Taste all the same

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nightrider

New member
Dec 29, 2015
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Prior to taking up pipe smoking I was a cigarette smoker for about 14 yrs. It's been a year since I last smoked a cigarette, but for some reason I cannot differentiate the taste in some of the tobaccos that I have tried. The aromatics are the only ones that I seem to be able to taste the flavors. Wondering if cigarette smoking has ruined my palate? Or perhaps, I'm just not smoking my pipe correctly?

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
504
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What kinds of blends are you having trouble differentiating? Some tastes are subtle, and until you know what they are, you probably wouldn't notice them in an overt way. Aromatics tend to be easier to differentiate because we already have a reference point for them: we know what vanilla, chocolate, cherry, and other common aromatic flavorings taste/smell like.
When I first started smoking a pipe, I could easily tell the difference between those aromatic flavors, but I didn't have a reference point for Virginia vs. Burley, for example. It was only after smoking for a while and reading up on different blends that I started being able to pick out the different components.
Have you tried and "English" blend, i.e., one with latakia in it? That would probably be a different taste for sure, even for the uninitiated palate.

 

foolwiththefez

Senior Member
Sep 22, 2015
380
1
Sunny FL
Palates can be retrained and developed. If it's a year plus since you gave up the cigs that should be time to recover. Most likely what you need is A) more experience and B) to smoke slower and cooler. Focus on breath smoking and one blend at a time.
What I like to do is smoke one blend for several days (I only get about one bowl a day in so you may be quicker if you smoke more often). I smoke it blind for the first bowl. Then I read reviews while smoking the second (to try and taste what they're talking about). Also, I pair it with different beverages. I mix it up. One day I'll do water, the next I'll do tea, and occasionally I'll throw in a beer or whiskey (but rarely).

 

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markthelad

Preferred Member
Mar 18, 2014
627
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Bloomfield, IN
There may also be a transition period for your palette to switch over from cigs to the pipe. I didn't previously smoke cigs, but when I first started smoking a pipe, it still took a while for me to really start noticing the flavors of different tobacco's, your palette may have to adjust.

Try slowing down your smoking rhythm to a draw every 10 seconds or so, this really brought out the flavors of the tobacco for me.

You may also like to try what's known as a crossover English blend, which is an English/lat blend with some Cavendish in it, personally I am fond of these. My favorites are any of the Frog Morton's, Bald Headed Teacher from 4 Noggins, Peterson's Old Dublin, Newminster No. 17 Engilsh Luxus, Bengal slices.

There are many more of course. I suggest going on smokingpipes.com and using their tobacco locator located at the bottom of the page and putting latakia and cavendish into the filter, check out the results and read the descriptions to see what appeals to you. Good luck my friend and happy smoking!

 

phred

Preferred Member
Dec 11, 2012
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It takes some time to develop one's palate. I had never smoked anything prior to picking up the pipe a few years back, and initially had much the same reaction - aromatics smelled different, but didn't taste all that different. I ordered a sampler with some aromatics and a selection of Latakia blends, and could definitely tell the difference between those, although the subtle differences between the Latakia blends took me a little while to learn. Just the other day I found the sample jar of one of the Latakia blends, filled up a bowl, and upon my first puff, remembered exactly where that one fit in my general scheme of lighter vs. stronger Lat blends, without having to grab a second pipe and another blend to verify. It's a new set of flavors, and it takes a while to build up the reference library in your head.

 

travelergypsy

Member
May 15, 2016
246
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When I made the switch, I had smoked cigs off and on for three years. I really struggled (and still do) with my cadance. I smoked way to hot, way to fast. When I slow down, flavors suddenly pop. Still working on getting it consistantly, but they are there.

 

gsmunoz

Member
Apr 30, 2016
153
0
Five days into no cigs and loving it. Stick with it, once you hit the zone there is no looking back. It's so worth it. The guys on this forum are extremely helpful so it's just a matter of time and patience. Smoking some G L Pease Gaslight right now and amazed at how delicious pipe tobacco is after settling for cigarettes since 1989. Best to you in your pursuit! Don't give up!

 

nightrider

New member
Dec 29, 2015
18
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Thanks everyone for your advice. It's been almost a year since my last cig and I can already tell the difference in my health. No more coughing and wheezing during the day. I remembered how much I enjoyed smoking a pipe while in the Navy back in the early 80's. So I decided to give it another try.
Tonight I asked my wife if she enjoyed the smell of the Vanilla Custard? She stated yes, and wanted to smoke my pipe for the taste. She could smell the vanilla while not being able to taste the vanilla. Where with me it's the opposite.
I'm going to start slowing down on the draw while smoking to see if this helps?

 

deatobacco

New member
Apr 23, 2016
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Congratulations on kicking the cigarette habit! I quit earlier this year after smoking for more years than I care to admit. I just decided I didn't want to smoke cigarettes anymore and finally determined to quit. A couple of months went by after I quit, and I got interested in smoking a pipe and the experience and taste of it. I did a lot of "research" online, visited my local retailer, and bought a pipe and two kinds of tobacco - a mild English and an aromatic blend. Since then, I've really gotten the bug! I try to visit as many retailers as time and budget will allow, to experiment as much as possible with different tobacco styles. At the moment, my palate is homing in on Virginia flakes. I simply love the flavor of them. I can tell that I'm still maturing my tastes to really enjoy the nuances of the different blends, but it's totally worth it when you smoke that one bowl that just tastes amazing. It's a journey, and I still have a lot to learn and experience. I hope to learn a lot more about oriental tobaccos and Latakia blends in the near future.

 

jmatt

Preferred Member
Aug 25, 2014
759
4
Remember that you're primarily tasting the tobacco being steamed. Not the tobacco being burned. Understanding that helps you move away from "i need to make the fire bigger so I can taste it."

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,654
21,961
If you have aromatics you (and your wife) enjoy, you might want to stick with those, and try a new one now and then ... or not. If you want to play around with getting into tasting other tobaccos, just for curiosity, get two or three one-ounce bags of bulk, maybe one Virginia like McClellands 5100, and one burley like Lanes Burley Without Bite, and smoke them now and then as a change of pace, take them slow, and see if you can pick up on their tastes over time. I don't think you can force yourself to taste anything, but over time it might kind of dawn on your taste buds. I don't think you can work real hard at this. It's supposed to be a pleasure, so either it will kind of occur to you, or you can stick with your aromatics and enjoy those. You're the "king" of your pipe, so whatever pleases you is what you need.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,331
719
Nightrider, it might be helpful to know exactly what blends you have smoked, and how recently.

For example, one of the first samples of tobacco that I bought from a local shop was supposed to have Latakia, and for whatever reason, at that point in time I didn't like it very much so I didn't buy any more English blends for the next six months. When I finally bought some blending Latakia to experiment with I found out that I was missing one of the best flavors you can get out of tobacco.

I really have no idea what that first sample I bought actually was, but I've experienced over and over that you can't judge a category of tobacco on one or two examples.

It might not hurt to go back and try a few of the blends that you started off with and didn't seem to like very much.
And if you're looking for inspiration just do a google search for top 5 tobacco blend threads, those always come up with a variety of good suggestions.

 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,691
1,825
As a former cig smoker, your habit is to satisfy the nic need via the lungs which is much more immediate.

It might behoove you to get some good burley tobacco (almost any codger blend would suffice) and learn to smoke that for taste. The burley has the nic you want and you'll train your brain to accept the nicotine via your mucous membranes. The whole process involves properly managing the pace of the burn in your bowl at its coolest possible point which reduces the production of steam.

 

nightrider

New member
Dec 29, 2015
18
0
My tobacco experiences this year is as follow:
GLP-Charing

Orlick-Dark Strong Kentucky

Davidoff-Flack Medallions

Two Friends-Bed & Breakfast

Dunhill-Mixture 965

Presbyterian

GLP-Abingdon

Stultiff-Vanilla Custard
The Vanilla Custard was a no brainer in tasting the vanilla. The remaining tobacco's just seemed to taste the same.

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,662
315
I have noticed three things that affect my ability to taste pipe tobacco the way it should be tasted. Number one, and probably the biggest, is steroid nasal sprays. Sometimes due to allergies I need to use these things and my ability to taste subtleties in tobacco goes out the window. It takes about a week for things to return to normal. Number two, my acid reflux seems to affect my taste at times. Number three, cigarettes definitely affect my palate, but not long term. It's only when a smoke a cigarette and then a pipe that I notice things being off.
Long story short, a persons sense of smell is usually the culprit for a dull palate. It may have nothing to do with the pipe or the tobacco, and may be the result of something else. Otherwise, I would agree with all the above statements, in that, it does take time to develop your palate. Straight Virginia tobaccos tasted like smoke and cardboard to me at first. I hope it comes around for you because when and if it does, it is a great thing to be able to taste the various leaves within the various blends.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
32,654
21,961
Dark Strong Kentucky and Dunhill 965 are such different animals, it really illustrates your situation. You can't force yourself to taste anything, so just go along, enjoy yourself, and try something from time to time, including these blends you already have. If aromatics are your pleasure, it is 90 percent plus of the pipe tobacco market, so the selection is vast. Forums members as a group tend toward some or mostly non-aromatics, but we also have devoted aromatics smokers, so puff proudly.

 

nightrider

New member
Dec 29, 2015
18
0
I took the advice and slowed the choo choo train down. When I smoked the Two Friends- Bed & Breakfast this morning I could taste something like soap or hay? So I am not sure what exactly I was tasting? But I want to thank everyone for the advice and I enjoy reading the reviews on the tobaccos.
At this point, i'am not sure which way to lean to smoke with aromatics or non? But now with patience, practice and time I think that I will be able to decipher the different blends.

 

gsmunoz

Member
Apr 30, 2016
153
0
I just thought of something this morning that may help. When I am dehydrated the one thing I notice more than anything else is that pipe tobacco loses its taste. It goes to straight hot nothingness. I did not see the same effect with cigarettes, but then again cigarettes are not worth tasting either.
You may want to experiment with smoking a particular tobacco as you normally would, hydrate really well few several hours , if not more, and then go back and smoke the same tobacco again.
I know from my experience that proper hydration makes a HUGE difference.
I hope this helps!

 

gsmunoz

Member
Apr 30, 2016
153
0
Also, glad to hear that you were able to distinguish particular taste. Now comes the fun or experimenting with all the various tobaccos. To me that is one of the greatest things about pipe tobacco. One can try new blends for years and never run out of new options.

 
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