The Official Pipe, Pipe Tobacco, Accessories, and Smoking Thread.

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Piobaire, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    Talking about buying a pipe with my friend. Pretty excited :slayer:

    Going to W Curtis Draper in downtown DC. May have to go to Gtown Tobacco if we don't see anything we like there. I doubt it though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  2. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    It is. Just when you get to the stairs for the place you immediately realize its One of Those Places You Just Don't Find Anymore.

    Piob: just run a cleaner though until it is clean. Matt's advice about the sweetener is good. I would do it once a quarter or so but you don't really need to do it that often.
     
  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Thanks for your interest. I don't know that I have anything too outstanding or strong preferences. Of British pipes I have (in approximate order of preference): 4 Upshall-Tilsheads; 4 Wilmers (I had 5, but I believe one was somehow stolen!); 1 Comoy: 2 GBDs; 1 Ben Wade; 1 Charatan; 1 Newcastle and a couple of uncertain provenance. Among my Italian pipes I have 3 Ascortis, 2 Cesares, 1 Castelsardo, 1 Aldo Velani, 1 Savinelli. I have 3 Danish pipes, 2 from Nording (haven't cared much for their smoking qualities) and a Canadian from Bari. Two French pipes, a recently acquired Rounded Cutty from Ropp and Saddle Pot from Jobey. Most of my pipes are classic shapes--billiards or variants thereof (e.g., a GBD Lovat and the Bari Canadian), a couple of Giant Billiards, quite a few Pots, three Apples, one Curved Prince, one Straight Rhodesian, one Chimney and one Bulldog. I strongly favor smooth pipes over sandblasts, and I have no strong preference between straights and curved or bents (about a third of my pipes are the latter).

    The "Cherry" blend I have been smoking in recent years is just something I get at the local tobacconist's, but I may go back to smoking the Tinderbox's Captain Spice, which I always liked. Kind of feel bad about deserting the local guy--both because I naturally favor the little guy independent over a chain and also because he's an Arab Christian (Egyptian Copt), a group toward which I feel particularly sympathetic.
     
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Just had a very relaxing smoke. My new'ish Peterson Aran apple and 2010 Peterson Holiday Blend. It had been a little dry but I've been working on that using those little moisturizing wafers. Smells so good.
     
  5. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  6. evilWagon

    evilWagon Senior member

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    I haven't tried a pipe yet myself, but have fond memories of great Uncles and Grandfathers smoking them. I do smoke cigars on occasion, could someone compare the experience of pipe smoking vs cigars? I'm debating on picking up a pipe etc, so that should help.
     
  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The biggest difference, I think, is the taste. Most cigars taste broadly similar, though the little differences among cigars matter tremendously. Pipe tobaccos are all over the place in the types of flavor they offer, and different aromatics can be nothing like each other or Virginias, which are in turn very different from English style blends, etc. But even in that context, cigars and pipe tobacco taste simply taste different from each other (though I haven't tried the cigar leaf pipe blends). The difference is significant, though not an issue of one is better than the other and there is no reason not to prefer the one, the other, or like both.

    Another difference is the feel of the smoke. Cigar smoke is often a little heavier than pipe smoke. But a much bigger difference is the volume. Smoking a cigar is like taking a drink out of a glass while smoking a pipe is more like taking little sips.

    Then there is the simple aesthetic difference of smoking from a pipe versus the rolled cigar. The experience feels different.

    And then you have cost: Pipe tobacco is astoundingly inexpensive when compared to cigars. Of course, you can spend a fortune on pipes, and lots of pipe smokers do, but you really don't have to.

    These might get you started:
    http://www.smokingpipes.com/accessories/gift sets/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=72356
    http://www.cupojoes.com/cgi-bin/dept?dpt=W&srch=DW&tier2=407
     
  8. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    I really like cigar leaf blends.
     
  9. evilWagon

    evilWagon Senior member

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    Thanks for the reply Dopey, I'll check those websites out.

    Regarding cigars, it's rare that I'll enjoy one without a drink to accompany it. It seems to me that a pipe is not as compatible with a scotch, or am I mistaken?
    Is there a rough suggestion for drinks to accompany different styles of tobaco?
     
  10. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    Ok, got my pipe, now how do I keep the damn thing lit? Friend seemed to get a handle on his but I can't with mine. Second time smoking it I finally got packing it in right (realized i was not using enough) but even with that it seems like I'm sucking in a lot of air. Do I need to tamp it down much or lightly after the first lighting?
     
  11. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Practice. Keeping a pipe lit for the whole bowl is quite an accomplishment.
     
  12. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    Joffrey, there's no shame in the re-light.
    Uncle much older than me, who has smoked pipes on and off for few decades, still has re-lights pop up. Doesn't bother 'm the least bit.

    There's a good amount of variables that could be keeping you back as a new pipe smoker.

    A.) Packing technique. There's no one way to do this "correct" and after even 2 attempted smokes still a lot more learning left. Lately, I take a palm-full of tobacco in one hand and invert the pipe into my palm. I then swirl it while gently pushing until the whole bowl is full and looks like "hair from the tobacco is sprouting out from the bowls edge. Then I lightly compressing top quarter or so of the tobacco. Usually I am pretty even with the bowl top at this point. If I can fit some more I look for some small pieces to top off and them another tap. Check draw.

    B.) Lighting. Don't try to light the whole thing as once like you would a cigar to get it lit. Instead, use a 2 step method. False light the top by dancing the low heat lighter or match around the top to char evenly for a second or so, you'll see the tobacco rise out of the bowl a bit. Now take a tamper or small flat surface and push lightly until tobacco that rose is even with the rim again. Now, for the full light, make this 2nd light longer, circular in motion with several larger puffs. You'll see more smoke.
    Off you go.

    C.) Carbon Cake. You pipe is not broken in fully. The black carbon left over after each smoke is beneficial, don't be afraid to let that build up some. This will help keep your pipe lit as well when kept at a thin, even layer. Google is full of info on this topic.
    Simple points I shoot for with new pipes is to keep the carbon cake even from top to bottom, slow forming, and be sure to make sure the heel as the bottom of the bowl forms a good cake early on (smoke to the bottom or use partial bowls to start).

    D.) Pace. Yes there is technique involved. Unlike cigar smoking big thick plumes of smoke shouldn't be what you are experiencing although it will be tempting to do so. When I started I smoked hot, too frequently and took large puffs. This all lead to one scortched tongue, damn nearly gave up on the spot!.. I didn't understand why that happened. Maybe try a ~10 sec rhythm and experiment from there to smoke longer, slower and cooler.

    But the most enjoyable part of smoking a pipe is getting to the point where it doesn't require much thought at all. Well worth the bumpy trial and error early on to get autopilot. Can easily have 20 min to 2 hours of stress free bliss pass by without notice and at the end not give a damn where it went. :satisfied:
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  13. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    To follow, pipe smoking is only complicated if you want it to be complicated.

    All it really is is dried up leaves in a mini-combustion chamber producing smoke...
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^This

    Smoking a pipe is one of those things that will just take a while to get a feel for. The two main things to get right are how you pack the bowl and how you puff, and they are related to each other. If you are puffing like a madman to keep your pipe lit, you are doing it wrong. It should be slow and steady and, as iammatt says, it is ok if it goes out (I wouldn't even thing of keeping a bowl lit the whole way through as an accomplishment; if it happens, it is a sign that all went well, but it does not result in a better smoke and it is only something to aim for if you have absolutely nothing else to do or think about while you are smoking). Once you get a sense of what works well, then you can adjust the fill mid-smoke if it is too tight or too loose so that your puffing is nice and easy and the pipe stays lit longer.


    I like this - it is my type of pipe and my first pipe was a Stanwell. Is that from the new Italian production or was it from when they were still made in Denmark? I think the shift was a year or two ago.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  15. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    I have added margate to my tobacco's. I like it quite a bit.
     

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