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fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,747
0
Topeka, KS
My apologies if this has already been discussed to death.
Why do some tobaccos smoke better in different pipes? My everyday blend tastes good to very good in all of my pipes, yet I fired up a bowl in a Tinder Box Unique Canadian the other night and the tobacco just flat out sang. I thought it might be an aberration so I repeated it several times smoking the same tobacco in other pipes in my rotation and then comparing it to yet another bowl in the wonder Canadian.
The aromas & tastes are livelier and more pronounced giving my nose and taste buds just that more pleasure. The other pipes aren't slouches either: vintage GBDs, Comoys, a Nording, a 1928 Dunhill and a very special Dr. Grabow bulldog that was a coupon pipe. I know the TBU was made by Charatan - and that's got to be one of the best kept non-secrets in the pipe smoking world - but my other burners are pretty solid performers in their own right.
I would love to hear anybody's thoughts on this matter.
Thanks
Fnord

 

brdavidson

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2012
2,018
1
I don't have an explanation but for me Black Shag sings in a MM Legend cob. Two different cobs, same great results. Triex in my briars, and while good its just not the same.

 

kashmir

Preferred Member
May 17, 2011
2,713
0
Northern New Jersey
It's a mystery, that's for sure. Fred Hanna wrote that in his opinion one out of 250 pipes was a magic pipe. I don't know about that. I think its more a function of how much you smoke said pipe. How well broken in or seasoned it is. What blends were used to constitute the cake, etc. If you only smoke a bowl a day, or a few a week, it'll take you a heck of a lot longer to sort out your herd, as compared to someone who smokes five to ten bowls a day. I've had pipes that weren't that great, only to become so after 50 to 75 bowls. I've had fewer pipes that were great after only a dozen bowls. I've had pipes that never improved and were quickly sold at a loss. So it varries quite a bit. And I might add it has very little to do with the price paid for the pipe.

 

john218

Preferred Member
May 5, 2012
562
0
Connecticut
There are some pipes that are exceptional in comparison to all other pipes you have, whether of the same brand or other brands of equal or greater reputation for smoking quality.
You can list all the requirements for a quality pipe, such as age and quality of the briar, curing methods, engineering, etc., but ultimately there is no logical explanation why a particular pipe excels so much, other than that it is wood and each piece of wood is different.

 

rmbittner

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2012
2,099
1
fnord:
To be honest, I've never found any specific pipe or pipe shape that consistently resulted in a better smoke for a particular blend (or type of blend) than any other. For me, it depends much more on my mood on a given day, the weather (humidity, temperature), and how my taste buds seem to be reacting at the time.
Case in point, I'm currently going through a tin of McClelland's Wilderness, which, for about 15 bowls over the course of seven different pipes, has been just an okay smoke. I know some rave about it, but to me it's just a light English with a touch of Syrian latakia flavor and an emphasis on Virginias. (I think I prefer Syrian blends that really showcase the Syrian. . . and either there isn't enough quantity here to do that, the latakia wasn't that flavorful to begin with, or it's past its prime.) Anyway, I somehow ran across a single bowlful where the blend was transformed: Suddenly the Syrian qualities were bolder, the orientals joined in (they'd been innocuous), and everything really came together. But subsequent bowls in that "magical" pipe failed to deliver. It was one great bowl out of more than a dozen "okay" bowls, and I haven't been able to repeat it.
In my experience, the only consistent difference I've found is that, for me, oil-cured pipes tend to bring out the best qualities of Virginia flakes and other straight Virginias. But that's it. (I believe Dunhill oil-cures most -- if not all -- of their pipes; Radice has a line of oil-cured pipes.)
Bob

 
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