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Aromatics

(29 posts)
  1. quincy

    quincy

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    I'm pretty new back into pipe smoking. I have two tobacconists near me each about 45 minutes away. One has a better selection but not as knowledgable; the other tobacconist I think may be a wizard. He's warm and friendly and knows everything there seems to know. However, one thing I've noticed about both is that they seem to poo-poo aromatics. The wizard guy not so much, but the other tobacconist looks down his nose every time I come in and ask for a new blend that isn't English. Why do people look down their noses at aromatics? I love them! It's half the reason I smoke a pipe!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. taerin

    Eric

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    I've smoked aromatics, english, and virginia tobacco for the last 3 years, I can honestly say that I have never been disrespected for it by anyone including store owners, staff, and other pipe smokers for asking for them, although the ones at ever store that are not in a tin seem to be God aweful (no taste, all smell). The two brands of aromatics I stand by today (that have full flavor) are Boswells (have to order by phone) and CAO (Moontrance and Cherry Bomb).

    "The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
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    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. judcole

    Jud

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    although the ones at ever store that are not in a tin seem to be God aweful (no taste, all smell)

    That's why,in a nut shell.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. abram35

    abram35

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    The guy who taught me about tobacco once said, "I don't think that those who like aromatics really like tobacco." For me, aromatics is an artificial sweetener in your coffee. Virginias accomplish the same thing, only naturally.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. taerin

    Eric

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    I love them all, however Virginia tobacco is my favorite too (straight VA mostly) with my current being Full Virginia Flake. I am a big fan of variety, aromatics are great when I am in the mood, but mostly are for smoking around people, especially when I go to a friend's place. I have been allowed to smoke in rooms where the cigarette people were told to smoke outside! That was very cool.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. bigvan

    bigvan

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    Of the guys at a pipe show, very few smoke automatics. They're not looked down upon, but are considered to be for beginners.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. cynyr

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    Comes down to taste, in my book. After smoking menthol nails for twenty years, non-aros are dull and tasteless to me. I've tried plenty - EMP, Fusilier's, various Frogs, VAs, VaPers - they all taste the same. I ain't knocking them, it's just that my palate isn't sophisticated enough. (Or has been destroyed completely!)

    Funny enough, I really like codger burleys. Maybe there's hope for me.

    Anyway, smoke what you like. If my wit and charm isn't enough to impress new friends, they'll still take my money when I ask for Molto Dolce or Captain Cool.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    Aromatics have their place in the pipe smoking world, I believe, but I think most pipe smokers who have a wide experience with different tobaccos eventually begin to prefer higher quality tobaccos with less (or no) toppings used. Also, I think many aromatics are blended from somewhat lesser quality tobaccos and use the topping to cover this up to an extent.

    When a pipe smoker moves away from smoking a pipe because he likes the smell, to smoking the pipe because he likes the taste, he will usually move away from the typical bulk aromatics found in most tobacconists shops.

    A large number of high quality pipe tobaccos really do qualify as aromatic, some of these I enjoy quite a bit myself, and I really don't care for aromatics at all.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. quincy

    quincy

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    Yeah the CAO blends aren't bad. I've been working my way through Peterson Blends at the moment and find them enjoyable. I've also found a fondness for Presbyterian Mix. I picked up the pipe to get off cigarettes and I guess I've been enjoying smoking something completely different which is why I'm enjoying aromatics so far. I haven't bought too many bulks because of what others have said before about the the bulk aromatics being so bad and some burn so hot. I would love more suggestions for great blends of any kind!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. zonomo

    zonomo

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    Why do people look down their noses at aromatics? I love them! It's half the reason I smoke a pipe!
    As a new pipe smoker, I know this to be true but it's actually silly. That's like looking down on someone because they like blue and everyone knows red is better. Or like saying AC/DC is a great band but Prince sucks. Everyone has different tastes and even reasons for such things. To the haters I say... I like what I like and couldn't care less if you like what I like. Carry on....

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. fitzy

    fitzy

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    I would tell you absolutely to try Dan's Blue Note as well as Villiger's Mid-Day. Both are fantastic aro's. I would also recommend 1-Q and RLP from Lane Limited.


    Midwest Wood Creations
    Be sure to check out Gecko13's handiwork when in the market for any of your pipe accessory needs such as tampers, cabinets, pipe racks etc.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. antipodesman

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    Appreciation for aromatics in my case is acquired through slow practice and discrimination. I am a confirmed latakia lover. I have learned that not all aromatics are created equally and it is necessary to search for a mellow high quality blend that you like. I like Caramel Rush and Raspberry Cream. They should be smoked only in small bowls and perhaps only half full to get the best flavour. It is better to refill after 5 or 10 minutes than to smoke an aromatic after the bottom half has been baked. I don't smoke aromatics regularly but I do enjoy my favourites occasionally.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Sort of like Boswell, Pipeworks & Wilke is old school -- if you want Master Blender Carole Burns' outstanding hand blended super premium pipe tobaccos, you have to call her. http://www.vtpipes.com

    Here's four of Carole's aromatics to die for that I have in the cellar and reorder:

    Wilke #191
    Wilke Rumcake
    Wilke Nut Brown Burley
    Wilke #515

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. jwp159

    jwp159

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    "They're not looked down upon, but are considered to be for beginners."

    I was told this when I started out 20 years ago. So even though I enjoyed areo's I spent a long time smoking tobacco that I didn't like because " areo's are for beginners". After several years I said to heck with what the "pipe people" think and I went back to my beloved black cavendish and have been happy and content. So if you like Areo's then smoke them and enjoy it, everyone's taste is different and Areo's are not just for beginners, I have been at this 20+ years

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. drwatson

    drwatson

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    I once had something similar happen at a pipe store. A bunch of guys were sitting around and smokeing english blends..When I started talking to them about tobacco, they were like ahhh! A newbie! Hey I love most tobacco, there have only been a few blends, or blenders that I will turn away from. But i do think aromatics do get treated like the evil step child..Which is okay by me! just means I have more to choose from!

    John
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    After several years I said to heck with what the "pipe people" think and I went back to my beloved black cavendish

    I actually like a plain black cavendish myself, if there's no topping on it, and the tobaccos used to make it were very full flavored. Nothing at all wrong with a cavendish, in fact it's a processed cut that's perfect for the pipe, burns slow and cool and evenly. It's what they often do with cavendish once it gets to the blender or tobacconist that I take issue with...wet, goopy toppings that reek of vanilla or chocolate aren't my cup of tea. You can dry them out enough to smoke OK, but I like the aroma of tobacco. If I want to be bombarded with vanilla or cocoa, I'll snort some vanilla extract or eat a chocolate bar. When I'm smoking tobacco, I rather expect to be smelling tobacco.

    Now, having said all that, I still favor a few aromatics...Royal yacht is one I really like alot, though it's not an American style aromatic, which I mostly detest.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. captainbob

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    Lots of good sharing of opinions here. I think this is all about your personal taste "range" as well as preference. In my own case, I smoke exclusively the three blends that I created with Craig Tarler of C&D. But, that was after smoking just about everything (well, a great many blends) for over 45 years! Also, I made a study of what I smoked and learned all I could about tobacco and blending, because that was where my interest was. In the end, I have three blends that suit me perfectly and cover the "broad" range of my "personal" taste from Light English Aromatic to Virginia non-aro to Burley based light (modern-style) aro. But, that is me! Experience and preference will shape your tobacco profile. I dedicate several pipes to each my three specific blends. That works for me. And, I smoke all three blends every day. Thus, I do not tire my taste buds. I recommend smoking more than one blend and I recommend smoking numerous pipes and dedicating them to a specific blend while allowing drying time to those pipes in rest mode for a day or two.
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    Posted 1 year ago #
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    reap

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    I think two of the reasons aros aren't overly popular are, like mikephillips said, they do tend to smoke wet or 'goopy' and, as much as some people say nicotine has nothing to do with pipe smoking, aros tend to be minimal in the vitamin N department. I think if aros had more N in them, more people would seek them seek them out. Some people that might tend to enjoy them maybe seek out that natural tobacco flavour due to getting more kick out of those blends being former cig smokers etc. no one reviews a blend and says they've had that magical moment with a blend totally lacking N. I for one used to smoke and still dip and prefer a stronger N fix otherwise would be more willing to smoke aros and indeed would bulk up on captain black but sadly it doesn't meet the nic requirement. There's a reason tobaccos are scored for strength and aros are nearly always mild. For this reason I myself tend not to smoke aros and seek out more natural tobaccos without the added flavours. That being said I enjoy some Lat as much as the next guy.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. mikephillips

    mikephillips

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    I think two of the reasons aros aren't overly popular are, like mikephillips said, they do tend to smoke wet or 'goopy' and, as much as some people say nicotine has nothing to do with pipe smoking, aros tend to be minimal in the vitamin N department. I think if aros had more N in them, more people would seek them seek them out. Some people that might tend to enjoy them maybe seek out that natural tobacco flavour due to getting more kick out of those blends being former cig smokers etc. no one reviews a blend and says they've had that magical moment with a blend totally lacking N. I for one used to smoke and still dip and prefer a stronger N fix otherwise would be more willing to smoke aros and indeed would bulk up on captain black but sadly it doesn't meet the nic requirement. There's a reason tobaccos are scored for strength and aros are nearly always mild. For this reason I myself tend not to smoke aros and seek out more natural tobaccos without the added flavours. That being said I enjoy some Lat as much as the next guy.

    You know, I think you've probably hit the nail on the head. I freely admit that I much prefer a tobacco that has a solid kick in the ass (nigh nicotine) over some mild nancy-baccy that's all show and no go, and while I really do despise the stench and goopy badness of US style aromatics, a large part of my disdain for these is probably just as you say, they are, as a class, milder tobaccos. And looking back, those aromatics I do enjoy are stronger blends than you find in bulk at tobacconists. I guess it just never occurred to me to associate it that way.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    reap

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    Aros are (due to their inherent mildness) like a .5 beer. They might taste good but most people don't find them conducive to relaxing after work or kicking back on the patio. Flavour-wise they might be compared to a cider or cooler vs a more 'adult' flavour like a beer or whiskey. That being said I enjoy a cider in the summer but they are 5% so I'm not substituting taste for a good time.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. numbersix

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    Today there is definitely a stigma on aros, but I don't let the opinions of others control my behavior. My grandfather smoked aros his entire life (born in Ireland in the 1880s) and lived to a ripe old age of 92.

    To me, the joys of pipe smoking is to relax. I don't mind an English blend or a nice ol nic kick now and then, but a quality aro sometimes is very enjoyable.

    They're not looked down upon, but are considered to be for beginners.

    I am of the opinion that this is a new mindset. From what I can tell, many pipe smokers from an earlier era smoked aros just as much as non-aros. How many people (myself included) will tell you they can remember the pleasant aroma from their grandfather's pipe? So many seem to share this memory, that I am thinking aros were just as common as non-aros back in the day.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. numbersix

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    I think two of the reasons aros aren't overly popular are, like mikephillips said, they do tend to smoke wet or 'goopy' and, as much as some people say nicotine has nothing to do with pipe smoking, aros tend to be minimal in the vitamin N department. I think if aros had more N in them, more people would seek them seek them out. Some people that might tend to enjoy them maybe seek out that natural tobacco flavour due to getting more kick out of those blends being former cig smokers etc. no one reviews a blend and says they've had that magical moment with a blend totally lacking N. I for one used to smoke and still dip and prefer a stronger N fix otherwise would be more willing to smoke aros and indeed would bulk up on captain black but sadly it doesn't meet the nic requirement. There's a reason tobaccos are scored for strength and aros are nearly always mild. For this reason I myself tend not to smoke aros and seek out more natural tobaccos without the added flavours. That being said I enjoy some Lat as much as the next guy.

    +1

    Good points all around.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. quincy

    quincy

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    Do you guys have any recommendations for Virginia/Burleys? And can you give me an example of some of the natural aromatics that you were mentioning?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. jerry

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    I usually stick to English/Balkan blends, but to please my wife in the winter (windows closed) I began exploring aromatics. I highly recommend the blends from Pipeworks and Wilke, and there are SO many others that are high quality - like Hearth and Home, Peretti's, Uhle's, Steve Books' House of Calabash ... I'm finding the aromatic experience a very enjoyable change of pace.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Do you guys have any recommendations for Virginia/Burleys?

    IMO the absolute best Virginia/Burley is Solani Silver Flake.

    can you give me an example of some of the natural aromatics that you were mentioning?

    That depends what you mean, exactly, and what you are looking for. Jerry here, in the post above mine, lists what many consider (including me) believe are some of the best hand blenders in the USA. Off the top of my head, I'd add Iwan Ries and McCranie's.

    If I were you and serious about lassoing some blends that are in my wheelhouse, I'd check out http://www.tobaccoreviews.com to check out all the blenders Jerry listed, read what's said about their aromatic blends, take notes, and one you narrow it down, then call the blenders with blends that best suit your profile. Ask questions. Road test 1 or 2 ounce samples of the leading candidates.

    Sure, it takes a bit of time and effort, but IMO, it's the best way to actually find blends that really work well for you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. ghost

    ghost

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    My first ever meme!

    Seriously though, aside from Black House I still smoke primarily aromatics. 1Q and RLP-6 taste just fine to me, and as it's said on these forums every day, part of the joy of pipes is sampling different tobaccos. If you like it, it doesn't suck.

    Matt.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. ohin3

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    I like the concept of aromatic tobacco but the end product is rarely enjoyable. I think the masses are attracted to aromatic tobacco so like all things that lots of people like, they shifted over to the mass production paradigm. Mass production usually leads to a reduction in quality so that mass quantities can be produced cheaply and sell. The Lakeland tobaccos are a good example of high quality aromatic tobacco as are the Danish and Dutch varieties. I do like some of the W.O. Larsen aromatics and I do like Amphora. Both are high quality tobaccos with very nice tobacco tastes and smoking qualities that are lightly scented rather than steeped in some sort of sauce that is reminiscent of a glade plug in or a car air freshener. I do also from time to time take a high quality Virginia and blend in a third or less of some aromatic just because, again, I like the concept of aromatic tobacco but I want a high quality tobacco. As others have stated, however, I do agree with the idea that everyone should smoke what pleases them and don't give a frogs fat ass what others think.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. smokedragon

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    Nothing at all "beginner" about aromatics. My Granddad smokes aros, and so does my father. Pipe smokers in this day and age tend to have a specific mentality of "I do what I want, and I don't care what anyone else thinks." Smoking, pipe-smoking in particular has shifted away from the mainstream. Likewise, this mentality should be applied to all aspects of the pipe-smoking way of life. Find what you enjoy smoking, and smoke it. This way of thought is why I don't read reviews for tobacco or pipes. I find out names, try things, keep what I like, and remove what I don't. No one has ever looked down on me for smoking aros, and if they don't like'em good more for me. /end soap box

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. sjfine

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    I am an aro-guy. And, I am new to pipes. And, I think that the issue is less about the neo-paleo dichotomy than it is about the ignorance-knowledge dichotomy. I smoked cigars for a long time. I found my way around, starting with Macanudo and Drew Estate Naturals (viewed by many as "beginner" brands) and finding my taste in several higher-end and a few Cuban brands.

    When I first started smoking pipes, I started with English tobaccos because I thought that, given my taste in cigar brands, aromatics would turn me off. I was wrong.

    Latakia and perique make me ill. And this isn't because I am a neophyte, it is because I do not like them. And, I can't understand how anyone could. Then again, I can't understand how anyone could eat calamari, or Marmite.

    There are many cigar brands that make me ill as well. And, of them, few are viewed as "beginner" brands. I have tried a burley or two, and I didn't like them either. And, there are some aromatics that I despise.

    This is not to say that I will not keep trying. As time goes by, I may find that my tastes change. But, in no way will my tastes be based in anything other than trial and more trial. Without stigma. Without judgment. (Although, I have to admit that when I smell someone smoking an Acid cigar, I do feel somewhat...homicidal. I suppose that's what impulse-control meds are for.)

    Posted 1 year ago #

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