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 Beginner questions.

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Fumus

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Location : Deep in the brush and trees of the PNW where the h
Registration date : 2014-11-24

PostSubject: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 2:59 pm

Several question. 1) Estates. What do you look for when considering one? i.e. structurally, value wise, smokeability? Also, how do you determine age?
2) Tobacco. Trying to determine what I like, but hard to discus without understanding of vocabulary. Aromatics, English, Oriental? (shrug). How would you classify/describe Prince Albert?
3) Pipes. Any suggestions for first non MM pipe? Have a small straight stem unfiltered MM at the moment, seems to work just fine. Plan to get more MMs since that's what I can afford at the moment, but would like to acquire/try other types of pipes as well.
Thank you, for sharing knowledge. Feel I have already learned a ton just reading post here.
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 54
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:18 pm

(1) Just look for clean pipes from reliable sellers and stick with reliable makers (I recommend Stanwells).

(2) Prince Albert is an otc burley. Nothing at all wrong with it. You can get a sampler of different varieties of pipe tobacco from many retailers ( look at pipes and cigars dot com)

(3) I'd buy the cobs and spend any extra coin trying tobaccos before I worried about moving up to better pipes. On a limited budget, buying pipes before you know what kind of tobaccos you like is putting the cart before the horse.

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DrT999

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Age : 60
Location : Piedmont of North Carolina
Registration date : 2011-08-31

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:45 pm

I agree with everything Puff Daddy said.  When you do start looking for estate pipes, try here:

http://vikingclubpipes.bigcartel.com/products

Two other places to buy bulk by the ounce to try (instead of the more typical 2 ounce minimum) are:
http://www.smokingpipes.com/tobacco/bulk/

http://www.4noggins.com/bulk-pipe-tobacco.aspx

While everyone's tastes are of course different, you can see the range of opinions here:

http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:35 pm

When I first started out doing this whole pipe thing there were three main overwhelming concerns:

1)  There's too much effing tobacco
2)  There's too many effing pipes
3)  There's too many effing dudes telling you how to navigate 1) and 2).  

With the Internet and misplaced grandpas out there, all willing to take you under their wing and simply tell you how to do everything, you can either just jump in both-feet, or walk way and try soap carving.

A brief breakdown of my conclusions thus far:

*  Money, when considering a pipe, has little to do with performance, no matter if they're estates to a high-dollar artisan pipe.   Always read up on makers and companies that produce pipes.  Buy what you can afford, and what appeals to you, what looks comfortable (weight, shape, design), all from a decent guy not trying to rip you off.   You're going to screw up and get a pipe that sucks, or one you later down the road prefer not smoke.   You sell 'em, or trade 'em, until you get a good little handful that works.  In the interim, the humble Missouri Meerschaum cob is a perfect vessel for experimentation and expert enjoyment.

*  Tobacco, when considering the subjective nature of taste, has little to do with enjoyment.  You may like something the other 100 bandwagon jackarses think is crap.   You ignore said jackarses.  You smoke what you like, and like what you smoke, until you don't anymore, and then you find something else.   How do you keep track of it all?  There's two ways:

--- Have at all sorts of combinations willy-nilly.   There's nothing wrong with going all pipe/tobacco-orgy-Caligula on stuff.   You'll either enjoy yourself or you won't, and can move on from there.

-or-

--- Keep notes.   Make them as detailed and organized as suits you.  Every bowl or a summary of every tin.  Learn the basic genres of tobacco.  http://pipedia.org/wiki/Pipe_Tobaccos  Note how the pipe smokes with a particular tobacco and how it feels (this will help you narrow down your pipe preferences, too). Be sure to note if the smoke is wet, dry, hot, cool, gurgling, pleasant, horrible, etc.  Once a pipe performs to your liking, try keeping a basic dedication to them (i.e., Pipe A for Latakia, Pipe B for Virginia, Pipe C for Perique, Pipe D for Aromatics).  Note how a tobacco tastes or doesn't.  Ask yourself why you like the tobacco (or why you don't), write it down.   Then, based on your notes, fill in gaps and holes by asking fairly easy "yes" or "no" questions of supposed "experts" (or consult various tobacco review sites).   After a while, a recognizable  pattern will develop, and you'll not need the notes anymore, your preferences will have a direction.  Perhaps not a definitive conclusion, but certainly a direction.

The bottom line for both your pipes and tobacco is to try stuff.  Trust your tongue, and be open-minded.   Take every piece of advice with a grain of salt, and separate fact from opinion. This is a hobby/habit/lifestyle with the goal of pure pleasure, and there's no definite lines except your enjoyment.  If you don't like it, stop and change it up.   If you do like it, keep doing it.   Don't go broke or crazy in the meantime.   Don't waste tobacco; do give yourself and each pipe/tobacco a chance, but don't torture your senses or waste your time.  

S'all I got.

Cool
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 54
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Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:47 pm

Well said Kyligula farao

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pepesdad1

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Age : 74
Location : Tallahassee, Florida
Registration date : 2013-03-03

PostSubject: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:56 pm

The above.^^^^^^^^^^^^
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RDPipes

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Age : 64
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:25 pm

Just about everything has been said already but, I'll add that after trying different brands
of pipes you'll find one maybe two that really suit you in style, shape, smoking
experience and you'll most likely stick to them until your comfortable enough to experiment.
That goes for tobaccos also. I smoked just Escudo for a long time, years in fact until I started trying others. And even then it took awhile to find others I liked and for my palette to develop to appreciate other types and blends of tobacco. Just be patient and it'll come full circle eventually. Wink
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Brewdude
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Age : 65
Location : Arid-zona
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:47 pm

Wise, Kyle is. Wisdom he speaks. Well you would do to heed this, young seeker.




Cheers,

RR

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Fumus

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Location : Deep in the brush and trees of the PNW where the h
Registration date : 2014-11-24

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:05 am

And heed it I will BrewDude. Thank you all for solid answers. Will also follow Puff's advice and stick with cobs for now. Local BnM sells 1/4 ounce samples, so got four of those. Based on what I gathered from pipedia (TY Kyle), all four are aromatics, with Peter Stokkebye's "Optimum" being my hands down favorite. Wife also likes the way it smells, but was laughing at my reaction to it. Said it should be called catnip for men. What Cartaphilus said about developing palette and tobacco, reminded me of when I first started drinking coffee. Took awhile for me to learn to appreciate the unadulterated good stuff, instead of the raspberry/chocolate/carmel whats it blends I drank in the beginning. Can't stand that foofy stuff now.
Thanks again, fellas.
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Stick

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Age : 48
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:50 am

The BoB at its best. A request for advice was met with sage like advice derived from years of experience, delivered with sincerity and patience. No sign of any one up manship. And some friendly good humour to boot. Outstanding chaps.
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:24 pm

Laughing "Kyligula." 5) Makes me sound so naughty and saucy. I love you

Fumus, you're quite welcome. You'll soon discover that piping is a very personal path rife with all sorts of information and inconsistencies, and keeping it simple seems to work. Good luck out there. You have plenty of "aw, damn" and "a-HA!" moments ahead of you. It's kind of enviable, honestly. Smile Very fun times when starting out anything new.

Cool
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KevinM



Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:56 pm

1.  Estates -- I look for either non-premium brands or seconds to the premium brands. For examp: I recently bought a Mayfair rusticated bent for $55 nicely refurbed. You'd have to look at it carefully to see that it's not new. A Mayfair is a Sasieni second and arrived in a Sasieni "four dot" pipe sack:-) Classic English bent. A beauty. Some may think, $55 is too much, I could get that on eBay for $10.  Maybe so, but not refurbed, and the Sasieni near it on the page was nearly $200, and it wasn't a "four dot."
2. Tobacco -- Learn what the basic food groups taste like -- Va, Latakia, Burley. Then try aeros, after you know what unflavored tobacco tastes like. Prince Albert is a very lightly flavored burley. I like it very much. Try packing it lightly and smoking it slowly. It should taste slightly sweet and chocolatey while never losing its basic burleyhood. PA is a great examp of a tobacco on the TR board that has hundreds of reviews and still hangs on to it's third star. I'm thinking this isn't accidental. As I suggested in another post, "Watch the numbers, not the narratives:-)" And your own likes / dislikes, of course.
3. Pipe -- Lots of great buys around, both new and estates. I suggest a refurbed estate because you'll be getting more pipe for your buck. I'd suggest, at first, sticking to the traditional  styles -- billiard, apple, brandy ... --- before (if?) moving to volcanos and such, not that there's anything wrong with volcanos if that's your guilty pleasure. If you want a new pipe with an uncoated bowl at a great price, check pipes by France's Sebastien Beo.

Happy sipping.
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smg913

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Age : 31
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2013-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:27 pm

All great advice.
I am a little disappointed that some hasn't photo should a pipe into Yoda kyles mouth . Sad
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:03 am

<----- this is not the "yoda" you're looking for. :jedimindtrick:


Love,

Cool (...aka, more wiseass than wise; the broken clock right at least twice a day...)

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MichaelM

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Age : 52
Location : Souderton, PA
Registration date : 2014-02-13

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:58 pm

All great advice!
On cobs, the deal MM has on their box of seconds for $30 is worth considering. 10 pipes and most have minor cosmetic flaws with all being fine smokers for $3 each is a good deal. Also, on estate pipes I've gotten some good deals on pipes that have some minor spidering in the chamber. A bit of pipe mud has them smoking fine with little effort. Others might disagree, but I figure that even if I get 5 years out of the repaired pipe it is money well spent, and realistically with proper care I expect them to last my lifetime.
Mike.
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Steverobinett



Age : 60
Location : Conrad, MT
Registration date : 2014-08-07

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:14 pm

What a wonderful forum this is! My entry into pipe smoking has been made easy and wonderful thanks to the Brothers!
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DireWolf

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Age : 45
Location : NW Oregon
Registration date : 2015-01-13

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:33 pm

I think your questions have been well addressed, but my $0.02 as to what I am doing.

A lot of research and reading, plus you tube videos.

I am registered at tobacco reviews, and will read and watch reviews online when I see something about a tobacco that interests me - wither a specific blend or family (VA, VaPer, English, etc., etc.)

I use the "Wish list" feature if - after looking and reading - a blend looks interesting. I'll add it.

Once I've tried it and know it's good, I'll move it to my "favorites" list. As I more things (say, Mississippi River), I'll keep an ear out for things like "If you like MR, you will really like XYZ if you favor heavier latakia blends", or whatever.

I have found I like English some - and that some of the flavor I am keying in on are the smoky latakias. Based on that, I read and researched and added a lat flake or two, and some balkan blends to the wish list/order cycle. The reading into latakias lead me into differentiating between them and other orientals, which led me to adding a McClelland's Drama Reserve onto an order.

I am also looking into cross checking whether I can locate some tin options in bulk, and trying them. That would include lat bombs, and other blends to see if the "family" is of interest before I start looking into specific blends to try better blends.

Pipes are much the same - decent factory pipes can be had for not too much and they will likely be serviceable and as cheap or cheaper than an estate. Decent examples of Savinellis, Petersons, Stanwells, BC's, etc., etc., etc. can all be had for relatively little money. I started with Peterson's because that was a known quantity. Have been staring at/studying brands and shapes like it was my job - balancing maker, quality and price, and most importantly aesthetics. Have several now in a variety of shapes and sizes - all are quite good.

Youtube reviews have been great for both tobak and pipes.
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Beginner questions.   Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:05 pm

Lot's of both good and various levels and forms of advice for you to sort through but something I've ALWAYS folowed in now 50 years of pipe smoking ( since I was 19) is to Keep It Simple Stupid Twisted Evil Twisted Evil I try to follow the KISS principle in ALL things in my life as well Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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