I've never been a one blend smoker, until very recently. I smoke Granger all the time. I'll still smoke other blends, but it's not even remotely close. In ratio its probably 10 to 1. I find that both fascinating and odd.
When I bought my first pipe at Tinderbox, I think I just had one blend, a Tinderbox bulk blend that was named something like North Star, or another name, almost certainly a Lane or Sutliff re-named by Tinderbox to keep customers coming back. I think I may have had that and maybe one other for a long time. Not until I came back after a hiatus of several years did I get used to a wider variety of blends. Aftertaste from the aromatic flavoring had become a downside of pipe smoking. Then I had some trouble with bite and burn, also from flavoring. When I tried non-aromatic blends, it was a whole new day on both aftertastes and bite. Now I smoke a wider range of non-aro, some aro, and milder as well as full-strength blends. I went through the usual course of being lured by extra strong blends, which I still like, but I range around more. Sometimes I'll stick with one blend every other smoke and find that enjoyable as well. I've also found extremely mild blends like Spillman Mixture an interesting change of pace.
Back in the early 60's when I first was introduced to the pipe I was working in a pipe shop in Coral Gables, Fl. the owner was a man named Kirk who was a certified blender. He blended several of his own labels and the one I liked the most was all I smoked for several years. He had many tins in his shop and plenty to choose from, but his one blend I fell in love with and smoked it religiously never having an interest in trying other blends. Probably a mistake at the time...but he said "if you like what you are smoking then smoke it until you tire of it"...never got tired of it. He also introduced me to the Comoy brand of pipe which is what I started out with...still have it..a Golden Grain Canadian.
Jiminx, what's the time frame specified here?
When I started out, and discovered Carter Hall, I smoked that for probably 3 years straight. Then I found a couple other blends I liked, and MANY I didn't like. I then veered off to smoking Carter Hall still daily, but not in every bowl.
Then with my one cob one year thread, I smoked Carter Hall for probably 7 months of that year.
I perfer being simple about my smoking. Out of the 3 other blends I now cellar and smoke, 2 of them need age on them. Otherwise I could smoke any of them by themselves.
Earlier, in the beginning phases of pipe smoking (52 yrs ago) I was, but I've worked my way out of infancy and now smoke many blends. Funny thing is, I'm trying to work my way back to just smoking one blend. Flat out reason is, I'm retired, on a fixed income and just can't afford all these different blends anymore.
Nope, there’s just too much good variety out there to settle on one thing, I always look forward to opening that next tin. Even when I started I smoked through all the different OTC blends my B&M carried, and even after graduating to tins I was actually forced to variety as the B&M had one tin each of (and I smoked them in this order) Davidoff Scottish Mixture, Aperitif (forever changed my pipe smoking life!), Nightcap, and EMP. After I worked my way through that lineup it was quite a while before they got any tins back in stock (makes me wonder now how long those must have sat there before I bought them?).
While I would never presume to quibble with my friend mso489, I was intrigued by his mention of Spillman Mixture and looked it up on Tobaccoreviews.com. It gets quite a mixed review. Some said it was wonderful and some compared it to dirty socks. As Tom would no doubt agree, tastes vary and your mileage may vary. I would be interested in a bowl or two but hesitate to purchase a quantity for my cellar.
Back in the 90's, when I first started smoking a pipe, I had Nightcap, 965 and Early Morning on hand in the beginning. In a few months, it was Nightcap all of the time.
Now, I'm into VaPers and everything else. So, I switch it up every time I fill a bowl. Variety is definitely more enjoyable with all of the great blends out there these days.
The only time I was a one-blend man was, well, before I was a man.
I started smoking pipes when I was about 15, and at that time my only supply of tobacco was straight dark-fired burley from our tobacco barn. Not what you'd call a nuanced smoke, but I enjoyed it enough to keep at it.
Great topic Jim. For the first seven years I only smoked Captain Black (white) and occasionally Barclay Rex’s Barclay Rum. After 7 years, I began experimenting with English blends - Davidoff Royal, Dunhill Nitecap and EMP. This Latakia only practice continued for another 12 years when I joined these online forums. Now I smoked everything daily (burley, balkans, Va, orientals, etc) except aromatics. Life is good now.
Nope, as with anything I do, once I get into something, I really get into it and explore as much as I possibly can. While I’m pretty much done exploring I still have a wide variety of blends I smoke from with a handful of daily staples.
Always, almost from the get-go, its been Dunhill My Mixture 965. We're at the beach, I brought along a four year old jar of OGS, my real hot weather blend. I think that I'll probably get at least another beach week out of that one tin....