Search for the "right" tobacco

Open forum for all subject for smokers in general
Post Reply
User avatar
JudgeRusty
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Posts: 6056
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: VA

Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by JudgeRusty » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:51 pm

I have asked and received mixed responses to the following query:

Do you find that certain "quality" pipes surprisingly do not provide good smokes with some of your favorite tobaccos?

Most here probably agree that certain pipe geometries tend toward smoking certain types of tobaccos better than others. I think this issue goes a bit deeper.

I have a few pipes, made by quality manufacturers, with no obvious flaws, that disappoint me with several types of my favorite tobaccos. Historically, through trial and error, I have discovered a few tobaccos that smoke well in such a pipe.

About a year or so, I purchased a Peterson POY that has a chamber about 1.5 inches deep and just under 3/4" in diameter; this is close to my favorite sized chamber for smoking flakes, particularly Virginia flakes. This pipe has repeatedly disappointed me with "meh" taste when smoking tobaccos that I might have smoked pleasurably mere hours before in another pipe. This is a lovely pipe and I want to like smoking it, so I have continued to smoke different blends in it, searching for the right match. I finally smoked Milan's closest house blend to a plain Burley in it today and I may be closing in on the target. I will soon try PA because I know exactly what that is supposed to taste like.

Anyone have similar experiences to discuss?
Any clues to why this happens?
Any arguments that this phenomenon is a myth and my taster is just off, or it has to do with bad biorhythms?
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal

User avatar
hugodrax
All Around Nice Guy
All Around Nice Guy
Posts: 16268
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by hugodrax » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:44 pm

I can only speak for me. While there are freakshow pipes that smoke poorly regardless of tobacco choice, I've found them few and far between. In fact, I've switched my break in process from careful and gentle to simply smoking the bejayzus out of the pipe until she behaves. In fact, I've found that most pipes aren't delicious (particularly Peterson's, which, while amongst my favorites, have all the devils of the Irish race to smoke out of them before they behave) until they've been reamed for the first time. SO, rather than baby them, I abuse them until they accept the fact that they'll be smoking Virginia flake as their primary duty.

I had a Peterson Rosslare in a diplomat shape that converted me. It only liked Prince Albert. It's a pretty pipe, so I babied her. Careful puffing. Slow smoking. Finally I had it and I beat her like she owed me money--four to six bowls for weeks straight. Darned near caked her solid. Reamed her and now she's my favorite.

Very few pipes are truly cruddy. But some are prisses that need to learn there place.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

User avatar
JudgeRusty
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Posts: 6056
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: VA

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by JudgeRusty » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:49 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:44 pm
I can only speak for me. While there are freakshow pipes that smoke poorly regardless of tobacco choice, I've found them few and far between. In fact, I've switched my break in process from careful and gentle to simply smoking the bejayzus out of the pipe until she behaves. In fact, I've found that most pipes aren't delicious (particularly Peterson's, which, while amongst my favorites, have all the devils of the Irish race to smoke out of them before they behave) until they've been reamed for the first time. SO, rather than baby them, I abuse them until they accept the fact that they'll be smoking Virginia flake as their primary duty.

I had a Peterson Rosslare in a diplomat shape that converted me. It only liked Prince Albert. It's a pretty pipe, so I babied her. Careful puffing. Slow smoking. Finally I had it and I beat her like she owed me money--four to six bowls for weeks straight. Darned near caked her solid. Reamed her and now she's my favorite.

Very few pipes are truly cruddy. But some are prisses that need to learn there place.
Interesting. This pipe has developed cake, but not to the point yet that it has had to be reamed for the first time. Point taken.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal

User avatar
MrPiper
Needs to lighten up with the Xs
Needs to lighten up with the Xs
Posts: 5428
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by MrPiper » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 pm

This is a fascinating question. You caused me to think of my pipe buying process through the years. I have bought pipes for many reasons; eg. Erik Nording handed it to me. I met Peder Jepsen and wanted to buy one of his pipes. A pipe shop in Chatanooga was going out of business and I saw a pipe I just had to have lest it vanish forever. I found a Poul Winslow Tulip that had been in a back room at Iwan Reis for eons and they priced it to move. If I had seen it at three times the price I would have bought it just because I thought it looked amazing. I still think it's the most impressive aesthetic pipe I own. I have often bought pipes because they were on a deep discount for any reason if I like the brand and style. I like a bargain.

One thing I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER done is buy a pipe with a tobacco or blend in mind to smoke in it.

Judge as you may recall from experience, I usually just take the pipe I like at that moment and put whatever tobacco I am about to smoke inside it. I have never dedicated any pipe to any tobacco for any reason. Through the years, I have learned that I really like my MacBaren Aromatic Ghosts to lend a gentle vanilla background to a VaPer blend. Don't knock it until you have tried it! I even sometimes rotate tobaccos in a pipe JUST FOR the purpose of mixing the flavors and ghosting forward.

In short, and maybe this is too simplistic, I find that any pipe will ADEQUATELY smoke almost any tobacco when the tobacco is properly packed. What I HAVE found is that packing an individual pipe may be an exercise in experimentation. Some pipes do better with a very loose pack while others like a bit more firmness. It usually correlates more to the draw of the pipe than anything else in my experience. Once I find the right "density" of packing an individual pipe, I can usually put anything I like in it and it flies pretty smoothly. On the overall, looser is usually better and a firm dense pack is rarely appreciated by any pipe I have ever owned regardless of the blend I am smoking. The Winslow is an interesting case study as it has the thickest wall of any pipe I own and I really likes to be packed tightly. This is a surprise to me because you would think a thinner pipe would smoke more easily and cooler with a thick pack than a thick walled pipe which would seem more insulated. I have no postulate on why, but this pipe just likes densely packed tobacco. This is why I suspect it has more to do with the draw.

As a test, have you tried using the same tobacco in the pipe and packing in graduating styles. Very loosely packed at first bowl and gradually more and more packing until it's just right? I would be very interested to see if your experience corroborates my findings. Maybe as many have said, I am just a neanderthal pipe smoker who has no respect for pipes, tradition or instruction. That's probably it. The fun of it all is the process.

User avatar
JudgeRusty
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Didn't even get to wear his hat
Posts: 6056
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: VA

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by JudgeRusty » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:55 pm

Cool, two completely different,thoughtful approaches to the issue. Both seem worthy of experimentation. It's like a pipe forum or something.
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal

User avatar
hugodrax
All Around Nice Guy
All Around Nice Guy
Posts: 16268
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by hugodrax » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:07 pm

Well, we can not let that happen.
Etiam mihi opinio anserem perirent.

User avatar
Irish-Dane
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
I'm a pro at tobacco canning
Posts: 33094
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:00 pm
Location: The beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina
Contact:

Re: Search for the "right" tobacco

Post by Irish-Dane » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:53 am

hugodrax wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:07 pm
Well, we can not let that happen.
What? A pipe forum? Agreed. Those things are dangerous. And hairy.
It's not available because if you try it you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. --Colton

Post Reply