Blends That Like Being "Pushed"

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elessar

Member
Apr 24, 2019
158
14
As a rookie pipe smoker I find I often fall prey to smoking too fast (against the majority of great advice on this forum). With increasing experience I am certainly slowing down and finding a better pace for many of the tobacco blends I enjoy. However, every once in a while I smoke a blend that just seems, to my taste, to do better when "pushed" or smoked a little too fast. Right now I am smoking Rattray's Black Mallory and to me it is just such a blend. I get what I feel is the best flavor if I smoke it a little too fast and create a few gurgles throughout the bowl.
I am curious if any of you also find certain blends are more in their sweet spot when "pushed" a little?
I will also admit most of time the opposite is true as well. For me, Peterson Founder's Choice is best smoked very slow which allows the mango to really come through. That blend to me it is rather flat when smoked too fast.
Just curious.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,050
69
Lexington, KY
I have never found this to be the case, with any blend I've smoked. I am, however, interested in the opinions which will be posted in this thread.
There are certainly some blends which are more tolerant of being pushed than others, but I've never experienced on that's actually improved by puffing harder.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
965
4
No blend is better for being pushed. If you burn a pipe hot enough, all the big molecules we call "flavor" - oils, acids, esters.... they get burnt up. You could theoretically reduce pipe tobacco to just CO2 and H2O if you burnt it hot enough. So a big mouthful of steam, yeah?
Slow down, and you get ALL sorts of flavors as those big floppy molecules gently drift, intact, onto your olfactory surfaces.
Sounds technical, but it really is just one of the great truths of pipe smoking. Slow down. Seek less and you find more. The harder you puff, the less you'll taste, because there will literally be less to taste.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
1,971
26
Some blends tolerate being pushed better than others perhaps. However, every blend I've ever smoked benefits from being smoked at a reasonable pace.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,938
123
It's possible... maybe some folks like that. I smoke Black Mallory occasionally, but my tastes lean towards slow with this blend. But, hey, if that's how you prefer it, then right on. It's a neet thing when we realize things like this, for yourself.

 

elessar

Member
Apr 24, 2019
158
14
I appreciate all the feedback and the technical explanation. Perhaps this would be a good blend for me to focus on slowing down further. As much as I already enjoy this blend (and numerous others) I am excited to see how much more flavor I can pull from it.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,306
5
Black Mallory is a pretty complex blend made up of Virginias, Latakia, Orientals, Black Cavendish, and Turkish leaf (probably Izmir) I just don't, for the life of me, see how pushing this blend would improve it at all. More than likely you're overheating it, and not getting all the different flavors from these tobaccos that you could. Slow down, good sir, and I think you'll be happier for it. If you want to know what kind of flavors you should actually be getting from this blend, check out fellow member Jimink's review of the blend on tobaccoreviews.com
This will help you get a better idea of what to look for as you slowly smoke the blend.
Jimink's review

A full bodied English with plenty of latakia offering a slight sweetness along with the smokey, woody qualities you'd expect from Cyprian latakia. The Virginias are earthy and grassy with some fruitiness, and are the ground base for the other players in the mixture. The Orientals/Turkish offer a tasty spice and dry, campfire flavor for a nice balance. The extra flavor dimension from the black cavendish is welcome because it's not overused nor does it conflict with what smokers generally look for in English blends. Has a mild nic-hit. Burns at a moderate pace with a few relights and a consistent, fairly smooth taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl.Has a decent after taste. Not an all day smoke, but a filling, pleasing friend to relax with after a nice meal.
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,609
106
It's an interesting question. I don't know of any blend that improves with being pushed. What I've learned in my pipe smoking "career" is that most, if not all, pipe tobaccos deliver their best flavors when smoked slowly. I'm hedging this a bit because I haven't smoked every tobacco blend, just a few hundred of them, so there might be a blend out there that does better when "pushed". Of course, it will be hell on a pipe.

I've smoked Black Mallory and find it to be like other blends, best when savored and smoked slowly. The flavors just don't develop when the tobacco burns too hot.

 

brooklynpiper

Member
May 8, 2018
258
31
I would say anise and licorice-flavored blends do better smoked fast.
Not for the flavor, I just hate those blends and would like everybody to smoke them. Let's burn that as quickly as possible :lol:

 

elessar

Member
Apr 24, 2019
158
14
I do feel I get the flavors that Jiminks describes in his review. That review was one of the reasons I bought this blend. It just seems that even when I allow lots of dry time I get a gurgle with this blend. This, from what I have read on the forum, is most likely poor cadence on my part. It is not like I am freight training the pipe and it remains cool and comfortable in hand. But when I slow down further the flavors seem to drop off slightly. Perhaps I am just not yet picking up the additional flavors that are presented with a slower pace. I will endeavour to slow down further.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,012
191
English blends are definitely more forgiving than a lot of other genres in the pipe tobacco world. If right now you want to find a blend that still tastes great while being “pushed” stick with that genre. I recommend Plum Pudding, Arango Balkan Supreme, Bengal Slices, Skiff Mixture, Exotique Mixture, Medal of Valor etc etc. It’s everyones mantra on here to slow down and by all means it’s great advice but if you are enjoying the flavors with your technique than please, keep at it and the rest will come naturally over time. Some of these blends I mentioned taste much better when dried.

 

troyniss

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2018
93
1
I'm also a choo-choo-choo-choo-choo smoker.
Virginias and Va/Pers always smoke a tad warm for me, but I've found that English Blends and Dark Fired Kentucky heavy blends (I'm looking at you GL Pease Jack Knife Plug) tend to smoke just fine with my cadence. I suppose it also depends on the bowl I'm using.

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,175
104
30
WI
I still smoke really fast. That's just how I like it. Also probably why my mouth don't do Virginia's. Burley for me. It can handle the heat.

 

troyniss

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2018
93
1
@Didimauw I feel your pain too -- on the tongue. I love Virginia's as a matter of fact and even with them burning hot I still smoke 'em. Burley is a good contender for heat. I find that it also can be pushed relatively with ease.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,924
97
If you push blends by habit, you probably fall into a pattern with a different set of blends that push well, and to the degree that you enjoy. I think easy sipping is best with many or most blends, to get what is there and all the nuances, but that's how I smoke, so that's what I like. Extremely mild blends that still have some complexity hiding in there (Spilman Mixture comes to mind) reward a little more focused puffing, but it's not my usual way. Despite you being a puffer, I'd make a point of sipping to see if, eventually, you like it better, at least with some blends.

 

bullet08

Member
Nov 26, 2018
162
0
usually don't pull too hard on va or va/per. but occasionally do push on blends with latakia. va and va/per can burn hot. glp quiet nights and odyssey seem to do ok when pushed.

 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,811
0
I personally think all blends improve with slowing down, and that as you slow down habitually you'll discover flavors that you are missing. The beauty, though, is that is what I think. What I think and what you experience are totally different. If you want to push, burley blends may be your best bet. You do you.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
32,921
548
Elessar: I'm glad my review helped you. I'm not a fast smoker. I puff at a slow to moderate pace, and I find that works best for me. It's takes time to find what works best for you.