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Frustrated and Desperate :(

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    pux3

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    Hello fellow smokers,

    I've been having much trouble getting into pipe smoking because I expected it to taste somewhat good,

    which at least for me didn't.

    In fact I'm getting either no taste whatsoever or I'm getting a digusting ash taste.

    Of course I did not expect it to be an awesome experience right of the bat, which is why I spent the last two

    weeks informing myself as much as I could about pipe smoking, tobaccos etc.

    I've made a post once about this issue and did get some tips. I tried different tobaccos (5 different so far), I

    tried different methods of smoking my pipe, different ways of lighting it, different ways of packing

    and I am as far as I know cleaning my pipe properly. I know that it is needed to take your time with smoking, that

    you just want to sip on the pipe and that it is possible to get more taste by letting the smoke run through your

    nose.

    Many peaople said I might be smoking it too fast but this definietly isn't the issue because for the last, maybe 6

    smokes, I've been paying very much attention on how fast I am smoking.

    Still, all of those tobaccos taste the same - like ash.

    Yes, I could have bad luck with the tobaccos, but I really cant taste any differences beetween the tobaccos at

    all.

    I bought the pipe from a local tobacconist for 30 euro. 3 of the tobaccos I tried in my pipe were from the same

    tobacconist, the others were a freinds fasthers one and the last one was from another tobacconist.

    I smoked the pipe maybe twelve times.

    Could it be the pipe? I do not think that I just have to sensitize my tasting sense, because I think I should at

    least get some taste other than ash.

    I am somewhat desperate and frustrated, anything I might have overlooked / not tried?

    Thank you, Jonas

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. hodirty

    hodirty

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    It may be the pipe. was it bought new, or was it used when u purchased it? Either way I'd give it a thorough cleaning with some high proof alchol, before giving it up alltogther.

    The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
    ~Albert Einstein
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pux3

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    @hodirty
    It was a new pipe, never been smoked before. Yeah I thoguht about the alcohol cleaning too maybe this is one alst option

    Thank you

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. hodirty

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    No prob. Other than the alchol cleaning, try some baccy completley opposite of what you have now. Id hate to see ya give up the pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. flintlockjohn

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    Does your pipe have one of those pre-carbonized bowls? I got a new pipe for Christmas and it has one of those, and I have yet to get a decent bowl out of it. I smoke mostly English/Balkan tobaccos; I find those to be more flavorful than aromatics. Some prefer the aroma of aromatics, and they are nice, but frequently can be a bit lacking in the taste category. You could try a corn cob pipe from Missouri Meerschaum; they tend to be quite forgiving and easy to smoke. You might also consider purchasing a refurbished estate pipe and giving that a go. Good luck and don't give up yet.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. zonomo

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    do your best to visit a pipe club. My big break through was when someone showed me the ropes. Ie: Get a mentor if possible.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. gray4lines

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    Have you tried giving your pipe a rest between smokes? (Rests your palate and tongue too)

    Is your tobacco dry enough? Tobacco that is too wet will not be as flavorful, smoke hot, and may taste burnt or ashy from puffing to keep it lit. If when you pinch a clump of tobacco between your fingers it sticks together, you need to dry it more.

    It takes practice! But you will get the hang of it. I read up a lot before actually smoking, but nothing compares to practice.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Jonas, what stands out here is you never mention cleaning your pipe at all.

    I'd start but doing as Hodirty says in this thread -- clean that pipe out thoroughly. If it's got a pre-carb lining the bowl, use some of that alcohol with paper towels and remove as much of the pre-carb as you can, then let the cleaned pipe dry thoroughly overnight.

    Try again, using the advice you've read about tobacco prep, proper dryness, packing, lighting, etc., and try again. Remember that a new pipe will take at least 10-15 bowlfuls to "break-in" -- I have pipes that took me triple that and more.

    It's also important to clean your pipe after every smoke. A pipe that isn't clean will taste -- well, like ash.

    BTW, 12 bowls do not make a pipe smoker be. The most important skill to learn in pipe smoking is patience. Keep at it. Decades from now, you'll know more about pipe smoking, but you'll still be learning.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    instymp

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    "In fact I'm getting either no taste whatsoever or I'm getting a digusting ash taste."
    That comes at the end? Thats where I get it, on anything I smoke. Even BBq over done

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    That comes at the end? Thats where I get it,

    Me too -- and if I suck in some hot coals in with it, it transforms itself into "a pain in the ash."

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    waymon

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    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is that tobacco never tastes like it smells in the tin or pouch. At least that has been my experience. If you are getting the ash taste throughout the smoke I would be inclined to think it is the pipe not being broken in. Pipe smoking takes a lot a patience and time to master. I also recommend you get one more pipe so you can alternate, you may be over smoking the one pipe you have. Good luck, and don't give up!!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. foggymountain

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    If you clean it do not use rubbing alcohol, which will make the taste even worse. A high proof alcoholic beverage is better. New pipes often need extensive breaking in, so don't give up. The less expensive pipes, such as yours are not made from very old briar, which coarsens the taste also. But if you smoke it enough it will improve. You didn't mention if your pipe is sandblasted or smooth. Blasted pipes may take longer before they taste good. At least to my taste. If it doesn't improve after quite a while, get another pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    reap

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    I found it took me awhile to start picking up on flavours in tobacco, at first I found the pipe to be a bit harsh and tasteless. Now there's nothing I enjoy more then a bowl of tasty tobacco at the right time. Like others have said it can take time to break certain pipes in and they need to be cleaned. My first pipe had a nasty stain in the bowl which impacted the taste which may have been part of it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. allan

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    Jonas

    I can understand your frustration. Pipe smoking is unlike cigarettes and cigars. It does take more time to master. One can light up a cigar and smoke and get great enjoyment almost immediately; pipes are a more thoughtful process and has alot more rituals than the other tobacco enjoyments.

    A new pipe takes some time to break in as others have said. Give yourself time to learn the process and you will be rewarded in the end. There are so many pipe smokers out there and almost all of us have experienced the learning curve-but its worth it.

    Good luck
    Allan

    Allan
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. 05venturer

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    As mentioned earlier try out a Missouri Meerschaum pipe they have virtually zero "break in" time and are very reasonably priced. I have both briars and cobs and it is very rare that I grab a briar as "I" feel I get a much better smoke from my cobs. A also noticed that when I do smoke a briar that my "estate" pipes smoke far better than the ones I purchased new. I have only been smoking a pipe for a bit over 3 months and it took me nearly 1/2 of that time to get a really good smoke after trying more tobaccos than I care to remember. Don't give up, I was very close to going back to the coffin nails and dumping the pipe but with time and all the help from the "friends" on this forum I can truly say I enjoy the pipe better than I ever did a cigarette. PATIENCE, PATIENCE and a little more PATIENCE. You won't regret it.

    Kent

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. sparroa

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    Buy a corn cob pipe if you want to skip the extensive "breaking in" process.

    A cob tastes better after the bowl has been seasoned a little, but a new cob is more forgiving than a new briar in my humble opinion.

    Alternatively, have you ever smoked tobacco before?

    Though it is a little premature to speculate on the matter - perhaps smoking a pipe is just not for you...

    (I don't say that to be negative; it's just that we all have different tastes and sometimes expectations do not match up with realities.)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. pitchfork

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    Jonas,

    What exactly are you smoking? Some tobaccos require more technique in smoking than some others. VA's, for instance, are notoriously difficult for the new smoker to properly enjoy. By the same token, aromatic tobaccos can smell wonderful in the jar or pouch, but taste like hot air in the pipe.

    An English/Latakia blend is probably your best bet for starting out because the flavors don't require perfect packing or technique. VA's are much more "fussy" and I think your palate has to become trained to pick out the good flavors that are there. Once you get it, you get it, like riding a bike, but my first VA smokes tasted like hot air or like ash and soot (not pleasant).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. philip

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    It may well take more than twelve bowls to break in a new pipe, depending on the pipe's construction and quality. Depending on the person, it may take many more than twelve smokes to break in a new pipe smoker. If you enjoy the process of pipe smoking, be patient and give it a little time. You will learn to taste the different flavors if you don't give up.

    I remember shortly after I began smoking I was in a tobacco store and I wanted to smell all the tobaccos to find something good. The tobacconist commented that he didn't care what a tobacco smelled like. He wanted one that tasted good. I thought that was a funny comment because I couldn't imagine that any tobacco actually tasted good. To me they all tasted the same - all bad. But I kept at it because I was having fun with the process of smoking, packing the pipe and lighting it and blowing smoke around. After a couple of months I found I was choosing favorite blends based on the way they tasted. It just took a little time to learn.

    Welcome to the forum, Jonas. It can be helpful, but nothing will help more than some patient practice. Good luck.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pux3

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    Wow I just woke up to so many answers, sadly I really have to go now, gonna read them when I come home again.

    Thank you so much for reading and helping out!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. metalheadycigarguy

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    Lots of great suggestions in this thread.

    I agree on getting a corn cob as it will give you a more accurate taste of the tobacco (after about 2-3 bowls). It will also allow you to have a small rotation of pipes and allow your other pipe to rest.

    I also agree on using regular drinking alcohol and not rubbing alcohol for cleaning. I suggest using Vodka, Everclear or 151. Run multiple clears with alcohol on them through the pipe and do a salt treatment on the bowl. I would let the salt treatment sit for a good 12-24 hours and if its really brown do another one after the pipe drys out. Always be sure to clean the pipe well after each smoke.

    Its possible one of the tobacco's you're smoking is ghosting your pipe. If you find that you enjoy the tobacco, but it's leaving a ghost then its best to dedicate one pipe to that particular blend whether it be a cob or your briar.

    Good luck and hang in there. It takes time but eventually you'll get the hang of it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. sothron

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    Jonas, I didn't have exactly your problem when I started smoking a pipe, having been both a cigar and cigarette smoker.

    However, I had some other, similar problems. And it's one reason why I am a big proponent of new pipe smokers starting with estate pipes (reamed, but wrh

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. sothron

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    Jonas, I didn't have exactly your problem when I started smoking a pipe, having been both a cigar and cigarette smoker.

    However, I had some other, similar problems. And it's one reason why I am a big proponent of new pipe smokers starting with estate pipes (reamed, but wrh an existing cake). Not to mention you'll most likely get much better quality pipes for your money. My vote is that the pipe itself may be the primary culprit. Other than that, just remember to be patient. It does take awhile to get one's technique down and get the hang of this. Finally, while many new pipe smokers start with aromatics, these are among the most difficult to smoke (and the most difficult to successfully blend into a quality product).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. cynyr

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    I've been paying very much attention on how fast I am smoking.

    I have a specific suggestion, one that helped me immensely. First, whatever the tobacco, leave it out for a good hour before packing. Put it in a shallow bowl and let it dry.

    Second, pack it, light it up, and crack open a good book. Read the book and puff the pipe maybe once in thirty seconds. You want to forget the pipe. Forget it's there. Read the book.

    Relight when you need to, just enough to get the top to burn. Don't get a raging inferno in there!

    I think that you are paying too much attention and over-thinking the process. Don't worry about relights, don't think about smoking. Read the book.

    "Zen" is a word that is way overused, but it may have been invented for pipe-smoking. Let what happens, happen. Don't give up!

    As a side note, I feel for our European brethren, with the price of tobacco being what it is over there. Welcome to the forums, and good luck!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. rmbittner

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    One thing that I mentioned in response to Jonas's first post in another thread but which hasn't come up here:

    It's possible that you simply don't like the taste of tobacco. If that's the case, no amount of experimentation or advice is going to help.

    If you truly don't like it -- and don't enjoy learning to appreciate tobacco flavor -- then it just may be that smoking in general is not for you.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. numbersix

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    It's possible that you simply don't like the taste of tobacco

    +1

    I'd be curious is you're trying english blends or aromatics. Aromatics tend to smell delicious, but rarely taste like they smell. English blends can taste like cigarettes, and if you're not a regular smoker, can taste "ashy".

    If you were hoping for a fruity taste in your tobacco, look for a high-quality aromatic. With many aros however, I can see being disappointed since the taste and smell are often worlds apart.

    Ultimately, I'd suggest you buy several 1 oz samples of various tobaccos. If you have no idea what types you might like, let us know what you were looking for and we can make recommendations. One I'd recommend for you to try is Newminster No.35 French Champagne. Nice smell, nice taste too.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. fitzy

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    English blends can taste like cigarettes, and if you're not a regular smoker, can taste "ashy".

    It is certainly possible that he's confusing the smokey flavor of Latakia with an ashy taste.

    We definitely need more information on what types of tobacco's he's smoking.


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    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. fitzy

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    From looking at his previous posts I figured out some of what he's been smoking. I think he should try an English or Balkan style.

    The first one I tried was very cheap aromtaic and all the reviews I found on the internet were really bad but the second one received good feedback (W.O. Larsen 2013) and I am asking myself if I'm doing anything wrong?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pux3

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    Wow, you guys are awesome! So many people who want to help out The community alone is a reason to keep smoking

    I'll try to answer the questions one by one:

    1.Does your pipe have one of those pre-carbonized bowls? - Yes it does

    2.Have you tried giving your pipe a rest between smokes? - about 24 hours, sometimes 2 days

    3.Is your tobacco dry enough? - Yes it is

    4.Have you ever smoked tobacco before? - Not on a regular basis

    5.What exactly are you smoking? - Exclusiv, Mango; Dunhill, Nightcap; One local brand (virginia), w.o. larsen 2013; and I forgot the last one (not mine)

    What i gathered:

    1.Alcohol cleaning
    2.Patience
    3.Try more tobaccos
    4.Get a corn cob
    5.Patience
    6.Try an estate pipe
    7.Zen mode
    8.Even more patience

    It might be that I just don't like the taste of tobacco but this I will only accept once I tried everything because I very much like the idea of smoking a pipe.

    I hope I forgot nothing

    And once again thank you all for the feedback, it is very much apreciated and you definietly gave me new hope haha

    Sincerly Jonas

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. pruss

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    Wow, what a fantastic supply of tips, suggestions and advice! This community is truly a wonderful support for fans of the leaf.

    Let me take a slightly different tack, and let's talk a bit about taste and smell. I make a living with my nose and my taste-buds. Your tongue alone has the ability to discern primary flavours like sweet, sour, salty and bitter (and some would add "Umami" but let's save that for a different conversation); your sense of smell adds the ability to detect unique flavours.

    Without your nose, your sense of taste is pretty limited. Want to try something fun? Grab a jelly bean of any colour, plug your nose with one hand and pop that bean in your mouth and chew. You'll taste sugar and maybe a hint of flavour. Keep chewing, unplug your nose, and take a breath. Notice the difference in what you're "tasting"?

    Why is this important? Because smelling tobacco, fresh and unlit, delivers only the smell of the tobacco. Lighting the tobacco on fire and inhaling the smoke a) changes the smell/flavour of the tobacco by incinerating the ingredients and b) introduces taste to your assessment of the tobacco. Just as brewed coffee won't taste exactly like the beans/grinds it was made from, smoke from burning tobacco won't taste/smell exactly like the tobacco it comes from.

    If you've tried tobaccos which have aromas/smells that you LOVE and they taste horrible, and you're comfortable with how you're smoking/cleaning your pipe then I agree it's time to consider what the deal with your pipe is... or to consider whether your palate is too sensitive for the intensity of smoke. Not a pleasant consideration, but certainly better than continued frustration no?

    Good luck!

    Pat


    If this is coffee, then please-bring me some tea. But if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
    ~Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. fitzy

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    Jonas I would suggest you just keep on going. It's possible the pipe isn't fully broken in yet or that you haven't developed a taste for tobacco yet. I'd leave off on the aro's for a while. They tend to not taste like they smell.(one of the few aro's that I think tastes like it smells is Villiger's Mid-Day but that's just my opinion)

    I also think maybe you should stick with English or Balkan blends as they will have more flavor than lets say a Virginia blend. Virginia's tend to have a very subtle taste that takes time to develop a taste for.

    Don't give up yet.

    Do you notice any taste differences at all between the tobacco's you currently have? You should notice a different taste at least with the Nightcap as it's got some Latakia in it. I personally haven't smoked it so I don't know how strong the Latakia taste is though.

    I would also recommend maybe something along the lines of Frog Morton's Cellar. It's like a cross over between an aromatic and an English.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. numbersix

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    3.Try more tobaccos

    This is probably the best tip. I must have tried nearly 50 different tobaccos in the short time I've been smoking. Doing this has taught me what I like and don't like. Try ordering small 1oz packs of tobacco of various types. Also check out tobaccoreviews.com for detailed descriptions

    The key is whether or not you should try aromatics or not. Since you say you're not a smoker, I am thinking you're not going to enjoy (yet) blends that taste and smell like cigarettes. I would suggest you try some of the better aros. Some to consider:

    Pipeworks and Wilke Rumcake
    Pipeworks and Wilke Bleeker Street
    Newminster No.35 French Champagne

    These blends are top quality aros. They offer a pleasant aroma and taste. Good for someone who isn't used to smoking.

    Good luck and don't give up too quickly. Pipe smoking is almost an artform. Takes time to figure it all out.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. smeigs

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    Smelling a pipe and smoking a pipe are completely different. When I first started, I expected it to taste just like it smelled, which of course was not the case at all. Once you start smoking frequently and getting the hang of it you will start to find what you like and you will be able to pick out the different flavors of each tobacco. Dont give up! It will come to you.

    “A pipe in the mouth makes it clear that there has been no mistake–you are undoubtedly a man.”
    Posted 1 year ago #
  33. pitchfork

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    Jonas, you mentioned Dunhill Nightcap. It's a great blend, but in my experience it can get hot and ashy and cigarette-like if you're not careful. Most English blends aren't fussy in that way, but Dunhill's are somewhat, at least compared to most other latakia blends.

    Many beginners like the Frog Morton series. My first tobacco was Frog Morton on the Bayou and I loved it. The new Frog Morton's Cellar is another great beginner tobacco. It has latakia and Virginias, but it's flavored with whiskey by a chunk of bourbon barrel. It's one of the few aromatics that tastes like it smells -- very mellow and a little sweet.

    Beyond that, I'd say just pick some English blends at random and give them a try.

    Finally, a pipe that has had aromatic (flavored) tobaccos smoked in it, plus VA's and Latakia blends probably isn't going to taste great when you're switching styles and trying different kinds of blends. The flavors will mix up in odd ways that just clash and cancel each other out (hence the nondescript ashy taste, perhaps). I'd keep the first pipe for aromatics (if you like them), especially since you've already flavored your pipe with them, and get a new pipe for VA's and latakia blends. You could even get a cob or two for trying stuff out. Good luck!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. crpntr1

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    I've been paying very much attention on how fast I am smoking

    You've payed attention to how frequently you take puffs or how quickly you draw the smoke from the pipe?

    Even if you are slowing down by taking less puffs per minute...if you draw hard on the pipe, your still not gonna have the best experience. When you draw from the pipe pay attention to that also, make sure you're sipping, even if its a long sip, not sucking the heck out of it every 30 seconds

    The most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen...not necessarily in that order

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. admin

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    I think it's more the tobacco than the pipe.

    Based on the no-taste and ash-taste, you are likely smoking a cheap aromatic, Cavendish and/or a Burley-heavy blend.

    Burley tobacco has a high amount of actual ash in its chemical make-up, and you can taste it when a blend has a lot of Burley in it. Burley is also used in aromatics since it has less flavor than other tobaccos, and it has the best absorption rate for aromatic topping. Most Cavendish is also made from Burley.

    Oddly, many brick & mortar retail tobacconist's house blends, and the ones they suggest to newbies is what I described above, and it is what you described in your opening post.

    I suggest buying a premium tinned tobacco in the English or Balkan genre.

    Try Frog Morton, Maltese Falcon, and G.L. Pease Westminster. Try Black House as well.

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  36. smokeybear

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    I found that when smoking most of my aromatics it helps not to tamp down all the time or so often. this will create an ashy taste due to the ash being forced down and mixed with the fresh tobacco in the pipe.

    try doing a false light then smoke with out tamping when you find it all white on the top just gentle tap out the ash and tamp down gentle once using just the weight of the tamper itself (relight if you have to) and keep smoking if that doesn't work for you just keep trying different blends till you get one that does.


    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 #
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    Jonas I would suggest you just keep on going.

    Just today, another "new" member here started a thread about how he exited he was about finally "getting" his first truly and enjoyable pipeful after having smoked a pipe for six months.

    It takes time and patience. Lots of time, lots of patience. Keep at it, it will come.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  38. quincy

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    Rothnth. I was just thinking the same thing. Jonas, as someone who just got back into pipes after a long break, I understand how frustrating it can be but trust me; that first time everything clicks is heavenly and it only gets better from there!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  39. bigboi

    bigboi

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    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Jonas, I am new new pipe smoker as of last october. I am still finding that perfect moment. But I am finding I am really enjoying my smokes more now that I am getting better at it. There is this saying most of the great artists weren't great because they had natural talent, they were great because they kept at it. Kind of like pipe smoking. I have gathered from this site that most people really don't get that first great smoke right off of the bat. So keep it up man.

    “I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
    -Albert Einstein, 1950
    Posted 1 year ago #

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