Pipes Magazine » Pipe Smoking Basics & Beginner Questions

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Confessions of a new pipe smoker

(14 posts)
  • Started 3 months ago by docrameous
  • Latest reply from docrameous
  1. docrameous

    docrameous

    New Member
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 15

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new hobby. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the input from the kind folk in this community. I have appreciated the help and the warm welcome. Contrary to some hobby communities on the internet, I have not experienced any snobbery to me being a new smoker. Also, searching the archives of these forums has been a treasure trove of information.

    So confession time. I bought a MM cob. I am happy about that and will probably stick with cobs for the foreseeable future. They are cool and I don't worry about wrecking it. I could foresee this being my main or even only pipes. We will see.

    I also bought some Lane BCA. I loved it the first time I smoked it. I had to relight multiple times, but it was an adventure. I think because it kept going out, I committed the common error I read on here and got a bit of a tongue bite out of it from puffing too much to keep it going. The second pipe stayed lit better because I changed my pack. The third, fourth and fifth packs were varied, but generally more rough.

    I am not fussed about relighting multiple times, but I have not yet established what is 'normal' yet. The BCA I have seems too wet, but as I am inexperienced I have nothing to base this on. So I have been experimenting with various dry times, packs, lighting methods and even popped some in the microwave for 5 seconds. I also don't know how much the atmospheric humidity makes a difference. In the last week as spring marches on, the relative humidity has begun to climb and I am wondering if that is a factor.

    I am beginning to think, as posted in another thread, of getting another cob and trying another tobacco to have something to compare against. I read in several places that BCA is a good beginner's tobacco and I can see why as it is wonderful when it is lit, but bigger picture I also see that maybe aromatics is not the best place to start.

    So my thinking is to try something like Prince Albert. I have read it is pretty tolerable to packing and likes to stay lit. If doing this allows me to perfect my technique and also begin to understand what is 'normal', then it might help me manage my expectations and the way I smoke BCA.

    Thoughts or advice? Is Prince Albert a good place to go next, or should I bang on with BCA? Again, I like BCA, but have nothing to compare to and my lighter is definitely getting a good work out!

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. sasquatch

    sasquatch

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 978

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yeah Prince Albert or Carter Hall will be a different experience, and quite likely better.

    You are right to not worry about relights or focus on smoking every crumb - smoke slow, enjoy the flavor, don't worry about stuff.

    That said, lots of tobaccos are too wet and/or treated with humectants that make them difficult to smoke - I think a lot of us had a "wake up" when we tried some or other tobacco (I would recommend Early Morning Pipe but it's not really around any more) that actually is happy to burn and not just be a soupy mess! Hopefully the Prince will do that for you.

    It's a long journey of trial and error, learning each pipe and each tobacco and pairing things up successfully more and more often, and getting better at the processes of packing, smoking, tamping, etc as you go.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 18,229

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have not experienced any snobbery to me being a new smoker.

    Good to meet you. I don't usually snobberate people for just being new smokers. That would be silly. There are all sort of other reasons for snobbery that will come up, I am sure.

    Make yourself at home, just don't stand too close to me with those Lane aromatics. JK, ha ha... no I mean really, stand over there.

    Michael
    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 26,347

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Keep the quantities of tobacco small for a year or more. Jar even the ones you don't like, since your tastes will change. Three or four blends should hold you for a while, to compare. Take it slow, and make sure to enjoy it, which is the point.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. daniel7

    daniel7

    Senior Member
    Joined: Sep 2018
    Posts: 313

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    In my opinion just buy Orlik golden sliced or Capstan blue. Those are nice mild blends, I like them much more than Prince Albert.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 13,875

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I also recommend getting a tin of Capstan Blue Flake. It is a great blend that has nice sweetness and comes at the perfect humidity for smoking. Read up on how to smoke a flake tobacco. Just because you are new, it doesn't mean you cannot jump in with both feet.

    Harris
    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. User has not uploaded an avatar

    tkcolo

    Junior Member
    Joined: May 2018
    Posts: 86

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I grab cobs on the road and in the tractor, because I don't have to stress out it. I love PA in a cob. The only thing I can smoke all day. I almost never do that at my desk though. Everytime I smoke a quality flake is a cob, I stress out some about not being able to smoke the last bits. But that's dumb, because you aren't supposed to smoke everything to the bottom.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. chilipalmer

    chilipalmer

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 131

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Docrameous wrote,

    Thoughts or advice? Is Prince Albert a good place to go next, or should I bang on with BCA? Again, I like BCA, but have nothing to compare to and my lighter is definitely getting a good work out!

    Hi, Doc, and, welcome to the world's greatest pastime.

    As a new pipe smoker, there's an entire world of experiences waiting to be explored. Lane BCA isn't a "beginner" tobacco. It's just one of the best selling tobaccos around and nearly all pipers will try it at least once. There is no requirement to smoke more than one blend or, if you do like variety, there is no requirement to smoke a set number regularly. The best rule to follow is experiment and pay attention to what you like and don't like and do what makes you happy.

    To your specific question about Prince Albert, I'd say try it. It will be a change for you because it isn't a heavily flavored blend, like BCA. Personally, I am not a fan of PA and would suggest Sir Walter Raleigh as an alternative but you may find you like PA. If you don't, try something else. It's no sin to try a blend and not like it. If you try something and don't find it particularly to you liking, save it and try it again in the future because you're tastes may change. The main thing is to keep trying new things until you're satisfied with what you have and then, sit back, and focus on enjoying.

    Cheers,

    Chili

    “Pipe: a primary masculine symbol with authoritarian overtones but also indicative of reliability and contentment.”
    -The Dictionary of Visual Language, 1980
    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7,493

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I also don't know how much the atmospheric humidity makes a difference.
    It can make a huge difference. It's been humid in North Texas as we've had a lot of rain recently. About a week ago I let an aromatic sit out for about 12 hours and there was no noticeable change in the moisture level of the tobacco. After loading a pipe, I still had enough to sit out for another 24 hours and there was little change. A few days later, I let a not so moist tobacco sit out for a while before I loaded a pipe and the tobacco seemed to have become more moist. In cases such as these it's best to use some heat when drying your tobacco, whether you microwave it for a few minutes, or as I prefer, heating it on a paper towel or filter on a coffee cup warmer.

    I also see that maybe aromatics is not the best place to start.
    I believe aromatics are definitely not the best place to start. But I also consider BCA to be one of the few exceptions to that rule. Being a straight black cavendish it tends to burn cooler than most. It was one of my first blends and I don't believe I've ever gotten tongue bite from it. I would recommend letting it dry for a bit before loading the pipe though. And make sure you're not packing too tight. Often, when you're fighting to keep a blend lit, it's because it's packed too tight and you're not getting a good draw. If you're fighting to keep it lit, you're more likely to burn your tongue.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. olkofri

    Olkofri

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2017
    Posts: 2,168

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    If you're into Lane's tobaccos, I'd try HGL next—it's a nice English aromatic that packs and burns well. You might also want to try 1-Q; sure it's an aromatic, but if you learn to smoke aros well, you'll be able to smoke anything—it's like learning to drive a standard: you automatically can drive an automatic, the converse is not true.

    I don't care for BCA. It smells nice off the tin, it takes forever to dry, it packs well, it stains your fingers and leaves them smelling fishy, it tastes great and once you blow out the smoke it leaves a Big Chemical Aftertaste on your tongue. Ugh.

    I'd try Hearth & Home's Prince Andrew or Chatham Manor instead of PA or CH. They're matches for the latter, sans the chemical additives. You can get them at Pipes & Cigars dot com.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 3 months ago #
  11. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2016
    Posts: 3,212

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @,Nice to meet You,Docrameous, If You like Burley forward blends it might be worthwhile trying some pretty decent quality imported OtC's such as Amphora Original, Burley and Mc Baren Golden Extra ,all aforementioned are a product of McBarens company.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. docrameous

    docrameous

    New Member
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 15

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks everyone for the advice. I will look up all these tobacco suggestions on tabaccoreviews.com (Carter Hall, Orlik Golden Slice, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lane HGL & 1-Q, Prince Andrew, Catham Manor, Amphora Original, Burley and Mc Baren Golden Extra)

    @cosmic - Love your sense of humor!

    @anthonyrosenthal74 - I am in northeast Texas, so I am glad to hear that humidity is a factor. It just seems there's a noticeable difference as I do all my smoking on the back porch.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. ray47

    ray47

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2015
    Posts: 1,182

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    When I started out smoking a pipe 52 yrs ago it was Prince Albert in a corn cob pipe. The experience was so good I stuck with pipe smoking till this day. Of course I've branched out since that day and smoke all genders of pipe leaf. I still keep some Prince Albert around and smoke it every week. One blend I've found that has become my favorite is Cornell & Diehl's Pegasus. It's similar to Prince Albert in some ways, only a few steps up. If I were to recommend a blend to a newcomer it would be Pegasus. It's a Burley/Virginia with a touch of Black Cavendish. It has a slightly less then medium nicotine hit, but that may vary with you according to your nicotine tolerance. It smokes great in a cob and I smoke it in a cob most of the time. But remember, always keep some BCA and some Prince Albert on hand.
    http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/1588/cornell-diehl-pegasus

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. docrameous

    docrameous

    New Member
    Joined: May 2019
    Posts: 15

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @ray47 - thanks... I'll definitely add this to the list. Very interesting!

    Posted 3 months ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   mossdoug, pianopuffer, brooklynpiper, krizzose, pipeanddrum, frankrem, dontbeaburleyman, yuda, trouttimes, alaskanpiper, jpmcwjr, prndl