Pipes Magazine » Pipe Tobacco Discussion

Search Forums  
   
Tags:  No tags yet. 

Do You Keep a Tasting Journal?

(24 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by rmbittner
  • Latest reply from redbeard
  1. rmbittner

    rmbittner

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 2,177

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I've never been able to keep a diary, but for some reason I began keeping a tobacco journal ever since I first started with the pipe, back in 1980. If you only smoke a handful of blends, there's probably little need. But I've always enjoyed exploring a wide range of blends and styles. And it's interesting to go back and see what I wrote about a particular blend when I was a fairly ignorant beginner (Example: My total description of Balkan Sobranie: "Rich, English-style non-aromatic; heady aroma"!) and compare it to how I'm tasting blends these days. I also love the fact that my memory of so many "lost" blends has been preserved in this journal.

    Whenever I open a new-to-me blend, I note the blender/blend in my journal, along with the date and any relevant/fun facts about the tin (the age, where I picked it up, etc.). I also give each blend a number, so I always have a running total of how many blends I've tried. Then after I've had about 10 bowls, I just write a paragraph or two about what I think. Sometimes I mention the weather or if I'm traveling; it's nice to look back at a blend and remember that I first tried it while away on a trip to Denver, or whatever.

    BTW, I do all of this in longhand, in a notebook I inherited from my father. (It's the only handwritten thing I do.) The only thing I don't like about this is seeing how badly my handwriting has deteriorated over the last 30 years!

    This might be too anal-retentive for some of you, I know. But I thought it was worth mentioning, especially since I find myself frequently rereading it and referring to it when I'm recommending blends here.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. numbersix

    numbersix

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 5,671

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    This might be too anal-retentive for some of you, I know. But I thought it was worth mentioning, especially since I find myself frequently rereading it and referring to it when I'm recommending blends here.

    hehe. I know just what you mean. I have one - except it's in database form.

    I have a general search field and a menu of various topics, such as pipes, tobacco, etc etc. I also have all of the pipes I've purchased, including dates, price paid, and a photo.

    I know this is going over board for most people, but it's the way I am. The good part about it is in just a couple of seconds I am able to look up any tobacco and remind myself what I paid and what I thought of it. I've tried too many now to keep track of any other way.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. sothron

    Perique

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 2,823

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    No. But I used to for wine. This is a good idea. Thanks.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. judcole

    Jud

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 3,808

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I started doing one in 2003, when I picked up the pipe again after years of nothing but cigars.

    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 #
  5. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 8,037

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I am like Rain Man when it comes to blends I have tried and what I thought of them. I am also the same way with sports statistics. I cannot tell you what I did three days ago, but I can remember what I paid for a tin back in 2001 and if I liked it or not. I am far too lazy to keep a journal or data base. When I had my huge cigar collection, I was also able to commit to memory where I bought a cigar, what I paid for it and I even remember the exchange rate if it was in British Pounds or Spanish Pesetas or Swiss Francs. I do amaze myself at times because my short term memory is for crap.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. zonomo

    zonomo

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2012
    Posts: 1,618

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I tried to do this but i didnt stick with it. But i have recorded every pipe i've purchased, the date, where i bought it and how much. Thats a bit of a scary number at this point.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 15,063

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I never did this -- with either pipe tobacco or cigars. I'm much like Harris in this regard; it's all in my head -- and as you can probably tell from some of my posts, I know I tend to pontificate of the top of my head 'way too much.

    All that said, I can very well see how immensely useful a journal can be.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. dochudson

    dochudson

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 1,024

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    never do it for software but do keep a spreadsheet for hardware.. pipes, guns, bamboo rods, fly reels, electronics. The usual stuff like where/when/$$$/serial number, I also link a scanned receipt and a picture

    I Enjoy Aromatics
    I Enjoy Peterson Pipes
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. dervis

    dervis

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2012
    Posts: 1,670

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Nothing for pipes, but do have over 60 years (grandfather started it then dad now me) of Fishing Journals. Weather, Date, Time, Conditions, and the like. Slowly getting them typed up. Seriously when I move these journals take their own 2 suitcases. I really should start that for tobaccos.

    "You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. "

    John Wayne
    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. smokeybear

    smokeybear

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 2,281

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm new at pipe but I am interested in starting a journal can you guys give me an example of what you write like did you develop a point system or a set of criterias?


    A Great Storm No Matter How Great, Will Always Pass.
    But The Clam After, Is What You Must Master, In Order For Life To Last.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. bronxbill

    bronxbill

    New Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 37

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Been smoking a pipe since the early 1960's; never kept a journal or wrote anything down. Probably should have, I can't even remember what I used to smoke in those days other than Carter Hall or Prince Albert. I know I smoked those because I worked for RJ Reynolds in those days and got them for free.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. yadan

    yadan

    Senior Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 363

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Jud said:
    "I started doing one in 2003, when I picked up the pipe again after years of nothing but cigars."

    I've had a similar experience; I alternated pipes and Habanos for over 30 years, and maintained dedicated cigar journals. There was room to paste the cigar ring, detail the cigar and describe the occasion. When I browse through the journals every so often, it's nice to see a tangible souvenier that conjures up memories. So the idea of a pipe journal is an appealing one, although I wonder just what you could paste in it!

    "I'm always easy to please since I'm always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. User has not uploaded an avatar

    instymp

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 1,335

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Yes, hand written in a little version of a "composition book".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. cedeks

    cedeks

    Junior Member
    Joined: Nov 2012
    Posts: 65

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I only keep a spreadsheet of my pipes with basic info: name, date of purchase, dimensions, bowl size, weight, type of tobacco, etc... but nothing for tobacco. Although I tend to read reviews from tobaccoreviews.com before trying any new blend. Having different opinions helps in having good idea about what to expect. If the blend is worth or really bad I add my review there so I can check it out later...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. captainprophesy

    captainprophesy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2012
    Posts: 1,322

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have tried off and on over the past 20 years of smoking a pipe... never sticks. I guess Im too lazy to keep it up

    I carry a gun... because a cop is too heavy!
    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. rmbittner

    rmbittner

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 2,177

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    smokeybear:

    My journal isn't based around any kind of ratings system. It's a narrative. At the risk of boring you, here's an example from my journal of a complete entry, this one for Presbyterian Mixture:

    ===================

    77. Presbyterian Mixture (2/2007)
    I don't think I've ever had to experiment so much to bring out the true character of a blend. But with effort, this one came alive.

    The mental picture brought to mind here is one of -- to play off the name -- dark walnut pews and deep, worn curtains.

    Initial flame brings wafting dark orientals to the fore, with a toasted kind of tangy bitterness that I really liked. Midway through, the equally toasty-tasting Virginias duck in and out, never overtaking the orientals completely but sometimes melding with them. Near the end, the orientals again dominate, with a slightly bitter, slighty sooty finish.

    It took work, though. As tinned, the blend is quite moist, and it benefits from 15-20 minutes of drying. It's also very choosy about how it's packed. Recent Pease blends have got me in the habit of packing tightly, but that won't work here. Even with a lighter-than-usual pack, this one refused to a be a 3-match smoke -- requiring 4 or even 5 lights to finish off the bowl.

    While I very much appreciated the orientals, I do miss somewhat the interplay of orientals with latakia, of which there is only the slightest presence here. Even so, Presbyterian offers an interesting contrast to the brighter orientals typical of the Pease Balkans [which I had been smoking a lot at this time].

    (The above was based on roughly six bowls, in a Comoy bent and a Castello straight. Of these two pipes, the Castello yielded the more flavorful smoke.)

    ====================

    Not all of my entries are that expansive! Sometimes, it's just a couple of sentences. But when I'm in the mood, I give each blend whatever space I feel it calls for. And it's even okay if I get pretentious or overly poetic; after all, this is just for me.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. yadan

    yadan

    Senior Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 363

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    rmbittner, I don't think your entry is either pretentious or overly poetic - it's just good writing, which seems to be a rarity nowadays.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. smokeybear

    smokeybear

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 2,281

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    +1 that is a very well writing entry I got drawn in reading it thank you for the example.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. foggymountain

    foggymountain

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2012
    Posts: 2,387

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have never kept adequate records of anything. But some guys keep books like that about women. And probably some women keep such records as well. Just imagine some of their entries: "Likes expensive restaurants but is boring." "Stay away, a total animal." "Not as stupid as he looks, but smells bad." "Cheap schmuck. Took me to McDonald's."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. winton

    winton

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 1,468

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I keep a spreadsheet on every tank of gas I put in my vehicle. I know exactly how much MPG I am getting. Also I have 20 years of Quicken data.

    Winton

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. sothron

    Perique

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 2,823

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Reminds me of wine. Perhaps I can be a tobacco snob:

    "A blend of no particular pedigree, but I was amused by it's pretention. While of little long term significance to the gentleman, It may impress if only for it's gumption in the face of unfortunate breeding."

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. atboth

    atboth

    Junior Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 57

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    A short while after I started my blog in 2005 I posted something about tobacco. Then a month or so later I did a comparative tasting of various Pease blends with a view to stockpile, as Marty Pulvers was selling his store. I turned my thoughts into a blogpost, of course. Over time the blend reviews and general pipe-related gibbering started to add up.

    Then in January 2010 one of the owners of Grants on Market Street asked if there was any easier way to get at my tobacco posts than wading through all the other weird garbage, so I started an index ("Big Heap of Tobacco"). Over 150 more or less pipe related posts so far, with several articles that might be called reviews.

    So it's not really a tasting journal, more like a record of smoking. And stimulation.

    As well as a prime example of self-obsessed club bore.

    Over 150 posts listed as of this writing. Some more boring than others.

    -----ATBOTH
    Boring wafflegab about tobacco.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. gecko13

    gecko13

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 866

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @Winton, That's awesome. Lol. I wish I had the discipline to do that. I have envelopes of gas receipts that I write mileage on, but I never could get myself to consistently input the data.

    I have kept a log on and off over that past 30 years, but there are huge gaps.....say 10 years here and there. It is fun however to read back over and see how your opinion/tastes have changed.

    "To Learn Who Rules You, Find Out Who You Can't Criticize" Voltaire

    "The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected..."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. redbeard

    redbeard

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 845

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Read this post the other night and thought it was a great idea. So I started, will pay off years down the line. May save me buying a tin of something I disliked.

    Posted 1 year ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   darwin, gigger48, darthcider, mrgunnar177, mmjk, beefeater33, werebear, terrygoldman123, melvinsunsmokedcastello