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New member
Jul 31, 2016
Hello everyone,

I've decided to delve into the world of pipe smoking and experience the luxuries that it has to offer. I have, at home currently waiting for me a briar full bent by Mr Brog No 67. I have also ordered Early Morning pipe tobacco and Mac Barrens Vanilla cream, I am currently at sea and can't wait to get home to try these ! Is this pipe a decent starting point ? What advice can you guys offer to a newbie ? Thanks very much.




Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
Bethlehem, Pa.
Welcome to the forum and the hobby. Folks here seems very happy with their Mr. Brog pipes so I'd say you're off to a good start. Your choice of blends is interesting as they are polar opposites. It'll be interesting to hear your thoughts about them.

The attached video is from James Fox Tobacconists and well worth exploring. They have several pipe smoking videos and are very instructive.

Good luck and we hope to hear more from you.



Senior Member
Aug 25, 2013
Welcome, navytaff, and thank you for your service. Lots of fine people here to get you started on your journey.
I think you a definitely on the right track starting with a mild English like EMP and a quality aromatic like Vanilla Cream; both are very good tobaccos. Also can't go wrong with a Brog as a starter pipe, although I would recommend you purchase a few Missouri Meerschaum cobs as well since they are cheap yet great smokers.
Don't try to go for those goopy aromatic tobaccos--they smell real nice in the tin and to those around you, but don't always deliver on taste.
For me the biggest challenge is tobacco dry time and packing. Many blends need to be dried out a bit or they become difficult to keep lit. Packing a pipe is an art form and there are all sorts of ways to do it. I recommend you watch some youtube videos on drying tobacco and packing techniques as well as search this forum for those same topics. Better still, try to find an experienced pipe smoker at your nearest tobacconist to help you out.



New member
Jul 31, 2016
Thank you for your advice & feedback guys, very useful indeed.
My reasoning behind getting both EMP and Vanilla Cream is so that I can get a taste for what I really like in a tobacco.For instance I adore my coffee black, however I have been known to smoke hookah quite a lot and the type of flavouring (of course is different) is reminiscent (at least I think) more so if an aromatic tobacco. I also enjoy cigars and the taste of cigarettes such as Marlboro Reds. In summary I enjoy a broad range of flavours so by buying a quality English and a quality aromatic I decided it would give me a better insight into what I would prefer to smoke on a daily basis / dedicate a pipe to and what I would smoke on occasion.
How long does it usually take for tobacco to dry ? Also would packing a pipe be similar to packing a hookah bowl ?
I do intend on purchasing some straight MM cobs, probably next month, I live in the UK and there's not too much in the way of tobacconists so the majority of my shopping is done online.



Preferred Member
May 6, 2016
West Texas
Great way to start, Brog makes a good briar pipe to, Im sure you will enjoy the EMP to. ALL you need now are some cob pipes, and consider adding Carter Hall and Captain Black to round out your rotation
Welcome aboard and happy smoking



Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
There is no good answer on the tobacco drying thing, it is too personal and subjective. You just have to get a feel for what is right for you (practice, practice!). One man's too dry is one man's too wet, if you will. Local humidity being a factor, as well as how dry the tobacco is in the tin, means this will be ever-changing. Eventually you'll just settle into what feels right. Oh, and by the way, every blend smokes ideally at a different moisture content as well. So again, practice, practice.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Ahoy, mate, and welcome aboard. I was a radioman (now defunct rating) on MSO 489, USS Gallant, which is an ocean going minesweeper, which is now mostly a defunct ship designation. I was in Operation Market Time with an aircraft carrier, a hospital ship, and a flotilla of other classes of ships -- oilers, destroyers, etc. I was in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin, in "the combat zone" near the mouth of the Cue Viet River, near the DMZ (demilitarized zone, ha). Anyway, that's my ancient history. Several others here are Navy vets, and many more are vets of other services. Do they still have a so-called smoking lamp (smoking area) aboard ship once you get your pipe and tobacco? In "my day," tobacco was seemingly mandatory, so of course, I didn't smoke. Wish I'd had my pipes, or a few of them. You'll need to get adjusted to lighting up on the weather decks. It is possible to light up in a strong wind similar to that with matches, but a lighter is probably going to be needed starting out. You have some good blends and a sturdy pipe (from what I hear) so you should enjoy them. I'd start out in calm air, maybe ashore, until you get your sea legs as a piper. When you are coming into port after days (or weeks or months) at sea, do you notice that the land smells like fresh-baked bread? Also, your first week ashore, do you notice the ground seems to roll under your feet like the ship, until your sense of balance gets readjusted? Okay, enough of my sea stories. Enjoy your pipe and leaf.



Preferred Member
Jan 21, 2014
Navytaff - welcome to the pipe life, the site and the forums. +1 what the other guys have said above; you'll find a LOT of very knowledgeable guys here. The best thing is that everyone agrees that there is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask away!
The Missouri Meerschaum point is a good one, especially for you as you travel; they are easy to keep, hugely reliable, and cheap enough that they don't break the bank or your heart when you damage or lose one (and you will - we all have!). I would also take advantage of the 'sample packs' of blends offered by the online retailers as these will allow you to home in on the genres and blenders that you prefer, as well as develop your palette. I also believe that most US retailers offer special rates for US servicemen, so that would be worth looking at (I'm English, so wouldn't really know).



Junior Member
Dec 27, 2014
You are where I was two years ago, totally new to smoking pipes...except until then I had only smoked maybe a half dozen cigars in my life and that was the extent of my smoking anything!!!
I would say you are off to a fine start and the recommendations of Missouri Meerschaums is a fine one as they do smoke well and if you decide to try one of the more unusual tobaccos and don't like it and it leaves the pipe tasting a bit unpleasant you aren't losing a lot.
My only added advice is to explore the milder side of the basic types early on. I mistakenly kept pursuing a really pleasant aromatic and as a result of a lot of tobacco I just don't like. EMP and the vanilla covers a good basic English and a nice aromatic. Add a mild oriental, a mild Virginia Perique, a strait Virginia and maybe a Balken to your initial tries and that will give you an idea of the basic ranges of tobaccos out there. If you like flavored tobaccos and since you are living in GB you might add a mild Lakeland blend to that initial trial...use it in a cob that isn't too expensive or you are attached to as the Lakeland flavor is one that tend to persist tenaciously!!!



Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
Welcome to the forum! It sounds like you've got a pretty good plan for exploration and have discovered our happy community of diverse opinion. There's a lot of variety available to we pipers and it can be both overwhelming and frustrating at times.

Stocking up on any favorite blend at this juncture of your experience might not be such a good idea as we all seem to develop our palates over time and they change.

Learning to taste and identify the qualities of all the genres is part of what has made it interesting.

Keep your pipe clean and as dry as possible. It doesn't take much to maintain a pipe in good smoking order and that's part of the ritual. I use pipe cleaners and cotton swabs on the pipes I've smoked.

Keep your airway clear and happy puffing!

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