Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern USA time and are available on nearly all podcast sites and apps. Listen on your computer, tablet, phone and even in the car! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Grammy-award winning pipe smoking musician Dom Flemons. Dom is billed as the "American Songster," and is a multi-instrumentalist, playing banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills, in addition to singing. He plays fun, up-beat, old-time folk music. In "Pipe Parts", Brian will tell us about his new pipe maintenance routine. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Like it or not, the holidays start earlier every year. Now that I’ve officially entered my Grumpy Old Man period, this serves as an opportunity for me to interject, "Bah, humbug!" immediately after Halloween, perhaps even on the same night. Don’t even get me started on the holiday music. On the bright side, it also means retailers offer substantial incentives to kickstart the seasonal spending spree, so in the interest of pragmatism, this holiday wish list is offered in a timely fashion.
How do you define luxury? Do visions of Rolls Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy come to mind, weekend trips in a private jet, a bungalow retreat in Bali perhaps? The dictionary defines luxury as an indulgence, a delicacy, a certain something that has exceeded the basics of necessity and gone far beyond, to the refinement of opulence and even extravagance.
The reason I ask? I’ve been forging my way through Sutliff Private Stock’s non-aromatic blends, and the next in the lineup is their Balkan Luxury Blend 957. Sutliff has really surprised me by stepping up their game considerably in the Latakia department, with a range of blends that display some real moxie. This Balkan Luxury Blend is no exception, bringing an interesting angle to the genre.
Like pipes of different quality and cost, lighters are very similar. While there is a point you get diminishing returns for the price on both, I’ve found that the difference between this lighter I’m reviewing and say a zippo pipe lighter is like night and day.
Kiribi lighters are brand new to the pipe scene with their entry into the market place this year and have a very interesting story in how they came into fruition.
The lighter and its name is the brainchild of Laudisi Enterprises - who you might recognize as the parent company for smokingpipes.com. Laudisi was looking to bring a new lighter to the market that had high quality, workmanship, and a great price point that meets or beats similar lighters such as the Old Boy.
In their search to find a quality manufacturer they found a perfect match in Tsutobo out of Japan.
G. L. Pease
Tobacco and terroir. I seem to talk about it a lot, but the myriad manifestations of this ":sense of place" continue to fascinate me. The other day, a friend asked me if, given the knowledge of their process and the necessary machinery, I would be able to reproduce the tobaccos created by some of the British blending houses still in existence. I think my answer surprised him.
The fact is, even if we knew exactly how they did what they do, even if we had identical machinery, even if we started with identical leaf, the results would be all but guaranteed to be different. Even ignoring the water, which some feel is an important element, there's the whole issue of that miraculous community of microorganisms that are responsible for the fermentation of the leaf during processing. Since we all rely on the native microflora to do what they do, rather than inoculate tobaccos with specific cultures, there will clearly be differences in tobaccos processed in different parts of the world.
Marshall "Butch" Armstrong
It takes a brave person to smoke a pipe outside when it's below zero. Or is that a foolish person? I don't know. Whether brave or foolish, and sometimes they're one and the same, that person is me. I smoke outside. My wife doesn't smoke and we have our grandkids out here often so I respect that and don't smoke in the house . During spring, summer and fall it's not a problem but winter is another matter altogether. In Minnesota, winter is a force to be reckoned with. Last winter we had more than forty days when the temperature dipped below zero. We cannot do or plan anything in winter without considering the weather. If we do, we're courting disaster. Storms can happen with little warning, whipping into a blizzard with white out conditions within an hour. On Halloween day 1991, the temperature rose to over 50 degrees during the early afternoon and by time the day was done we had over 30 inches of snow on the ground. It can make pipe smoking outside interesting to say the least.
In this column I always try to discuss style in dress as well as smoking and the overlap of the two as they concern today's gentlemen and ladies.
As the title suggests, it is the subtle finishing touches of wardrobe and style in general that really create a fully realized whole regarding one's style and approach to things sartorial, smoking, or otherwise.
I had originally planned to cover several different items and subjects that cluster under the umbrella of "accessories". As I began to wade into those waters it soon became apparent that I would be in over my head in short order, and, as this column is tardy already, I had better narrow the focus considerably. Therefore I have chosen one wardrobe and one smoking accessory. I am pleased that I did because it enabled me to focus on an aspect that often is overlooked in regard to these two items. I shall discuss cufflinks and lighters.
The journey begins with the tin itself: the artwork decidedly modernist, abstracting the number 5 and offering the descriptive text of, "BALANCED SMOKING TOBACCO—COOL WITH A RICH FLAVOUR". Is this an act of modernist art in itself—rejecting the formalism of touting one's ingredients, making meta-commentary on the literary tradition of advertising copy—or merely, as my girlfriend suggests, "just the way they want to describe it?" Regardless, once the tin is opened the mystery of its contents becomes apparent: the Latakia in this blend is bold, assertive, and indeed well balanced with the pressed Virginia and burley that complete the trio. Styled as a robust English, the aroma does proclaim itself immediately on opening, but then relaxes a little with some airing time; the bouquet calms and the blend's complexity becomes more apparent. Imagine the smell of a log cabin, slightly musty and humid; stoke the fire, toss on a log of sandalwood, and you can begin to have an idea of the aroma. The ribbons themselves are hearty, chestnut- and reddish-brown, streaked through with jet black. After regaling my girlfriend with a barrage of ruminations on the modernist camp, extolling the virtues of Dos Passos, and gently stoking the ember in my Sasieni billiard, it was obvious that I'd become both smarter and more attractive since opening the tin*. This was promising to be a good smoke.
Here in the Northeast, autumn has most definitely arrived: leaves are rustling underfoot, there's a chill in the air, and sweaters and scarves are the order of the day. There's no staving off the season, so one may as well give oneself over to it and enjoy. I'm drinking my tea hot now, rather than iced, and my taste in tobaccos is veering toward the spicier blends, be they Lat bombs or Perique powerhouses. With the changing of the leaves, let's take a look at some fall leisure activities that are perfect for maximizing your own piping pleasure.
Welcome, friend. What's your poison? We as pipe smokers, whether we actively accept this aspect of ourselves or not, are at least slightly fascinated with the old fashioned, the antique, the archaic, or, as we prefer to call it: the Classic.
I remember recently reading a post on a Facebook page dedicated to gentlemanly pipe smokers, where the members shared their obsessions other than pipes. Responses included pocket-watches, well-cut suits, knives, hats, old-school lighters, and beyond. Perhaps the most common classic obsessions that I have noticed many pipe smokers share is an appreciation for a well-crafted cocktail. After all, a cocktail is very similar to a tobacco blend: some are simple and showcase one dominant flavor, while others show finesse in combining flavors that might not be expected but result in a transcendental experience. Arguably, at least I will happily argue, that many of the best cocktails are some of the oldest. Far too frequently, these delicate masterpieces are ignored in favor of their modern decedents, like the "Jäger-bomb", that abandon technique in favor of a quick buzz.
In this column I always try to discuss style in dress as well as smoking and the overlap of the two as they concern today’s gentlemen and ladies.
As the title suggests, it is the subtle finishing touches of wardrobe and style in general that really create a fully realized whole regarding one’s style and [...]