Your First Year Smoking

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BeardonBoards

New member
Jan 12, 2021
38
86
Cleveland, OH
I'm interested to hear what your experiences are in your first year of smoking. As I approach my first year, I haven't gotten to smoke as much as I wanted to just due to other responsibilities so this next year I want to learn how to make it a much more natural part of my routine with reading and doing other things.

I have learned about myself that I go full blast into my hobbies, and pipe smoking was not an exception. While I did not smoke as much as I would have liked, I definitely had TAD with a bit of PAD. Acquiring >50lbs of some 240 various tobaccos. I like to experience new things so this next year will be about buying less and trying more and focusing my cellar. As I look back I wish I would have just had bought 3 pipes and a maybe 6 types of tobacco to figure out which I enjoy the most then fixate there.
 
Dec 19, 2018
137
366
I honestly can't remember that far back. I do know that my first few years were fraught with difficulty due to poor technique and being encouraged to smoke aromatic tobaccos. The internet did not exist then and mentors were few and far between. Once I discovered Virginia, burley and other non-aromatic tobaccos, things got a lot better for me. I can only speak for myself but as much as I enjoy trying new blends, as time progresses I seem to focus in on the handful of blends I really like and stock heavily on those. It's an interesting journey. Good luck and much enjoyment to you.
 

Casual

Preferred Member
Oct 3, 2019
2,290
8,087
NL, CA
The first two years have mostly been about a changing palate. Sampling a wide range just to see what I can taste, then to see what I like, then to go back over them to reevaluate since learning to smoke slower. Now that I like almost everything, at least to some degree, I think I may be nearing the end of that phase.
 

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ray47

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,087
3,774
Dalzell, South Carolina
It was in 1967. I bought a pouch of Middleton's Cherry Blend. I can't remember the pipe, probably a corn cob because being in the military I was on a strict budget. After the first bowl my mouth and tongue burned so bad that I threw away the pouch but kept the pipe. My next try was maybe 3 months later with some Prince Albert and it stuck.
 

UncleRasta

Preferred Member
Sep 26, 2019
1,234
15,802
Monterey, CA
I'm almost a year and a half in. I find it fascinating that it is a continuous learning curve. The biggest evolution I've seen really is learning how to some a pipe. The more I learn to sip rather than puff, the better it gets. I was also steered (by my local B&M) towards aromatics, specifically Lane 1-Q. It was ok at the time but when I tried Peter Stokkebye's Proper English, my horizons began to widen. I'll say I've tried about 2 dozen blends now, about half of which stay in my rotation. I still have blend curiosity but have a good base of tried and trusted as well. I'm truly grateful for the mentor communities on both this forum and the Youtube Pipe community. They've both been very helpful in clarifying some of my experiences, and I get plenty of great tips and insights. I hope you derive as much from your pipe experience as I have/do.
 

Worknman

Preferred Member
Sep 23, 2019
767
2,284
I also acquired about 200 different blends in my first year and about 10 pipes. Won't be doing that every year of course. Im probably good for the next 20
 
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BarrelProof

Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2020
1,905
7,285
36
The Last Frontier
My first year of smoking a pipe isn't finished, yet. However, I can say the greatest takeaways were some new friends, a proclivity to act in ways such that I find random 'order confirmed' emails from online pipe/tobacco vendors in my inbox after nights of heavy drinking, and a well-recited, nearly automatic response to my wife along the lines of, "Relax, babe, it's an investment."
 

Keitha

Junior Member
Jun 23, 2020
55
172
Costa Mesa, CA
I'm in month 8 of Pipe smoking. Reading through this, I find it interesting how consistent the experience is among us.
- I initially just bought a pipe and a couple wet blends from a local tobacconist on a whim - never thinking I would dive into this hobby.
- Smoke more frequently than I thought I would. I initially thought I would smoke once a week or so. That has turned into just about every day.
- Started with frequent tongue bite (and occasional full mouth bite)
- While I am nowhere near the tobacco purchase levels of some of you (I may have 5lbs w/ +- 24 blends), I have been exploring quite a few blends and starting to hone in on which I prefer.
- I was frustrated early that I really could not get much flavor - that has improved over the past few months.
- After about 6 months, I started to just be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together: tobacco moisture, cut/prep, packing, lighting...
- I am just starting to order multiple tins of the same blend
- I'm still amazed at how enjoyable and rewarding it is to light your pipe once and get a good 20 minutes before a re-light.
- I have enjoyed staining and customizing a couple unfinished pipes (Savinelli Series III). I have a 315 on order and just made a rusticating tool to try my hand at that.
--- I am looking forward to meeting some fellow pipe smokers in person
 

bullet08

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
4,157
20,797
RTP, NC. USA
Tongue bite didn't last too long. It was steep climbing, but once I figured out how clench and forget it, everything fell into places. Then retrohale started to work for me. Didn't have too much issues with blends, but when I picked up Nightcap match, I knew I was gonna hang around. Oh, and Peterson pipes.
 

select565

Member
Mar 2, 2020
103
436
Nearing the end of my first year. The first few months I was only able to get flavor from English type blends. Now I mostly crave VA type blends all day. Also went a bit over the top in the acquisition disorder department.

No idea how much weight but it’s a lot. Not upset about it. Other then when I come on here and read opinions that claim Tobacco turns to shit if it’s aged then exposed to a new environment as it degrades rapidly 🤷‍♂️
 

select565

Member
Mar 2, 2020
103
436
That was thirty years ago and had to figure it out on my own. Was figuring out what types of tobacco use that I liked and after years of tobacco and pipe collecting, I've settled on two blends that I smoke all of the time now.
Which are your 2 go tos?
 

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