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 Marshall "Butch" Armstrong. Butch is a pipe smoker and writer for PipesMagazine.com. He enjoys camping, fly fishing, kayaking, painting, drumming and writing. He is employed as a Medical Lab Technician. He has been smoking pipes since 1980. In "Pipe Parts", Brian will talk about his collection of Disney pipes and tobaccos. Yes, they used to actually sell them at Disney World.Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Many of us are used to our alcohol coming in two temperature categories: room temperature or cold. Almost all shots are consumed at room temperature and many purists will often sip straight rum, bourbon, whisky, or tequila also at a lukewarm level, along with the near certainty of red wine being around room temp. On the other side are the many cold cocktails and beers, like gin and tonic, Old Fashioned, or martinis.
Once fall passes its mantle to winter, however, I find myself returning once more to the drinks that I have ignored since the last time snow fell: hot drinks. The most well-known drink in the category is almost certainly the Hot Toddy.
Well the days keep getting shorter, and the nights keep getting colder…and we’re getting older, too. Winter is well and truly here, and so is some new tobacco, just arrived in the post: Mac Baren’s Dark Twist, as well as a sample pouch of Modern Virginia Loose Cut. With so much more evening time to enjoy each day, a suitable companion for the pipe is a must. Mac Baren, as always, obliges handily with their wares, both old and new.
Dark Twist is one of Mac Baren’s stable of truly classic blends developed in the 1950s and 60s (’55, to be exact), a few of which have been reviewed here at PipesMagazine.com—see our write-ups of Mixture Scottish Blend, Roll Cake, and the erstwhile Burley London Blend. In fact, it’s becoming somewhat of a Christmas tradition to review Mac Baren tobaccos—last year we indulged in some Navy Flake at holiday time, which reminds me it’s time to crack open another tin of that blend after this review.
Marshall "Butch" Armstrong
It sounds like a book title, doesn’t it, "Dreams of old Virginia?" For all I know, it could be, but for the purposes of this article it has to do with the smoking of Virginia tobacco. I was browsing through the forums here at Pipes Magazine.com and found one titled, "The art of smoking Virginias." The entries were very interesting. Before I decided to write this article I had only smoked Dunhill Virginia Flake. My friend Ted ( check out his Facebook page here) gave me a tin and I didn’t like it the first time I tried it because it seemed to be so mild that there wasn’t much flavor. After smoking it a few more times I started to enjoy it. Then I read the forum posts and realized that there were a lot of subtleties to a Virginia Flake. I came up with a plan to find out more about this intriguing tobacco. I would buy a few different brands of Virginia Flake and smoke nothing but those for a couple of weeks to find out what they were all about. Sound like fun? Well it was and I learned quite a bit.
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.
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.
This time out I thought I'd discuss some timely choices, alternatives or options that could be useful or appealing to you, dear readers. The first of these involves footwear and a bit of a seasonal introduction.
Snow, Hills, RWD, and Loafers: Recently folks living in the central plateau of Tennessee (properly known as the southern portion of the Cumberland Plateau) were warned by the National Weather Service of an approaching winter storm and the strong possibility of receiving a substantial snowfall.
Nashville, my current place of residence and business is smack dab in the middle of said plateau.
Three years ago, the winter I arrived here, it snowed every four days for about three weeks. It was "very unusual to have this much snow here". This I was told, every three or four days, during that entire period.
It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas ... thanks to Peterson's Holiday Season 2014 edition. Coming so soon after the recent review of their Summertime and Special Reserve blends, we here at PipesMagazine.com knew we had to kick it up another notch for this review–so we'll be reviewing a Peterson Christmas 2014 pipe as well!
April in Paris: From the classic tune by Vernon Duke to Count Basie's big band playing it "'One More Time," this souvenir of our cultural history transcends generations. PipeSMOKE visits Paris in the spring and tags along as George Fricker, in town on extended business, decides one morning to buy a new pipe. With photographer Pierre Vauthey, we followed George to a few of the best smokeshops and recorded how he found not only the briar roots he wanted, but the blossoms of romance. Here is the treatment for our story.
In the cafe on a mild Saturday morning, George sits alone, content after coffee and croissant, smoking his well-used briar, reading the newspaper, humming:
April in Paris... Chestnuts in blossom... Holiday tables under the trees...
April in Paris... This is a feeling... No one can ever reprise ...
Several years ago, a sundown farmer walked his fields of tobacco, looking, watching and wondering about the future. His farm, roughly 300 acres, had been in his family for more than 200 years. Many of his ancestors arrived along the Tennessee-Kentucky border shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War and settled upon rich valley croplands to raise crops, especially tobacco.
During the South's Civil War, the family had to defend the land from marauding troops from both Union and Confederate. Good tobacco was as necessary as food in the war.
In a brief tour, the farmer pointed out a graveyard where the family had buried its dead over the two centuries. They had become part of the soil, he said, just as his soul was also part of the soil.
Many of us are used to our alcohol coming in two temperature categories: room temperature or cold. Almost all shots are consumed at room temperature and many purists will often sip straight rum, bourbon, whisky, or tequila also at a lukewarm level, along with the near certainty of red wine being around room temp. [...]