Blends for a new pipe smoker?

Dave
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:16 pm

Hi,

I'm new to pipe smoking and I'm looking for a little guidance on tobacco blends to try. So far I've just tried Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader and to be honest I'm not fan. I tried that as it sounded like fairly mild example of a classic English blend and that seemed like a good place to start. Unfortunately I really didn't like the smokey taste/smell which I presume came from the Latakia. So I guess Latakia isn't for me at the moment. To me this blend just tasted and smelled like stale cigarettes. :oops: Although I did enjoy the little touch of spice that seemed to come though. Perhaps that was from the oriental/turkish, I'm not sure.

I knew Latakia was supposed to impart a smokiness but I I didn't understand just how much. I guess I should have know as I dislike smokey/peaty whisky. I'm more of a rich fruity Speyside kind of chap. So I'm looking for something else to try, as despite me not liking this blend I did enjoy the overall process. I know a lot of people recommend aromatic blends to new pipe smokers but I'm a little wary of this as I don't usually like things that have a lot of added sweetness etc. I especially dislike the smell of all these sweet vaping liquids so many people seem to enjoy nowadays. :facepalm:

When I was a kid in the 80s I used to love the smell of certain pipe tobaccos and cigars but I have no idea what they were. They seemed to have a rich, luxurious smell with maybe a little sweetness that was nothing like cigarettes. So I guess I'm trying to find something like that. So I'm open to suggestions of what to try next.

Perique intrigues me as I like the sound of rich fruitiness. So perhaps that's the sort of directions I need to take?

Many thanks.
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Islayphile
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:25 pm

Sounds like you’re in the zone for Vapers (Virgina/Perique) blends.

I don’t have a ton of experience with them but you can’t go wrong with Escudo IMO.
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MikeDennison
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:33 pm

+1 on the Escudo recommendation, and you may also enjoy something along the lines of a Luxury Navy Flake. Don't know if you have access to American codger burley blends like Sir Walter Raleigh or Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic, but they're certainly worth a try.
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Thelonious monkfish
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:44 pm

Carter Hall, Burley might be your thing and this is a great start. Or Prince Albert. Would suggest Full Virginia Flake but good luck getting any, Sutliff Va Slices are alright fresh but a little grassy, with a some age become much deeper with more of a stewed fruit note than citrus. You might lean more towards Virgina or Va/Per blends, probably with some Orientals mixed in. Maybe check out Stokkebye Navy Flake/Bullseye and if you're feeling a touch spendy grab a tin of Mac Baren Navy Flake or Brunello Flake, these blends may be closer in profile to what you're looking for and give you an idea of where to go with future purchases.
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Middle Earth
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:00 pm

Lot of good choices.
Escudo
I like it
There are a lot of options
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houtenziel
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:01 pm

Above codger burley recommendations.. :thumbs:

I might also add, Mac Baren Golden Extra and Symphony, as they are both easy going burleys with good smoking mechanics. Carter Hall/Prince Albert/Sir Walter Raleigh are great because they are all exceptionally easy to smoke. If you are completely new to the pipe, or it's been a long while, I'd suggest getting blends that aren't too fussy about hydration levels, flakes/plugs that need prep, etc, and these fall in that zone.
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:09 pm

houtenziel wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:01 pm
Above codger burley recommendations.. :thumbs:

I might also add, Mac Baren Golden Extra and Symphony, as they are both easy going burleys with good smoking mechanics. Carter Hall/Prince Albert/Sir Walter Raleigh are great because they are all exceptionally easy to smoke. If you are completely new to the pipe, or it's been a long while, I'd suggest getting blends that aren't too fussy about hydration levels, flakes/plugs that need prep, etc, and these fall in that zone.
This pretty much what I would recommend. Stick to ribbon at first until it becomes second nature before you start on the flakes and plugs.

There is much to be said for Golden Extra, and distribution is good. I smoked a lot of Amphora Red (now Amphora Full) at one point. It has a nice room note and a little fruit in the taste.

Where are you located? It does not get a lt of traction on the forums, but I think Louisiana Red is a great Va + Perique.
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Thelonious monkfish
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:14 pm

Thelonious monkfish wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:44 pm
Carter Hall, Burley might be your thing and this is a great start. Or Prince Albert. Would suggest Full Virginia Flake but good luck getting any, Sutliff Va Slices are alright fresh but a little grassy, with a some age become much deeper with more of a stewed fruit note than citrus. You might lean more towards Virgina or Va/Per blends, probably with some Orientals mixed in. Maybe check out Stokkebye Navy Flake/Bullseye and if you're feeling a touch spendy grab a tin of Mac Baren Navy Flake or Brunello Flake, these blends may be closer in profile to what you're looking for and give you an idea of where to go with future purchases.
So I started out strong with the CH/PA suggestion but then moved to nothing but flakes/coins, at least I had the presence of mind not to suggest any plugs.

Nevermind any of that. Get Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic and Carter Hall, you should be good from there.
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:20 pm

Thelonious monkfish wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:14 pm
Get Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic and Carter Hall, you should be good from there.
This is really great advice for someone starting. These are easy to pack and smoke. People like the room note.
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houtenziel
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:28 pm

Fr_Tom wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:20 pm
Thelonious monkfish wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:14 pm
Get Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic and Carter Hall, you should be good from there.
This is really great advice for someone starting. These are easy to pack and smoke. People like the room note.
My wife said that SWRA smells like pancakes with syrup on them. I can't ever smell what I am smoking, so I'll have to take her word for it.
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