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Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

This is a discussion on Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit within the The Pipe Hobby How-To Discussion Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; Hello Puff users. I've been lurking for some time now, and I've finally decided to join the forum. But, you ...

  
  1. #1

    Young Fish


     

    Unhappy Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Hello Puff users. I've been lurking for some time now, and I've finally decided to join the forum.

    But, you see, I'm having an issue. An issue that is absolutely plaguing me.

    I recently got some pipes from Missouri meerschaum. 4, to be precise. Country Gentleman, Diplomat, Eaton, and Ozark Mountain.

    Seemingly, no matter what pipe I can't use, I can't taste a single thing besides ash. This was prominent since the very first puff I took. I've used a few different types of aromatic tobaccos, and some Prince Albert. Nothing. I'm not sure what it is, and it's really causing me distress. I've tried retro-haling as well, but that seems to only enhance the ash flavor.

    I also am having trouble keeping it lit. Like, It goes out after one puff. I don't have a pipe lighter, and I fear that this may be part of my problem. I've used wood matches and sticks of cedar to light my pipes. The cedar normally works better, but I still just can't seem to keep it lit. Could my tobacco be too moist? Could it just be the pipe's newness? Is this related to my lack of ability to taste? I've tried various packing strengths and amounts, and I've also varied the amount of tobacco I put in my bowl, as many say it's best to only fill it about a third of the way to build up the carbon cake.

    I do smoke cigars, and I've never had an issue with tasting them before.

  2. #2

    No longer a community member.


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    A couple things to consider:

    1. Most (not all, but most) don't worry about establishing cake in cobs pipes, it's more a practice for briars.
    2. Sounds like your tobacco is too wet- try sitting it on a plate to dry under a lamp for an hour before smoking. You're in NY, so your relative humitdity should be high this time of year. You will generally get the most flavor out of tobacco that is between 55 and 60 rh when smoked (not to mention it burns better)
    3. Pipes are more nuanced than cigars and the learning curve is a bit steeper. You want an initial char light (think toasting the foot of a stogie), then you want gentle draws while holding the flame over the charred tobacco. Over tamping can make it hard to stay lit as well. Let the weight of the tamp press the tobacco down rather than exerting force on it. A pipe should draw MUCH more loosely than most cigars if it is to burn properly.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Joe beercritic's Avatar


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    And a disposable lighter can suffice until you get something better.
    Gurkha is the main reason I have trust issues.

  4. #4

    Do work son Mitch's Avatar


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Pipes are a art, take your time and smoke it slow. As a cigar smoker I tend to smoke too fast and my mouth tastes like a ash tray after, so take it slow, soft puffs. Don't look for big amounts of smoke like you do from a cigar
    To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times. ~Mark Twain

  5. #5

    Dosidicus Pipa Desertlifter's Avatar


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Only thing I would add to this is that depending on the aro, you might not get much flavor. The quality of aros is pretty broad, and some just taste like steam and air. What aros are you trying? Peterson Nutty Cut and C&D Autumn Evening are two of my favorites, along with Dan Tobacco Milonga and Devil's Holiday.

    Not much else to add, other than to reiterate to dry a bit and slow down. You might also want to give Latakia blends a try as they are more overt in flavor. It seems that most cigar folks (I was one too) start with them as until very recently there wasn't anything like Latakia in cigars. And then there are the Lakelands....
    Pro Patria Vigilans................... My tobacco cellar

  6. #6

    Young Fish


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertlifter View Post
    Only thing I would add to this is that depending on the aro, you might not get much flavor. The quality of aros is pretty broad, and some just taste like steam and air. What aros are you trying? Peterson Nutty Cut and C&D Autumn Evening are two of my favorites, along with Dan Tobacco Milonga and Devil's Holiday.

    Not much else to add, other than to reiterate to dry a bit and slow down. You might also want to give Latakia blends a try as they are more overt in flavor. It seems that most cigar folks (I was one too) start with them as until very recently there wasn't anything like Latakia in cigars. And then there are the Lakelands....
    I got whatever the local tobacconist was selling. Vanilla, Irish Cream, and Cocoa Cream. They smell amazing, but.. they have basically no flavor from what I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Lutz View Post
    2. Sounds like your tobacco is too wet- try sitting it on a plate to dry under a lamp for an hour before smoking. You're in NY, so your relative humitdity should be high this time of year. You will generally get the most flavor out of tobacco that is between 55 and 60 rh when smoked (not to mention it burns better)
    I left my Prince Albert out on some cedar to dry. I got a *little* amount of flavor from it.

    My pipe-smoking friend said to me that it could just possibly be.. old tobacco? He said I should order online only, and promptly recommended me some of his daily smoke, Lane BCA.

    Could it possibly just be old tobacco?

  7. #7

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


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Properly stored pipe tobacco just gets better with age. Old tobacco is a good thing, not a problem.

    If you were a cigar guy, yer gonna need some stouter tobacco. Full Virginia Flake, Homborger Veermaster, Dark Star, Old Dark Fired, etc.

    Also, you shouldn't ever have problems keeping Prince Albert lit. It's one of the most forgiving, easiest to smoke tobaccos around. We often suggest it to folks having trouble learning the pipe.

    I suggest ya get a fresh pack of PA (so ya know it's not bone dry) and stick with it for a few days. That should give ya enough time to start learning the mechanics of pipe smoking, and enough time to start picking up some of the flavors. Sip at yer pipe, don't puff away like a chimney. Keep it burning slow and cool and the flavors start to come out. The burley will have a nutty flavor, and once ya start getting more of the flavor you will start picking up some sweet cocoa.

  8. #8

    Ruler Of The Galaxy Emperor Zurg's Avatar


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Tasteless and won't stay lit tells me your weed is way too wet. Dry it till a good pinch of it won't stay in a clump when you drop it onto a paper plate but not so dry that it's crispy. (I find the drier the better with aromatics.)

    In my limited experience, Virginias are the most moisture critical; dry them too much and they taste like ash, dry them too little and they taste like warm steam. Regardless, I don't care much for straight Va. tobaccos. IMO they need a little Latakia or Perique to liven them up a bit.

    I recommend a tin of Dunhill Nightcap to start. The moisture level will still play a dramatic role but the stuff's still flavorful and delicious no matter how wet or dry it is.

    I find new cobs to be pretty greedy with stealing flavor - especially subtle flavors. Seems a dozen or so bowls with satisfy their appetite enough to let some taste come through. They continue to get better with use. However, take the filter out and throw it away.
    there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men

  9. #9

    Young Fish


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Hey guys! I took your advice, Emperor Z. I used a hardwood pipe (that I've actually had from the start. A Missouri Meerschaum Ozark Mountain (Maple), to be precise.) and my god, the flavor! I was finally able to have a highly enjoyable smoke using some Prince Albert tobacco. It was indeed a very tasty blend. Thanks guys!

  10. #10

    Dosidicus Pipa Desertlifter's Avatar


     

    Re: Can't taste anything out of my pipes, nor can I keep it lit

    Quote Originally Posted by IAmThing View Post
    Hey guys! I took your advice, Emperor Z. I used a hardwood pipe (that I've actually had from the start. A Missouri Meerschaum Ozark Mountain (Maple), to be precise.) and my god, the flavor! I was finally able to have a highly enjoyable smoke using some Prince Albert tobacco. It was indeed a very tasty blend. Thanks guys!
    Good news! Good on ya for sticking to it. Cigars are easy - set one end on fire, slow the hell down. Piping takes a bit more skill, but IMO is all the more rewarding for it.
    Pro Patria Vigilans................... My tobacco cellar


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