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Ageing without hoarding

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
What's everyone's thoughts on these, by the way? Or are they off everyone else's radars?

I've only tried two of them so far, specifically University Flake and Condor Long Cut. Both of which I like a lot.
I unfortunately can't say as I haven't had experience with any of them...
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I unfortunately can't say as I haven't had experience with any of them...
I get the feeling there are a few tobaccos over here that are not freely available over there, just as many there are tobaccos there which aren't available over here. The ones here don't get as much "air time" online though, as there's a lot fewer of us pipe smoking Brits :biggrin1:

Chieftain currently have five tobaccos offered, and not one of them has a listing on tobaccoreviews.com. Some other tobaccos I have here, or have sampled recently, including a couple of Gawith blends if I remember correctly, had less than five reviews. Aside from Peterson’s and Rattray's, there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of common ground in terms of pipe blends. Probably cigars too, but that's an arena I'm completely unfamiliar with.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
I get the feeling there are a few tobaccos over here that are not freely available over there, just as many there are tobaccos there which aren't available over here. The ones here don't get as much "air time" online though, as there's a lot fewer of us pipe smoking Brits :biggrin1:

Chieftain currently have five tobaccos offered, and not one of them has a listing on tobaccoreviews.com. Some other tobaccos I have here, or have sampled recently, including a couple of Gawith blends if I remember correctly, had less than five reviews. Aside from Peterson’s and Rattray's, there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of common ground in terms of pipe blends. Probably cigars too, but that's an arena I'm completely unfamiliar with.
I have seen and been tempted by the University Flake but haven't got my hands on any yet. I'll pick some up eventually. I hadn't heard of the Chieftain at all, but I'm no expect anyway. 🤷‍♂️ Enjoy either way!
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I have seen and been tempted by the University Flake but haven't got my hands on any yet. I'll pick some up eventually. I hadn't heard of the Chieftain at all, but I'm no expect anyway. 🤷‍♂️ Enjoy either way!
I really like the Uni flake, and want to try Hyde Park at some point too.

The Chieftains appear to be Ashtons rereleased under another name, much like Charatan and Dunhill. I don't know if any changes occurred as a result yet though, but I have a tin of Ashton Consumate Gentleman to compare directly with the Chieftain Roberts Mixture, just as I have Rattray's Wallace Flake to compare directly with Uni Flake. Same blend, different blending houses.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Oh, and I hope your comments on Latakia mellowing in a different thread are correct, Brandon. The other Ashton/Chieftain duplication I have is Blacksmith's Blend/Artisan's Blend, which I (now) believe is on a par with Nightcap in terms of Lat content. Nightcap was one of the few blends I bailed on, and dumped in the reject blend.

Hopefully a few years in the tin will tone them down a bit. If not, I'll dilute them down with something to make them smokeable.
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
Oh, and I hope your comments on Latakia mellowing in a different thread are correct, Brandon. The other Ashton/Chieftain duplication I have is Blacksmith's Blend/Artisan's Blend, which I (now) believe is on a par with Nightcap in terms of Lat content. Nightcap was one of the few blends I bailed on, and dumped in the reject blend.

Hopefully a few years in the tin will tone them down a bit. If not, I'll dilute them down with something to make them smokeable.
Nightcap has more going on in it than just latakia. So many peeople saying "love it! its nightcap!" but meh. If you don't like it you don't like it. Plenty of other blends to suit your fancy out there. :)
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Nightcap has more going on in it than just latakia. So many peeople saying "love it! its nightcap!" but meh. If you don't like it you don't like it. Plenty of other blends to suit your fancy out there. :)
You're not wrong there! I'm actually quite surprised just how many tobaccos I do like, and if I end up having to blend some of the others to like them, that's no real hardship either. I'm pretty confident that there's only two tins in the drawer that I might need to do that with.
 
So- here’s my cellar.
Note: I have just as much opened tobacco as I do cellared. These have never been opened:

McClelland St James Woods: 2011
MacBaren Navy Flake: 2012
Bell’s Three Nuns x2: 2013
Orlik Golden Mixture: 2014
McClelland 3 Oaks Syrian: 2014
McClelland Christmas Cheer: 2014
GL Pease Barbary Coast: 2014 (puffy)
GL Pease Union Sq. x2: 2014 (puffy)
C&D Oak Alley: 2014: (puffy)
Dunhill Flake: 2016
McClelland Christmas Cheer: 2016
C&D Ten Russians x2:2016 (1 is puffy)
Esoterica Pembroke: 2016
McClelland 40th Anniversary: 2017
Rattray’s Black Mallory: unknown date
Solani Blend 663 (unknown date)

With regards to hoarding- cellaring isn’t hoarding unless there’s no reasonable expectation of smoking all of what’s been stored- however, I wish I hoarded more McClelland tins.....

Typically what I do is I’ll buy 2 or 3 tins of something I like when I buy tins. One to smoke now and two to forget about. Usually I have plenty of Peter Stokkebye luxury navy Flake or some Va No. 1 mixed with Perique to keep me happy or some Carter Hall. I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied. Even a Rattray’s No 7 that popped in the closet and sounded like a soda can opened and scared my wife. To be honest, I told myself I’ll open them when they pop. I’m okay with that. I’m patient. We’ll see how my McClelland tins hold up. GLPease and C&D became my American holdouts. This is a humble cellar compared to a lot of guys out there. This all fits in a shoebox that once held workboots I bought years ago. That’s where they slumber.

0ABBCE65-C78C-4BFE-B09D-27A002266C76.jpeg
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
So- here’s my cellar.
Note: I have just as much opened tobacco as I do cellared. These have never been opened:

McClelland St James Woods: 2011
MacBaren Navy Flake: 2012
Bell’s Three Nuns x2: 2013
Orlik Golden Mixture: 2014
McClelland 3 Oaks Syrian: 2014
McClelland Christmas Cheer: 2014
GL Pease Barbary Coast: 2014 (puffy)
GL Pease Union Sq. x2: 2014 (puffy)
C&D Oak Alley: 2014: (puffy)
Dunhill Flake: 2016
McClelland Christmas Cheer: 2016
C&D Ten Russians x2:2016 (1 is puffy)
Esoterica Pembroke: 2016
McClelland 40th Anniversary: 2017
Rattray’s Black Mallory: unknown date
Solani Blend 663 (unknown date)

With regards to hoarding- cellaring isn’t hoarding unless there’s no reasonable expectation of smoking all of what’s been stored- however, I wish I hoarded more McClelland tins.....

Typically what I do is I’ll buy 2 or 3 tins of something I like when I buy tins. One to smoke now and two to forget about. Usually I have plenty of Peter Stokkebye luxury navy Flake or some Va No. 1 mixed with Perique to keep me happy or some Carter Hall. I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied. Even a Rattray’s No 7 that popped in the closet and sounded like a soda can opened and scared my wife. To be honest, I told myself I’ll open them when they pop. I’m okay with that. I’m patient. We’ll see how my McClelland tins hold up. GLPease and C&D became my American holdouts. This is a humble cellar compared to a lot of guys out there. This all fits in a shoebox that once held workboots I bought years ago. That’s where they slumber.

View attachment 1182411
A nice size stash. Glad to know I'm not the only one ageing in moderation :biggrin1:
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Well, there appears to be another fork in the road, and I haven't even started yet. 🤣

I've mentioned in the past, that I have lists of tobaccos to try for each genre. The purpose of this is to substitute one in if I smoke something that I'm not bothered about replacing. So instead of buying another of that tin to put in the drawer to replace the tin I'm smoking, I pick another one I haven't tried of the list instead. Simple.

Here's the thing though. I've just ordered some notepads so I can keep all this stuff in book form, instead of those loose lists. Having collated all those pieces of paper together, ready for when the notepads arrive, I realised the lists are almost double what's already in the drawer...

I'll be very surprised if I've got another 15 years on the clock with my ongoing health issues, so I can go one of two ways. I can either try to whittle down the ageing drawer to my absolute favourites, or potentially spend the rest of my time on this rock buying and smoking a different tin every time, and never buying the same blend twice!

Hmmm...
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
It seems my effort regarding tobacco runs opposite of the current trend. My aim is to drill down to two or three blends that please me and purchase no others and I am making great progress in that effort. Over 50 years, I’ve smoked many blends and the road has narrowed rather than widened and happily so. For me, pipe smoking is not a hobby, it is a way of life and not a trivial one at that. My nirvana would be a slew of pipes and a single blend.
 
It seems my effort regarding tobacco runs opposite of the current trend. ...My nirvana would be a slew of pipes and a single blend.
That was my original plan, but it’s gone up in smoke. I’ve now decided to embrace the diversity and enjoy the 100+ blends in the cellar plus some interesting additions along the way. I don’t spend much money on anything else hobby wise and am not spending the food money so I figure what the heck. If I leave this mortal coil in the meantime my kids can fight over the stash. That’s the plan this week.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Well as regards the day to day choice of smoke, I'll still be just picking from one of five.

IMG_20201015_155005_edit_edit.jpg

But I could either choose to always refill the Lakeland tin with Condor Long Cut, or spend the rest of my days filling it up with something different every time the parent tins runs out. Grassmere, Grousemoor, Ennerdale, Lakeland Dark, Coniston, Bosun, Westmoorland, and so on, and so on.

The next five years is already lined up to be different every tin, pretty much. I suppose it depends whether I enjoy the constant variety, or get sick of it.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Moderator Emeritus
I would be OK dying with a bunch of unsmoked stuff that my kids, friends, family can smoke or even sell off. I would be kinda bummed to somehow outlive my stash and resort to smoking whatever they still have available in 20 years. Probably genetically engineered safe tobacco lol
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I would be OK dying with a bunch of unsmoked stuff that my kids, friends, family can smoke or even sell off. I would be kinda bummed to somehow outlive my stash and resort to smoking whatever they still have available in 20 years. Probably genetically engineered safe tobacco lol
Anything I don't smoke will end up in the rubbish bin, I'm pretty sure of that. I'd certainly want there to be less in the drawer than there currently is when the day comes. I'll probably still be topping back up a little along the way though. I just haven't decided whether I'll be replacing like for like, or continuing to try something new every time.
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
There are explicit instructions in my will to contact certain people in regards to my pipes, tobacco, pens, kitchen knives and firearms. I would hate for the widow to sell them for what I said I paid for them!

But I have so many blends of tobacco I have not tried. I could smoke FVF, BBF, LNF, Escudo, Nightcap, ODF and a couple rarities and never miss anything. I've smoked so many blends and thought to myself, "This is very similar to ..." I'm almost overwhelmed of the vaieties I have and am currently only smoking 1-2 bowls a month instead of the 1-2 bowls a day when I started buying things to try. I don't regret what I've purchased. I'll get to it eventually especially if I can get a shelted spot to smoke instead of my car. Or if I can talk myself into not buying cigars and smoke my pipes...

Cigars get trickier to narrow down to a couple but it is relatively easy to not buy another humidor/tupperdore than it is to not buy a tin of tobacco that can sit untouched for 20+ years.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
There are explicit instructions in my will to contact certain people in regards to my pipes, tobacco, pens, kitchen knives and firearms. I would hate for the widow to sell them for what I said I paid for them!

But I have so many blends of tobacco I have not tried. I could smoke FVF, BBF, LNF, Escudo, Nightcap, ODF and a couple rarities and never miss anything. I've smoked so many blends and thought to myself, "This is very similar to ..." I'm almost overwhelmed of the vaieties I have and am currently only smoking 1-2 bowls a month instead of the 1-2 bowls a day when I started buying things to try. I don't regret what I've purchased. I'll get to it eventually especially if I can get a shelted spot to smoke instead of my car. Or if I can talk myself into not buying cigars and smoke my pipes...

Cigars get trickier to narrow down to a couple but it is relatively easy to not buy another humidor/tupperdore than it is to not buy a tin of tobacco that can sit untouched for 20+ years.
Thankfully, I'm not into cigars, which keeps the price down immensely. I can't justify a smoke which costs the same price as a tin or two of pipe tobacco. I also prefer the variety of taste, and ability to choose smoke duration with pipes.

I spent seven years mostly smoking the same stuff with pipes, but have really enjoyed this year's exploration with samples. Yesterday's revelation that I could potentially keep doing that indefinitely at 6 to 8 tins a year, was an eye opener. Or to put it another way, I'm probably never going to smoke a whole tin of everything that's on the wishlist.

I suppose it will come down to finishing a tin of something excellent, and asking myself if I'm happy to never smoke that again. If I find myself thinking "I've got to get more of that!" then endless exploration is obviously not for me :biggrin1:
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I already have a fair few blends lined up for them.

English: 8 tinned blends await being worked through so far

Miscellaneous (including VaBurs): Again 8 blends are already queued up

Vir/Per: I expect this to be the busiest tin in terms of weekly use. 7 straight Virginia blends, and 8 VaPers lie in wait in the drawer.

Aromatics: There's only 3 blends here at present, as aromatics don't keep as well. I'll try to add tins six months to a year before they're needed.

Lakelands: There's only two blends queued up for after the initial pouch, as most of these blends are loose or pouched, and I don't have the glassware for them yet. As the others get smoked down, that will free up room for adding jars.

They will change over at different times though, as each will probably be filled four times before the parent tin is empty. However, for the first five years at least, an empty parent tin will mean moving to a new blend. There's also still some samples left to work through.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
FOMO is something I thought I was largely immune to, but I'm starting to wonder if it just works differently with me.

Some folks worry about the tobaccolypse, or favourites getting discontinued, or rising prices, and prohibitive legislation. The need to ensure continued smoking forevermore, in the blends and pipes they enjoy most. The security that they can always do that one thing.

I don't.

I worry about not being able to smoke it all, and having tied all that money up in something I never got to enjoy, when I could have enjoyed it other ways. Train journeys, days by the coast, exploring the places I haven't yet discovered. Meals cooked by someone else, waking to a different sunrise, and the wonder of the unfamiliar which gets diminished by the comfort of certainty. Experiences that stay longer in the mind than a bowl in a pipe. Things that don't need buying several years in advance. Things that will continue once tobacco has gone.

I guess it's the old Aimless Wanderer tendencies and urges, to not focus on the final destination, but just the crest of the next hill, upon which I will choose my next heading. The fear of arriving at the goal, or realising the destination is not where or how I thought it was, and regretting how much of the journey and interesting detours I missed out on by focusing on the end point.

Maybe that's what recently got me thinking about never buying the same blend twice. That underlying urge to break free, and not bog myself down with commitment and a pre-determined path. Maybe I won't buy glass jars after all. I'll just feel I have to fill them up ... then empty them ... then fill them again.

No glass shackles for me.
 
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