The Blends of Summer

By G. L. Pease There’s more than a little irony to be found in the notion that, as I begin to write an article about seasonal smoking, and especially summer smoking, the sky is spitting rain at my windows, the wind is laughing behind my back, and it’s not particularly warm. Of course, last week, […]

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Affordable Luxury

By G. L. Pease Recently, the "market value" of some vintage, no longer produced blends seems to have skyrocketed to record-setting altitudes. A 2oz tin of a once popular English tobacco was sold at auction for over $400, nearly twice its previous record-high, and not long before that, another often talked-about blend achieved similar levels. […]

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Making it Real

By G. L. Pease Pipe smoking today is often a solitary affair. We are too frequently accompanied only by a good book, good spirits, and our thoughts when striking the match, putting flame to leaf. But, it wasn’t always this way. It’s not hard to conjure ancient visions of taverns or club rooms, filled with […]

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The Stuff of Legend

By G. L. PeaseMemory tells me it was the summer of 1977 or 1978. Giants game at the ‘Stick. I was in the bleachers with a friend who didn’t smoke a pipe, and his brother, who did. When he lit up, the air was perfumed with an intoxicatingly fascinating aroma. Prior to that day, with […]

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Saving for a Rainy Day

By G. L. Pease In the early 1980s, when I first took up the pipe seriously, aging tobaccos wasn’t something many smokers talked about. Most pipe smokers simply bought their tobaccos from their local shop, smoked it, and thought little of it. In fact, older literature often suggests that tobaccos should be enjoyed relatively fresh. […]

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Shapes of Things

By G. L. Pease It’s almost universally accepted that different pipes can smoke differently and taste unlike one another. Much talk about wood sources, curing methods, airway diameters, stem funnels and cycles of the moon as they affect the way our favored tobaccos taste can be found scattered all over the Interwebs, and even, occasionally, […]

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Don’t Think of a Purple Giraffe

By G. L. Pease In some ways, what follows is sort of a continuation of my last column, The Fickle Nature of First Impressions, so if you haven’t read it, it might be a good idea to give it a look. Basically, I discussed how our perceptions can be somewhat capricious when exposed to novel […]

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The Fickle Nature of First Impressions

By G. L. Pease I’ve always wondered a little about guys who claim to know everything they need to about a tobacco blend from only a single bowl, or, in some cases, even less. What do they know that the rest of us don’t? When I worked in a tobacconist’s, I marveled at the occasional […]

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Dust in the Wind – A Primer on Tobacco Moisture

By G. L. Pease It’s happened to most of us at least once, and if it hasn’t, it will. We dive into our collection for some tobacco we’re looking forward to smoking, open the container, whether tin, jar or plastic pouch, and find that the contents have been entombed just long enough and at just […]

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What is a Balkan Blend?

By G. L. PeaseIn the on-line pipe communities, there is often passionate conversation about the classification of blend types, and in these discussions, the most impenetrable clouds of mystery seem to swirl around those blends containing Latakia. What is an "English" mixture, and how can one be distinguished from a "Balkan" style blend? The problem […]

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