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Another noob thread! With a few questions...

Hello Brown Leaf!

I've smoked a pipe intermittently for more than a decade, but I'm only just beginning to research it and look a little deeper. I don't have issues with tongue bite or smoking too hot (at least, I haven't since my first blundering attempts), but I do have problems with getting a pleasant flavor.

I've never purchased tins or name brands - I've always purchased pouches based on what smelled good from glass jars at the local tobacconist. My experience has always been that the pouch smelled good, the smoke smelled good, but the taste was almost non-existent. On top of the taste missing during the smoke, when I'm done with the bowl I have a lingering, unpleasant aftertaste that lasts a minimum of 24 hours (regardless of meals, brushing, etc).

As an example, my last bowl I had in the morning after my first cup of coffee, followed it with brushing, several more cups of coffee, three meals, and woke up in the morning with the taste still in my mouth. (I should note: I rehydrated the tobacco and stored it in a mason jar after it had been sitting a while for this smoke - but the experience has always been similar).

Researching the aftertaste is kind of a mixed bag. Some members here have reported similar based on different blends, low quality tobaccos, smoking too hot, or maybe a burnt out pipe.

I think the first thing I should do is order some of the recommended blends online. I noticed the Amphora Sampler gets recommended a lot, so I might start there. Or maybe I should just do a single pouch from a codger blend? I keep reading that aromatics have the worst flavors, and I'm guessing those glass jars of tobacco are primarily low grade aromatics.

I'm also debating buying a corn cob or two to start over completely fresh. Maybe my other pipes have picked up unwanted flavors over the years. Maybe I should treat my current pipes like an unknown estate and clean them down to "like new?"


I guess this post can boil down to these questions:
Any ideas on my aftertaste issues?
Which tobacco(s) should I give a try based on my history?
Should I just keep on with my current pipes, clean them, buy some corn cobs, all of the above?


Thanks in advance!
 
Proslogion, it sounds like your pipes need a good cleaning to start with. I've been smoking again now since January, and puffed off and on during the '80s and '90s -- and I don't recall ever having an aftertaste scenario like the one you describe. Cleaning and sweetening your pipes doesn't have to be expensive. You can pick up one of those little $2 bottles of rum or whisky at Walmart, some (more) pipe cleaners, dip a cleaner in the bottle, and give each pipe a good swabbing.
 
The thing with „where is the taste?“ sounds like Aromatics - great room note for all around but it never tastes as the scent, at least for me. How about a light English for a change of pace? They smoke cool and have a smokey BBQ flavor like an Islay Whisky.

On the unpleasant aftertaste I would deep clean the pipes (cleaner + high proof alcohol) and even a salt/alcohol regime for the bowl. If the problem persists get a Cob and see if there’s a difference.
 
Yes, which tobaccos have you been smoking?

I never tried the "codger" blends before this year, and I wish I had. Sir Walter Raleigh, the Raleigh Aromatic, and Granger are all mild and excellent. Half & Half might be an acquired taste, what with its coriander, cardamom, and mace touches, but it's inexpensive to try a pouch. And there are "match" tobaccos for Carter Hall, Prince Albert, and slightly less famous concoctions like Field & Stream, Edgeworth, and Briggs, too.
 
Do you like your pipes? If so, clean them and use them.
If not, clean them and sell them.
I'm not wild about them - they are just from bins from random shops. They have clear air ways and are decent smokers, though. I'll clean them up!

Proslogion, it sounds like your pipes need a good cleaning to start with. I've been smoking again now since January, and puffed off and on during the '80s and '90s -- and I don't recall ever having an aftertaste scenario like the one you describe. Cleaning and sweetening your pipes doesn't have to be expensive. You can pick up one of those little $2 bottles of rum or whisky at Walmart, some (more) pipe cleaners, dip a cleaner in the bottle, and give each pipe a good swabbing.
Will do!

Can I assume you are mostly smoking aromatic tobacco?
I'm guessing so, because they always attract me by smelling delicious.

The thing with „where is the taste?“ sounds like Aromatics - great room note for all around but it never tastes as the scent, at least for me. How about a light English for a change of pace? They smoke cool and have a smokey BBQ flavor like an Islay Whisky.

On the unpleasant aftertaste I would deep clean the pipes (cleaner + high proof alcohol) and even a salt/alcohol regime for the bowl. If the problem persists get a Cob and see if there’s a difference.
I'll definitely give them a solid clean. I need to look into the salt/alcohol regime, as I've seen it referenced several times.

Yes, which tobaccos have you been smoking?

I never tried the "codger" blends before this year, and I wish I had. Sir Walter Raleigh, the Raleigh Aromatic, and Granger are all mild and excellent. Half & Half might be an acquired taste, what with its coriander, cardamom, and mace touches, but it's inexpensive to try a pouch. And there are "match" tobaccos for Carter Hall, Prince Albert, and slightly less famous concoctions like Field & Stream, Edgeworth, and Briggs, too.
Tobaccos are random mixes from tobacco shops. I've seen several rave reviews about SWR in recent threads - may do the deep clean and pick up a pouch of that to start.
 
Hello Brown Leaf!

I've smoked a pipe intermittently for more than a decade, but I'm only just beginning to research it and look a little deeper. I don't have issues with tongue bite or smoking too hot (at least, I haven't since my first blundering attempts), but I do have problems with getting a pleasant flavor.

I've never purchased tins or name brands - I've always purchased pouches based on what smelled good from glass jars at the local tobacconist. My experience has always been that the pouch smelled good, the smoke smelled good, but the taste was almost non-existent. On top of the taste missing during the smoke, when I'm done with the bowl I have a lingering, unpleasant aftertaste that lasts a minimum of 24 hours (regardless of meals, brushing, etc).

As an example, my last bowl I had in the morning after my first cup of coffee, followed it with brushing, several more cups of coffee, three meals, and woke up in the morning with the taste still in my mouth. (I should note: I rehydrated the tobacco and stored it in a mason jar after it had been sitting a while for this smoke - but the experience has always been similar).

Researching the aftertaste is kind of a mixed bag. Some members here have reported similar based on different blends, low quality tobaccos, smoking too hot, or maybe a burnt out pipe.

I think the first thing I should do is order some of the recommended blends online. I noticed the Amphora Sampler gets recommended a lot, so I might start there. Or maybe I should just do a single pouch from a codger blend? I keep reading that aromatics have the worst flavors, and I'm guessing those glass jars of tobacco are primarily low grade aromatics.

I'm also debating buying a corn cob or two to start over completely fresh. Maybe my other pipes have picked up unwanted flavors over the years. Maybe I should treat my current pipes like an unknown estate and clean them down to "like new?"


I guess this post can boil down to these questions:
Any ideas on my aftertaste issues?
Which tobacco(s) should I give a try based on my history?
Should I just keep on with my current pipes, clean them, buy some corn cobs, all of the above?


Thanks in advance!
Hello and welcome!

I think investing $10 into a fresh cob and a simple, mild, easy to smoke standard such as SWR, and ‘restarting’ with that for a time is a smart first step. Re-hone your technique and your palette with a fresh start, unencumbered by past choices.

Then, once you have settled back into it, you can re-evaluate your old pipes and tobaccos with that new experience fresh in your mind. You may find your old tobaccos aren’t what you thought they were, or that you weren’t quite ready for them at the time … or now … or ever.

And you may decide to either deep clean or simply sweeten up your old pipes, one at a time, as you get back into it, depending on these new experiences.

But I would start the first leg of your new journey with a fresh pipe and an easy blend so that you are not so shackled to your past experiences, which seem to have become unsatisfying to you.

Happy puffs to you!
 
I'm not wild about them - they are just from bins from random shops. They have clear air ways and are decent smokers, though. I'll clean them up!


Will do!


I'm guessing so, because they always attract me by smelling delicious.


I'll definitely give them a solid clean. I need to look into the salt/alcohol regime, as I've seen it referenced several times.


Tobaccos are random mixes from tobacco shops. I've seen several rave reviews about SWR in recent threads - may do the deep clean and pick up a pouch of that to start.
Coarse kosher salt into the bowl and then some high proof alcohol on top to moisten the salt - careful not to spill as it will strip the varnish on the outside.
Leave for 3-4 days, the alcohol should evaporate and take the nasties into the salt which you then can discard by breaking up the crust with your pipetool.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
If you are smoking aromatics you might be sensitive to the propylene glycol often used as a humectant/flavor carrier in them. A cheap cob and a non-aromatic seems like a good bet. Try smoking that to see if you get the same after taste. At the same time, the flavor of any burning tobacco tends to linger on the palate. When I smoke cigars the after taste lingers til the next day for me no matter how much I brush.
 
Proslogion, search on YooToob for a fellow named Muttnchop Piper. He has several videos on how to pack a pipe, how to light it (hint: Don't scorch your tobacco!), and the "breathe method." I've been following a number of his recommendations and have found they improve my appreciation of the pipe. I got some real toasted aromas from Sir Walter Raleigh this weekend, for instance, and I've been smoking the stuff off and on for six months.

I too began with the aromatics, the sweet and delicious-smelling stuff offered by the Tinder Box in my local mall. My view now is that a little aromatic goes a long way. I still have some mystery chocolate-maple blend that probably came from there, and some black Cavendish leaf that I know was theirs. The choc-maple is still pretty good to smoke. However, the Cavendish is far too goopy unless I dry it a lot and mix it with something else like Sir Walter or Granger. (I just hate to waste stuff I paid for, even if that was 15 years ago!)

You'll find what you like; give it a little time.
 
Proslogion, search on YooToob for a fellow named Muttnchop Piper. He has several videos on how to pack a pipe, how to light it (hint: Don't scorch your tobacco!), and the "breathe method." I've been following a number of his recommendations and have found they improve my appreciation of the pipe. I got some real toasted aromas from Sir Walter Raleigh this weekend, for instance, and I've been smoking the stuff off and on for six months.
It is funny you mention Muttnchop's channel! I recently binged a lot of his content - and I've done the "breathe method" for the last few bowls, which was new to me.
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
Read or re-read the Gentleman's Guide to the Leaf sticky. Sounds like the salt and alcohol treatment is needed for your old pipes. +1 on a cob or few with a non-aromatic blend. OTC blends with heavy PG should be avoided for now until you try some blends without. You can buy 1-2 oz. samples of bulk blends fairly inexpensively from SmokingPipes and other venders that won't have the PG that OTCs do.
 
Read or re-read the Gentleman's Guide to the Leaf sticky. Sounds like the salt and alcohol treatment is needed for your old pipes. +1 on a cob or few with a non-aromatic blend. OTC blends with heavy PG should be avoided for now until you try some blends without. You can buy 1-2 oz. samples of bulk blends fairly inexpensively from SmokingPipes and other venders that won't have the PG that OTCs do.
I'm guessing PG is propylene glycol?

Do all of the OTC blends have propylene glycol? Or are there some that don't? Any recommendations?

I'm planning on swinging by a local place and seeing what is available with a shopping list of options - and will pick up a couple of cobs if available. (Or I'll place an order online, but want to try local first).
 

nortac

"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
Yes, PG=propylene glycol. I think all OTC pouches have it to some degree, some more than others. Hence my recommendation to buy some bulk samples.
 
I'm guessing PG is propylene glycol?

Do all of the OTC blends have propylene glycol? Or are there some that don't? Any recommendations?

I'm planning on swinging by a local place and seeing what is available with a shopping list of options - and will pick up a couple of cobs if available. (Or I'll place an order online, but want to try local first).
Sir Walter and Half & half do not seem "goopy" or sticky to me. That may not be the only way to tell whether a blend has the PG stuff, of course. But I dry those blends for 20 minutes or so and they smoke fine.
 
It is funny you mention Muttnchop's channel! I recently binged a lot of his content - and I've done the "breathe method" for the last few bowls, which was new to me.
It was new to me as well. I'm still getting used to it. But it has improved my piping quite a bit.
 
I'm always going to recommend a new cob, if not two or three. But that's just me. Get a cob to try out while your current pipes are sweetening and being cleaned. Another thought is it might be the burley tobacco you're reacting to? Burley is a leaf that likes to mess with some people's body chemistry. It's also the most common leaf to make aromatics from. Maybe a Virginia or English blend?
 
SmokingPipes has cobs for $5, so I'll definitely be picking up several. Going to try out a local place first when I get a moment of free time to see what is available there... and if not, placing an order and salt treating my old pipes while I try out the cobs.

Thanks everyone for offering up advice! I will post an update when I acquire and test out my new purchases.
 
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