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Testing out new blends

(28 posts)
  1. fuel52

    fuel52

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    Another fascinating question for you fellas...

    Went to my local tobacconist a couple weeks ago, picked up 2 ounces of a few house blends that I liked the smell of. One particular blend I've tried about 3 bowls of and it really hasn't done anything for me. I don't hate it, I don't love it. It's just ok.

    My question is, what are yall's (sorry, I'm southern) routines when testing out a brand new blend? How many bowls does it take for you guys to determine if you like it or not? Any guidance here?

    Thanks!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. samcoffeeman

    samcoffeeman

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    I have one pipe that I use as my tester. It's a great smoker so if it doesn't sing in that pipe it probably won't.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. chasingembers

    chasingembers

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    I will try it in different size/shape bowls. Try different drying times, and try packing looser or tighter.

    I like coffee exceedingly.
    - H. P. Lovecraft
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    That's a good question and one I'm sure you'll get a dozen different answers for. I would say never judge a blend by your first smoke. Possibly not your second, third, or fourth even. Unless you find it awful and to be obviously some foul concoction blended by fiery demons from hell (Captain Black Cherry) with the intent to ghost your pipes, burn off your tasted buds, and steal your soul. No, you should try it a few times, and in different pipes as the pipe you're using truly can make or break the blend. Also, if you find that it's just not to your liking, it doesn't mean it won't be at a later date. Jar it up, set it aside, and revisit it in a few weeks, or perhaps even a few months.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. mso489

    mso489

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    How experienced a pipe smoker are you? The answer to this question is different for beginners and those who've been at it a few years.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. snoopy311

    snoopy311

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    I learned a long time ago with cigars that you cannot judge a cigar by smoking only one. You need to give the cigar brand a chance. Same with pipe smoking, try different pipes, drying conditions at different times and moods. After that if you still don’t care for the blend then cross it off your list. My two cents.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. perdurabo

    perdurabo

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    Yep, don't you hate it when you buy a tin, enjoy the damn thing, order 4 more, open another, and the shit sucks!

    I love the smell of Orlik Dark Strong, but by the end of the tin the stuff was lacking its charm. I may never open the other tin. On top of that I ordered Hienricks Dark Strong, Hope his stuff is better.

    Just another look at the equation.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. fuel52

    fuel52

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    How experienced a pipe smoker are you? The answer to this question is different for beginners and those who've been at it a few years.

    Not experienced at all. Just started about a month ago. I've got about 8 different blends I'm currently rotating just about every time I smoke. I have noticed some getting better to my taste and some not.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    If I hate it even just half way into the first bowl....into the trash it goes. If I'm on the fence after a couple of bowls, I'll put it away and come back in a couple of months, if I don't care for it the second time, into the bin it goes. If I'm still on the fence after the second go around, I might come back in a year, I have several blends that it took a year or even longer to come around to, either due to drying out or a little age, who knows, but if you don't dislike a tobacco, don't give up on it too soon. ALSO: If my wife hates the smell...into the bin it goes, I smoke indoors, so it behooves me to smoke blends that don't bother my wife. BTW, she likes the smell of Latakia, doesn't mind Perique and cannot really smell most Virginias, so my selections aren't limited, she has probably vetoed 5 tobaccos in the 19 years we've been together.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Somewhat similar approach to this issue as Mr Philobeddoe does, I'dont mind spending too much time wondering if I like tobacco or not , nonetheless, not jumping into hastly conlusions after just two bolws down,for instance,I experienced some bad moments with Apmhora original,but with the help of our highly estemeed member mr Jimiks I've gotten used used to this blend after finding out how properly handle this baccy and then its becoming one of my favorite ever-day blends along with Mc Biteys Golden extra.

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    Like Philo, only I don't toss in trash anything that's like tobacco that someone else likes.

    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 2 years ago #
  12. bassbug

    bassbug

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    This experience is still so very fresh in my mind, so I'll give you my $0.02 worth.

    After a month, you're starting to get the hang of identifying the flavours you prefer. If you're like a lot of us, that will change. Maybe not drastically, but it will change

    Jar the blends that are not doing anything for you right now and come back to them in another month or two. As for the ones that you enjoy, smoke the crap out of them and keep building your "pipe smoking skills"

    After a little more than 4 months, I've found that it takes me 3 or 4 bowls to really decide on any given blend that is close to what my favourites are. The big challenge is trying to figure out if you have any taste for a blend that is completely different than what you're used to.

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    I went through a period of trying to find a blend that I could identify with, like cigarettes. I thought that I should find one blend as my smoke. Inversely, I wanted to learn to taste. The Catch 22 is that to learn to pull different flavors out of tobaccos, you have to have frames of reference to compare them to. But, to get those frames of references, you have to smoke lots of blends. I smoked more garbage looking. Dumped many a bowl. I kept thinking that smoke has no taste. Why are there so many blends that taste exactly the same. Then, one day, I started to think that A and B were similar to G and ad K, whereas E and F were more like M, N, O P... it'll come. You have to sort of grow into tasting. Just keep on trying lots of stuff. Having a B&M close by helps. Tobacco swaps helps also.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    I have a pretty good idea about my pipes, what they do, and how a blend ought to be prepped and packed, so, if the first bowl doesn't do anything for me, that is usually not a good sign, but I will give it several bowls adjusting for this and that just to be fair.

    To Master Po: Is it not being able to see that makes you tire of life?
    Master Po: No! It is being able to hear!
    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    Sometimes one can tell right from the off that a blend is not going to work for you. Usually though it is best to do as mentioned above and try a blend in different pipes. I still find it quite remarkable that what tastes bland in one pipe positively sings in another.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. aimlesswanderer

    aimlesswanderer

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    My question is, what are yall's (sorry, I'm southern) routines when testing out a brand new blend? How many bowls does it take for you guys to determine if you like it or not? Any guidance here?

    I don't have any routines, I just smoke it.

    If I like it, I keep smoking it.

    If I think it might work better in a different pipe, I try it.

    If I don't like it, I figure out what might be the best thing to mix it with to make it smokeable. Tobacco is too expensive to throw away over here.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. mso489

    mso489

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    Fuel, my advice to new pipe smokers is: Buy only in small quantities, an ounce or two at a time. Even if you like something a lot, your tastes will change. Save in jars any blends you don't like and try them again in six months or a year since, again, your tastes will change. Pay attention to what you are buying, and buy only blends that allow you to know the constituent tobaccos. Knowing this will make you more informed in your choices as you shop for new blends. Try different types, from aromatics, to English, to Virginias and Va./Perique, to burley blends, and so on. On most better-known blends, you can look up constituent tobaccos at online listings, and often get strength, room note, and taste, and in some cases a general idea on proportions. Usually the base tobacco is listed first, or as the general category for that blend. Make this an enjoyable project, taking in a little info at a time, so it's not a chore. I wouldn't buy more than a couple ounces of anything until you've been smoking a year or two.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    Also, Aros will wear thin at some point. Maybe not all but most. I have found that adding in a stronger, non-aro blend in small amounts changes them to something new and even complex that is imminently smokable in most cases. As pointed out above, never throw away tobacco. It can be redeemed in some form or another.

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. fuel52

    fuel52

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    Thanks for the wisdom fellas...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Interesting thoughts from experimented smokers,so nice to hear various approaches,,

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    Also, Aros will wear thin at some point.

    Brother, you sure got that right! The vast number of widely available commercial aros eventually wear so thin like an old shoe with a big hole in the bottom. But many of the better ones make nice mixes with other tobaccos.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    and another note additionally, when one is worn out /exhausted no bled tastes good, in these events I personally tend to smoke lighter/one dimensional tobacco, but again I'm not seasoned pipesmoker,rather a former cigarette addict.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    I use a meerschaum for testing. I do, however, believe that it really takes at least an ounce to really get to know a blend. I recommend smoking only that one tobacco while you're figuring it out. Mixing different flavors can confuse your palate. I will smoke it at different speeds and with different packing methods, but I focus on only that one blend until I decide whether or not I enjoy it. Just my 2 cents.

    Tim

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. mso489

    mso489

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    Whatever you try, when you don't like it, save it in a jar anyway. Your tastes will change. Sorry to belabor this, but it is so true.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. ophiuchus

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    Whatever you try, when you don't like it, save it in a jar anyway. Your tastes will change. Sorry to belabor this, but it is so true.

    This is worth mentioning just about every time in these instances.

    In my case, I don't worry about forming a firm opinion anytime fast ... unless it absolutely sucks. I haven't run into that for years ...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. deathmetal

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    My question is, what are yall's (sorry, I'm southern) routines when testing out a brand new blend? How many bowls does it take for you guys to determine if you like it or not? Any guidance here?

    Technically, the best advice is probably to jar the blend, get out a new cob, and sample it once every few days over the next couple weeks.

    In reality, for me, the excitement is hard to contain, so I pull out a warhorse, load up and blast. This is the opposite of "scientific." Then I see where the inspiration lies... usually the first bowl is not determinative. But, it does form a prima facie test of interest. If low interest, I jar the stuff and let it sit for awhile. Rainy days happen and sometimes one simply craves variety, although this happens less for some of us than others. If it is interesting, I smoke all of it and then order some more, just to confirm my diagnosis that what went up in smoke was as good as I thought it was.

    "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 2 years ago #
  27. krizzose

    krizzose

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    When you get your technique down, be sure to go back to those blends you didn't like as a beginner. It's entirely possible it was your fault and not the tobacco's.

    Once you know how to smoke without making every bowl a steamy swamp of hot garbage, then follow chasingembers advice.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    dkaye201

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    I'll try a new blend in a cob and then a meerschaum. I think I know how my briars will react to different tobaccos. If I enjoy the,new blend, I'll go to my briars next. There are many tobaccos that don't do anything for me at the time, but become favorable much later. Jar them up and put them away. You'll be happy you did.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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