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Hobbs

New member
Jan 12, 2022
21
80
First, thanks for all the well wishes from the Intro Section. I have a question that I hope I can get help with.

As I mentioned, I am a complete newbie to pipes...only about three weeks.
I have started with a MM Country Gentleman and an inexpensive Pear with a half bent style. I have also purchased a Paladin and Cpt Black pouches both in Cherry to start since my local store does not have much of a selection.

Like many, I like experimenting in the quest to find what works and doesn't. And obviously at my early stages, I am still learning to properly pack and tamp. I'm happy to say that my experience has lead me to being able to have to only re-light about three times per bowl. BUT...the one thing that has always eluded me even in my cigar days is to be able to extrude flavor.

Now I will preface this by stating that most of this problem is probably due to me. My taste buds are shot. I'm the kind of person that in order to taste garlic in food, I have to really load up on it when cooking.
With wine and cigars I always read were people talk about the nuances of the flavor. With wine, they taste chocolate, fruit, vanilla, etc. With cigars, they taste herbs, almonds, coffee, etc.
With me and cigars, I taste only smoke. Either smooth, harsh or mellow, that's all I ever taste. Seriously. And these are very fine cigars like Ashtons, Padron Anniversarios and many others.
Same with wine. I know which wines I like but rarely ever taste the nuances.

Now, in the world of pipe tobacco, I'm afraid the same thing will happen. The tobaccos mentioned above are more or less trial tobaccos and I realize they are not the best and considered mild. Nonetheless, I still do not taste any real flavors. I have tried different breathing techniques as read on this forum and still not much in difference.

I have just purchased a few 2 oz tins to try including:
Lane 1Q & Hazelnut
Mac Baren Seven Seas Royal Blend
Sutliff Vanilla Custard & Creme Brulee

I realize these are the sweeter ones but needed to start somewhere. It's worth noting that I am not just stuck on Aromatics and hence the question.
What could you recommend for someone like me that is hard pressed to find flavor? I know that this is a very subjective question but hoping to be guided into finding full rich FLAVOR.

Thanks for any help.
 

Bear100

New member
Jan 7, 2022
19
87
South Wales UK
First, thanks for all the well wishes from the Intro Section. I have a question that I hope I can get help with.

As I mentioned, I am a complete newbie to pipes...only about three weeks.
I have started with a MM Country Gentleman and an inexpensive Pear with a half bent style. I have also purchased a Paladin and Cpt Black pouches both in Cherry to start since my local store does not have much of a selection.

Like many, I like experimenting in the quest to find what works and doesn't. And obviously at my early stages, I am still learning to properly pack and tamp. I'm happy to say that my experience has lead me to being able to have to only re-light about three times per bowl. BUT...the one thing that has always eluded me even in my cigar days is to be able to extrude flavor.

Now I will preface this by stating that most of this problem is probably due to me. My taste buds are shot. I'm the kind of person that in order to taste garlic in food, I have to really load up on it when cooking.
With wine and cigars I always read were people talk about the nuances of the flavor. With wine, they taste chocolate, fruit, vanilla, etc. With cigars, they taste herbs, almonds, coffee, etc.
With me and cigars, I taste only smoke. Either smooth, harsh or mellow, that's all I ever taste. Seriously. And these are very fine cigars like Ashtons, Padron Anniversarios and many others.
Same with wine. I know which wines I like but rarely ever taste the nuances.

Now, in the world of pipe tobacco, I'm afraid the same thing will happen. The tobaccos mentioned above are more or less trial tobaccos and I realize they are not the best and considered mild. Nonetheless, I still do not taste any real flavors. I have tried different breathing techniques as read on this forum and still not much in difference.

I have just purchased a few 2 oz tins to try including:
Lane 1Q & Hazelnut
Mac Baren Seven Seas Royal Blend
Sutliff Vanilla Custard & Creme Brulee

I realize these are the sweeter ones but needed to start somewhere. It's worth noting that I am not just stuck on Aromatics and hence the question.
What could you recommend for someone like me that is hard pressed to find flavor? I know that this is a very subjective question but hoping to be guided into finding full rich FLAVOR.

Thanks for any help.
Watching this thread, I feel your woes!
 

reloader

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2021
388
4,175
Elephant Butte, NM
I have a problem picking out the nuances of things as well. Same with wine, cigars, and pipe tobacco. Its getting a little easier the longer I smoke my pipes. Once you try an English blend you will probably be able to pick out Latakia easily. Its a love or hate thing though. If you check out one of the page sponsors smokingpipes.com you can order a variety of bulk blends by the oz. Once of the aromatics that I can identify the flavors is Sutliff Maple & Walnut. Has a great room note and intensifies as you smoke through the bowl. I'm sure you'll get a wealth of information for the more experienced members.
 
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elessar

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2019
587
1,119
First off, stick with it! The perception of more flavors in the pipe tobacco will come over time. It's a strange thing but it really does take time to develop a palette (I would not have believed this myself).

Second, aromatics can be tricky to get flavor from which seems backwards. Maybe venture to some other non aromatics or lightly aromatic blends (English blends usually have a stronger flavor).

Third, try to go slow. With aromatics and most tobacco, that can help. I also find directing the smoke at different parts of the tounge can accentuate certain flavors, but can lead to tounge bite if not going slow.
 

WVOldFart

Preferred Member
Sep 1, 2021
618
1,810
Romney, WV
I always recommend that if you aren't sure what you like in tobaccos to go to one of the on-line pipe and tobacco shops and buy a vast amount of different style blends. You can do this by buying 1 oz. samplers in the bulk section. That way you haven't spent a lot of money,you haven't gotten a lot of tobacco you might not like and you should find at least one or two tobaccos that will change your world.
 

kg.legat0

Preferred Member
Sep 6, 2019
787
7,660
Southwestern PA
Are you retrohaling? This is how I really get that knock your socks off flavor. My best way to describe it is to act like you have a mouth full of liquid and exhale slowly out of your nose ...do this after you've taken a sip off of your pipe.

Best of luck, the joy is in the journey when it comes to finding your preferred blends. I started off as a total Captain Black fanatic (still am) but am more of a Virginia/VaPer/VaOr guy these days ...variety is the spice of life! Just keep smoking your pipe, pack it thoughtfully, and look into retrohaling if that's not something you're already doing. Good luck!
 

elessar

Preferred Member
Apr 24, 2019
587
1,119
Are you retrohaling? This is how I really get that knock your socks off flavor. My best way to describe it is to act like you have a mouth full of liquid and exhale slowly out of your nose ...do this after you've taken a sip off of your pipe.

Best of luck, the joy is in the journey when it comes to finding your preferred blends. I started off as a total Captain Black fanatic (still am) but am more of a Virginia/VaPer/VaOr guy these days ...variety is the spice of life! Just keep smoking your pipe, pack it thoughtfully, and look into retrohaling if that's not something you're already doing. Good luck!
Retrohale is another great tip for grabbing more flavor. I do it almost all of the time without thinking about it anymore.
 

DanWil84

Preferred Member
Mar 8, 2021
772
4,494
The Netherlands (Europe)
You can't taste everything just at once. I think most wine/beer/spirit lovers have "wasted" many bottles to detect the flavors in their drink, same with cigar smokers. Even food doesn't taste the way it should from the first time eating it. I see it with my own kids, they develop their tastebuds and can now discern a carrot from a cucumber (exagrated, but to give a idea). Give it time and the retrohaling tip is a good one, some flavors you get are actually connotations you get via the nose. Some taste leather or earth, as if we know how that taste just by gnawing on a pile of dirt or a leather jacket.
 

monty55

Preferred Member
Apr 16, 2014
892
699
63
Bryan, Texas
First, thanks for all the well wishes from the Intro Section. I have a question that I hope I can get help with.

As I mentioned, I am a complete newbie to pipes...only about three weeks.
I have started with a MM Country Gentleman and an inexpensive Pear with a half bent style. I have also purchased a Paladin and Cpt Black pouches both in Cherry to start since my local store does not have much of a selection.

Like many, I like experimenting in the quest to find what works and doesn't. And obviously at my early stages, I am still learning to properly pack and tamp. I'm happy to say that my experience has lead me to being able to have to only re-light about three times per bowl. BUT...the one thing that has always eluded me even in my cigar days is to be able to extrude flavor.

Now I will preface this by stating that most of this problem is probably due to me. My taste buds are shot. I'm the kind of person that in order to taste garlic in food, I have to really load up on it when cooking.
With wine and cigars I always read were people talk about the nuances of the flavor. With wine, they taste chocolate, fruit, vanilla, etc. With cigars, they taste herbs, almonds, coffee, etc.
With me and cigars, I taste only smoke. Either smooth, harsh or mellow, that's all I ever taste. Seriously. And these are very fine cigars like Ashtons, Padron Anniversarios and many others.
Same with wine. I know which wines I like but rarely ever taste the nuances.

Now, in the world of pipe tobacco, I'm afraid the same thing will happen. The tobaccos mentioned above are more or less trial tobaccos and I realize they are not the best and considered mild. Nonetheless, I still do not taste any real flavors. I have tried different breathing techniques as read on this forum and still not much in difference.

I have just purchased a few 2 oz tins to try including:
Lane 1Q & Hazelnut
Mac Baren Seven Seas Royal Blend
Sutliff Vanilla Custard & Creme Brulee

I realize these are the sweeter ones but needed to start somewhere. It's worth noting that I am not just stuck on Aromatics and hence the question.
What could you recommend for someone like me that is hard pressed to find flavor? I know that this is a very subjective question but hoping to be guided into finding full rich FLAVOR.

Thanks for any help.
I too started out smoking aros, but that only lasted a few weeks. I would encourage you to try some non-aromatic blends. Try a medium English blend like Low Country Cooper, or GL Pease Chelsea Morning, and try some Va/per blends as well. You also might want to try a pure Va offering. One of these might turn a light on for you as they did for me. Went you start down this path, it's not so much about "flavor" (most aros don't taste anything like how the smell or are described anyway), but rather descriptive nuances such as creaminess, citrus, and smokiness. A cob was a good first choice! Having said all that, you will have to buy another cob to smoke non-aros from, as you've now ghosted the pipes your using and won't be able to discern the goodness offered from non-aro blends. Good luck!
 

Jacob74

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2019
768
3,719
Spokane, WA
Hey Hobbs, it sounds like you are interested in tasting the sweet stuff. That's where I started out too.
Be careful not to torch your mouth with the hot burning sweets, trying to get gobs of smoke in order to get that rich flavor!
My favorite all time aromatic is Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic. It's easy to smoke, consistent from tub to tub, and easy to get hold of (which is something here in Washington).
I recommend to you Eileen's Dream and Molto Dolce as being two of the more powerful (by which I mean tasting like they smell) sweet aromatics I've enjoyed.
Also just an aside note for you ,Captain Black Royal is pretty much the same as Lane 1Q. I've read that they are *exactly* the same, just one pouched up and one bulk.

If you are looking for robust flavor right off the bat though, I recommend going to English blends. They smell very different than they taste. The room note won't be as pleasant for the people around you, but they sure do taste good. One of my favorites is Mississippi River, and I recommend it to you unreservedly.
Happy new year, and best of luck to you on your journey!
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
36,703
40,485
First, don't bury yourself in blends getting started. It takes time to find the blends you enjoy most, and your taste will change regularly over time. Buy in small quantities -- an ounce or two in bulk, or a pouch or one tin at a time. I'd try some basic unflavored tobaccos of good quality, like a pouch each of Amphora (by MacBaren) Virginia and burley, since most blends are based in one of these tobaccos. Anything you don't like, put in a jar and try it again in a year or so. But again, take your time and enjoy the journey.
 

Hobbs

New member
Jan 12, 2022
21
80
I too started out smoking aros, but that only lasted a few weeks. I would encourage you to try some non-aromatic blends. Try a medium English blend like Low Country Cooper, or GL Pease Chelsea Morning, and try some Va/per blends as well. You also might want to try a pure Va offering. One of these might turn a light on for you as they did for me. Went you start down this path, it's not so much about "flavor" (most aros don't taste anything like how the smell or are described anyway), but rather descriptive nuances such as creaminess, citrus, and smokiness. A cob was a good first choice! Having said all that, you will have to buy another cob to smoke non-aros from, as you've now ghosted the pipes your using and won't be able to discern the goodness offered from non-aro blends. Good luck!
The other day before my sample tins came in, I did buy another cob for non aros for the reasons stated since I did read that in an article.
And yes, agree on the nuances as I fired up a bowl of Lane 1-Q. Again, I felt a little disappointed at tasting no flavor, no aroma. But what I DID enjoy was the denseness of the smoke and the overall burn.
It only required a few relights but even on the first draw of the relight, the smoke was rich and full. Even more so near the bottom of the bowl. Very enjoyable.
 

Hobbs

New member
Jan 12, 2022
21
80
First, don't bury yourself in blends getting started. It takes time to find the blends you enjoy most, and your taste will change regularly over time. Buy in small quantities -- an ounce or two in bulk, or a pouch or one tin at a time. I'd try some basic unflavored tobaccos of good quality, like a pouch each of Amphora (by MacBaren) Virginia and burley, since most blends are based in one of these tobaccos. Anything you don't like, put in a jar and try it again in a year or so. But again, take your time and enjoy the journey.
Thanks for the recommendation. It’s ironic what you stated in your last sentence as I have become a big believer in that in the last couple of years. I build large wooden model ships and WWII dioramas and had this sign made up that sits in my model room.
F7D397F7-BEAA-4106-99E1-EAA93753F67A.jpeg
 

PipeIT

Preferred Member
Nov 14, 2020
1,436
5,514
The Aloha State!
As I mentioned, I am a complete newbie to pipes...only about three weeks.

It will take time for your tongue, mouth, senses, etc., to come around.

Think about it like a connoisseur, it’s going to take time, and everyone is different.

There’s a wealth of information and highly experienced pipe smokers here.

Enjoy this new passion, and learn, read a lot, immerse yourself, and in time, you will experience the wide variety of wonderful flavors and nuances in pipe tabac.

Enjoy :)
 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
14,647
22,016
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
I second the idea of trying out some English/Oriental/Latakia blends. These are flavor powerhouses. English blends much are more tolerant of middling technique than aros.

The other thing I recommend is that you dry down your tobacco until it feels dry to the touch without being crumbly dry. An excess of moisture masks flavors.
 
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