My Sense of Taste is Not What I Thought it Was...

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robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
I'm on a C&D kick, and have four blends currently open. I'm alternating between Haunted Bookshop, Dark Fired Kentucky, Star of the East and Epiphany.
Last Friday I got to work and lit up a pipe I had packed that morning and couldn't remember what I'd packed.
I smoked and thought and ciphered. I still don't know what I smoked. I'm almost certain that it was not the Dark Fired.
When I know what is in my pipe I can see that SoTE and Epiphany MIGHT be considered kinda sorta similar. Dark Fired is a completely different animal and Haunted Bookshop is very different from all of them.
I even tested myself over the weekend by packing identical corncobs and mixing them up until I didn't know what each contained. Still couldn't identify the blends with any certainty.
No real point to this post. Just thought I'd share my revelation that I suck as a connoisseur.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,914
98
I've done that before. I have packed up a handful of pipes for a long drive, where I know that I will be in driving 6+ hours, and each pipes will be loaded with a different blend, but by the time I have started the second pipe, I couldn't identify, nor cared what was in it. I bought the whole series of RO periques, and I kept getting confused, because they flavors were so alike. If I am smoking to smoke, I could care less what the tobacco is, as long as it doesn't bite. But, to smoke for flavor, I have to really focus on it. Clean my palate, have a cup of sweet tea ready, and just keep my mind on smoking, which the exact opposite of how I smoke 98% of the time.

It's interesting to taste, but really, you can also enjoy pipes without all of the flowery words to think of while smoking.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,780
0
I wouldn't trust my palate enough for a blind taste test. Much easier when given a hint such as a tin label :mrgreen: I've been on a C&D Va/Per kick lately and can notice a difference between blends smoked in recent succession but a blind taste would be guess work.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
0
No real point to this post
Yes there is.
At the risk of being the pariah, I liken tobacco to wine. Most people can distinguish a taste difference when comparing side by side, but really can't tell which is which without being told. Also, most people will draw a blank if you ask them for the flavour subtleties, but if you give them a hint or two, all of a sudden the "revelation" comes to them and every nuance is plain as day :)
Now comes the part that will probably require me to put on my fireproof suit....The so called "connoisseurs" have a better ability to distinguish certain flavours, but I expect none of them could tell you any more than what the primary tobacco is in the blend, condiment flavours (if there is enough of it) and general taste of the casing or topping if its an aromatic.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,780
0
So many people (especially on the internet) are full of shit. haha
Say it isn't so 8O If it's on the interweb it's true..... isn't it ?

 

robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
The advantage to not having a "Princess and the Pea" level of sensory processing is that I tend to not agonize over choices. I've found very few blends that I actually dislike, and those generally only because of tongue bite rather than taste.
(I'm looking at you, Nightcap. You taste so good, why do you hurt me so?)
I have a preference for Burley. Straight up, or throw some Perique in. Maybe a little Latikia or (not much) Virgina. It's all good! Even the Lakelands I find that I need to be in the mood for.
Bassbug - While SOME people might actually be able to taste at that level, I'm glad it isn't me. "I can't smoke this! It was obviously shipped on a UPS truck that drove past a house where someone had once smoked a Lakeland blend!!! Yuck!"

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,510
121
Anything above condiment levels of Latakia in a blend, and they all tastes the same to me. I can't tell Penzance from Pirate Kake.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,601
93
Now comes the part that will probably require me to put on my fireproof suit....The so called "connoisseurs" have a better ability to distinguish certain flavours, but I expect none of them could tell you any more than what the primary tobacco is in the blend, condiment flavours (if there is enough of it) and general taste of the casing or topping if its an aromatic.
I agree with you, but, I do know a few smokers with the palate to pick out some, if not all, of the component leaf. Mostly they're blenders, and because they're smoked all of various varietals separately to become familiar with their characteristics, they recognize those flavors in a blend.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,780
0
I agree with you, but, I do know a few smokers with the palate to pick out some, if not all, of the component leaf
That is probably a small percentage of pipe smokers. I'm in awe of those that can truly pick out those nuances, my palate has come a long ways since I've started smoking blends beyond the OTC Aros but nothing compared to Jim and Russ among others.