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No Joy in Smoking

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    mrtomas

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    Dear Pipers!

    I am a new smoker, only a few days of pipe smoking experience. I did a lot of reading (also read the beginner tips on this forum) and watched a lot of videos. Anyway, I ordered a corncob pipe, which turned out to be a mini corncob pipe. I am waiting for my 'Legend' to come in. And i don't enjoy smoking it, because of the bad feeling in my mouth. The taste is kind of sour (it is a new pipe - not dirty) and I get a feeling that something is clogging my throat. It also makes me want to drink water and swallow that 'something', I feel like spitting a lot as well. The tobacco I have is vanilla flavored MacBaren. I have been smoking cigarettes for about 7 years now and this is not because I am new to smoking. I was wondering what could be the reason. I believe (hope so!) it is because of the lousy mini cob pipe, but I watched a video of a man trying it out and he seemed to enjoy it, even though he is a regular pipe smoker. Also I enjoy normal and flavored cigarette tobacco's so I don't think this is mainly because of vanilla taste and MacBaren seems like a decent brand. Is it maybe because I smoke too fast? I know I do it, because I get tongue burns, but if i smoke too slowly the pipe goes off or there are very little smoke. I don't see the point of smoking if there are almost no smoke since it brings the smell and the taste. Well my techniques still needs practicing and I will get there eventually. My packing skills might not be good also, but i tried the baby-lady-man handshake technique. Anyway, my firs tries were unsatisfactory. Do any of you Gentleman have/had this awful feeling in your mouth? I don't get it from cigarettes. I would like to quit this awful habit of inhaling tobacco and damaging my lungs with only the benefit of getting 'the dose' of nicotine. Pipe smoking would be the perfect replacement since it is not so damaging to the lungs and lip cancer or tongue are much more easily treatable (it could be best to just stop smoking but I am a 'tobacco person' and enjoy it a lot - can't help it). Moreover it seems like a great and interesting hobby which brings some psychological benefits as well. But enough of that. Thank you for the answers in advance!

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I believe you've found the cause of your issues here:

    Well my techniques still needs practicing and I will get there eventually.

    Learning to smoke cigarettes is easy; you flick a BiC to torch it, light the cigarette, and after a few days or so, when you stop coughing your lungs out, you "learned" to smoke cigarettes.

    Pipe smoking is a whole new ball game. I've been smoking pipes 40+ years and I'm still learning. It takes a long time with pipes, and we need to be up for the challenge, enjoy the process, and we all eventually get there.

    From what you say here, I congratulate you on doing your homework -- you seem to know a lot about pipes and pipe smoking and I agree with you, that Legend MM cob will likely perform better than the mini (which, IMO, is more of a toy).

    There's a ton of easy-to-find info on the PM Forums (start with the "Beginners" area near the top of the home page), as well as elsewhere on line, some of which you've poured over already. Don't get discouraged. Patience is sooooo important. Smoke slowly; smoke more slowly. Get the packing down. Go for it!

    Welcome to PM Forums and good luck!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. ace57

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    Get a real pipe and give it time. I smoked cigs for 40 years and now just the pipe and will never go back.

    U.S.M.C. (SEMPER FI)
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. rotschefeller

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    I haven't tried a lot of Mac baren, but it is pretty well known for tongue bite from what I hear. Maybe it's not the best choice for a beginner learning to smoke at the right pace?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. 05venturer

    05venturer

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    When you get your Legend pick up a pouch of Carter Hall tobacco and give it a try. I smoke pretty much all Missouri Meerschaum Cobs and have found them the easiest smoking pipe there is. I am also a "newbie" to the wonderful world of pipes and am having my share of trials and tribulations but am finding the pipe a much more satisfying experience than 30+ years of coffin nails ever gave me.
    As you will here very often "patience".

    Sent you a PM, check it out

    Kent

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mrtomas

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    I am just amazed how friendly are all the people in this community. Pipe smoking brings out the inner sophisticated gentleman in any man (or a lady!) I suppose.

    I am actually living in UK and tobacco costs about 20 dollars per 50g here so it is kind of expensive since I am not working right now because of my studies. The MacBaren is from my birth country which cost 7 dollars per 50g. Well i will try to find some one to send some decent tobacco then, if MacBaren is a lousy choice. Too bad I'm not in US, because the only corn cob pipes I can get are the 'Legend' ones for a decent price. Other, like the Gentleman or Diplomat which I wanted costs a lot. Well the pipe is not very expensive, but the shipping costs more than the pipe itself. I could by a decent (for a begginer) briar for the same price, but I am still afraid to use one (don't want to ruin the experience with a bad briar and the break'ins)

    Also I will try to wait for my decent cob and try to relax and slow down. By keeping the fire burning with without puffing like a chimney should help, I hope, to kill the bad sensation in my mouth. The smell is great though.

    Thank you all.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    if MacBaren is a lousy choice

    IMO, that Mac Baren's Vanilla is fine (as long as you like aromatics); you just a better pipe (nothing wrong with that Legend) and you need to work on your technique.

    I will try to wait for my decent cob and try to relax and slow down. By keeping the fire burning with without puffing like a chimney should help, I hope, to kill the bad sensation in my mouth. The smell is great though.

    There you go!

    Also, if you have any decent tobacconists nearby, pay them a visit. Even for a struggling student such as yourself, you might likely find a friend or two that will help you along, especially if you're charming and polite

    More than a few tobacconist shops may also sell estate pipes. Estates are cleaned and restored, broken in and ready to smoke; they usually sell for a great deal less than a new pipe too.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. sothron

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    I remember well the cost of living shock from living briefly, and part time, in the UK. And particularly the cost of tobacco shock. Ouch.

    However, y'all do have some outstanding B&Ms, pipe makers and blenders.

    Be patient with pipe smoking. It takes a long time to get the hang of it. But when it all comes together, it's well worth it. Experiment with different blends that will bite less, and be less cased, that the aromatics. Some cross-over Aro blends I've recommended previously include GL Pease's Barbary Coast, Orlik Golden Sliced, and Erinmore Flake.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. sparroa

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    Tomas,

    I am of the opinion that aromatic tobaccos are best left to the experienced smoker. Unfortuately, however, newcomers often seek out the aromatics first. I was no different, but I now see that it complicated my early attempts at learning how to handle my pipes.

    If I were you, I would invest 10-12 pounds in a reputable Virginia blend. You can get a tin of Orlik Golden Sliced (also Danish), or a pouch Player's Navy Flake, or a pouch of Capstan Ready Rubbed. As a former cigarette smoker, you will likely appreciate their sweet hay-like tobacco flavour. Compared to the Vanilla Cream, however, they will have a more pungent roomnote and far less added flavours.

    Now, the first two are flakes. This is daunting for some but it should not be a problem. One is able to rub out a flake without much difficulty into a more familiar ribbon-like consistency. There are other preparation methods but rubbing out the flake is a very simple starting point.

    Upon rubbing out the flake, proceed to dry it on a sheet of paper or plate for anywhere from 5-30 minutes. 15 minutes would probably be sufficient for these blends but I am not certain; it should certainly suffice for the Orlik. (An incandescent desk lamp will speed up the process - just don't let the stuff get crispy)

    If your tobacco is too moist, it will make it harder to light the tobacco and even harder to keep it lit. It will also promote tongue bite (or more accurately "steam burn" in this case) and it may cause gurgling. So a moderately dry blend is an absolute must for most people...

    Next, I would withhold judgment about Missouri Meerschaum cobs until you get a proper sized one. The miniature ones aren't very good. The Legend is fine (if a bit small) but I personally prefer the Country Gentleman. Shop around - perhaps you will find a better price. If not, you may be able to purchase a bag of seconds-quality pipes for a more affordable cost; I am not sure if the shipping will be prohibitively expensive to the UK, though...

    Learning to pack and light your pipe is another skill in itself, so it will take time and perhaps a little more study until you figure it out. Smoking a pipe, too, takes a bit of experience to be enjoyable.

    I don't know what sensation you are describing with your mouth; it does sound unpleasant, but you should experiment until it goes away. Rest assured, though, that it is normal for you to experience increased salivation. It is fortunate that I smoke outside in private because I frequently get the urge to spit.

    Best of luck. Keep us posted.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. 05venturer

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    A grab bag of Missouri Meerschaum Smokable Seconds as simenon referenced may be your best bet to get a good pipe rotation going pretty inexpensively.

    check out the link below
    http://corncobpipe.com/index.php/catalogsearch/result/?q=grab+bag

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. judcole

    Jud

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    Get a real pipe and give it time

    That's it,right there.

    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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    bogglor

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    I started down the pipe smoking road with cobs and aromatics and doubted for weeks whether or not I wanted to stay with it. Tongue bite, hot and flat smoking aros, never seeming like I'm getting enough smoke, having to constantly relight -- sound about right?

    I know this is used elsewhere but uh.... It gets better.

    Pipe smoking really clicked for me once I got a reasonably cheap estate briar (an Amadeus brand, Grecian make) and began to slow my cadence. To be completely honest, I really don't think corncobs are all that forgiving to new smokers. It is a great way to get into the hobby, that much is true. They're cheap and smoke cool once you do know how to smoke. But they are short in length, the stems collect a lot of moisture from smoking too hot (which all new smokers tend to do), and can deliver some bitey blasts. And then there's that filter which should be immediately pitched but nobody tells you that.

    Get yourself a decent estate pipe or shoot, even a new Duca Carlo Savinelli for about 50 bucks. Take your time and keep at it and you'll get there.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. gwtwdbss

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    @mrthomas

    Cobs are great for letting your briar rest. Other folks prefer cobs all the time. Your Legend will smoke better than that mini cob. But a good briar pipe combined with some good tobacco will astound you once you have developed your technique a bit. To me the ratio is about 50/50. I cant have a "perfect" smoke without a good pipe and good tobacco. I can however have a decent smoke out of my Legend and good tobacco.

    My first "perfect" smoke came from a cob. It was a modified Missouri Meerschaum 5th Ave Diplomat crafted by thesmokindragon which is a member of these forums. It is a bit larger than the legend, and the stem is so much more pleasurable than the standard MM stems. See the black cob on the right with red stem. It is my first SD and my goto workhorse cob.

    As for as quality Briar. Everyone will give you their own unique opinion on that. I prefer Castello's but they are not for everybody. There are so many makers out their that make great briar pipes at decent prices. Just read and lean to find out what works for you. This is just my opinion, but the better the briar, the greater odds you will achieve that "perfect" smoke more often. Good luck and welcome aboard!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. rcstan

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    Mac baren ..... is pretty well known for tongue bite from what I hear.

    MacBaren blends require extensive drying time as they are packaged VERY moist ( except the bulk stuff ). If your baccy is too moist, the steam generated in the smoking process will have rather nasty effects on your mouth, tongue, throat etc. Here in the dry climate of SouthCentral Alaska ( taiga = cold desert weather ) I would load a bowl straight out the tin and leave it overnight to smoke it the next morning.

    A proper pipe rather than a mini cob would definitely yield much better results, especially when first starting on the pipe. I've used a mini cob when trying to wean off the nails, and I keep a couple of "regular" size cobs for those times I need a 5 minute Nicotine hit and don't want to bother with loading a quarter or half bowl in one of the briars.

    As a rule of thumb, the shorter the stem the hotter the smoke. Physics, ya know ?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. lordofthepiperings

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    I'd say let the Mac Baren blend air out a bit. Leave the tin or whatever open for fifteen minutes or so. The next problem is packing. Make sure to check the draw before you light up the bowl. That way if it's too tight you can unpack and and go again until it's better. Next, make sure to periodically tamp the ash down. This keeps the embers closer to the tobacco and prevents so many relights. Don't worry about many relights as it happens to veteran smokers a lot even. Usually it tends to be the lack of periodic tamping that causes people to puff more frequently to keep the pipe lit and gives the tongue bite/burn.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    mrtomas

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    Smoking becomes better, I was puffing too often - like a cigarette so far so good. Still waiting for my MM cob. I bought Alsbo cherry tobacco. Is it good? Found some reviews and they made me feel as if I did a mistake.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. rmbittner

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    mrtomas:

    It may be an overgeneralization, but cherry aromatics tend to be some of the hottest and most biting blends around. (Rattray's Terry Red is one notable exception.)

    Yes, get a "real" pipe: a briar of standard size. Save the mini corncob to stick in the mouth of your next snowman. (Assuming that making snowmen isn't just a U.S. thing. )

    I never recommend aromatics, but if you can get some Lane 1Q, try that instead. It's a very mild aromatic, the most popular one in the world I believe, and it should be an enjoyable smoke. But I'd also recommend trying a standard English (Dunhill makes a very good one) or a straight Virginia. I don't have a clue what blends might be available to you -- I don't even know if blends produced in the UK are actually readily available there or if they're mainly for export -- so I can't really recommend anything specific.

    Tell you what, though: Next time you can visit an actual tobacco shop, take stock of what tinned blends are available and let us know. That way, we can better point you to some that might be enjoyable for you. (And if the shop has bulk blends in open jars, ask them if they have Lane 1Q, which is a bulk that is often renamed in every shop that stocks it. But the tobacconist should know which one it is, if they carry it.)

    And if you don't have an actual shop nearby, check out http://www.mysmokingshop.co.uk/. They have a very nice variety of pipe tobaccos, including many that we can't get here in the States.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. nsfisher

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    The pipe and baccy makes all the difference! Can't have one without the other. A cob is a good way to go, and if your not into plain cobs, then the route gwtwdbss mentioned is also a good alternative. I also have one of the smokindragons offers and it never fails to provide a great smoke. Takes a cleaner all he way to the bowl, is light weight and easy to smoke, and was very affordable.

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

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    There is only one tobacconist shop in my city (Glasgow), I don't know why there aren't any. Also, they only sell tobacco in bags, not jars. The assortment is very sparse. Too bad the lady selling them, doesn't smoke pipes, but she said that Alsbo cherry is the most popular (and the tobacco inside the bag smells the best, lol). Well I'll have to decide for myself then. Also they had some cheap briars from 10-20, maybe I'll upload a photo of some so that you could evaluate? Because I have no idea what is worth the price and what is not. Cheers:)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. rmbittner

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    Hmmm. . . Robert Graham is a Glasgow tobacconist that, online at least, offers a large number of tinned blends. Sounds like Herbert Love was a great, old-fashioned tobacco shop as well, but it looks like they closed in 2007.

    Bob

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. 05venturer

    05venturer

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    below is a link to Robert Grahams, looks like they have a shop in Glasgow and a good selection

    http://ww2.whisky-cigars.co.uk/pipe-tobacco-c-87_173.html

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. sparroa

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    I understand that mail order of tobacco is allowed in the UK so you really shouldn't have any problems finding a blend.

    If Robert Grahams is in operation and that website accurately reflects their inventory then you have quite a few good choices available in Glasgow.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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