Author Archives: oldmanpiper

In Praise of Pipe Clenching

Or – how forgetting you’re smoking a pipe leads one to the perfect smoke.

I always recommend on pipe forums for beginning pipers to clench their pipes. This will slow down their smoking cadence to synchronize with their breathing cadence. Clenching gently forces or guides the beginning piper into the subtleties of the gentle art of pipe smoking.

What you’re after is a barely smouldering ember, from which you’ll occasionally take small sips, thereby maximizing the flavor profile. You’ll chase the ember, but gently and slowly. The aim of pipe smoking is not to produce great clouds of smoke.

An added advantage to clenching is that when the pipe is out of sight, it’ll be out of mind. Mindless smoking produces transcendent smoking. Focusing too intently, especially when your first starting out, steepens the learning curve. It’s anti-intuitive, but many things in life are, including pipe smoking. It’s a Zen state of mind. And what keeps me coming back to the pipe time and again.

Old school pipe smokers all clenched. You see this in old movies, and news clips from the era. Piping was a hands free operation. Men would pipe whilst typing, writing, or reading. Hands free. Piping wasn’t a “hobby” back then, as it has become today – it was a life style. A character builder. That’s why fathers taught their sons how to smoke a pipe. And why it was once encouraged at preparatory schools for boys. Many men smoked from dawn to dusk and lived lives significantly longer and richer than many do today.

After the Charing light and dicking around with the tamper a bit, the first and final light is lit. The pipe stays in more or less till it’s done. You then sip for flavor, with the added bonus that the pipe rarely goes out. I’d venture a guess that clenchers have a far shorter learning curve than hand holders. At least that how I see it.

Piping is also about an appreciation of time. It teaches you to be aware of the mindfulness of the present. The pipe eases you into the present moment -savor your pipe & you’ll savor this moment.

By E. Boehm

Asylum Schizo torpedo 6×50

While its been a while since I have done and under 4 dollar a stick recommendation this one was definitely worth the effort..A nice relaxing medium body torpedo that made for a nice lunch hour smoke..

Schizo hails from the cigar duo Kevin Baxter and Tom Lazuka, the makers of Asylum and Asylum 13. The idea behind the Schizo project was a “take no prisoners” approach as the blend extends its wings into full, complex flavor territory while maintaining a mild to medium body that everyone can enjoy. To successfully get this project across the finish line, Kevin Baxter and Tom Lazuka decided to enlist the help of industry legend, Christian Eiroa; who was the brains behind the ‘94’ rated Camacho brand. Together, they developed an economically priced, delicious short-filler blend. This tasty cigar not only can be enjoyed every day, but its construction and flavor qualities can easily convince any aficionado to second guess that it’s a long-filled premium.

Utilizing 100% Nicaraguan fillers, Schizo presents an earthy mild to medium body that slowly builds in flavor and strength as the blend burns. For a short-filled cigar, you would barely notice since it burns evenly with an effortless draw from head to foot and comes packed to the brim, eliminating any soft spots. You’ll experience some earthy nuances mixed with light notes of cedar and a dash of spice as the flavor profile slightly changes from inch to inch.

Semois tabac coming to America

ANNOUNCEMENT: Semois Tobacco Available from & I just received exclusive news that Semois Tobacco will be available from & next week, sometime between June 9th – 13th.

The owners of, Jon Guirguis and Philip Assad, have formed a new company for wholesale distribution. The new company is named Brunswick Distribution Group.

Brunswick Distribution will be focusing on boutique products and exclusive items with the mission of being a curator of unique items in the pipe world.

Look for further announcements directly from and in the coming days. thanx to for sharing this wonderful news.

Sutliff Spinnaker

Receiving aromatic tabacs during the winter months when I am smoking heavier blends due to the chilly weather has a few possible outcomes. One, they get lost in my lounge and I never get to smoke them or two, they get time to age a bit before I finally pop the tin come spring/ summer.

That is what happened to this tin of Spinnaker from Sutliff I received last December. It was at the bottom of a stack of Englishes and Balkans that are stored in my cellar. Surprised as I was I decided that this would be my smoke of the day.
The tin says that Spinnaker is a “burley and black Cavendish with a delightful mixture of sweet and tart”.. OK then sounds like a perfect smoke for a warm Wednesday.

I popped the tin and the strong aroma of almond and cherry permeated into my nostrils. The tabac was damp to the touch so I let the tin air dry a bit before I attempted to pack the bowl of my Italy no name ½ bent.. 30 minutes later with bowl packed I lit the pipe and began to enjoy.. The almond settled down a bit and the tart cherry took over. Not like some cheap OTC cough drop cherry but more like cherry cordial, also by Sutliff Altadis. The bowl did not goop and the smoke was actually enjoyable. So much so, a second bowl was packed and enjoyed on the commute to work this morning.

I will definitely enjoy a few more bowls of this today and will definitely keep it around for some time.
Sweet Smokes

Tewksbury 1918

Hobbits weed is a very popular tabac in the pipe smoking community. But did you know that Tewksbury also vends other blends.. For starters King George and Celtic blend are two of my regular tabacs from there.. Dave also runs an Explorer series for experimental new blends that have been released in small batches as test blends for popularity. These blends average about $4.95 for a 2 ounce sample.. Often these blends become popular and wind up in the more expensive established blend selection. Caribbean Cavendish was one of those blends that this smoker exalted and it became a popular spring summer blend

One of the newer blends in the Explorer series is 1918.. A wonderful Cavendish blended with a chocolate marshmallow casing, which to me resembles a s/more sans the graham cracker. A wonderful summer smoke without the over abundance of cavity causing sweetness that ruins many chocolate blends. A great tasting tabac for an after lunch aperitif or as a light replacement for Molto Dolce as an after dinner sweet tooth imbibe.

Give Tewksbury a call and grab yourself a few ounces of this tabac and let me know what you think? Tell them you read about it on
sweet smokes

Kentucky Planter in a homebrew briar

kentucky planter
The tin calls this tobacco a soft and aromatic blend of all AAA Burleys. SO I was expecting an aromatic when I opened the tin. I was greeted with a wonderous scent of vanilla and nutty aroma in a multi-colored slightly moist tabac. For this baccy I chose one of my new homebrew briar pipes that I have been seasoning with no nonsense straight tabacs since I built her a few weeks ago.. raw tabac on raw briar. Nothing better.

As I said the tabac was a bit moist as I loaded the bowl so I let it dry out a bit during my 15 minute commute this morning. By the time I lit the pipe as I arrived the tabac burned nicely. Dry to the touch.. One or two relights and the bowl was off and running. The vanilla subsided and the rich White Burley taste emanated in the smoky wonder.. All the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Leaving a nice white ash with very little dottle at the the bottom. A mild flavorful tabac and a definitive choice for joining the rotation of all day smokeabilty tabacs.

Sweet Smokes

Meer Monday


Two Meerschaum Pipe (Old And New) CALABASH and Woman

This duo is available from one of our members Zlatan İbrahimoviç.
check it out at

Zlatan shares his vast inventory on on Facebook So if not a member you really ought to

cob news

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 9.05.45 AM
thanx to my buddy at for publishing one of the rare photos of this new design.
For those of you who didnt go to Chicago Missouri Meerschaum announced several new pipe designs including the Mark Twain Dublin pictured above.
Along with that a new relationship between P and C has brought Russ Ouellette into the fold creating 4 new tobaccos available in pouches from P and C but under the MM label, a Virginia/perique, a burley, an aromatic and a Latakia tobacco. Never before has MM lent their name to tobacco so this is exciting news for Cob Tuesday.

sweet smokes

Gurkha Master Select Robusto

Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Brazilian, Connecticut, Dominican, Habana 2000, Maduro
Origin: Dominican Republic
Shapes: Churchill, Gordo, Lancero/Panatela, Presidente, Robusto, Toro, Torpedo

A great cigar to try this spring might be the Gurkha Master Select Robusto. This is an 6 x 52 stick. It offers a nice mild taste though it commands frequent puffs for proper performance and does need touching up as you smoke it. On the draw you get a nice Grassy hay earthy taste from it ending in your mouth quite cool. Near the last 3rd it goes a bit nutty and woodsy but I think that comes from it burning hot due to the amount of puffing . Cigar lasts for an 1 hour to the band point. It does miss something like a pepper or a zing in it for my taste, however for the Spring when having family over and having a glass on the terrace after dinner the cigar works.

I do think however it’s over priced and shouldn’t be in the premium section of cigars, I’ve had cigars costing 5 euro’s that I have enjoyed better than this Gurkha.


Sutliff 1849 in a cob

It was with glorious expectation and a little codgering on my part that I was one of the early recipients of a pre-release tin of this new Sutliff tobacco. My source had said that customers had wanted Sutliff to do an exceptional Va/Per and Carl has done just that far exceeding expectations.
Arriving in a MacBaren style tin emanated elegance and a certain class. Opening the tin the aroma the sweetness and spice emanated my nostrils.The tangy red Virginia short ribbon is complemented by the citrus sweet bright flue cured Virginia thin flake. The red Virginia. is the most obvious of the two Virginias. The perique is both granulated and ribbon cut, offering some sweetness with bursts of pepper.
Not overly moist I packed a cob with this tobacco and after a few relights it was set to go. An enjoyable no nonsense tobacco with sweeteness and spice all the way to the bottom of the bowl . A wonderful all day smoke for those of us who love our tobacco with no nonsense and no case. Another shout out to Sutliff master blender Carl for hitting it out of the park on this one.

Sweet Smokes