Tastes like burned leaves

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alexashe

New member
Jun 16, 2019
3
0
Hello, bought my first pipe today. I tried to smoke it, but smoke tasted like burned leaves, even though the smell itself was good. Also the pipe stinks like an ashtray after the session and I have no idea how to fix it.

What am I doing wrong?
pipe: corncob

tobacco: eastwood original blend pipe tobacco

 

trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
579
1,550
It takes some doing to pack it right. Maybe check out some youtube videos on packing a pipe. And then there's learning to smoke it right, which also takes some work. The main thing is to go real slow so the tobacco doesn't burn too fast and too hot. Just light puffs into your mouth (not lungs) with breaks in between. It's totally normal for it to go out a few times every bowl. If you're really scorching it, it won't taste like much - slowing down is the fix. Also, lay out your tobacco to dry for a while before you smoke. When it's fresh out of the tin or pouch, it doesn't burn right - it won't taste like much, and it'll scald your tongue with steam. Hope this helps! Be patient and keep at it, and you'll be getting awesome smokes before too long.

 

alexashe

New member
Jun 16, 2019
3
0
Thanks for the tips man

Also, does this "burned smell" of the pipe ever go away? (I cleaned it with a pipe cleaner)

 

trubka2

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2019
579
1,550
Yeah, they kind of stink a little, especially while you're still learning to smoke. If you're not already a ciggy smoker (i.e. used to having full ashtrays around), I imagine it smells quite strong. Unburned tobacco is the stinkiest, so make sure to clean the bowl out really well when you're finished. Pipes absorb some moisture when you smoke a bowl; once they dry out, the smell usually goes for the most part. And if you smoke a lot, you'll zap your taste buds and sense of smell enough that you won't notice, so problem solved. :wink:

 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
612
22
Cobs particularly take several smokes to start tasting decent. The burnt leaves taste is probably the angled tip of the stem that inserts into the bottom of the chamber getting charred. The cob also gets some charring at first. I smoke mostly briar but have a few cobs I bought new. Some seem to take longer than others to get seasoned so they taste good. I had one that probably took 10 or 12 smokes. I had a few that probably took 4 or 5. Seems to me my cobbit pipes tasted good a lot quicker. My MM Twain seemed to take so many I almost tossed it, maybe 12. I have an Old Dominion that only took maybe 3 or 4. The stem on those do not protrude into the chamber. You might test your tobacco load with the straight sticker or a tooth pick and try to end your bowls a little above the stem a few times to see if that helps. I’ve also trimmed away excess stem from inside the bowl with a super sharp knife and that seemed to expedite things. Clean the wood part of the stem with a doubled over cleaner dipped in iso alcohol or liquor, clean the plastic stem with soapy water. It will stink less and smoke better.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,702
9
A smoked pipe smells of ashes. If you are a wet smoker, it will smell of wet ashes. That should be obvious.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,605
930
First cups of coffee and first tobacco pipes bowls confront us with a lot of unfamiliar smells and tastes, so may be partly or mostly unpleasant. Some of this you will learn to enjoy, and other aspects you will learn to neglect. You may or may not come to like coffee, or a tobacco pipe, but getting started is rarely a complete joy. With some, it's love at first taste and smell, but for most it's getting to know the experience and learning to like it ... if you do.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,860
801
Burning leaves...burning leaves...why ever would burning leaves smell like burning leaves? Maybe because they're burning leaves?
I have some disappointing news for you. Tobacco is made from leaves. When you set fire to it, those leaves are burning and are apt to taste like burning leaves. The flavor of those burning leaves may vary some depending upon which combination of leaf is burning and what flavorings have been added to it. It's not uncommon for the scent of the burning leaves to be better than the taste, especially at the beginning of pipe smoking.
Some things that you can do to improve the flavors are to dry your tobacco until it's almost crispy crumbly dry, as the excess moisture masks the flavors of the burning tobacco, pack lightly at first and experiment with the pack until you find something that works for you. The draw on a pipe should feel open when packed and never tight. Last, smoke slowly. You puff to get the tobacco lit at the beginning, and then gently sip. When the tobacco is barely smouldering, that's when the "burning leaves" flavor really dissipates, and the flavors that you're tasting become more like the flavors that you're smelling. It takes practice.
About that ashtray smell. More disappointing news. There are ashes from the burning leaves deposited around the sides of the chamber. Ashes smell. They never not smell. You can use a wadded piece of paper toweling or some pipe cleaners to wipe the walls of the chamber after dumping out the ash, but some smell will always be there. You could spray the pipe with Fabreze to kill off the smell, but chances are that it would fail to get rid of the smell and the chemical remnants would probably kill you the next time you burned some more leaves. So it's probably not a good idea to spray the pipe with Fabreze. Best to clean your pipe with pipe cleaners, paper toweling, and warm water for the plastic stem, and to just embrace the remaining stink.
You can look at videos on YouTube. Just do so with some skepticism. There are a few excellent videos. The vast majority are utter crap. It's YouTube. Any moron can put up a video, and most of them do.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,229
1,645
Alaska
Burning leaves...burning leaves...why ever would burning leaves smell like burning leaves? Maybe because they're burning leaves?
Sable, I was having a very hard time resisting saying exactly this. :rofl:

 

nunnster

Member
Apr 17, 2019
131
33
I actually really enjoy the smell of a used pipe, to me it smells like the last glorious bowl of tobacco that had been smoked in it. My Lat pipe smells like lat, my aromatic pipe smells like cherry(or whatever other flavor I had in there) and my vaper/vapbur pipe smells like spicy grass/hay. Usually after a day or two of rest the smell from a used pipe will fade, but it will always smell like you burned tobacco in it. As for tasting like burnt leaves, I've never really would have described tobacco tasting or smelling like burned leaves, as that describes something that smells astringent and "burnt" to me, but technically tobacco is a leaf so it is an accurate description... As to try and troubleshoot your problem, as others have mentioned you are more than likely smoking too hot and too fast, so try and slow down. Everyone can learn how to slow down more. Also, you probably need a few more smokes to break in the pipe, you could be tasting some of the "newness" of the pipe. Also, it could be the tobacco, I personally have never herd of that tobacco before. I would suggest looking around the forms to see what people highly recommend and try those blends.

 

ryeguy

Member
Oct 4, 2017
146
0
Smoking is an acquired taste--just like beer or whiskey. The first time you try them you are likely to only taste certain really strong and not necessarily pleasant flavors. But once your palate adjusts to those flavors, they don't dominate the experience, and entirely different flavors come through. So it is pretty natural for a first pipe to taste really smokey and ashy. Once you get used to the new flavors, it won't. It's almost like letting your eyes adjust when you come inside on a really bright day. It just takes time to adjust. I'd recommend focusing on the sidestream (maybe even the retrohale) until then.
There could be a million other things going on too that keep it from tasting good. Some tobaccos just do have a flat, cigarette flavor. And if you are packing wrong, or smoking with the wrong moisture, or puffing too fast, this could also kill the flavor. And (as others note) a cob will take a few smokes to break in. But you can't be sure that this is the problem until you get used to the taste of smoke.

 

alexashe

New member
Jun 16, 2019
3
0
Alright, I understand most of it now. Just expected tobacco should taste the way it smells. Mine smells pretty pleasant, but tobacco smoke itself tastes like a forest fire :|

I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,860
801
Alright, I understand most of it now. Just expected tobacco should taste the way it smells. Mine smells pretty pleasant, but tobacco smoke itself tastes like a forest fire :|

I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it
You've just begun pipe smoking and there's a learning curve. May of us experienced much the same thing when we first started out. We smoked wet tobacco way too fast, puffing like freight trains to keep the bowl from going out. That will guarantee that you taste nothing but a forest fire, at least until your tongue boils.
There is some technique to getting the best flavors out of the blends that you smoke, including smoking very slowly and avoiding super heating the tobacco. Getting the moisture level right also increases the flavors. And since you have more flavor receptors in your schnoz than you have in your mouth, letting the smoke slowly drift out through your nose also increases the likelihood that what you smell, and what you taste will be closer.
But not all blends taste like they smell. Some do, some don't. Sometimes they taste better, more complex, than the room note. Getting the most flavor takes some practice. Keep smoking, keep asking questions. Keep experimenting. Eventually it will start to click.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,328
1,832
Monterey Peninsula
And sometimes the worse it smells, the better the smoke! But the emphasis is on sometimes. I find there's little correlation between "room note" and taste of smoke. And I am not a fan of breaking in corncob pipes.
It will get better!