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Clays? Meers? Cobs? What's your "testing" pipe?

I hate ghosting. I have at least one pipe each dedicated to Virginias, VaPers, Orientals, Aromatics, Latakia and MacBaren blends. It may be overkill, but I rarely smoke Latakia and VA/VaPers so that doesn't take up many pipes. I also never smoke something like Latakia more than 2 days in a row, so the one pipe dries out fairly well before the next bowl. The MacBaren blends (VA#1, Plumcake, Mixture and Burley) taste similar enough with the honey/sugar casings that I could get by with just one pipe for all of them- and smoke them every other day or so- but I don't and have dedicated pipes to each blend. Aromatics definitely need their own pipes and depending on the flavor of the tobacco may need their own dedicated pipe, too. My cobs are reserved for just Burley's. A new cob and a straight Burley are some of the best smokes ever. That said, dedicating pipes to types of tobacco or specific blends can be a chore.

So, what's your favorite type of "sampling" pipe? I just found an old porcelain Danish pipe in my garage that I had gotten 25 years ago. Then, as a newbie, it smoked way too hot and I hated it. I just cleaned it and am letting it dry now. Hopefully, my technique is much better now. I think it could work well as a pipe to try new blends. Just wash it out when you're done. ;)


B&B's Dr. Doolittle.
Staff member
I hate ghosting as well, but the only separate blends Va, English, and Lakelands. I know a couple guys dedicate a pipe to just one favorite blend as well.

For myself, I use clays for testing.
I don’t use pipes for specific blends, with one exception, heavy goopy aromatics. And I rarely smoke them.

Other than that, every pipe is a sample pipe.

Oh and deer tongue, dear lord that ghosted my soul. Big no no. Only in one of my cobs.

I find that ghosting is only an issue if you smoke the same blend in the same pipe for a long period.

I smoke several blends and haven’t had any issues with ghost.

Even if there’s a slight faint taste from a previous bowl, I really don’t mind. And it goes away quite easily.
The pipe I usually turn to when I'm about to try a new blend is my old standby, the Peterson 307 from the '80s.

Or whatever pipe I bought most recently, but most times it's the Peterson.


ATF. I use all three.
Staff member
I have 2 pipes reserved for Lakelands and Rattrays Exotic Passion*. I use a Peterson System pipe for “goopy” aromatics. Other than those my pipes are divided into Virginia/per/bur/etc and blends with Latakia. Usually wider shallower bowls for the Latakia blends and deeper conical bowls for the Virginias.

*The Exotic Passion ghosts a pipe worse than anything else I’ve smoked.
I split my pipes only between Lat/non-Lat as a general rule. Still a couple of pipes are dedicated to Condor exclusively - which ghosts worse than any Lakeland imo.

I used to test stuff in Meers as I believed they wouldn’t ghost, now that I know better it will be a Cob for any weird new stuff.
I don't have any real test pipes. I do have a couple of cobs hanging around for anything I'm particularly suspicious about. Aside from that, new things go in a pipe that's appropriate for the blend type. VA/VaPer/VaBur, Straight Burley, Aros, Latakia, Lakelands, and Deertongue.


"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
When I first started out, I bought the random sample bag of cobs from MM. Most of those I used for sampling. I have a meer semi-churchwarden that is dedicated to a lone tin of Momoyama, once that tin is finished, the pipe will be host to other aromatics? The 2018 B&B LE is so far dedicated to McB HH Mature Virginia. Other than that, anything goes with most of my pipes. I rarely smoke really heavy Lat blends, but a little Lat ghosting doesn't bother me.
I most often try a new blend in a cob. I smoke cobs regularly anyway and have quite a few, so if one gets ghosted it's no big loss.


"Can't Raise an Eyebrow"
I do have a Falcon with a meer bowl that would be good for sampling if I was concerned with ghosting, but again I'm not overly concerned with ghosting with most of what I smoke.


On the lookout for a purse
I only have 2 pipes that I smoke, and only tried a few different tobaccos so not an issue for me and therefore, I am no help. Just wasting bandwidth I guess. LOL
Back in my pipe smoking days I would use only one pipe for the sweet stuff. The predominate mixtures used were English blends. The big problem was when my brother would "borrow" a pipe to smoke weed, then the pipe was ruined permanently. He only got to three (and only one of them was worth anything) before I finally convinced him it was not cool. I was able to get quite a collection of cheap pipes due to a "big lots" type store that had a bin of imperfect pipes for $1 (early 1980's).


Remember to forget me!
I have split my pipes into specific groups. Virginia, VaPer, Aromatic, English (anything with Latakia) and Lakeland tobaccos, have two pipes each (one larger bowl, and one smaller bowl) plus one Falcon bowl. Dark potent VaBurs (such as Irish Flake or Revor Plug) have one small fixed bowl pipe, and one Falcon bowl.

Every other pipe is for general use, or in other words, smoking anything in that doesn't have stinky Latakia in it. If I don't know which of those groups a blend needs smoking in, I'll use one of these miscellaneous pipes. There might be a bit of a ghost in it already, from previous smokes, but I'll get a good enough sense of it, to know which pipes to use in future.
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