Have all of you (or almost all) started on cheap aros?

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New member
Jan 28, 2019
My first pipe was a Dr. Grabow and the first pipe tobacco I ever bought was Borkum Riff Cognac because it smelled so delicious. I thought it would taste like it smelled. WRONG I was. First off I didn't know how to smoke it, pack it or tamp it. I thought it must be the pipe so I bought a Tinderbox pipe from the bargain table. It wasn't the pipe that was the problem, it was me. I still have that pipe though and smoked it up until a few years ago when I bit the stem and broke it. I need to get it refurbished, that was a really good smoking pipe.



Jun 12, 2017
Capstan, Three Nuns etc. are the tobaccos I started with, since I was lucky to be introduced to quality, when I started pipe smoking 35+ years ago. Tobacco ads then were mostly for mainstream OTC's and were tempting many, but even students could afford quality pipe tobaccos, as pipe tobacco taxes were low. Now they are high and as Workman said, even OTCs are expensive here. However I have friends who hanged on to the OTCs, no matter the price, simply because they are often sweeter and with more casing than nicotine. Some adults still prefer the same over-sweetened and flavored chocolate they ate as children :nana:


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Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
Kennesaw, GA
My first foray into pipe smoking was a cheap mini cob from a mall tobacco store called "Stag Tobacconist" that was about 30 years ago. I bought some 1oz sample of a "rum" aromatic that burned the crap out of my tongue and left me wondering what all the fuss was about.
Fast forward to about 5 years ago when I decided to give piping another try when I went to the P&C site and purchased a MM Country Gent(still have it and currently smoking it as I type one of my favorites in my rotation) and the following tobacco's at 1oz each:
Lane - Very Cherry

Dunhill - Early Morning Pipe

SPC - Misssissippi River
The cherry blend was due to the fact the wife was a big fan of cherry pipe tobacco. So that was the first I dove into when the UPS package arrived. The result was mostly the same as my first attempt at pipe smoking. Mostly because my technique was green, and had no idea what I was doing.
Then one night I said decided to give the EMP a try. The smell of the bag was wonderful, but intimidating as it was something I wasn't used to. It wasn't siren song of "sweet and inviting" like the aros promote, but it was earthy and stout.(yes i said stout about EMP, first tango with an English) the following 30 to 45 minutes changed my pipe smoking tastes forever. It was intoxicating.... I knew wasn't going to look back from that point on.
Now I sit on a cellar of about 40lbs of tobacco, mostly heavy English blends from GLP and American burley blends from C&D. I can honestly say my favorite blend is Gaslight, with Bengal Slices coming a close second. I still haven't gotten the Straight VA's figured out, but I do enjoy a bowl of FVF when the time permits to focus on it.
I've always said that aromatics are the "marketing department" of pipe smoking. When smoking them you rarely get turned up noses from bystanders. Most the time you hear..."oh someone is smoking a pipe, and it reminds me of my grandfather." Can't say it's a bad thing for sure. Aro's are difficult to smoke, and oddly enough the new piper is mystified as to why it isn't what they think it should be. I'm not one one to begrudge those who smoke aro's exclusivly because everyone's tastes are different and unique. As I said before and many here have stated.....
Smoke what you like...and like what you smoke. :puffy:



Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
Since Bill bumped I'll throw my hat in the ring........the first and second bowls I smoked were good aromatics from the local B&M. Next was Ashton's Artisan's blend, followed by MacBaren Va no. 1 and Dunhill Nightcap.
At this point I began showing symptoms of TAD. At first it was just a small annoyance in the lower drawer of my Gun case. A few tins and six pack of jars. It quickly metastasized to fill a bookshelf. It is now stage IV with a full size clothes dresser full on tins and jars, the top of which is completely covered in pipes and pipe racks.
The doctors have told me that I have little chance of recovery. As you all know, TAD commonly presents with strong PAD comorbidity, and it didn't take long for that to set in as well. Thankfully I have been able to reduce the symptoms somewhat with time and various coping mechanisms. I am hoping that one day I may be able to live a normal life.
I ordered my first pouch of Sir Walter Raleigh yesterday.



Senior Member
Nov 17, 2017
My first bowl was CH in a MM cob. I bought a bunch of samplers after that of an ounce or two of tobacco. 2/3 of those samplers were aros. I disliked almost all of them.
I very rarely smoke any aros now. The ones I do smoke come in handy during extended family get togethers. (One of those is coming up soon.) A pleasant room note gets no complaints from the non smokers.



Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
SC Piedmont
TAD commonly presents with strong PAD comorbidity,
AK, I don't know if Neal's laughing or not, but *I* sure am. Like "metastasize," it's so seldom you get to use it in a sentence outside of the professional domain!



Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
Initially, yes. In fact, that's what I thought all pipe tobacco was -- a heavily scented aromatic. I didn't really like it that much and rarely smoked for c. 15 years.
In my 30s a friend introduced me to Dunhill MM 965 and I was hooked! I had no idea a pipe could have such clean, complex flavors, so that was a revelation for me.



Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
I started on Dunhill 965 and Nightcap. Never was able to bridge over to aros but gave it a serious try.



Preferred Member
Apr 2, 2018
I started out with some apple flavored tobacco.Even went so far as to put apple slices in with it.Bad move.Also did the Capt. Black scene.I still smoke the Capt. on occaision.Took until the mid to late 90s to transition to the stronger tobaccos.What I smoke now would have made me wretch back in the day.
Hope you find your aro.Here's some suggestions: Capt Black "Black Sea"(with Latakia) Iwan Ries "Three Star Blue" "Holiday Pipe Mixture" match by Suttlif.

Cornell and Diehl have some Aros,too.



Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
I started with a few Sutliff light aros, and enjoyed them immensely. But time and learning from the sages of this forum (and the local pipe clubs) soon moved me in the direction of true tobacco enjoyment. I still appreciate the occasional bowl of aro (Sutliff, 4-Noggins Bald Headed Teacher, the occasional Lakeland), but it is tobacco that I love, and tobacco that I really enjoy.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Some years ago, back there in the archives somewhere, a Forums member posted a long list of the names that had been given to Lanes 1-Q by chains and individual pipe shops to make it seem like their own, to keep new pipe smokers coming back to them for their tobacco. I think he had at least thirty, and presumed there were many more. My indy pipe shop is up front, if you ask, about the sources of their selection of blends, a lot of them Peter Stokkebby, and maybe some Lanes and Sutliff. Some better quality aros I tried really had unpleasant aftertaste for me, not just for an hour, but sometimes all day, and before meals. Also aros have given me the worst bite and chemical burn, such that brushing my teeth with minty toothpaste really burned. When I shifted to non-aromatics, which I expected to be as much of a problem, instead it was a whole new day. No such problems. I smoke more non-aro and have found a few change-of-pace tobacco forward aromatics that I enjoy.



Junior Member
Aug 5, 2018
I started with some bulk aro's from my local B&M and didn't get much out of it other than heat. After I poked around on here and YouTube I ordered things like Nightcap, MM965, EMP, Plum Pudding, etc. and immediately fell in love with latakia. I've discovered some others I like as well of course, but nothing is like the taste and feeling I get with those English/Balkan blends. SO good. I'm still not getting anything from Virginias and I feel like missing out there, but in the meantime the latakia is keeping me happy.


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