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Did Anyone Have a Good First Smoke?

(37 posts)
  • Started 11 months ago by Hap
  • Latest reply from lordofthepiperings
  1. haparnold

    Hap

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    This post has me thinking back to my first smoking experience.It wasn't terrible, but it was a far sight from what it's like for me to smoke now. I was 15, smoking cavendish out of a cob, and of course I used about 27 matches per pipe and scorched my mouth with every puff of the pipe. But gosh, even then smoking a pipe was about the most enjoyable thing I'd ever done.

    Did anybody out there have a mythical perfect smoke the very first time? I'm willing to bet most of us got a pretty good scorching.

    De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum
    Posted 11 months ago #
  2. scloyd

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    My first smoke was Tinder Box Honey Maple in a Tinder Box basket pipe. I didn't taste any honey or maple and scorched my tongue. It was not a pleasant experience but I still enjoyed my first smoke.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. bassbug

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    I'm willing to bet most of us got a pretty good scorching.

    Raises his hand sheepishly

    Foolishly tried to keep the pipe lit by puffing harder and longer to avoid relighting

    It was a tough lesson to learn and I never did it again

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

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    It wasn't my very first smoke with a pipe. My very first smokes were ok, but I wasn't taking it very serious back in college. But, when I had my very first serious smoke in a pipe, I had a Turkish blend of RYO. And, it was absolutely fantastic. I smoked a whole half pound bag, as I was transitioning away from cigarettes. It wasn't till I switched to Captain Black that I ever got my first experience with tongue bite and burn.

    Michael
    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. seanv

    seanv

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    Nothing good about it. I quit after about five bowls.tried it again a year later and it stuck

    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. timt

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    Yeah, the first smoke was pretty good. I stood outside on a cool Minnesota November evening with a large bowl of Carter Hall. Was out there 45 minutes. Time flew.

    Tim
    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    I do remember it was a basket churchwarden and some random bulk Black Cherry blend (I'd venture to say it was probably a Sutliff bulk). I don't really remember how good or bad it was though, cause that was 15 years ago. I do remember the bowl that got me hooked on the hobby was a bowl of Peterson's Connoisseur's Choice paired with a glass of Bailey's Irish Cream on a nice spring evening.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. ignaciojn

    ignaciojn

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    Mine was abysmal.
    The awful technique I can cope with, but that chemical vanilla taste will haunt me forever.

    Ignacio
    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. warren

    warren

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    Neither my first cigarette, cigar, pipe, nor woman fully met my expectations at first. But, each and everyone made me want more.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. ignaciojn

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    Neither my first cigarette, cigar, pipe, nor woman fully met my expectations at first. But, each and everyone made me want more.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    My first smokes were good. I was fortunate to be shown how to prep, pack, etc by an experienced pipeman. But the experiences weren't even across the board. I had a couple of run-ins with tongue bite. I learned that different blends smoked differently and figured out how to adjust.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. jazz

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    My first smoke with the pipe was with a Peterson Kinsale XL15 and Dunhill's Nightcap that I had just purchased. After many years smoking roll your own cigarettes and the occasional cigar I knew immediately that I had found something I was going to stick with. I loved it and to this very day and despite so much more experience with the pipe it remains one of the best smokes of my life. It was intriguing and delicious in a savoury sort of way and I had no idea that smoking could be this good. I could not wait to find out what other tobaccos were out there for me to discover. I was also fascinated by the pipes and of course, I still am. I rarely smoke cigarettes now and am fine without them but I can't imagine life without my pipes and tobacco.

    Oddly, I don't seem to get along with Latakia blends anymore. They seem to irritate my mouth too much and they never used to. I keep meaning to explore more of the Latakia blends but with mental UK tobacco taxes, it's hard to justify purchasing tobacco that you stand a less than 50% chance of liking. I'm really a Virginia guy these days and my purchases tend to reflect it.

    I still have that Kinsale XL15 and it now only smokes Revor Plug which is also little odd because although listed as a Kentucky/Virginia I'm sometimes convinced that there is Latakia in that stuff and as previously stated it tends not to agree with me. If there are a couple things I'm certain of when it comes to pipe smoking it's that there are always contradictions and there are always exceptions to your rules.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  13. tavol

    tavol

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    For my very purchase I bought a MM Washington pipe a tin of EMP and a tin of SG balkan flake. For my first bowl I smoked the EMP and the bowl wasn't bad nor good infact it was fairly bland. However my second bowl which was the balkan flake was one of the best bowls of tobacco I've ever smoked, I smoked the rest of the tin and didn't have a bowl anything like as good as that first one.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  14. arvetus

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    My first smoke was a cigar after the birth of my best friend's first child. After he ran out the door of the office where we were both working, he called me a few hours later to say "It's a girl! Bring us some cigars!" So I stopped at the only store I knew to sell cigars and picked up a couple, along with the fixin's to get us started. We were 25 and never smoked a thing in our lives. Neither one of us had a clue what we were doing outside that hospital in Central Michigan, trying to puff away on a disgusting, cheap cigar. I don't even know what brand it was, but I'm sure it wasn't a Padron or Drew Estate.

    Over the years of kiddos being born, weddings, 4th of July parties and beach vacations, I began to like cigars on the rare occasion and get the hang of them. Then I got it in my head to try a pipe.

    My first pipe smoke was a few weeks ago with some 1-Q and even though I am barely shy of 40, I felt like that 25 year old kid not knowing a thing. Visions of being like my grandfather, cool and collected in his recliner, talking to his dogs...yet here I was on my own front porch, fumbling to make everything mesh together and it was quite frustrating and disappointing and tasted like hot ash and took me about half a box of matches to get halfway through the bowl before I gave up.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  15. haparnold

    Hap

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    Neither my first cigarette, cigar, pipe, nor woman fully met my expectations at first. But, each and everyone made me want more.

    Warren, that's pure poetry right there.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  16. mso489

    mso489

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    Not mythical, but pretty good. I bought a unique bent pot, probably made by Chacom, from Tinder Box that I still have, and some of their North Sea or Wilshire, which was probably 1-Q or another similar blend. What really smoothed the way was that my dad was an inveterate pipe smoker for years, decades, so all of the moves were ingrained. Little self-consciousness or uncertainty. So yeah, it was pretty pleasant.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  17. pipestud

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    Actually, I've never had a bad smoke with my pipes. My tongue will sure disagree with me though. My first smoke was in a new Stanwell second filled with the local tobacconist's homemade blend of Peach Brandy Cavendish that was soaking wet when I loaded up. I packed that sucker tightly to get as much tobacco in the chamber as possible and despite the tight draw, puffed like a freight train until they rushed me to the hospital and put my tongue in a sling.

    Pipestud
    Posted 11 months ago #
  18. workman

    workman

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    My first smoke with a pipe must have been in 1999. I had been on vacation in Turkey with some friends, and when I sobered up, decided to try the meerschaum I had bought. I thought it was very expensive. If I remember correctly it cost around 8.000.000 lira, which at the time equalled 20-25$ I had just finished school, was unemployed and had no idea about money or anything, really. Well, I crumbled a couple cigarettes into it and started puffing. It tasted like crap and would not stay lit and I just regretted having wasted 2-3 precious cigarettes. And then my little brother broke it and I didn't think about pipe smoking again till last year.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  19. johnscs

    johnscs

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    >

    Yeah ... very similar VERY first smoke here. I was 14 or 15 and the tobac was probably Sir Walter Raleigh or Amphor, but instead of a cob, the pipe was a really neglected rhodesian briar that my dad had apparently forgotten. I probably wasted 27 or more matches, too. And I remember TASTING almost nothing than the matches until I let them burn a little before trying to relight the tobacco in the bowl. No doubt, I ended up scalding the roof of my mouth, but once I got the hang of puffing that pipe, I started enjoying the taste, the aroma, and the feeling of the smoke. Hardly "perfect," but definitely pleasurable enough to make me want to pack a second bowl and become a pipe smoking guy.

    I'd have to say my first "mythical perfect smoke" took place a couple of years later, the summer before college, when I bought a no-name billiard for about $25 in a legitimate pipe shop (I still have that excellent pipe and smoke it often). The nice guy running the shop was smoking Lane's 1Q, and when he said I could get a free pouch of any tobacco I wanted with the purchase of my new pipe, I naturally wanted that quintissential blend. The shop guy made sure that I packed my new pipe properly and then guided me through the first and second light. Now THAT was a pretty perfect "mythical" smoke, which I still remember: Smooth, flavorful, and very satisfying. A whole new level of taste and richness compared to my amateur start.

    Thanks for inspiring a great memory!

    Posted 11 months ago #
  20. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    Nope.

    13ish, Dr. Grabow with a stinger, Captain Black, soggy, wet, hot, packed too hard, tongue hurt, miserable.

    That cycle proceeded for years. I'd buy a pouch. I'd try to smoke 5-8 bowls, and throw most of the pouch away. Then 2-4 years later, I'd do the same thing. Then 3 years ago, I set out to learn how to smoke a pipe. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos, then tried to put into action what I learned in the videos.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  21. wayneteipen

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    My first pipe was pretty awful. It was a local blend called Ginger Snap in a GBD zulu that bit me like a rabid dog. I wasn't sure from that point if I'd be able to enjoy it at all but I kept on and finally figured it out.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  22. ashdigger

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    Hell no!! I almost burned my face off. It's been almost 7 years and I still have 4 more reconstruction surgeries to go.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 11 months ago #
  23. chasingembers

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    Twenty-seven years ago I was experimenting with all tobacco products. With a pipe it was a Grabow Omega and Prince Albert Soft Vanilla. Other than not knowing to dry the tobacco and a bit of gurgle at the end of the bowl, it was satisfying enough to keep going.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 11 months ago #
  24. 5star

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    I came to the pipe after being a long time cigar smoker. My first bowl was CH smoked from a MM Legend bought in one of the few real pipe tobacco shops that remain in our region. I believe the first few bowls were occupied with the mechanics of everything. I do recall lots of re-lights. I believe I thought ‘There’s not a lot of flavor, compared to a cigar.’ Of course, this was because I had run the pipe too hot. As I learned to sip the pipe, I was able to pick up the flavors that I initially missed.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 11 months ago #
  25. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    Interesting that we generally have all had a terrible first experience, yet here we are. My first pipe story is very boring and has all the main talking points; wet tobacco, poor packing, terrible technique, yet there was something about it that drew me in.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  26. haparnold

    Hap

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    Interesting that we generally have all had a terrible first experience, yet here we are.

    Definitely. I think for me that first smoke was still pretty perfect in a holistic sense. I remember clearly sitting on a little hill by our barn lighting up my first smoke and feeling incredibly grown-up. The smoke itself was miserable, but the overall experience made me certain it wouldn't be my last smoke.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  27. newbroom

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    The first time I smoked Escudo. I think that first coin was treated so 'reverently' that not only did I enjoy the blend's superb and delicious flavors, but I made a leap forward toward understanding cadence.

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    1st time....was horrible. "Mixture No. 79" provided the smoke and a disgusting, full-bent Peterson knock-off was the pipe. Packed that "briar saxophone" tight, and lit matches until the tobacco reeked from sulfur. Then smoked away. Smoked until I turned green, and stuck my head in the toilet far too many times. Enjoyable? You're kidding, right? But, I was a wise-ass, sixteen year old man, and didn't give a flyin' crap how sick I got....I was going to smoke that damn pipe, and convince myself that I was cool. All that worked out, not so much.

    Eventually, years later, I started to actually enjoy pipe-smoking. Learning how to do it correctly, helped. Now, there're more years behind me than in front of me. I found Nirvana, finally.

    Frank
    NYC

    Posted 11 months ago #
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    mamaraewyn

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    I'm glad I could spark such a conversation.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  30. cigrmaster

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    I actually have no recollection of my first bowl of tobacco. I know that I used the first pipe I ever bought, a Savinelli and I know I was hanging out in my buddies cigar lounge. He showed me how to load and smoke a pipe and I guess it wasn't so bad as I began buying pipes and tobacco right off the bat. I did learn about tongue bite as I struggled trying to smoke blends with red Virginia. I would scorch my tongue on certain blends but not others and I had no idea why. In the beginning I gravitated to English blends as they didn't burn me like some straight Virginia's did.

    At the time I took up the pipe, I was a big cigar smoker and the only reason I took up the pipe was because a cigar buddy (hoosierpipeguy) worked me for over 2 weeks telling me I had to try it. If it wasn't for him, I really doubt I would have ever tried a pipe.

    Harris
    Posted 11 months ago #
  31. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    My first pipe smoke experience was kind of like my first sex experience. The tobacco/girl weren't all that great, both were too moist, I didn't pack either as tight as I should have, my cadence was too fast, the container got very hot, I finished too fast and I didn't really know what I was doing. Still enjoyed both quite a bit though, enough so that I still enjoy both to this day. Oh, that first tobacco was Borkhum Riff Whiskey so both had some alcohol in them.

    These days, the tobacco is much easier to obtain and it never complains or bitches at me.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  32. jpmcwjr

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    First bowl of tobacco- no memory thereof. First time with a girl, the bowl needed more prep time/work and yet it was spent in a short period of time.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 11 months ago #
  33. cajomu

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    At my age, I can barely remember if my last smoke was any good, and it was only three hours ago.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  34. jmsmitty6

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    I had been smoking premium cigars for several years and loved them. I happened to be in Gatlinburg, TN and wondered into the Gatlinburlier (I think that's the name) and the guy working in the shop sold me on the idea of the pipe. I bought a basket pipe (quarter bent rusticated rhodesian) and some goopy aromatic tobacco. See Pipestud's description for the rest. Since then, I've always wondered why tobacconists recommend aromatics for the beginner.

    Fast forward two years and I'm sitting in a cigar lounge and a distinguished gentlemen was sitting next to me was happily puffing away at his pipe. I struck up a conversation and told him about my struggles and we laughed. He told me to come back the next day with my pipe and he promised to help me out.

    As in all aspects of life, a good mentor is worth their weight in gold. I've enjoyed the pipe ever since.

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop smoking my pipe
    Posted 11 months ago #
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    sumusfumus

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    I laughed out loud after reading through some of the responses and recollections of "first encounters".....

    The anticipation, is always better than the reality.....

    Frank
    NYC

    Posted 11 months ago #
  36. drwatson

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    My first was horrible. Packed it way to tight. Had a cigarette notion that tighter was better.

    John
    Posted 10 months ago #
  37. lordofthepiperings

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    Interesting that we all had pretty much a bad first experience and are still here.

    I do remember that I didn't really stick with it after that first go. It was like I'd get into it for 6 months or so and then forget about it for 10 months or so. Finally in 2010 my then girlfriend caught me having a bowl and said, "Oh I didn't know you smoke a pipe. That's sexy", and so I was motivated to learn more about the hobby. That's when I checked out YouTube found Pearse aka DubInTheDam and was introduced to McConnell's Scottish Cake, Mac Baren Navy Flake, Mac Baren Vanilla Cream. I got good enough flavors from those to dedicate time to learning better cadence and technique. From there I hit up local B&Ms and found a few fellow pipers and met up semi-regularly with them. I really made leaps and bounds though going to the West Coast Pipe Show. Talking with master carvers and blenders I soaked up so much knowledge that made my pipe smoking so much more enjoyable. Now here I stand today a confirmed pipe and tobacco snob lol.

    Posted 10 months ago #

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