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I need newbie help please

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

JJPHOTO

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I've inherited three of my grandfather's pipes, one holding his last ash in it, which will stay in there forever. The other two I am smoking. He smoked a pipe his whole life and I have many memories wrapped up in the aroma and sound of his pipe.

Anyway, I'm new to pipes, but not to tobacco. I smoked cigarettes for about 10 years and loved every minute of it. Not the nicotine - I seem to not respond to nicotine - I just love the taste, smell, ritual, etc. I've dipped cope, chewed red man, smoked nice cigars as well.

I live in a small town with no tobacconist so I did some research and everyone said they "cut their teeth" on Captain Black, so I bought a pouch of white. I've been severely disappointed. So much aroma and such a disappointing and hollow taste. It's like a cheap drug store cigar. I imagined the taste of pipe tobacco to be sticky sweet and full bodied, like chewing Red Man golden blend or something like that. This seems bitter, acrid, and leaves an aftertaste for days.

I ordered a vanilla sampler thing from pipes and cigars .com the other day before I was able to find this capt. black, but I have a feeling I'll be disappointed in that as well when it gets here.

I'm not giving up on the pipe because I've only tried one cheap drug store brand and I know there's gotta be something out there I'll enjoy - I just need some help finding it.

I'm brand new to this and have no direction, so if I need to answer questions about personal taste to help steer in the right direction I'm happy to. It's just hard to call up a tobacconist out of the blue and say, "I'm new, gimme something to smoke". Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Carlos

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Here is a link to a good beginner thread. Lot's of good suggestions and a few links to FAQ's on the web to help you out. Any thing still not clear, just ask again and someone will do what they can to help.

Good Beginning Pipe Smoker Thread
 

Carlos

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Just a quick comment. I have found that many aromatics are not easy to smoke. I think it takes a fair bit of experience to get the best from them. For some reason beginners seem to be always pointed in that direction and end up tongue bit and pipe shy.

Technique, learning how a pipe needs to be packed for you is very important and practice will make perfect. It can vary with the blend and moisture level. And other considerations. But a general rule is to pack a pipe with three portions. The first pinch needs to be fairly loose. Packed with the hand of a child. The second pinch a little firmer, packed with the hand of a woman. The last pinch should fill the pipe and should be firm, but not tight. Packed with the hand of a man. If it's overfull, carefully pull some out. You will see experienced pipe smokers testing the packing with their thumb. It should be springy. Tobacco expands when heated and it must have room or a pipe will be hard to smoke and possibly cause tongue bite.
 

Ol'Dawg

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Capt. Black can be a decent smoke and shouldn't be bitter and acrid with a long lingering after taste. My guess is that your inherited pipes need a good cleaning. The residue left in pipes from a burley based tobacco blend like Capt. Black tend to leave a bitter residue.

Try giving your pipes a good inside cleaning (stem and shank) using grain alcohol, brandy, or rum with bristle and regular pipe cleaners until they come out clean. Then follow up with a dry pipe cleaner to remove any excess moisture and to make sure the pipes are clean.

If the pipes don't smoke much better, try using a pipe cleaner dipped in Scope mouth wash to swab the inside of the stem and shank, followed by a dry cleaner.

Jim..my ha'pence worth if that much.

Edit--Forgot to mention to use caution with the alcohol and not get it on the outside finish of your pipes. Also to read the FAQ's mentioned by others about cake build up in the bowl of your pipes.
 

puros_bran

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Read that link while you clean those pipe... Then clean them again just to be sure :)

Go to www.smokingpipes.com and order a tin of GL Pease Blackpoint,or Sam Gawith Commonwealth

These are flavorful tobaccos. They will help you to slow down you will not need to puff like a mad man to get there flavor.
I wouldn't suggest those for just any smoker..but if you have smoked cigs you will need something that can overcome the dullness of tongue that particular habit causes.

Aromatics can be great but like Carlos I do not understand why they are recommended to newbies.. I say start with something full of flavor, that isn't prone to tonguebitem.
 

JJPHOTO

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Thanks for the replies guys. You know, I was kinda thinking about the cleaning being an issue because one of the pipes smells really really bad... like the ashtray in an old car kinda bad. I may just put them up and keep them for sentimental value and get some corn cobs to try out different tobaccos with. I have a Dr. Grabow royalton on its way with that vanilla sampler pack as well so I'll have a new pipe to break in when it gets here.

I need to get my hands on some cleaning materials. I've seen just the regular soft pipe cleaners at Wal-Mart, but not sure about the bristle that was mentioned.
 

Natch

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Hey JLJ, welcome to the fray;

Can you let us know the make of the pipes you're smoking? If one or both are of better lineage, it might be worth it to send it out to be professionally cleaned. Regardless of value, however, you can pick up how to clean, ream, and sanitize a pipe pretty easily, just search the old threads on this board. Being as they're a family heirloom with sentimental value, keeping the clean and fresh and part of your smoking life is important. If you really get hooked on pipe smoking, you'll need more than two pipes in your rotation, and Missouri Meerschaum Country Gentlemen models are great, inexpensive smokers.

Natch
 

JJPHOTO

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I'll try...

One is small, straight, lightweight and beat to heck - but was his favorite that I always saw him with. It says Thinbite Imported Briar Italy on it.

The other one is larger, bent, and says Oscar, Aged Briar... there's a crest with maybe an S in it that's been worn down. Might also say 525 KS on it and also says Italy. Also up on the mouthpiece there's a white imprint of what maybe looks like a wand with a star on it? Hard to say.
 
A

Anonymous

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JLJ2018":s51wranl said:
I've seen just the regular soft pipe cleaners at Wal-Mart, but not sure about the bristle that was mentioned.
Usually those bristle cleaners are found at a tobaconist shop, but since there are none close to you plan on adding them to your next baccy order. Or if traveling check the web for tobacconist shops in the towns your traveling to or on the way to.
When I want a good flavorful mild smoke I go to MacBarons Navy Flake.
I think most folks recommend Capt Black because it's readily available at your local convinience, grocery or drug stores and it's cheap so your not heavily invested like you would be in a good tin of Pease or C&D.
There are not a lot of tobaconist around here and those that are have a very limited stock for pipe smokers (they tend to cater to cigar smokers). I found (and it seems most that post here)to get good stuff you got to go to the WEB, and from my searches it seems that smokingpipes.com is the most reasonable cost & shipping wise for the better quality tobaccos.
:pipe: on Brothers.
 

Doc Manhattan

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The Italian "Oscar" with the S is probably a Savinelli - of what vintage, I cannot say.
 

JJPHOTO

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Update -

Went to the local little cigarette hut where I found the Captain Black and they had a Dr. Grabow Royalton in there so I picked it up and had half a bowl of Captain Black just now. That was a much more pleasant smoke this time around.

However, I'm still getting that bad cigar aftertaste. Will try that sampler when it comes in http://pipesandcigars.com/busavvava.html Sounds like after knowing what I know now that it might be more of the same.

I think I'm still just trying to get over the shock of the taste not matching the aroma... much like when you're a kid and you get into mom's jar of vanilla extract.
 

Carlos

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That bad cigar aftertaste can be a few different things. New pipes can do it. Puffing up a pipe and getting it hot can do it. Burley can be bitter if it gets hot. Usually a sign that you are looking for flavor and puffing it up. Or it's packed too tightly. Pipes should be sipped at. Smoked as cool as possible. With just the coal smoldering atop the tobacco in the bowl. Don't be afraid to pour your tobacco out on a piece of paper and let it dry for a while prior to loading a bowl.
 

JJPHOTO

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Been doing some research and I've come up with this shopping list to take the "world tour" of tobaccos so to speak. Trying to put together a list of tobaccos to try that will help me pick up on the differences in blends and help refine my likes and dislikes. Tell me what you think of this list in light of that purpose or if I'm missing something:

Virginia - Rattray Old Gowrie
Vaper - GL Haddo's Delight, AC Petersen Escudo Navy Deluxe
English - GL Wesminters, Esoterica Penzance
Balkan - GL Caravan
Oriental - Sam Gawith Squadron Leader
Burley - C&D Haunted Bookshop

I plan on getting these and going through them and taking notes on what I like/dislike about each.

Also, is it okay to have multiple pouches open at once or will they go dry and stale like cigs and snuff do?
 

Justpipes

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The GL Pease and C&D blends tend to dry out very quickly as they only use distilled water to hydrate the tobacco.

Pipe smoking takes patience but the rewards are priceless. Stick with it. Break your new Grabow in proper and it will be a friend for life. Clean the other pipes and they will be just as rewarding. Here is a link to some very helpful information on pipe smoking. http://www.pipesmokingguide.com/

There is plenty of good information right here on the BoB also.

Enjoy the ride and don't hesitate to ask! The only stupid question is the one not asked.
 

vaperfavour

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great list to start with. those will give you a great start! also remember that a new pipe needs to be broken in! a new pipe can taste awful the first couple of smokes. I find all aromatics to taste horrible!
 

JJPHOTO

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Just purchased some Old Gowrie, Haunted Bookshop, Westminster, and Haddo's along with bristles and cleaners. However I also purchased a gorgeous Peterson pipe that caught my eye. Figure that will be a nice tobacco selection to test out along with another pipe to break in to put in my rotation. Once I get a more focused direction on taste I'll start a cellaring some of these!
 

Bent Stem

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JLJ2018":uydgbal2 said:
Been doing some research and I've come up with this shopping list to take the "world tour" of tobaccos so to speak. Trying to put together a list of tobaccos to try that will help me pick up on the differences in blends and help refine my likes and dislikes. Tell me what you think of this list in light of that purpose or if I'm missing something:

Virginia - Rattray Old Gowrie
Vaper - GL Haddo's Delight, AC Petersen Escudo Navy Deluxe
English - GL Wesminters, Esoterica Penzance
Balkan - GL Caravan
Oriental - Sam Gawith Squadron Leader
Burley - C&D Haunted Bookshop

I plan on getting these and going through them and taking notes on what I like/dislike about each.

Also, is it okay to have multiple pouches open at once or will they go dry and stale like cigs and snuff do?
I agree. These are good choices! If you don't love one of these then you won't be happy smoking a pipe.
 

Doc Manhattan

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You're off to a solid start there!

Quick word of advice on your new Peterson pipe: many of them are "dip" finished, which means that the finish on the outside of the bowl is also covering the inside--i.e., you're going to taste smoldering finish along with your smoldering tobacco. If that's the case with yours, you can carefuly remove the finish inside the bowl by swabbing it out with Grain Alcohol (or overproof vodka, or any other netural, high-proof edible spirit), or by sanding, or some combination of the two.
 

ftrplt

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Excellent tobacco choices!! When you get a chance, try GLP's Embarcadero. Methinks you will enjoy it! :pipe: FTRPLT
 

JJPHOTO

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Just to update - sat down with some overproof rum tonight and a giant batch of bristle cleaners and went to work on my inherited pipes. He had Alzheimer's for 10 years before he passed, so I'm sure these pipes were pretty neglected (especially since I got his favorites that he smoked all the time). I think this is the reason for the incredible amount of gunk I pulled out of them.

I couldn't hardly get a filter through his all-time fave. I didn't think I'd ever get it clean. They're all clean now and resting in front of me here with dry filters in them - awaiting their turn in my rotation.
 
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