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Brown Leaf Newbie Check-In & General Chat

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
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Howdy, all,

I'm not a newbie to pipe smoking, but I haven't packed and lit up any of my pipes in years. Most of them date from the days when Tinder Box existed at my local mall, but I also have ones I picked up at independent tobacconists before those became extinct here. They're in a large cardboard box in my closet; I need to open it up and see what I have! I may still have pipe cleaners, and I have wooden matches.

So, if I decide to try this again, I'm set except for tobacco. I always liked the Cavendish and sweeter blends, not the Oriental or English stuff. Recommendations for something mild to get me started?
Lane 1Q is probably the world's best selling tobacco right now and fits your description to a tee. Give it a shot.
 
Howdy, all,

I'm not a newbie to pipe smoking, but I haven't packed and lit up any of my pipes in years. Most of them date from the days when Tinder Box existed at my local mall, but I also have ones I picked up at independent tobacconists before those became extinct here. They're in a large cardboard box in my closet; I need to open it up and see what I have! I may still have pipe cleaners, and I have wooden matches.

So, if I decide to try this again, I'm set except for tobacco. I always liked the Cavendish and sweeter blends, not the Oriental or English stuff. Recommendations for something mild to get me started?
Welcome back! Returning wayward pipers are the very best pipers.

Just a couple thoughts come to mind for someone who returns to the docks after many years away. I'd give those old friends a little TLC just to start. Perhaps a little wipe down, and a swab or two of Everclear to wash the decks of any old bilge. Take em apart and get to know them again. You may find the old vulcanite needs some buffing and waxing. Just getting them ready will get you eager to be back in the water again.

Just my advice, but I'd start out with something not too wet, not too hot, and not too complicated. That's good for an old pipe just out of dry dock, and also for a piper just getting back his sea legs. Tasty aromatics are wonderful, but they can run hot, wet and sloppy ... which a long-retired pipe (and piper) may not like so much.

Starting your journey with something like the Captain, if he's left to run amuck, will flood your bilge, burn your scuppers, and haunt the boat.

I'd grab a pouch or two of something modest, forgiving, cool-burning and easy to burn. PA is getting hard to find. But some SWR or perhaps CH, Granger, or even a little Velvet to start. These are all quicker smokes, too. Run a few bowls of that through them, and let the cakes and shanks revive gently. You'll also quickly get back your puffing cadence and re-sharpen your taste buds on them, too.

If you want to pre-sweeten the bowls before re-christening them, hard pack them with SWR and let them sit for a few days. Then dump them empty and re-fill for the initial bowls.

Then when you're ready, graduate over to a very light aromatic such as SWRA or EGR, as you eventually recondition your pipes and you back to the more complex blends.

If you simply just can't stomach a Burley, then start with one of the basic canned VAs, such as Orlik GS. But I think the above choices are much better to start with. They are all easy peasy smokers.

Then, when you and your pipes are ready, dive in to those sweeter aromatics!

If you want to eventually go whole hog 'I ate a candy store' aromatic, then either some 1Q as brandaves suggests, or a can of Molto Dulce, or Stanwell's Melange, are all good quality blends that will satisfy the sweetest tooth, and ones that I will often gift to newer pipers.

Happy puffs to you!
 

Claudel Xerxes

Moderator Emeritus
Mr. Columbo, sir,

I have to say I don't know what half of your abbreviations mean! Is there a glossary for the Brown Leaf somewhere?
There is an unofficial acronym thread, but most of us didn't really deal much with OTC (over the counter) pouch blends until the past two or three years, so I don't think any of the ones mentioned above are in it. Here's the acronym page: What are you drinking tonight? - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/what-are-you-drinking-tonight.306439/post-8813194

The ones @Columbo referred to are:
PA = Prince Albert
CH = Carter Hall
SWR = Sir Walter Raleigh
SWRA = Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic
EGR = No clue
VA = Virginia (type of tobacco)
Orlick GS = Orlik Golden Sliced

I hope that helps for the time being.
 
Mr. Columbo, sir,

I have to say I don't know what half of your abbreviations mean! Is there a glossary for the Brown Leaf somewhere?
Forgive my tendency to acronym.

Claudel pretty much covered them. But EGR is Edward G. Robinson’s blend, a mid Century lightly aromatic classic. Perhaps something Napoleon Solo might have smoked.
 
Forgive my tendency to acronym.

Claudel pretty much covered them. But EGR is Edward G. Robinson’s blend, a mid Century lightly aromatic classic. Perhaps something Napoleon Solo might have smoked.
Despite the fact they carried cigarette cases in the early days (the original communicators), we never saw Solo or Illya really smoke cigarettes or anything else. We were told, though, that Mr. Waverly's pipe blend was something called "Isle of Dogs No. 22"!

As it happens, I'm a strong appreciator of Robinson's performances. Interesting that he should have a tobacco blend named after him.
 
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Despite the fact they carried cigarette cases in the early days (the original communicators), we never saw Solo or Illya really smoke cigarettes or anything else. We were told, though, that Mr. Waverly's pipe blend was something called "Isle of Dogs No. 22"!

As it happens, I'm a strong appreciator of Robinson's performances. Interesting that he should have a tobacco blend named after him.
Ah ... the numbered blends. There are a number of them in tobacco lore and lexicon.

Among the famous, Hugh Hefner was purportedly very fond of No. 79, another Sutliff aromatic with an old pedigree. Years ago, there was a very off-color joke about his tobacco choice. But being that this is a gentlemen's forum, I will leave that dangle to the imagination.

EGR was purportedly first blended by Sutliff in the late 1940s with Robinson participating in the process. It is a slightly 'winey' tasting blend (as are some coffees), and that is consistent with Robinson's love of fine wines.

I have not seen UNCLE for many years. But my very faint recollection is that Solo was more of a cigar smoker.

As my moniker suggests, most of my tobacco during the early 1970s came from news & tobacco stands and grocery stores. But now I can smoke anything ... and I often do.

I can't wait to follow how your return to pipes comes along.
 
Ah ... the numbered blends. There are a number of them in tobacco lore and lexicon.

Among the famous, Hugh Hefner was purportedly very fond of No. 79, another Sutliff aromatic with an old pedigree. Years ago, there was a very off-color joke about his tobacco choice. But being that this is a gentlemen's forum, I will leave that dangle to the imagination.

EGR was purportedly first blended by Sutliff in the late 1940s with Robinson participating in the process. It is a slightly 'winey' tasting blend (as are some coffees), and that is consistent with Robinson's love of fine wines.

I have not seen UNCLE for many years. But my very faint recollection is that Solo was more of a cigar smoker.
. . .

I can't wait to follow how your return to pipes comes along.
I can easily imagine how the Hugh Hefner joke went. (Mouth and keyboard firmly closed.)

I might like the EGR blend. One of my favorites in the early days was a Tinder Box tobacco with a sort of cherry flavor, and though I hate cherry flavored anything, this blend had sort of a red wine flavor I liked. Can't recall the name, though -- and I think they discontinued it decades ago anyway.

As for Solo and cigars, no, not that I can recall. There is a bit in the famous early episode with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy where Solo lights a cigarette and takes a "didn't inhale" puff, but that's all. Neither Vaughn nor McCallum were smokers and neither were their characters. A good thing, as I might have been tempted by the little sticks when I was young.

My problem at the moment is lack of a venue. I live in a small-ish apartment with no balcony, porch, or backyard; I don't want to smoke around my cats; and outdoors here is a bad district in Hell for most of the year. Not sure I'm going to be able to do this now. But I will review the pipes, and maybe take some pics!
 
I can easily imagine how the Hugh Hefner joke went. (Mouth and keyboard firmly closed.)

I might like the EGR blend. One of my favorites in the early days was a Tinder Box tobacco with a sort of cherry flavor, and though I hate cherry flavored anything, this blend had sort of a red wine flavor I liked. Can't recall the name, though -- and I think they discontinued it decades ago anyway.

As for Solo and cigars, no, not that I can recall. There is a bit in the famous early episode with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy where Solo lights a cigarette and takes a "didn't inhale" puff, but that's all. Neither Vaughn nor McCallum were smokers and neither were their characters. A good thing, as I might have been tempted by the little sticks when I was young.

My problem at the moment is lack of a venue. I live in a small-ish apartment with no balcony, porch, or backyard; I don't want to smoke around my cats; and outdoors here is a bad district in Hell for most of the year. Not sure I'm going to be able to do this now. But I will review the pipes, and maybe take some pics!
If you are averse to cherry, then something like Velvet, which to my tongue has a drop of it in it, might be approached with pause. But give it a try. Some gents just love it (especially now that STG (Scandinavian Tobacco Group) is blending it), and it's inexpensive.

All of these blends I am recommending are available in pouch, tin or small can quantities, so you don't have to invest in bulk buys with added jarring expense. And what you don't like is not going to cost you much.

One high-grade cherry that you probably will like, even if you don't like cherry, is Boswell's Pennsylvania Dutch Treat. But I would hold off on that until you are further along. Boswells is a boutique blender out of Western PA (Pennsylvania) and remains my benchmark for high quality domestic aromatics. Boswells also sells in tin quantities when you are ready. But he is not inexpensive.

The venue for tobacco enjoyment is a common issue nowadays. I do not smoke cigars in the house, and hardly any in winter outside, for that reason. Same with the newer cars with cloth headliners. But piping has a very strong WAF (wife acceptance factor) ... provided you give her a nice room note somewhat regularly. Mrs. Columbo is very fond of my pipes, especially around the Christmas holidays when some of the seasonal aromatics come out.

As far as CAF (Cat Acceptance Factor) ... I can certainly understand your trepidation. My dogs seem to like my PA and other tobacco choices. But then again, they also like to drink out of the toilet and eat dead birds.

If Solo ever handled tobacco, it would have been in the earliest B&W episodes.
 
Among the famous, Hugh Hefner was purportedly very fond of No. 79, another Sutliff aromatic with an old pedigree. Years ago, there was a very off-color joke about his tobacco choice. But being that this is a gentlemen's forum, I will leave that dangle to the imagination.
If I remember correctly, both Hugh and Bill Clinton shopped at the same tobacconist.
 
I just dug out the pipe collection. I must have 17 different models in there, 2 Savinellis, a Ben Wade, a Peterson, and a bunch I don't recognize at all. Turned out there were two little sealed plastic pouches of tobacco as well! One was from the Tinder Box, and they've been gone from our area for years. The other had no label at all. But it felt relatively moist . . . and, well . . .

. . . I stuffed a small pinch into a Prince of Wales model, tamped it down, and lit it with a couple of wooden matches. Then I stepped outside, which is cool and wet today. It all came back: the right way to puff, the careful way to tamp it down part way through to keep it burning steadily, everything. I puffed about half of it, enjoying the chocolate-maple kind of scent, tapped it out onto the wet ground (and made sure the fire was out!), and now have the pipe cooling in the one-pipe scoop stand that was also in the collection. I'll run some cleaner through it after it cools.

As Arte Johnson's German soldier used to say on Laugh-In, "Verrrry interesting . . ."
 
@Benzadmiral welcome back to pipe smoking and the forum. I returned to pipe smoking a couple of years ago after a 30+ year hiatus in cigar land, so I understand a bit of your position. While the Tinder Box type stores have mostly disappeared, there remain a few good B&Ms around and the online opportunities are amazing. Enjoy the journey!
 
Early last Sunday morning I smoked a second pipe, my Peterson System No. 307 (I see from the inscription on its side), with about a half bowl of the same chocolate-maple smelling blend as on Saturday. The morning was cool and too damp to consider washing the car, so I stepped outside and communed with the Peterson. Again, no problems lighting it or keeping it lit, lightly tamped, etc.

I need a smoking room, or a porch, or something. Smoking out on my walkway is all very well, but I want to read while I'm doing it!
 
Early last Sunday morning I smoked a second pipe, my Peterson System No. 307 (I see from the inscription on its side), with about a half bowl of the same chocolate-maple smelling blend as on Saturday. The morning was cool and too damp to consider washing the car, so I stepped outside and communed with the Peterson. Again, no problems lighting it or keeping it lit, lightly tamped, etc.

I need a smoking room, or a porch, or something. Smoking out on my walkway is all very well, but I want to read while I'm doing it!
Sounds like a great smoke!

Is there any way you can dedicate a room to it? We once had a neighbor who rigged up a little exhaust setup through his window with a couple computer fans. It was just enough to periodically exhaust the room for a non smoker family member. But didn’t make much noise or cost him too much in heating/cooling loss.
 
Sounds like a great smoke!

Is there any way you can dedicate a room to it? We once had a neighbor who rigged up a little exhaust setup through his window with a couple computer fans. It was just enough to periodically exhaust the room for a non smoker family member. But didn’t make much noise or cost him too much in heating/cooling loss.
Unfortunately I live in a 2-room apartment with a deep closet and a small bath, and a tiny galley-like kitchen. I hope to move out of this particular pesthole soon, but I've been saying that for a long time. I keep thinking I should wait until I retire and get out of Da Swamp completely, and rent something bigger or buy a place. If it's possible to do any of that in a year or two.

The current place has 2 long windows that extend down close to the floor, and so if I put a fan in the bedroom, that might work.

I'm really only concerned with the effect on my cats; they like to sit near me in the evenings. The smoke might chase them off, but maybe not. The big red tabby I lived with during my pipe smoking days of the '80s and '90s didn't run off when I used my pipes. I had to make sure to puff *away* from him.
 
Unfortunately I live in a 2-room apartment with a deep closet and a small bath, and a tiny galley-like kitchen. I hope to move out of this particular pesthole soon, but I've been saying that for a long time. I keep thinking I should wait until I retire and get out of Da Swamp completely, and rent something bigger or buy a place. If it's possible to do any of that in a year or two.

The current place has 2 long windows that extend down close to the floor, and so if I put a fan in the bedroom, that might work.

I'm really only concerned with the effect on my cats; they like to sit near me in the evenings. The smoke might chase them off, but maybe not. The big red tabby I lived with during my pipe smoking days of the '80s and '90s didn't run off when I used my pipes. I had to make sure to puff *away* from him.
Perhaps if you put your pipe stand right near whatever exhaust you set up. The only other remedy might be a local air cleaner, but those are hit-or-miss. I’m sure there’s a solution for this.

Could be worse. We once had a cat that absolutely hated air conditioning. Every time it turned on, she would promptly run to the corner of the room and urinate in protest ... on Mrs. Columbo’s expensive new carpets. Worst stench there is. Mrs. Columbo loved air conditioning more than the cat (especially when 100F outside). So the cat departed.
 
Perhaps if you put your pipe stand right near whatever exhaust you set up. The only other remedy might be a local air cleaner, but those are hit-or-miss. I’m sure there’s a solution for this.

Could be worse. We once had a cat that absolutely hated air conditioning. Every time it turned on, she would promptly run to the corner of the room and urinate in protest ... on Mrs. Columbo’s expensive new carpets. Worst stench there is. Mrs. Columbo loved air conditioning more than the cat (especially when 100F outside). So the cat departed.
If any of my felines ever disliked A/C to that extent, they'd be hitting the bricks for sure.

Well, for right now I can step outside and have my smoke. The real problem will be when it gets hot, say about mid-March. (As I said, it's foul here.)
 
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