I've been lurking for some time and have finally decided to join the forums. My name is Ricardo, Rico, if you prefer . I am a 30-year old pipe smoker from Brazil and and have been into pipe smoking for about three years.
In terms of what I like to smoke, I'm mostly a latakia fiend, but I do love Va/Pers and even some Burley/Kentucky here and there. Unfortunately, due to the very high price of pipe tobacco in Brazil and the lack of variety (I mostly have to buy from people who resell tobacco), I haven't tried that many blends yet in those three years, so everything on that picture there is pretty much all that I have tried so far.
When it comes to my pipes, all of them are cheap, entry-level pipes, but they smoke perfectly fine. In fact, one of my favourite pipes is the second one from the right in that picture. It's not even a briar, it's a local Brazilian wood, but I always have a great time with it, although it does smoke wetter and hotter for not being a briar.
Some honourable mentions in terms of tobacco from that picture that I'd like to talk about are:
1- Presbyterian - My first ever non-aro blend. Very smooth and it was the perfect choice to start with English blends.
2 - Escudo - My first ever Va/Per and boy, what a start! I knew I was going to enjoy Va/Pers the moment I popped the tin and smelled the content. Amazing smoke.
3 - HH Burley Flake - My first Burley blend and probably one of the smoothest blends I've ever tried. I loved it and it goes extremelly well with coffee.
4 - HH Old Dark Fired - I thought it was going to be the next step from Burley Flake and I think I was right. It's bolder, but not overwhelming as I thought it would be, and I love how... erm... old it tastes. It's deliciously spicy and earthy.
What I am smoking right now and it's thanks to an amazing American friend that sent me a package for Christmas (that arrived in early March due to the amazing Brazilian postal service) is: Mississippi River, Gaslight and Telegraph Hill. Speaking of Telegraph Hill and Gaslight, I think I'm a Pease fan already. There hasn't been a single blend of his that I tried and didn't like. When it comes to Mississippi River, that one surprised me. I was expecting a very smooth, low lat blend, which is pretty much what I got, but it has such an unique flavour when compared to other English Blends that it made me like it a lot more than I thought I would. It has this toasted notes and savory taste that really made me into it.
Sorry for the already long post, but some extra facts about myself:
1 - I don't match blends in relation to weather. I mean, c'mon, I love latakia so much and I'm from Brazil. If I were to smoke lat only on cold days, then I would almost never smoke it! Haha.
2 - I absolutely love languages. Other than English and my own native language, Portuguese, I also speak Russian, German and can deal with Spanish at an intermediate level. I also like Serbian (I have some Serbian friends who help me with it), Scandinavian languages and I love to have some fun on Duolingo with unexpected languages (I was recently learning Welsh, because why not?). I am studying at college to become an English/Portuguese teacher.
3 - When it comes to music, well, I like a lot of stuff. My main genre is Metal, with all of its infinity of sub-genres, but I also love Progressive Rock from the 70s, Classical, Jazz, Klezmer, Gypsy music, folk and the list goes on.
Again, sorry for the long post, but I love to write stuff and it's hard to stop sometimes. I hope I will have many nice/interesting discussions in the future about pipes and tobacco.
Cheers! - Rico.