Epiphany Regarding the Expectation of Piping

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Jul 30, 2012
So my son and I go for daily walks before supper and I take a pipe with me to wind down before the end of the day. I was enjoying a wonderful evening and a bowl of 2013 Christmas Cheer (a fine Va if you were wondering) and he posed a very poinient question. "What is it about pipe tobacco that you enjoy dad"?

At first I answered with the usual relaxation, flavors, ritual etc that we all come up with. But it got me thinking. Especially about the nuances of different tobacco. We all review, either online or by ourselves, the tobacco that we smoke. But the tastes of each and every individual are different. Some love perique, some hate it. Some search for the fine Latakia and others can't stand it. So in essance we all look for something different in our tobacco of choice.

What if instead of thinking about what to expect from a certain blend we look for what we find appealing in certain blends. And this is where I had my epiphany. The expectation of flavour and experience can alter our perception of the smoke that we have. So from now on instead of reading reviews and finding I can catch that "peppery undertone" from perique or "sweet Virginia" in a blend I am going to ask myself whether I found what I was looking for in a blend. I will use reviews as a basis for my own journey through a blend. I will no longer look for elements and be dissapoineted or let down if I can't find what others have. I will simply enjoy or not based on what I wanted from that blend. Some will read this and say "sheesh, I already do this", but next time stop and think...am I finding what I want, or what I expect?



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
It's fun to read reviews and comments about blends, but nothing beats a firsthand experience. Also, tastes are

so different, not just preferences but the actual way people taste different blends. Many pipe smokers either

cannot taste burley, or find it unpleasant, whereas others consider it a favorite component in blends or great

on its own. Attitudes toward aromatics can be polarized. Some people only smoke aros. Others won't smoke

them at all. Some love certain flavors only. And so on. Then there is the fact that individual taste changes

continuously. A blend that was your delight last year might not be as enjoyable today. A blend that has been

a real turnoff suddenly reveals its excellent traits. There is a lot of psychology, are quite a few variables, and maybe

some magic in it.

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