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Tobacco first love

(23 posts)
  1. didache

    didache

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    Hi all

    This afternoon I was lighting up a bowl of my current 'my mixture' blend (2/3 Old Ironsides, 1/3 Squadron Leader) and reflecting on the taste. It suddenly occurred to me that it was not unlike the very first tobacco I ever really loved.

    The story: when I started I smoked various otc blends - none of which were very distinguished. I used to buy it at a real pipe shop run by a wise old guy who knew all his customers and was always ready with sage advice and encouragement. One day I went in and asked for my usual pouch. He looked at me a moment, and with a little smile said 'Try some of this instead - I think you'll like it'.

    I did like it! I did! It was love at first puff. It was my very first taste of latakia - quite a coarsely cut blend with, I think, a pretty high latakia content. It was called 'Colonel Bogey' and it was smooth as silk. No bite at all, and the creamiest taste in the mouth you could imagine. I do not know if it was one of his own blends or if it was one of those blends sold in bulk to tobacconists to rename what they wished. All I knew was that I was smoking something a million miles from the pouches that had satisfied me up to then.

    Please understand that I am not denigrating otc blends - there are many smokers who are content with them and good for them. I can only speak to my own experience - and, to me, it was like being satisfied with a three year old supermarket scotch, and then being introduced to a 16 year old single malt from Islay! It was an epiphany moment, like my first kiss (Oh Kathy, where are you today I wonder??)

    As I smoked my own mixture I remembered Colonel Bogey. All that was a long time ago. But still I find myself wedded irrevocably to English and Oriental tobaccos, especially in rich mixtures with a smooth and creamy smoke.

    I owe that wise old bird a great deal - had he not sized me up and suggested Colonel Bogey I very probably would have persisted for a while with the pouches and then given it up. Instead, he introduced me to a life time of smoking pleasure. God bless him!

    I wonder if others recall their first tobacco love as fondly as I do?

    And, if any of you happen to have any Squadron Leader and Old Ironsides knocking about, give it a try!

    Mike

    "Pipe-smokers spend so much time cleaning, filling and fooling with their pipes, they don't have time to get into mischief." - Bill Vaughan
    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. didimauw

    didimauw

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    I'm sure this isn't the post you were looking for, but yes I do remember my first love. After months of doing nothing but trying different blends, I found Carter Hall. Only a couple times have I strayed for a bowl or so, only to become disappointed. It's my first love, and my only love. Smoke it daily.

    "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. didache

    didache

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    didimauw - not at all! As I said, many a smoker is more than content with an easily available blend. My point wasn't really about that - it was about people suddenly discovering that tobacco (whether rare or common) which will influence their whole smoking journey from then on. My own day to day blend is St Bruno which is a UK otc. Mike

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. drennan

    drennan

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    The first bowl that blew my mind was SG Balkan Flake, I got a lovely creamy sweetness but unfortunately the rest of the tin wasn't anywhere near as good as that first bowl however it was only my second ever tin tobacco and SG flakes aren't easy. I've been aging a tin of Balkan Flake for a while and I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl with more experince.

    Not long after the SG Balkan Flake I openned a tin of Rattray's Marlin Flake, that was love at first puff and I've been primarily a VaPer smoker ever since.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    I've only been smoking for 5 years, so all my memories are recent and only one is of super old tobacco.

    Mind blown 1: The first time tobacco tasted as good as it smelled. Not sure how many of you started pipe smoking from 0 previous tobacco use, but you have to become a 'smoker'. At first, none of it tasted as good as it smelled. Took about 6 weeks to develop into a smoker, where I could taste the magic properly. Oh what a journey it's been since!

    Mind blown 2: Dan's Devil's Holdiday: Such an amazing flavor the first time I tried it.

    Mind blown 3: SPC Plum Pudding: The beginning of a love affair. Still probably my favorite tobacco.

    Mind blown 4: 70's Mac Baren Scottish I got off ebay. Took it to a meetup with metalheadycigarguy. It was awesome tobacco, and mindblowing with that age on it.

    Mind blown 5:(My biggest tobacco moment to date)SPC and forum member Anglophile got a tin of tobacco from the 50's and was kind enough to share a bowl with me. I WISH I could remember the name of that stuff. It had the floral scent to it, but wasn't a Gawith thing at all. It just slayed me. The subtleness of the flowery note with the magic of that tobacco. Oh my goodness.

    Mind blown 6: XX rope. I can only smoke like 1/3 bowl without becoming green, but that stuff is so tasty it's worth it.

    Sorry to have so many moments, but I am an excitable fellow. lol

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. iamn8

    Nate

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    I've not been smoking a pipe for often either. I liked tobacco, but hadn't found a love. A fellow forum member sent me a sealed 8oz bag of Penzance from 2001. The first hit of was a revelation. It has thick, creamy perfect smoke. The combination of this extreme random act of kindness combined with the sublime tobacco was stellar. Ah... first love

    Nate @ Moody AL
    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. oldmojo

    oldmojo

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    Dunhill 965 was my first really enjoyable smoke, and still on my top shelf. I've widened my tastes to Balkans, Orientals and VaPers (and just ordered a burley blend) but if I could have only one (shudder) it would still be 965.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. hawky454

    hawky454

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    When I first started smoking back in 2009 I went with some oct blends and I wasn't too impressed with them so I made my way to a very nice B&M store and bought a few new bulk blends. Two were heavy, goopy aromatics and the other was A.M. Pipe by McClelland. The aroma of the tobacco in the jar was totally different from anything I had ever smelled before. Long story short, that blend absolutely hit the spot and I knew from that point on that I was going to like this pipe smoking business. I started buying all kinds of English blends from there on and I kind of gravitated towards the heavier English blends. I still love Latakia to this day but I'm more of a European aromatic nut now, blends like Condor and St. Bruno really ring my bell these days. Oh and if it's in a plug, I like it even more. Wouldn't that be great if they made St. Bruno Plug? ... a man can dream...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. weezell

    weezell

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    1974 HoW Barking Dog! Fell in love with that and Smokers Haven Krumble Kake. Alas, both long gone...

    "the weez"...
    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. kirkland

    kirkland

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    Revelation back in the 80's. It changed somewhat over the years though, but still was a great smoke. Before it went on the discontimued list I stocked up. I have a few pounds stashed.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. toobfreak

    toobfreak

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    Is that the original Revelation or the MATCH? I've found the MATCH to be excellent (better than the Epiphany) and have a lot of that stockpiled.

    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 #
  12. warren

    warren

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    There are blends I seem to prefer but, love? Not really. I enjoy smoking the pipe but, I've never experienced an epiphany with a blend.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    I wish I could remember what it was but my first smoke was a blend that came in a tin that had an owl on it and the pipe was my grandfather's Dunhill that he picked up in Europe. No idea what you would call it but it was a bent smooth, sorta smallish pipe that had seen some miles. Both the tobacco, dry as sand, and the pipe were his. And it was wonderful. If I could find it again, the blend would become a daily part of my routine.

    "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 #
  14. iamn8

    Nate

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    Unfortunately, these times have as much to do with circumstances as the smoke. This means it'll never be repeatable. This is sad.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. madox07

    madox07

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    Hmmm ... my first ever pipe tobacco was an aromatic called 24 karat, a house blend of Pipe World in Austin Texas. I am no longer an aromatic fan, but I have to admit that to this day I haven't smoked a better aromatic than that one. A pity I can no longer get it, since I have moved to Europe. My absolute love in terms of tobacco, however, I have only discovered recently and it is my favorite by a long shot: Ashton Artisan's Blend.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. didache

    didache

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    Nate - so, so true and it was something I was reflecting upon. It's like hearing piece of music you love for the first time, or eating something wonderful you've never had before: these experiences are locked into the context of your life at that time. Perhaps it is the same with special tobacco - and continuing to savour it is a form of revisiting those happy or significant moments?

    Here's me getting all philosophical

    madox - I have a tin of Artisan's blend, but I have never actually tried it. Time maybe to crack the tin?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. loomongous

    loomongous

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    I don't have any recollection of what I smoked early on, other than it being an aromatic. That was 37 years ago. I only smoked a pipe occasionally over the years until a few years ago. I do remember the first non-aromatic that I loved and it was OGC. I still enjoy it.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Loomongous, did you mean OGS? Just curious. I was trying to figure out what OGC meant.

    Michael
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. unkleyoda

    unkleyoda

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    965 was the first tobacco that blew my mind. I've had other blends since then that made me go "wow", but 965 will ALWAYS be my favorite.


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. mothernaturewilleatusallforbreakfast

    mothernature

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    My first love was Escudo. I had heard so much about it, but put off trying it for years. I don't know what I was waiting for, but one day I pulled the trigger and... holy shit! I was in love.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. kirkland

    kirkland

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    Toobfreak, I do not like Epiphany. It's kinda close but not close enough.

    I smoked the original Revelation back in the late 70's-80s or so.

    But I have heard good things about Revelation MATCH. I'll have to try it on. Thanks

    I just saw an older large tin of Revelation for sale on ebay. It had the key attached to peel off the lid. There was also the small pocket sized tin or Revelation with the flip off red top.

    Revelation was a blend thatconvinced me that smoking a pipe was right up my alley. I had smoked other OTC's like CH, SWR etc but I just smoked them to smoke something...and didn't really enjoy them. There was no wow factor. And then I found Revelation. And I had no idea Einstein was smoking it either. Although I'm much more of a Tesla fan.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. daytonsean

    Sean

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    Good read. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    Mine is owned by Peterson's Old Dublin.

    My soul has had enough chicken soup, it needs more TESD podcast.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. swhipple

    swhipple

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    I'll tell you a sad tale of my first tobacco love. It was a brief affair followed by years of loss and yearning.

    Like many people, when I was a new pipe smoker I smoked aromatics. One day, I picked up an aromatic blend at a local B&M. They called it Black Dane or something similar, knowing what I know now it was likely a bulk blend that they renamed for their shelves. The tobacco was black, rich, and full of vanilla flavor. It was the best thing I'd ever smoked! The smoke was sweet and the vanilla tin note actually came through in the taste. I bought a few more 2oz bags and enjoyed each one. Then I guess I turned my back on it and started trying tinned tobaccos and exploring the larger world of the online tobacconists. I smoked a lot of things I liked but then one day I realized I missed the sweet vanilla flavor of Black Dane. I swung by the same B&M and picked a 2oz bag. I filled up a pipe and fired it up ready for that remembered sweetness. What I found was terrible. Wet, goopy, and not sweet at all. Yuck! I guess my tastes had changed or developed and I couldn't stand that which I once loved. Occasionally, I'll pick up a vanilla flavored aromatic just to try it and I never manage to make my way through it.

    I guess the story does have a happy ending though. Thanks to kind fellow piper I got to try some well aged Stokkebye bulls eye flake. The first time I smoked that it truly was a revelation. I finally understood how much tobacco could improve with age. My love for that tobacco both fresh and aged continues to this day.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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