Why Don't You Smoke Meerschaums?

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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,940
105
Most Forums members seem to own and smoke at least a few Meerschaums, and some smoke them almost exclusively. Others may own them but don't smoke them, and others don't own them at all. I don't own any, and maybe I'll explain further down the thread, if there's some interest here. But if you don't own or smoke Meerschaum, why not? And if not, what do you own and smoke, mostly? At the outset, let me say I admire Meerschaum pipes and respect those who smoke them; I'm not anti-Meer. So what's your non-Meerschaum explanation? (Or praise 'em and explain why they're excellent.)

 

shaintiques

Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
3,590
29
Georgia
I have meers and smoke them but they are all aged already broken in pipes. I find that new fresh meerschaum has a soapy taste that I don't really like. Still I want a fresh one because they are so beautiful and I like the coloring process. The dilemmas of smoking.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,943
126
I enjoy the aroma of warmed briar, and what it adds to the blend. That is the pipey smell that I look for in a smoke. Plus, when I smoke, I may bang a pipe on something from time to time, empty it by banging it on the heal of my boot. Briar just takes more of a beating than a piece of soft rock.
I love the looks of a meer, and the way they color up, but they seem awful fragile. I've had one, but it broke rather quickly. I may get another one day, to smoke while surrounded by pillows and wearing soft gloves. But, I am in no hurry. They are cheaper than most pipes, so it would be nice to have at least one in the collection.

 

bluegrasspipe

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2017
596
0
I find that new fresh meerschaum has a soapy taste that I don't really like.
I agree with you Shaintiques, but as the break in, I really enjoy the clean flavor that you don't get from a briar sort of like a good clay tavern.

I bought this Tekin (with the help of Meerqueen) which he carved fresh for me, and I do love it. I especially like how light it is for clenching.

Also being able to smoke without resting has it's perks. I need an updated pic as it has colored nicely.


 

crashthegrey

Preferred Member
Dec 18, 2015
2,811
0
I acquired some clays really inexpensively and really only enjoy them as taster pipes for new tobacco and the occasional historical sentiment. I have no problem with meer, I just don't own one. I love briar so much that when I have pipe money, I tend to buy another briar pipe. I do have a raw block of meer that I may carve one day. I'd be interested in trying a meer, but the seeming fragile nature and price push me back to briar.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,406
177
Chicago, IL
I have 3 meers. The one I smoke almost exclusively these days was a Christmas gift from my dad, over 50 yrs. ago. It has colored so slowly that I don't want to devote any smoking time to the other meers and not see any of them fill in with color. Hopefully, this one will fill in before I see my dad again.



I hold little hope of ever seeing this figural color in.



As for the taste differences between meers and briars, the latter seem to have more character -- often a pleasant musty quality compared to meers -- but the meers are entirely satisfactory. Like Cosmic, I'm constantly aware that the meers are more fragile; and more than once I've considered what a tragedy it would be if, after all these years of patient coloring, the meer slipped from my old, arthritic hands, and shattered.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
1,971
26
You're going to pay a similar amount for a quality Meer that you do for a quality briar. I think briar smokes better. The Meer gets hotter to the touch. And the Meer is fragile. I would not be happy if I dropped a $300 Meer and looked down to see it in a dozen pieces.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,247
32
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
I have had two of them in my past , one of which was a real curb Calebass, both performed nicely but somehow the smoke itself tasted ,yes dry and cool,but at the same time it felt kinda weak, perhaps I oughta have stronger tobacco in them.One day I will get a new one once again,yet I'm a bit apprehensive in regards to standard mediocre looking stems on Turkish made Meerschaums.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
I don't smoke one simply because I don't have one at the present and short of a gift shop meer I picked up in Turkey as a child, I have never owned one. I have been meaning to get around to getting one since I took up the pipe but it kept getting knocked down my list for whatever reason. It's firmly the next acquisition on my pipe list though.

 

midwestpipesmoker70

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2011
351
0
IL
I have two meers and one calabash that is a meer bowl insert. One meer is shaped like a sailor face and the other is a flower that looks like a tulip maybe. The carved face feels odd in the hand and how a pipe feels in the hand is important to me. The tulip isn't as bad and actually feels fairly comfortable in the hand. They smoke ok but I really don't like the delicacy of them. I smoke the calabash more than the other two meers combined. I really like the way it smokes. Meerschaums are handy if you really want to taste the tobacco without the chance of ghosting and just getting a more true flavor. But in the end I just love briar. I love the feel in the hand and I love a nice grain.

 

chilipalmer

Member
Aug 24, 2017
131
2
Meerschaums...ahhhh..the lovely carved meerschaums...
I don't smoke them. Ever. I have had three over the years. They were lovely and smoked well, but, they are just not sturdy enough. I broke all three withing a few smokes and realized that I am just too rough on my pipes to be a successful meerschaum guy. :-D
Cheers,
Chili

 

voorhees

Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
3,559
39
Gonadistan
I love mine. I have one I smoke about once a week. Others about once a month. I do smoke some blends exclusively in them. No ghosting.

 

johnsteam86

Member
Jan 1, 2018
271
0
Just have not found one that really says yep I think I'll buy that one. I'll probably get about two or three and have a glass case made for them but right now still searching.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
Meerschaums are handy if you really want to taste the tobacco without the chance of ghosting
I often wonder how true this really is. I have encountered tobaccos that I feel certain would out-ghost a crematoriums furnace. It's is going to be the very first thing I test when I get one.

 

edwinbaz

Member
Aug 26, 2014
243
0
Puerto Rico
Why Don't You Smoke Meerschaums?
Poverty, mainly.

Half-kidding aside, I do have one pressed meerschaum pipe and it isn't a bad smoker. Being that a solid block should give a superior experience I plan to get a proper one in the near future.

 

davek

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2014
307
1
I do smoke meerschaums, Missouri Meerschaums. I am a low maintenance guy, I guess. I love clays and hardly smoke them anymore. I've gotten used to a pipe I can stick in my back pocket while doing yard work.
My most used briar right now is one I put together from the best parts in a bin of trashed briars. I have an I-phone one and don't care *too* much if I drop it. I've got expensive knives and carry budget knives.
I like more expensive stuff at home, but stuff I carry around is usually inexpensive value. I don't want to sweat it.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,540
139
Monterey Peninsula
I love my meets, but don't smoke them as often as my briars.

And taken within two minutes of the first one:


Anyone guess as to why they're different? (Damn, rotation not my idea. They show right side up on my desktop. And the aspect ratio has been messed with, so they are stretched a bit on one direction. (or compressed on the other!) (Ugh.)