Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We want to thank you for listening and being one of our loyal 15,000 weekly fans. Your host is Brian Levine and in tonight’s "Pipe Parts" segment we will recommend some specific tobaccos. Two weeks ago, Greg Pease recommended some different tobaccos in his line that represent different genres. Tonight Brian will mention some other brands and blends that are also good examples of different styles that you might want to try. Our featured guest is Pipe maker Chris Morgan. Chris makes some extremely creative high grade pipes, and he has also made name for himself with his unique "Briar Cigar".
Since the summer of 2011, I’ve been anxiously waiting to make the trek to St. Charles, IL for the Chicago Pipe Show. My dreams of tables filled with beautiful pipes and vintage tobaccos was shattered when my good friend informed me of his wedding date, May 5, 2012. I couldn’t believe it! Our trip to Mecca, THE Chicago Pipe Show, had been whisked away by his charming bride-to-be. Happy anniversary Dan & Jennifer, I still love you guys. I have had plenty of time to contemplate exactly what to expect at the show and this year it would finally be realized, my first Chicago Pipe Show. It was at the 2012 NASPC Swap/Sell Pipe Show in Columbus, OH where I met Frank Burla from the Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club. After chatting about our time in the military and aviation, the conversation came to the 2013 Chicagoland International Pipe and Tobacciana Show and the two-day Pipe Making Seminar. Here’s my report.
“Burley doesn’t age” is a common wisdom that any pipe enthusiast who’s begun building their cellar has certainly come across. The truth is that all tobacco will age, though differently, with the greatest flavor changes dependant mainly on the sugar content of the constituent tobacco. The noble Virginia leaf, being a sugar factory, of course ages wonderfully, and often takes all the surrounding leaf along with it for that wonderful ride. All-burley or burley-forward blends, I feel, unfairly get a bad rap for not taking on the epic qualities we often hear of in Virginia-based blends. As proof of a burley-forward blend that has the ability to age gracefully, emphatically and deliciously, I submit for your approval Mac Baren’s Burley London Blend. It is primarily a white burley that has been aged in wooden casks, along with a sprinkling of Virginia. This is a blend that, for all its inherent simplicity, is certainly memorable as a solid, tasty smoke. The review is based on a comparison of a 1980s vintage tin with a current production tin from December 2012.
The Care & Feeding of the Pipeman - by G. L. Pease
Indulge me. Take a moment to close your eyes and reflect on your earliest experience as a budding pipe smoker. It could have been months ago, years, or even decades. Imagine that first bowl in as much vivid detail as you can conjure. How does the memory compare to your current experience?
Most of us, without much effort, can recall our first pipe, our first tobacco, our first smoke. For some, it was the opening of a sensory door that would lead to a wonderful new world of taste and aroma; for others, it was like entering a chamber of horrors, a dread-filled experience that, if lucidly recalled, makes us wonder why the hell we ever again chose to wander those darkly haunted halls.
G. L. Pease
Some really interesting questions fell out of the mailbag this month, with topics ranging from humidification, to tobacco colors, to blending, to toxicity. For a change, though, it's not the toxicity of tobacco that's in question, but rather that of flavoring agents, and of different woods when used in pipe making. Some fascinating and challenging stuff. So, without further ado, grab a pipe, find a comfy spot, and let's dive in.
Eric writes: I use the small "Immerse Humidifier" in my tobacco pouch to keep the tobacco from drying up too much. It says to immerse in cold water; however, I have some Propylene Glycol solution I use for for cigar boxes and have used that to moisten the humidifier. It seems to work fine. But I have noticed you speak of PG as a agent for sweetening tobacco. Am I inadvertently sweetening my British blends? Should I just use water?
I've interviewed several people over the past years and decades in many different roles and endeavors, but nobody has ever interviewed me ... until now. Olie Sylvestor is an artist, graphic designer, pipe maker, father, husband, and all around really cool guy. He also has been producing the OomPaul Podcast for several years, and I was honored that he asked me to do an interview.
We mostly talk about the PipesMagazine.com business, and there are several background, behind-the-scenes stories that have never been told, which you may find interesting. At the end of the interview, Olie asked me some personal questions, and the answers may surprise you.
Adam J. Smith
Tin Note: Balanced Smoking Tobacco - Cool with a rich flavour. From the Website: A robust English blend with character. Plenty of Latakia, Pressed Virginia, and Burley provide the base.
This blend surprised me - but in a very good way. With a very ambiguous tin description and a post-modern abstract label that would look at home on a cigarette package, I really wasn't sure what I was getting into when I popped this tin. Expecting a cased Burley (perhaps something minty from the "cool" descriptor used in the liner notes), I was quite taken aback when I first popped the seal and raised the tin to my nose.
The most popular material for making tobacco smoking pipes is by far—Briar. The Comoy family started making briar pipes in Saint-Claude, France in 1856 when they found that it was far superior to other woods and clays being used at the time. There are other woods used to make smoking pipes, but briar is considered [...]