Tobacco choice has become much like walking into a wine store, endless selection; every and any variety that you can imagine to suit any taste. There are all varieties of pipe smokers out there, and although there are no agreed upon universal names for the categories, we have all heard various descriptions thrown around. To me, the most common category has been the “Tobacco Snob”, often described as the smoker who will spend the equivalent of Solomon’s Fortune on tobacco with the mind set that expensive is no doubt better. There is an interesting conundrum for a newbie to this hobby who is trying to find a category to fit into. Which brings up the other often referred to description. I will part with the traditional name and will just refer to it as, the “Tobacco Tramp”, although I’m sure everyone has heard the more descriptive word used. This includes veterans and newbies alike, and often is best described as the smoker who cannot settle on a few particular blends, and spend much of their time and money sampling new blends at the speed of a jack rabbit. In my opinion, there is no shame in either of these categories and each has its merits. To the “Tobacco Snob” I say simply “If you can afford it, more power to you” and to the “Tobacco Tramp”; “They say variety is the spice of life, so if that makes you happy, then Happy sampling”.
Recently I published an article here about Pipe Lore and its importance to the pipe smoking community. Well, I fear that Pipe Lore may fall victim to the same complacency that has caused our precious hobby to decline in recent years. I would like this article to serve several purposes, but first among them is to reach out to everyone that has enjoyed and benefited from this venerable site, and appeal to your sense of community. Continue reading
I have been sorting through my tobacco stock lately. Deciding on blends that I want to stock up on, and clearing out those that I have samples of either by finishing them, or giving the remnants away. So, I happened to be going through my tobacco drawer and came across some Virginia Reserve. Reserve is a blend done by my buddy Dick at Chief Catoonah. Its a very light VA/Per, and if I recall, contains less than 10% Perique in it. When I first tried the blend, it was not bad. I must admit that I have not been a huge VA/Per fan, and dabble in them for a change in pace, and even at that, it is seldom. Now this little pouch was probably a good 4 months old, as it was one of the first samplers I ordered. Well, seems the time sitting in the pouch has really helped this blend out because I smoked two bowls in a row the other day. Now we all know that aging helps many blends, but I have always been under the impression that this occurs on more of a long term basis after the 1 year mark for example. The difference with 4 months age on this tobacco was noticeable though. I would love to hear others experiences on this. What type of short term aging benefits have you noticed ?
I have been at this for a short time, but in my short time I have tried a lions share of tobacco. Let me tell you, the choices and options out there can prove to be a minefield for a newbie, and to find likes and sort out the dislikes could easily be a full time job. I, like many, started out with aromatics, until I was schooled in the ways of good tobacco and turned on to Virginia’s, and English/Balkan/Oriental blends. I have been very lucky both with a good local B&M and many, many online resources, mainly MPC and #Pipes Chat. I have met and made many friends in both of these places, and look forward to continuing and growing these friendships.
I have had writers block lately, for several days now. As I have stated previously, writing and maintaining a blog can be a challenge, as well as a bit of an obsession. There is an addictive property to clicking on the “blog stats” button and seeing your site hits, especially when they hit the high 200’s in one day. So I got to thinking tonight about some things that maybe I don’t write about enough. The first thing that came to mind was my pipe collection.
Well, I have been going to Estate Sales forever. Every once in awhile I find a book or some little trinket that I like, but for the life of me, never anything having to do with pipes. I hear of people that go to estate sales and walk out with a treasure trove of pipes and pipe accessories, but I have never had that joy.
I’m well aware that many of you who read this blog regularly have seen links on Pipelore that directed you here. For those of you that are unaware though, Pipelore is the premier place for information about pipes, tobacco and anything associated with this hobby.
Pipelore was created by Corneel Vermeulen and is a maintained as a group endeavor by himself and others among the pipe smoking community. Corneel is not only very knowledgeable, but passionate about both the pipe smoking community and the future of this hobby. I have found him to not only be enjoyable to converse with, but also a good friend. Not only has he inspired much of my writing, he has often ensured that my grammar doesn’t make me sound like a “Dolt”. Continue reading