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post #11 of 1601 Old 08-04-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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My pipe kit was $43.....medium meer, 5 different 1 oz. English blends, tool and pipe cleaners. I'll be using wooden matches for lighting. Have a ton of them for my cigars. I remember when an ounce of pot was $15. That was about 40 years ago.
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post #12 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 01:52 AM
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My B&M carries a lot of different bulk brands McClelland, Dan/CAO, Dunhill, and of course Lane. my question is are these the same as the stuff in the tins? Is there more PG in the bulk stuff? If I like say, Blue Note, #965, or MC 5100 red cake, IYO would it be even better from a tin?

BTW I have yet to find a CAO that I didn't like!! though I've only tried 3, my favorite aero & non aero are CAO/Dan blends.
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post #13 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsdb View Post
I have always been intrigued by pipe smoking. I have even thought about giving it a whirl to try it out. However, I don't want to invest a whole bunch of money for something that I may not take up regularly. How much money should I be willing to spend to get started? Then, how much will it cost to continue to smoke if I decide to continue? is it comparable to cigar smoking?

Thanks,
Let me preface everything I am going to say with this: we are a cigar store that offers a limited selection of pipe tobacco and even more limited selection of pipes, just enough to offer a service to customers, not get into the pipe business.

We offer two different "levels" of pipes: $30 "basket" pipes and then one single brand of "premium" pipes: Peterson. We only offer the regular lines from Peterson, not high grades, so we don't carry a pipe that costs more than $150, and few that we carry cost more than $100.

Here's what we generally suggest for someone who is getting started and doesn't know if they will stick with it: buy one of the basket pipes (most stores will offer something like this), as this will be something that you can afford to not use if you don't stick with it, but on the other hand, will be a decent starter pipe if you start to enjoy smoking a pipe and really turn into a serious pipe smoker. Then, we have samples both to smell and taste of our tobaccos (all tinned, no bulk). Most people can decide pretty quickly whether they want to start with aromatic tobaccos or whether they want a mild virginia or english blend (and some do opt for something like Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe). When a person is making a purchase like this we know they are unsure about what they want as they are both new to it and don't even know if they will continue with it. Also, things like tampers and pipe cleaners are high-margin items for retailers. So, if a person buys a basket pipe and a tin of tobacco then I always through in a tamper and a bag of pipe cleaners, and possibly even a plastic folding pipe stand if they are buying multiple tins or a Peterson instead of a basket pipe. I want their first experience with a pipe to be enjoyable, not something they regret if they don't enjoy it at first or have trouble getting used to it. I guess what I am saying is that if you are willing to invest up to $40-$50 for a starter pipe and a tin or two of some premium tobacco then you will quickly be able to learn whether or not you might enjoy learning to smoke a pipe. It can be done for less than that, but if you can afford $40 to give it a try then you will really get some decent quality tobacco and starter pipe. You wouldn't want your experience to be ruined by the tobacco itself. However, the corncob pipe mentioned is certainly a good option for even less money.

Now, let's say that you do enjoy it and become a true pipe smoker. To answer your question I would say that cost-wise it is quite similar to cigar smoking and both cigar smoking and pipe smoking are hobbies that are limited only by your budget. While enough super-premium pipe tobacco for a 1 hour smoke costs a lot less than a super-premium cigar, you will find yourself developing two very serious disorders: P.A.D. & T.A.D. (Pipe Acquisition Disorder and Tobacco Acquisition Disorder). Just like cigars you will eventually want to build up both a good selection of tobacco, but also a good inventory of your favorites to put away for aging.

But P.A.D. is where the cost really hit me hard. Tobacco is relatively inexpensive. Pipes, however, can be EXTREMELY expensive, especially by the dozen


The bottom line is that you can give pipe smoking a whirl for a very small investment and if you like it you can let it grow as much or as little as you want and can afford. It is a great hobby and you will meet great people in the pipe smoking community (just as you will in the cigar smoking community).

I hope that you at least give it a try and report back on your experience.
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post #14 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input Robbie!! Would you or your shop be willing to put together any kind of Starter Kit for anyone interested?

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post #15 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Wow, thanks for all the great information. I have my latest CBid shipment coming in this week so my budget is nil at the moment. I will have to wait a few weeks to get started.

What would be a good tobacco to start with? I don't think I will go for the arromatic stuff right away and I don't want something that is too strong. Although, my first cigar was a Sancho Panza ISOM. Man, I was lightheaded after 2 puffs.

You guys are getting me excited to get started.

Thanks again.
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post #16 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dun killin time View Post
My B&M carries a lot of different bulk brands McClelland, Dan/CAO, Dunhill, and of course Lane. my question is are these the same as the stuff in the tins? Is there more PG in the bulk stuff? If I like say, Blue Note, #965, or MC 5100 red cake, IYO would it be even better from a tin?

BTW I have yet to find a CAO that I didn't like!! though I've only tried 3, my favorite aero & non aero are CAO/Dan blends.

Some of those that you listed are only available in bulk form. Most of the McClelland Bulk blends are not available in tin form.

This arguement comes up from time to time with both sides claiming that theirs tastes better. For example, I have a buddy who loves Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake (FVF). But he only likes the tinned version. Even though the bulk version is a lot cheaper he will only buy it in tins. He claims that the tinned version tastes fresher to him. I never could tell the difference in the blends that I smoke that come in both bulk and tinned versions. There are some arguements that the bulk form allows more oxygen around the tobacco thus changing the taste a bit. Heck, I've had tinned versions that tasted a little different from one tin to another. I think that this is another one of those preference things. My motto is to try everything and then figure out what you like.

As far as the CAO/Dan blends. I agree with you!! I love Treasures of Ireland - Galway and Treasures of Ireland - Limerick. The only snag is that CAO stopped making pipe tobacco this year in order to focus more on their cigars. They were also the US distributer of the Dan tobaccos and they no longer do that as well. Not sure which blends were CAO and which ones were Dan blends but we may see a few of these disappear because of that. Also, until Dan Tobacco gets another US distributer (which may have already happened) there might be a bit of a shortage on some of these blends.

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post #17 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamsdb View Post
Wow, thanks for all the great information. I have my latest CBid shipment coming in this week so my budget is nil at the moment. I will have to wait a few weeks to get started.

What would be a good tobacco to start with? I don't think I will go for the arromatic stuff right away and I don't want something that is too strong. Although, my first cigar was a Sancho Panza ISOM. Man, I was lightheaded after 2 puffs.

You guys are getting me excited to get started.

Thanks again.

Well, that's hard to answer. It's like taking someone into a full humidor and trying to pick out one cigar that you think that they will like. Most beginners start with the aromatics and then branch out from there some don't but there aren't any rules here.

One good place is to start on this website:

http://agingfaq.nocturne.org/touchstones.php

On that page it gives a breakdown of what different blends of pipe tobacco there are out there and the characteristics of each. It also gives a few blends that are examples of each genre.

I would recommend that you find one that strikes your fancy and then go out and find it. Most of what they list on there are tinned blends but if your local tobacconist has bulk blends then you can figure out what type of tobacco you would like to try (Virginia for example) and then go to the tobacconist and see if they have a house blend of that type. I'll probably say this 100 times on here but, just as with cigars, it's mostly trial and error. What works for me might not work for you and so on and so on.

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post #18 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Scott, great idea for a thread!
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post #19 of 1601 Old 08-05-2008, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Feel free to chime in anytime FJ. We gotta help these guys out!!!

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post #20 of 1601 Old 08-06-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Anyone up for a newbie trade. Like I said before, I have a big CBid order coming in this week so my funds are seriously restricted. Although, I am willing to trade some cigars for a pipe starter kit. Anyone interested? My humi isn't like some of those oon here, but I can probably put something together that will be worth thee while.
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