The Problem of Too Much Selection

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Casual

Lifer
Oct 3, 2019
2,578
9,377
NL, CA
Since I’m new to this, I am trying to survey the breadth of blends available. I started with thirty or so well-rated blends from all sorts of the spectrum, to get a feel for what’s available. That took quite a while to get through, at my pace.

Each time I find something I like, which is often, I research to see if I got the best expression of that style of blend. Each time I find ten or more new blends to try. At this rate it seems like one has to become JimInks to settle on having found one’s favourites.

So when do you settle down and say, “this is good enough?” Sure, you haven’t tried Germain’s Esoterica Whatever, or McClelland’s 1997 crop of red Va, but you‘ve found a good place to stop, at least for now. Every time I declare that point, in two days I’m back on tobacco reviews hunting for the next thing to try.
 
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d4k23

Can't Leave
Mar 6, 2018
423
653
Texas
For me it was when I realized my cellar is too large for my foreseeable consumption. The tobacco's I have will suit me just fine for quite some time, with enough variety that when I finish open tins (which could take a few months) I know I have something similar to replace it with.

That and I realized I have spent too much and ran out of tub storage space.
 
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unkleyoda

Lifer
Aug 22, 2016
1,126
66
Your mom\\\'s house
Good question. For me it was when I started trying to fine things that tasted like something I had already smoked. Early on, I found that Latakia was my thing. I started chasing a flavor profile. I settled into the flavors I like best.
 
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condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
7,096
20,790
New York
Well my friends that dilemma will be solved shortly if the FDA have their wicked way - we will have four state approved blends to choose from assuming you can get a 'Medical Tobacco Card'. Yours truly will be laying on the Beach having made a fortune as the first tobacco bootlegger who made a profit with Canadian tins of Mixture 79. On a serious note there are so many interesting things about that even an old curmudgeon like myself has discovered a few things outside of blocks of road tar and hedge clippings he enjoys. Enjoy the variety whilst it lasts my friends.
 
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rdoss16

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 2, 2019
144
208
Since I’m new to this, I am trying to survey the breadth of blends available. I started with thirty or so well-rated blends from all sorts of the spectrum, to get a feel for what’s available. That took quite a while to get through, at my pace.

Each time I find something I like, which is often, I research to see if I got the best expression of that style of blend. Each time I find ten or more new blends to try. At this rate it seems like one has to become JimInks to settle on having found one’s favourites.

So when do you settle down and say, “this is good enough?” Sure, you haven’t tried Germain’s Esoterica Whatever, or McClelland’s 1997 crop of red Va, but you‘ve found a good place to stop, at least for now. Every time I declare that point, in two days I’m back on tobacco reviews hunting for the next thing to try.
this is literally how i feel right now. word for word. glad im not alone!
 
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Don't get caught up in bests or favorites... having come away from cigarettes, where one sticks to a brand come hell or high water, I am enjoying just grazing the selections. Try it all. I have only run across a handful out of the hundreds of blends that I have smoked that I thought were terrible.

Just when I think, "I am a Virginia smoker," along comes a few burley varieties that appeal to me... or, when I think, "I hate latakia," I find one that sparks me going through and re-trying latakias again. Just keep an open mind and enjoy the smoke.
 

haparnold

Lifer
Aug 9, 2018
1,562
2,380
Colorado Springs, CO
What Cosmic said.

And at the end of the day, if you like it, it's good tobacco. I know some very serious wine guys who enjoy a $10 bottle of something you can buy at a supermarket every bit as much as some really rare vintages. It's fun to graze, but don't feel like you're missing out just because the VA Flake/English blend/whatever you're currently smoking isn't considered the be-all-end-all by somebody else.
 
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Casual

Lifer
Oct 3, 2019
2,578
9,377
NL, CA
Interesting array of responses. I suspect it’ll be easier once I’ve tried enough blends to think that I’ve been there and done that when new ones come out.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,429
52,214
The quest is fun. I think we've all been conditioned, or more correctly conditioned ourselves, to keep the endless buffet of blends marching through our cellars. On the other hand, don't be afraid to settle down with what you have for a while and see how the experience of a blend can evolve over time. In my case, I try not to buy huge quantities of a blend, simply because that makes me look at newer offerings. At my moderate rate of use, using up the stash is unlikely. My dad smoked for fifty years, only using one pipe at a time, and only smoking Granger (with a few years off for King Edward cigars). So I remember that when the dance of variety takes over my brain.
 

danimalia

Lifer
Sep 2, 2015
4,296
25,673
40
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Lots of good advice froim the wise folks above.

Man, I just love trying all the different blends. It is my favorite part of pipe smoking. I've only been pipe smoking for a few years, but every time I get a package or a new bag/tin from the B&M, I get a thrill.

I just keep buying new stuff, and I'll also mix in blends I know I love. For example, in my last order, I had 8 different tobaccos. 6 were new to me, but I also got tins of HH Bold Kentucky and Maltese Falcon, because they're favorites and I wanted to re-visit them.
 

shanez

Lifer
Jul 10, 2018
4,719
20,080
48
Las Vegas
In my cellar I have:

My occasional blends that are too strong for me to smoke regularly (GH&C Dark Flake Unscented, SPC Plum Pudding SR, C&D Dreams of Kadath, etc.).
My regular blends that I can smoke anytime (SG St James Flake, Ashton Artisan's Blend, Manil Le Petit Robin, etc.).
My regular of regulars that is my old reliable (Sutliff Sweet Virginia).

Then I have some stuff floating around that I don't cellar or smoke regularly but will probably buy more after it's gone just because it's nice to have options.

This is a good problem to have. With so many options I can wait for sales to take advantage of or for hard to get blends to simply show up in stock and not pay over inflated prices.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,429
52,214
I think chasing' did us a favor when he prompted at least several of us to try Mixture No. 79. Contentment comes in many forms. Then there is always mixing a limited number of single leaf or blends.
 
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Jan 28, 2018
10,762
90,014
65
Sarasota, FL
There is no such thing as too much of a selection with one possible exception. If quality has been compromised for the sake of quality. And I don't believe that is the case with pipe tobacco. Usually too little selection is the result of lack of competition which often leads to poor quality and high prices.

Find your favorite genre and read reviews for blends in that genre. Try a few. Then try a few more. Over time, you'll likely get to most of the ones that matter. Cellar the ones you like best and don't want to live without if they are ever discontinued.
 
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