- Kevin Godbee
- Sep 20, 2012
- 0 min read
We are pleased to bring you the debut of The Pipes Magazine Radio Show starring Brian Levine. In this first show, Brian will tell you a little bit about himself so you will get to know who your host is. He has A LOT of experience with pipes and tobacco, and some pretty interesting stories and opinions. He will also talk about pipe shows and pipe clubs, and play some music from a local New Orleans band he heard while visiting "The Big Easy". Finally, he will share the epic fiasco of trying to smoke his pipe while on a cruise ship that was supposed to allow smoking.
We hope you enjoy our premiere 45-minute show produced just for you—the pipe smoker and collector. The following link will launch a pop-up player. Alternatively, you can listen on iTunes.
[Disclaimer: This premiere episode will have absolutely no collector’s value on eBay in the future.]
If the pop-up player doesn’t launch, try the AUDIO MP3 button below.
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Written by Kevin Godbee
View all posts by: Kevin Godbee
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- January 18, 2023 Country Squire Radio Announces The End of its Decade Long Podcast
Via Press Release – JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – January 18, 2023 – For the past ten years, Jon David Cole, owner and operator of The Country Squire Tobacconist, and Beau York, founder of the podcasting company PODASTERY, have been delighting pipe smokers worldwide with their weekly podcast Country Squire Radio. Long time listeners have enjoyed uninterrupted weekly content from the podcast including the celebrated pipe tobacco focused series such as TOBACCO TALK, PIPE CULTURE, SQUIRE SELECT whiskey and pipe tobacco pairings, and PIPE SMOKING 101 as well as the newer series geared to bring the spirit of conversations had over a bowl of premium pipe tobacco amongst good friends such as HALF BOWL HISTORY, FROM THE LIBRARY, and FATHER TO FATHER. As they approach the 500th episode this year, Cole and York have decided the time has come to bring the show to its conclusion with a live recording at The Country Squire in Jackson, Mississippi. “The amount of content for and by the Pipe Community is higher than ever before with newer pipe podcasts, instagramers, youtubers and more” Cole said. “We have enjoyed our tenure representing and at times shepherding a section of the community, but it’s time to increase the spotlight to this next generation of content creators.” Cole and York have often taken cues from their listening audience who, over the years, have made several trips to the famed Country Squire Tobacconist shop in Jackson, MS. This practice has been dubbed a PIPE PILGRIMAGE by fans of the show who have visited the shop that inspired many hours of listening pleasure. “We want to finish strong,” York said. “There is certainly no better way to do this than inviting all of our listeners, who are able to make the trip, to the Country Squire for the grand finale of the show in a Pipe Pilgrimage like no other!” York explained, “we’ll have music, share stories, and record the final episode of Country Squire Radio together, all while enjoying a one of a kind Pipe Tobacco and BBQ pairing of epic proportions.” The Country Squire Radio Finale will be held at the Country Squire, Tobacconist in Jackson, MS Saturday, March 4th. Tickets are on sale today at The Country Squire Tobacconist (thecountrysquireonline.com) For more information, visit CountrySquireRadio.com or listen to the latest podcast “Episode 490: The Time Has Come” from Country Squire Radio (Country Squire Radio on Apple Podcasts)
- January 17, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 540
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- January 10, 2023 Doin’ the Bengal Breakdown
It’s far from a closely-held secret that for years I’ve had a bit of a love affair with the old, Celebrated Bengal Slices. I fondly recall my first experience with it in the late 1970s when, on one of my almost daily visits to Drucquer & Sons, a fresh shipment had just arrived. There it was, in its beautiful gloss black, red and gold livery, dramatically standing out from its peers, calling attention to itself from its perch on the shelf behind the counter. “What’s that, in the black tin?” I asked Ken, who had become something of a tobacco mentor to me. “The Bengal Slices? It’s great stuff,” he said, pulling a tin from the shelf and handing it to me, explaining that it was a Latakia mixture with a difference. The ribbons were pressed in blocks and sliced, so it had to be broken up to prepare it for smoking. “You have to pack it lightly, or it’ll clog the pipe and become impossible to smoke when it expands. It’s got a little bit of scent added to it.” That last bit nearly put me off it; I was still recoiling from early experiences with heavily perfumed, goopy, pouched tobaccos that smelled better than they smoked. But curiosity, as it too often does, had its way with me, and I couldn’t resist the singular beauty of that tin. I bought it, dropped it into my satchel, and off I went. Later that day, I popped the lid and was instantly captivated. The perfect slices, standing at attention in a tight array, dark and mysterious, almost glistening with the same hues as the tin’s lid — black, red and golden. The aroma was rich and bold, ripe with Latakia, orientals and virginias. The scent Ken had mentioned, which I’d taken as a warning, wasn’t at all overbearing, but rather soft and seductive, beautifully integrated with the tobaccos’ natural aromas. It transformed what was basically a “typical” Latakia mixture into something that seemed more luxurious, even opulent. Though still fairly new to smoking flakes at the time, and certainly inexperienced, I had developed a bit of understanding of them. These were different, though — thicker, more robust looking. I gently removed one from the tin, placed it in my palm, and began teasing it apart. It took little encouragement for it to crumble into small fragments. As I filled my bowl, Ken’s counsel about packing forgotten (more likely arrogantly ignored), I looked forward to the first taste of my new treasure. Disaster! The charring light almost went okay, promising something good to come, but the tobacco soon went out, and stubbornly refused to light. Trying to get an ember going was the equivalent to a futile attempt to set fire to a brick of asbestos. Frustrated, I dumped the bowl, and started again, this time heeding Ken’s advice, allowing gravity to do the work. Much better. Even at first light, it was transcendent. The richness of the tobaccos, pressed and fermented in cakes, already set it apart from its ribbon-cut peers, but that scent! Soft and diaphanous, it didn’t clash with the flavor of the tobacco, but somehow enhanced it, bringing another layer, greater dimension to what was already something pretty special, and it remained throughout the bowl, never shouting, but whispering its presence. I was immediately smitten. The next time I was in the shop, I bought three more tins, something I would continue to do periodically through the years. At the time, I thought this was a truly unique tobacco, the only thing of its kind, but I would find out years later that it wasn’t the first, or the only, and that its story was both interesting and infused with dram of controversy. And, as it turns out, the fires of that controversy ultimately forged this tobacco into what became something so very, very special. The Celebrated Bengal Slices was originally made by Sobranie House exclusively for James B. 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Apparently, it was a little too similar to Krumble Kake for Joe’s liking, and from what I’ve heard, his reaction was predictably cinematic, possibly going as far as threatening to discontinue his relationship with Sobranie over the apparent infraction, so JBR and Sobranie were forced to change the recipe. Whether or not the leaf formulation was changed is unknown, but the changes certainly resulted in that elusive scent joining the party. The Celebrated Bengal Slices was born. (Interestingly, JBR did not register the trademark until March, 1979, though the blend did appear in their catalogue in 1978.) When Sobranie shuttered in 1980, licensing the production of their blends to Gallaher’s, both Bengal Slices and Krumble Kake, being proprietary products, were not transitioned to the new manufacturer. Production of Krumble Kake and the other Smoker’s Haven blends moved to G.F. Germain on Jersey, while Bengal Slices was transferred to Manchester Tobacco Company, where it was produced until 1991, then making its final move to Denmark’s A&C Peterson. For whatever reason, the Danish product didn’t hold my affection like […]
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