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Have all of you (or almost all) started on cheap aros?

(74 posts)
  • Started 6 months ago by Machado
  • Latest reply from johnmosesbrowning
  1. mrmachado

    Machado

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    Or have any of you started straight on renowned quality blends?

    That question appeared on my mind and I found that intriguing.

    Because the transition from smoking only cheap aromatics to smoking quality blends is really "mind-blowing".

    Posted 6 months ago #
  2. raevans

    raevans

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    I started on Sir Walter Raleigh and Lane Limited 1Q. I still smoke both on a regular basis.

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    grettman

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    I started smoking a pipe almost a month and a half ago. I have not tried aromatics and I don't plan ...at least not for a long time. I am really enjoying quality non-aromatic tobacco. I have TAD.... since I started smoking, I have bought about 7 different tins and so far I am loving each of them (some more than others).

    Posted 6 months ago #
  4. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    Nope, my first bowl was some Amphora something or other which was awful. My whole technique was off and I incinerated my mouth. I got back on the horse with Nightcap and went from there.

    I think that most folks started with Carter Hall or Captain Black.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  5. cortezattic

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    I started with Middleton Cherry Blend, then Kentucky Club, Amphora, Iwan Ries Three Star Blue, and slowly arrived at my tobacco epiphany with IRC's series of British Blends. I really didn't dabble in "boutique" blends until McClelland arrived, and that's when my interests diversified.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 6 months ago #
  6. redglow

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    I did the same. 20 years ago had a couple of bowls of captain black or something similar. Didn’t find it enjoyable at all.
    Immediately went looking for something else and found Nightcap, Early Morning, 965.

    Nightcap became my daily brand.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  7. spartacus

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    I started with aromatic house blends from my local B&M. I still enjoy aros but have branched out to all kins if blends now. I smoke aros aybe 25% of the time.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  8. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    I bought a pouch of Carter Hall and the next day a friend gave me a tin of escudo and a tin of dunhill flake. Don’t think I ever finished that pouch of Carter Hall.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 6 months ago #
  9. virginialover

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    Yes, cheap aros but I made sure that my son started with more "natural" and better tasting tobacco. It's a shame that tobacconists advise new pipe smokers to start with aros, I guess it makes more sense for their business.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  10. ray47

    ray47

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    I started on Middleton's Cherry Blend and it nearly caused me to give up on the pipe. I still loathe it.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  11. carolinachurchwarden

    carolinachurchwarden

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    Yep, started with a very cheap corn cob and a pouch of Captain Black Gold. It was the most convenient purchase to make at the time and not really even knowing if I'd enjoy pipe smoking or not, seemed like the cheapest investment. Just made sense really. I knew nothing about any of those jars of tobacco, but even if I did, the shop I went to didn't really have anything outside aros since that was their biggest seller.

    "If you can't send money, send tobacco." - George Washington

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    thedbs999

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    I started with a pouch of Prince Albert, then a pouch of Carter Hall. Still like 'em.

    Dan

    Posted 6 months ago #
  13. scloyd

    scloyd

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    My first tobacco was a Tinder Box house blend "Sunset" which is probably some Lane Ltd blend.

    A unique aromatic blend of the finest red Virginia tobaccos, using the traditional Cavendish process. A light, soft flavor, slow burning with a grand aroma

    Posted 6 months ago #
  14. seanv

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    I started with an aro from the bulk jars. I think it was 1q. I hated it and tried some more and hated those too. Then I found the English blends and the rest is history.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  15. shanez

    shanez

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    I started on Dunhill London Mixture. Bought a couple of bulk aros and a Peterson flake a few months later.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  16. jpmcwjr

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    I started on Middleton's Cherry Blend and it nearly caused me to give up on the pipe. I still loathe it.

    Same as Ray. There were others, Mixture 79 perhaps, until the Dean of Students at my uni turned me on to Burlington Arcade.
    Long ago discontinued.

    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 6 months ago #
  17. recluse

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    I started on B&M aros, then quickly transitioned to online ordering which resulted in me leaving aros behind pretty quickly.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  18. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    My first tobacco was Borkum Riff Whisky, back in the summer of 1990.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 6 months ago #
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    jeff540

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    My first was a pouch of SWR regular and a MM cob in the summer of 1996 while on the road for work. I still have that old cob, a rough finish one - kept it for sentimental sake.

    When I got home from that particular job, I stopped in to my local tobacconist at the time, which happened to be Milan Brothers. Based on my then budget, they pointed me in the direction of decent but inexpensive briars with quality bulk tobacco (Dunhill 965 and MacBaren VA#1).

    Posted 6 months ago #
  20. davet

    davet

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    Started with Amphora and Old Port, later on Sail, Captain Black & Borkum Riff. Enjoyed them all

    Posted 6 months ago #
  21. ashdigger

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    I had some Captain Black and a Cherry Blend that tasted like cough drops and a few others with local branded names.

    But the one that changed everything was Lane RLP-6. It was branded "Monks" by the Sanctuary Tobacco Shop. It had flavor and smelled great. I still smoke it every few weeks.

    Currently I'm doing a lot of Velvet, Granger and PA smoking.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 6 months ago #
  22. davet

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    I've never tried Granger but I think I have a pouch of Velvet put away. Next on my list if I can find it.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  23. npod

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    I went against the grain. Started with Vapers and just recently began to enjoy Aromatic tobacco.

    Neal
    Posted 6 months ago #
  24. mrmachado

    Machado

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    I've heard that there are some great aromatics. I've heard good things about some and would love to try them.

    I was actually talking about cheap aromatics like Borkum Riff and its friends. Some are very bad, some are acceptable, some are even cool, but I have yet to find a cheap drugstore tobacco that is really good...

    Posted 6 months ago #
  25. davet

    davet

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    I have yet to find a cheap drugstore tobacco that is really good...

    You're still a new pipe smoker and your taste and preferences will change. What you don't get much from today may really "sing" to you after some time and experience. Tastes change over time but when starting out tastes may be really muted, give it some time and enjoy what appeals to you in the moment

    Posted 6 months ago #
  26. mrmachado

    Machado

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    You're still a new pipe smoker and your taste and preferences will change. What you don't get much from today may really "sing" to you after some time and experience. Tastes change over time but when starting out tastes may be really muted, give it some time and enjoy what appeals to you in the moment

    I agree, but would you recommend me a cheaper aromatic of a better quality though?

    I don't mean "acceptable"... I mean of really nice quality.

    I know it's subjective, but I'd enjoy hearing your opinion. I enjoy Seven Seas on a regular basis, but I don't find anything really special about it at all.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. davet

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    I enjoy Seven Seas on a regular basis, but I don't find anything really special about it at all.

    That should come with time, give it some time and it may be a whole new experience. If I were to choose something to recommend it would be Carter Hall, Amphora Original or Sail Regular. These may be easier to obtain for you and are nice easy to smoke, trouble free blends. Take your time, enjoy and don't over think

    Posted 6 months ago #
  28. mrmachado

    Machado

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    If I were to choose something to recommend it would be Carter Hall, Amphora Original or Sail Regular. These may be easier to obtain for you and are nice easy to smoke, trouble free blends. Take your time, enjoy and don't over think

    I'll look into those! For now I'm leaving overthinking behind and trying to concentrate on good tobacco to enjoy nice smokes. Oh, if I had some more money spare... I'd surely think only about spending as much as I could.

    Going to delve in reviews on those you mentioned and choose the one that seems the most pleasing.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. olkofri

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    I guess I did: Lane 1-Q. I was steered away from Craptain Black, Corkum Riff, and OTCs in general right on my first visit to the local tobacconist.

    What I did, though, was to immediately start buying all kinds of blends. Way before that 1 oz of 1-Q was finished, I had bought some HGL, MB Navy Flake, SG Navy Flake, 7 Seas Royal, Wessex Brigade, St. Bruno, Early Morning Pipe... So, I started trying all kinds before I could really taste anything.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. davet

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    I started trying all kinds before I could really taste anything.

    Bingo !, A little bit of time makes a big difference

    Posted 6 months ago #
  31. olkofri

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    Bingo !, A little bit of time makes a big difference [:!:]

    You bet, and that's one reason I don't think it matters much what kind of tobacco one starts with (well, there's the issue of tongue bite, of course, which makes it advisable to begin with something that burns cool, and English blends trump aros in that regard, in general): no real flavour, much less nuances of flavour, will be perceived during the initial smokes.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  32. theosprey247

    theosprey247

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    Smoker’s Pride Vanilla. I still smoke it time to time.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  33. pipehunter

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    I started with two aromatics, but they weren't so cheap (more average for tobacco shop prices). First I tried house blend aromatic cavendish the tobacconist at Leavitt & Pierce recommended (this was in the late 80s). I think they weren't really house blends but made by Ehrlich. Anyway, that was pretty good. When I asked for something less cavendish-y, they turned me on to Troost Slices, which I really liked and still do (although the new version isn't much less subtle than the original). It was a few years before I moved mostly to English blends.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  34. cigrmaster

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    I never tried an aromatic until I had been smoking for over a decade. The first ones I tried were a few Boswell aromatics in the summer of 2012. The only OTC I ever tried was Carter Hall and that was in 2013 or so. I smoked it a few times but that was it. I think I still have that original pouch somewhere in my cellar.

    The first blends I tried back in the late 90's was a couple of Ashton blends. I quickly found Escudo and some Dunhill English blends plus Elizabethan and smoked those in the beginning. I was buying my tobacco from my buddies tobacco store and he didn't carry that many blends.

    Harris
    Posted 6 months ago #
  35. ugh457

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    I started with my Brigham pipe(my avatar), and a few Peterson tobaccos. Connoisseurs Choice, Luxury Blend, and MacBaren Vanilla.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  36. lochinvar

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    I started with GatlinBurley, a Gatlinburlier Burley/Latakia blend. That same week I picked up a tin of Rattray's Highland Targe (picked up solely for the tin art). I took it to the Gatlinburlier to share with my friend Richard, and he gave me three half tins of his to try. They were Three Nuns, Bengal Slices and Sobrane White (little did I know they were on the way out already). I did not try any OTC until relatively recently.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  37. jiminks

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    I agree with DaveT's list, but I would add Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic.

    I started out with Borkum Riff products back in the 1970s at age 13, but gravitated toward non-aros within a couple of years. I smoke a wide range of blends these days in a wide variety of genres. Every blend is somebody's favorite, and if you're happy with what you smoke, that's all that matters.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  38. chasingembers

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    Aromatics really don't start to shine until you've been smoking for awhile. Good packing and cadence will make an air shine. I started with Prince Albert Soft Vanilla and still often smoke it.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 6 months ago #
  39. mechanic

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    Rebranded lane 1q from a local shop was my first blend.

    "I'm a kind person, I'm kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you will remember me for." - Al Capone
    Posted 6 months ago #
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    instymp

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    Yes, but then I fell for VAs. no more aro's.
    Until someone recommended Uhles Black Stoker.
    Is great, sorta like a slice of pie for dessert.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  41. kola

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    45 years ago, yes. Then found Half & Half and Carter Hall.

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  42. techie

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    I began the pipe last July and my first bowl was Gawith Hoggarth Scotch Mixture, followed by H&H White Knight. My first aro was Mac Baren Original Choice. At first, I didn't like it, but after sitting in a jar a few months I liked it a lot, and still do.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  43. mso489

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    Tinder Box bulk, probably 1Q renamed and other standards, not especially cheap. However, along the way, I've smoked some inexpensive over-the-counter brands, and some were/are pretty good. Price is not a categorical gauge of pleasing taste. Some of the least good experiences have been with premium blends I just didn't like.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  44. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Waaaaaay back 1000 years ago in '69 I started on Kentucky Club's Greenbrier (a blend thankfully long since kaput) & another long gone blend by Peter Stokkebye called Marrakesh. I liked the taste of both, but Greenbrier bit my tongue like the hubs of hell (the other wasn't anywhere near that bad).

    Between Greenbrier & Middleton's cherry, it's a minor wonder of the world that I'm still smoking! A good tobacconist & couple of decent blends from Tinder Box saved me!

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  45. sittingbear

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    I started with Cherry Cavendish, first Borkum Riff because it was produced the town where I went to school in Sweden, then whatever they sold at the news stand in my college town in Colorado. I haven't touched the stuff in years.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  46. saltedplug

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    Escudo
    Erinmore Flake
    MacBaren Scottish Mixture

    Posted 6 months ago #
  47. workman

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    My first blend was Mac Baren's Mixture Scottish Blend. I consider it an OTC, because where I live it's the only blend available in shops. But it's a decent blend and I smoke it occasionally. I haven't tried any of the cheap aro's, you guys talk about.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  48. chasingembers

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    I haven't tried any of the cheap aro's, you guys talk about.

    It's a misnomer some like to throw around. A 12 ounce container of SWRA costs more than a pound of many boutique blends.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  49. workman

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    Where I buy there is little difference in prices. Most blends cost the same, and a few are a little cheaper. Among the cheaper blends are the Capstan blends, St Bruno, most of Mac Baren's, Amphora and a few others. So it's got nothing to do with quality.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  50. tavol

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    I drove around an hour to my closest big B&M and bought a tin of Dunhill Early morning Pipe, SG Balkan flake and SG Skiff mixture. I opened them all on the way home and had a bowl of EMP, that was my first experience of pipe tobacco.

    I've smoked a handful of lakeland blends but I've never smoked a full on aromatic

    Posted 6 months ago #
  51. 5star

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    My first was CH in a MM cob. After that, I tried various 1 oz samples of re-named blends that I purchased in a local tobacco shop. Many of those samples were aros, and I didn't care for most of them. I do like SWRA. And a friend gave me some Boswell's Bear Blend, which I like.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 6 months ago #
  52. cosmicfolklore

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    I started with pipe tobacco which was being marketed to the RYO folks. I preferred the Turkish blends. But, then I switched to Captain Black, and a few other OTCs... but yeh, what does it matter what tobacco you start out with, because you aren't going to have the trained tastebuds nor experience to taste anything.

    Its hard for many to look back on those first few smokes and remember what it was like, but most of us had to develop our palate.

    Michael
    Posted 6 months ago #
  53. mrmachado

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    because you aren't going to have the trained tastebuds nor experience to taste anything.

    Yes, I agree that me and beginners can't really differentiate flavors overall, but some things just taste plain bad or outright awful... I can also most of the times say what is bland, strong, harsh, sweet... Things that most people can perceive right away, I think.

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    newdave61

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    As stated above, it takes time>

    I've smoked a pipe off and on for almost 10 years (mostly off). Cigars were easy and I never quite got the hang of a pipe. It always seemed pointless to me and I smoked mainly for the room smell. I simply put up with the harsh taste.

    About a year ago I picked up the pipe in earnest and started reading all I could about the hobby. After this first year, I am just now starting to pick out the individual tastes of the different blends. I can testify - it doesn't matter much what you smoke at the beginning, just practice proper technique and the flavor will come.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  55. mrmachado

    Machado

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    I can testify - it doesn't matter much what you smoke at the beginning, just practice proper technique and the flavor will come.

    After how much time would you say that the flavors started to appear more clearly?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  56. olkofri

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    It varies. It probably took me a couple of months till I could detect a nutty flavour in 1-Q. That was from a bowl filled with the original batch that was my first pipe toby purchase; I've never bought 1-Q again.

    For an English, the flavour mighta come sooner, but at the time I was still undecided about whether the flavour was latakia or the wet rag flavour of a pipe gone out.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  57. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    My first pipe tobacco was either Super Value Buttered Rum or Captain Black (white). I'm not absolutely sure which pouch came first. But those two were the first blends I had ever tried. Obviously I liked them both enough to continue smoking a pipe.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 6 months ago #
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    newdave61

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    After how much time would you say that the flavors started to appear more clearly?

    I am only now starting to discern the different flavors to a satisfactory extent. I started noticing them gradually. I would have the occasional bowl that tasted great the whole way through, others that started fine then petered out, and others that were just terrible from start to finish.

    The hardest part for me in getting to this point was slowing down. My cigar habits held me back, as I was trying to get a larger volume of smoke than is prudent. When I changed to a slower cadence and practiced the "Breathe" method things started improving for me.

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    newdave61

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    But, to answer your question, about a year of solid daily smoking.

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    foursidedtriangle

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    Bourkum Riff cherry cavendish and my second was frog mortons cellar. I enjoyed the latter a bit more, but not a whole lot more.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  61. sbk54

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    My first pipe was a Dr. Grabow and the first pipe tobacco I ever bought was Borkum Riff Cognac because it smelled so delicious. I thought it would taste like it smelled. WRONG I was. First off I didn't know how to smoke it, pack it or tamp it. I thought it must be the pipe so I bought a Tinderbox pipe from the bargain table. It wasn't the pipe that was the problem, it was me. I still have that pipe though and smoked it up until a few years ago when I bit the stem and broke it. I need to get it refurbished, that was a really good smoking pipe.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  62. danish

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    Capstan, Three Nuns etc. are the tobaccos I started with, since I was lucky to be introduced to quality, when I started pipe smoking 35+ years ago. Tobacco ads then were mostly for mainstream OTC's and were tempting many, but even students could afford quality pipe tobaccos, as pipe tobacco taxes were low. Now they are high and as Workman said, even OTCs are expensive here. However I have friends who hanged on to the OTCs, no matter the price, simply because they are often sweeter and with more casing than nicotine. Some adults still prefer the same over-sweetened and flavored chocolate they ate as children

    Posted 6 months ago #
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    bullet08

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    aros and va/per i think. cult blood red moon, ashton guilty pleasure and dunhill navy rolls.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  64. derfargin

    derfargin

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    My first foray into pipe smoking was a cheap mini cob from a mall tobacco store called "Stag Tobacconist" that was about 30 years ago. I bought some 1oz sample of a "rum" aromatic that burned the crap out of my tongue and left me wondering what all the fuss was about.

    Fast forward to about 5 years ago when I decided to give piping another try when I went to the P&C site and purchased a MM Country Gent(still have it and currently smoking it as I type one of my favorites in my rotation) and the following tobacco's at 1oz each:

    Lane - Very Cherry
    Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe
    SPC - Misssissippi River

    The cherry blend was due to the fact the wife was a big fan of cherry pipe tobacco. So that was the first I dove into when the UPS package arrived. The result was mostly the same as my first attempt at pipe smoking. Mostly because my technique was green, and had no idea what I was doing.

    Then one night I said decided to give the EMP a try. The smell of the bag was wonderful, but intimidating as it was something I wasn't used to. It wasn't siren song of "sweet and inviting" like the aros promote, but it was earthy and stout.(yes i said stout about EMP, first tango with an English) the following 30 to 45 minutes changed my pipe smoking tastes forever. It was intoxicating.... I knew wasn't going to look back from that point on.

    Now I sit on a cellar of about 40lbs of tobacco, mostly heavy English blends from GLP and American burley blends from C&D. I can honestly say my favorite blend is Gaslight, with Bengal Slices coming a close second. I still haven't gotten the Straight VA's figured out, but I do enjoy a bowl of FVF when the time permits to focus on it.

    I've always said that aromatics are the "marketing department" of pipe smoking. When smoking them you rarely get turned up noses from bystanders. Most the time you hear..."oh someone is smoking a pipe, and it reminds me of my grandfather." Can't say it's a bad thing for sure. Aro's are difficult to smoke, and oddly enough the new piper is mystified as to why it isn't what they think it should be. I'm not one one to begrudge those who smoke aro's exclusivly because everyone's tastes are different and unique. As I said before and many here have stated.....

    Smoke what you like...and like what you smoke.

    There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  65. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    Bump for the interest of some of the newer folks with their experiences to add.

    Bill

    Posted 2 months ago #
  66. alaskanpiper

    alaskanpiper

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    Since Bill bumped I'll throw my hat in the ring........the first and second bowls I smoked were good aromatics from the local B&M. Next was Ashton's Artisan's blend, followed by MacBaren Va no. 1 and Dunhill Nightcap.

    At this point I began showing symptoms of TAD. At first it was just a small annoyance in the lower drawer of my Gun case. A few tins and six pack of jars. It quickly metastasized to fill a bookshelf. It is now stage IV with a full size clothes dresser full on tins and jars, the top of which is completely covered in pipes and pipe racks.

    The doctors have told me that I have little chance of recovery. As you all know, TAD commonly presents with strong PAD comorbidity, and it didn't take long for that to set in as well. Thankfully I have been able to reduce the symptoms somewhat with time and various coping mechanisms. I am hoping that one day I may be able to live a normal life.

    I ordered my first pouch of Sir Walter Raleigh yesterday.

    "We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." ---Hank

    "Yeah, well, you know that's just like, uh, your opinion, man..." --- The Dude
    Posted 2 months ago #
  67. 5star

    5star

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    My first bowl was CH in a MM cob. I bought a bunch of samplers after that of an ounce or two of tobacco. 2/3 of those samplers were aros. I disliked almost all of them.

    I very rarely smoke any aros now. The ones I do smoke come in handy during extended family get togethers. (One of those is coming up soon.) A pleasant room note gets no complaints from the non smokers.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  68. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    TAD commonly presents with strong PAD comorbidity,

    AK, I don't know if Neal's laughing or not, but *I* sure am. Like "metastasize," it's so seldom you get to use it in a sentence outside of the professional domain!

    Bill

    Posted 2 months ago #
  69. pitchfork

    pitchfork

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    Initially, yes. In fact, that's what I thought all pipe tobacco was -- a heavily scented aromatic. I didn't really like it that much and rarely smoked for c. 15 years.

    In my 30s a friend introduced me to Dunhill MM 965 and I was hooked! I had no idea a pipe could have such clean, complex flavors, so that was a revelation for me.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  70. alexnc

    alexnc

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    I started on Dunhill 965 and Nightcap. Never was able to bridge over to aros but gave it a serious try.

    Goo Goo g’joob
    Posted 2 months ago #

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