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Do you actually TASTE what you're smoking ?

(20 posts)
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    caa55

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    Hello,
    Still fairly new at this. I have tried several tobaccos; several OTC'ers and a few purchased at tobacco shops (a few aromatics, OTC burleys, 3 virginias, 2 english). Even got one tin (a Mac Barren Va). Bottom line is I don't seem to be able to taste what I'm smoking. I enjoy the aroma after exhaling but I experience little in the way of actual taste/flavor during the whole process.

    Perhaps it has to do with insensitive taste buds or my breathing (or lack thereof) while puffing/sipping.

    So Do you actually TASTE what you're smoking ?

    What are some Burley's, Virginia's, Aromatic' (not overly fond of latakia) you'd suggest that will REALLY enhance my tasting experience?

    Thanks for any advice.
    chuck

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. arno665

    arno665

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    A friend of mine once wrote an interesting story about "tasting what you are smoking" on my blog: Who’s afraid of chemistry? (by Paul)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. ray47

    ray47

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    I always taste what I'm smoking, but then I've been smoking a pipe for over 30 yrs and my mouth has been conditioned. I may not be able to discern each tobacco in the blend but I do get the flavor from the overall blend. There have been some blends that I've smoked that seem like I'm smoking just air and I haven't returned to those. Some blends don't taste like the tin aroma but they do taste good. Some blends you may get some flavor from are:

    C&D's Autumn Evening (aromatic)
    Lane Limited 1Q (aromatic)
    Lane Limited BCA (aromatic)
    McClelland's Red Cake 5100 (straight Virginia)
    C&D's Pegasus (Burley/Virginia)
    Boswell's Pennsylvania Dutch Treat & Berry Cobbler (aromatics)
    Middleton's Carter Hall (Burley/Virginia)
    C&D's Old Joe Krantz (Burley/Virginia/Perique)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. perdurabo

    perdurabo

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    It's like wine and Absinthe tasting its in the nose and the tongue. The nose picks up the majority of the flavors. That's how I see it anyway.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. mso489

    mso489

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    The answer is yes. I'm not too much interested in nicotine per se, though it can be pleasant when encountered. I don't smoke for that. Taste, smell, yup.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. stickframer

    stickframer

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    My guess is your palate will develop along the way and you'll begin to taste what your smoking.
    As you smoke ask yourself if you can taste anything. Is there spice, nuttiness, maybe some citrus or grassy flavors?

    Also I find that smaller sips of the pipe yield more flavors than puffing away like a train. Best of luck.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. blackbeard

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    ^ Agree completely with mso489.

    I've said it before....if you REALLY like cherry. Bjarne Viking Erik the Red tastes like it smells, and is quite strong. Though it's not for me; some people really enjoy it. Suppose you could always try that for an aromatic.

    Who is John Galt?
    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. fmgee

    fmgee

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    Think about eating you favourite meal with a blocked nose. It does not taste the same or nearly as good as when you nose is fully functional. Pipe smoking is the same way. You need to get the nose involved with retrohale. Then the technique and palate can develop and suddenly a world a flavour opens up.

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    caa55

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    Thanks for the input guys. At least now I know what I should be expecting or hoping for. I think there may be several things going on. First I probably don't have the keenest sense of taste but I'm not totally void of it. Based on I may need to steer toward tobaccos of more intense flavors.

    But as pointed out, I think my main problem is my nose is not part of my smoking method. Maybe retrohaling is what I need to fully develop.

    Along those lines, I actually wrote what I'll paste below (in quotes) in the Beginners forum but haven't received any responses. If you don't mind, perhaps you could enlighten me a bit with your thoughts regarding:

    "Because of my motivation to NOT inhale the smoke, I tend to cease breathing thru my nose while I'm gently puffing in/sipping the pipe. This lack of breathing during the input of smoke seems to be unnatural.

    Is that standard technique or should one be actually inhaling with the nose while simultaneously gently puffing/sipping the pipe?

    Side note: i have experimented with inhaling thru the nose with pipe inserted which creates a 'draw effect' in the mouth thus allowing smoke in without actually puffing/sipping the pipe. My concern was the smoke would go too far back in throat. So is this the preferred method ?"

    Thanks again for any insight.
    chuck

    Posted 3 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    I have a few experiences from my "beginner days" just last year that might be helpful.
    First, I find it hard to believe myself but I actually didn't taste anything on my first bowl of 1-Q. I really have no clue how or why, but I smoked a bowl, marked it as unremarkable, came back a few months later and tasted marshmallows. The only logical explanation I can think of is that I was smoking it entirely too hot, which will significantly reduce flavor, or my tastebuds simply needed time to adjust (aromatics don't get stronger with age so I know it wasn't that).
    Secondly, the "English" blend that I started with was probably a light English and somewhat unremarkable.
    I actually asked for something with lots of Latakia while visiting the only local tobaccanist within a thousand miles (bless them), but what they gave me was a far, far cry from any Pirate Kake or Nightcap, or even most ordinary heavy Latakia blends. That it was a "House Blend" doesn't make things any easier (I would have some strong words for the person who started that trend). It's a small shop so maybe they literally didn't have anything at the moment or maybe the guy at the counter was new, I don't know, but that experience scared me off of Latakia for six months until my insatiable curiosity demanded that I buy a bag of blending Latakia just to experiment. Good grief was I missing out.

    The key point here is never dismiss a tobacco, and especially a tobacco group, based on initial impressions.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. chasingembers

    chasingembers

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    Been at it for 24 years, and definitely taste it. Try something with dark fired Kentucky- Old Dark Fired, Bold Kentucky, Dark Strong Kentucky, etc. Those should definitely let your tongue know how good a pipe can taste.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 3 years ago #
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    frozenchurchwarden

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    http://www.glpease.com/Articles/BreathSmoking.html

    Read this, it's very helpful.

    I normally avoid getting smoke near my nose because too much makes me stuffy the next day. Latakia smells wonderful but it's a fine balance. I'm pretty sure the retrohale is not for everyone.

    If I'm not expelling smoke through the pipe then I just exhale out my mouth to clear the smoke out. My version of the retrohale is just to sort of (very, very lightly) kiss the pipe a few times and leave my mouth open a crack so the smoke wafts out and up past my nose (while holding my breath), and then I exhale through my nose to clear the smoke out so I can start regular breathing again.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. chasingembers

    chasingembers

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    +1 on the breath smoking technique

    And to add to frozenchurwarden's link...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o8Sfg6EH9k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    RIP Alan, our departed brother of the leaf.

    Yes if you smoke slowly and enjoy the smoke, you will taste certain nuances of the tobacco. Everyone has a different experience with the same tobacco.

    Chris

    Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” One of the reasons behind this statement is that pipe smoking is meant to be a slow leisurely activity. It takes patience to smoke a pipe. Unlike cigarettes and cigars, there is a certain amount of technique to smoking a pipe. Where cigars and cigarettes can just be picked up, lit and puffed on, pipes require the development of a technique in order to get the best smoking experience.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. samanden

    samanden

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    ^^ That's a pretty good video, chasingembers. What he isn't saying, I think, is that breathing through your pipe involves a balance between the mouth, pipe, AND nose. That is to say, I find myself breathing through my nose AS I'm drawing and blowing smoke in and out my pipe. That's one way to keep your breathing steady, too. Additionally I, at times, release smoke from my mouth instead of through my pipe. When he says, "breath through the pipe every other breath," I believe what he isn't saying is that alternate breaths of smoke should be release from the mouth, not through the pipe. You see from the video he occasionally releases smoke from his mouth.

    I like to clench my pipes and found myself doing this breath-through-the-pipe "technique" before I even knew it was a thing. It takes practice; become one with the pipe and all that jazz...

    ~Slow and steady wins the taste.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. disinformatique

    The Pipe Monk

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    A little recommendation on tobaccos

    Rattray's
    Marlin Flake & Bagpiper's Dream,

    GLP
    Six Pence, Westminster

    McClelland
    Frog Morton, Frog Morton On The Town, Frog Morton's Cellar

    Cornell and Diehl
    Autumn Evening, Star of the East, Billy Budd, Old Joe Krantz, Night Train, Pirate Kake

    There are so many good tobacco that I am afraid will become a long list, but you can start with a few of these. Make sure to read about them over at tobaccoreviews.com

    Cheers,
    Chris

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    He did mention an aversion to Latakia, which would rule out Pirate Kake for starters! (ca. 75% Latakia, which I love). Some others, too, but not sure which ones have real Lat. components.

    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 3 years ago #
  18. hakchuma

    hakchuma

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    I think the first time I actually really starte to taste pipe tobacco was with Mississippi River tobacco. It was sort of like a light bulb going off over my head. Sure Latakia has a taste but I always just sort of equated it to smelling camp fire. The Mississippi River blend taught me how to taste the hay like flavor because I was so used to aromatics I was not seeing the trees in the forest kind of thing.

    The blend really blew the doors wide open for me. All of the sudden I was tasting all the subtle differences in blends and tobaccos. It wasn't until just last month I finally nailed down the taste of orientalis, which is funny because weeks prior to that I was talking to my wife and told her that the orientalis are the ones that seem to still escape me and I just could not identify them if my life depended on it. Now it's so obvious that it surprises me it took so long.

    Once I was able to identify these things my senses now dig even deeper and am rewarded with much more incredibly flavorful smokes which is really based more on perception than the blend itself. It just gets really fun and makes me happy I am now capable of enjoying so many blends. Prior to pipe smoking I chewed Kodiak and Kodiak only, nothing else and I did it for the nicotine only. The pipe smoking hobby has almost completely took out my chewing habit. As strange as I may sound by saying it, I think it has even enlightened me in some way.

    "From tempers be it known that we are warm in the fields of battle and cool in the hours of debate"

    - Pushmataha, Choctaw Chief
    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. blackbeard

    Tyler

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    I feel I need to make another note here on a tobacco. Possibly the most uniform smoke I've had so far (which really isn't saying a lot as I'm relatively new.) Out of Office - Gone Fishin' is really nice in a cob with a new smoker. No matter how hot, how fast you smoke it, or how many relights....it always seems to remain the same. Caramel, smooth, and no bite. It's mellow but has a good taste to it if you're looking for a sweet treat in aromatics and it's pretty inexpensive at 5 dollars a tin.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. pipebuddy

    pipebuddy

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    It took me a while before I could start perceiving the various "flavours" in a pipe tobacco. Still to this day, almost 30 years later, my ability to taste is somewhat limited. I can tell if the tobacco is sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, smoky, peppery. Also, if it's earthy, woodsy, "raisiny", "figgy", "winy" hay-like, etc. Basic stuff, finally.
    What matters above all, though, is if I enjoy the tobacco, or not.

    "Tobacco is my favorite vegetable". Frank Zappa (Yeah, baby; yeah!)
    Posted 3 years ago #

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