"Taste?"

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
.
Status
Not open for further replies.

damianmonk

Junior Member
Aug 26, 2015
99
0
Hello ladies and gentlemen,
I'm a very, and I mean VERY, recent pipe smoker. Two days ago to be exact.
Having a weak lung due to mild bronchitis (which has been treated to some extent) I never even attempted to try cigarettes. However, through my father and his friends I found out about cigars and pipes where you don't have to inhale (where that in fact seems to be discouraged). Having done some research I got myself a pipe (Big Ben Ranger, small briar pipe with a black finish and a straight stem) and a blend—excuse my inexperience at this point—that smelled nice in the tin.
So far, I've been smoking regularly (and maybe too much even, two-three bowls a day in three days) and I know how to pack, char, light, and smoke a pipe; yet I am not really feeling this "taste" everybody is talking about.
Can anyone elaborate on what the "taste" actually is? Is it a feeling akin to tasting food, or is it something different? Am I supposed to be doing something in addition to just puffing away—like smelling what I exhale, or swirling the smoke more in my mouth (which only helps nicotine ingestion from what I perceive)?
Thanks,

Martin
P.S: Writing this post for the second time, I think the forum ate up my previous post...

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,600
528
Two days? You have months to go on the path you've chosen Grasshopper.

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
4,708
513
East Indiana
Welcome Damian, I don't know where to start. It took me several years to really get the hang of smoking properly. I would say just stick with it and try to read as much as you can, two days is hardly enough time to get acquainted with pipe smoking. If you keep at it and learn from your own mistakes, you will eventually get the flavors and subtleties.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
14,734
3,148
Monterey Peninsula
Yes, welcome! I can't explain what you might taste or not. And it'll vary smoker to smoker, pipe to pipe.

What is the tobacco? You might look up some reviews and see what others say, and what the constituent tobaccos are. That may help you get started. Be warned: some reviews are full of hyperbole and flowery language, sometimes pure BS.
Enjoy!

 

loneredtree

Preferred Member
May 27, 2011
518
7
All of the above. But, what was the "smells good in the tin" tobacco that you are trying? BTW what, how do you tell someone what it is like tasting an avocado? I can't do it. :D

 

12pups

Preferred Member
Feb 9, 2014
1,063
1
Minnesota
Not only discouraged but, entirely unnecessary
don't have to inhale
Pause long and often, and you'll get the best first-light taste again and again.
When you're doing it the way *I* like to do it, that taste is enjoyable for an hour after the smoke is over, still.

 

calabashed

Member
May 10, 2015
163
1
Much of the taste comes in the retrohale.
I also find this to be 100% true. You don't necessarily have to force everything out through the nose, but let air pass through the nose even as you puff out of your mouth.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,822
2,620
Chicago, IL
Tobacco smoke is somewhat of an acquired taste, and one's palate will become "educated" over time. There's no rushing it.

Avoid aromatic blends for now and focus on natural, unflavored blends. There's plenty to be discovered in their taste.

You can venture into the aromatics when you've advanced a bit in your recognition of the various leaves and blend genres.

Keep in mind that you're embarking on a long journey with many delights, and no destination.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,008
65
How much does your mouth hurt?
If you're just starting, like, within 48 hours, chances are your mouth is toast.

Take a few days off, come back when you're healed.
There's no guarantee that everyone is going to fry their mouth on day 1, but I've never heard of anyone getting the right cadence from the start.

If you were a smoker prior to trying pipes it would be different, but starting from ground zero I wouldn't do more than one bowl a day, more like every other day.

(Yes, I scorched myself pretty good with my first bowl.)

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,600
528
Everybody has a different cadence. On the end of a chainsaw or hiking a big lens and camera up a hill and I'm looking like a steam engine. I tend to draw more often, not deeper, when exerting myself. At the house, my evening bowls are smoked slower. You'll find a pace you like that gives some taste and nicotine charge as you experiment and gain experience.
You may think you know what you think you know after two (three?) days. Soon you'll find out that you really do not know what you think you how to do.

 

smokinfireman

Member
Aug 17, 2015
176
0
Welcome friend! Some advice I would give you is don't take the word "sweet" too seriously. Most "sweet tobaccos" are not, in fact very sweet. Sweet to tobacco is relative to sweet in an English pastry. In other words, not too sweet. Also remember that despite people's reviews of tobaccos, you will never truly know until you try it. Don't buy a tub until you try a pouch. Happy Smokes!

 

alexnorth

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2015
602
0
Definitely give it more time! Also some bowls are more satisfying than others.. Cadence, packing, humidity and much more all impact your experience.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
2,008
65
If your mouth doesn't hurt and you can still taste everything else like normal then I guess it's ok to carry on, but be careful. Even after a few months I managed to burn on my cheek just from puffing too fast while lighting.

Do not puff fast or hard under any circumstances.

Actually I'm a year and a half in and I think I'm still puffing too fast (given that I'm currently waiting a full week before my next bowl because the back of my mouth hurt). Chances are I need to listen to all the good advice around here about drying tobacco.
Back to the topic of flavour.

One of my first aromatics was 1-Q and it didn't taste like much, whereas when I tried it again a few months later I did note the sweet/vanilla flavour. It's hard for me to say exactly what happened between my first and second bowls of that blend.

My first bowl of Samuel Gawith St. James Flake was quite exciting, it was probably a week or two after starting, and the first time I tasted something other than ash or burning tobacco. It wasn't much more than what you would expect from a lump of sugar in a cup of water, but it was something, and as time goes on you start to pick up the flavour better.
Unfortunately I never tried Latakia starting out, but right now a good Lat-bomb basically tastes like chicken soup cooked over a campfire.

It's salty and savory, along with the smell of burning wood. Latakia is amazing stuff if you have any nostalgia about campfires, but I assure you the nostalgia doesn't make me taste chicken soup (if anything it should taste like chocolate and marshmallows).

My best Lat-bomb recommendations are Captain Earle's Stimulus Package, Cornell & Diehl Star of the East (either version) and G.L. Pease Quiet Nights.

There are blends with more Latakia but it's actually a combination of several varieties that makes Latakia shine, the super-heavy blends tend to be more on the earthy side (a little bit bitter I guess).

 

damianmonk

Junior Member
Aug 26, 2015
99
0
Well, I think I should lay off the pipe for a few days. My tongue is basically a 50-grit sandpaper right now. I don't think that is any good!

 

damianmonk

Junior Member
Aug 26, 2015
99
0
Also, I got my tin from Hajenius in Amsterdam. It's a custom blend so I'm not exactly sure what's in it. It's black and tan-brown ready rubbed tobacco that has a strong sweet smell, hence its name "Sweet Carnival."

 

virginiacob

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2013
451
0
Damien, welcome to the Forum. As others have said, you get a lot of the "taste" from the smoke you exhale and then breath back in through your nose. There's also the "room note" which is the lingering smell in the room after you finish smoking your pipe. A lot of the "taste" is acquired as pipe smokers tend to favor different blends whether they are Virginia, Burley, Perique, VaPers, Aromatics, etc. For me, I tend to enjoy the flavor of Virginia/Burley blends as well as Aros when I'm smoking inside (my wife loves the room note of the Aros I smoke inside the house so she's happy and I'm happy). When you're new to pipe smoking, it's good to try different blends until you find your niche. If you have the opportunity, visit one of the many pipe and tobacco shows that are held each year. At these shows you can often get free samples of different blends to try as well as just enjoy the camaraderie with other fellow pipe smokers. Also, as others have said, learn to smoke slow and steady. You'll find that when you stop smoking too fast and "puffing", you'll start to find that you begin to better appreciate the "taste" factor of the blend you are smoking as well as not torch your tongue and gums.

 

shroedingerscat

New member
Sep 23, 2015
42
1
Georgia
Let me guess...You are probably smoking some mild aromatic blend, which I consider to be little more than air freshener. Try moving up to a little stronger tobacco, like non-aromatics, Lakeland Blends, and Straight Virginias. Mississippi River is a good English Blend to try. It about medium on both strength and room note. Sam Gawith Best Brown Flake is also a good one to try. If you are really dead-set on aros, try some Sam Gawith Kendal Cream Flake, Bob's Chocolate Flake, or Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake. If you can't taste these...you have no taste buds.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
27,056
1,862
Different folks experience this differently, so I can only speak for myself. The taste is very much like that for food, a combination of mouth and tongue, both on the draw and as a residual flavor between puffs, but also immensely in the joining sense of smell. I'm not a retro-haler, and for beginners I would not encourage this since I think you can have the full experience without pumping the smoke into your nasal cavity, but that's just some of us pipe smokers. For others it is an integral part of it. But basically, yes, it's your mouth and tongue and sense of smell. Go slow and just enjoy the journey. If your mouth hurts, lay off for a few days, and smoke again with beverages, and just do a bowl a day until you get your footing. Don't rush this process. Don't get ambitious or competitive, for best results I'd say. Pipe smoking is somewhat meditative and contemplative. The only "win" is relaxation and enjoyment, and not overdoing it. Welcome aboard.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,822
2,620
Chicago, IL
I'm glad to see that this thread got bumped. I'm curious to know if the OP's taste buds have clicked-in on the taste of tobacco.

(I know that didn't happen for me until my Pipe Smoker's I.D. Card arrived in the mail.)

 
Status
Not open for further replies.