Fifteen Minute Sweet Spot?

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Part of the Furniture Now
Nov 8, 2020
Smithsburg, Maryland
I think it depends on the blend. For me, aromatics are a punch in the nose in the first five minutes. A sweet VaPer I get different notes around that 15 minute mark you're talking about.

I'm still on the journey of figuring out the variables, and I'm not sure I ever will. Blend, pipe, wind conditions, smoking cadence, am I paying attention or working, my palate, etc. It's all part of the enjoyment for me and sometimes I end up with an exceptional, rare smoke when all the elements hit just right. The only problem with that is I chase that experience over and over again by trying to replicate conditions as much as possible and it rarely seems to work out. Maybe I just need to accept that particular smoke as a nice little euphoric gift and enjoy all the others until I experience it again.


Dec 5, 2021
Southern, NM
I'm not sure about the time, but with non aromatic blends I notice the flavor will intensify between half and 2/3 of the way through a bowl. Anything aromatic or with a lot of latakia I get quite a bit of flavor right off the bat.
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Sep 17, 2023
I agree that it is earlier in the bowl but I never timed it. There are so many variables. I think things do have to get going and you also cant rule out psychological takes some time to mentally settle in as well. I think later in a bowl its easy to not pay as much attention to the flavor or get taste fatigue.


Jun 28, 2022
Lower Alabama
Most everything I smoke tastes about the same from start to finish. A few blends tend to "wake up" by around 1/4-1/3 of the way into the bowl, some like to fizzle out and get dull in the last 1/4, and some will spike in the last 1/4, some will spike in flavor on a relight. Hell, some have the strongest taste just on the initial lighting. Even then, some gradually change throughout the bowl while others just drop off or spike up out of nowhere.

I'll agree with others that say it really depends on the blend. I can't think of any examples of specific blends or even blend types/categories that consistently act one way or another. I've had all the above experiences with all blend types (aro, English, burley, VA), and even had all the above experiences with a specific tin in the same pipe.
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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
Is it just me or do blends generally get tastier after around 15 minutes in? I get a blast of flavor nuance at that point of the bowl where flavors develop that were not present earlier, and are often not present late in the bowl
Sounds like you may be overheating the top of the tobacco when lighting.

Most everything I smoke tastes about the same from start to finish.


Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 17, 2021
Central Florida
For me bowl dimensions are a major factor. I think this is because I smoke mainly straight dark burley. With larger and especially deeper bowls it can taste “bitter” during the last 1/3 of the smoke. (Actually the end of the bowl is more syrupy or something: not terrible, but not great). I solve this by smoking it small, narrow bowls, which makes it great start very nearly to finish.
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Nov 30, 2020
Sydney, Australia
The least enjoyable flavour is straight after lighting and with re-lights.
I know I’m puffing too hard if the flavour deteriorates farther down the bowl.
Which tells me the temperature is too hot.
And of course, towards the end of the bowl, if the dottle is wet
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Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 14, 2023
United States
I just recently made a thread about the same thing. I find that for Englishes, they taste better at the 15-20 min mark once the pallet adjusts. Of course the bowl in it's entirety is enjoyable, but for me the best changes occur within 20 mins. Virginias take a while too as well as Lakelands and other aros start to meld into the natural tobaccos at that point. The aro/Lakeland flavorings are strongest at the beginning.