starting out

I used to be a cigarette smoker and am now trying to seriously take up pipes. Need some advice from a big brother.
I quit smoking cigattes two years ago and within the past month, I’ve begun trying to take up pipes. I had tried once before about ten years ago but it didn’t take. This time, I’m in for the haul.

I’ve got a Savinelli Churchwarden (estate), a cob and a new Meershaum. The best smoke is from the Savinelli.

I’ve tried Capt. Black – nice smell, no taste. Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic – the 1st time, I loved it, now I’m not so sure. Edgeworth Ready rubbed – can’t get excited about it. Briggs – can’t keep it lit.

What really seems to appeal to me is a bulk Balkan blend that I picked up at the Smoke Shop. I enjoy the spicy smokiness of it. What tobacco is doing that in there? I don’t know what is in the blend.

I want a good room aroma AND taste. Any suggestions out there?

Also, my Meershaum gets Very hot to the touch and I know they say it is because I am smoking too fast, but I can’t seem to slow down AND keep a pipe going.

I’d appreciate some help. Thanks.

4 thoughts on “starting out

  1. Maiser

    whats in those strong blends could be things like this…

    maybe some burley…

    a good english blend that i like is "Bow legged Bear" by Cornell & Deihl. It is strong and peppery, with a nice smell too!

  2. Chaz75

    Hi Gillie.

    Balkans sometimes have Latakia ask your tobacconist about those types of blends.
    Cornell & Diehl make some full strength blends that taste and smell good.
    Another good one is Sam Gawiths Commonwealth.

    There are hundreds and hundreds of blends out there. One of the pleasures of the hobby is you can try them all.

    Meershaums can get hot. You need to not touch the bowl anyway as sometimes oil from your fingers will get on the clay and discolor as the bowl ages. Packing the tobacco a little tighter can slow down your burn. Shorter puffs will slow things down and cool things off also. When you smoke, just draw enough smoke to fill your mouth. The longer the draw the more air you move across the ember in the bowl. Its like blowing on a camp fire, more oxygen, hotter flame. Many cigarette smokers draw the smoke into their lungs, most pipe smokers don’t. A medium sized bowl will usually last me an hour or more.

    Hope this helps.


  3. bigterr

    Hi Gillie,
    I’ve been a pipe smoker since the early 70’s and the best advice I can offer is to slow down your puffing. Unlike cigars pipes can be re-lit numerous times without spoiling the taste of the tobacco. If you are having trouble with keeping the pipe lit two major suspects are the tobacco is too moist or you have packed the bowl too tight to allow good air flow. Solution to the first is to leave the tobacco exposed to the air overnight and try it again. For the latter there are numerous filling methods which each work well but for different cuts of tobacco. Try the 1/3; 1/3; 1/3 method – bottom 1/3 fairly loosely packed (feels soft and compressible to a light pressure of the finger) middle 1/3 somewhat more firm but still has some springiness, final third more firm yet and when packing the final third put pressure towards the bowl walls as you fill (not the centre). Leave about 1/8 to 1/4 inch at the top of the bowl empty to allow for the expansion of the tobacco as you first light it. Draw slowly and evenly to start. Lightly compress this ash back into the bowl and re-light with slow even draw. This technique works for most cuts of tobacco even though it may not be the best for certain cuts. Good smoking!

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