAKE

    Again, thanks for the input and I'll be sure to comment on what I like and dislike. Now for the hard part...waiting on the goodies to arrive, lol
     
  14. I have to say that, even though I'm relatively new to pipe smoking, I'm enjoying the English blends I've tried so far (Brigham's English Mixture and Dunhill Nightcap). There is a smoky, peaty quality to the English blends I've tried so far which are reminiscent of an Islay Scotch (Laphroaig comes to mind). I love the taste and the sensation, though they are not exactly the most friendly in terms of room note. That said, I also enjoy my sweet Virginias and my Mac Baren Navy Flake, which leaves a wonderful honey aftertaste (so far, anyway).

    The variety is what I love. There's a tobacco for every occasion and every mood and I don't plan on limiting myself!
     
  15. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Glad to hear this...I'm a scotch drinker myself, and you sir have just made my wait for these samples even worse, lol
     
  16. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    Has anyone heard of the Sutliff Private Stock line of pipe tobacco? I ran across some in a very small local shop today. I picked up some Westminster and Navigator Blend. The Westminster is a latakia, virginia and turkish blend...smells a bit vinegar-ish, but I smoked a bowl of it and it tastes so very different than the cavendish I've been smoking. I can't tell if the room note is good or bad, but my son didn't tell me that I was stinking up the house, so I'm guessing that's good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  17. rickcharles606

    rickcharles606 Contributor

    A benevolent member sent me a sample of Squadron Leader, and I got it today. I've had 3 bowls of it today, and I really like it. It's a very straightforward Virginia, but I've read it has latakia and thus far I cannot taste it, but hey...I'm new, lol. Not terribly aromatic and I really have no idea what the room note is, but I'm sure it's as straightforward as the taste. All in all...I like it and can find myself smoking a bowl of this when I'm wanting a change from an aromatic.

    I also stopped in my local shop yesterday and picked up a Balkan blend, and found it very nice. Are all Oriental tobaccos sweet? I'm getting a sweetness on this one that I don't get from any other's I've smoked.
     

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