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homesteader

Member
Jun 7, 2019
104
195
I smoked aromatics for a long time, when I did smoke a pipe. I actually quit for awhile, but took up the pipe again a couple of years ago. Tobacco is a different world than when I first started smoking a pipe over 20 years ago. Major brands have disappeared, some places tax pipe tobacco at high rates, and there's now obnoxious warning labels. Lots of warnings about the need to stock up, as what's available today may be gone tomorrow.

So I started stocking up on blends I liked. Years ago, I didn't have internet access. In the last couple of years I learned a lot about pipe tobacco. I discovered English and Balkan blends. They are mostly my go-to blends now, although I do still enjoy some aromatics.

So I would caution new pipe smokers not to stock up too much on certain blends. I would encourage sampling a lot of different types. An ounce of bulk tobacco is still cheap, and you can learn a lot from trying different types. As your smoking technique improves, you will get more out of the tobacco. When I started, and for quite awhile, I was smoking too hard and fast. The second half of each bowl tasted like ash. Stronger blends will allow you to smoke more slowly, and appreciate the nuances of the different tobaccos in a blend.

Just thought I'd pass along my opinion and experience. I'm no expert by any means.
 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,746
16,425
Stronger blends will allow you to smoke more slowly, and appreciate the nuances of the different tobaccos in a blend.
Slow smoking improves any tobacco. Careful with the latakia blends, after time, some become very sensitive to it rendering any blend containing more than a condiment amount, little more than a straight latakia blend.
 

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SystemSig

New member
Mar 31, 2020
20
31
Ever evolving indeed...I latched onto VaPers at the beginning, mostly for the perique, the virginia was cool but a bit delicate. I found latakia blends and really dug the complexity, gravitating to heavier lat content. Aftet a while those went flat for me, dulled my palette it seems. VaBur flakes came along, mostly to tame the virginia, these struck a chord. Thought about the fire-cured cigarellos I smoked exclusively before the pipe...Dark birds eye, Dark flake, ODF, etc...these were it for me. They had some smokiness like lat, different of course... Some spiciness akin to perique...full, oily body like a toscano wrapper. Humble, earthy smoke indeed. It's all about the journey.
 
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cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
15,359
13,058
United States
Over a decade ago I lost my taste for Latakia and Orientals. I was fortunate that I maybe had a hundred tins or so, I was also quite lucky that most of the tins were Murrrey made Dunhill tins , Penzance and some Two Friends Deacons Downfall. I bought all the Dunhill tins from JRcigars for 5 bucks a piece. The tins were bought in 2002 and sold in 2012. I used 4noggins and he listed them at 60-65 a tin and they sold quickly. I kept a store credit so when some of my favorites came in I was one of the first to get a shot at the stuff I wanted.
That was some serious shit luck on my part as I had no idea Murrey was going tits up. I mostly bought with my credit Wessex products and Astleys no 44 and I did get a whole bag of Stonehaven. It was the only bag I got from one of the big three. I ended up with about 14 pounds of Stonehaven in the end. I was pleasantly surprised at how quick the stuff sold and how promptly I was notified of my running tab. I just kept it with Rich who at the time owned the store. In all my dealing with Rich he always treated me great. I was sad to see him sell out. Maybe he saw the writing on the wall and decided to cash out. I did the exact same thing in August 2017 and I am damn glad.
 

karam

Senior Member
Feb 2, 2019
376
1,229
Athens, Greece
Careful with the latakia blends, after time, some become very sensitive to it rendering any blend containing more than a condiment amount, little more than a straight latakia blend.
That'd be me after smoking Nightcap for 2 years straight.
Once I branched out to VaPers, DFK, Burley and some select flavored tobaccos Nightcap tastes flat, and blends like GLP Gaslight downright unpleasant.

Saying that, I did just order HU Fayyum, Zulu and a tin of Old Ironsides ;)
 

davek

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
609
699
went flat for me, dulled my palette it seems. VaBur flakes came along, mostly to tame the virginia, these struck a chord. Thought about the fire-cured cigarellos I smoked exclusively before the pipe...Dark birds eye, Dark flake, ODF,
I like VaBurs, but the Virginia tames the Burley (and adds complexity and flavor).
 

Spinkle

Preferred Member
Sep 16, 2019
599
3,574
38
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Careful with the latakia blends, after time, some become very sensitive to it rendering any blend containing more than a condiment amount, little more than a straight latakia blend.
I've found this to be very true for me. I even find it overwhelming in Black Frigate. The only blends I can consistently enjoy it in are Plumcake and Edward G. Robinson's and they have both have very minimal amounts. This is after Latakia blends were what got me into smoking a pipe regularly.
 

mordy18

Member
Mar 12, 2019
174
406
Interesting about Latakia blends.

I've been favoring them and find them more enjoyable than straight VAs, Va/Pers and aros. Dunhill dunbar and Baby's bottom, squadron leader, Nat sherman 536, kramer's father dempsey, and plum pudding are all in my rotation. Have some london mixture, standard mixture, gaslight, quiet nights, nightcap, maltese falcon, boswell's northwoods and a few others all waiting to be jarred when i get through my current jarred stock.

In other words -- plenty of English blends.

So how to avoid burnout? Don't smoke them exclusively or excessively and just keep them as part of a rotation of other types?
 

petes03

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
5,761
3,572
The Hills of Tennessee
My go-to’s are English/Balkans, but I don’t smoke them bowl after bowl. I alternate between English/ Balkan, VaPers, VaBurs, Va’s, Kentucky and Burley. I smoke more Lat blends than anything else though, with VaPers and Va’s close behind. The constant change keeps me from getting bored and burnt out on any one style. I’ll even smoke the occasional aro, but it’s a rare thing.
 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
2,222
853
I think you also have to be careful not to smoke the same blends all the time. A few years ago, I got heavily into English and Latakia blends and that's all I smoked for about a year. Then I just stopped enjoying them as much. I then started exploring other types of blends and found I enjoyed the occasional bowl of a Latakia blend more than when that's all I smoked.
 

Spinkle

Preferred Member
Sep 16, 2019
599
3,574
38
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
You would probably enjoy The Solent Mixture and Pembroke as well.
Slowly working through a tin of Solent now, I think I prefer Plumcake though you're right the Latakia is more nuanced than other English blends I've tried.

So how to avoid burnout? Don't smoke them exclusively or excessively and just keep them as part of a rotation of other types?
I think it started for me when I began branching out and developing a taste for other types of blends. Once I "got" burley and perique and went back to english style blends all I could taste was the Latakia.
 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
30,535
12,916
I maintain variety rather than quantity even in blends I like very much. A huge supply of anything is unappetizing for me. I don't buy by the pound, or not often. I envy folks who lay in favorite blends by the score or by the five pounds, but I know that's not for me. One of my mantras for new smokers is not to buy much quantity of anything for the first two years, since their tastes will change, but I think that goes for many experienced smokers too.
 

SystemSig

New member
Mar 31, 2020
20
31
I like VaBurs, but the Virginia tames the Burley (and adds complexity and flavor).
The va burley blend is a beautiful thing when both leaves play their role accordingly. Acidity/alkalinity...sweetness/earth and body...the pure va flake became blasé to my palette, the addition of burley was what i didnt know i needed all along. Make it dfk and where golden.
 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
773
665
I recently lost my taste for latakia blends (and a lot of blends with perique as well). I'm now going back to Burleys (OJK and Night Train) and Virginia/Burleys. I have some nice aged ones stashed away, Edgeworth RR and flakes, HOW Revelation, Wessex, Walnut Flake, Stonehaven. I enjoy St Bruno's as well. I my 45 years of pipe smoking - started with aromatics and OTC's, went to Burleys, then Virginia's and VaPers and I hated anything with latakia for years. Then latakia finally kicked in and I loved it. That ship sailed off though. Go figger.'
 

piperwinston

New member
Jul 2, 2019
34
41
I couldn't agree with you more.
Several years ago, I preferred aromatic...say cherry and vanilla which has been my all day favorite. I completely stopped smoking aromatics, about five years ago. I still got some 'leftover' cherry and vanilla and I don't want to touch them anymore.

These years, my rotation includes old dark fired, university flake, Irish flake, nightcap, and Peterson flake (old Dunhill).

My mate gave me a peterson's founder's choice and I still got a tin of 2017 Peterson's summertime edition that is peach and apple aroma. I was a fan of sweet Killarney but one day it suddenly became a drug store tobacco for me. I just can't enjoy them anymore.
 

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