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Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Hi pipe and cigar thread! You may remember me from such things as being a pipe smoking goon for nearly two decades! Anyway I just smoked some Old Gowrie that I stuck in a mason jar 10 years ago and it was remarkable! Mellow, creamy, sweet, and complex. That is all!

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Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

For years and years I smoked 2-3 pipes every day. These days I smoke 1-2 a week. My live is still good hth.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

My best smokers are my Savinellis and Cavicchis, followed by an old vintage Dunhill I have. On the other hand, one of my absolute worst smokers is a small bulldog Savinelli.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

CRIP EATIN BREAD posted:

Ive spent the last 4 nights out in the cold, in my garage, listening to dan carlin podcasts.

Feels good, man.

This is the way.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

They are indeed! Although the Fonseca Cosacos may be taking over my favorite budget friendly MF stick position (~$5/stick).

Gentlemen, I have received the Rattray's Dark Reign Rhodesian and this is a gorgeous piece:



Almost a shame it has to get used!

Almost.

I got in some more Mac Baren Scottish Mixture - I love natural tobacco flavors and it's a fantastic everyday bulk pickup, right between Three Nuns on the spicy dude and Presbyterian on the mellow side.

Night Cap has also made a return - I'll probably have that with some Connemara tonight.

And a new pickup was Mac Baren Seven Seas. This stuff smells like rum and butter and boy howdy does it taste like it, too! I think the rest of the room is going to have a great time when I light this up.

Nice pipe for sure. Scottish mixture is also always solid.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Hello smoking friends.

Though I normally smoke pipes, sometimes I like a cigar. Typically I enjoy creamy, relatively mild cigars (nub cameroon is a favorite, for instance). However, my favorite ever cigar came from Bolivar, and once I had a whole box of petit coronas from them. As I live in the US, it's hard to get those boxes. So what is the closest US available cigar to that particular flavor?

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Vrikkian posted:

I cannot wait for it to warm up so I can actually have more than one cigar a week. It's too drat cold.

Or have more than one pipe a week. I went a little nuts with tax money, and uh, exploded my cellar something fierce.

I don't smoke cigars in my house, but I do smoke my pipe. My wife loves the smell, and encourages me to do so. Life is good!

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Kenning posted:

Smoked one of the Nub Cameroon 466 box-press torpedo yesterday and honestly it was an excellent smoke. Draw through the figurado tip was perfect for the first half, and then once it got a little wet I used the PerfecDraw once and it was good to the end. Very creamy and fragrant, the burn was excellent and it was just a great smoke. Looking forward to my next one for sure, especially for the price.

I really love that cigar.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

McClelland was my favorite brand hands down. My regular smoke was 5100, and I always kept the innimicable Christmas Cheer around. I like what I smoke now, mostly Rattrays and MacBaren, but every time I open a new tin I find myself missing that old ketchup smell.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

I found an old can of Rattrays Red Rapparee that I must have opened it 10 years ago. Super dried out, but I thought what the hell and smoked a couple of bowls. A different beast now, smoother, and the virginias come out stronger. The latakia mellowed a bit but became more smokehouse and less acrid. Really a happy find!

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Giggle Goose posted:


Edit: Question for you pipe smokers in the thread, do you all smoke different types of blends (ie. latakia vs perique vs whatever) in different pipes?

I only smoke flake in big bowls - small bowls only get ribbon cut. That's about as far as I pay attention to it though. I more chose the pipe based on where I'll be smoking/how long I want to be smoking.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Kenning posted:

Smoked a marvelous Nub Connecticut 460 tonight. Just as sweet and creamy and mild as you'd like in a Connecticut, and burned beautifully the whole time. That was a delicious cigar.

The Nub Cameroon is on my list of top 5 cigars. Like others have said, though - never a bad stick in that line.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Oh and hey why did I not know about the Vegueros Mañanitas? Absolutely delicious, mild, creamy, and the perfect size for my taste.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Yesterday I had a fighter practice session for the first time in a while, and then after I sat down for a bottle of Duvel and a Hemingway Work of Art. Fantastic cigar, spicy and with great depth. And it commmmmpletely kicked my rear end. I haven't had a nicotine high like that in years.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

I just drank a Mai Tai and had a pipe of Sutliff matured red Virgina 515 rc-1. I miss McClelland 5100, but this is sooooo close.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

Is that sold matured or did you age it in the tin on your own at home?

I buy it by the pound in bulk, and smoke it without aging.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Kenning posted:

Oh yeah, I'll have a whole section on how to use the auction sites to get deals, especially on hardware.

Also! Pipegoons, now that a critical mass of you has assembled, would anyone be willing to draft a quick primer? I'd say just a quick rundown of the following:

1) types of pipes
2) types of tobacco
3) how to smoke
4) how to store tobacco and maintain pipes
5) where to buy pipes and tobacco
6) recommended pipes/tobaccos for people who are pipe-curious

If nobody's up for drafting a whole guide, I can also just consolidate some recommendations from this thread and post them in a pipe section, but I'd love to use something a bit more finished.

I'll give this a run down over the weekend if you like.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Kenning posted:

Sweet! Between what you write and what NFM wrote upthread there'll be an excellent pipe guide for the new thread.

I failed. :eng99: I'll work something up this week, though.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Ok, here's a basic version of the basics of pipes and tobacco. We can add on to this later.

Mr. Wiggles’ Pipe Primer

The story runs that when the tomb of the half-divine Callisto was removed to Paris, the immortal nymph wandered nightly through the gay quarters of the city seeking diversion. Chancing to enter the flat of a fashionable young Parisian, she lamented to him that in all the centuries that had elapsed since her former life mankind had devised not one new pleasure. Sighing assent, the young man idly handed her a cigarette, only find, when he had shown her the use of the dainty tube of white and gold, that, quite inadvertently, he had given her what she craved, a new, and indeed, exquisite pleasure.
-Alfred Dunhill, The Pipe Book

Smoking tobacco in a pipe is a practice that goes back before recorded history. Many Native American groups had been smoking pipes for thousands of years, as best we can tell, before contact with Europeans. This smoking was often ceremonial, and frankly I’m not enough of an expert in this aspect (nor am I Native American) to be able to speak with authority on the subject. So we’ll concentrate on the smoking of tobacco through pipes as it developed post European contact with North America.
In the five hundred years or so since Europeans ran in to North American and discovered such things as tomatoes, corn, chili peppers, and tobacco, the spread of these crops has happened faster than any other blossoming of produce since the beginning of time. And why not? In addition to the foodstuffs, the non-American world quickly found that tobacco was a remarkable plant, capable of providing stimulation, concentration, and pleasure in ways never thought of before. Smoking the leaves of this plant rolled together as a cigar (and later a cigarette) certainly was fantastic, but the purest form of enjoyment came then as now by smoking from a pipe, just as the Native Americans did. As the Europeans colonized the Americas, the tobacco plant was developed into further variety than it had known, pipe styles developed in all parts of the world, and the simple pleasures of smoking were found in all corners of the globe.
Tobacco use grew and grew, and up until the 1950s smoking a pipe was one of the most normal yet sophisticated thing any man (and in those more sexist times, it was almost always men who smoked pipes, John D. Rockefeller’s mother and other rural women excepted in the popular consciousness) could do. From the 1960s on, pipe smoking waned faster than cigarette smoking, being seen as “old fashioned” or even worse, “something for olds”. And even though cigars have never lost their cachet as a high class past time, pipes have still not quite seen the renaissance that they’re due. But this could change with you! Following is a brief bit of knowledge about pipes, pipe tobacco, and the smoking of pipes that perhaps I can share with you if you decide to take up this lovey habit. If you’re already a pipe smoker, then perhaps this can answer questions that you have had in the back of your head for some time. In any case, happy smoking!
Types of Pipe Tobacco
Pipe tobacco is typically blended by mast blenders from multiple varieties in order to achieve various flavor profiles. Tobaccos flavored with adjuncts or other flavorings are called “aromatic” tobaccos, while non-flavored tobaccos are typically referred to either by the blender’s proprietary name or by the name of the varietal itself.
Virginia – Virginia tobaccos are the ur-tobacco. High in sugar content, these tobaccos develop very interesting but intense flavors during the tobacco leave fermentation process. Often this leads to a vinegary or “ketchup-y” aroma for pure Virginia tobacco blends that some folks love (I’m one of those). Virginia tobaccos burn hot, but have a sweet, complex taste. Virginias are a common base tobacco in better blends.
Burley – A nutty, neutral tobacco, this is the most important varietal for “American” style blends (think Prince Albert), and is also used as the basis for most aromatics.
Maryland – Maryland tobacco is the basic American cigarette tobacco. Often used in Danish blends, it doesn’t show up in many other pipe tobaccos. It’s fairly mild and neutral.
Oriental – Also called “Turkish”, these are the fragrant tobaccos from Anatolia and the near east. Delicious, complex, and very important in blending.
Latakia – Not a varietal so much as a process, Latakia tobacco is smoked during the curing process, leading to a deep, somewhat bitter smokehouse flavor. A little goes a long way, and is mostly used in Balkan and some English style blends.
Perique – Tobacco from St. James Parish in Louisiana, this spicy tobacco is the king of nicotine. It provides an interesting accent in some blends, but can overpower if not used judiciously.
Cavendish – This is a name for a process, really, in which the tobacco is steamed and then placed under pressure. This produces a very sweet end product.
American Blend – Mostly based on burley, American blends are more “cigarette” like. Rather thin, dry, and neutral, but often very inexpensive and good in its own way. I like American style blends when I’m fishing or doing other outdoorsy stuff.
English Blend – Typically a blend of Virginia, Oriental, and Latakia tobaccos. Smoky and complex.
Scottish Blend – Typically a blend of Cavendish processed Virginias and Latakia, sweet and smoky. Good examples are from Rattray and MacBaren.
Balkan Blend – A blend of Virginia, Oriental, and Latakia tobaccos typical of the Balkan region, and was typified by the Balkan Sobranie blend.
Aromatic blends – this can be really anything in the lines of “flavored pipe tobacco.” This is where you’ll find your vanillas, cherries, and plums. Aromatic blends get a bad rap among pipe enthusiasts, being considered of generally lower quality. However, good aromatic blends are good, and can be enjoyed even by the well seasoned pipe smoker. They also typically leave the room smelling really, really good after smoking. When people think of “pipe tobacco smell” it’s usually aromatic blends they’re thinking of.
Ribbon cut – Pipe tobacco comes in all sorts of cuts, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Ribbon cut is just what is sounds like – the tobacco is cut into fine ribbons. This allows it to be packed and lit easily, but can sometimes burn to hot for enjoyment.
Flake – This is tobacco leaves pressed into larger flakes, which must be “rubbed out” between the thumb and forefinger while loading. Usually burns cooler.
Broken Flake – Flake tobacco, but smaller flakes. Easier to work with than regular flake.
Plug – A solid brick of tobacco that you have to chip pieces off of and work to get in to your pipe. Very uncommon.
Rope – Like plug, except in a dense rope configuration. Famous, and good for packaging efficiency, but also very rare.
Shag – This is what most of the Danish tobaccos come in. Think Bugler cigarette tobacco – very finely shredded. Very easy to load in the pipe, stays lit well, but burns hot like ribbon cut. Tends to be of lower quality, but not necessarily.
How to store pipe tobacco
Unlike cigars, pipe tobacco likes a little abuse. Typically, it will smoke better when a little dryer than the 70% rh that we keep cigars at. But don’t let it dry too much – this will make it burn very wrong, and you’ll miss a lot of aroma. Generally, you’ll want the tobacco to be “spongey” to the touch. If it’s brittle it’s too dry, if it’s tacky it’s too wet. Most pipe smokers keep their tobacco in tobacco jars, which have a rubber sealing ring. Mason jars are also common. You can also keep pipe tobacco in the tin it comes in (if it’s tinned tobacco), but this will dry out quicker than other methods. If your tobacco is too wet, just take the lid off and let it sit for a while. If it’s too dry, sprinkle a few drops of water in the jar and shake it around. Don’t worry about your tobacco too much – it can always be brought back to life.
Types of Pipes
Tobacco pipes are generally categorized by their shape. There are all sorts of shapes and sizes, with different bowl geometries, different stem shapes, etc. I cannot begin to cover all of the possible types, as pipe carving is as much sculpture as it is function, and thus the shapes reflect the individual artist’s expression. I will cover some of the general pipe shapes, though. For this guide, assume that most pipes are made of briar – a hard, dense root of a Mediterranean bush that’s perfect for carving in to pipes. I’ll give some definitions of other materials as well.
Billiard – This is the basic “straight” pipe. The bowl will join to the stem at a 90 degree angle. Typically, these have a bowl that is taller than it is wide (the obverse is called a pot). Billiard style pipes are easy to hold in the mouth without a hand, are stylish, and provide a lovely smoking experience. Most of my pipes are billiard types.
Bent – These pipes are, well, bent. Instead of a straight stem, the stem curves up from the bowl and to the mouthpiece. These pipes tend to cool the tobacco smoke more than a billiard, and thus can provide a more flavorful smoke. They are more difficult to hold in the mouth unaided, though, and are somewhat “old fashioned.”
Calabash – A variation of the bent pipe, these are the canonical “Sherlock Holmes” pipe. In the old times these were made from calabash gourds, but today are usually briar. The top of the bowl is flared dramatically, rather like a trumpet.
Bulldog – A pipe, either bent or straight, with a squat tapered bowl. Usually fit in the pocket easier, and are more streamlined.
Sitter – A pipe with a flat bottom to the bowl section which can sit on a flat surface unaided.
Churchwarden – These pipes have very long stems, and really smoke very well even though they went out of style sometime in the 1700s I think. The long stem cools the smoke, making for a pleasant experience. Best enjoyed sitting down – you won’t be driving racecars or chopping down trees with a churchwarden in your mouth.
System pipes – These are made by Peterson, and involve a little drain area for moisture to collect. These smoke very well.
Filter pipes – These are pipes which include an integral filter. Sometimes the filter is just a small piece of metal which tar clings to, sometimes it’s a whole contrived cotton filter setup. Either way, filter pipes filter the smoke, reducing tar and particulate matter at the cost of some flavor.
Clay – Clay pipes were once ubiquitous in taverns and pubs. They were owned by the pub, and rented out to those who wanted to smoke. When the smoker was done, a portion of the long, clay stem would simply be broken off. These pipes smoke pretty good, but they get too hot to touch. Be careful!
Metal – Like clay pipes, these get too hot to handle. Really, stay away from metal pipes for tobacco.
Hardwood – Cherry, maple, ash, etc. all make fine pipes. Not quite as good as briar, but they can have a certain visual appeal.
Brylon/Other synthetics – Some pipes are made from artificial materials. Popular in the 60s and 70s, these have fallen out of fashion and for good reason. Cheap garbage for the most part.
Meerschaum – A maritime mineral deposit that is carved into beautiful shapes. Not only does meerschaum smoke beautifully, the material will slowly take on the color of the tobacco. What starts as bone white will change to a beautiful golden brown the more the pipe is smoked. Fragle.
Corncob – The most American way to smoke tobacco. Literally a hollowed out corn cob with a stem attached, these smoke better than they have any right to. You’ll look like a hick, but you’ll be enjoying yourself. Very cheap and replaceable – these are what I smoke when I’m camping/canoeing/doing anything where I might lose the entire pipe.
How to load and smoke a pipe
To load your pipe, fill it loosely with tobacco. Then, compress this with your finger until the pipe is about 1/3 full. Do it again, compressing to about 2/3 full. Top it off one more time and lightly tamp down the top of the tobacco. Now, light your pipe (I use a bic, some people only use matches – use whatever you like) by placing fire against the tobacco and drawing some smoke in to your mouth with easy puffs. The tobacco will flare a bit and go out – that’s ok. Tamp down the somewhat burnt tobacco and light again. Puff away – it should stay lit pretty well now. Occasionally, tamp down the ash in your pipe and re-light it. When the tobacco is all done, dig the ash out with a pipe tool or whatever – what’s left in the pipe is called the “dottle”, but that’s really unimportant to note. Depending on the bowl size and the type of tobacco you chose, a pipe will last anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours.
How to care for your pipe
Pipes need to be cared for just like any other tool. Every couple of smokes, be sure to swab out the inside of the stem and bowl with a pipe cleaner. Don’t let too much carbon build up in the bowl either – you can scrape this away a bit. Every few years, sweeten your pipe by pouring some bourbon or something in to the bowl and letting it sit for a few hours. Dump out the liquor and scrub the inside with a pipe tool to remove carbon, then clean it up with a pipe cleaner. This general practice will keep your pipes good smelling and well smoking for years and decades to come.
Where to buy pipes and tobacco
The best online source, in my opinion, is smokingpipes.com. This is the best place to find all types of tobacco, and they have a great if somewhat expensive pipe selection. For tobacco, you can also check out your local tobacconist (if you’re lucky enough to have one) for your favorite blends, or they may even have propriety blends (the Tinder Box is good for this). Cigar retailers will often carry a little bit of pipe tobacco, so that’s fine as well. Gas stations and discount tobacco shops will carry only the worst brands of pipe tobacco – stay clear. For pipes, aside from online sources, one of the best places to find pipes is antique shops and garage sales. Everyone’s grandfather had a pipe collection, it seems, and while you’ll have to winnow the wheat from the chaff, there’s a lot of good vintage pipes to be found out there.
Above all, remember that pipe smoking is supposed to be enjoyable. If you’re unsure about something, if you’re stressed about if you’re smoking right, just relax. Make a pipe, sit down and think about it. Everything is probably going to be ok.

Mr. Wiggles fucked around with this message at 13:55 on Jun 14, 2021

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

I would be in for this box pass, and am happy to leave more sticks than I find.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

That's a really nice Savinelli. Such good smoking pipes.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Smoking my first Nub Nuance rn. My goodness it's like smoking a bar of dark chocolate.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Was also outside of Reno at a friend's place for the 4th. Good hanging out, good drinks, and I smoked several bowls of Rattray's Red Rapparee. I was smoking this for me, because it's one of my favorites, but with as many comments as I got from the other guests about how much they liked the smell you'd think I was smoking it for them. Old folks also seem to like it, since they always talk about the days when men smoked pipes (and wore hats and dressed well) and how nostalgic that was for them, quickly followed by how happy they are that nobody smokes cigarettes like they used to.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

I thought I'd try smoking outside yesterday. AF Queen B bellicoso. It was stupendous, spicy, and perfect all the way through. But at 117 yesterday, even sitting under misters I ended up drinking two quarts of liquid during the smoke so I decided no more outdoor smokes until autumn.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

Did some financial review now that we're 6 months in on having this house, and it looks like there's a whole lot more pipe smoking than cigar smoking in my future.

It's almost embarrassing how much cheaper good pipe tobacco is.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

Yeah, I think I'm having a harder time finding pipe tobacco I really like the way I enjoy cigar tobacco.

The Semois is really up my alley - maybe my favorite ever - and I've got a good feeling about Sutliff 79, but I'm not super sure where else to go.

Billy Budd.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

I'm an unabashed Malört lover.

You are a man if taste and distinction.

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Correct on the cooling - cigarette holders function in the same way a s a churchwarden pipe as far as cooling. However, this is not the intended purpose. Cigarette holders were originally designed and intended to avoid staining one's gloves or hands while smoking, either from tar seepage (this was more of a thing before filter cigarettes were invented) or from simply the smell. Nobody wanted their fancy white gloves to look and smell like an ashtray.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

A box has arrived! I think that next time we may need a bigger box, cause this thing is super full.

Take:

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Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

Oh, and my give!

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

Trip report: Casa Fuente is a rip-off, but so is the rest of Vegas. Will provide reviews of their house smokes when I get to them tho

Overpriced, but it's a good joint to have a cigar and a drink at the bar.

Also, Vegas is absolutely not a ripoff - you just have to know what you're getting in to.

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Mr. Wiggles
Dec 1, 2003

We are all drinking from the highball glass of ideology.

NewFatMike posted:

Being here not for vacation is probably coloring my feelings :v:

I'll definitely come back some time.

I did break in the best punch cutter I've ever used from Casa Fuente, so I'm pretty thrilled about that.

I live here a d I have a pretty good time!

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