Your biggest Surprise in Pipe Smoking?

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WVOldFart

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2021
394
1,194
Romney, WV
We all have some big surprises in our pipe smoking experience. A pipe that was expensive and hyped up ended up being a terrible smoker. A tobacco that was supposed to be good was really bad or you expected it to be awful and ended up being really good. Once I bought an estate pipe that I appreciated it for it's looks but expected it to not be much of a smoker. I cleaned it up and made it shine so it looked almost new and damn it smoked like a dream. Surprise, surprise. What big surprises have you had in your pipe smoking experience.
 
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Es0teric

Member
Jul 5, 2021
176
906
Downriver Area of Michigan
My biggest surprise is the fact that Straight Virginia's are my favorite tobaccos to smoke now. When I first started pipe smoking years ago I couldn't understand why people liked Virginia so much. I was into Burley blends primarily and figured I would never be a "Virginia guy". All of a sudden I started to enjoy the taste of Straight Virginia's one day and now I barely smoke anything else.
 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
18,068
38,410
63
Sarasota Florida
I guess you could call it a change when I culled around 60 pipes to make room for more Jack Howell commissions. So far I have done 12 and I think it is within this one year, but I could be off a little. I have another in the works and I told Jack he has 15 spaces in an empty cabinet with some cool stained glass doors he needs to fill sooner than later as you never know when the ride is over and everything fades to black.

I am really having a good time doing this and I think Jack might like me a tad at least. I tell him what shape, he knows the sizes and weights I like so no surprise there. I ask him about colors and stem applications because he is the pipe maker and I am not. If Jack were looking for a car or a piece of jewelry then I could advise him. He has things for stem apps that I have never heard of. This is why I shut up when it comes to that stuff.
 

Morrison Jeremiah

Preferred Member
Jun 25, 2021
755
2,662
England
Not that much of a surprise really, but finding that my Dunhill second sandblasts have exactly the same flavour profile as my Ashton, and do it for a tenth of the price.
 
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lonepiper

Member
Aug 27, 2017
100
954
43
Central Virginia
I guess it was seeing how good inexpensive pipes can smoke. Missouri Meerschaums, Grabows, etc.

As for tobacco, I was surprised at the differences between pouches and tins for the same blends. My first time smoking Half and Half was a pouch and I hated it but I’ve gone through multiple tubs of it. Opposite for Velvet. I lIke the pouch but had to give away almost a whole tub because I just couldn’t stomach the taste.
 

Searock Fan

Member
Oct 22, 2021
102
161
U.S.A.
Ok, I'll play. Back in the '80's a friend of mine's wife had a vintage clothing business. One day she bought a whole bunch of crap from an estate and there were about a dozen pipes included. She asked me to take a look which it did. One after another.... Grabow, yello-bole, corn cobb, trash, garbage and so on. Then the very last one. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was beautiful, hardly smoked, Dunhill ODA smooth billiard. Markings showed it was from 1939! The only thing I could figure was that it had to be a gift because the owner's other pipes showed his taste ran toward cheap and crummy. I informed her of what she had and that the Dunhill was valuable, but she insisted I could have the pipes. I later traded the Dunhill to a collector for 3 Castellos.
 

WVOldFart

Senior Member
Sep 1, 2021
394
1,194
Romney, WV
Ok, I'll play. Back in the '80's a friend of mine's wife had a vintage clothing business. One day she bought a whole bunch of crap from an estate and there were about a dozen pipes included. She asked me to take a look which it did. One after another.... Grabow, yello-bole, corn cobb, trash, garbage and so on. Then the very last one. I couldn't believe my eyes. There was beautiful, hardly smoked, Dunhill ODA smooth billiard. Markings showed it was from 1939! The only thing I could figure was that it had to be a gift because the owner's other pipes showed his taste ran toward cheap and crummy. I informed her of what she had and that the Dunhill was valuable, but she insisted I could have the pipes. I later traded the Dunhill to a collector for 3 Castellos.
I keep hoping I'll run into some luck like that. Man, that is a major SURPRISE!! Yard sales, auctions etc. never have anything I'm interested in. You would think that just once I'd stumble onto a prize like that. But NOOOOOO. I'm glad it happened to you.
 

Singularis

Member
Sep 11, 2019
158
845
Wausau, Wis
My biggest surprise right now -- looking back over the 4 years since taking up the pipe in earnest -- is the back supply of tobacco I have cellared (though I'm not as surprised as my wife was when she recently found a large drawer in my desk chock-full of tins).

I knew I wanted to explore the word of pipes and tobaccos, but suddenly the cellaring bug got me, and now I've got confirmed TAD.
 
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Talon

New member
Nov 7, 2021
37
114
Ontario, Canada
I think that I became completely enamored with the straight billiard pipe. When I first got into pipe smoking I thought they looked drab and boring but after snagging one from an estate it has become my absolute favorite pipe. It just smokes so well, sits well in the hand and feels great when I clench it. I have become hooked on the straight billiard and I'm afraid to say that it could very well be all that I will be interested in from now on if I ever decide to get more pipes.
 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
7,110
31,778
I thought of another. That is, the amount of tobacco I accumulated in a short period of time. When McClelland and Dunhill shut down in the same year, I took that as a wake up call and accumulated over 350 lbs in two years. If someone in 2017 would have told me I’d have 500 lbs off pipe tobacco in 2021, I’d been more than surprised. Now it’s in place and hopefully there will be no bad surprises to make me regret that.