Pipe Tobacco Availability Frustration

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Jul 12, 2011
3,810
22
What we also have to remember

is that over time our tastes

change, so what we loved and hunted...10yrs later might just

be meh, hehe...have had it happen to

me several times on some of my best/loved

blends 10yrs ago...enjoy today's blends

as others have already said there are great ones that are regularly available.
Some of my favs and are in my regular rotation today;
GLP's Temple Bar, JackKnife Plug, Triple Play
C&D's Mad Fiddler Flake, Dreams of Kadath and many many other C&D blends..just a few to choose from, lol

 

mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
393
1,389
Northern New Jersey
Thanks for the great perspective and practical recommendations.
In particular, I would like to thank "hoosierpipeguy" for his insightful and helpful comments. I will forever hold his intrepid and hound dog like pursuit of the finest tobacco as an example to be emulated as I continue to explore the pipe smoking hobby.
In particular, I have taken to heart his comment:
"Or you can keep waiting on the announcements from smokingpipes, tobaccopipes and P&C and see how that works out for you. Or you can waste your time posting here about how they're impossible to get."
Coming from someone with 1,548 posts on a pipe smoking forum in the past year, it is clear that he is a man who doesn't waste his time, but rather values it and knows how to spend it wisely. It is particularly refreshing to see that not all pipe smokers are laid back, helpful and agreeable sorts, as it would seem from most posts here, but rather than some unadulterated douchebaggery is also to be had.

 

ekert

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 26, 2018
171
28
Grumpy SOB, absolutely. Douchebag, that's probably the last word that comes to mind when thinking about Hoosier. He has been quite helpful to myself and many others (re-read his first post on this thread, it was a sincere attempt at sharing some insight and knowledge). Telling you that you have to be proactive if you want to obtain some of the harder to find blends is just reality, he just worded it in a way that doesn't pander to snowflakes.

 

eggrollpiper

Can't Leave
Jul 27, 2018
378
37
I'm a little low on unadulterated douchebaggery today but still feel the need to add my endorsement to the cornucopia of thoughtful and wise posts.

I second Ashdigger on Mclelland and Esoterica. Esoterica blends have been my most sought after and least enjoyed. They seem like an aquired taste (the non english ones) margate is nice, but nice not earth shattering. If someone put a Stockebye blend in an Esoterica tin it would also always be sold out.

Of those already mentioned I would recomend Peter Stockabye all three flakes but particularly twist flake for pure Va. Also theres a Stockabye bulk Va. non flake and Sutlif Va. Flake are nice unadulterated Va. only. Oh and Macbaron HH Navy Flake was my first Va. and flake and has a nice mild aromatic quality.

And if your looking for more English try C&D Star of the East and Lane Crown Achievement.

Lastly for a blend that will keep not only the ladies away but the undead as well there's H&H Cerberus.

 
May 9, 2018
1,687
80
Raleigh, NC
Funny, I think have a hankering for Black Frigate.
I have this weird sudden urge to go back and buy the rest of their tins of Black Frigate. It's like I'm compelled... 8O
The subliminal messages are working (rubs hands together).
Honestly though, I love Black Frigate for just about everything it's about. It's a very solid blend and readily obtainable, at least for now.
+1 on the Mac Baren HH blends as well, they're a phenomenal product. Just tried the HH Balkan at one of our pipe club meetings and it was fantastic! Highly recommend it if you're into Blakans.
Lots of good information here from guys that have been at this a helluva lot longer than I have been. I've been all over the place because as many others said, there's so much out there today that's readily available that I have heard is great, but I just can't try them all. I could try, but I'd go broke, have to sell a kidney, and be living in a box behind the 7-11 if I did.
The best advice I have is to identify blends you like and try them by the ounce. If it's a tin you want to try, buy it, try it, if you don't like it, jar it and give it some time as your tastes might change.
I've found that the best helper for me has been the tobacco locator tool over at Smoking Pipes. From that, I can search by strength, room note, taste, family, etc., and narrow my selection down to what I like most. It helps, but there's still a shit ton of blends to pick through. That's why I have just been trying my way through stuff an ounce at a time to see if I like it.
Pick out some blends that never seem to be out of stock and give them a try. You might discover your favorite is a blend that has an endless well of supply. A lot of the blends that always seem out of stock are truly not worth the hassle, IMHO. At least not online. Like others said, check B&M's for stock of it if you really want to try it. I bought a bag of And So To Bed a while back, but it doesn't match the hype, for me. It's smooth and good, but not a head above other similar flavor profiles. I got it from a B&M and paid $54 for the 8 oz bag. I'll smoke my way through it, but would I buy it again? Probably not.
It's sort of like this, does a blend smoke or taste any better simply because it was impossible to get and you finally snagged one? Not really. Maybe in someones head they can think so, but not to me. I buy it if the time is right, the price is right, and I want to give it a try. Some people love them, but if I can find something similar that might taste better to me and I can always find it, that's the one I'm going with.
Case in point, I tried an ounce of PS LNF. Love the stuff. Always available. Going to buy more eventually, but stocking up on some Englishes at the moment. I tried PS LBF. Love the stuff. Always available. Going to stock up on it eventually. MacBaren HH ODF, same thing. Love it, it's available, it's delicious. These blends, however simple they may appear, are going to become the basis of my cellar. That and Black Frigate. Did I mention Black Frigate before? Well if not, just once more, for emphasis.....Black Frigate!
Happy Hunting! Happy Smoking! Carry On! :puffy:

 

cigrmaster

Lifer
May 26, 2012
20,255
57,192
65
Sarasota Florida
mordy18, good for you. Hoosier is a douche bag of the highest order. I have known him for over 20 years and I don't think I have ever met a bigger douche bag.
Mark, mordy certainly told you where to go, lolololololol

 

hawky454

Lifer
Feb 11, 2016
5,038
8,841
Austin, TX
particularly twist flake for pure Va

I wouldn’t really call that a pure VA, I think it leans more towards an aromatic than a pure VA, it is heavily cased and pretty sweet. If that’s your thing than great but one might be dissapointed if expecting a straight up, unflavored VA Flake.

 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,225
34,419
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
MacBaren HH ODF, same thing. Love it, it's available, it's delicious.
And, it will disappear in a few years due to the FDA Deeming regulations unless MacBaren decides to pony up a few grand to cover the costs of having it deemed. So don't wait too long to hoard cellar some.
If someone put a Stockebye blend in an Esoterica tin it would also always be sold out.
Some think it would be an improvement. Personally I like several of the Esoterica blends a lot and have no reason to tear them down just because they're a little more difficult to obtain. The mania and price gouging around them is caused by smokers. Germain's is a top quality, but relatively small, blender. Dunbar is one of my favorite blends and there's nothing like it. But I didn't waste time with online stores. I simply bought from B&M's at regular retail prices, a bag here and a bag there, over years, never being a piggy about it because there is always more, until I felt that I had enough to enjoy for years.
There are a lot of other blends I like just as much that aren't in short supply, at least not at the moment. Just about everything cycles in and out of stock. The current situation does seem a bit more extensive than in years past, but I remember that in 2014 nobody could find a tin of Wessex Campaign Dark Flake, people were going nutz, and it was gone for months on end. Same thing has happened in the past with Rattray's and Samuel Gawith blends.
McClelland, with the exception of it's red Virginias, wasn't a big part of my cellaring, and I don't regret that. I have from them what I liked best, and it's enough to last me longer than I'll be around. Though I knew about their closing months before it was announced (worst kept secret in the piping world) I didn't stock up on blends I didn't smoke. Their Grand Orientals were very good, but there are oriental blends made by others that are every bit as good in a different way.
The idea that any one tobacco blend is going to bring about a satori experience is ludicrous. It's all just tobacco.

 

ashdigger

Lifer
Jul 30, 2016
10,188
62,679
59
Vegas Baby!!!
The idea that any one tobacco blend is going to bring about a satori experience is ludicrous. It's all just tobacco
But what if I'm a new pipe smoker who can't think for himself, and I constantly worry that I've missed out on something I've never had, and now my imaginary stellar status as a REAL pipe smoker is somehow impugned?

 

eggrollpiper

Can't Leave
Jul 27, 2018
378
37
How did I know someone would make sure to point out that twist flake has an aromatic topping. However calling it heavily cased is a little extreme. The consensus is that it has a honey topping which brings out the natural sweetness of the Va. however it's not sold as an aromatic and imho very mild in the flavoring.

 

mordy18

Can't Leave
Mar 12, 2019
393
1,389
Northern New Jersey
Just for the record, I didn't call Mr. Hoosier a douchebag, just said he was engaged in douchebaggery. He may or may not actually be one. I don't know. But snarkily telling someone on a forum (especially a new guy) the specific purpose of which is to exchange ideas and maybe educate people, that they are "wasting time" by asking a question, while touting one's own prowess, is clearly douchebaggery.
But I digress. One clear takeaway from this thread is that between my gun safes, worktable, cigar humidor and now growing tobacco collection I will need e a bigger room in my basement (or cellar if you prefer) and stronger lock on the door to keep my wife out. Thanks all once again.

 

hawky454

Lifer
Feb 11, 2016
5,038
8,841
Austin, TX
Also, it is one thing if you have tried something and love it, then I’d say it’s worth the hunt but even still, I don’t put much effort in myself but over the years I’ve been able to acquire a whole bunch of my favorite Esoterica’s with very little effort on my part. Sometimes ya get lucky, sometimes friends point you in the right direction but for me Dunbar & Tilbury are certainly worth the hunt, to others they may not be worth it but I personally wouldn’t go out of my way for a blend I’ve never tried before.

 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,225
34,419
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Pure anything generally tastes like crap. Almost everything is either cased, topped, or both, including the so called "natural" blends, not to mention steamed, baked, flambé, and served with a side of mac and cheese.

 
Jan 28, 2018
10,813
90,890
65
Sarasota, FL
mordy18, good for you. Hoosier is a douche bag of the highest order. I have known him for over 20 years and I don't think I have ever met a bigger douche bag.
Mark, mordy certainly told you where to go, lolololololol
Yep Harris, douche bag describes me perfectly! All because I have a low tolerance for whiners. No problem, I'll be padding my tobacco cellar and smoking aged unobtainiums while mordy is still crying and pouting about how he can't find SG FVF. Here's what is even more ironic. I've bought 10 to 20 pounds worth of aged unobtainiums and difficult to get blends right here when members have posted tobacco for sale. I bought $1000 worth from Salted Plug alone. The past 2 days, I received a tin of McClelland 3 Oaks Syrian, 2 tins of 5 year old Astley's No 44 and a tin of 5 plus year old Aylesbury Luxury Flake. Traded a tin of Penzance for the 3 Oaks and $20 per tin for the other 3. Thought that was reasonable.
Thanks for being concerned about my personal time management mordy. A rather foolish comment considering I own and manage the operations of a $5M plus Construction Company in 3 states and am heavily involved in a software company I started 9 months ago. Plus a great family with 2 incredible grandchildren. You'd be amazed at what you can accomplish if you spend your time doing instead of whining.

 

eggrollpiper

Can't Leave
Jul 27, 2018
378
37
Sable I tend to agree with you about pure anything tasting like crap. At best it can be one note note but what I think has been pure Va. seems very pedestrian and gets boring quick. And when they've been interesting it's proby from a perique ghost. So since I dedicated one lonely pipe to pure Va.s it doesnt come off the rack often.

Aside from the douchebaggery my favorite thing about Hoosier is his humility.

 
Jan 28, 2018
10,813
90,890
65
Sarasota, FL
Aside from the douchebaggery my favorite thing about Hoosier is his humility.
:) I just call them as a I see them. Admittedly, my filter is pretty open most of the time which has, over my lifetime, gotten me in hot water now and then. It is both a blessing and a curse. But it is what it is. If mordy is going to the Chicago Pipe Show, I will humbly and happily supply him with a few bowls of Unobtainium pipe tobacco and buy him a drink. That's me in the photo with the gray hair and a big pipe in my mouth. Other than that, look for the loud, arrogant douchebag sitting with a bunch of guys having a great time.

 

ophiuchus

Lifer
Mar 25, 2016
1,530
1,953
Now, now ...
So many good blends available. Let's just hope that remains true.

Amen.
I do agree that availability of some well-regarded blends is frustrating. Keeping things in perspective is important to a great many things. Some of the old coots here (myself included) espousing the virtues of our favorite old blends have been squirreling away tobacco into our humble hoardes for decades; meanwhile, there are sooooo many new things out there that don't get all the attention that might fit the bill for a new favorite. Focus on those before they disappear for one reason or another.

 

dmcmtk

Lifer
Aug 23, 2013
3,672
1,667
Hate to be a contrarian, but between bulks and available tins, I'm having no trouble finding good tobaccos. :)

 
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