Hello, everyone. I've been smoking cigars for several years and decided to get into pipes a few months ago.
So far, so good. I'm really enjoying it, and got geared up pretty quickly in the last couple of months.
Right now my go-to tobacco is Mac Baren Navy Flake, which to my palate is of medium body and strength, kind of how I like my cigars. I enjoy it more and more as I'm getting better at packing and technique, not only with pipes in general but flakes in particular.
Right now I'm trying to experiment with different tobaccos. After trying some Gawith Hoggarth Rum Flake, which I understand is only lightly cased with the Lakeland essence, I am absolutely positive that I am on the HATE side of the Lakeland fence. Soap soap soap.
Of the aromatics I've tried, my favorite is probably Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake. The tobacco flavor in that is foremost, and the vanilla is a complement to it. I just tried some C & D Autumn Evening, which I thought was just a little too much on its own, but I think it will make a great mixer; I have a feeling some rubbed out Mac B navy flake will go perfectly with some Autumn Evening. I'm about to order some Boswell's Chocolate Cream....sounds good and also another one I bet will mix well. I'm looking forward to trying Erinmore Flake, just because "juicy fruit" pipe tobacco sounds pretty strange but intriguing.
Another one of my favorites is Carter Hall. It's simple and one note, but damn it's good.
After doing some reading of reviews and checking out the forums, I decided to try S. Gawith 1792 flake. Let's just say it didn't agree with me. I don't doubt its quality, but to me it smelled like the bottom of a BBQ smoker and some sort of petroleum product. It irritated my throat and it was clear that it wasn't for me. After cracking the tin I've kept the contents in a Mason jar, and I only had one bowl out of it; if anyone wants to trade, let me know.
My next exploration will be Virginia tobaccos. I've had Mac Baren Virginia Flake, which I thought was good, but not very exciting. Does anyone have any recommendations of a straight Virginia to start with? GL Pease Union Square sounds pretty good...is that biting off too much to chew for a beginner?
I'll hold off on English mixtures till I get through the Virginias and then VaPers.
There's a ton of great info here, thanks to all the contributors.