Kevin GodbeeThank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern […]Read more
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- December 5, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 586
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 586. Our featured interview tonight is with Per George Jensen. Most pipe enthusiasts know Per as the longtime Mac Baren Tobacco Company spokesman. Earlier this year he made some changes in his life. He got married, moved to Germany and parted ways with Mac Baren, but not with the tobacco business. He is consulting with Sutliff Tobacco Co., and he created the popular and unique signature tobacco series, “Pipe Force”. At the top of the show Brian will discuss his latest pipe acquisition, which is one of the last pipes made by late Japanese pipe artisan, Satou Smio, who died in July of this year.
- December 5, 2023 Merry Christmas and Happy Pipes and Tobacco
By now you are aware that it is Christmas time in the city, the burbs, and the outback. Or it’s close to hour for the heavily bearded roly-poly fellow stuffed inside a bright red suit, flying about in a sleigh overflowing with toys. Of course, the jolly fellow’s pipe is burning brightly, and the lead reindeer’s red nose is glowing across the starlit skies. Ah, yes, Christmas. And since Pundit is in a charitable sort of mood, here are a few of the things you might consider giving as gifts to your favorite pipe smoker. Think of new and beautiful pipes, especially those great Peterson Christmas 2023 pipes, if you can still find them. And, if you are in an overly generous mood, Pundit’s favorite Peterson Pipe shape is the singular B42 Darwin bent apple, released in 2009 on the sesquicentennial of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Just sayin’. Hint, hint. And what would Christmas be without the wonderful creations from Cornell & Diehl and its masterful blender Jeremy Reeves’ holiday offerings? Two Pundit favorites are Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Golden Days of Yore. Both are just right for the season if you can find them. My first stop would be C&D, which lists retailers who stock these fine blends. There are, to be sure, many other great tobacco blenders in the pipe world. I am very fond of the late Joe Lankford’s Mississippi River and Plum Pudding blends. From the first pipe full of Mississippi River, I knew I was in the hands of a genius tobacco blender. I have never looked back and keep an order going for anything Joe Lankford created. As Chuck Stanion said in the Sept. 8, 2022, obituary he wrote on Joe (who died Sept. 3, 2022), “but at least we have Mississippi River. We have Deception Pass and Plum Pudding and Seattle Evening to smoke while remembering Joe, who with quiet grace made all of our lives better.” So, with a few Christmasy gift ideas, go ahead and surprise your favorite pipe smoker with Pundit’s best Christmas wish. Christmas is always a fun time around Punditville. There are heaps of pipe tobacco and pipes. It just goes with the season of family, gifts, and Christmas carols. And tables bursting with loads of fine food. Make that tons of fine food. It takes Pundit several weeks to recover from the Christmas table, ahem. I’m in good company, though, right? Pundit views this special time of year as a period of peaceful gatherings. A time of giving, which really is more fun than receiving. What could be more, er, serene than a scene of Grandpa in his favorite chair, smoking his favorite pipe and tobacco blend while the kids and grandkids run around joyfully squealing about presents beneath the Christmas tree? And how about that tree smell as it merges with the beloved pipe blend of the day? Just kidding about the kids. It’s a time of the year when they have the run of the place to rip away colorful ribbons and wrapping paper and yelp with delight. Not to mention the sweetly smiling and joyful faces at the Christmas dinner table. This Norman Rockwell-like scene brings back those good memories of Christmases past. A Charles Dickens quote is apropos here, methinks: Remembrance, like a candle, burns brightest at Christmastime. I know Pundit is a bit mushy here, but it is important to recall those good moments and family get-togethers. They go by very quickly. Yes, it’s a dose of nostalgia, but that’s all in order this time of the year. Like a classic Norman Rockwell painting of the family around a table overflowing with food and cheery faces. Hard to do better than that picture. Unless of course, it’s a Rockwell painting of the jolly old Saint Nicholas himself. And to my fellow pipe smokers, keep in mind that giving is the true joy of the season. Receiving is exciting, of course, but to see an old friend’s face brighten at the sight of a new pipe is unforgettable. Here’s hoping all out there in Pipes and Tobacco world can find joy and peace in the beautiful song by the late Bing Crosby, legendary pipe smoker, and his “Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Just as the old crooner’s pipe, a long-shanked, long-stemmed billiard, symbolizes the famous singer and actor, so does the fabled pipe bring home memories of wonderful Christmases past. And a final quote from the author who gave us a legendary Christmas story, The Ghost of Christmas Past, a character in the Dickens novella, A Christmas Carol. “Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!” Happy holidays, and here’s hoping everyone has a safe, merry, and happy smoking Christmas with family and friends.
- November 28, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 585
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 585. Our featured interview tonight is with Glen Whelan. Glen is the Director of Sales for Peterson of Dublin. Peterson is a family tradition for Glen. His father worked in the factory for 50 years, eventually serving as Factory Manager. Although Glen now serves as Director of Sales, he started as a part-time retail associate in the Peterson store at the age of 16. After more than a decade in Peterson retail, Glen joined the sales team in Sallynoggin. At the top of the show, we will have an “Ask the Pipemaker” segment with Jeff Gracik.
- November 21, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 584
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 584. We have a special show tonight where there will not be an interview, but we will have Jon David Cole as co-host. JD is the Owner/Tobacconist at The Country Squire in Jackson, MS, and he is the former co-host of the now discontinued podcast, Country Squire Radio. Country Squire Radio ran for 10-years and is still one of the most popular pipe-niche podcasts. Brian and Jon David will be talking all things pipes and tobacco, and we will get an update on what’s new at The Country Squire. We will be preempting our usual first segment to start right off with JD. We will have the usual music, mailbag and rant at the end of the show.
- November 14, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 583
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 583. Our featured interview tonight is with Tanner Halligan. Tanner is from Columbus Ohio, and makes the Butterbone Briars line of pipes. He first tried pipe smoking in high school with some friends, and enjoyed it on and off. About a year ago he began making pipes part-time, but was struggling until he decided to buy some pipe making kits by RawKrafted. The kits are made at Smoker’s Haven in Columbus. Tanner went into the shop and was immediately hired by shop owner and pipe maker Premal Chheda. With Premal’s mentoring, Tanner’s pipe making skills took a big leap forward. At the top of the show, we’ll have a Pipe Smoking 101 segment on flake tobaccos.
- November 13, 2023 Musings on Pipe Clubs and Pipe Sizes
Saturday, I spent a wonderful day at Ohlone Cigar Lounge in Fremont, CA, sharing the stage with the ever charming Joe Fabian, who was doing a “Trunk Show” of Savinelli and Peterson pipes, which evolved into being as much of a pipe club experience as it was a sales event. It was a great opportunity to spend time with a bunch of folks talking about pipes, tobacco, food, cars, the joys of rigid-frame mountain bikes, and pretty much anything else that came up. To me, this sort of fellowship is one of the best things about pipe gatherings, and I certainly look forward to doing more in-store events in the future! At one point some of us had a conversation about why we tend to prefer one size or bowl shape to another, and we all had different views to share. Some choose pipes for their weight or their balance, others for their aesthetics, still others for capacity. This got me thinking about my own collection. While some may have very specific criteria, and their pipes exhibit a certain sort of “sameness,” my collection exhibits a pretty broad range of shapes and sizes from tiny to cavernous, and each has its place. For me, choosing the pipe I want to smoke is often as much a practical decision as it is one of whim and whimsy. On the practical side, one thing that often comes up for many of us is whether or not there is time to spend with a large bowl. For me, a certain irony arises in that decision process all too often; I think I don’t have time for a long smoke, but end up burning two small bowls instead, consuming as much time as the larger bowl would have, if not more. My whacky brain is now swirling with something almost too geeky to discuss, but I’m going to anyway. If you had, let’s say, a finite amount of tobacco and wanted to maximize your smoking time, would you be better off with smaller bowls or larger ones, especially wide, squat bowls vs. narrow, tall ones? How would you choose which pipe or pipes to smoke? Tall, narrow bowls filled with the same weight of tobacco seem to have a slight edge over wide, squat ones, at least with respect to time alight. As an informal experiment tonight, I chose a Castello 55 weighing in with a chamber diameter of 23mm and depth of 35mm, and my Sea Monster bent, with its 18mm x 53mm chamber. I chose these two because they are both exquisite smokes, and have similar chamber volumes. Each was filled with the same 2g weight of a VA tobacco, packed with a gravity fill followed by a very light tamp. The Castello gave up after 32 minutes. The Sea Monster lasted 40. I guess if you were stranded on that often discussed island, and maximizing your smoking time was an important consideration, you’d be better off with the tall, narrow bowl. But smoking time is certainly not all there is to consider in selecting a pipe to smoke; other differences are at least, if not more important, especially if maximizing enjoyment is the intention. Not surprisingly, the taste of the same tobacco from each of these two bowls was quite different. The smoke from the pot was a little sweeter, a little more complex, while the taller bowl delivered a brighter, more zesty flavor. In this case, both were delightful, but that hasn’t always been true. Is there such a thing as “the right” bowl geometry for any given tobacco type? Opinions are as varied as we are, but for me, flakes tend to sing in wider bowls, delivering nuances of flavor that can be somewhat attenuated in a narrow one. Yes, this is counter to the “conventional wisdom” that pipes with narrow, tapered bowls are “Flake pipes,” and large bowls are better suited as “English mixture pipes.” Though I’d never question another’s preferences, I’m comfortable taking the contrarian position here with respect to my own. Years ago, when I was developing my first VA/Perique flake, I did what I always do, and smoked the prototypes in a variety of bowl geometries. One of the pipes I chose during my exploration was a GBD 9493, a lovat-like pot with a wide aperture and conventional billiard height. The tobacco took the center stage spotlight and sang arias in that pipe. Since, I’ve repeated the experiment many times, always with the same result. If you want to experience everything a flake has to offer, try it in a pot. Wide bowls also offer something to the burly aficionado, bringing out some of the more subtle nuances of that leaf while keeping the smoke cool. Things get perhaps more interesting when it comes to bowl height. Since tall bowls tend to concentrate more of the distillates that form when tobacco burns, they can be both harder to keep lit at the bottom, and can intensify some flavors. This can be a good or a not so good thing, depending on the tobacco type, and the smoker’s preferences. I love shag cut tobaccos in tall bowls, while flakes are just too often challenging. Too, I find that fuller latakia mixtures deliver their best in medium and smaller bowls. This might have more to do with “palate fatigue” than the smoking dynamics of a particular pipe’s bowl geometry. (Truth told, unless I’m really focused on the process, I rarely could be considered a “slow smoker,” and as my cadence rises, so does the intensity of some of latakia’s less friendly characteristics, especially as the bottom of the bowl is reached. Combine that with a tall bowl, and my tongue just gets fuzzy.) But, I’ve known many who enjoy gigantic bowls of heavy lat-bombs. Maybe this is one reason the “conventional” medium billiard bowl is, and has always been so popular. It’s kind of the middle-ground – not too tall, not too wide, and does pretty […]