Transition: Aros to Non-Aros

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pipesofsteele

New member
Apr 12, 2016
48
10
Western Washington
It seems to me that many other pipe smokers have had this experience. They start out smoking only aromatics, but then they begin wanting something more... something different. Of course, that is not all of us, because many people absolutely love aromatics, and that is all they smoke, and there is nothing wrong with that! My own story began the same way - I began with aromatics, expecting that what I would get is a blast of flavor from the added toppings. When I had my first pipe, stuffed with Sutliff Vanilla Custard, I wondered where the flavor was. There was a slight vanilla flavor in the background, but I wondered if I was doing something wrong, or if this is all pipe smoking had to offer. I still enjoyed it, but I had a feeling there might be more out there. I finished the ounce that I purchased, and moved on to "golden cavendish" (not sure what brand this was from, I got it from my local b&m). It was better, but still lacking. So I did more research, both on this same website, as well as watched videos from the YTPC, until I felt I knew what I was doing better. I went online and ordered some component tobaccos so I could try each one by itself to understand what flavors they add to blends. I also ordered some more aromatics, and one tin of OGS. I smoked through these other blends, learning what Virginia and Oriental tobaccos had to offer, and set aside the tin of OGS. I was surprised to find a wonderful hay-like flavor from the Virginias! So time went by as I smoked through my stash of aros, and after a year had passed, I cracked open the tin of Golden Sliced. I was pleased to smell that wonderful prune scent. I loaded my pipe, and that day forever changed pipe smoking for me. I now mainly smoke VaPer and English/Balkan blends, but I have yet to dive deep into burleys, so I'm looking forward to that. Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience, I know many of you have had a similar experience. Let me hear yours!

 

macaroon

Member
Oct 2, 2015
280
95
Michigan
I have yet to take that next step into nonaromatics, but I hope to do so very soon, especially after reading about your revelatory experience! Hopefully those VaPers and latakia blends are as tasty as they sound!

 

texmexpipe

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2014
999
245
Personally I've found that I' like a little of everything. My newest adventure has been exploring the different dark fired Kentuky blends available. I love blends with a good amount of perique in them and have really come to love almost everything that I've tried from C&D as a whole.

 

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pipesofsteele

New member
Apr 12, 2016
48
10
Western Washington
Texmex - I have not gotten far into dark fired yet, but I just received a tin of GLP Jackknife Plug from my fiance, and I really enjoy it as well! I'd like to maybe try HH Old Dark Fired. I'm sure my tastes will be broadened once I've had a chance to try more blends, I've only been smoking pipes for about 2 years. Also, I still enjoy an aromatic every once in a while, but I'm a weekend smoker usually, so since I have a pipe once or twice a week, I like something a little stronger! Thanks for the response, happy puffing!

 

ltstone

Senior Member
Dec 30, 2015
483
1
I love the variety. The last couple of days I have been enjoying Cigar blends like Billy Budd or Habana Daydream. Before that it was oriental/virginia forward Latakia blends like Pensance or Lancer Slices and when the mood arises an aromatic. Sooo much fun!

 

pipesofsteele

New member
Apr 12, 2016
48
10
Western Washington
Macaroon - Hope to hear about your first experience with non-aros! Two pieces of advice: don't automatically assume you'll like non-aros better, some people love aros only! Also, before you judge a blend, make sure you smoke a few bowls first. My first bowl of an English blend I didn't care for, but I tried the same blend two more times and came to really appreciate the taste! Now I love English blends. Thanks for the response! Happy puffing.

 

pipesofsteele

New member
Apr 12, 2016
48
10
Western Washington
Itstone - I agree, I love trying new blends! I think it's my favorite part about the hobby. I have yet to re-purchase any blend because I want to spend that money on new blends! (Or occasionally a new pipe or lighter). It really is great to have variety because sometimes I really am not in the mood for certain blends!I need to try some cigar leaf blends, I enjoy cigars as well! Happy puffing!

 

phred

Preferred Member
Dec 11, 2012
1,755
0
For me, it wasn't all that long between the first bowl of 1Q and my first foray into Latakia-heavy mixtures. I'd picked up a couple of other aromatic blends at the B&M, but my very first tobacco order from Pipes & Cigars included 3 aromatics and 3 Latakia-forward blends, plus a tin of Black House. Chucklehead that I was, I opened the Black House first when the order arrived... :D

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
31,211
15,557
Aromatics (and I still smoke them sometimes) are welcoming because they taste like something you already know -- vanilla, cherry, rum, whiskey. Often, though, non-aromatics aren't as challenging as you may think they'll be. Start mild. Start buying small quantities so you can try around a lot, even if you think you like something. Some full-strength blends seemed easier to smoke, if not milder, than some aromatics, where the burning flavorings can have some bite. Smoke slowly at first, so you get the lay of the land, and even do partial bowls if you have doubts. This way, you won't get a snoot full of something you really don't like and get put off the whole project. The goal is enjoyment, so follow that impulse.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
I tried the transition to non-aeros mostly because I smoke too much and wanted to minimize the chances of burning mouth/tongue and tongue bite but can't seem to have any luck. For awhile 5100 Red Cake worked, until my shipments of Red Cake started coming in too dry and my attempted to hydrate it were ineffective. What are the mildest non-aeros that won't burn your mouth or make you feel like you've been kicked in the mouth? Absolutely can't handle perique and latakia. Suggestions?

 

texmexpipe

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2014
999
245
Sparrowhawk have you tried Orlik Golden Sliced or Strong Dark Kentuky? Or any bur/VA blends, these might better suite you. You may even think about a straight burley.

 

deathandtaxes

Member
Jun 29, 2014
218
1
Indianapolis IN
I second Tex's recommendation of Orlik Golden Sliced. It is advertised as having perique, however it is very light. Just remember to sip it, like you would Scotch. OGS was my first favorite go to tobacco! I have since began experimenting with some aromatics and English blends.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
Haven't tried any of those except a straight burley, which I didn't care for. I do know what I seem to like is always a Virginia/Burley with a Cavendish. I will make it a point to order some Orlik Golden and Dark Kentucky: can you name some Bur/VA blends? I'd like to order a bunch of these flavors in another day, in tins, so I can get an idea of the best to try--nothing too obscure, but generally accepted, solid non-aero blends.

 

texmexpipe

Preferred Member
Oct 20, 2014
999
245
Sparrowhawk at the risk of being absurdly broad I would check through the offerings of C&D. They do burley very well, and I really like anything I've had of theirs that has cavendish. I really like Epiphiny which has some Latakia as well but it's very small and certainly used as a condiment.

 

beastinview

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2016
504
0
I'm still a new smoker--not even a year yet. I've found one of the most interesting aspects of moving through different varieties is the expectations of the blend.
I decided I'd go from aromatic, to non-aromatic sans latakia, and finally to latakia/English blends.
Wrong Expectation #1

I ordered some Peterson Irish Flake, thinking that if it was such a nic-bomb, it must have more flavor than the aromatics (Lane 1Q and the like) that I'd been smoking. Of course, as I was to learn, nicotine content has little to do with overall flavor.
To be honest, I found it a bit tasteless. Boy, it sure did have a nicotine kick, but the flavor was a bit lacking compared to what I expected. Don't get me wrong, I like Irish Flake fine, but I think I was expecting something like a cigar.
Wrong Expectation #2

Latakia blends were sort of the opposite for me. After being underwhelmed by the non-aromatic Irish flake, I was surprised at how strong a "mild crossover" English like Frog Morton's Cellar. Once I actually smoked it, the latakia didn't taste as strong as it had smelled.
Wrong Expectation #3

I then ordered some Nightcap. I thought I'd probably not like it, because I expected it to be a lot stronger than Frog Morton's. Again, it was certainly stronger, but not as much as I had anticipated. Since I was no longer afraid of latakia, I enjoyed my first smoke of Nightcap just as much as previous blends.
Wrong Expectation #4

I then moved to Virginia/Perique blends. I ordered some PS Luxury Bulls Eye flake. I knew it was a tame Va/Per, but still, I expected the perique to be a lot stronger than it was. Since it's a condimental tobacco like latakia, I expected it to dominate in a similar way, but it didn't.
Again, don't get me wrong--I enjoyed all of these blends and like them quite a bit. It's just funny how little the expectation aligns with experience.
I've just put in an order for some Lakeland tobacco (Ennerdale, Dark Flake Scented) as well as 1792 Flake, which is quite polarizing. I can't wait to see if these essences are as bad/good as everyone says.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Starting with your comments, I called in an order which included Orlik's Golden Sliced, Dunhill Mixture 4-something, and a recommendation from the lady who offered some advice, that sounded like Marble Cake (she had a thick dialect). I'll keep you informed.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
Later: my order of non-aeros came in, and I couldn't be more pleased....these tobaccos are great, and gives me a foundation from where I can sail. Much thanks!

 
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