Matching Pipes with Blends

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Seeker81

Member
Nov 22, 2019
106
154
I would be curious to know if there is any established/accepted truths when it comes to matching pipe shape or form, or material (meerschaum, briar, corncob, etc) to certain types of tobacco, or types of cuts.

Does anyone have any such pointers? Thanks.
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
18,215
5,943
Emberland
One tobacco tastes the same to me regardless of which pipe I smoke it in so I assign new pipes to whichever genre they were broken in with. Favorite blends would get pipes commissioned specifically for them.
 

krizzose

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,214
560
Michigan
I definitely like narrow bowls for folding and stuffing flakes, but only because I find it easier to get a good burn that way, though it’s certainly possible to do so in any sized bowl. But I’m lazy
 

elasmo

Junior Member
Mar 23, 2019
94
62
My natural finished pipes are virginia's, and vapers. All my colored/darker pipes are for latakia. That's about it for me.
 

Seeker81

Member
Nov 22, 2019
106
154
Dedicating different chamber types to different cuts makes much more sense than dedicating them to blend ingredients. I only have one pipe with a shallow chamber and I use it for ribbon cut blends, mostly Royal Yacht.
I've been smoking Nightcap a lot since I started pipe smoking. Thing is I have a nice meerschaum pipe which I consider to have a narrow chamber and it seems to be giving me a cooler, more flavoursome smoke...
Idk if that might be the cake or not... hence the post. Thanks
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
3,467
2,459
That's another thing I've been thinking of myself: exploration, experimentation, note keeping. Try a blend in different pipes and see which combo works best for YOU (anatomic/physiological differences, climate factors imposed by geographic location, smoking habits [or vices], and nigh endless et ceteras when it comes to factors affecting taste, burn rate, temperature... for each individual smoker).
 

renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
843
1,149
Both the recipe of the blend and the cut interact with the bowl shape.

Blends with many components generally present better in wider bowls. This is usually ascribed to more surface area meaning you’ll have all of the constituents burning and get “the whole picture”.

Taller bowls can allow you to get more of the volatiles released by the warm, but not burning leaf. This is most noticeable in subtler blends like straight Virginias. Kitchen sink blends are typically less subtle and the effect of the taller bowl isn’t as obvious.

There’s less agreement on the best bowl shape for a particular cut.

Never mind all of the other variables like drilling, moisture level, humidity, packing technique etc that probably have a greater effect on the smoke.

As always, you’ll need to try different things and see what works best for you.
 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,779
226
When I smoke, the ember is very small. It is not larger in a larger pipe. I don't understand how people think that a wider pipe gives a wider ember. You'd have to puff like a madman to get the ember going all across the tobacco's surface all the time.
 

renfield

Preferred Member
Oct 16, 2011
843
1,149
A wider bowl will have a wider ember IME. It’s not the full width of the bowl, you’re right, that would make serious heat. If the ember is just core burning I’ve usually not paid attention to the pack or lit carefully enough. When I started leaving more of an ash layer it seemed that the insulation helped keep a wider ember. As always, YMMV.

This is with ribbon cuts. Flakes are a different animal as I usually fold and stuff and the cut of the flake really dominates how the bowl burns.

Do you manicure/landscape the bowl frequently with your tamper? Nothing wrong with that, just curious.
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
3,467
2,459
Do you manicure/landscape the bowl frequently with your tamper? Nothing wrong with that, just curious.
All the time. Given the ember size/width issue, I use my tamper to push the tobacco on the sides towards the centre and make a lil' mound.
 
Reactions: diamondback

jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
5,153
4,275
Here
Whichever pipe you’d wear with a pirate outfit is for Black Frigate.
So, all of them!



I have a Dublin with a conical chamber that gives a better burn and flavor experience with ODF and VA flakes.

Other than that, I've had a blend or two that seemed better in one pipe than another but I've not been able to pin down any logical reason why.

For instance, my first two Savinelli pipes were a 111KS straight billiard and a 606KS bent billiard. Chamber sizes are similar. The straight pipe delivers a stronger or fuller flavor with latakia blends, while the bent seems to tone down the intensity a bit.

Why, I dunno. Cleaning fluid, I suppose...



11394
 

Seeker81

Member
Nov 22, 2019
106
154
Other than that, I've had a blend or two that seemed better in one pipe than another but I've not been able to pin down any logical reason why.



View attachment 11394
I hear ya there! I suppose there are quite a few variables at work. Maybe just accept the gift that a certain pipe complements a blend and just enjoy. Still some food for thought from these posts thus far.
 
Reactions: jpmcwjr

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,587
3,493
There are some generalizations that often work, like broad bowls for blends with more different tobaccos, so everything can be burning at once. Cobs do especially well with burley and codger blends. But I find individual pipes have preferences, blends they do especially well, that are more predictive than the generalities. Some pipes doe really well with blends that aren't in their prescribed bailiwick it often seems.
 

BROBS

Preferred Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,558
3,552
37
IA
It’s best to take the blends and pipes to a neutral place and just see which ones get on with each other. They will naturally pair up and soon a match will be made.