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good first blends

This is a discussion on good first blends within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; I currently smoke cigars and like a little bit of everything from mild to full depending on mood etc. I'm ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Fish


     

    good first blends

    I currently smoke cigars and like a little bit of everything from mild to full depending on mood etc. I'm about to order an estate pipe and am wondering what kind of blends would be good to start with for a new pipe smoker.

  2. #2

    Heavy Puffer commonsenseman's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    That's a nearly impossible question to answer, there's just too much out there. Everyone's tastes differ, so the best thing to do is to try as many types of tobacco as possible.

    My advice is to sign up for the Newbie Sampler Trade, that way you'll get a bunch of samples for cheap. Your first tin purchases will be much more informed.

    Welcome to the pipe side
    “While you smoke, rub the bowl occasionally along the side of your nose. Briar has an affinity for your natural oils.” -My cellar.-

  3. #3

    Young Puffer Fish mo985's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    I read on here yesterday to avoid Aro's for awhile, just because of the fact that they don't taste like they smell. I believe that was my downfall years ago. Very bitter, I burned my pipe blazing hot, and verious other newbie mistakes. I am sticking to basic blends for now, until i get TTP's ironed out!

  4. #4

    Snuff-hound steinr1's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    Quote Originally Posted by mo985 View Post
    ...I am sticking to basic blends for now...
    That's a fine idea. Pipe techniques aren't difficult (otherwise I wouldn't be able to deal with them) but they do need some practice. For the initial period, it's a good idea to give yourself the best chance possible for success with an easy to manage blend. I understand that in the US, one of the inexpensive OTC pouch tobaccos is hard to beat for this purpose. Prince Albert, Sir Walter Raleigh, Carter Hall and the like (but perhaps NOT Mixture No. 79...) Nothing wrong with these in themselves; simple, honest Burley blends which are enjoyed by many very experienced pipe smokers. Don't expect the same amount of smoke as with a cigar; they won't provide it. That's an easy route to a scorched tongue. Also, don't necessarily expect a huge amount of flavour or to pick up on all the nuances immediately. Your palate will need to adjust.

    Take it slow and look like a pro. Plenty of time to experiment with more "exciting" blends when the basics are in place.

    Enjoy!
    "Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp

  5. #5

    Newbie in the ocean


     

    Re: good first blends

    What about general categories of tobaccos to try? I'm just getting started and I want to get some variety to train my pallet, and also to start getting a sense of what I like. I've tried Nightcap, which I believe is Latakia heavy. I also just got a tin of Virginia No 1, which is a very tasty straight Virginia. What other general categories would you say there are, and any recommendations for brands to try?

  6. #6

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: good first blends

    English- Dunhill Early Morning Pipe or Mixture 965
    Burley- Velvet or Sutliff Private Stock Kentucky Planter
    Aros- Dan Sweet Vanilla Honeydew or Blue Note

    I'm not particularly partial to straight VA blends, so I'll let someone else help you out there.

  7. #7

    My cat's Chief of Staff El wedo del milagro's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    VaPer: Escudo is my favorite.

    Straight VA's: LOTS and lots of good selections here. HV (Homborger Veermaster) is my favorite.

  8. #8

    Young Puffer Fish mo985's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    I had my first taste of 1Q this past week (timberlands was the shops name). What a great experience! Nice flavor, cool burning. excellent choice for someone new, such as myself. I thought it gave a good contrast between Cpt Blk, and Half & Half, that even my new inexperienced pallet could pick up on.

  9. #9

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader MarkC's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    If I was suggesting tins for a new pipe smoker, my first question would be "have you smoked an entire pouch of Prince Albert or Carter Hall yet?" If the answer is no, then it's like a sixteen year old asking who they should vote for. If they have, then I would suggest buying these three tins:

    Escudo
    Full Virginia Flake
    Squadron Leader

    Are these the best of their type? Probably not, as "best" depends on your individual tastes. However, I feel they are the best bare-bones examples of the three major blend types and are an excellent introduction to pipe tobaccos.
    ********.com

  10. #10

    Young Fish


     

    Re: good first blends

    I'm new to pipes myself, and i've taken a big liking to Nording Hunter blend: Fox Hound

  11. #11

    Philosopher Extraordinai Gigmaster's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    That's a hard question to answer, because everyone has different tastes. Since you are already a cigar smoker, your probably not going to like most of the standard aromatics, because they are all aroma and no flavor or body. My suggestion would be to break into the pipe world on the cheap, easy side. Get a good, new Missouri Meerschaum (around $7.00-$10.00 depending on the model). I'd stay away from the specialty models like the General and MacArthur for now, until you see if pipes are going to be your thing. I'd recommend some of the smaller ones, like the Eaton, Missou, Pony Express, or Missouri Pride. To tell the truth, a Legend is really hard to beat for a mid-size. The smaller pipes will let you experiment with more types of tobacco, quicker, and you won't waste as much while you're learning how to pack, and light a pipe properly (which is anyway that gets it done....).

    For tobacco, I'd recommend starting with a pouch of Prince Albert. You can get it just about anywhere, including grocery stores. It's inexpensive (around $3.00 for 1-1/2 ounces), has great flavor, good body, and the room note is pleasant. It's not strong enough to blow your socks off right out of the gate, but strong enough to be interesting, where you know you're smoking something. The taste is medium sweet, but not sugary or chemically. Just like good sweet tobacco, and it has a wonderful nutty finish. It lights easily, and burns all the way to the bottom no matter how you pack it, and I don't think you could make it bite, even if you wanted it to.

    Once you get used to a pipe, then you can branch out into higher-end pipes (although nothing smokes better than a Missouri Meerschaum at any price...), and more expensive tobaccos. It'll take a while to find just what you want, but if you're gonna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs....Besides, the search for that mysterious perfect tobacco is half the fun. My favorite tobacco is Gawith Hoggart Louisiana Perique Flake, but I always keep a tub of Prince Albert around, and I smoke it a lot as well. Your taste buds can get burned out if you smoke the same tobacco all the time. Variety is the spice of life.....

    Good luck to you in your quest. Be strong and persevere......
    Last edited by Gigmaster; 12-29-2013 at 06:52 AM.

  12. #12

    Philosopher Extraordinai Gigmaster's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    That's a hard question to answer, because everyone has different tastes. Since you are already a cigar smoker, your probably not going to like most of the standard aromatics, because they are all aroma and no flavor or body. My suggestion would be to break into the pipe world on the cheap, easy side. Get a good, new Missouri Meerschaum (around $7.00-$10.00 depending on the model). I'd stay away from the specialty models like the General and MacArthur for now, until you see if pipes are going to be your thing. I'd recommend some of the smaller ones, like the Eaton, Missou, Pony Express, or Missouri Pride. To tell the truth, a Legend is really hard to beat for a mid-size. The smaller pipes will let you experiment with more types of tobacco, quicker, and you won't waste as much while you're learning how to pack, and light a pipe properly (which is anyway that gets it done....). For tobacco, I'd recommend starting with a pouch of Prince Albert. It's inexpensive (around $3.00 for 1-1/2 ounces), has great flavor, good body, and the room note is pleasant. It's not strong enough to blow your socks off right out of the gate, but strong enough to be interesting, where you know you're smoking something. The taste is medium sweet, but not sugary or chemically. Just like good sweet tobacco, and it has a wonderful nutty finish. It lights easily, and burns all the way to the bottom no matter how you pack it, and I don't think you could make it bite, even if you wanted it to.

    Once you get used to a pipe, then you can branch out into higher-end pipes (although nothing smokes better than a Missouri Meerschaum at any price...), and more expensive tobaccos. It'll take a while to find just what you want, but if you're gonna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs....Besides, the search for that mysterious perfect tobacco is half the fun. My favorite tobacco is Gawith Hoggart Louisiana Perique Flake, but I always keep a tub of Prince Albert around, and I smoke it a lot as well. Your taste buds can get burned out if you smoke the same tobacco all the time. Variety is the spice of life.....

    Good luck to you in your quest. Be strong and persevere......
    Last edited by Gigmaster; 12-29-2013 at 06:49 AM. Reason: multiple posts

  13. #13

    Philosopher Extraordinai Gigmaster's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    Sorry for the double-post. I guess there is no way to delete the extra, huh?

  14. #14

    Puffer Leviathan cpmcdill's Avatar


     

    Re: good first blends

    Last year I got a customer appreciation pack with an order from Pipes & Cigars, which included an assortment of sample blends from Lane Limited and a can of Sutliff Metropolitain. All of them were great, and cool smoking. They definitely whetted my appetite for further exploration, and I've expanded my collection to other blends, but I find I often go back to Lane's LL-7 which was in the sampler.

    I think a lot of people may start with the aromatic cavendish blends. I think someone crossing over from cigars or cigarettes may appreciate Carter Hall, which is just a nice burley with a good room note. That's one I really enjoy in a cob pipe.


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