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Is The USA The Most Sophisticated Pipe-Smoking Nation In The World?

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  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

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    I used to think that the UK was the world's leading expert
    in the production of fine tobaccos and superior pipes but
    after returning to pipe smoking after a hiatus of almost
    50 years I'm astounded at the incredibly wide range of fine
    US tobaccos, the large number of US artisan pipe makers, and
    the depth of knowledge of the art of pipe smoking exhibited
    in forums such as this. Surely the US -- with its tobaccos,
    blenders, artisan pipes, shops, forums and pipe shows -- has
    to be the world's Number One in the noble hobby of pipe smoking
    and everything associated with it?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. pappymac

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    interesting observation.

    I am glad we have a good admin and responsible moderators.

    Heave to you dark colored ship under sail! Prepare to be boarded!
    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I'm not sure about "sophisticated," but I do know a lot of pipesmokers in my area, but most are one pipe, one tobacco sorts of guys. I just met a guy the other day coming out of the grocers, saw my pipe, and asked me what tobacco I smoke. I kept trying to say that I will try it all, but he was persistent in knowing what one tobacco I prefer. He was bumfuzzled at all of my attempts to reply. He was an aromatic guy, kept telling me that he smoked Rumjack, that he ordered from somewhere, sounded like a house blend or renamed blend. He was quite proud of how "ordering his tobacco" made him sound sophisticated. I patted him on the back for being quite "exotic". I think next time someone asks me what I smoke, I'll just tell them, Bumfuzzle... sounds Turkish.

    Michael
    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. bnichols23

    Bill Nichols

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    ^^^ Yeah, go with that. Tell us what kind of looks you get too.

    B

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 3 months ago #
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    Anonymous

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    "Sophisticated" may not have been the best choice of word
    but by it I meant having the most of everything connected
    with the hobby of pipe-smoking.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. hoosierpipeguy

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    Presently, yes. But it appears we're heading to one of the least sophisticated by your definition.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Yes, right now you're doing really great but it's hard
    to know how much damage busybodies will eventually succeed
    in doing before they're through.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. spartacus

    spartacus

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    As far as choice of tobaccos, price, and availability I would say yes.

    But, most of my favorite tobaccos are not produced in the USA. They are imported from other countries. Maybe in production the US takes a backseat.

    Maybe someone can enlighten me on that. Does the US not produce much pipe tobacco blends anymore? Did they ever produce most of the pipe tobacco blends? Maybe I just don't smoke many US blends.

    I heard the US was the biggest grower and exporter of tobacco.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. weezell

    weezell

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    Yes, right now you're doing really great but it's hard
    to know how much damage busybodies will eventually succeed
    in doing before they're through.

    "the weez"...
    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. mso489

    mso489

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    As near as I can tell from my roost in the U.S. South, the U.S. is the best supplied pipe and pipe tobacco market with the lowest prices generally. The U.S. is a young country, so sophisticated may not describe us as a national entity, but it is easy to buy many different brands of pipes from many different nations, and similarly a huge array of pipe tobaccos at, apparently, about the lowest prices in the world. Commerce has often been one of the U.S.'s strengths.

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Yes, well that's more or less what I meant.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  12. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    having the most of everything connected
    with the hobby of pipe-smoking.

    The US is certainly up there. But having the best of everything connected with pipe smoking is more arguable. British and German made tobaccos are more favored by a large part of the US smoking market. McClelland closed up shop and they were one of the few blenders who could go head to head with anyone. GL Pease still produces high quality blends through C&D. But tobacco growing in the US is waning and more costly methods needed to ensure quality are being replaced by cheaper methods. Eventually that will affect the quality of what goes into commercial blends.

    We have some of the finest pipe restorers in the world here in the US. I'm not referring to making a pipe look pretty, which is not restoration, but actually knowing how to restore it structurally as well as cosmetically. But there are less and less of them as the old guard retires.

    We also have some of the most knowledgeable experts on pipes and tobacco here, but so do other countries, and you rarely find them willing to participate on public fora.

    Where the US has shone in recent years is in the area of world class pipe carvers. We really got to see that over the past 15-20 years. And now we're seeing Eastern European Asian carvers whose work is second on no one. So that area is also changing.

    The US is certainly #1 when it comes to access to a wide variety of blends at very affordable prices.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 3 months ago #
  13. xingpao

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    Here un the US, we grow some excellent tobacco and have plenty of artisans. It is a pretty large, diverse country after all.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  14. cosmicfolklore

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    Asia is definitely buying up all of the more expensive stuff. ...or at least they keep getting blamed by pipemakers everywhere for their products being so slow to reach the US.

    You know, everywhere has it's positives and negatives. Yeh, in the US it is still not uncommon to see guys smoking their pipes in their cars or out in public... except up North. And, Yeh, we do have better looking women... except up North. And, sure, we don't really have many taxes... except up North. And, at least it hardly ever snows... except up North.

    I forgot what the Hell I was talking about. I just know that You couldn't get me to move up North. I would be more likely to move to somewhere that had No tobacco than somewhere up North... as long as they had good looking women.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  15. olkofri

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    Yeh, I'd be more likely to move somewhere that had No tobacco than somewhere down south or somewhere that had No snow.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 3 months ago #
  16. madox07

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    xingpao +1. I too am of the opinion that it has to do with size and diversity. I guess that the US has quite an old tradition in pipe smoking, and population size does bring a considerable demand value to the table. Take Denmark for example, huge pipe and pipe tobacco tradition, but a small population means little to no demand. I remember last I was in Denmark they were on a niche, making terribly expensive pipes, that were catered to older and more income stable smokers. Like the others mentioned, I am not sure that sophisticated is the right choice of wording, but I do admit that the US does offer the world a great variety of pipe tobacco, which is most welcome for me as a European. Every so often I do manage to get my hands on American blends and they are a most welcome site ...

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 3 months ago #
  17. cortezattic

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    IMO, the UK used to hold the title; but Denmark, largely on the shoulders of Mac Baren, has emerged as a leader in the development and production of sophisticated blends. We in the USA are beneficiaries.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. paulie66scandinavian

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    Apparently,the Anti Tobacco movement did manage to destroy to a certain degree old pipe smoking traditions here in Scandinavia

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. mso489

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    In a larger sense, in what sense is the U.S. sophisticated? Maybe in realms of science and technology. Otherwise, I see pockets of brilliance; a patchwork quilt of seemingly infinite complexity; endless emotion and intensity; a sea of troubles and the troubled; but nowhere do I discern sophistication except in an ironic sense. Our culture is too rapidly changing and unstable to have attained that, that older more subtle cultures have at their center (not always with good results, I might add, sophistication not being synonymous with goodness).

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    ^^^^^This, though the US is losing its edge, and in many ways has lost its edge in both science and technology.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. gatorlope

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    Since I favor the meerschaum pipes, I’m almost certain to be getting a Turkish product. I would love to see someone open the New Mexico mines and start distributing an American product!

    Posted 3 months ago #
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    64alex

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    I would not say the most sophisticated market but definitely the largest for sure.
    However, I think most of the best high quality "sophisticated" blends are produced outside of the USA particularly after McClelland closed business and the trend will continue on that way considering USA blenders generally use USA grown tobacco whose quality is going to decline as an effect of the anti-tobacco crusade held here.
    In terms of pipe makers yes, there are good carvers in the USA, but still for me the best ones in terms of class are the europeans ones, however it is just a matter of taste. I have to admit I am biased because I am from Italy and I do not want to inflame a debate but I really think so.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    However, I think most of the best high quality "sophisticated" blends are produced outside of the USA particularly after McClelland closed business and the trend will continue on that way considering USA blenders generally use USA grown tobacco whose quality is going to decline as an effect of the anti-tobacco crusade held here.

    GL Pease, Russ Oulette, Wilke, Std. Tobacco of PA, Seattle Pipe, and more.

    And US grown tobacco quality won't decline necessarily due to the Anti's crusades, though long term could be a deleterious effect. And I suspect that a lot of our blenders make good use of the world wide tobacco market.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. gatorlope

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    “Sophisticated blends” are just another brand in a can...

    It’s getting harder and harder to find shops where you can sample and create your own blends.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. crazyhog

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    Here un the US, we grow some excellent tobacco and have plenty of artisans. It is a pretty large, diverse country after all.

    Unfortunately, this may no longer be the truth with all the new FDA rules soon approaching. Also, no more support from the government, Department of Agriculture. Tobacco is no longer considered an agricultural product. I've noticed lately some Boswell blends are not what they were 5 years ago. It appears that Denmark, Germany and the UK may have the highest quality blends now.

    "I yam what I yam."
    Posted 2 months ago #
  26. daniel7

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    Denmark, UK, Ireland, Germany, USA, Japan and China nowadays. But the market is changing - as with everything, (South East) Asia is becoming more and more important/dominant.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  27. mso489

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    Footnote: U.S. factory pipes are at a low ebb. Italy and France keep churning them out, as do Denmark, Ireland, and England to some degree. We have Dr. Grabow and MM cobs, but Medico and Yello-Bole are at minimal production, and I think Edwards/Benton/etc. are gone or dormant. So U.S. is a center of commerce in pipes and tobacco, and certainly has a thriving community of pipe carvers, but some real zones of inactivity.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  28. jpmcwjr

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    It appears that Denmark, Germany and the UK may have the highest quality blends now.

    For every top blend from those countries, you can find several from American firms:
    GL Pease, Russ Oulette, Wilke, Std. Tobacco of PA, Seattle Pipe, Kramer's

    Posted 2 months ago #
  29. kcghost

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    I guess I really don't care but will say that U.S. can really be proud of the people who produce the tobacco and make the pipes.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  30. cigrmaster

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    Out of the 39 flakes, plugs and rope in my cellar only 2 are from an American mfg. My GL Pease Navigator and Butera Dark Stoved are the only 2. The rest of my blends are from Europe. Mostly from houses such as Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG, Samuel Gawith, STG, Mac Baren, Dan Tobacco, Peter Heinrich and Orlik. I am probably forgetting a couple.

    When it comes to pipes I am a huge fan of No American artisan made pipes and have around 50 of them. I sold off all my high end Danish pipes years ago and couldn't be happier. When it comes to bang for the buck for me, America is where it is at pipe wise.

    Harris
    Posted 2 months ago #
  31. folanator

    folanator

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    'merica.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  32. jpmcwjr

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    But, but, but, Harris, you are an outlier among outliers! Crême de la crême, and all that. And there's a couple dozen other folks here who have about the same tastes and pocketbooks and cellars. But I don't think it negates my statement. 'Merican blenders rock.

    Posted 2 months ago #
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    dare66

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    It's very similar to the beer scene. England had a great foundation of classic styles Porter, Stout ,Pale Ale and Barleywine but in the last 20 to 30 years the U.S. has exploded onto the craft beer world.

    Posted 2 months ago #

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