I’ll be honest, one of the things I enjoy most about this job, besides the feedback, learning and discussions that come from it, is the freedom I have. My boss is cool, and I can sit anywhere and write about anything I like, as long as it focuses on pipe tobacco. I also enjoy choosing what I get to smoke. Sometimes I have space between manufacturer’s new releases to smoke and I am able write about something that comes from my heart, and my experience—not just flavor nuances and chin-scratching about what leaf may lay inside. Lately, and possibly due to members recently discussing “Quiet Nights” by GL Pease, I’ve had a proper craving for something familiar, something I can hang my hat on. Writing these reviews can be like shaking hands with one hundred new people, it’s all very exciting, however it’s nice to sit down and take a breather with a familiar friend you don’t have to explain yourself to, nor they to you. History is important.
Quiet Nights took me a long time to get to know. Some years back, exploring the world of tobacco, I was having a terrible time with Perique. I was concerned because I was getting completely opposite results from others. These “others” were often guys that had smoked far longer than I, and while I wasn’t obsequiously looking to impress them, I needed to know: could it be their tongues were dead or was I missing something? I couldn’t tell if it was my inexperience, a chemistry mismatch, or I flat-out didn’t like Perique. I was determined to find just one tobacco that contained Perique I liked, so I could finally get an honest take on it. Quiet Nights was in a Christmas “bomb” from a fellow forum member at the time, and I stared at it for at least two months after reading on the label what it contained. Some of the best Christmas memories I have are from the generosity of pipe forum members. They shared joy, and a lot of them appreciated my early, casual notes of trying new tobaccos. Even if the tobacco I was to try was going to be a steep challenge.
Upon opening the tin, Quiet Nights has a unique, spicy, smoked, and fig-like smell quality to it that I came to love. It was how I started to come out of my shell to experience Perique, because something that smells this enticing can’t be all that terrifying. The colors of the tobacco are all roughly the same hue, with some lighter leaf spots here and there. Some roughing-up of the strips inside the tin is a good idea before loading a bowlful, it makes it easier to manage and less prone to “snipers” which could clog the airway.
The first part of a bowl of Quiet Nights gives an equal representation of all that is inside: Cyprian Latakia, Red Virginia and of course, the Perique. For those wondering, any mixture containing Perique used to give me an acrid, bitter and burned plastic aftertaste which would stay on my tongue for hours or even days after. Toothpaste changes, diet changes, switching to acrylic stems from vulcanite—nothing seemed to work. Quiet Nights was probably the dozenth Perique-included tobacco I soldiered forth in self-determination to try. I was ready to give up on them altogether. This tobacco, though, began to give something else to me as I smoked. It was a pithy, slightly citrus and sour spice that tickled my tongue. It smoked dry, to the point it coated the roof of my mouth. It had a feeling and flavor I had not experienced before. Immediately I reached out to some of the Leaf Elders and confirmed I was, in fact, getting my first honest taste of Perique. It was being carried gently in the hands of two favorites of mine, Red Virginia and Latakia, all in very reasonable amounts, and I couldn’t be happier. The consistency of this remains to this day, and Quiet Nights will remain one of my fondest “eureka” moments of my smoking career.
It’s an easy adventure from the first light of Quiet Nights into the middle point of a bowlful, as the Red Virginia really comes through in its bread-like, warm and toasty way. The Latakia backs off the palate a little, and the Perique sticks around without becoming a nuisance. Unsweetened cocoa, grilled meat trimmings and the same pith-like qualities are joined in flavor in a wonderful way. The tobacco never gets too hot, and really chases the chills away when paired with a good whiskey. Some light tamping maintenance is a good idea through the middle of the bowl. It could be the way I tend to pack Pease-cut tobacco, but this is where relights are usually required. Putting down the pipe and revisiting it a half hour later at this point is highly recommended.
The end of a bowl of this tobacco is always a bittersweet experience, both in mind and tongue. It takes on much more of a dried fruit flavor as the ember nears the bottom of the chamber; the spice diminishes, and the Latakia comes and goes. The balance is a light quinine and citrus attitude, and it’s nearly perfect. It also lets the smoker know all good things must come to an end. One of the key points of Quiet Nights is though it is a mellower tobacco, the nicotine is there. It isn’t overwhelming, but leaves me often wondering: Am I ready to get up from my chair? The relaxing quality of this mixture is top-notch. In the morning, to get less-rooted in my seat, a high-quality Earl Grey tea has been my thing as of late, and Quiet Nights meshes with it nicely.
Greg Pease is an admirable man. He has a refreshing, playfully rebellious and caring nature; he is a sponge of information great and small about things in his world and the world as a whole. He’s direct, he’s generous, and he’s humble, and he knows intrinsic value. He’s the kind of man who doesn’t need to apologize for much, as he’s aware of the shortcomings and benefits of humanity, and he does his best not to put himself in a compromising position. His taste in his pursuits is broad and developed. He and I don’t talk as frequently as we used to, but I can always reach out to him and tell him of some serious life crisis and he’ll lend his empathy. I can send him a quick note about a Russian auto-mechanical watch I thought was cool and he’ll join in the excitement and geek out with me. He also introduced me to this place, where I’ve made my own little place in the tobacco world. Whether he’d care to acknowledge it or not, Greg Pease is a good man and I appreciate knowing him—as do all of us who smoke his creations.
This matters because in all creating, be it music or art, crafting and making, a person puts themselves into their work. These things speak, and there is no escaping it if one is willing to pay attention. It is an expression without words, but full of meaning. If you experience the work, you can know the person. Sometimes it jives, sometimes not. The tobacco we smoke is no different, and I’d say it has the added benefit of adding multiple layers to the experience, due to the uniqueness of our pipes as well. It has the potential to find a cohesive way to be a rare and wholesome experience. When Perique and I started to have a strained relationship, it didn’t mean it didn’t have value. Quiet Nights went from an ignorant fear to a long friendship—my favorite type. I simply needed to find out what language we were speaking, and how to come to a desired outcome. Being able to create, and hopefully create success, is a very gratifying experience in any capacity.
As a whole, I think Quiet Nights made me a better tobacco smoker, and who couldn’t appreciate a little more enjoyment in their lives? Whether you’re a long-time appreciator of tobacco or just starting out, those of you who have yet to throw a pinch of this tobacco in your bowl to try, I confidently encourage you to do so.
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- GL Pease Quiet Nights Review
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GL Pease Quiet Nights is one of our all time favorites!