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Newer Piper... Where Do I Go from Here (Blend-Wise)??

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  • Started 5 months ago by unclemax
  • Latest reply from recluse
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    unclemax

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    Hi folks.. I'm trying to step outside of my Father Dempsey, Quiet Nights, and Holiday blend comfort zone, but am kinda overwhelmed as where to start. There is soooo much great tobacco out there. I was a daily cigar smoker for years. Tried picking up the pipe 12 yrs ago, but the cigars ruled. I rarely smoke cigars anymore, but am really loving my pipes. I'm reading all the reviews, but they just make me wanna buy everything lol! Anyway, I'm pretty open. Except for sour (I mean, reallly sour. I can handle a tad). I like Lats, but I'm also interested in finding an all day smoke. Not sure what else to add other than thank-you, folks!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Try the John Cotton blends, #1 and No. 2&3, then Smyrna.

    Others will recommend VaPers or straight VA's.

    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 5 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    Thank-you for the reply, and suggestion. What gives some tabacs a "cigarette-like taste"? I want to stay away from those, along w/the "sour-tasting" stuff.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. mikethompson

    mikethompson

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    I will second the Virginia suggestion. That being said I started with English blends and still really enjoy them. I think smokingpipes.com has a good selector tool that can help narrow down your search based on what your preferences are. That might be worth a shot.

    We are spoiled for choice now, especially if you live in the US. The pickings are a little more scarce in Canada.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  5. bluto

    bluto

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    Kinda went thru the same iteration , I had my stash built up with blends mostly

    When I started searching not by type but by cut , I used flake and plug as a filter , i found some interesting tobacco .

    “listen: there’s a hell
    of a good universe next door; let’s go”
    Posted 5 months ago #
  6. workman

    workman

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    I can't think of any pipe tobacco that tastes like cigarettes. I once thought that about Royal Yacht, but I must have been overpuffing or something.
    You should try something with latakia. Everyone should. It really started the flavor experience for me.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  7. jacks6

    jacks6

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    If you'd like me to put together a sampler for you to give you an idea of different types of tobacco you may like shoot me a PM. I've got a pretty good variety.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  8. techie

    techie

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    I'm reading all the reviews, but they just make me wanna buy everything

    I started the pipe just 3 months ago, and I felt the same way as you - just wanted to try it all. What I did was pick from the best reviewed tobaccos from each of the main categories: English, viginias, VaPers, Burley-based, aromatics, to begin figuring out what I like. I would then purchase others in whatever categories appealed to me the most. It takes time, especially since your taste will probably change over time.

    I found it important to hold onto ones I didn't care for at first, such as virginias and aromatics. The first aromatic I opened smelled unappealing to me, so I jarred it. Two months later it was very different, and now I enjoy it quite a bit.

    It's a really enjoyable journey of discovery. Just peruse tobaccos at places like smokingpipes, read descriptions and reviews, get samples and tins of the ones that appeal to you. I read reviews but don't rely strictly on them. Sometimes I buy something that for some reason or another just seems interesting.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    erhardt85

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    If you enjoyed those blends I would try Mac Baren's Old Dark Fired or Bold Kentucky, or even Gawith Hoggarth Dark Birdseye to enjoy one of the most delightful dark fired tobacco experiences. Alternatively, Dreams of Kadath packs a solid dark fired punch while adding unique and exotic flavors of Orientals and what I assume is a special casing. From there I would pick up some Ennerdale Flake or Grasmere Flake to get a taste of Lakeland excellence. Once you have your technique down to second nature I would try some Old Gowrie/half of the Wynd, Sunday Picnic, and Luxury Bullseye Flake/Escudo for a wonderful vacation/per experience. Those are my benchmarks in their class. Maybe not the absolute best but the tried and true that never let me down and leave me satisfied. For other English I would recommend Dan Tobacco Old Ironsides, Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding Special Reserve (heaven), Black Frigate, Tsuge Ryujin, and Westminster/Odyssey. Yes, that probably hurts instead of helps because there are nine million blends there, but if you like full and consistent flavor and strength, that's precisely where I personally would start in each class if I could start over. Not listed in order of importance. I would try PP special reserve as soon as possible because I don't know how long it will be out. Dunhill Dark Flake and Elizabethan are also amazing va/peers, especially after six months in a jar (like most), but they may be harder to find now.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  10. grumpybear

    grumpybear

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    I am a new pipe smoker as well. At first anything with Virginia had that "cigarette taste" to me. I had gotten some PS Luxury Twist Flake and found it awful. So I jarred it and forgot about it. I tried GLP Quite Nights it did not taste bad but I didn't like it. It was when I tried Warhorse Bar and others containing Dark Fired Kentucky that my tastes began to have an awakening. I learned more about packing and not puffing to hard or too often everything started to become enjoyable. PS Luxury Twist Flake is now one of my favorites to smoke in the morning, I no longer taste "cigarettes" .Quiet Nights is also a go to for me now. I have recently added some Orlik Golden Sliced to my rotation which I enjoy. Everytime I have cash to spare I buy as many 1 ounce bags of bulk tobacco's that I can, plus one or two tins. Doing this has helped me branch out and discover new tobacco's more than anything else.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  11. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    With questions like this, you're going to get a thousand different answers If you like latakia, I'd try Hearth & Home's Black House. It was the first blend with latakia I ever tried, and it blew my mind. If you're looking for something you can smoke all day and still has latakia, but won't make other people run away from you, try Kramer's Blend for Cary Grant. It's a fantastic English/Aromatic originally blended by Kramer's for Cary Grant himself.... the guy had great taste.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 5 months ago #
  12. hoosierpipeguy

    hoosierpipeguy

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    Over time, you'll get as many recommendations as there are blends. People have different tastes. You should try some representative blends from each genre. I see TobaccoPipes has some Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake. I would personally recommend you try that as well as GL Pease Union Square as two fine representatives of Virginia tobacco. You could purchase a few of the aged Escudo tins from Salted Plug to get your VaPer blend sample. I've already started smoking one of those tins and it is superb. If he still has them, I'd highly recommend the aged GL Peach JackKnife Plug. I've smoked a number of bowls of that I already received from him, absolutely awesome.

    I'm also a fan of Quiet Nights. Perhaps you should try Gaslight as well. Since you like Orlike Golden Sliced, you may wish to try Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky. I'm not a fan of most Latakia forward blends so I don't have much to offer in the way of recommendations.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  13. chilipalmer

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    Hi, Max!

    Based upon your remarks, here are some suggestions for you for an all day smoke:

    To expand in the arena of burley blends like Holiday(An excellent and underrated blend) try:

    Sutliff Revelation match
    C&D Epiphany (This blend contains a pleasantly noticeable nose tickling dose of perique)
    Sutliff Walnut match
    Hearth and Home Midtown Chestnut
    Sutliff Barking Dog match
    Sutliff Briggs Mixture match
    C&D Junkyard Dog
    C&D Americana

    To go further with the Father Dempsey experience:

    Stokkebye Proper English, a great all day English
    Stokkebye English Oriental Supreme - an all day oriental forward English
    Boswell's Countryside
    Sutliff Fox & Hound

    If you want to go towards the slightly aromatic side of the English genre, try:

    C&D Snug Harbor
    Sutliff Aromatic English
    Sutliff Count Pulaski
    Lane HGL

    Hope that helps and enjoy your journey!

    Cheers,

    Chili

    “Pipe: a primary masculine symbol with authoritarian overtones but also indicative of reliability and contentment.”
    -The Dictionary of Visual Language, 1980
    Posted 5 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    Thank-you, ALL. Some great names and advice. I'm looking forward to diving in, but it's hard to stray from what you know/love. That being said, there's a LOTof really kickass tobacco out there, and the more I read, the more my mouth waters (and my wishlist grows) lol!!

    Ok, so I've recently received the following tins:
    C&D
    Autumn Evening
    Gentleman Caller- it's ok. too much deer tongue for my liking.
    Morley's Best
    Opening Night
    Pirate Kake- 10/8/18 tin date too new
    Professor
    Sunday Picnic

    GLP
    Gaslight
    Stonehenge
    Triple Play
    Quiet Nights- love, love, love!

    Kramer's Father Dempsey- love, love, love!!!
    Bengal Slice
    several diff Holiday blends/ 2015 Holiday Spirit the fave

    So a nice little start, I guess. Any faves on that list?? I have no idea where to begin.. lol. But it's just tabacky!!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. newbroom

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    With regard to what (we) are calling cigarette taste; I would suggest that that means that you are not properly savoring your pipe.
    I remember good tasting cigarettes. One thing about the taste of tobacco is to do with how hot it gets, I think, and a cigarette typically gets its contents much hotter than one can manage more easily in a pipe with what (we) call technique.
    A new piper will see more dramatic swings in tastes than a (codger) more experienced one.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. blackadderlxx

    blackadderlxx

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    What I did was this...I went to TR and looked at all of their blends rated Highly Recommended AND with more than 100 reviews. I started reading reviews and trying things that sounded interesting. I would also compare the search results with blends recommended on lists like the ones given in response to your OP. Then I would just add them to my SP shopping card and push "checkout". Here's the TR search link:
    http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/search?Rating=Highly+Recommended&ReviewCount=100

    Posted 4 months ago #
  17. bluto

    bluto

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    Yes , take your time , it's a bit of back and forth between searches and online retail , but after awhile you get a feel for what's in the tin or bag . TR is excellent and with your shopping list , get on this forum for checks and balances , good first hand advice.

    Think long term , I haven't smoked much so my stash is aging.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  18. chilllucky

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    I'm not new to pipes, but I did recently get a yen to open up my tobacco choices after smoking one blend pretty exclusively for nearly a decade.

    For me, the three most helpful things I've done to counter the intimidating/overwhelming choices out there and lack of certainty about which reviewers tastes align with mine are:

    First, I joined the Tin Society. I get four half ounce samples of normally tinned blends to try per month, plus some trinkets. The randomness has forced me to try some things I otherwise wouldn't have. Plus, I like having a package to look forward to.

    Second, I went to SP and ordered some base tobacco's from C&D's blender's series. This has really helped me to learn my own preferences at this moment in my journey. For instance, now I know that between two English blends that are equally well reviewed, I am more likely to enjoy the one with less Izmir orientals in it.

    Lastly, I started hanging out with the local pipe club. People are very generous with their tobaccos and their opinions, so you will get to try a lot of things and hear about why they became favorites. Be warned, however, that some people like to bring aged or discontinued tobo to these things and if you really fall for one, you could wind up with very expensive tastes.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    You guys are awesome... thank-you so much for all of the great advice. I started my shopping list by reading a ton of reviews on TR. And yes, I get it. You really need to try a little of everything (like I did w/premium cigars). I've seen reviews of classic tobaccos that either praised or knocked some wonderful blends. As far as aging goes, well, I have some classics that are 12-13 yrs old. They were new when I first tried cutting back on cigars. The cigars won lol, but I now rarely smoke stogies. I would love to bust some of these tins (Penzance, London Mixture, EMP, BlackwoodsFlake, Nightcap, Squadron Leader, Choc Flake, Sweet Killarney, Sunset Breeze, and a few more), but I'm gonna wait until I'm able to fully appreciate them. The Tin Society sounds like a great idea. Chili.. I added your suggested blends to my pipe journal. Thank-you for putting that together. I'm gonna go watch some football, smoke a few bowls, and read some more reviews. Thank-you again, everybody.
    Max

    Posted 4 months ago #
  20. alexnc

    alexnc

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    You might also go to tobaccoreviews.com and read the reviews for the things you already know you like the most. Spot and remember a few reviewers that think like you do about the things you like, then sort to their reviews and see what else they liked. I've found 2 or 3 that I can fairly reliably count on for recommendations. I just have to remember - that one doesn't like perique as much as me - or that one likes aros more than me, etc

    Goo Goo g’joob
    Posted 4 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    Thank-you, Alex.. I started doing something similar to help me build my list(s). I'm following a good handful of veteran pipers whose reviews/judgements/opinions I trust. They're generally on the same page, but it's interesting when they have different views on the same blend. But it gives you a really good idea, and they're usually pretty informative. Makes ya wanna try 'em all lol!! That's ok, though. Fall is here, and Winter is coming. Perfect seasons for learning.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  22. alexnc

    alexnc

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    Watch out, I probably have 60 4oz jars of blends I've tried! Don't toss things, I've come back to things I thought I hated to love them later.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    Alex.. I would NEVER toss any tabacky lol!! And yeah, I understand aging tobacco from my many years of cigars. I also know that this is a totally different animal. I'm getting ready to try Opening Night, which will be my first straight Va. Had Sunday Picnic for the 1st time earlier today. It was nice, but a tad mild (light medium-medium) for me. Also felt that it needs more age. Fun stuff all around, though! It's how I found my Top 10 cigars. And of course, it's an ever-changing list!

    Posted 4 months ago #
  24. alexnc

    alexnc

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    I like Opening Night, hope you do. If you do you might try Peter Stokkebye Luxury Twist Flake (& their Navy) - it's sweeter and maybe a little smoother than Opening Night

    Posted 4 months ago #
  25. bluto

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    It's gonna be like playing spin the donkey starting out

    But , yah , the forumites hooked me up with good reviewers who know their stuff

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    Alex, I do like Opening Night. Surprised at first, but then again, I'm a tobacco-guy. And yeah Bluto, just like I had to do with cigars. Ya gotta try everything, cause reviews are subjective. That being said, I've favorited several reviewers (on TR) who know their stuff (and seem to have similar tastes). If I don't like something initially, I don't have a problem cellaring it for future bowls and 2nd/3rd/4th attempts.

    Posted 4 months ago #
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    unclemax

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    New Tin Update:
    I've really been liking Opening Night. Gave Sunday Picnic another try, and it wasn't for me. Again, these are all new to me. I've always been Nightcap or Nightcap-ish OTC, along with Holidays blends. Anyway, I put a new order in for the following tins. Would love your thoughts. Thanks all!

    Plum Pudding Special Reserve
    Three Nuns
    Three Nuns Green
    Three Nuns Yellow
    Escudo Navy Deluxe
    Samarra
    Union Square
    Kramers Cary Grant

    Posted 4 months ago #
  28. mrmachado

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    Late answer, and I'm a beginner as well, but I'd like to add my opinion not only for the OP but for all beginners (like me and the OP): try all strains of tobacco, blends with all percentages of the most diverse tobacco types.

    It's what I'm doing to discover the nuances of each tobacco strain, i.e., those that I like and those that I like less, and their different flavors and aromas. I think that this approach can help you train your palate too. Latakia for example has a very distinct flavor and smell, and this kind of thing can help you differentiate each type of tobacco and their characteristics.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. mso489

    mso489

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    You have to design your own exploration. Don't try to do too much at once. It's a gradual process. Do a lot of "window shopping" on the tobacco pages of online and catalog retailers, to learn what's out there. Try popular versions of specific categories -- English, Virginia, Virginia-Perique, burley blends, Balkan -- and some of the different tin, bulk, and even bag blends. Buy in small quantities. Don't shun pouch blends, since some are good. If you don't like a blend, put it in a jar and try it again in a year or two.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. recluse

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    Thank-you for the reply, and suggestion. What gives some tabacs a "cigarette-like taste"? I want to stay away from those, along w/the "sour-tasting" stuff.

    Peterson's Irish Flake did that for me. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't for me.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #

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