Newer Pipe Smoker Wants Thick Clouds

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CDubMoney

Lurker
Apr 25, 2022
17
32
East Central Indiana, USA
Title edited for caps and brevity. —jpm

I'm sure other threads with that or similar titles have been posted before. I imagine you're thinking, "Another newb doesn't know how to use the search function on the forum." I hope the body of the post lends itself a bit more uniqueness.

TL;DR Newer pipe smoker returning to hobby after long hiatus looking for tobacco blend and/or pipe suggestion for thicker clouds of smoke with less tongue bite.

I posted in the new member introductions that I'm a former cigarette smoker, and pipe smoker returning to the hobby.

I'm also a cigar smoker, as well as enjoy hookah (when someone else does all the work).

One thing I didn't like about pipe smoking was the near constant tongue bite I got from trying to keep a bowl lit (instead of relighting as necessary), and my preference for thick clouds of smoke instead of thin whisps of smoke. As I do more research now, getting back in to the hobby, I've learned to properly pack my bowl (not perfected it yet, but I'm way better than 15 years ago), properly light it, and just go much slower.

But I do miss the thick clouds of smoke. I've gotten the impression through some of my research that there could be certain tobacco blends and pipe combinations that may lend itself to thick clouds without tongue bite. Pipes suggested are clay pipes and churchwardens. I've also heard clay pipes are MORE prone to smoking hot and having tongue bite, so that could be something I misunderstood, or just a one-off opinion contrary to the general consensus of the pipe smoking community. Churchwardens though seem to generally lend themselves to the long stem allowing the smoke more time to cool before reaching your mouth...

But Churchwardens are never listed as a suggested pipe for beginner smokers and I don't know why. They also seem exceedingly rare by comparison.

Suggestions? Thoughts?
 
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CDubMoney

Lurker
Apr 25, 2022
17
32
East Central Indiana, USA
I think the reasons you became a former pipe smoker are scattered throughout your post. Why force the pipe on yourself? Just curious.
That's a fair question, although I don't feel like I'm forcing anything. There are aspects of pipe smoking I enjoy, even more so now that I've gotten better at it. I'm just looking for ways to make it even more enjoyable. I don't have much experience with different blends of tobacco, and would prefer a little direction in an aspect that doesn't seem normally a part of any blend review... If that makes sense.
 
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Aug 9, 2013
29,588
54,540
Helena, Alabama
To preface... you may smoke however you want.
But, the reason you don't see knowledgeable pipe smokers making billowy clouds is because it is counter to the purpose. It means puffing harder, which means LESS flavor. It is too much smoke to absorb into the small blood vessels of the mouth, so it is a waste of money, and it forces your pipe to burn hotter which can harm you pipe.

That said, try some of the C&D cigar blends. They tend to have a little more body and mouth feel to the smoke. It shouldn't matter which ones, as by puffing that hard, you're really not going to taste them. And, maybe practice this out of eyeshot of real pipesmokers. puffy
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
36,434
74,489
Thick clouds of smoke will burn your tongue and eventually damage your pipe. The cooling effects of a churchwarden are a bit of a myth. At least not enough of a difference to notice without some way of measuring the temperature. If you want clouds, cigarettes and cigars are your friend.
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,588
54,540
Helena, Alabama
Thick clouds of smoke will burn your tongue and eventually damage your pipe. The cooling effects of a churchwarden are a bit of a myth. At least not enough of a difference to notice without some way of measuring the temperature. If you want clouds, cigarettes and cigars are your friend.
Yep, it only adds nanoseconds to the time it takes from A to B. Not enough time to cool anything.
 
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CDubMoney

Lurker
Apr 25, 2022
17
32
East Central Indiana, USA
To preface... you may smoke however you want.
But, the reason you don't see knowledgeable pipe smokers making billowy clouds is because it is counter to the purpose. It means puffing harder, which means LESS flavor. It is too much smoke to absorb into the small blood vessels of the mouth, so it is a waste of money, and it forces your pipe to burn hotter which can harm you pipe.

That said, try some of the C&D cigar blends. They tend to have a little more body and mouth feel to the smoke. It shouldn't matter which ones, as by puffing that hard, you're really not going to taste them. And, maybe practice this out of eyeshot of real pipesmokers. puffy
Your request is interesting. Generally, it seems more of a goal to have wisps of smoke because cooler, slower, burning will result in more flavour.
Ah ha! There's the knowledge gap I seemed to be missing. I don't/didn't want less flavor, but was missing that a hotter/smokier "blend" (or just smoking my pipe in such a way to produce clouds) would burn up the flavor and cooler, slower burns result in more flavor.

I haven't had the pleasure of smoking anything but the cheapest blends, mostly because I didn't want to waste my money on nicer blends while I was still learning, and I'm clearly still learning.

But now I've learned if I want the thick, billowy smoke that I enjoy, I shouldn't do it while trying to smoke a pipe... Probably just leave that for the hookah then.

Any insight on the latter? Why Churchwardens aren't common and/or among those recommended to newer pipe smokers?
 
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Andriko

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 8, 2021
257
580
London
Other's have been pretty good on the clouds of smoke. I like the visuals too, but its not really what pipes are about (try vaping instead, smoke everywhere).

As for the churchwardens - my first was one, and it was a pain in the arse to clean the stem and so on. One top of that, you can't really clamp it (not that I clamp to be honest), and it's large and ungainly to handle, and doesn't seem to actually add anything for all the effort.
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,588
54,540
Helena, Alabama
Any insight on the latter? Why Churchwardens aren't common and/or among those recommended to newer pipe smokers?
We have some very devout churchwarden collectors here. I don't smoke them because I can't carry it in my shirt pocket easily, and I can't clench it... without looking like a dog with stick that expresses aspirations of grandeur.

Yes, smoking is counter intuitive. When you want more flavor, slow down even further. I don't even puff on my pipe, just allowing the pipe to just sort of passively breath. But, newbies will get a hint of flavor and chase it away by puffing. There's a learning curve to this.
 

CDubMoney

Lurker
Apr 25, 2022
17
32
East Central Indiana, USA
We have some very devout churchwarden collectors here. I don't smoke them because I can't carry it in my shirt pocket easily, and I can't clench it... without looking like a dog with stick that expresses aspirations of grandeur.

Yes, smoking is counter intuitive. When you want more flavor, slow down even further. I don't even puff on my pipe, just allowing the pipe to just sort of passively breath. But, newbies will get a hint of flavor and chase it away by puffing. There's a learning curve to this.
I knew there was a learning curve. But I'm often surprised at how steep that curve is, even after reading articles and watching videos. Pipesmagazine seemed to be a good place to be able to ask questions, and this post is a great example of why. Another piece of the puzzle sliding into place.

Thanks everyone for the responses.
 
Dec 3, 2021
1,937
14,541
Pennsylvania & New York
Yes, smoking is counter intuitive. When you want more flavor, slow down even further. I don't even puff on my pipe, just allowing the pipe to just sort of passively breath. But, newbies will get a hint of flavor and chase it away by puffing. There's a learning curve to this.
The same is true of cigar smoking. It pains me to see young guys puffing hard and creating huge clouds of smoke. Worse yet, is they never learned to keep the flame from the cigar when lighting and end up carbonizing everything before they've begun.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
38,614
49,152
To avoid tongue bite, puff less and sip more, and dry your blend in a pan or bowl for a few hours or a day before packing. Cavendish gives good volume to the smoke, either a Cavendish blend or Cavendish as a condiment in a blend. I've had better luck with non-aromatics in avoiding bite.
 

dPero

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jan 15, 2022
288
3,569
37
Stafilic
Put a cigar or toscano in a pipe, you can pipes for toscano cigars. Or if you want Lord of the rings smoke an Gandalf magic remeber that is fiction
 
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Donb1972

Can't Leave
Feb 9, 2022
415
1,066
Erie, PA
I smoked a pipe when I was younger, then gave it up. Moved on to cigarettes first, then to vaping...which actually does better with thick clouds of "smoke". When I returned to pipes, I had to unlearn a lot of cig/vape habits.

But if you really want to experiment with thick clouds, get a couple corncobs. Or a clay. Then you can more readily experience the differences from slow smoking with a briar.