Quantcast

Data Search: New Briar...dedicated or jack of all trades?

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
I’ve got four or five unsmoked pipes that have been in my rack for quite a while.  I have no idea what I’m saving them for so I’ve decided to use them as God intended.

So here’s the questions:

1. Whether or not to dedicate one or more to a specific blend, a specific type or just go for my typical ‘jack of all trades’ thing.

(I think the only vocal group I remember here that claims you MUST dedicate an unsmoked Briar are the Embarcadero purists...you know, to get the best out of it. Are there others?)

2. Obviously a strong Lakeland or Latakia Blend is going to ghost a Briar. Are there any others to avoid if you want the best out of your favorite VA blend? Maybe Tambolaka.  :x

3. I’m thinking of dedicating -
a. one to Stonehaven...and maybe other dark flakes like FVF, Solani Silver Flake, Dunhill Dark Flake, etc.
b. one to sweet non-aro Burley blends like some of the ones Uhle, Peretti and The Country Squire do...
c. one to blends that are Izmir Turkish forward like Honor Blend, some John Patton stuff (Oriental Disk &/Dark Horse)...plus C&D Oriental Silk, Riverboat Gambler & Virginia Gentleman. Well you get the idea. Does this seem like a good plan?

4. I’ve long heard the some blend types go especially well with the geometry of certain specific bowl shapes, etc.  One of these pairs the Prince bowl geometry with “Flake tobacco blends”. Any others that we should be aware of?

5. How long or how many bowls does it take to ghost a Briar? Is it immediate or is it more an ‘over time’ thing? Yes, I know it depends on the blend. Let’s say I’m talking about Strong stinky Lakelands. I don’t smoke Latakia blends any more so I don’t care about those...but this is all “for the good of the order” so if you have specific applicable experience go ahead and chime in.

Five areas to consider.

Plus...I’m looking for evidence and advice...any and all will be honored and appreciated. Hearsay doesn’t count. No fair listing your brother in law’s claims re this or that. Direct experience only please.

Plus...Don’t come here to argue or highjack or just nay say.  If you do I will delete your post.
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
6,564
Reaction score
8
Dedicated pipes to my specific smokes.....

Rattray's Bagpiper's Dream. I used an Osage Orange poker that I smoked Virginias in to season it. After the first bowl, I could pick that pipe out of a crowd with one sniff. That was that!

Another Rattray's blend, Exotic Orange/Passion. I knew better this time, made a pipe for it. Dedicated.

Ennerdale and Grasmere Flakes. I can switch hit these in the same briar restore I got from Kaitlyn a few years back. A conical bowl seems to keep the flavours alive to the end. I'm pretty sure I could put straight Latakia in that pipe and it would taste like Ennerdale.

Speaking of Latakia, I tend toward really light applications to blends, and though I do have a few pipes I prefer to smoke them in, I really don't notice any ghosting, even in the cobs.

A lot of burley blends seem to make for a persistent nut and molasses flavour to some of my pipes. I've a Yello Bole doggy that always adds a touch of Carter Hall flavour to whatever I load. But I've had smoked burleys in that one forever. I put a Christmas Cheer in it once and it tasted like Peretti Thanksgiving blend. Never again.....

There was a cherry blend I ran across once that severely ghosted a black walnut warden after a couple of bowls. Maybe Lane's? I eventually gave it and the blend away to a CIG smoker kicking the death sticks. He loves it!

Otherwise, any new pipe generally gets seasoned with Virginias, unless I plan on using it for burley. Once they're seasoned, most bets are off for what I'll run through them. Most of the aromatics I smoke other than those previously mentioned simply leave a vague sweetness behind. I'm sure there are others though that might be bold.
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
Not surprised re the Rattray aros or stinky Brit stuff.

Other than the above I’m amazed that the Burley blends leave that much of a mark. I’ve not noticed that. But my plans will certainly be affected by it. Excellent info. Thanks.

(PS: Where did you find The Exotic Orange? I’ve been trying to score that one for a couple of YEARS!)
 

KevinM

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
0
Couple thoughts for you.

In general, I start with the idea that wide, shallow bowls iike Lats, tall, skinny bowls like Vas, bowls that are neither here nor there get to pick their fave by patient use. Since Lats are not to your liking, I’d say “trial by fire” and patient use should guide you.

I agree that burleys leave a murky, swampy taste in a pipe, particularly if you smoke half a dozen bowls in succession. Remedy: smoke some hot Va’s in it. Give it a rest.

The reason Prince shapes have that rep is the bowls are usually pottish and the smoker controls the burn in the rubbing out.

Purely personal, I only dedicate a few pipes to particular tobacco, and even then the dedication is to a particular style, not brand. Sometimes I want to smoke a particular pipe, but do not want my system to force me to choose a particular tobacco. My system may not fit your affection for aros. Yes, Lakeland tobacco will leave a ghost, and you’ll notice it almost immediately. (I don’t mind a ghost personally.)

I do have a few pipes that seem to like practically any tobak that has a wee pinch of G&H Conniston cut plug in it. I thought this would leave a Lakeland ghost, but it hasn’t. I used to use a few Condor crumbs for the purpose, but no mas, alas!
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
Kevin - thanks for your input...it makes perfect sense to dedicate a pipe to a genre as opposed to a specific blend. And I plan to progress on that heading.

Note: I don’t consider strong stinky Brit flakes to be aromatics. The process is different and the typical use of strong floral scents is unlike most any aro...which most often rely on vanilla, cocoa, fruits, spirits, etc. And I stay away from the ones that are heavily juiced with Tonquin...like Ennerdale. I do have some high quality Argos I enjoy on occasion but stick mostly to meers and cobs when I do.

I usually smoke:

1. Medium to strong non-aro Burley blends, without much if any toppings...mostly Peretti and Uhle and some C&D
2. Dark and fairly sweet mostly unscented VA or VA/Burley flakes...like Stonehaven & FVF
3. Melange blends with everything except Latakia & the kitchen sink...John Patton style stuff with VA/Burley/Turkish/Perique/Cigar Leaf...OK, maybe the kitchen sink
4. Medium to strong Lakeland floral stuff from Gawith like Dark Flake Scented, Broken Flake #7, Glengary, Cob, etc.

So I guess going with those four as genres I’d be pretty safe.
 

KevinM

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
0
I like your distinction between “stinky” and “aromatic”? Your divisions sound eminently workable with the added advantage of being based on your own smoking habits.
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
KevinM":wfswz2tx said:
I like your distinction between “stinky” and “aromatic”?  Your divisions sound eminently workable with the added advantage of being based on your own smoking habits.
Kevin - you are obviously a man of superlative sensibilities and keen insight. lol


As I think I said, I do enjoy Aros on occasion...just did a related TAD buy for Winter fireside use...I’ve never tried any of these, but they are very highly recommended by the nimrods at the Tobacco Review site.

1. Mac Baren MIXTURE Scottish Blend 100g tin
2. Mac Baren Golden Extra 2oz bulk
3. Mac Baren 7 Seas Black 4 Oz bulk
4. Amphora Special Reserve Black Cavendish 1.75oz pouch

Like I said, these typically go into a meer (one medium CAO Holmes & Watson and a Falcon sporting a meer bowl) and MM cobs. The Mixture Scottish Blend is supposed to do particularly well in a Cob.

 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
6,564
Reaction score
8
Blackhorse":4v59bnel said:
(PS: Where did you find The Exotic Orange? I’ve been trying to score that one for a couple of YEARS!)
The first tin was when it came out on a website. The next two in trades with folks that couldn't stand it. Another when it came back in stock @ SP.com. the last couple from B&Ms....

I can send you a sample if you're curious.
 

KevinM

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
0
I enjoy the Mac B Scottish mixture, the Golden blend, and I have a few pouches of Amphora brown. I puff ‘em all in my “take all comers” briars, favoring chambers with vertical not conical walls. (Usually) I also enjoy St. Bruno with a little Coniston added to it. Without the Coniston, St. B seems bland to me.
 

huffelpuff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
3,000
Reaction score
2
I don't dedicate per say. There are pipes that tend to only get burley or only get Va but as a rule I don't notice any ghosting. I do keep one pipe specifically for Lakeland otherwise it's just random. In your case I would say break them into family specific use. Only aro in one, burley in another, etc. Definately save one for Turkish blends. I have noticed that those seem to get better in a pipe that only sees Turkish. I don't smoke enough Turkish to bother with it myself but you seem partial to those blends. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the MacB Scottish Mixture. The reviews are so mixed I won't try it without some first-hand sources I trust giving it a thumbs up.

Jim
 

KevinM

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,590
Reaction score
0
huffelpuff":6x4ksfe0 said:
I'd be interested to hear what you think of the MacB Scottish Mixture. The reviews are so mixed I won't try it without some first-hand sources I trust giving it a thumbs up.

Jim
‘’Scuse me for jumping in. JimInks review of Scottish mixture on TR is a pipe smoker’s marvel and might explain the diverse reviews you refer to. He even says this blend will change in mid-smoke, especially for the smoker with a large bowled pipe. That’s kinda cool, I’d say. Jiminks likes it, if you’re looking for a credible review. FWIW I’ve found Mixture Scottish Blend likes to be packed loosely and evenly and smoked slowly. The negative reviews often seem to me to indicate too vigorous packing followed by too heroic puffing to keep it going.
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
KevinM":59jkkr8z said:
huffelpuff":59jkkr8z said:
I'd be interested to hear what you think of the MacB Scottish Mixture. The reviews are so mixed I won't try it without some first-hand sources I trust giving it a thumbs up.

Jim
‘’Scuse me for jumping in.  JimInks review of Scottish mixture on TR is a pipe smoker’s marvel and might explain the diverse reviews you refer to. He even says this blend will change in mid-smoke, especially for the smoker with a large bowled pipe. That’s kinda cool, I’d say.  Jiminks likes it, if you’re looking for a credible review.  FWIW I’ve found Mixture Scottish Blend likes to be packed loosely and evenly and smoked slowly. The negative reviews often seem to me to indicate too vigorous packing followed by too heroic puffing to keep it going.
I’ve read ALL the reviews at the Review site and every other vendor site I can find...and your comments are right on. Many, many credible guys report that it changes multiple times down the bowl...and will be different in nearly any pipe...and will be different with any different packing method and smoking cadence. Wow. And yes, it is a blend that MUST be sipped or it will burn you. I think most of MacBaren’s wide reputation for bite comes from nimrods not knowing how to smoke Danish style blends...hard puffers that are either ignorant of or incapable of doing it right. But that nearly describes me...as I’m a mad puffer for sure. I also have heard that the Frank Method of loading helps. But that’s like two guys.
 

huffelpuff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
3,000
Reaction score
2
Kevin, jump in anytime. Opinions like yours are what I'm looking for. JimInks reviews have been an absolute God send for me. Even with his positive remarks though so many negative reviews is enough to make me very cautious.

Jim
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
B of B Supporter
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,831
Reaction score
92
Location
Oregon City, Oregon - USA
Jim - you should also look for the reviews done by DrumsAndBeer.  I think JimInks does by far the most comprehensive and accurate analysis re what individual components bring...more a technical side. I like Druns for a more subjective approach. And his tastes mirror my own, so that’s important for me too.

Note the very different approaches...

This is JimInks:

“Because it's a complex medium blend aromatic with a variety of flavors, I had to smoke a lot of it before gauging how to describe this one. Sometimes, the spicy, woody, lightly nutty Kentucky in the blend is more evident than other times, but no matter how present it is or isn't, it relays that very tasty spice note that contrasts nicely with creamy flavors. I don't know what kind of liquor topping it has, but it's pleasant and compliments the mild sweetness of the blend with fruit and sugar toppings. And the cavendish hints of a mild sweet honey taste that works well with the topping. The burley is a little nutty with a mild earthy and molasses touch as a supporting player. The Virginia is mildly citrusy, grassy and woodsy, and creates a solid base for the other flavors. In the background is the matured Virginia, which adds a little fermented dark fruit and earth. The nic-hit is just past the mild level. Often, one bowlful will taste a little different from another and vary during a smoke -especially in a big bowl - but that's due to how you pack it, and whether or not one component is more present in your pipe than other times. Needs to smoked at a slow pace as fast puffing may result in some tongue bite. Burns clean at a reasonable pace. Requires few relights, and leaves very little moisture in the bowl as it easily burns to ash. Has a pleasant room note. Can be an all day smoke.“

And this is DrumsAndBeer:

“A wonderful tobacco that smokes dry and smooth and is mild to medium in strength. It has plenty of flavor and a great room note as well. So if you have to smoke in mixed company, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Mixture Scottish is on the sweeter side of the spectrum but the sweetness is delicate at best. However, it’s a nuance that becomes more palpable each time you smoke it, and this is especially the case with a dedicated pipe. The brown sugar and honey like tone of the casing blends well with citrus peel & hickory smoke high-notes of the base tobaccos. The finish is clean, somewhat complex and a bit spicy.

As far as mechanics go, I prefer airing this blend out until it feels dry to the touch. Since Mixture Scottish benefits from being smoked in a series of gentle puffs, starting out with less moisture makes the task of going slow much easier to accomplish as you'll need fewer relights along the way. A bit of dry time also wicks some of the casing away, allowing for a more robust tobacco taste to come through. Don’t worry though, even in a drier state there’s still plenty of sweetness to go with the dashing room note.  An absolute classic.”

Both are of very high value.

Perhaps the award for the funniest review goes to Jevverrett...

“It's like a crazy girl you can't seem to stop dating. Some manner of an identity crisis, and seems to love hurting you. Also she's smokin hot, very pretty and smells great every time you see her. She's so inviting, but if you come on too strong she leads you on and then gives you blue balls. You end up having to ignore her a bit when you're together. You have to let her come to you, and then you get the sweet, loving side to come out.”
 
Top