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 ...
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.
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!
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.
"Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level." - Quentin Crisp
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?
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.
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:
Full Virginia Flake
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.