That Blend That Changed Everything

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pantsBoots

Preferred Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,168
3,593
Ain't no place I'd rather be
The blend that changed my life was Everclear and Grape Soda. We called it Purple Jesus Juice.

Oh, this is about baccy, that was Monks (RLP-6)

We used Faygo Redpop, but definitely a great shortcut to la-la land.

As for tobacco, the only blend genre I like that I didn't at first was Burley and it was Amphora Burley and Solano ABF, working in concert, that opened my eyes to the nutty, earthy wonder that is unfired Burley.

I was a little so-so about Oriental-heavy blends until I had Robert Lewis Orcilla Mixture. From then on, I began to appreciate Balkans much better as well.
 

krizzose

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,935
6,090
Michigan
McClelland Christmas Cheer 2014 blew me away when I tried my first bowl. Before that, I hadn't really cared much about red virginia.

McClelland Classic Samsun got me into VaOrs (non-Lat) blends. It's still my favorite of the genre by a wide margin.

Good thing for me I started buying these blends in decent quantities well before McClelland shut down.
 

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markthelad

Preferred Member
Mar 18, 2014
693
327
Bloomfield, IN
I started out as many do, smoking PA and Middleton's Cherry Blend in an old Dr. Grabow, scorching the hell out of my mouth and tongue and then went into my local B&M one day and talked to the guy behind the counter and he said "Have you ever smoked an English blend?", so I said that I hadn't and he handed me a tin of Dunhill EMP.
The smell was somewhat odd at first and I asked him about it and he said to "Just try it before making any judgements." and he also explained to me about slowing down, sipping and pacing myself to keep my pipe cool.
So I bought the tin and went home to fire up a bowl of EMP and everything changed from there.
 

verporchting

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2018
1,573
4,190
I had been smoking a light English aromatic from a local newsstand for years and preferred it to anything else I had smoked. One day a guy at a real tobacconist shop asked me what I liked and upon hearing my response slid a couple of tins across the counter and said something to the effect of “English blends, enough said”. The tins were Dunhill EMP & 965. What an eye opener.

Many years later, after reading about Lakelands, I saw some Kendal Flake at a great shop in Spokane Washington and thought what the hell, I’m game (despite serious reservations about the aroma) and bought a couple ounces. All I can say is that Lakelands are my preferred blends now.

Still smoking and liking many different types of tobacco but those experiences were milestones and changed my perceptions about pipe smoking forever.

I was lucky enough to get about 6 ounces of that newsstand blend before the place closed forever. It isn’t very impressive in comparison to other tobacco blends and I’m 100% sure it was some combination of readily available bulk blends rebranded and packaged by the little shop but for nostalgia I still smoke a pipe of it once in awhile. It was good enough to help me enjoy pipe smoking for many years before the internet was around and before I realized how big the tobacco world really was.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
17,236
31,240
63
Sarasota Florida
The blend that opened my eyes to how great pipe smoking could be was Escudo. That was back in 1998 I believe. I had been a big cigar smoker and the stronger flavors of a Vaper really got me and I have been smoking it ever since. Don't listen to the clowns(jesse) who say it was so much better back then have no memory as the stuff is still great. Granted I only have 2012 and some 2008 in my cellar. Listen to me, anyone from freaking Burbank is not to be believed. How can you trust someone who lives in Burbank.
 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
7,206
21,125
Alaska
The blend that opened my eyes to how great pipe smoking could be was Escudo. That was back in 1998 I believe. I had been a big cigar smoker and the stronger flavors of a Vaper really got me and I have been smoking it ever since. Don't listen to the clowns(jesse) who say it was so much better back then have no memory as the stuff is still great. Granted I only have 2012 and some 2008 in my cellar. Listen to me, anyone from freaking Burbank is not to be believed. How can you trust someone who lives in Burbank.
But it's the center of the known universe.

Who wouldn't want to live in some searing hot ashpalt laden pocket of a gigantic smog-ridden megalopolis on the outskirts of the world's most vain and materialistic concentration of humanity, forever doomed to tread tar in the ever growing cesspool of industry and commerce that unceasingly revolves around the sordid molten core of a bellowing furnace of moral decline and corruption amidst the omnipresent limitless dichotomy of greed and excess vs desolation and despair.

That and the cost of air conditioning, I mean come on!
 

lochinvar

Preferred Member
Oct 22, 2013
1,612
1,185
There were two that opened my eyes. I started smoking cigars at 15 and somewhere along the way got a pipe and some random B&M blends, some nice but no competition for an Ashton Cabinet. Then one day I saw a tall tin with a buff label with a Highlander drawn on it. When I opened that tin of Highland Targe I was intoxicated by the rich smell of Latakia and Orientals and was hooked. Cigar consumption went down and pipe tobacco was full go....as long as it had Latakia.
I tried a few Virginias and could not get them no matter what cut. After a wonderful write up in P&T I ordered a tin of Gawith FVF and was sorely disappointed at not being able to keep it lit and got nothing but steamy tastelessness. I then lost it in my backpack for two months and found it when I ran out of tobacco one day and was looking for anything. Two months had rendered it perfect, and I found a smoke as satisfying as any Latakia blend, and soon overtook it. Unfortunately, it wound out being so satisfying that now I have 100-ish pounds in my cellar.
 

newbroom

Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
5,853
3,403
I think it was in my first year of pipe smoking and pipe and tobacco accumulation, (2014) after having a few months practice and learning and reading and sampling that I reverently opened a tin of Escudo, and folded and stuffed that first coin into 'a pipe' , I don't recall, and sipped that delightful combination of Virginia and Perique, rolled, pressed and thinly sliced to produce an experience that lived up to the hype.
 

thedoc333

Junior Member
Mar 15, 2021
53
187
LA
I started on the pipe 10 yrs ago and smoked some Frog Morton, EMP back then... I kind of liked the lat but didn't quite get it. Besides those blends I tried some random B&M stuff. Put the pipe down - fast forward ten yrs and somehow got my hands on some cake tobacco - Bourbon Bleu C&D. Had some real sublime moments with that in the sunshine and it clicked. Preparing the tobacco from cake was nice too. Gawith flakes were a game changer too. Warhorse Green and forget about it. Would really love to get my hands on some Condor plug or some other good strong pungent Irish plug with plenty of characteristic topping.
 

jyrreb

Member
Apr 6, 2019
134
1,424
I started smoking a pipe in 2017. I was in college and cigars (my first love) were getting too expensive. I went through the typical Aro and OTC phase. Then I ordered my first tin of “real” tobacco: Escudo. The tin I got was already 18 months old at the time. The first bowl of that coin in a cob was sublime... I was hooked. I don’t smoke it nearly as often now, but when I do it always takes me back to that moment of tasting the sweet Virginia dancing with the nuanced spice of Perique.
 

jrharrigan

Member
Dec 27, 2020
149
528
I was smoking every Virginia I could get my hands on. They were good, and even great tobaccos. I loved that smell of raisins that I got in Old Gowrie and Haddo's Delight, and the ketchup from the McClelland blends I had.

I spent a lot of time on a cigar bbs at the time, and some of the guys were having a side conversation on pipe tobacco. Dunhill Nightcap kept coming up, so the next time I had to bring the children to the mall I grabbed a tin.

And that changed everything.
 

--dante--

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2020
611
3,473
Pittsburgh, PA USA
Regarding Latakia: I always refused to consider blends that had even the slightest touch of latakia. I simply hated it. Then I tied Old Joe Krantz Red Label. OJK was long one of my every day smokes and I found I really liked the touch of latakia to OJK Red Label. Over time, I ended up liking many latakia blends, to the point where I now regularly enjoy 'heavy' latakia blends like Billy Budd and 10 Russians. I still keep OJK Red Label on hand, and in fact prefer it now to original OJK.
 

anotherbob

Preferred Member
Mar 30, 2019
7,213
13,437
43
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
Regarding Latakia: I always refused to consider blends that had even the slightest touch of latakia. I simply hated it. Then I tied Old Joe Krantz Red Label. OJK was long one of my every day smokes and I found I really liked the touch of latakia to OJK Red Label. Over time, I ended up liking many latakia blends, to the point where I now regularly enjoy 'heavy' latakia blends like Billy Budd and 10 Russians. I still keep OJK Red Label on hand, and in fact prefer it now to original OJK.
I used to hate latakia too. And then for some reason tried latakia flake and loved the heck out of that blend. Weirdly it went from tasting to me like tires and soot to something herbal smokey in a good way and wonderful. I wonder if it might be the difference between Syrian and Cyprian latakia. Because when I first tried it Syrian was still the main source of latakia. Who knows no way to find out though.
 
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--dante--

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2020
611
3,473
Pittsburgh, PA USA
I used to hate latakia too. And then for some reason tried latakia flake and loved the heck out of that blend. Weirdly it went from tasting to me like tires and soot to something herbal smokey in a good way and wonderful. I wonder if it might be the difference between Syrian and Cyprian latakia. Because when I first tried it Syrian was still the main source of latakia. Who knows no way to find out though.
I suppose that's possible. Prior to OJK Red, the last latakia I smoked was definitely Syrian (this was in the early 2000's). I think it's more likely I simply opened up to it using OJK Red as a 'cross-over' blend though.
 
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