Pipes Magazine » Pipe Smoking Basics & Beginner Questions

Search Forums  
   
Tags:   

"Taste?"

(34 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by damianmonk
  • Latest reply from damianmonk
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    damianmonk

    Junior Member
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 99

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Hello ladies and gentlemen,

    I'm a very, and I mean VERY, recent pipe smoker. Two days ago to be exact.

    Having a weak lung due to mild bronchitis (which has been treated to some extent) I never even attempted to try cigarettes. However, through my father and his friends I found out about cigars and pipes where you don't have to inhale (where that in fact seems to be discouraged). Having done some research I got myself a pipe (Big Ben Ranger, small briar pipe with a black finish and a straight stem) and a blend—excuse my inexperience at this point—that smelled nice in the tin.

    So far, I've been smoking regularly (and maybe too much even, two-three bowls a day in three days) and I know how to pack, char, light, and smoke a pipe; yet I am not really feeling this "taste" everybody is talking about.

    Can anyone elaborate on what the "taste" actually is? Is it a feeling akin to tasting food, or is it something different? Am I supposed to be doing something in addition to just puffing away—like smelling what I exhale, or swirling the smoke more in my mouth (which only helps nicotine ingestion from what I perceive)?

    Thanks,
    Martin

    P.S: Writing this post for the second time, I think the forum ate up my previous post...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,548

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Two days? You have months to go on the path you've chosen Grasshopper.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 4,521

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Welcome Damian, I don't know where to start. It took me several years to really get the hang of smoking properly. I would say just stick with it and try to read as much as you can, two days is hardly enough time to get acquainted with pipe smoking. If you keep at it and learn from your own mistakes, you will eventually get the flavors and subtleties.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 13,355

    online

    Login to Send PM

    Yes, welcome! I can't explain what you might taste or not. And it'll vary smoker to smoker, pipe to pipe.
    What is the tobacco? You might look up some reviews and see what others say, and what the constituent tobaccos are. That may help you get started. Be warned: some reviews are full of hyperbole and flowery language, sometimes pure BS.

    Enjoy!

    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 years ago #
  5. loneredtree

    loneredtree

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2011
    Posts: 532

    online

    Login to Send PM

    All of the above. But, what was the "smells good in the tin" tobacco that you are trying? BTW what, how do you tell someone what it is like tasting an avocado? I can't do it.

    There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable. Mark Twain

    “Very few people are focusing on the potential damage this ill-conceived and hastily assembled homage to the ability of bureaucrats to conceive of all manner of problems where problems don't exist then apply solutions to those problems that only create new problems without solving the original problems at all will bring to many sectors.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. bonehed

    bonehed

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2014
    Posts: 639

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Much of the taste comes in the retrohale.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. 12pups

    12pups

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2014
    Posts: 1,094

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Not only discouraged but, entirely unnecessary

    don't have to inhale

    Pause long and often, and you'll get the best first-light taste again and again.

    When you're doing it the way *I* like to do it, that taste is enjoyable for an hour after the smoke is over, still.

    A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. -- Carl Jung
    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. calabashed

    calabashed

    Member
    Joined: May 2015
    Posts: 164

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Much of the taste comes in the retrohale.

    I also find this to be 100% true. You don't necessarily have to force everything out through the nose, but let air pass through the nose even as you puff out of your mouth.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. cortezattic

    Cortez

    A part of the problem since he ...
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 14,576

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Tobacco smoke is somewhat of an acquired taste, and one's palate will become "educated" over time. There's no rushing it.
    Avoid aromatic blends for now and focus on natural, unflavored blends. There's plenty to be discovered in their taste.
    You can venture into the aromatics when you've advanced a bit in your recognition of the various leaves and blend genres.
    Keep in mind that you're embarking on a long journey with many delights, and no destination.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. User has not uploaded an avatar

    frozenchurchwarden

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,981

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    How much does your mouth hurt?

    If you're just starting, like, within 48 hours, chances are your mouth is toast.
    Take a few days off, come back when you're healed.

    There's no guarantee that everyone is going to fry their mouth on day 1, but I've never heard of anyone getting the right cadence from the start.
    If you were a smoker prior to trying pipes it would be different, but starting from ground zero I wouldn't do more than one bowl a day, more like every other day.
    (Yes, I scorched myself pretty good with my first bowl.)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. warren

    warren

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2013
    Posts: 7,548

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Everybody has a different cadence. On the end of a chainsaw or hiking a big lens and camera up a hill and I'm looking like a steam engine. I tend to draw more often, not deeper, when exerting myself. At the house, my evening bowls are smoked slower. You'll find a pace you like that gives some taste and nicotine charge as you experiment and gain experience.

    You may think you know what you think you know after two (three?) days. Soon you'll find out that you really do not know what you think you how to do.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. smokinfireman

    smokinfireman

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 179

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Welcome friend! Some advice I would give you is don't take the word "sweet" too seriously. Most "sweet tobaccos" are not, in fact very sweet. Sweet to tobacco is relative to sweet in an English pastry. In other words, not too sweet. Also remember that despite people's reviews of tobaccos, you will never truly know until you try it. Don't buy a tub until you try a pouch. Happy Smokes!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. alexnorth

    alexnorth

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Apr 2015
    Posts: 605

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Definitely give it more time! Also some bowls are more satisfying than others.. Cadence, packing, humidity and much more all impact your experience.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. User has not uploaded an avatar

    frozenchurchwarden

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,981

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    If your mouth doesn't hurt and you can still taste everything else like normal then I guess it's ok to carry on, but be careful. Even after a few months I managed to burn on my cheek just from puffing too fast while lighting.
    Do not puff fast or hard under any circumstances.
    Actually I'm a year and a half in and I think I'm still puffing too fast (given that I'm currently waiting a full week before my next bowl because the back of my mouth hurt). Chances are I need to listen to all the good advice around here about drying tobacco.

    Back to the topic of flavour.
    One of my first aromatics was 1-Q and it didn't taste like much, whereas when I tried it again a few months later I did note the sweet/vanilla flavour. It's hard for me to say exactly what happened between my first and second bowls of that blend.
    My first bowl of Samuel Gawith St. James Flake was quite exciting, it was probably a week or two after starting, and the first time I tasted something other than ash or burning tobacco. It wasn't much more than what you would expect from a lump of sugar in a cup of water, but it was something, and as time goes on you start to pick up the flavour better.

    Unfortunately I never tried Latakia starting out, but right now a good Lat-bomb basically tastes like chicken soup cooked over a campfire.
    It's salty and savory, along with the smell of burning wood. Latakia is amazing stuff if you have any nostalgia about campfires, but I assure you the nostalgia doesn't make me taste chicken soup (if anything it should taste like chocolate and marshmallows).
    My best Lat-bomb recommendations are Captain Earle's Stimulus Package, Cornell & Diehl Star of the East (either version) and G.L. Pease Quiet Nights.
    There are blends with more Latakia but it's actually a combination of several varieties that makes Latakia shine, the super-heavy blends tend to be more on the earthy side (a little bit bitter I guess).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. User has not uploaded an avatar

    damianmonk

    Junior Member
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 99

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Well, I think I should lay off the pipe for a few days. My tongue is basically a 50-grit sandpaper right now. I don't think that is any good!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. User has not uploaded an avatar

    damianmonk

    Junior Member
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 99

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Also, I got my tin from Hajenius in Amsterdam. It's a custom blend so I'm not exactly sure what's in it. It's black and tan-brown ready rubbed tobacco that has a strong sweet smell, hence its name "Sweet Carnival."

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. virginiacob

    virginiacob

    Senior Member
    Joined: Dec 2013
    Posts: 463

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Damien, welcome to the Forum. As others have said, you get a lot of the "taste" from the smoke you exhale and then breath back in through your nose. There's also the "room note" which is the lingering smell in the room after you finish smoking your pipe. A lot of the "taste" is acquired as pipe smokers tend to favor different blends whether they are Virginia, Burley, Perique, VaPers, Aromatics, etc. For me, I tend to enjoy the flavor of Virginia/Burley blends as well as Aros when I'm smoking inside (my wife loves the room note of the Aros I smoke inside the house so she's happy and I'm happy). When you're new to pipe smoking, it's good to try different blends until you find your niche. If you have the opportunity, visit one of the many pipe and tobacco shows that are held each year. At these shows you can often get free samples of different blends to try as well as just enjoy the camaraderie with other fellow pipe smokers. Also, as others have said, learn to smoke slow and steady. You'll find that when you stop smoking too fast and "puffing", you'll start to find that you begin to better appreciate the "taste" factor of the blend you are smoking as well as not torch your tongue and gums.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. shroedingerscat

    shroedingerscat

    New Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 45

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Let me guess...You are probably smoking some mild aromatic blend, which I consider to be little more than air freshener. Try moving up to a little stronger tobacco, like non-aromatics, Lakeland Blends, and Straight Virginias. Mississippi River is a good English Blend to try. It about medium on both strength and room note. Sam Gawith Best Brown Flake is also a good one to try. If you are really dead-set on aros, try some Sam Gawith Kendal Cream Flake, Bob's Chocolate Flake, or Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake. If you can't taste these...you have no taste buds.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,967

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Different folks experience this differently, so I can only speak for myself. The taste is very much like that for food, a combination of mouth and tongue, both on the draw and as a residual flavor between puffs, but also immensely in the joining sense of smell. I'm not a retro-haler, and for beginners I would not encourage this since I think you can have the full experience without pumping the smoke into your nasal cavity, but that's just some of us pipe smokers. For others it is an integral part of it. But basically, yes, it's your mouth and tongue and sense of smell. Go slow and just enjoy the journey. If your mouth hurts, lay off for a few days, and smoke again with beverages, and just do a bowl a day until you get your footing. Don't rush this process. Don't get ambitious or competitive, for best results I'd say. Pipe smoking is somewhat meditative and contemplative. The only "win" is relaxation and enjoyment, and not overdoing it. Welcome aboard.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. cortezattic

    Cortez

    A part of the problem since he ...
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 14,576

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I'm glad to see that this thread got bumped. I'm curious to know if the OP's taste buds have clicked-in on the taste of tobacco.
    (I know that didn't happen for me until my Pipe Smoker's I.D. Card arrived in the mail.)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. aggravatedfarmer

    aggravatedfarmer

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 883

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I feel "mouthfeel" comes into play as well. Your Virginia/perique blends may leave a little spicy feeling whereas you Latakia blends have the smokiness feeling or taste. Take your time. Everyone is still learning as they go, just the well seasoned folks have been at it longer.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. andrew

    Andy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 2,967

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    My first bowl I was like wow, this is where it's at. It was an english blend by McClellend's in bulk at my local B&M which I think was Frog Morton On the Town, they would open tins that weren't selling and sell them in bulk. It was a coarse cut. I suggest starting with blends rather than things like flakes or straight Va's or VaPer's. I also find most aromatics don't have alot of taste, they're more about crowd pleasing room note than anything. I just found I would have a sore mouth from puffing too hard at first. The pipe also comes into play, some pipes do better with certain blends, or if you've smoked an aro in a pipe and then smoke something like an english it usually makes for an unpleasant taste. Alot of people swear by things like Carter hall and Lanes 1Q when starting out.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. brass

    brass

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2014
    Posts: 1,862

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Some of us swear by Carter Hall after smoking dozens of blends over dozens of years. Damian has received some good counsel. Pax

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. easterntraveler

    easterntraveler

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Dec 2012
    Posts: 822

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Take your time. I would slow down to 1 bowl a day then the occasional 2nd. Don't overload your palate. Give them time to adjust. Also drink water while smoking your pipes. The small nuances will come out eventually.

    Because straight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life and few be there that find it.
    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. deathmetal

    deathmetal

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2015
    Posts: 7,848

    offline

    Login to Send PM


    So far, I've been smoking regularly (and maybe too much even, two-three bowls a day in three days) and I know how to pack, char, light, and smoke a pipe; yet I am not really feeling this "taste" everybody is talking about.

    It takes time to develop an awareness of it. It's a lot like wine, or the varieties of tea, subtle at first but then a new world. It also depends on the tobaccos you smoke.

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. haroldt

    haroldt

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 246

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I find it to be more of a "sensation" then a taste. Granted each tobacco has something to offer. Those with Latakia certainly have a taste. But even then is only at the initial lite.

    As for "smell nice in the tin." I have found aromatics why smell nice in the tin, does not resonate to taste. Actually I enjoy smoking English far above aromatics, and most English do not have the best smell in the tin.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. haroldt

    haroldt

    Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 246

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I find it to be more of a "sensation" then a taste. Granted each tobacco has something to offer. Those with Latakia certainly have a taste. But even then is only at the initial lite.

    As for "smell nice in the tin." I have found aromatics why smell nice in the tin, does not resonate to taste. Actually I enjoy smoking English far above aromatics, and most English do not have the best smell in the tin.

    Since you are so new to smoking, check out youtube. Lots of good info there. If you can be patient and have time to kill, this guy has a lot of great info - [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMdq096WrXY&list=PLF038D14740357930].

    And here is a short video about packing, [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XHYPso7TXs]. Both taught me a lot and shorten my learning curve.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. okiescout

    okiescout

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 1,579

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Tobacco smoke is somewhat of an acquired taste, and one's palate will become "educated" over time.

    Probably one of the most astute statements I have read on this forum, Cortez.

    It really puts the journey in perspective. I started with aromatics and for years it kept me stunted in regards to my taste of the tobacco. I am not saying aromatics are bad. I still smoke several of them and try other great ones from time to time. But as you say in your statement they are a bit of a traffic jam to your taste buds if you start out with them. This is of course my opinion, based on my own history and others may not find it to be theirs. I would still encourage a new smoker to approach tobacco on a very simple level by sticking to basic blends and going from there.

    "Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
    Benjamin Franklin
    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

    Preferred Member
    Joined: May 2010
    Posts: 6,462

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I started out on aromatics and found them to be quite flavorful and enjoyable. I've since branched out to VAs and VaPers. I will say my appreciation of those have helped me appreciate and draw even more flavor from the aromatics.

    My advice is always to order some bulks of the different genres to sample and see what they're like.

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. fitzy

    fitzy

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2012
    Posts: 2,996

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Sounds to me like your puffing away like mad = burnt tongue and no taste. I personally find more taste with small slow infrequent puffs. It's more like sipping than gulping.

    Pipe smoking is really an art that can take a lifetime to master. I've been smoking pipes off and on for 25 years and I'm still a yellow belt.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 3 years ago #
  31. deathmetal

    deathmetal

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2015
    Posts: 7,848

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I agree that smoking too quickly can be a problem, but is consistent with having experienced cigarettes. For a cigarette, you take a long drag and get the smoke into the lungs as quickly as possible. For a pipe, you take a shorter and slower drag and keep it rolling around your mouth. $0.02

    Posted 3 years ago #
  32. User has not uploaded an avatar

    hextor

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Sep 2015
    Posts: 643

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    take your time smoking, enjoy it, I had the same problem because I was smoking it like a cigarette, it only burned my tongue like hell and I almost quit, but now I take my time and you can taste the rum or the casing that they put in the tobacco, also if you leave the tobacco to dry a little bit , it can give you a cooler smoke

    Posted 3 years ago #
  33. deathmetal

    deathmetal

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jul 2015
    Posts: 7,848

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    It helps to have a good place to smoke. Light breeze, cool temperature, some quiet, no car exhaust (stronger burned flavors absorb weaker ones).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  34. User has not uploaded an avatar

    damianmonk

    Junior Member
    Joined: Aug 2015
    Posts: 99

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I had not realised that this thread has been necro'd. Good news however! I've finally understood what 'taste' is, and my tongue no longer sandpapers. I'm glad I stuck with pipe smoking instead of quitting!

    Posted 3 years ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   loadclear, chasingembers, craig61a, loneredtree, alaskanpiper, jpmcwjr, josephcross, ben88, danimalia, thefishguy, ashdigger, lochinvar, donjgiles, mikefu