New guy looking for the right smoke... please help!

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prairiepiper

New member
Apr 18, 2019
2
0
Hello guys, I am fresh to this forum, but not so much with a pipe. I have smoked a clay cutty off and on for many years. In recent times, I have made the step up to finer pipes and finer tobaccos. I want to really enjoy my pipe smoking experience as much as possible these days and take it much more seriously. I have basically smoked your basic grocery store "get by" Captain Black types etc. Those days are over now, and I have purchased some nice Peterson Briar pipes and have just begun my search for some good tobaccos too. So being so new to a good smoke, my search begins...
I recently purchased several ozs of "Peter Stokkebye Luxury Twist Flake" and a lot of "Plumb Pudding". I bought these do to all the great reviews. I have been so anxious to try them and I assumed I would be quite satisfied with both as so many others seem to be. I have smoked them for a couple days now with a clean pipe each time. I hate to say this, but I was VERY VERY disappointed with the both of them! I am not saying they are terrible, but they are extremely lacking. I am sure they are of fine quality, but I will say, they are so weak in taste and body that I am in disbelief. How can there be so many high remarks on these two and to me they are so "mild" that they hardly register to my senses? I smoked them slow and I smoked them fast, and I really tried to open up my senses to them, but no, only slight hints of good notes that I could barely make out. So, obviously these two types are nowhere near my personal fit, which is ok. Knowing this, I am asking for advice to you folks on pointing me in the right direction and helping me find the type or types that may suite me. All I can offer for clues is, that I apparently like a bold, full bodied smoke. I was given a few samples a year ago to try, and though I can't remember much about them, I do remember one that I really wanted to smoke again, it was "Hal O' the Wynd". I can't find it in stock anywhere, and am worried that it will be rare or even be no more if it isn't already. So knowing that Hal O' was one I liked a lot, and also that I do not like weak or medium tobaccos, can you guys throw me some suggestions to try on my search for my new arsenal of smokes? Any leads would be much appreciated! Thank you all so much, Joel

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,306
5
Rattray's has been hit and miss with their distribution lately. keep an eye on the site sponsor links to the left of the page and sooner or later one of those sites will likely get some Hal O' The Wynd in stock.

 

rfernand

Preferred Member
Oct 2, 2015
679
0
Welcome, prairiepiper@!
Don't discount OTC blends just yet. I think Half and Half may give you the extra oomph in flavor you're looking for, and you will likely find it superior to Captain Black. I like Prince Albert and Carter Hall as well (for different reasons).
Give Chelsea Morning a try -- if it blows your mind, you're a Latakia fan :)

 

acidpox

Member
Nov 18, 2018
297
5
If your looking for full body you can give HH Bold Kentucky a try. One I always keep in my rotation, also like 5 brothers if your looking for high nic and simple. I mix it with other blends when I find them a bit weak. If your a latakia fan I find Nightwatch a good full body smoke. Good luck on your adventure to finding the right blend for you. Remember dont get rid of those tobaccos your not fond of, just cellar them and come back to them in time. You may find your tastes have changed and find that you now like them.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,702
5
Hal o' the wynd is great mmmmhhh!

Well, you need to try latakia. Anything with latakia in it has lots of flavor, even to the newbie senses.

 

cachimbero

Member
Apr 9, 2019
146
0
If you like Hal O´the Wynd, I would advice tobaccos with Kentucky, Virginia and Perique. Hal O´the Wynd is one of my favourite tobaccos. I also like Marlin Flake, Peterson Irish Oak, Dan Tobacco Skipper´s Flake and Gawith and Hoggarth Dark Bird´s eye (the two last mentioned tobaccos do not have Perique, but are full and satisfying). I am sure there must be many of a similar type easily available in the US (I assume you live there because you mentioned it is hard to find Hal O- the Wynd right now).

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,414
206
Chicago, IL
Hal O'The Wynd, Old Gowrie, Brown Clunee, and to a lesser degree, Marlin Flake, are sometimes viewed as sibling blends -- their distinctions being in the balance of their constiuents. Irrespective of the details, if you liked one, you would probably like the others.
For "a bold, full bodied smoke", you can do no better the G.L. Pease blends, for their strength, body, and signature clarity. :wink:
You might also focus on the Mac Baren HH line of blends, one of which has already been suggested.
For strength and "in your face" tobacco taste, Gawith Hoggarth twists, or ropes, are as blatant as they come, but are hard to come by lately; and maybe just as well since they can fatigue the palate quite easily.

 

prairiepiper

New member
Apr 18, 2019
2
0
Thank you guys for all these suggestions and advice so far! I am taking notes...
I will cellar these two tobaccos that I do have, but some of it I may try cutting with another super bold tobacco I may come across. Experiment a little I suppose you would say.
cachimbero, I live in NE, Montana, USA

 

pepesdad1

Preferred Member
Feb 28, 2013
825
3
You can also try butternut burley from P&C...about $48.00 per pound unless you get it on sale for $40.00

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,960
127
Rather than trying to guess blends you might like that I happen to love, let me make a few recommendations on finding your own way. Don't buy a lot of anything for the next two years even if you find something you love. Your tastes will change. Save anything you don't like in jars and try it again later; your tastes will change, and sometimes aging improves a blend a lot. Buy small quantities--an ounce, a tin, a pouch. Sample in various genres -- aromatic, non-aromatic, Virginia, Virginia Perique, English, etc. Window shop the tobacco pages at online retailers and read the constituent tobaccos so you get a wider feel for what's out there. Read reviews and learn, but don't just buy because of rave notices. You will dislike blends most others love. And I remind you again, your tastes will change.

 

hiplainsdrifter

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2012
976
0
More flavor is the easy part. WHICH flavor will be important to hone in on. Smokey (Latakia), tangy Smokey (dark fired Kentucky), sour/incense (orientals), sweet (natural Virginia), etc. You may just be so used to OTC aromatics that you have a hard time with natural tobacco flavors. Nothing wrong with that, might just have to look for good aros.

 

dcon

Preferred Member
Mar 16, 2019
598
12
+1 to MSO. I have been at this a long time. LIke everyone I have my favorites but, I smoke quite a variety to this day.

 
Feb 7, 2019
184
6
I agree with MSO that your best bet is to try a variety of small quantities until you find one you like. I think my favorite tobacco is Scotty's Butternut Burley but you might find it a little too mild for you. You should try a Latakia blend. In that genre, I like G. L. Pease Quiet Nights. There are so many fine tobaccos available that you might enjoy. And I agree that you should save all your samples and try them again later. My tastes have changed over time and find that my old favorites seem to be less attractive and things I did not enjoy the first time appeal to me later. In addition, tobaccos mellow over time and can improve after a year or so. Experiment and enjoy.

 

sumusfumus

Senior Member
Jul 20, 2017
350
5
Buy sample packets of various tobaccos from major shops and sellers. Many advertise on this forum. Trade tobacco samples with other pipe smokers or forum members. Zero in on what you prefer, and you'll quickly learn what you dislike and what disappoints.....
We all go through this trial. But then, you'll find a mixture that strips your gears. Nirvana will be yours... Don't give up. That special blend of tobaccos, with your name on it, is out there... waiting for your discovery.
Good luck and enjoy the learning curve.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,960
127
Sample packets can be handy and a good savings, but I mostly encourage putting together your own sample packets with very small quantities, an ounce or pouch at a time, so you study the constituent tobacco's in each blend and learn more, and aren't just handed an array. Also, the sample packets are often in one genre, and especially getting started, I think you want to try various genres in sequence, so you can contrast and compare. Again, even if you discover your bliss blend, don't go and order a pound of the leaf. Keep trying around. See how this compares with others with somewhat the same constituents, etc. Just stick with this formula for a year or two. Later you can try mixing in your own selection of condiment leaf ... Latakia, Perique, cigar leaf, orientals ... but leave that for the future three or four years. I realize you aren't going to follow my program, but the concept may help.

 

elasmo

Junior Member
Mar 23, 2019
62
11
If I'm not mistaken, Hal O' the Wynd is available right now at Boswellpipes

 

krizzose

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,078
34
Michigan
Hal o’ the Wynd and the other Rattray’s blends are NOT out of production, but the time between inventory drops in the US can be anywhere from 3 - 8 months. When it drops, it goes fast. The best thing you can do is create accounts at smokingpipes.com and pipesandcigars.com and sign up for the email alerts for those blends. If you get the email, buy quick. They both come in 1 lb. bags as well as tins.

 

panamacharlie

Member
Jun 13, 2016
209
0
I've been at it since the '60s, and I still haven't found the "right smoke". I like to have a variety on hand, and smoke according to my mood. Sometimes it's a VaPer, sometimes a flavorful aromatic, sometimes a light black cavandish.
Also, youu will find that flavors change as your pipe gets broken in, and they also change according to the weather and even the time of day.