Blends for a new pipe smoker?

oubobcat
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:39 pm

Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:46 am

Newminster no. 400 is my choice for a straight Virginia

If you want to try another Latakia blend you might look at Kramer's Father Dempsey. It is a little more Oriental forward English blend in my opinion. Also, you can get it in bulk at Smokingpipes.com for under $3/oz....nice low price for a try!

OUB
This post by oubobcat liked by (total 2):
Fr_TomThelonious monkfish
Big fan for Kramer's Father Dempsey
Dave
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK.

Thu Jan 24, 2019 5:53 am

Thanks again for the recommendations. I received my four samples, so I'm going to start working my way through them. I'm also definitely going to try some OTC blends like St Bruno as suggested. They sound very promising. I didn't realise any of those classic blends were still available. They seem to still be stocked in a lot of UK supermarkets, so that's a great help. Unfortunately I don't seem to have a good, proper tobacconists near me. There's just vaping shops as far as the eye can see. :facepalm:

Looking at the samples I got, from the "tin note" alone I can already tell that they're much closer to what I'm looking for than Squadron Leader was. I'm definitely not a Latakia fan at the moment. They all have more of a rich fermented fruity smell which I find very appealing.

I've just tried half a bowl of JF Germains Royal Jersey Perique. Unfortunaly my corncob still had quite a strong smell and taste of latakia left in it, so that tainted the experience a little. Hopefully that will wear off after a few bowls. My first impression of this blend is that I found it tasted far less sweet than the tin note would suggest, so I think I need to readjust my expectations. That's just due my inexperience. However, I did find it a much more pleasurable smoke than Squadron Leader. As I'm not used to the flavour of pipe tobacco I found it a little tricky to detect the subtleties of the flavours present. To me it seems like a fairly middle of the road tobacco flavour with some bitterness and peppery spice on top. By middle of the road I mean not particularly rich or not particularly light based on my preconceptions. I didn't get any bite, just a bit of tongue tingle but I found it difficult to keep lit. That's probably more to do with my inexperience with packing a pipe though. Although I think it could maybe have done with a little more drying time. I'll definitely come back to this blend to see if my thoughts change after going through the other samples.

Overall I think I'm looking for something a little sweeter but I'll see how I go with the others. I'm going to try the Century Black Spice next as I want to see how Cavendish compares to Perique. It also sounds a little sweeter. I think it's THIS with different branding. I'll hopefully give it a go tomorrow.

Thanks. :thumbs:
This post by Dave liked by (total 4):
Fr_TomhoutenzielMr BeardsleyThelonious monkfish
Dave
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK.

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:39 pm

I had a little spare time this evening, so I decided to try the Century Black Spice ahead of schedule. So far this is definitely my favourite. It was milder and less bitter than the Royal Jersey Perique but with plenty of complexity. Far more than I could comprehend with my novice taste buds. Again, I didn't really detect any sweetness as such and I also can't say I detected the cinnamon and nutmeg flavouring specifically but it did have a slightly more aromatic taste and smell that I enjoyed. So I definitely like black cavendish. I also found that this was slightly easier to keep lit and seemed to burn a little cooler and dryer. I got no tongue bite and less tingle but perhaps slightly more of a nicotine hit which I wasn't expecting. Overall I'll definitely be going back to this one and I can imagine it would work well blended with something else, although I'm not sure what yet. So I feel like I'm heading in the right direction and learning a lot. :D

I think I'll try the Louisiana Flake tomorrow. This looks and smells incredible so I'm looking forward to it. It's definitely more moist that the others I've tried so I'm not sure how long I should leave it to dry. :?:
This post by Dave liked by (total 4):
Mr BeardsleyhoutenzielFr_TomThelonious monkfish
User avatar
houtenziel
Senior Member
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:58 pm
Location: Oregon

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:44 pm

Dave wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:39 pm
I had a little spare time this evening, so I decided to try the Century Black Spice ahead of schedule. So far this is definitely my favourite. It was milder and less bitter than the Royal Jersey Perique but with plenty of complexity. Far more than I could comprehend with my novice taste buds. Again, I didn't really detect any sweetness as such and I also can't say I detected the cinnamon and nutmeg flavouring specifically but it did have a slightly more aromatic taste and smell that I enjoyed. So I definitely like black cavendish. I also found that this was slightly easier to keep lit and seemed to burn a little cooler and dryer. I got no tongue bite and less tingle but perhaps slightly more of a nicotine hit which I wasn't expecting. Overall I'll definitely be going back to this one and I can imagine it would work well blended with something else, although I'm not sure what yet. So I feel like I'm heading in the right direction and learning a lot. :D

I think I'll try the Louisiana Flake tomorrow. This looks and smells incredible so I'm looking forward to it. It's definitely more moist that the others I've tried so I'm not sure how long I should leave it to dry. :?:
At least for me, the key thing for pulling the sweetness out of most tobaccos is sipping slowly. The faster you smoke, the more the sugars sort of carbonize rather than caramelize and you don't really taste it. It's a super common thing to smoke a little fast when first starting out, but rest assured you will get there in your own way.
This post by houtenziel liked by (total 4):
Mr BeardsleyThelonious monkfishsteamboatOfPipeAndPen
"Today is a good day for a good day." - KK
User avatar
Mr Beardsley
Founding Member
Posts: 1407
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:16 am

Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:46 pm

Dave wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:39 pm
I had a little spare time this evening, so I decided to try the Century Black Spice ahead of schedule. So far this is definitely my favourite. It was milder and less bitter than the Royal Jersey Perique but with plenty of complexity. Far more than I could comprehend with my novice taste buds. Again, I didn't really detect any sweetness as such and I also can't say I detected the cinnamon and nutmeg flavouring specifically but it did have a slightly more aromatic taste and smell that I enjoyed. So I definitely like black cavendish. I also found that this was slightly easier to keep lit and seemed to burn a little cooler and dryer. I got no tongue bite and less tingle but perhaps slightly more of a nicotine hit which I wasn't expecting. Overall I'll definitely be going back to this one and I can imagine it would work well blended with something else, although I'm not sure what yet. So I feel like I'm heading int he right direction and learning a lot. :D

I think I'll try the Louisiana Flake tomorrow. This looks and smells incredible so I'm looking forward to it. It's definitely more moist that the others I've tried so I'm not sure how long I should leave it to dry. :?:
I lack patience so with a blend that's really wet (you'll probably find that rich dark flake is wetter than you think FYI) I'll rub the flake out, wrap it up in a bit of paper towel, and microwave it for anywhere from 5 - 8 seconds. After it's been nuked I take it out & fluff it around a bit, let it sit for a few minutes to cool, and then load it up and enjoy.

Takes a little experimentation to get it where you want it but it's like making a baby... The practice is the fun part
This post by Mr Beardsley liked by (total 4):
houtenzielThelonious monkfishsteamboatOfPipeAndPen
Not the brightest bulb in the fixture ;)
Dave
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK.

Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:59 pm

houtenziel wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:44 pm
At least for me, the key thing for pulling the sweetness out of most tobaccos is sipping slowly. The faster you smoke, the more the sugars sort of carbonize rather than caramelize and you don't really taste it. It's a super common thing to smoke a little fast when first starting out, but rest assured you will get there in your own way.
Thanks, I'm trying to sip slowly but I'm finding if I go as slowly as I'd like to, the pipe goes out and I have to re-light. That's probably mostly due to my inexperience with packing and lighting a pipe. I'll figure it all out eventually.
Mr Beardsley wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:46 pm
I lack patience so with a blend that's really wet (you'll probably find that rich dark flake is wetter than you think FYI) I'll rub the flake out, wrap it up in a bit of paper towel, and microwave it for anywhere from 5 - 8 seconds. After it's been nuked I take it out & fluff it around a bit, let it sit for a few minutes to cool, and then load it up and enjoy.

Takes a little experimentation to get it where you want it but it's like making a baby... The practice is the fun part
Thanks for the tip! I've not heard of that method before but I'll give it a try.

I dried out some Louisiana Flake for a good few hours and gave it a go. Unfortunately despite me really liking the tin note I couldn't get on with it. Again I didn't get any sweetness, just bitterness but it did smell quite nice. It was also a pain to keep lit. Perhaps it needed even more drying time.

So the Black Spice is still my favourite so far. It was far more rounded. I'm starting to think that something like a Lakeland will be more to my taste. After looking into St Bruno (thanks for the suggestion Grimpeur) I found that this is a mild Lakeland. Luckily my local convenience store has 25g packs of ready rubbed in stock, so I've picked some up to try.

Interestingly it smells quite similar to JF Germains Rich Dark Flake which I'm yet to try. So I'm looking forward to comparing them.
This post by Dave liked by (total 3):
Fr_TomMr Beardsleyhoutenziel
Dave
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK.

Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:12 am

I've just tried a bowl of Rich Dark Flake and it was an altogether more successful experience! This time I tried the swirl method of packing and I think this helped in several ways, although I think I may need to pack a little tighter next time. I also nuked the tobacco for 5 seconds in the microwave first and that made a surprisingly big difference in the moisture content. There's lots to learn but I think I'm starting to get a better idea of the subtleties.

In general I found Rich Dark Flake to be much closer to what I'm looking for. I got a little sweetness, less bitterness, plenty of complexity and it also stayed lit better, but that may be more to do with the packing, I'm not sure. It seemed more mellow and rounded than the Louisiana Flake despite having more depth of flavour and the aroma was sweeter and more aromatic.

So I'd happily smoke this and Black Spice again but I think I'm looking for something a little sweeter and more aromatic. I may actually try blending these two together later in the week to see what adding some black cavendish to Rich Dark Flake brings to the table.

Next up is St Bruno ready rubbed. I wanted to try the flake version as I read it's a bit smoother but my local convenience store only had the ready rubbed. I'm hoping to try that this afternoon.
This post by Dave liked by (total 2):
houtenzielMr Beardsley
Dave
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK.

Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:18 am

Right, now I'm really getting there. I've just tried St Bruno and Grimpeur hit the nail on the head! That's the smell I remember from my childhood. It's basically the smell of a 70's/80's hotel lobby. :lol:

I got a similar amount of sweetness as Rich Dark Flake but with a slightly more aromatic taste and smell and a bit less bitterness. However, I'd also say St Bruno was a bit stronger but with less complexity if that makes sense. I'm guessing St Bruno has a slightly higher nicotine content. Again, I think this would work well with a little black cavendish blended in to add a little more complexity. So I'll definitely give that a go.

I also managed to get a slower burn on St Bruno. I reckon I could have got well over 30 mins out of my bowl as I slightly over filled it by accident. I think I'm getting a better idea of how tightly to pack the bowl now, so I'm pleased with that. I had to re-light a few times but I was outside and it's a cold day.

So, I think I'm going to look for some classic Lakeland and Dutch style aromatic blends, as well some whisky or rum flavored ones.
Thanks again to everyone that helped! I feel like I'm on the right track now. :clap:
This post by Dave liked by (total 3):
Mr BeardsleyFr_TomOfPipeAndPen
User avatar
Ruffinogold
The Mayor
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:48 pm
Location: Mineral Bluff , Georgia

Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:18 am

Maybe aromatics would be too much if you're not into flavorings so much but a simple black cavendish with a mild flavoring you might like ? Smokers pride black cavendish , Sutliff b20 black cav , lane BCA etc ... stuff like that
Or burley stuff . I'm no fan of HEARTH and home , GLP and C&D burley blends but many think they are good . I'd second what's been said of MacBaren Golden Extra and symphony , though Wessex Burley Slice and Solani are kinda where it's at for a burley flavor , imho .
The Vaper stuff ... just go for it . Obviously Escudo is a benchmark and is usually available thankfully. There's a ton of vapers out there but they are in vogue atm and hard to find . McConnells Scottish Cake is delishious , but like so many blends being scarfed up for cellaring, it's impossible to find
The thought of an " aromatic English " would have made me puke in the past but sutliffs aromatic english is a damn wonder ... its not to much english and not to much aro with mostly cavendish
Whatever you do , no doubt try 1oz samples from bulk where you can . It's cheap and fun . Good luck and enjoy
This post by Ruffinogold liked by (total 3):
DaveFr_TomOfPipeAndPen
" Ya don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows "
User avatar
houtenziel
Senior Member
Posts: 1208
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:58 pm
Location: Oregon

Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:18 am

Dave wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:18 am
I reckon I could have got well over 30 mins out of my bowl as I slightly over filled it by accident.
Just curious Dave, what pipe are you smoking out of? What size chamber does it have?
This post by houtenziel liked by (total 3):
DaveFr_TomOfPipeAndPen
"Today is a good day for a good day." - KK
Post Reply