English Has No Flavor

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Jul 17, 2017
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pencilandpipe.home.blog
EDIT: Fixed Capitalization in Title (See Rule 9)

I received my estate meerschaum today. Cleaned the bowl up with hot water and the stem with bourbon. About an hour later, smoked a bowl of C&D corn cob pipe and a button nose (aromatic) it tastes great. All the pure neutral qualities I'd read about meerschaum were a reality. Tonight I loaded up some G.L. Pease Quiet Nights. Bland and flavorless. I thought maybe I didn't get it dried out enough before smoking. (it happens)
I loaded up some bone dry Cornell and Diehl Super Balkan. Same story, bland and flavorless.
These two English blends are also incredibly rich, and overtly flavorful in every cob amd briar I've ever smoked them in.
This is my first meerschaum.

Do I have a meerschaum that just doesn't like English blends? (I know some pipes like certain blends better than others)

Did I do something wrong in cleaning or not allow enough rest time between cleaning and smoking, or between smokes?

I'm really confused how an aromatic was very flavorful amd true, while 2 somewhat strong English blends were flat.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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Call me crazy, but I think Latakia tastes better out of a morta or briar than a meer or cob. I’m not sure why, as I love meerschaum and cobs for pretty much every other kind of blend, but to me cobs and meerschaum tend to mute the Lat quite a bit. Not sure if that’s what’s going on in your case or not. I used to think it was all in my head at first, but I’m pretty convinced of it now. I still taste the blends, but they just tend to “pop” a little more in briar or morta for me. Not sure why.
 

chasingembers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
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(I know some pipes like certain blends better than others)
I've never experienced that. One blend tastes the same in any pipe I smoke it in. Sounds like you may not have packed it tight enough.


Did I do something wrong in cleaning or not allow enough rest time between cleaning and smoking, or between smokes?

As with any pipe, when kept clean, they really need no rest, meers especially.
 

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Country Bladesmith

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It’s your own experience... I cannot comment on that.

My personal experience however ... I smoke a lot of English blends in a Meerschaum pipe... and they smoke as good (or better) than a briar
Do you have a meerschaum that is dedicated to English blends? I ask because I’m wondering if smoking a lot of Lat in the same pipe over and over again is the real secret to maximizing the taste. I have a briar pipe that really makes Latakia shine, but it’s seen umpteen hundred bowls of Balkan Supreme. I have a morta, which has seen less, but smokes it second-best, and then my meer and cobs.
 

cshubhra

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Earlier I had 4 ( out of 5) dedicated to Latakia. Now only one is dedicated to Latakia. I mix them up.

Do you have a meerschaum that is dedicated to English blends? I ask because I’m wondering if smoking a lot of Lat in the same pipe over and over again is the real secret to maximizing the taste. I have a briar pipe that really makes Latakia shine, but it’s seen umpteen hundred bowls of Balkan Supreme. I have a morta, which has seen less, but smokes it second-best, and then my meer and cobs.
 

Magpiety

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Preface: no meer experience here, I'm getting my first one in a couple of days.

Sometimes that's the way she goes. If I have a cold coming on or something, flavorful blends start to taste really bland for a few days. Lots of other factors can play in as well.
 
Jul 17, 2017
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Figured I'd come back and share an update. I figured this out a couple days after posting this and just never reported back.
The issue seems to be with a restricted draw. The problem is in the stem itself.
It's clean as a whistle and with or without the screw tenon attached, the draw through the stem is terrible. I'd like to order another stem but wanted to check back here and see if that's normal for a meer and requires a different technique, or if I just got a bad stem?
 

bent1

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.....just a thought, wonder if some of the oils get absorbed in a porus meer vs a hard briar?
 

briarbuck

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Nov 24, 2015
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I find that a Meer does absorb a little something that rounds off the rough edges. I prefer them for some stronger blends for that same reason. I have 3-4 that ware weekly smokers and I enjoy every one of them.

I find English's to be light to start with. I can see what you are saying about a Meer not being the idea tool for those blends.

Some people say Meers are neutral. I find a clean briar (or morta) to be more neutral than Meers.
 

jhowell

Member
Jul 25, 2019
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Figured I'd come back and share an update. I figured this out a couple days after posting this and just never reported back.
The issue seems to be with a restricted draw. The problem is in the stem itself.
It's clean as a whistle and with or without the screw tenon attached, the draw through the stem is terrible. I'd like to order another stem but wanted to check back here and see if that's normal for a meer and requires a different technique, or if I just got a bad stem?
I drill the tenon out to 1/8". I have had to use a clay saw to open up the button end of the stem. I have used auto valve grinding compound on a bristle pipe cleaner to polish the airway - one user has been able to use a slow speed drill to spin the pipe cleaner - I can't get that to work. I use an extra-long pipe cleaner with one end anchored and manually run the stem back and forth and around the pipe cleaner loaded with the compound...
 

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