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Choosing which pipe for which blend type

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Kind of a pipe dedication question here, for those who have separate Lat pipes, and aromatic pipes, etc.

Starting out with a new pipe, you might stick to Virginias or VaBurs, to break it in and build a little cake, and also get a feel for how that pipe handles lighter, plainer tobaccos. Not quite making the Virginias sing as well as another pipe? OK then, you might try out a few VaPers in it, or Va/Orientals. Maybe that works well, or maybe that doesn't seem to get the best from that pipe either.

If you decide not to limit it to those tobaccos, you've basically got three routes as I see it.
  1. Latakia/English/Balkan
  2. Aromatics (fruity/alcohol)
  3. Lakelands (floral)
Any one of those, is going to start ghosting the pipe, so how do you choose which way to go? Is it something about the pipe that steers you? Bowl size/shape? Wall thickness? Something about how it smokes? Do you try them all, and exorcise the ghosts later? Or simply go in a direction because you want more pipes for blend type X?

The reason for asking, is I have just had a glut of new unsmoked pipes. They'll likely all be starting out on non-ghosting blends. However, my original idea of what goes where, was derailed by the "English" pipes not being as wide as I envisaged, and the "Virginia" bowls not being as narrow, or as tapered. As such, I just need to smoke them, and see where they each lead me. But which way to turn when I hit a fork in the road? I'll make my own judgements of course, rightly or wrongly, but I'm really interested to hear what steers you towards how you choose to deploy your pipes.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
This is all 100% personal preference based wholly on heresy and delusional epiphanies when smoking, but here goes.

I like narrow pipes for blends that have only 1 or two components, or blends where the blend is quite homogenous. Usually a fine ribbon cut or a flake. I have had fleeting impressions that a tapered bowl seems to concentrate flavors of mild blends of Va and Burley. The narrow chambers seems to slow down the burn as well for me.

I prefer wider bowls for blends with several components, or blends that are less homogenous. Sutliff Voodoo Queen is one example that has chunks of flake mixed in with large pieces of Latakia and who knows what else. The idea is a wider bowl has a larger surface for an ember to burn thusly allowing more of the components to burn at the same time.

That being said I have had great smokes of Va in big wide bowls and vice versa with Kitchen sink blends in narrow bowls.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
This is all 100% personal preference based wholly on heresy and delusional epiphanies when smoking, but here goes.

Great opening line, Kent! :lol:

I'm going to toy with your answer a little, just for conversational fun :biggrin1: Lets say we started off with those homogenous blends, with simpler compositions, and the pipe didn't seem to excel with them.

If it did, we'd simply stick there, right?

So let's assume that the pipe is not going to displace any of our favourite simple blend pipes. The pipe seems to need "more" for whatever reason. Either more complexity of blend, or some kind of topping. So we're back to that fork in the road. English or aromatic? Foodie or floral? Once chosen, the pipe is ghosted, and it's a long long road back.

Which pipes get the Latakia, and which the sauce enhancements? (Not sure if I missed a nuance in your first reply, or my initial question wasn't nuanced enough :001_tongu ) Of course, there's the carefree option of simply using it for everything, all ghosts welcome, but that kind of kills the thread :lol:
 
I’m not too far into this game but wide and potentially shallow seems to work for my English blends best. Pots, Authors, Diplomats/Prince

My favorite, 320 Punto Oro
B79C51A1-34CF-4C73-9C34-81DE7AA2C636.jpeg
 
I guess my palate is not developed enough. I haven't really noticed any ghosting with my pipes. I smoked some English blends in the Peterson 307 in the '80s; it's devoted to burley blends now and I haven't picked up on any Latakia. Of course I run a pipe sweetener, vanilla extract or rum, through each pipe after I smoke it, which might have an effect.

I often choose which blend to smoke in a pipe -- or choose which pipe to try a blend -- based on purely subjective criteria. Which is to say, which combo do I *want* to smoke today? Which one seems "right"? My taller, classic billiards seem to call for one of the old OTC blends, for instance, like the ads on the Codger Cabin thread. This is purely my imagination.

I've read that Dublin shapes are good to smoke Virginia-based blends, as they seem to concentrate the flavor as the bowl narrows. Beyond that, I have no idea.
 
All my remaining pipes have bowl bores 3/4"-13/16" because larger ones don't burn evenly as mindlessly and smaller burn too fast. They also all possess depths between 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" because that's normally the shortest duration I desire from a bowl and deeper don't burn to the bottom as effortlessly.

As for ghosting, Lakelands aren't my thing. I seldom smoke aros but they go in cobs or meer when I do partake. Similarly, Lat bombs and burning tire fires go in meer. Lighter English or kitchen sink blends oftentimes contain insufficient amounts of Latakia to cause concern with my palate. I also occasionally don't mind a "friendly" ghost.

YMMV.
 
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Since I don't smoke aros at all, I have boiled my tobacco types down to English/Balkan/Latakia and Virginia/Burley/Perique.
To answer the question, I tend to smoke English type blends in large bowls (I love the Savenelli Hercules series) and favor smaller bowls, cobs for Virgina/Burley based blends, but I can't really explain why this is so. When I sense any ghosting, in any pipe, it gets my deluxe car wash, i.e. salt/alchohol, hard scrub and retort.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
All my remaining pipes have bowl bores 3/4"-13/16" because larger ones don't burn evenly as mindlessly and smaller burn too fast. They also all possess depths between 1 1/2" - 1 3/4"

Mine don't have a vast amount of variation either, with most grind 19mm to 21mm wide. Plus my two widest bowls, are also fairly deep, at 38mm and 49mm. All my shallow bowls are around 18mm to 20mm wide too.

Wide but shallow, has so far eluded me. I bought a Parker Pot, only for it to be 19 wide x 34 deep, and a Falcon bowl was similarly narrower than expected. Add in a chimney that was wider than expected, and most of my bowls are twice as tall as they are wide. The pot "proportioned" pipes (ratio of width/height) being no wider than 19mm.

In the past, appearances determined their allocation. If it was rustic and black/dark on the outside, it got Latakia/English, and smooth/red got aromatic. It kept things simple to remember. Now those visuals cues apply less, as I've introduced more, which haven't necessarily followed suit.
 
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I am also like alpster. I dont smoke Aro's but if I did I would just use a cob. So basically 2 types for me, VA/VAPERS etc and English/Balkan blends. I am still trying to figure out a good way to seperate my pipes. I got a new case for them so I may just label the loops V or E.
 
I found a different approach. After doing an inventory count on my paraphernalia (we all have fun in our own ways), I have 3 stands. One side of one stand for Virginias, the other for burley forward. Next stand is split up English and aromatics. The third is Lakeland. And cobs get whatever I feel like smoking in them since they don't count. Which means mostly Cater Hall.
 
I’m not too far into this game but wide and potentially shallow seems to work for my English blends best. Pots, Authors, Diplomats/Prince

My favorite, 320 Punto Oro
View attachment 1390092
Pretty much what he said. I've five Sav 320's, KS and Hercules, that sing with Lat heavy blends. I'm not much for Aro's so I leave those to a few pipes, mostly cobs. I've several Billiard or Dublin pipes that smoke the Virginia variants quite nicely. Bottom line, grab a pipe and smoke it! Now!
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I found a different approach. After doing an inventory count on my paraphernalia (we all have fun in our own ways), I have 3 stands. One side of one stand for Virginias, the other for burley forward. Next stand is split up English and aromatics. The third is Lakeland. And cobs get whatever I feel like smoking in them since they don't count. Which means mostly Cater Hall.

How did you decide which pipes go where though? Was there anything about a particular pipe to decide which side of which stand it belonged on? Trying them out with different stuff, or just on a whim?

I've got some pipes which are leading me in a certain direction, and other pipes that are... just pipes. Or at least they haven't proved that they need deploying as anything specific so far. It's early days though, and it's great fun exploring these new pipes.
 
How did you decide which pipes go where though? Was there anything about a particular pipe to decide which side of which stand it belonged on? Trying them out with different stuff, or just on a whim?
Everything was a Virginia pipe until something came and smoked Virginias better. Then it was relegated to burleys. Until something smoked better. Then Latakia or aros depending on my mood at the time.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Everything was a Virginia pipe until something came and smoked Virginias better. Then it was relegated to burleys. Until something smoked better. Then Latakia or aros depending on my mood at the time.

:biggrin1:

Very similar to what I'm currently doing, but with VaPers as the intermediate step
 
I have one pipe for Lakelands. My pipes I use for Latakia/English blends are usually pot or billiard shape, think wide shallower bowls. The pipes I use for Va/Pers etc usually have cylindrical, narrower, deeper bowls. Aromatics are usually smoked in a Peterson system pipe because they tend to burn wetter than other types.

None of these are hard and fast rules.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Great opening line, Kent! :lol:

I'm going to toy with your answer a little, just for conversational fun :biggrin1: Lets say we started off with those homogenous blends, with simpler compositions, and the pipe didn't seem to excel with them.

If it did, we'd simply stick there, right?

So let's assume that the pipe is not going to displace any of our favourite simple blend pipes. The pipe seems to need "more" for whatever reason. Either more complexity of blend, or some kind of topping. So we're back to that fork in the road. English or aromatic? Foodie or floral? Once chosen, the pipe is ghosted, and it's a long long road back.

Which pipes get the Latakia, and which the sauce enhancements? (Not sure if I missed a nuance in your first reply, or my initial question wasn't nuanced enough :001_tongu ) Of course, there's the carefree option of simply using it for everything, all ghosts welcome, but that kind of kills the thread :lol:

Ah, for me all new pipes start off as Va pipes just in case they smoke them really well. Admittedly my last 2-3 new pipes were all 3/4” so I got them for Va’s. If they don’t do well or are average they are relegated to the “other” category:lat/Lakeland etc. I don’t smoke any heavy flavored blends in my briars. Heavy being anything with vanilla, cherry, etc.

My next pipe will likely be a Peterson Pot, and it will be for Lat blends.
 
My conical shaped bowls I like for latakia. I smoke aromatics out of cobs. I have a Bones Stubby Anse that get Firedance Flake (one that I've been reaching for a lot!) All other pipes are VA or VAPer.
 
You might be the first person I've heard say that, John
By English, i need some orientals in there.

But it could all be in my head. I have a Peterson Calabash with a conical bowl and a Sav 315 with a WIDE tapered bowl. Both love the English for me.

On the other hand i have a Dunhill bent billiard that also does the job well. And a Ser Jacopo Hawkbill that was a ghosted estate that goes well ....

I think what you'll find by asking this is you can smoke whatever you want in any pipe you want. If it doesn't smoke one blend well try another. Eventually you'll get there. If after you try a couple of the same things in it a few times you'll know. If the pipe doesn't work for you, you'll sell it. Or it gets shelved and you reach for one of the six pipes you always reach for.
 
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