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Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:09 am
by Splodger
Good day people,

I’m fairly new to pipe smoking, and want to learn how to discern what the different tobaccos are in different blends. I really enjoy a good smoke, but I know I’ll get more pleasure from my pipe if I can try to work out for myself what I’m smoking.

I have looked for a sample package containing the most common tobaccos to try. You know, like a set of mineral rocks for kids, but to no avail. Therefore I am thinking of putting together a set for myself.

My idea is to have baseline tobaccos I.e. Virginia, Lataki, Burley etc., to get to know on an individual basis. This, of course, is made difficult by things as variable as Cavendish, but it would be a good start.

Together with those foundation tobaccos, I would like to get together good examples of styles, such as English, VaPer etc.,

I know it’s a big ask, but your help in putting this together would be a big help to me, and would perhaps be of interest to others. What baseline tobaccos would you suggest? And what do you think are good examples of styles?

Many thanks

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:56 pm
by Bruyere_Royale
There are so many blends to choose from out there it's staggering! English style blends always seem to be popular during the cold weather days of fall and winter. Samuel Gawiths Squadron Leader is a nice mild lat, oriental and va blend to get your feet wet so to speak.

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:13 pm
by houtenziel
Are you wanting to try each individual component tobacco, or are you wanting a list of blends that exemplify each particular style? Or maybe both?

For individual components, most online tobacconists sell blending tobaccos. I bought examples of each - Burley, Bright Virginia, Red Virginia, Cyprian Latakia, unflavored Cavendish, Kentucky, Perique, and a few oriental varietals and smoked small samples individually to see what they tasted like. I then added small amounts of each to both Virginia and Burley to see how they influenced each. It really made me appreciate the art of blending, as they don't usually taste so great on their own :)

For benchmark blends.. we have threads for both Virginia and Burley stickied to this forum. Are there particular blend styles you'd be interested in?

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:26 pm
by Fr_Tom
I think you should look at the benchmark blends and assemble a sampler pack from smokingpipes.

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:27 pm
by Splodger
Thank you gentlemen,

I will work on getting, for want of a better word, the base tobaccos. And also some benchmark blends.

I have in hand a few that fit the benchmark bill:

Esoterica Margate - It says on the tin “Best full English tobacco” but to be honest, I purchased it because I was born only three miles along the coast in Broadstairs, Kent, UK. Still I rather like it, complex and gives me a big hit.

Dunhill Early morning pipe - which our good friend Bradley (Stuff & Things) describes as an English blend. Really nice and much mellower than Margate. One might say, refined.

Dunhill Elizabethan Mixture - Which I believe is a good example of a Virginia Perique. Also very nice.

Dunhill Ye Olde Signe - A Virginia blend perhaps? Rather good!

And a few aromatics: Lane 1-Q, and Ashton Rainy day are very nice. I also have, gathering dust, several by Pipeworks & Wilke which I purchased on poor advice. Your mileage may differ, but for gods sake, stay away from the Cherry Cavendish!

Not a bad start I think, and my basket at smokingpipes is fillling up.

BTW, I have a Castello arriving today - waiting with baited breath!

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:20 pm
by houtenziel
Good selection there. Early Morning Pipe is more of an oriental to me, in the same vein as Presbyterian mixture. Practically all of the Dunhill line Latakia containing blends are worth trying while they are still around(My Mixture 965, Nightcap, Standard, etc). You might want to give Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader and Skiff Mixture a try. Some of my favorites are: Peterson Old Dublin, Rattray's Red Rapparee, F&K Lancer Slices, GL Pease Gaslight and Charing Cross

For VaPers - Escudo, Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls, Peter Stokkebye Luxury Navy Flake, Orlik Golden Sliced(sweet and light) are a few you should have a run at. It's my opinion that Elizabethan (and even the Sutliff match I've recently discovered) is pretty hard to beat for an easy going, bready VaPer.

I would also suggest maybe checking out some of the Burley offerings from Mac Baren(Golden Extra, Symphony, etc) and also G&H's fully array. ALso, If you are scared of Lakeland essence, try Peterson's Hyde Park to get the faintest whiff of what floral is all about. Being English, you may perhaps be more accustomed to the rose geranium flavors, as I've been told those flavorings are a little more common across the pond.

One last note.. I've actually discovered a lot of blends that I never would have considered by following the What are you smoking threads.. After seeing someone post that they are smoking some off the wall blend enough times, the curiosity always gets the better of me.

Congrats on the Castello! We will of course require pictures.:D

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm
by sisyphus
you definitely need a box of Prince Albert

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:49 pm
by MikeDennison
sisyphus wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm
you definitely need a box of Prince Albert
Hear, hear!

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:54 am
by Splodger
sisyphus wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm
you definitely need a box of Prince Albert
Excellent gents. By the sound of it, most people love it. Snobbery be damned! I’ll drop in to Walgreens later and snag myself a pouch.

Re: Educational Starter Pack

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:01 pm
by houtenziel
Splodger wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:54 am
sisyphus wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:08 pm
you definitely need a box of Prince Albert
Excellent gents. By the sound of it, most people love it. Snobbery be damned! I’ll drop in to Walgreens later and snag myself a pouch.
Get yourself a Dr. Grabow and Cob while you are there.. they usually sell both :D