"Natural Progression" From Aros to Non-Aromamatic?

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robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
There seems to be an unspoken (and sometimes quite aggressively spoken) idea that "real" pipe smokers eventually leave aromatics behind to smoke only rare and expensive 15 year aged, non-aromatic blends.
OK, I'm exaggerating for effect, but you know what I mean.
I'm wondering if this is necessarily true. I do imagine that a lot of people tend to start with aromatics. I surely did. As my experience grows, however, I'm finding more and more flavors and blends that I can enjoy, but I seem to be ADDING them to my the aromatics, rather than as a REPLACEMENT for them.
I'd kind of like to hear from some folks who have been smoking for several years. If you started with aromatics, did you leave them entirely behind, do you still smoke them? Do you consider non-aromatics to be inherently superior?
I understand "smoke what you like," etc., etc., I'm just curious about the experience of more "seasoned" pipe smokers.

 

darwin

Preferred Member
Apr 9, 2014
821
0
I would say that this progression is largely true when considering the inhabitants of this forum. What this has to say about the much larger overall pipe smoking community is debatable since aromatics still outsell other types of blends handily.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,510
121
I have tobaccos from all generes in my collection. Just because you smoke a heavy english one day doesn't mean you can't smoke something sweet the next. There are many fine quality aros out there, and different moods and different ocassions call for different smokes. If you have an aro you really enjoy, don't give it up completely in you exploration of new blends. I enjoy heavy balkans and orientals the majority of the time, but still enjoy codgers and even Captain Black Royal from time to time. Been burning a pipe for twenty-four years, and the main idea is, smoke what you like.

 

seacaptain

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2015
1,832
0
As I try new blends, that's what I seem to be doing - adding non-aro's.
I can't imagine quitting Capt Black Dark anytime soon.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,347
28
"Real" pipe smokers smoke what they like and the heck with other smokers' opinions.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,921
86
I have done the usual slow progression from mostly aromatics to non-aromatics, but continuing with aros for a change of pace. The other standard progression is from codger brands that are only marginally aromatic, or not, to aromatic, then to non-aros or both. I don't know where I'd put P&C Home and Hearth Chestnut, which is a tub match to an older discontinued blend, non-aromatic, with five or six different tobaccos, blended by a pro. The one thing we all have to remember, and can learn as we march through online retail sites for pipe tobacco, is that aromatic blends keep the pipe tobacco market alive and outnumber our beloved non-aro blends by about two to one in most inventories.

 

cmdrmcbragg

Preferred Member
Jul 29, 2013
1,741
0
I still enjoy aros and they'll always have a place during winter while diving with the windows up, but I gravitated away from them last year as I delved into VAs. I was taken with those and I'd never choose them over an aro if I could only have one kind.
If you don't like non-aros, you're missing out. If you have left aros behind completely, you found what you like.
If you're like me and can do both, you can exist between two worlds.

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
0
do you still smoke them? Do you consider non-aromatics to be inherently superior?
It's all about taste for me ... not which is "superior".
I LIKE the taste of tobacco and want that to be the focus of my smoke.
The sour/woody notes of a good Turkish, the sweet/nutty flavors of a good Burley, the earthy/bready/sweet Virginia, etc ...
Many moons ago, I had two basic smokes ... Carter Hall and Capt. Black (white)
It was only a few months into smoking before I realized which one was for me.
Over the years I have been gifted and / or purchased many different Aro's and I just don't care for any of them.
If I want a Vanilla Custard Shake I go to Culvers! :puffy:

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,858
0
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
"There seems to be an unspoken (and sometimes quite aggressively spoken) idea that "real" pipe smokers eventually leave aromatics behind to smoke only rare and expensive 15 year aged, non-aromatic blends."
A "real" pipe-smoker smokes what he or she enjoys, aromatic or otherwise. End of story.

 

maxx

Preferred Member
Apr 10, 2015
709
0
I'm still new to pipes. My first taste of tinned tobacco was Nightcap and I have had no interest in aromatics since.

 

davet

Preferred Member
May 9, 2015
3,780
0
I'm smoking more English and Balkans now and have many aromatics that that don't interest me much anymore. But there are a few that I continue to order and enjoy. I know a few old fellas that only smoke aromatics and have for longer than most of us have been around. To belittle them or there choice in tobacco might get you a smack!

 

allan

Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2012
2,429
0
Bronx, NY
It seems that, at least on this forum, the progression goes from aro's to lat blends, then to burleys, va's and then va's with perique. And many do not return ever to lat blends, let alone any aro.
I like most others started pipe smoking with capt black and their equivalents, but after joining the forum and meeting/talking with members, discovered the whole other side of tobaccos.
In the past two years I'm locked into the lat blends and all of their derivatives with occasional forays into va's and rarely the va's with periques
Aro's are not for me anymore, but I'm happy to hear that folks are enjoying them.

 

pipesmokingtom

Preferred Member
May 4, 2015
3,213
0
I heard all that when I began smoking as well - not that "real pipe smokers don't smoke aro's," but "people say that real pipe smokers don't smoke aro's." For whatever reason, I've never come across it, on forums or otherwise. Maybe I've been able to tune out the negativity, but I just haven't seen this elitism that everyone acts like is prevalent - save for one mustachioed hipster douchebag working at a B&M who wouldn't even discuss aromatics with me. The VAST majority of my experience is people saying "smoke what you like."
To the OP questions:
If you started with aromatics, did you leave them entirely behind, do you still smoke them?
I smoke an aro one out of 6 bowls - give or take. Totally a mood thing, no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I want a sweet, billowy, no-frill or fancy bowl of caramel or vanilla or whatever.
Do you consider non-aromatics to be inherently superior?
Generally, yes, but not out of elitism. I think they are a superior product in most cases. I think a naked English tobacco needs to be good on its own merit and can't rely on sprayed on or soaked in flavors like aro's do. So, superior quality - usually. "Better?" That doesn't mean anything.