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So you talked me into it

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and are nearly over any holiday hangovers. I know I'm just about there.

Last Saturday evening I had the most pleasant time I've had in quite a while. I went out back to have a pipe and saw my neighbor enjoying a nice Churchill cigar his son-in-law got him a box of. After a couple minutes, he calls out another neighbor. So for a good half hour or so, the three of us were outside hanging out. Very safe, each in his yard at the junction where all the fences met. Each enjoying their fine tobaccos, a beer or two, and each other's company.

It made me realize how much I miss that. Just some good face to face social interaction. And, if anyone is wondering, half a flake of Bold Kentucky mixed with PS English Luxury works great at drowning out an incredibly hoppy beer you're not really a fan of but will drink to be polite and neighborly.

In other news, I got enough in Amazon gift cards to get a lower end Savinelli or Peterson. Or Falcon with a couple bowls. I admit, I'm thinking about it.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I hope everyone had a good Christmas and are nearly over any holiday hangovers. I know I'm just about there.

Last Saturday evening I had the most pleasant time I've had in quite a while. I went out back to have a pipe and saw my neighbor enjoying a nice Churchill cigar his son-in-law got him a box of. After a couple minutes, he calls out another neighbor. So for a good half hour or so, the three of us were outside hanging out. Very safe, each in his yard at the junction where all the fences met. Each enjoying their fine tobaccos, a beer or two, and each other's company.

It made me realize how much I miss that. Just some good face to face social interaction. And, if anyone is wondering, half a flake of Bold Kentucky mixed with PS English Luxury works great at drowning out an incredibly hoppy beer you're not really a fan of but will drink to be polite and neighborly.

In other news, I got enough in Amazon gift cards to get a lower end Savinelli or Peterson. Or Falcon with a couple bowls. I admit, I'm thinking about it.
It was a very nice Christmas for me me as well - got a great pipe and a gift card that went to PC for some pipe weed, one of which was 10 oz of Field & Stream - very pleasant smoke. 🙏
 
It's funny, I bought it because of the name. I like the magazine, I like fields, and I love streams. It wasn't until it was en route I heard it was President Ford's preferred blend. But it is just the kind of smoke to have sitting in a rocking chair on the porch deeply considering Nixon's pardon sitting on your desk.

The more I smoke those codger blends (and matches), the more enthralled I am by them. Very rarely I'm just sitting here smoking. I'm almost doing something else. Reading, driving, chatting with neighbors, divining answers from mysterious paperwork, always something. And those lightly topped burley forward blends seem to facilitate that.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
It's funny, I bought it because of the name. I like the magazine, I like fields, and I love streams. It wasn't until it was en route I heard it was President Ford's preferred blend. But it is just the kind of smoke to have sitting in a rocking chair on the porch deeply considering Nixon's pardon sitting on your desk.

The more I smoke those codger blends (and matches), the more enthralled I am by them. Very rarely I'm just sitting here smoking. I'm almost doing something else. Reading, driving, chatting with neighbors, divining answers from mysterious paperwork, always something. And those lightly topped burley forward blends seem to facilitate that.
Yes they are exceptional blends those classic American style tobaccos. Next month, we are moving to a small town in the foothills of SC - the Blue Ridge escarpment and I will be in trout fishing heaven at last. Small house and small yard; I suppose there will be little to occupy my time except fish, tie flies and smoke my pipes - oh drat! F & S will likely be my official fishing tobacco. I see rising taxes, regulations and interest rates looming now so I’m seriously stocking up on pipe weed. I haven’t used my fly rod or tied a fly since leaving NY 23 years ago so I’ve much to relearn - cannot wait!
 
Oh wow! I haven't been fly fishing in years! Not since chasing largemouth bass in Kansas. I remember really liking it, but here in the Mid Atlantic all the woods are so close that in trout streams there's just not enough space to cast a fly rod. Even spinning rods are pushing it in some places. As it stands now, instead of wild trout (which frankly are too smart for me anyways) I have the Chesapeake bay in my backyard. That means rockfish (stripped bass for non Maryland residents), bluefish, croaker, and blue crabs. Well, like smoking, we all learn to enjoy what we have. And maybe make friends jealous with our pictures and stories of the ones that got away. But a pipe full of comfort tobacco on trout waters does sound like a little slice of heaven.

I'm with you on the future restrictions and taxes on tobacco. Not to mention news of Prince Albert. I guess I just just missed out on McClellan's departure. And with PA being such an iconic brand, and the first I've noticed stopped being made. And the lack of availability from many of the British labels (just as I built up the euphemism to experiment with Lakeland essences, anything THAT polarizing is worth a try in my book). I'll settle for Mr. Pease's Stonehenge, which I've understood to be a Lakeland-esque blend.

So now I'm using that as the backdrop for upcoming SP orders. How hard do I want to go with cellaring? At what point am I entering a "prepper" mentality? And is that necessarily a bad thing? I'm already thinking no less than 8oz of Virginia for aging per order.

Also, what do I throw in? I have a good grasp on what I like (anything burley, vapers, light and American/crossover English: aromatics I'll always have on hand but I don't reach for them often, and usually blend with some straight burley) and what I don't (strong English, heavy aros, and intense Kentucky), and I'm getting better at deciphering TR. It's just for me right now is it smarter to keep sampling or start buying weights of tried and true products slowly stockpiling against an impending tobaccopolypse?

I truly believe that's coming in this country. Not immediately, not soon, maybe not for a long time, but it's coming. I'm 40 years old and I truly believe I'll live to see the day where all American tobacco sales will be done on the black market.

But I don't want to end this on a down note. Hey Al, you're starting to run off on me. I've really gotten to like pipes that can sit up on their own. 16096322666394869200241112756098.jpg
That broad oval stem providing width, and proportional length of the Canadian family I believe would add a slight design advantage.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Hey Al, you're starting to run off on me. I've really gotten to like pipes that can sit up on their own.
One down, several thousand to go...

I'll never convince the makers and retailers, unless I convert all the smokers first. Unfortunately the majority seem to like pipes that fall over. Weirdos! In fact one weirdo here bought all my falling over pipes off me, AND seemed very happy with them too.

There's nowt as queer as folk :p

At 40, yes you'll almost certainly see the "lights out" moment in terms of tobacco availability. I'm 47 with a limited forward projection, and I think there's a fair chance I might see it too. Although, I think it's more likely to become unaffordable before it becomes unavailable.

I've been trying to chuck a few quid aside for maybe one last hoorah. Our next date for the man who looks after the taxes to make his mark is early March. I'll see which way the wind is blowing nearer the time, and if I think it's looking like a big tax hike, I might try and sneak in early with one last parcel. It'll give a nice feeling of "haha, you missed me". However, if tax rises don't hit, or are insignificant, I know I'll feel like a plonker for having bought stuff I didn't need to... again.

That aside, I'm grinning about the humble stash I do have. Enough to keep me going a while, but a realistic chance of actually being able to enjoy it all. Anything that's still here when I croak is a waste, and I don't like wasting tobacco ;) Whether, I go for one last order or not, the focus will be moved to enjoying the stash, but not adding to it. I can always eek it out a bit, by going back to "pay as you go" with bulks, and smoking them fresh, for as long as they're available/affordable, while the drawer stuff keeps accumulating months and years.

We seem to have similar tastes, in as much as we like aromatic, but not gloopy, and easy smoking rather than the ultra potent stuff. My stash is built round that, with only two potential lat bombs that snuck in, and only a few other nic beasties for those odd occasions when I feel the need to dial it up to 11. I think you would like Lakeland, but can see the difficulties you have in finding it. Stonehenge as I understand it, is pretty much identical to Louisiana Flake. If so, it dips its toe in the water, but isn't what I'd consider a fully fledged Lakeland. It's a Vaper with a very slight hint of Lakeland.

Ennerdale, No.7 Broken Flake, and Condor are my personal go to blends for that style. Chocolate Flake too. Others in that family are Bosun, Canon, Grousemore, Grasmere, not all of which I've tried. There are also others such as Coniston Cut Plug which can be had as Aromatic or Unscented, so you need to be sure which is being offered. In your shoes though, you've just got to grab a bit of what you can, when you can, which probably means keeping a few beer vouchers to one side, ready for when something pops up in the "in stock tobacco thread".

Aside from that, just buy what YOU like. In the quantities YOU want. I know from my little soiree with samples earlier in the year, there are a lot of popular tobaccos that are NOT to my tastes. If I'd have bought on other people's preference, I'd have a lot of tins I wouldn't enjoy opening. I'd also have a significant shortfall of tobaccos I do like. There's a fair bit of tobacco in my bottom drawer which is off the radar of a lot of folks online. I'd possibly never have discovered New Prince or RED if I'd followed the crowd. Probably not University Flake or Irish Cask either.

As we've discussed before, the landscape is so different for us both, I can't make many specific suggestions with any confidence of you being able to get them. Also, the pressure will always be to buy MORE. Again, do your own thing. It's your pipes you'll be filling, at your consumption rate, and to your budget. Don't be overshopping to make other people feel better about their overspending ;)
 
I think the days of keeping a reserve for things that pop up in my hobbies are just about over for me. That crosses a line for me. This is supposed to be enjoyable and keeping tabs on 5 websites waiting for the next unobtainium drop so I can jump in and order half my body weight, that's not fun for me. I've lived a comfortable life without having Lakeland blends this far.

Of course tobacco in any form will become unaffordable before outright banned. In the 26 years I've been smoking cigarettes I've seen a brand rise 300% in cost due to inflation, taxes, change in ownership of retail outlets, and god knows what else. From just under 3 to just over 9 per pack. I have a couple theories, but that gets me a little closer to tin foil hat territory than I wanted to get this morning.

This morning I was more hoping to bring something back I haven't done in a while. It's time for the triumphant return of Stupid Rookie Questions! And here's today's!

So the nicodemos still rear their ugly heads in 2 situations each day. Waking up and just after meals (especially big heavier dinner size meals). Those times I still need a gut punch of nicotine. I've been getting by with a couple Kentucky burley blends, but the taste really isn't for me. Not bad blends, but not my cup of tea. So the taste of it became associated in my (admittedly warped) mind with the feeling and knowledge that this is for nicotine, a fancier form of cigarette. In another thread someone mentioned that Mac Baron Navy was a heavy hitter. That got me thinking.

What all is out there to put me on my butt that's not a Kentucky forward blend? Or, just as helpful, how do I find that in tobacco reviews? I thought the strength segment was as much about flavor than anything, maybe a combination of the two. Thanks guys!
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
I think the days of keeping a reserve for things that pop up in my hobbies are just about over for me. That crosses a line for me. This is supposed to be enjoyable and keeping tabs on 5 websites waiting for the next unobtainium drop so I can jump in and order half my body weight, that's not fun for me. I've lived a comfortable life without having Lakeland blends this far.

Of course tobacco in any form will become unaffordable before outright banned. In the 26 years I've been smoking cigarettes I've seen a brand rise 300% in cost due to inflation, taxes, change in ownership of retail outlets, and god knows what else. From just under 3 to just over 9 per pack. I have a couple theories, but that gets me a little closer to tin foil hat territory than I wanted to get this morning.

This morning I was more hoping to bring something back I haven't done in a while. It's time for the triumphant return of Stupid Rookie Questions! And here's today's!

So the nicodemos still rear their ugly heads in 2 situations each day. Waking up and just after meals (especially big heavier dinner size meals). Those times I still need a gut punch of nicotine. I've been getting by with a couple Kentucky burley blends, but the taste really isn't for me. Not bad blends, but not my cup of tea. So the taste of it became associated in my (admittedly warped) mind with the feeling and knowledge that this is for nicotine, a fancier form of cigarette. In another thread someone mentioned that Mac Baron Navy was a heavy hitter. That got me thinking.

What all is out there to put me on my butt that's not a Kentucky forward blend? Or, just as helpful, how do I find that in tobacco reviews? I thought the strength segment was as much about flavor than anything, maybe a combination of the two. Thanks guys!
Based on what you've said already it seems like you've been blending with some success. That is a good option for weighing flavor against nicotine punch.

Heavier burley should also do the trick. Irish Flake is pretty potent...I've seen some Mac Baren HH Rustica around also and there is no doubt that will fit the bill. The problem with the Rustica is continued availability I think. Five Brothers is a good shag cut straight Burley that I love, it has a fair nic hit. It is a classic pouch blend that is cheap and delicious straight tobacco flavor.

The problem one runs into with questions like this is how relative tolerances are. One person's threshold may not even scratch the surface of your craving, particularly as a reformed heavy smoker.

I'm sure others will have some input that might be more helpful.
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
Peterson’s Irish Flake was what I was going to suggest too. Rattray's Stirling Flake is the same thing by a previous blender. License got moved to a new producer, so the old one just rebadged it. Lakeland Dark or 1792 is potent too, depending on whether you can abide tonquin (I can't). If you really want to dial it up to 11 though, get one of the Gawith Brown Twists. It's hard to keep lit, and mixing in a little plain Virginia shag tobacco helps, but it will knock your socks off. Buckle your seatbelt before lighting.

To put it in perspective, British miners used to chew it "down t' pit", and then when they'd done, they dry what they'd been chewing, and smoke it above ground. If it's still got nicotine left to be had after chewing, that tells you what it's like to start with. Be warned, it will get the ticker racing!
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
Peterson’s Irish Flake was what I was going to suggest too. Rattray's Stirling Flake is the same thing by a previous blender. License got moved to a new producer, so the old one just rebadged it. Lakeland Dark or 1792 is potent too, depending on whether you can abide tonquin (I can't). If you really want to dial it up to 11 though, get one of the Gawith Brown Twists. It's hard to keep lit, and mixing in a little plain Virginia shag tobacco helps, but it will knock your socks off. Buckle your seatbelt before lighting.

To put it in perspective, British miners used to chew it "down t' pit", and then when they'd done, they dry what they'd been chewing, and smoke it above ground. If it's still got nicotine left to be had after chewing, that tells you what it's like to start with. Be warned, it will get the ticker racing!
Along those lines you may try smoking some chewing twist tobacco. I bought some Mammoth Cave twist I intend to smoke a few months back. It is currently jarred. @Mike H would be a good reference for it's vitamin n content.
 
I've heard the same about SG blends. That's what got me first thinking of Lakelands. A tasty nicotine punch? Yes please! I'll be sure to give Irish Flake a shot. I have a pouch of Five Bros is my cart. From what I've read, there's not much flavor with that, but it is a powerhouse in the nicotine department. And I'll have to get looking for a twist or rope. I admit it looks intriguing.

Currently I'm working on a bowl of half Briarworks Country Doctor (cigar leaf blend) half Jackknife Plug. A strong flavor to help mask/tame/compliment the plug nic hit. And it's working like a Swiss charm.

Oh, and Brandon, as far as blending goes, I'm not really doing anything. I have something that I feel needs some punching up or mellowing out. I'll try something that needs something. So it's a matter of figuring out what and how much. A background of cooking comes into play. But I'm not really blending, just tweaking.
 

brandaves

With a great avatar comes great misidentification
Ambassador
I've heard the same about SG blends. That's what got me first thinking of Lakelands. A tasty nicotine punch? Yes please! I'll be sure to give Irish Flake a shot. I have a pouch of Five Bros is my cart. From what I've read, there's not much flavor with that, but it is a powerhouse in the nicotine department. And I'll have to get looking for a twist or rope. I admit it looks intriguing.

Currently I'm working on a bowl of half Briarworks Country Doctor (cigar leaf blend) half Jackknife Plug. A strong flavor to help mask/tame/compliment the plug nic hit. And it's working like a Swiss charm.

Oh, and Brandon, as far as blending goes, I'm not really doing anything. I have something that I feel needs some punching up or mellowing out. I'll try something that needs something. So it's a matter of figuring out what and how much. A background of cooking comes into play. But I'm not really blending, just tweaking.
What I mean by blending is that you've been mixing blends with Kentucky to kick them up a notch and mask the strong flavors you aren't fond of. Am I imagining that? If you haven't been then it does a good job. I was thinking I'd seen you mention doing it?
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I've heard the same about SG blends. That's what got me first thinking of Lakelands. A tasty nicotine punch? Yes please! I'll be sure to give Irish Flake a shot. I have a pouch of Five Bros is my cart. From what I've read, there's not much flavor with that, but it is a powerhouse in the nicotine department. And I'll have to get looking for a twist or rope. I admit it looks intriguing.

Currently I'm working on a bowl of half Briarworks Country Doctor (cigar leaf blend) half Jackknife Plug. A strong flavor to help mask/tame/compliment the plug nic hit. And it's working like a Swiss charm.

Oh, and Brandon, as far as blending goes, I'm not really doing anything. I have something that I feel needs some punching up or mellowing out. I'll try something that needs something. So it's a matter of figuring out what and how much. A background of cooking comes into play. But I'm not really blending, just tweaking.
Watch Toking Tommy on YouTube. He does very good reviews and being in Yorkshire, he reviews SG blends. I think he likely talks like Al so good luck understanding him 😂
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
I chew the SG brown twist No4 and don't spit. I gross out my coworkers. It's an enjoyable smoke.

Crooner has a decent nic hit from cube cut burley. The deer tongue makes it an interesting smoke. I prefer LJPerretti 's 333 over Crooner. I don't remember if it has the same nice hit. I want to say Petererson's Perfect Plug had a good hit but it's been years since I tried it and plugs can be a pain in the butt to prep. It is kind of euphoric to go through the process until you want it right away or it just adds another variable to get to a great pipesmoking nirvana. Someone else can chime in on the 3P.
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
Also, some blends that have dark fired leaf as a condiment will have a bigger nice hit. GL Pease has a fair amount of them. Cumberland and Barbary Coast come to mind. It may be more upfront in the Cumberland but I can't remember.

HH Vintage Syrian has dark fired leaf as a condiment to compliment the syrian lat. One if the Wessex english blends has it too. Maybe Gold Standard.
 
Yeah, we probably sound quite similar in many ways, so if you need a translator at any point, let me know :p
Thanks. I've heard the Yorkshire accent before. Easier to understand than Welsh but harder than Birmingham. I may end up taking you up on the translation offer.

And Brandon, that's exactly what I've been doing. Adding this to that, that to this. Tweaking an already decent blend to make it amazing in my pipe.
 
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