More Flavor in a Cob Than My New Briar. Breaking In = More Flavor?

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PsychedPiper

New member
Jul 30, 2020
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47
Agreed. I only have about ten briar pipes that I smoke with any regularity. I'm sure I'll add more to the collection, but most of us here have far more pipes than we need. It's really just a matter of enjoying the variety, but not at all necessary to have a lot of pipes to have excellent smoking experiences.

I'd recommend doing a google search on Fred Hanna and his book The Perfect Smoke. He also has a chapter in there about what he calls a "Magic Pipe" and he speculates about how briar characteristics (such as where the heath tree is grown, what the soil conditions are like, etc.) might affect the smoking characteristics of a pipe that is made from that particular tree, just like how those conditions affect grapes grown for making wine. I just posted about it in another thread here as well. It's an interesting concept, and is not really understood by anyone or accounted for in pipe making.
That's really interesting. I never thought of that, but I can definitely see how that would be a factor in the smoking characteristics. I agree, technically, a pipe starts with the tree its made from. I'll have to look into it!
 

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PsychedPiper

New member
Jul 30, 2020
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47
On the “magic pipe” topic, I do have one pipe (a briar hobby block of all things) that smokes Lat-heavy Englishes better than any of my other pipes. I always attributed it to the incalculable number of bowls of Balkan Supreme that have been smoldered in it, but I guess it could be the pipe. 🤷‍♂️
After reading all of these comments, I find a lot of the beauty in pipe smoking is how personal and intimate it is. We all seem to have at least 1 pipe that smokes a particular family or blend of tobacco well. With that being said, along with what lawdawg mentioned about the specific tree the pipe is made from (more specifically, different parts of the same tree will have different biological characteristics, ie. the grain, how porous it is, etc), no pipe is exactly the same. I'm glad the art is still being pursued after such a long time!
 

Wade H

New member
Jan 13, 2020
33
87
59
Glendale Arizona
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This is my 'Magic' pipe. It's a 100 + year old House of Lords (Made in England) sandblasted Canadian billiard. I got it as an unsmoked estate pipe for $40 about 15 years ago. It has a fairly small chamber, and is quite unattractive, but it delivers a superb smoke no matter what I put in it.

I didn't know much about it until recently, when after a particularly good smoke, I decided to research it. I discovered that House of Lords was a pipe company in London England from 1910 - 1919. It was owned by the pipe maker Samuel Gordon, and was bought out by Joel Sasieni (Sasieni Pipes) at the end of 1919.

So....that makes my little pipe at least a hundred years old. How it made it to me unsmoked, after so many years, is a mystery. It probably sat in a box somewhere out of sight for the past century, until it ended up being sold to the pipe shop that I was frequenting at the time. Great little pipe, and a piece of history.
 

danimalia

Preferred Member
Sep 2, 2015
2,551
9,375
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San Francisco Bay Area, USA
In addition to all the other great insights here (break-in, cake, changing palate, etc.), I'd suggest that your brain might be partially to blame as well. If there was a long period of abstinence from smoking those tobaccos your memories may have exaggerated the flavor characteristics. Sometimes anticipation and excitement can create unrealistic expectations. I know it's happened to me with different tobaccos and cigars.

I am a firm believer that different pipes work best with different blends as well. I don't dedicate pipes beyond some very broad genres, but there are certain blends I tend to smoke in one pipe because they just taste so good. Likewise, there are some combos that just don't work. So keep experimenting.

And dude, what did your mom say when she busted you? Did she think Frog Morton was some kind of hip new drug? Was she surprised you were using a pipe to smoke tobacco and not weed? Sorry, I'm not trying to poke fun, but I'm fascinated by this.
 

Magpiety

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2019
329
932
Largely a repeat of what everyone else has said, but I find that new pipes don't really taste bad, they just make every tobacco taste the same. I don't know if it's a heat issue due to no carbon buildup, but it always seems that way to me. Rip through a tin or pouch of something in your briar and it'll hopefully help.
 
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didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
4,679
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Burlington WI
I've been really discovering the "same blend same pipe" thing and it really does make a difference. After about 10 bowls or so(in an already broken in pipe mind you) things really do start to sing.
I usually only smoke one blend and smoke it in all my pipes. So they all taste good! Haha
 
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