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My off and on again journey with the pipe.

Thanks. If I receive my PIF'd Penzace and Stonehaven in the mail today I may go for that instead. Any advice on how to prep those flakes?


I rub out the flakes of both. Penzance likes to be lightly packed and it behaves well in a smaller bowl. I usually just fill the bowl and tap the top with my finger and fill it again and light up. Stonehaven needs a little drying time. I will rub out the flakes and set them aside to dry for 1/2 hour (10 minutes under a warm light bulb) before smoking. My experience FWIW.
Yesterday am I had a good experience with an aro. It was a one oz sample I had lying around in a zip lock baggie for about 5 yrs. It was called Grandpa's from Rich's tobacco. Thier catalog describes it as a burley cavendish mix with an exotic cocoa I believe from South America. I smoked it in my legend cob and maybe the smoking properties of a cob helped but it was smooth with almost no bite whatsoever. A very pleasant smoking experience all around. Maybe the fact it had set around for 5 yrs helped mellow it too though I have heard that aro's don't usually age well like virginias or some non aro's do. Then I had a great shave as well with my moms old Gillette DE gifted to me last Christmas. Astra silver platinum blade from a sample pack and some barrister and mann cream. An all around great day and kept getting better. I love it when a plan comes together. I may have to stick to burley based mixtures. The aro really satisfies my sweet tooth.

Sounds like a great day!

On aging: After a decent amount of reading up on the subject, I've come to the idea that it's really just Virginias that actually age well, their flavor and behavior changing and improving with age. That's not to say that other tobaccos don't preserve well, although some folks say that aros and Latakia mellow and/or weaken with age. Blends with a decent amount of Virginia (including aros) may benefit more than those without, but most blends shouldn't, uhh...wait a second, there's no really good antonym for "improve". "Worsen" implies that something was already bad from the outset.
Just received my PIF package today from a generous anonymous member of the BL. It contained ample samples of Penzance, Stonehaven and surprise extras of samples of meat pie and Heinrich's brown flake. I continue to be bowled over by the generosity of members of the BL. I look forward to trying these samples in the upcoming days. I even recieved instructions on how to prepare the flakes and smoke the Stonehaven nice and slow to fully enjoy the experience. I am grateful for the PIF and all of the help you guys have gracously offered.

Thanks so much to all you guys have done for me,

I ordered some GH Top Black Cherry from Pipes and Cigars amongst other things. I had heard that it required quite a bit of drying and boy
howdee was it moist. I rubbed it out on a paper towel even though its not a flake it was quite chunky. I left it out on top of my refridgerator for two days. I still had some trouble with the need for frequent lights in my cob. I liked it quite a bit. I had enough dryed for another bowl in a briar pipe. I was really enjoying it and it smoked w/o any bite whatsoever. I tried to remind myself frequently just to sip and not drag on it like I'm used to as I am a cigarette smoker. It was quite relaxing and I couldn't get enough. It really didn't taste like cherry but It was a pleasant flavor and aroma. Mild to say the least. There was a taste in there that reminded me of something I have smelled before but couldn't put my finger on it.

I then found an old oz bag of Boswell's Christmas Cookie that I had from years ago. It was still moist. So I had a bowl of that in the cob. Very tasty. These two tobacco's are either quite mild or I am getting a bit better at smoking a pipe. No tongue bite. Hooray! I will have to find a way to get a visa card as well as my master card now since Boswells wouldn't take mastercard due to mastercard having restrictions on sales of tobacco.

You could buy a prepaid Visa at Dollar Tree, Walmart, or possibly even a virtual one online. You might as well wait on the Boswell order until that sample of Northwoods comes in, in case you decide to order some of that.

I'm not a huge fan of drying out in the open for days at a time. That gives it time for dust to settle on it, as well as airborne pet hair (if you have pets). Even if leaving it out would be effective for me, I'd still use a lamp for anything that needs more than an hour or two. I might consider a cover that would be suspended a few inches above to allow air flow but prevent stuff settling vertically if the lamp wasn't working for me.
Thanks Captain. I will see if wally world has a prepaid and will wait on Boswell's. I suspect that I will want to have some of that Christmas cookie around. It was tasty. I look forward to trying some of that northwoods. Especially in my cob. I like the looks of all those expensive briars in the POTD thread but the cobs and clays smoke cooler and drier for me. I guess the whole point is to enjoy the experience not to smoke a briar just because it looks more sophisticated. I just ordered a Lepeltier clay to try that double walled clay and see if it smokes ok for me. Suggested by Commander Quan. Thanks in advance for the kind samples too. I can't wait to try the Northwoods. I am curious about a tobacco that has latakia but has some properties of an aro as well.

Iv'e been seeing that you like that Bob's chocolate flake and already placed an order for some this am. Yoda said " The AD is strong with this one". Or something like that!

Thanks Hirsute. So many flavors and only so much cash on hand at one particular time.

Best to you Sir,

Iv'e been seeing that you like that Bob's chocolate flake and already placed an order for some this am. Yoda said " The AD is strong with this one". Or something like that!


$yoda.gif"One of us, he is."
Thank you Mr. Price. The old "Doc" feels quite welcome in this madhouse er I mean place of refuge called the Brown Leaf.

Thank you Mr. Price. The old "Doc" feels quite welcome in this madhouse er I mean place of refuge called the Brown Leaf.

The rest of the world is the insane asylum. Here is the only place that is outside of it.

From So Long and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams:
His house was certainly peculiar, and since this was the first thing that Fenchurch and Arthur had encountered it would help to know what it was like.

It was like this:

It was inside out.

Actually inside out, to the extent that they had had to park on the carpet.

All along what one would normally call the outer wall, which was decorated in a tasteful interior-deisgned pink, were bookshelves, also a couple of those odd three-legged tables with semicircular tops which stand in such a way as to suggest that someone just dropped the wall straight through them, and pictures which were clearly designed to soothe.

Where it got really odd was the roof.

It folded back on itself like something that M. C. Escher, had he been given to hard nights on the town, which it is no part of this narrative's purpose to suggest was the case, though it is sometimes hard, looking at his pictures, particularly the one with all the awkward steps, not to wonder, might have dreamed up after having been on one, for the little chandeliers which should have been hanging inside were on the outside pointing up.


The sign above the front door read "Come Outside," and so, nervously, they had.

Inside, of course, was where the Outside was. Rough brickwork, nicely done pointing, gutters in good repair, a garden path, a couple of small trees, some rooms leading off.

And the inner walls stretched down, folded curiously, and opened at the end as if, by and optical illusion which would have had M. C. Escher frowning and wondering how it was done, to enclose the Pacific Ocean itself.

"Hello," said John Watson, Wonko the Sane.

Good, they thought to themselves, "hello" is something we can cope with.

"Hello," they said, and all, surprisingly, was smiles.

. . . "Your wife," said Arthur, looking around, "mentioned some toothpicks." He said it with a hunted look, as if he was worried that she might suddenly leap out from behind a door and mention them again.

Wonko the Sane laughed. It was a light easy laugh, and sounded like one he had used a lot before and was happy with.

"Ah yes," he said, "that's to do with the day I finally realized that the world had gone totally mad and built the Asylum to put it in, poor thing, and hoped it would get better."

This was the point at which Arthur began to feel a little nervous again.

"Here," said Wonko the Sane, "we are outside the Asylum." He pointed again at the rough brickwork, the pointing, and the gutters. "Go through that door" -- he pointed at the first door through which they had originally entered -- "and you go into the Asylum. I've tried to decorate it nicely to keep the inmates happy, but there's very little one can do. I never go in there myself. If I ever am tempted, which these days I rarely am, I simply look at the sign written over the door and I shy away."

"That one?" said Fenchurch, pointing, rather puzzled, at a blue plaque with some instructions written on it.

"Yes. They are the words that finally turned me into the hermit I have now become. It was quite sudden. I saw them, and I knew what I had to do."

The sign read:

"Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion."

"It seemed to me," said Wonko the Sane, "that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."

He gazed out at the Pacific again, as if daring it to rave and gibber at him, but it lay there calmly and played with the sandpipers.

...and now, re-reading the Escher paragraph, I know why I use too many commas.
I suspect the sandpipers would conspire against me given half a chance. I'll distract them while you slowly back away... Just kidding.

Thanks for the Douglas Adams.

Earlier yesterday I attempted to smoke a bowl of some Amphora match from Pipes and Cigars I've had lying around for a few years in a one oz ziplock baggie. This stuff was very wet when I got it yrs ago. Still very damp. I left it out on the cutting board spread out for a few days. I really need to get that goose neck lamp Captaincaveman suggested. This stuff gave me the worst tongue bite ever. I think I'll be a few days recovering from that. Trouble was I loved the taste and aroma. Maybe I should have baked it on a paper plate in my gas oven for 5 or 10 min or so. I tried to smoke some 4Noggins Down by the river after that but it just wasn't pleasurable at all.



Used to have fun with Commander Yellow Pantyhose
Another technique folks use to dry tobacco is to spread it on a plate and throw it in the microwave for 5 or 10 seconds.
Thanks Hirsute. I think I'll give that a try. I have heard not to nuke the tobacco for more than 10 seconds at the most. I could see that the tobacco might start to smoke itself at 10 seconds. I want to smoke it. I don't want my microwave to smoke it for me lol!

I just ordered some Soloni Aged Burley Flake and some Bob's Chocolate flake. I was thinking about leaving the whole flake out for these two to let the flake dry a bit then attempt to fold and stuff. Unless these two tobaccos require differing treatment. What do you fellas think?


Just now smoking some Heinrich's Dark Strong Flake, a sample from a generous member of the BL. I like the dark fired Kentucky smokiness in this better than the different smokiness that lats give. The virginias bit just a mite at the beginning of the bowl but mellowed halfway down. Years ago my tobacco shop had a bulk tobacco called Jamestown and that stuff smelled really smokey in the giant glass bulk jar. It appeared to be a pressed virginia with no casing. Bit quite a bit but I wish I could find something with that much hickory smokiness again. It wasn't the same flavor as latakia. It was a more hickory smoke flavor. It wasn't really like a flake tobacco but looked like dark brown chunks of dried bark with black and dark brown ribbons in it.

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