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Ageing without hoarding

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
Oh, call it what you will, that stuff is great for tins that almost seal. As well as all my time in food servce has given me stupendous food wrapping skills.
Cater- wrap everything!
"Chef, why do we cater wrap everything?!" ," Ever have to clean 2 gallons of cheese sauce out of the back of a van?" "No." "Yeah, me either."
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Still smoking through what's left of the samples, but am certainly getting nearer to needing to open something bigger. Here's what's currently in the live blend tins...

Eng: Kendal Balkan Mixture
Vir/Per: Germains Virginia Gold Leaf
Aro: Radfords Mixture blended with Germain's Royal Jersey Cavendish and Virginia
Lake: GH Bosun Flake
Misc: *empty*

And here's what's lurking in pouches to refill those tins with...

Eng:
Sam G Balkan Flake (10g)
Kendal Exmoor Flake (10g)

Vir/Per:
Sam G Golden Glow (10g)

Aro:
Sam G Palace Gate (10g)
Erinmore Mixture (25g)

Lake:
GH Ennerdale Mixture (10g)
GH Dark Flake Unscented (15g)
Sam Gawith CH Flake (10g)
Condor Long Cut (50g)

Misc:
GH Best Brown #2 Unscented (10g)
Three Nuns (40g)
Gold Block (40g)
Brookfield No.4 - Bourbon (50g)
GH Louisiana Flake (50g)

So I'm finally getting somewhere nearer opening full pouches. Still 340g to smoke before needing to crack a tin though, and that's not counting the random bits in the small jars. It's all stuff I'm really looking forward to smoking too.

I am quite low on Virginias and Vapers, but the Louisiana Flake (chocolate VaPer) and simple VaBur blends will plug that gap for now. I don't think I'll be getting tired of what I've got to hand anytime soon.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Well, the big tax day came and went, and tobacco only got hit by maybe a 3% increase. Glad I didn't add any last minute orders. I don't think I'd have regretted not buying more if it went up further though, to be honest. I've got plenty.

Wallet didn't escape entirely unscathed though, as I have a couple more small briars inbound. Nording Compass came back in stock at one of my suppliers, so I ordered a "contrast" version, which is half rusticated and half smooth for under £40. They also had Falcon Hunter bowls at a reasonable price, so I ordered a Dublin too. A Peterson Smooth Barrel also came on my radar at the right price. I've seen them listed at between £60 and £70 (way too much for my tastes), but this one was significantly cheaper at a bit over £40. Probably due to being the last one in stock. A rusticated one was over £50.

That puts me back to 10 briars. All sitters of course. It also gives me a few "cob shaped" ones, which is something I really feel comfortable with. The Compass, Barrel, and Ben Wade Reader Lightweight. In time, I might get one of the Nording Sailor long stems, to make the compass a churchwarden. The Falcon adds another two small bowls to the mix.

Some of the stems of my other pipes have been giving me some grief though. The Brog Puella had closed up inside, to the point where it won't pass a pipe cleaner from either end. A spare stem off a Pony Express cob, turned that into a cute little nosewarmer/pocket pipe.

IMG_20210303_230156_edit.jpg IMG_20210303_230555_edit.jpg

The Brog Chocla can sometimes get restricted with a filter in (or reducer adaptor), but smokes fine without. The other two Brogs are fine, apart from getting hot mid smoke, but it seems all pearwood pipes do that.

The other problem pipe is the Dr Plumb Pebble Grain Bermuda Bulldog. I love that pipe. It smokes great, but no matter which way I pass a cleaner, it shaves off lint somewhere inside. :mad2: That blocks the airway, and that's game over mid smoke. With an empty pipe, I can just blow that out and refit the stem, no problem. However, if I need to dip a pipe cleaner mid-smoke, I have to wait for it to cool, so I can remove the stem to sort it out. I've tried "filing" the inside with an old guitar string, and that improved it a little bit, but didn't fix it. My Falcon sometimes does it too, but at least I can pop the bowl off, blow out the blockage, and pop it back on. I might have to send that out for tweaking at some point.

So far, all the pipes from the Dunhill factory (Parker and Ben Wade) are faultless. Great smoke every time. I hope the Nording and Pete are as good as those. I'm not happy that my pipe price threshold has had to creep up to £40 for sitters. Lots of "topplers" around the £25 mark, but they're no good to me. Nice to get some smaller bowled ones though, instead of the usual 20mm x 40mm offerings. I was sorely lacking smaller bowls in briar, and these should sort that out very nicely :thumbup1:
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I've shown this pipe before.

IMG_20210305_225814_edit_edit.jpg

That's the Ben Wade Reader Lightweight, one of several pipes of mine that hail from the Dunhill factory in London.

Today, a new arrival came from Dublin. My first Peterson pipe.

IMG_20210305_143123_edit.jpg

I love the Ben Wade Reader, and so was very pleased when this Barrel arrived, and showed remarkable similarities.

IMG_20210305_225854_edit.jpg

The stummels aren't far off a match, aside from the collar on one, and rustication on the other. The Peterson smokes Virginia just as well too.

However, the main difference is in the stem.

IMG_20210305_225952_edit.jpg

I'm not just referring to the length, but the bit on the Pete is a P-Lip type, which is a first for me. I wasn't aware of the upswept aperture on these, and it was very odd to smoke at first. I'm part way down my second bowl of Germain's Virginia Gold Leaf, and am still acclimatising to it. I don't particularly notice any advantage to it so far, and the smoke hitting the roof of my mouth, is taking some getting used to. That said, I don't dislike it particularly - it just feels weird!

Price wise, there wasn't a huge difference between these two, as I did get quite a good price on the Pete. Still slightly more than the Ben Wade, but we'll forgive that for the collar. I certainly don't feel ripped off at the price I paid, but I think I would have felt I'd overpaid, had I paid the £60 that they are most commonly listed at.

Overall, I'm quite happy to welcome this into my modest array of low cost sitters. However, I don't think I'll be rushing to start collecting Petersons any time soon.

A) not enough sitters offered
B) too many beer vouchers (£££s) wanted in return
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
The other small stuff arrived today.

IMG_20210308_120025_edit.jpg

A second bowl for my Falcon, this time a Hunter Dublin, and a Nording Compass in a contrast finish (half rusticated, half smooth).

Along with the Peterson Barrel and Ben Wade Reader Lightweight in the previous post, and the Hunter Bulldog bowl on my Falcon, that now gives me five small briar bowls (though I still consider it four pipes, with two being for the Falcon).

IMG_20210308_120123.jpg

The Compass is similarly sized to the Peterson Barrel, and the task now begins of deciding which of these small pipes is best for which tobacco type. So far the only certainly is that the Bulldog for my Falcon will continue to be my small bowled aromatic choice.

That leaves four small pipes for four blend families; Virginias, VaPers, Lakeland, and finally a general smoking pipe which will be used for anything and everything. I don't have need of a small English pipe, as if I'm in the mood for Latakia, I'm almost certainly in the mood for a "full size" bowl (probably mid-size to most folks here).

The plan, is so smoke plain Virginias in all four, and see which I like it in best. Ditto with a VaPer in the other three. Choosing between the last two will probably be along the lines of the one that feel nicer in hand being used for general smokes, and the other being set aside for Lakelands. Obviously, whichever I choose for Lakelands, will ALWAYS be for Lakelands. Also, the latter two pipes, Lakeland and general, will be the ones most smoked around other people, as I'd tend to choose something at least slightly aromatic for smoking round others.

For that reason, I'm biasing the Ben Wade Reader towards Virginia or VaPer duty, as it's the least pocket friendly. I reckon the Falcon and Compass would be good Beer Garden pipes. We'll see how they smoke first though.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Quick recap/summary of the current briars. Larger bowled in the first pic (typically 1.5g to 2g per load, depending on tobacco type), and smaller bowled in second pic (roughly half the capacity).

IMG_20210308_140107_edit_edit.jpg

L-R:
Virginias, Aromatics, English, Miscellaneous, VaPer, Lakeland

IMG_20210308_135531_edit_edit.jpg

The Falcon Bulldog is for small bowls of aromatics. The rest haven't been assigned permanent roles yet. The longest (Reader) was only used for plain Virginia, but might be reassigned, and the others only arrived recently.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
You have quite a rotation going, Al. I like the looks of your bent panel. It'll be good to see where they land, and why. And it looks like you have enough have two bowls of the same class a day without smoking the same one twice. The prefect number.
Cheers Bill.

It wasn't just a matter of getting a second pipe for each genre, but a smaller pipe for each genre. I was often defaulting to the small cobs just to get a shorter smoke, and kept thinking "I really need briars in this size".

The three little cobs I was using (Pony Express, Mizzou, and Huck Finn) are about as close in size to my array of small pipes, as I'm likely to get, and after I got the Ben Wade Reader and Falcon, I knew for certain that was the right direction to go. I had to compromise a bit on price to get small briar sitters, but I'm glad I did. It's nice to still have those larger pipes for when I want a longer smoke, but the smaller ones do seem to be a better size for a lot of my smokes. Twenty to thirty minutes is plenty long enough, much of the time.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
It'll be good to see where they land, and why.
I've had at least a couple of bowls of plain Virginia in each of these new pipes now, and I'd say they all smoke it well enough. No one pipe particularly stands out as being the best Va pipe. There might be a very very slight advantage to the Falcon Dublin with it being tapered, but that could just as easily be my imagination looking for something that isn't actually there.

So looking for other traits...



Least likely tobacco to be smoked away from home is probably VaPers, as I like to concentrate on those, and not getting engrossed in conversations, where I'm likely to chug at it too heavily, and get bit or otherwise spoil the taste. Most likely pipe to only be smoked at home, Ben Wade Reader Lightweight due to the size. Makes sense to pair those.

Most likely to be smoked away from home, are Cavendish aromatics, light VaBur semi-aromatics, and Lakelands. I reckon they're the most non-smoker friendly tobaccos. I think the best beer garden pipes would be the Falcon and Compass due to their durability, and spares being available if damaged.

I'm fancying the Peterson Barrel as my small Lakeland pipe though. Out of all of them, that's probably the one I'd reach for least frequently if they were all used for smoking the same stuff, but I'd still enjoy smoking it when I do.

So while it's not yet cast in stone, I'm leaning towards...

Falcon Bulldog - Cavendish aromatics
Falcon Dublin - plain Virginia
Ben Wade Reader Lightweight - Perique
Peterson Barrel - Lakeland
Nording Compass - anything and everything
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
So while it's not yet cast in stone, I'm leaning towards...

Falcon Bulldog - Cavendish aromatics
Falcon Dublin - plain Virginia
Ben Wade Reader Lightweight - Perique
Peterson Barrel - Lakeland
Nording Compass - anything and everything
I called it perfectly!

A Perique blend worked great in the Reader a couple of days ago, and the P-lip of the Peterson Barrel I'm currently smoking, really brings the Bosun Flake (current Lakeland sample) alive, by swirling it around the tongue evenly, rather than concentrating it in one spot.

The Dublin bowl for the Falcon is behaving better now I've had a few smokes in it, and is also colouring up very nicely. As for the Compass... well that's just smokes brilliantly no matter what I stuff in it, and looks awesome doing it too!
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
It's not the most traditional looking pipe, but in terms of performance and simplicity, I can't fault it.
On this point, I was initially worried that the Falcon and Compass would look more like they were smoking something else, rather than tobacco. Particularly as a long haired middle aged bloke. Those worries have gone, and now I really like how they both look. Most folk can't tell one pipe from another anyway, and I have been occasionally asked if I'm smoking something "exotic" even when using traditional pattern pipes.

I've seen the perfect sitter "zulu-ish" pipe too, but at FAR from the perfect price. Essentially, 11 times higher than my original upper limit, and still 6 times higher the revised upper limit. Nah! I'll wait. What I have now works great, and I have way too much other stuff to find funds for this year.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
Just thought I'd throw in a quick gripe about the breath method. Tried it. Pipe gets too hot.

The exhalation down the pipe, pushes more oxygen through the coal than necessary, increasing the temperature, and speed of the burn rate. I know it's not much, but it's more than I'd normally do, just having air flow one way.

I can see it being a way of toning down smokers who can't see where they're walking for their own smog :tongue_sm but it seems to be a "burn more, smoke less" effect for me.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
Just thought I'd throw in a quick gripe about the breath method. Tried it. Pipe gets too hot.

The exhalation down the pipe, pushes more oxygen through the coal than necessary, increasing the temperature, and speed of the burn rate. I know it's not much, but it's more than I'd normally do, just having air flow one way.

I can see it being a way of toning down smokers who can't see where they're walking for their own smog :tongue_sm but it seems to be a "burn more, smoke less" effect for me.
It definitely isn't for everyone but once I got it down I found it to be the most efficient way of keeping my pipe lit without it getting hot. In addition to that my pipe becomes an afterthought. I can enjoy it without the need to focus on it. Sometimes I really enjoy focusing on the bowl I'm smoking, other times I just want it to be there in the background while I'm reading, playing chess or whatever.

But as I said, it isn't for everyone.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
Just thought I'd throw in a quick gripe about the breath method. Tried it. Pipe gets too hot.

The exhalation down the pipe, pushes more oxygen through the coal than necessary, increasing the temperature, and speed of the burn rate. I know it's not much, but it's more than I'd normally do, just having air flow one way.

I can see it being a way of toning down smokers who can't see where they're walking for their own smog :tongue_sm but it seems to be a "burn more, smoke less" effect for me.
I exhale (retro-hale) through my nose, not the pipe.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Contributor
I exhale (retro-hale) through my nose, not the pipe.
The breath method as described on PooTube is essentially just breathing in and out through the nose, and the change in pressure that causes in the mouth, shifts air back and forth through the pipe. For me, it's small air movement, but too much air movement, and the pipe gets too hot.

As Brandon says, it's not for everyone, and I'll go back to taking the pipe out of my mush unless I'm (gently) drawing on it.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
The breath method as described on PooTube is essentially just breathing in and out through the nose, and the change in pressure that causes in the mouth, shifts air back and forth through the pipe. For me, it's small air movement, but too much air movement, and the pipe gets too hot.

As Brandon says, it's not for everyone, and I'll go back to taking the pipe out of my mush unless I'm (gently) drawing on it.
I never understood it that way. Always out through the lips or nose. Exhaling through the pipe would overheat the pipe. Maybe that guy on YouTube didn’t know what he/she/it/zee/zer/*** was talking about.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
I never understood it that way. Always out through the lips or nose. Exhaling through the pipe would overheat the pipe. Maybe that guy on YouTube didn’t know what he/she/it/zee/zer/*** was talking about.
Its not exhaling through the pipe, but breathing through the nose does cause are to move slightly through the stem thus oxygenating your ember and assisting in keeping it lit.
 
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