Hacker's Book Fibbed on Perique!

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pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
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Reading through his book again, 21st Century Guide, and he says that perique is literally soaked in plum juice and fruit pulp before it's pressed and fermented. He says that!
I was told by multiple reputable people that it's just soaked in water and all the plummy funky goodness is natural to the tobacco.
I want to believe them and think that Hacker is a fibber and perique isn't flavored!

 

jitterbugdude

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Mar 25, 2014
994
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I've made several batches of Perique. I can say with 100% confidence that whoever this Hacker guy is he is full of shit. Perique is simply tobacco that has been pressed in a barrel over a period of time. It's not soaked in water. Water is sprayed onto the leaves during the packing process in order to make them as soft as possible.

 

mortonbriar

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Oct 25, 2013
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I found some useful information in Hacker's books when I was first reading up on tobacco and pipes, but I did get the feeling that he would be unlikely to believe that he was wrong about something pipe related.

I'm not really meaning to give the guy such a hard time, good on him for putting information out there, particularly pre internet, the 21st century edition is a little ironic given the information now available online (my wife got it for me for christmas, it was a pretty good guess and not worth pointing out that it was the 'wrong' pipe book, i am just grateful she accepts my obsession).
Isaac

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
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I got it for Christmas as well. I'm not meaning to bust his balls too much either, but that's a pretty fundamental error and with the obsession many folks have with perique, completely missing the mark on its description in the tobacco styles portion of your book seems like a major oopsie.
There are some other, I'll say, disagreements I have with some of the other information, but that's bound to happen. The perique thing really made me raise an eyebrow though, especially for someone who is the "definitive authority" and THE pipe author of the time.

 

phil67

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Dec 14, 2013
2,052
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I don't have the 21st Century Guide, but I do have 'The Ultimate Pipe Book' by Hacker.

In the chapter of tobaccos he describes Perique as:
Perique is just the opposite of Burely, and achieves its strong taste from being pressed and then fermented in its own juices.
Why describes Perique in his newer book in a totally different way is beyond me!

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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I found some useful information in Hacker's books when I was first reading up on tobacco and pipes, but I did get the feeling that he would be unlikely to believe that he was wrong about something pipe related.
Hacker pioneered writing about pipes, their history and their lore and he has provided a large amount of useful information. The interviews that Hacker conducted, like the one with Alfred Sasieni, are really interesting. I'll still recommend his books, but with reservations.
Unfortunately Hacker also provided a lot of misinformation, where accurate information that was not Internet dependent and which only required visiting a major public library and doing the footwork, could have been sourced. He never writes "as far as I know" or "to the best of my knowledge" which instantly takes him out of the realm of serious researcher. There's a certain egotism that's breathtaking. If you view Hacker as an advanced enthusiast and not as a researcher you can get a lot out of his writings. More accurate and substantiated information is to be found elsewhere.

 

kcghost

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May 6, 2011
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This thread is classic internet dialog. Most of it is thoughtful, serious, and courteous. The rest is just old style immature oneupsmanship.
Hacker was one of the few guys prior to the internet who actually wrote about cigars and pipes. His books were well received by the smoking public. As Sable says his writings are flawed but valuable.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Permit me to add, reservations aside, as an overview Hacker's books are well worth reading.

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
3,213
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I really like the book, and don't discount it or anything else he's done.
As far as libel and "oneupmanship", I hoped the tone of the original post conveyed some tongue-in-cheekiness, but perhaps I'm wrong.
It just seemed like an odd mistake to me, and now even more so now that I've learned the description of perique was changed from book to book.

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
3,213
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Permit me to add, reservations aside, as an overview Hacker's books are well worth reading
Agreed and I learned some things I didn't know. Don't mistake my picking out of one single line about one specific type of tobacco as anything other than being a goof.

 

mrenglish

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Dec 25, 2010
2,207
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Columbus, Ohio
I almost quit pipe smoking until I found his Ultimate Pipe Book. I learned everything I was doing wrong and was able to correct the mistakes due to this. Not sure I would still be smoking a pipe if it was not Hacker's book. Sure, there is a lot of incorrect information but the basics are solid, imo.
@hunter - Thanks for posting the publishing info. I never did pick up that one.

 

philobeddoe

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Oct 31, 2011
4,701
492
East Indiana
Rick Hackers' Ultimate Pipe Book was very helpful to me when I was moving away from pipes and tobaccos available at drugstores into pipes and tobaccos available at B&M's. It was a very quick way to learn a great deal about our hobby at a time when there was very little to nothing being written about pipes and tobaccos. I even purchased the Ultimate Pipe Video, which is quite interesting in its own right. I know that there is a lot of opinion in addition to the facts in his books, but I do believe that he was trying to be factually correct at the time he wrote the books. I am very grateful to Rick Hacker for writing his books on pipes and pipe smoking and wish he would write more.

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
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His 21st Century guide and Rick Newcombs book "in search of pipe dreams" really opened my eyes to the world of collecting pipes but even more so, estate pipes. I've heard much of the vile that gets tossed in Hackers direction over the years but I've got no grudges. Good books to have in the shelf.

 

pipesmokingtom

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May 4, 2015
3,213
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I've heard much of the vile that gets tossed in Hackers direction over the years but I've got no grudges
I never knew Hacker-bashing was a thing. Hope my little post about perique isn't seen as such - though if bad-mouthing him is common, I could see how it could be.
No ill will or malice intended from me of course.
Cheers.

 

warren

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Sep 13, 2013
7,594
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It was worse a few years ago. People tend to accept Hacker as a positive now days. In the past some would take delight in tearing him down. I attributed that attitude to jealousy more than anything else. The guy had a dream job and he worked hard at it. Still does! He's a good, if sometimes fallible, spokesman.
Your post wasn't the gloating type, so you'll get no guff from me.

 
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