Do you actually TASTE what you're smoking ?

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caa55

New member
Aug 27, 2015
23
0
Hello,

Still fairly new at this. I have tried several tobaccos; several OTC'ers and a few purchased at tobacco shops (a few aromatics, OTC burleys, 3 virginias, 2 english). Even got one tin (a Mac Barren Va). Bottom line is I don't seem to be able to taste what I'm smoking. I enjoy the aroma after exhaling but I experience little in the way of actual taste/flavor during the whole process.
Perhaps it has to do with insensitive taste buds or my breathing (or lack thereof) while puffing/sipping.
So Do you actually TASTE what you're smoking ?
What are some Burley's, Virginia's, Aromatic' (not overly fond of latakia) you'd suggest that will REALLY enhance my tasting experience?
Thanks for any advice.

chuck

 

ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
1,204
65
I always taste what I'm smoking, but then I've been smoking a pipe for over 30 yrs and my mouth has been conditioned. I may not be able to discern each tobacco in the blend but I do get the flavor from the overall blend. There have been some blends that I've smoked that seem like I'm smoking just air and I haven't returned to those. Some blends don't taste like the tin aroma but they do taste good. Some blends you may get some flavor from are:
C&D's Autumn Evening (aromatic)

Lane Limited 1Q (aromatic)

Lane Limited BCA (aromatic)

McClelland's Red Cake 5100 (straight Virginia)

C&D's Pegasus (Burley/Virginia)

Boswell's Pennsylvania Dutch Treat & Berry Cobbler (aromatics)

Middleton's Carter Hall (Burley/Virginia)

C&D's Old Joe Krantz (Burley/Virginia/Perique)

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,869
201
It's like wine and Absinthe tasting its in the nose and the tongue. The nose picks up the majority of the flavors. That's how I see it anyway.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,278
503
The answer is yes. I'm not too much interested in nicotine per se, though it can be pleasant when encountered. I don't smoke for that. Taste, smell, yup.

 

stickframer

Preferred Member
Apr 11, 2015
870
1
My guess is your palate will develop along the way and you'll begin to taste what your smoking.

As you smoke ask yourself if you can taste anything. Is there spice, nuttiness, maybe some citrus or grassy flavors?
Also I find that smaller sips of the pipe yield more flavors than puffing away like a train. Best of luck.

 

blackbeard

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2015
706
0
^ Agree completely with mso489.
I've said it before....if you REALLY like cherry. Bjarne Viking Erik the Red tastes like it smells, and is quite strong. Though it's not for me; some people really enjoy it. Suppose you could always try that for an aromatic.

 

fmgee

Preferred Member
Sep 26, 2014
925
0
Think about eating you favourite meal with a blocked nose. It does not taste the same or nearly as good as when you nose is fully functional. Pipe smoking is the same way. You need to get the nose involved with retrohale. Then the technique and palate can develop and suddenly a world a flavour opens up.

 

caa55

New member
Aug 27, 2015
23
0
Thanks for the input guys. At least now I know what I should be expecting or hoping for. I think there may be several things going on. First I probably don't have the keenest sense of taste but I'm not totally void of it. Based on I may need to steer toward tobaccos of more intense flavors.
But as pointed out, I think my main problem is my nose is not part of my smoking method. Maybe retrohaling is what I need to fully develop.
Along those lines, I actually wrote what I'll paste below (in quotes) in the Beginners forum but haven't received any responses. If you don't mind, perhaps you could enlighten me a bit with your thoughts regarding:
"Because of my motivation to NOT inhale the smoke, I tend to cease breathing thru my nose while I'm gently puffing in/sipping the pipe. This lack of breathing during the input of smoke seems to be unnatural.
Is that standard technique or should one be actually inhaling with the nose while simultaneously gently puffing/sipping the pipe?
Side note: i have experimented with inhaling thru the nose with pipe inserted which creates a 'draw effect' in the mouth thus allowing smoke in without actually puffing/sipping the pipe. My concern was the smoke would go too far back in throat. So is this the preferred method ?"
Thanks again for any insight.

chuck

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,977
29
I have a few experiences from my "beginner days" just last year that might be helpful.

First, I find it hard to believe myself but I actually didn't taste anything on my first bowl of 1-Q. I really have no clue how or why, but I smoked a bowl, marked it as unremarkable, came back a few months later and tasted marshmallows. The only logical explanation I can think of is that I was smoking it entirely too hot, which will significantly reduce flavor, or my tastebuds simply needed time to adjust (aromatics don't get stronger with age so I know it wasn't that).

Secondly, the "English" blend that I started with was probably a light English and somewhat unremarkable.

I actually asked for something with lots of Latakia while visiting the only local tobaccanist within a thousand miles (bless them), but what they gave me was a far, far cry from any Pirate Kake or Nightcap, or even most ordinary heavy Latakia blends. That it was a "House Blend" doesn't make things any easier (I would have some strong words for the person who started that trend). It's a small shop so maybe they literally didn't have anything at the moment or maybe the guy at the counter was new, I don't know, but that experience scared me off of Latakia for six months until my insatiable curiosity demanded that I buy a bag of blending Latakia just to experiment. Good grief was I missing out.
The key point here is never dismiss a tobacco, and especially a tobacco group, based on initial impressions.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,042
940
Been at it for 24 years, and definitely taste it. Try something with dark fired Kentucky- Old Dark Fired, Bold Kentucky, Dark Strong Kentucky, etc. Those should definitely let your tongue know how good a pipe can taste.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,977
29
http://www.glpease.com/Articles/BreathSmoking.html
Read this, it's very helpful.
I normally avoid getting smoke near my nose because too much makes me stuffy the next day. Latakia smells wonderful but it's a fine balance. I'm pretty sure the retrohale is not for everyone.
If I'm not expelling smoke through the pipe then I just exhale out my mouth to clear the smoke out. My version of the retrohale is just to sort of (very, very lightly) kiss the pipe a few times and leave my mouth open a crack so the smoke wafts out and up past my nose (while holding my breath), and then I exhale through my nose to clear the smoke out so I can start regular breathing again.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,042
940
+1 on the breath smoking technique
And to add to frozenchurwarden's link...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o8Sfg6EH9k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 

samanden

Member
Jun 11, 2013
232
0
Alexandria, VA
^^ That's a pretty good video, chasingembers. What he isn't saying, I think, is that breathing through your pipe involves a balance between the mouth, pipe, AND nose. That is to say, I find myself breathing through my nose AS I'm drawing and blowing smoke in and out my pipe. That's one way to keep your breathing steady, too. Additionally I, at times, release smoke from my mouth instead of through my pipe. When he says, "breath through the pipe every other breath," I believe what he isn't saying is that alternate breaths of smoke should be release from the mouth, not through the pipe. You see from the video he occasionally releases smoke from his mouth.
I like to clench my pipes and found myself doing this breath-through-the-pipe "technique" before I even knew it was a thing. It takes practice; become one with the pipe and all that jazz...

 

disinformatique

Preferred Member
A little recommendation on tobaccos
Rattray's

Marlin Flake & Bagpiper's Dream,
GLP

Six Pence, Westminster
McClelland

Frog Morton, Frog Morton On The Town, Frog Morton's Cellar
Cornell and Diehl

Autumn Evening, Star of the East, Billy Budd, Old Joe Krantz, Night Train, Pirate Kake
There are so many good tobacco that I am afraid will become a long list, but you can start with a few of these. Make sure to read about them over at tobaccoreviews.com
Cheers,

Chris

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,936
908
Monterey Peninsula
He did mention an aversion to Latakia, which would rule out Pirate Kake for starters! (ca. 75% Latakia, which I love). Some others, too, but not sure which ones have real Lat. components.

 

hakchuma

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2014
771
0
I think the first time I actually really starte to taste pipe tobacco was with Mississippi River tobacco. It was sort of like a light bulb going off over my head. Sure Latakia has a taste but I always just sort of equated it to smelling camp fire. The Mississippi River blend taught me how to taste the hay like flavor because I was so used to aromatics I was not seeing the trees in the forest kind of thing.
The blend really blew the doors wide open for me. All of the sudden I was tasting all the subtle differences in blends and tobaccos. It wasn't until just last month I finally nailed down the taste of orientalis, which is funny because weeks prior to that I was talking to my wife and told her that the orientalis are the ones that seem to still escape me and I just could not identify them if my life depended on it. Now it's so obvious that it surprises me it took so long.
Once I was able to identify these things my senses now dig even deeper and am rewarded with much more incredibly flavorful smokes which is really based more on perception than the blend itself. It just gets really fun and makes me happy I am now capable of enjoying so many blends. Prior to pipe smoking I chewed Kodiak and Kodiak only, nothing else and I did it for the nicotine only. The pipe smoking hobby has almost completely took out my chewing habit. As strange as I may sound by saying it, I think it has even enlightened me in some way.

 

blackbeard

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2015
706
0
I feel I need to make another note here on a tobacco. Possibly the most uniform smoke I've had so far (which really isn't saying a lot as I'm relatively new.) Out of Office - Gone Fishin' is really nice in a cob with a new smoker. No matter how hot, how fast you smoke it, or how many relights....it always seems to remain the same. Caramel, smooth, and no bite. It's mellow but has a good taste to it if you're looking for a sweet treat in aromatics and it's pretty inexpensive at 5 dollars a tin.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
520
27
It took me a while before I could start perceiving the various "flavours" in a pipe tobacco. Still to this day, almost 30 years later, my ability to taste is somewhat limited. I can tell if the tobacco is sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, smoky, peppery. Also, if it's earthy, woodsy, "raisiny", "figgy", "winy" hay-like, etc. Basic stuff, finally.

What matters above all, though, is if I enjoy the tobacco, or not. :wink: