Testing out new blends

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fuel52

New member
Mar 14, 2017
22
0
New Orleans, LA
Another fascinating question for you fellas...
Went to my local tobacconist a couple weeks ago, picked up 2 ounces of a few house blends that I liked the smell of. One particular blend I've tried about 3 bowls of and it really hasn't done anything for me. I don't hate it, I don't love it. It's just ok.
My question is, what are yall's (sorry, I'm southern) routines when testing out a brand new blend? How many bowls does it take for you guys to determine if you like it or not? Any guidance here?
Thanks!

 

samcoffeeman

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2015
441
0
I have one pipe that I use as my tester. It's a great smoker so if it doesn't sing in that pipe it probably won't.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,797
2,319
I will try it in different size/shape bowls. Try different drying times, and try packing looser or tighter.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
7,335
99
That's a good question and one I'm sure you'll get a dozen different answers for. I would say never judge a blend by your first smoke. Possibly not your second, third, or fourth even. Unless you find it awful and to be obviously some foul concoction blended by fiery demons from hell (Captain Black Cherry) with the intent to ghost your pipes, burn off your tasted buds, and steal your soul. No, you should try it a few times, and in different pipes as the pipe you're using truly can make or break the blend. Also, if you find that it's just not to your liking, it doesn't mean it won't be at a later date. Jar it up, set it aside, and revisit it in a few weeks, or perhaps even a few months.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,705
1,085
How experienced a pipe smoker are you? The answer to this question is different for beginners and those who've been at it a few years.

 

snoopy311

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
348
1
I learned a long time ago with cigars that you cannot judge a cigar by smoking only one. You need to give the cigar brand a chance. Same with pipe smoking, try different pipes, drying conditions at different times and moods. After that if you still don’t care for the blend then cross it off your list. My two cents.

 

perdurabo

Preferred Member
Jun 3, 2015
2,943
435
Yep, don't you hate it when you buy a tin, enjoy the damn thing, order 4 more, open another, and the shit sucks!
I love the smell of Orlik Dark Strong, but by the end of the tin the stuff was lacking its charm. I may never open the other tin. On top of that I ordered Hienricks Dark Strong, Hope his stuff is better.
Just another look at the equation.

 

fuel52

New member
Mar 14, 2017
22
0
New Orleans, LA
How experienced a pipe smoker are you? The answer to this question is different for beginners and those who've been at it a few years.
Not experienced at all. Just started about a month ago. I've got about 8 different blends I'm currently rotating just about every time I smoke. I have noticed some getting better to my taste and some not.

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
4,633
300
East Indiana
If I hate it even just half way into the first bowl....into the trash it goes. If I'm on the fence after a couple of bowls, I'll put it away and come back in a couple of months, if I don't care for it the second time, into the bin it goes. If I'm still on the fence after the second go around, I might come back in a year, I have several blends that it took a year or even longer to come around to, either due to drying out or a little age, who knows, but if you don't dislike a tobacco, don't give up on it too soon. ALSO: If my wife hates the smell...into the bin it goes, I smoke indoors, so it behooves me to smoke blends that don't bother my wife. BTW, she likes the smell of Latakia, doesn't mind Perique and cannot really smell most Virginias, so my selections aren't limited, she has probably vetoed 5 tobaccos in the 19 years we've been together.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,576
466
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Somewhat similar approach to this issue as Mr Philobeddoe does, I'dont mind spending too much time wondering if I like tobacco or not , nonetheless, not jumping into hastly conlusions after just two bolws down,for instance,I experienced some bad moments with Apmhora original,but with the help of our highly estemeed member mr Jimiks I've gotten used used to this blend after finding out how properly handle this baccy and then its becoming one of my favorite ever-day blends along with Mc Biteys Golden extra.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
3
This experience is still so very fresh in my mind, so I'll give you my $0.02 worth.
After a month, you're starting to get the hang of identifying the flavours you prefer. If you're like a lot of us, that will change. Maybe not drastically, but it will change :)
Jar the blends that are not doing anything for you right now and come back to them in another month or two. As for the ones that you enjoy, smoke the crap out of them and keep building your "pipe smoking skills"
After a little more than 4 months, I've found that it takes me 3 or 4 bowls to really decide on any given blend that is close to what my favourites are. The big challenge is trying to figure out if you have any taste for a blend that is completely different than what you're used to.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,464
1,135
I went through a period of trying to find a blend that I could identify with, like cigarettes. I thought that I should find one blend as my smoke. Inversely, I wanted to learn to taste. The Catch 22 is that to learn to pull different flavors out of tobaccos, you have to have frames of reference to compare them to. But, to get those frames of references, you have to smoke lots of blends. I smoked more garbage looking. Dumped many a bowl. I kept thinking that smoke has no taste. Why are there so many blends that taste exactly the same. Then, one day, I started to think that A and B were similar to G and ad K, whereas E and F were more like M, N, O P... it'll come. You have to sort of grow into tasting. Just keep on trying lots of stuff. Having a B&M close by helps. Tobacco swaps helps also.

 

toobfreak

Preferred Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,365
0
I have a pretty good idea about my pipes, what they do, and how a blend ought to be prepped and packed, so, if the first bowl doesn't do anything for me, that is usually not a good sign, but I will give it several bowls adjusting for this and that just to be fair.

 

mawnansmiff

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2015
4,794
1
Sunny Cornwall, UK.
Sometimes one can tell right from the off that a blend is not going to work for you. Usually though it is best to do as mentioned above and try a blend in different pipes. I still find it quite remarkable that what tastes bland in one pipe positively sings in another.
Regards,
Jay.

 
Jun 25, 2016
211
1
My question is, what are yall's (sorry, I'm southern) routines when testing out a brand new blend? How many bowls does it take for you guys to determine if you like it or not? Any guidance here?
I don't have any routines, I just smoke it.
If I like it, I keep smoking it.
If I think it might work better in a different pipe, I try it.
If I don't like it, I figure out what might be the best thing to mix it with to make it smokeable. Tobacco is too expensive to throw away over here.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,705
1,085
Fuel, my advice to new pipe smokers is: Buy only in small quantities, an ounce or two at a time. Even if you like something a lot, your tastes will change. Save in jars any blends you don't like and try them again in six months or a year since, again, your tastes will change. Pay attention to what you are buying, and buy only blends that allow you to know the constituent tobaccos. Knowing this will make you more informed in your choices as you shop for new blends. Try different types, from aromatics, to English, to Virginias and Va./Perique, to burley blends, and so on. On most better-known blends, you can look up constituent tobaccos at online listings, and often get strength, room note, and taste, and in some cases a general idea on proportions. Usually the base tobacco is listed first, or as the general category for that blend. Make this an enjoyable project, taking in a little info at a time, so it's not a chore. I wouldn't buy more than a couple ounces of anything until you've been smoking a year or two.

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,538
177
United States
Also, Aros will wear thin at some point. Maybe not all but most. I have found that adding in a stronger, non-aro blend in small amounts changes them to something new and even complex that is imminently smokable in most cases. As pointed out above, never throw away tobacco. It can be redeemed in some form or another.

 
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