First Bowl

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Mr_Wothouse
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First Bowl

Post by Mr_Wothouse » Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:17 pm

I happened to pick up a Missouri Meerschaum and a pouch of Skandinavik Vanilla today. My University pipe and Lane tabac will not arrive until Wednesday. So, I packed the bowl, perhaps too loosely, and lit up. It smoked a bit, then died. I tamped it, and relit. Then relit. It burnerd for a while, then went out. Determined, I relit. From there, it kept going out until I got into the dottle.

To pack, I filled it loosely and pressed it down halfway, then filled again and pressed down to 2/3, filled again, and pressed down even with the bowl, tested the draw (perhaps too easy) and lit up as mentioned above. Am I doing something wrong here? I think I was too careful not to pack it too dense. I expected a big smoke cloud for the first few seconds, but had just a thin streamer.

I also noticed that it smelled like your average cigarette. Then I realize the pouch says Vanilla "Flavour" and it hit me this is not an aromatic. It smells wonderful in the pouch, though. I don't like smelling like cigarettes.

By-the-by, would it be a bad idea to remove the filter from the Missouri Meerschaum? Is the stem/bit designed differently, or do they just add the filter to certain models and not others?

Regards,
James

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Post by thegreatswalmi » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:44 am

James,
being something of a new smoker myself (i've smoked a few years, but so infrequently i can't even consider myself a smoker!) i can't say i have a whole lot of advice for you. i can say that i've bought some cheaper "aromatic" type tobaccos because of their smell in the pouch, and been mightily disappointed. My advice would be to check out recommendations in our own "tobacco hut" or even more reviews at "tobaccoreviews.com". Also, you'll hear that some pipes smoke some tobaccos better than others. i thought this was garbage (like "wine experts" who always tell me the different fruits they taste, when i only taste feermented grapes:)) but it seems to be the truth. that's the thing about smoking. it's tricky. sometimes a particular tobacco won't agree with your mouth, sometimes your pipe won't like the tobacco, sometimes you pack poorly, sometimes it's not the right moisture level. However, stick with it! experiment. smoke often, trying different techniques and combinations to get the best possible smoke. For instance, i've tried McClelland's 5100 in several different pipes, but last night i had the most delightful smoke in a nording freehand. it smoked solid for 1 1/2 hours without a relight, and i swear i tasted blackberries in there. the smoke was not sweet, but had a hint of vanilla, some fruit, and just great smokiness! but it took a long time to figure out the right combo! so hang in there! don't know if i've encouraged or discouraged you, so i'll sign off now :)
Mike

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Post by Michael » Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:29 am

James,

I'll second Mike's reply. Keep at it. Pipesmoking is an "art" and it takes a bit of practice, especially with the packing, but it's worth the effort! A good ol' Missouri Meerschaum corncob is a good pipe for just about anything, so I don't think your pipe would be the problem, even with the filter. One thing's for sure, imho -- you have to watch out for aromatics. They smell great in the pouch, and sometimes have a wonderful room aroma, but often burn hot and with that you get tongue bite. Still, good quality aromatics can be found that avoid the latter. The main thing is, don't get discouraged about it. Keep practicing with your packing and you'll soon become more expert at it and then you'll begin experiencing the satisfying payoff!

Michael

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Mr_Wothouse
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Post by Mr_Wothouse » Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:56 am

Thanks for the advice, guys. I'll keep at it. Overall, I enjoyed the five minutes of not relighting, and it was pleasant; I don't think I experienced tongue-bight (I think I would know if I had). Maybe the Skandinavik is not for me. I bought it because the only other tobacco available was Captain Black Royal or Prince Albert. The Captain Black is marked with Lane Limited's name, and may be on the same level as the four ounces of BLWB I ordered along with the University pipe, so I thought something different would be better.

I think that if I stick with it, pipesmoking will be a rewarding and very pleasureable experience. If not, it's one less hobby to take up my money :lol:

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Post by obie » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:44 am

Honestly, it takes a goodly amount of practice to get a good pack and a good smoke - there are a lot of variables. In truth, the only thing that kept me at it at the beginning was the fact that I knew I looked cool smoking a pipe! ;) Keep at it, and you'll get it.

One thing - if you don't want to smell like a cigarette smoker or a campfire, then really you will probably like aromatics best; they have the best chance of keeping those around you happy and reminding them of their grandfather. But again, it's going to take you some time to find the best combination of raw smell/smoked smell/smoking quality, especially if you don't have any good tobacconists nearby.

I'd still recommend trying a sampler pack from TinderBox or AffordablePipes.com - that way you can get a good range of tobaccos at one shot and find one you like.

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Post by Mr_Wothouse » Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:07 pm

I had better luck today, after removing the filter from the Missouri Meerschaum and following the packing instructions from Just For Him. Success! It stayed lit after the first relight down to the halfway mark. Then I had to relight three times down to the dottle. I enjoyed it.

I'm planning on ordering a tin of Blue Note and some Tewksbury Hobbit's Weed. Any other aromatic suggestions? I'll go and look at Tinder Box and Affordable too . . .

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Post by Searcher-4-Truth » Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:15 pm

BCA, & Finks Top Dog are 2 that I really enjoy. :)
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Post by sguthrie » Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:54 am

I'm a big fan of Virginan blends, so many of the aromatics I like are VA based (like Blue Note). I really like "Nordic Gold" from Tinderbox, and I've recived several favorable comments on the aroma as well.
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Post by OldSeaRock » Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:08 pm

James,

So much of this hobby is opinion - it has to do with the individuals taste.

Here is what I suggest:

Take a good amount of the tobacco out of the bag and put it on a plate and let it dry out.

When you pinch a wad of tobacco from the plate it should not stick together, that's how you can tell when the moisture is right.

Pack the pipe full of tobacco, lightly tamp it down and let it rip. Get a good initial light, tamp it down and maybe relight again. Then just keep lightly tamping.

Some tobaccos burn well, others don't. The moisture content is the main culprit when the pipe keeps going out.

The cut of the tobacco is another factor. If the tobacco is in long strands or big clumps then break it up by pulling it apart, cutting with scissors or rubbing it out in the palm of your hand before drying.

Take that filter out - it keeps the residue from the previous bowl trapped in it. It will make the smoke taste lousy.

The only other factors are the mechanics of the pipe and the quality of the wood. If the wood is good (let us assume that it is) then the pipe needs to have a good "open" draw with no restrictions. If the pipe whistles when you blow through it or draw through it, you have a restriction there which will cause the pipe to be inefficient.

Most of all, have fun. This is about relaxation, not simply "getting a nicotine fix".... :lol: I guarantee that you will find something that works for you.

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Post by OldSeaRock » Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:12 pm

PS: Over the years I've learned that wooden "Kitchen Matches" are the best thing to keep that last bit at the bottom going. Stick the lit match down in the bowl close to the tobacco - a lighter has a hard time getting the job done without either torching the walls of the pipe or torching your tongue!

Have fun - you'll get the hang of it in no time.

If you're looking for good aromatic tobacco, go buy a pouch of Captain Black WHITE (not the blue, gold or red). Oddly enough, that's one of the best aromatics on the market.

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Post by UncleBob » Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:53 pm

If you're looking for good aromatic tobacco, go buy a pouch of Captain Black WHITE (not the blue, gold or red).
Better yet try the Lane RLP-6...It is the same blend without the preservatives.

Bob

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Post by Mr_Wothouse » Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:30 pm

My University smokes so much easier than the corn cob, and has a little bigger bowl. The Lane Burley Light smells wonderful in the pouch (I got a few comments on that; the smell seems to seep past the plastic bag, and smells something like cookies). The taste was a little like a cigar. The room note was OK, but still not sweet enough to please the family.

I was surprised that my first light kept me puffing for a full two minutes or so before dying out. After a very light tamping, I relit, grabbed a book, and enjoyed several pages (with a couple of tampings). It needing relighting about halfway down, and as it progressed I had to knock some of the ash out to keep it going.

The experience is profoundly relaxing!

James

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