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Having Taste Issues

(31 posts)
  1. louiezmich

    louiezmich

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    Hello Fellow Pipe Smokers,

    So I have been learning and studying how to pack, light, tamp and everything about pipes them selves for a couple weeks now but I still am having taste issues. Here is my problem and I am going to try and relate it to cigars. When I first started smoking cigars I would buy the 2-3 dollar ones because I was new and figured why spend 6 dollars and up when the 2 dollar ones are right here? Well I quickly realized how to cut light and smoke a cigar and over time realized it was more than a manly thing to do while golfing, It was a hand crafted art that when mastered reviled a lot of complex flours. I learned that if I smoked a nice cigar slowly I could get a nice, cool, flavorful and enjoyable smoke out of it and really enjoy it.

    Now that I am learning about pipes I see that it is just, if not more, of an art form and I am conflicted on the same issues. I started off with cheap tobaccos and that really was a bad thing to do because the tongue bite was awful and it just tasted like burning tobacco. But then I got samples of 10-15 dollar tin tobacco and its doing the same thing. I really am not getting any flavors besides maybe a little nuttiness but then its just burning tobacco. I ash and it still doesn't help. Maybe my pipe is not broken in? Maybe I'm smoking too fast, I don't know. So I only get a burning tobacco, one kind of flavor and if there is latakia in the blend then I taste that at times but that's about it. Can anyone help me on what they do about lighting and everything to get the best flavors? Because I love cigars for their leathery, nutty, and creamy notes but pipe tobacco smells awesome in the room note but the taste in my mouth has not been good.

    Thank you in advance,

    Lou

    Lou
    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    But then I got samples of 10-15 dollar tin tobacco and its doing the same thing.

    Can you elaborate more on the types of tobacco you are smoking?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. louiezmich

    louiezmich

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    Well I read on a forum that a man who works at Sterling Tobacco Co. in Sterling IL would give 1oz samples of his blends that he makes in his store. So I had to pay the shipping cost and I got a medium English blend a Virgina and Perique blend and a Natural blend that has some cigar leaves in it, and when I looked at the price its about 11 dollars a tin for each of his blends so I assumed they were higher quality. I also have some Sutliff Private Stock black cherry and that's doing the same thing.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. nsfisher

    nsfisher

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    Ya mate, Jack has some pretty good blends for sure. Hard to go wrong with many of his offerings.

    If at first you don't succeed, have another bowl.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. louiezmich

    louiezmich

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    Yes he does, well at least the smell is, but I am not knocking him I am just asking on what people do to get the most taste from their tobacco? Or is that just how it is supposed to taste?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. nsfisher

    nsfisher

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    Sip it slowly mate, don't let you pipe get hot, keep it clean. I inhale more than 50% of my bowls but many do not. Try letting the smoke hit the back of your throat and exhaling out through your nose. Takes a quite awhile to distuingish different attributes of each blend. Mainly, just relax and enjoy.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. gwtwdbss

    Chris

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    The slower you go the more flavor for sure. Maybe try a few other brands/blends. If you like, I can send ya two or three samples to try. Just PM me your address.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. louiezmich

    louiezmich

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    Okay now when you say slow do you mean a nice slow, long draw every 30 seconds or so? Or do you mean a couple quick puffs every 30 seconds or so? What do you do when you smoke?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. rhogg

    rhogg

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    Have you only smoked out of only one pipe? Perhaps your pipe has a nasty pre-carbonized bowl, or is inferior in some way to common simple briar? Understanding that there are many possibilities here I have trouble believing you get mostly bad taste from the tobaccos. If you were new to tobacco this might be explained away, but you already like tobacco so I am at loss.

    Also a tobacco pipe is not a weed pipe. Don't do the Private Pile routine. No need to suck a golf ball through a garden hose. I'm only being funny, but perhaps you are trying a little too hard?

    Sometimes if I am getting tongue bite I will make almost no effort to keep the pipe lit. Puff as slow as you can to see where the flavor comes through. This helps me with pace when I get overzealous.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Jack Peterson's a great guy and I do enjoy some of his blends but some of them, quite frankly, aren't for me. I think there's one kind of leaf in those that, while it doesn't bite exactly, it whacks my mouth in a not very pleasant way. I've jarred a couple of those and may revisit them in a year or two.

    Anyway, as to your problem Louie, I'm thinking two things:

    One, could be your tobacco. DOes your B&M offer sample bowls? If so, it may be worth talking to the tobacconist and trying some of those. I haven't tried the Sutliff blends, but it sounds like a heavy aromatic of which most are known to have great room notes but taste? Not so much.

    Two, you cadence. I know you smoke cigars so you learned a puff every 30 seconds or so is the WTG with them. Pipe smoking is kinda like that too -- a pipe has to be smoked slowly. Very slowly. Don't worry about relights; if you dried and packed the pipe OK, you're fine and relights are OK.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. philip

    Philip

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    Hi Lou,
    Welcome to the forum.

    I had much the same experience when I first started. It slowly improved, and I'm not sure how much was just learning to smoke slowly and how much was learning to taste the tobacco.

    Pack lightly so you barely have to draw on the pipe to keep it burning. Then practice smoking slowly. You don't need a lot of smoke like you are probably used to with a cigar. Give it some time and it should get better for you.

    Try some samples of different types of tobacco from time to time and you should start noticing the differences in the tastes.

    Best of luck.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. phred

    phred

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    Hi, Lou -

    I just started smoking a pipe in December - and I'd never smoked anything else prior, so this is all new to me, too. But I'm finding that, as with single-malt scotch, good quality tea, and craft-brewed beer, it takes a little while to educate the palate. I started with aromatics, and after reading a bunch on the Tobacco Talk forum, ordered some English blends in a sampler. I'm still not getting the subtle flavors (mostly due to smoking too fast, which leads to tongue bite, as you and the rest of us newbies have discovered...), but I'm starting to be able to distinguish the blends that seem to have them from the ones that don't really seem to - some of the aros are all smell, very little flavor. Keep at it - and as noted, take it slow...



    "De gustibus non est disputandum."
    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. smokedragon

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    I think nsfisher had a good point of exhaling through the nose from time to time. It can really help you taste the flavors more.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. uberam3rica

    Uberam3rica

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    This dosen't sound like much help, but it is. Don't think a lot. Just smoke your pipe. Eventually you will get the hang of things. Exhaling through the nose is a good tip. I inhale some of the hits into my lungs as well, but that is out of habit from smoking cigs. You don't have to inhale into your lungs.

    As long as I got a pipe full of baccy and a nose full of snuff, I'm a happy camper
    Cigarettes are an addiction, cigars are a hobby, pipes are a religion
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. sparroa

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    There are a lot of "high quality" blends out there that are not even remotely palatable to me.

    Something can be made of fine ingredients and yet it does not have to suit your tastes...

    Here are my recommendations.

    First, seek out more "recognized" brands that offer "touchstone" blends that are widely reviewed and well acclaimed.

    Pease/Dunhill/McClelland/Gawith/Stokkebye/Orlik/Rattray/Solani/Germain/Dan just to rattle ten off the top of my head.

    Read the reviews, find what sounds good to you, and experiment. (Not all blends of the same style are equal)

    Sterling Tobacco & Sutliffe may be decent tobaccos but they do not have the following of the more recognized players and I presume that there is a reason for that...

    Next, you personally may need to clean your pipe more than others. If you ever get dirty/ashy/tarry tastes then you need to do a better job. I clean my pipes almost religiously - other people are more slack. It depends on what YOU need to do to please your own tastes.

    What kind of pipes are you smoking? I personally find that new briar strips blends of a lot of flavour. Try smoking some MM cobs to see if they give you any instant gratification, while in the meantime continue to break in your pipes. They need to be smoked to some degree before they are properly seasoned and caked. (It is also possible that your pipe is just not that good - these problems can generally still happen with any new pipes)

    As others noted, your technique may also be off. You don't smoke a pipe like a metronome, with timed puffs and a set cadence. It is more of an intuitive thing. In fact, the pipe should mostly smoke itself. You light it and thereafter just take the smoke into your mouth and savour it at a relaxed pace. If you've got a good fire going you don't even need to puff often at all and yet you will still have a good volume of smoke and flavour to boot.

    Lastly, your palate probably needs awhile to adjust to the subtler tastes of pipe tobacco. I don't know what kind of cigars you were smoking but many are strong and harsh and full compared to what we use in our pipes. Give yourself a bit of time to get accustomed to these. (Smoking a cigar also delivers a very quick and concentrated dose of flavour that can easily be replicated with an identical cigar - with pipes, not so much... Every bowl of the same blend can be different) *I don't mean to oversimplify cigars, I just find more factors at play with pipes...

    Oh - I forgot - make sure that your tobacco is adequately dried and prepared for every bowl. This is just as important as proper packing. Most newcomers smoke their tobacco wayyy too wet. Get familiar with what moisture levels you like best; it varies from blend to blend.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    clynch

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    This is a nice thread with good info. I smoked pipes for a short while 20years ago. I'm starting back up. I will try not to inhale. Right now I was getting burn and had taste issues in my old briar pipe with tinder box tobacco's, that "smelt nice. I educated myself on this forum. Cleaned out the savanelli briar very well. I purchased non aromatics to start over. Dunhil Early morning was light, smells nice in the can, didn't burn my tongue, or leave much of a taste in my mouth, no wondrous room smell. I see why its called "early morning." A very nice starter tobacco. Davidoff Flake medallion smells delicious in the can, tastes nice, burns nice in the bowl, and I believe has lots of potential to be a steady tobacco for me. I smoked it in my old briar. I think I need to deep deep deep clean that briar. I purchased a cob pipe. The cob smoked nice and didn't have any effect on the smoke as I believe the old briar did. I need to rethink collecting nice briars or refine my cleaning technique. Cobs never intrigued me, but it smoked very nice. Dunhill Mixture 965 smells wonderful in the can. Just like barbeque. The flake medallions in the cobb is next. Then I'll try the 965 in both the cobb and briar. Afterwards, I'll give some aromatics a go. Glad I came to this forum.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    peanubutter

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    As a new pipe smoker and somewhat experienced cigar smoker I can relate to the taste being quite a bit different. I had some spicy powerful cigars on occasion but I like the infused ones as well. That was my tie-in to the pipe tobacco. I find it milder and not leaving that mouth film like a cigar but still providing that relaxation time and herfing with others who may be having a cigar. I also like the fact of partially filling a pipe for a smoke and not worrying about having to finish a cigar because of time constraints. I like the robusto sizes because they smoke cooler than the small cigars but even those can take awhile to finish. The initial cost of the pipe and tobaccos might be off putting, depending on the type of pipe and tobacco, but now I can get $100 worth of various blends to try that will last longer than a box of cigars. I am still learning and enjoying the process.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. sparroa

    simenon

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    clynch,

    May I suggest that you pick up a couple cobs and dedicate them to a particular style - one for English, one for Virginias, etc.

    I find that it makes quite a bit of difference on the "purity" of flavours, but your mileage may vary.

    It sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things. Just give it time - the only way you are going to learn and improve the quality of your smoking is with trial and error.

    If you like the Davidoff Flake Medallions, you must try Escudo. Don't delay - get some as soon as you can...

    All the best.

    Briar is a great pipe material but I find that cobs are the best for sampling blends.

    You should find lots of info around here on how to bring your briar back to life, as well as ways to break in a new briar if you pick one up.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. judcole

    Jud

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    Welcome to the forums, Lou. You're getting some good advice here. I would just emphasize what others have said:

    • Keep your pipe clean
    • Smoke good quality tobaccos from recognized blenders
    • Take your time
    • Don't over think it

    It takes time. Enjoy it,and have fun.

    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 #
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    osuilleabhain

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    A couple of things that help me a lot: let the pipe(s) rest at least a day, clean after every smoke once the pipe has cooled, every couple of days bristle cleaners dipped in whiskey or brandy followed by standard cleaners and cleaning the entire shank interior. I'm lucky to smoke good pipes & tobacco; slacking on any of the above maintenance taints taste fast. Have you tried Balkan Sasieni? Cool slow rich smoke that will overtake a ghost promptly

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. homeatsea

    homeatsea

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    Louiezmich,

    I also just started smoking the pipe and I too am yearning and struggling to pick out the subtle flavors.

    One thing that has helped me immensely, however, is a little trick I read on another thread here. Try running a pipe cleaner through your pipe mid-smoke. It really has helped me to get more flavor out of my tobacco but also to help me slow down and have a more enjoyable smoke, among the obvious effect of cleaning out moisture and residue that may be stuck in your stem and clouding your flavor.

    Also, like mentioned above, running a cleaner through post-smoke that is dipped in a high content alcohol is very beneficial to flavor.

    Hope this helps and best of luck to both of us (and everyone else finding their way in the art).

    -Home At Sea
    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. rjscha

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    Sip on the pipe. Don't take long drags. Even if the pipe goes out, your goal is to find the temperature where the flavor starts coming through. If it goes out, let the bowl cool down completely before relighting and trying again. Then you just have to learn how to pack/smoke to keep it at that temp all the way through. Believe me, I'm still learning.

    And if you have tongue bite, you may need to take a day or two off to let your taste buds recover. Every time I've pushed it too hard I lose the ability to taste for a while--even after my tongue feels ok again.

    +1 for keeping your pipes clean.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. easterntraveler

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    Everytime I have gone through learning to smoke cigars, hookah, and my pipe I always tasted the same thing. No matter the cigar,flavor of the shisha or type of pipe tobacco it always came down to heat managent.

    Because straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few be there that find it.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. mso489

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    I've just gone back to non-blended bulk tobaccos, McClelland Red Va. Cake, and Lanes Ltd. Burley,
    and these are nice in rotation with more complex blends. This might provide a base line, then move
    to blends. An idea to consider.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. andrew

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    You have to dedicate pipes to blends, if you smoke an english blend and then try an aromatic in the same pipe it will probably taste like crap. Learning to gauge what tobacco for what pipe is part of the art. First bowl I ever had was regimental standard and I fell in love, first time smoking a pipe ever. Also some tobacco's simply have a natural taste like Virginia's, and for most pipe smokers including myself are the last tobacco you learn to appreciate. I highly reccomend starting with lighter blends rather than non blended, as the only non blended tobacco I like is premium Virginia, but didn't like Virginia u til after about 2 years of smoking a pipe. But sticking with certain blends to pipes is very important, this is why I'm at 16 pipes already in my 3rd year smoking. Pipes and cigars are much different, nothing beats a good cigar, but a good cigar is too expensive for me unless its a very special occasion, then it's a Monte cristo #4

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. sparroa

    simenon

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    Smoking your pipes indiscriminately is a guaranteed way to get modest returns.

    If you dedicate them to one style or another, you will get greater clarity of flavour...

    I would encourage pipe smokers to try straight Virginia blends as soon as they get a grasp of the basics of pipe smoking. The taste of this strain of natural tobacco is quite extraordinary and, IMO, it easily defeats any aromatic on the market. Like a fine coffee or wine or cigar, however, it may take some getting used to...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. cigrmaster

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    Welcome to the forum Louie. I would suggest getting a tin of Escudo, it was the blend that opened my eyes to how good a pipe can be. I was a 20 plus year cigar smoker when I took up the pipe and that blend had the flavor I was looking for.

    Also when you are done packing your pipe, check the draw, if you do not feel some decent resistance pack it firmer, many new smokers pack too loosely and it will go out all the time.Also you need to dump ash occasionally so you are not trying to smoke through a pipe of burnt tobacco. You will eventually find your smoking cadence which will produce a cool and sweet smoke, it takes time. Pipes are nothing like cigars and there is a very high learning curve to them, but once you get it the rewards are worth it.

    Harris
    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. captainbob

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    +1 Jud,

    Based on what you have enjoyed with cigars, you might do well to try a cigar blend or an English Blend (contains Latakia). You strike me as a smoker who needs a stronger non-aromatic blend because you enjoy cigars. Lou, if you can speak to a tobacconist, he may be able to help you. Sometimes, a cigar smoker has a difficult time making the transfer. I'll add, that smoking a pipe after smoking a cigar will prevent your taste buds from enjoying the pipe tobacco. That is my experience. See what you think about the pipe, smoke the pipe before your palate is saturated from a cigar and go from there. I hope this helps you.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. cigrmaster

    cigrmaster

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    Bob make a great point about a cigar overwhelming your palate for you to truly enjoy pipe tobacco. When I was smoking both cigars and pipes, I found it very difficult to appreciate my pipe tobacco after smoking a cigar. I would give your palate a 2 day rest after smoking a cigar before you try the pipe.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. bludgeoningdeath

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    If one has been smoking aromatics and Virginia's in the same pipes should an alchohol cleaning be done to cleanse the bowl of the pipes and rid it of ghost flavors? I know Latakia will produce a strong ghost flavor in a pipe but I hadn't heard before that aromatics and other types should be seperated.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    If one has been smoking aromatics and Virginia's in the same pipes should an alchohol cleaning be done to cleanse the bowl of the pipes and rid it of ghost flavors? I know Latakia will produce a strong ghost flavor in a pipe but I hadn't heard before that aromatics and other types should be seperated.

    That depends.

    If the "ghost" really bothers you, then a thorough cleaning is in order. IMO, aromatics often "ghost" a pipe, but I don't care, because after a bowl or two of a non-aromatic, the "ghost" is gone -- and I also don't mind that "fleeting ghost," because after all, I like the aromatic anyway LOL.

    But I'm not as finicky as some puffers who reserve this pipe for virginias, that pipe for aromatics, etc. First of all, I don't smoke heavy latakias or bombastic Lakelands -- those can indeed require a priest to come over and exorcise their ghost sometimes LOL.

    I'm not casting aspersions at all on folks who dedicate pipes -- It makes total sense that a delicate virginia reveals its subtle nuances better, or a Balkan's diversity is much better reflected in a pipe dedicated to it.

    My suggestion -- smoke whatever you like in whatever pipe you choose. If a ghosting is ever a problem for you, get out the Everclear, cotton balls and kosher salt.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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