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Stonehaven...I don't get it

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JohnnyO

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Purchased 8oz back in Oct. and found it to be extremely flat, almost tasteless, like smoking air or steam...I just couldn't get any flavor at all. Tried it again today after 5 months or so and I find it almost the same, I got a tiny bit of a sour nuttiness when I puffed like a mad man scorching my tongue...but no sweetness from the VAs, no real nuttiness from the burleys...

What am I missing here? I've tried it in and meer and a briar, though I have not tried simply rolling the flakes...I usually rub out flakes.

Any tips on how to get this to smoke better or am I just in the minority of anti-stonehaven smokers? :?:
 

regor

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I rub it out and then dry it a good bit. This works for me but don't give up on it. Try differant ways and pipes till you find the right combo. It is a good smoke but difficult, at least it was for me but it was worth it when I found the way that worked for me :cyclops: :sunny:
 
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Anonymous

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I've never tried it, but if it is that much work just to get a decent smoke out of it, it's hardly worth my time.
 

morleysson

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While I think that Stonehaven is smokable, it doesn't really do the proverbial whistles and bells. It works best for me in smaller bowls and slightly drier. It helps to rub out small quantities, too.
 

grumpy1

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You are not alone. Stonehaven is one of my favorites, with one pipe dedicated (and the rest available.) I rub a flake out in the evening and let it dry overnight. But if you like whiskey you don't have to like gin.
 

JohnnyO

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so far it seems I need to rub it out, let it dry several hours, and smoke it in a smaller bowl...I'll try that tomorrow or friday :D
 

Slow Puffs

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I have somewhat the same thoughts. The best packing method I've had with Stonehaven is to slice it into cubes (squares) and gravity fill, somewhat like the "Stein" method. But I'm always looking for improvements.

:D Paul
 

jeffya2

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It's very pipe picky & I won't use a Meers again only a briar
I age it a minimum of 1 year, tear it in strips, Dry it well

Pack it loosely & never tamp harder then the weight of the tamper

Char light , then fully light it it is now one of my favorites

My favorite pipe is a Caminetto, 13/16 x 1 3/4 bowl

Yes it is worth the trouble when the recipe is perfected
 

Carlos

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Good to know it's picky. I bought an 8oz bag for the cellar. But have never tried it.
 

JohnnyO

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Alrighty, tried it today in a 1/8 bent dublin with a smaller bowl...rubbed out the flakes and dried them overnight, which might have been too long as they were almost bone dry. Loaded up and tried it and well, much better, but still no shining 4 stars for me, and my tongue is scorched as well.

Thanks for the tips, I guess I'll let it age longer, maybe after a year the edges will smooth out a bit
 

ftrplt

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Never tried the stuff; sure seems to be more trouble than it's worth!! There's a hell of a lot of good 'baccy out here!! FTRPLT
 

Slow Puffs

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JohnnyO":6af31jhf said:
Alrighty, tried it today in a 1/8 bent dublin with a smaller bowl...rubbed out the flakes and dried them overnight, which might have been too long as they were almost bone dry. Loaded up and tried it and well, much better, but still no shining 4 stars for me, and my tongue is scorched as well.

Thanks for the tips, I guess I'll let it age longer, maybe after a year the edges will smooth out a bit
All this talk made me reach for Stonehaven. As above, I cut the flakes into small squares.

You could be right... age may help... mine is aged. Still I wouldn't consider it an "A" list experience for me, but I think everyone should try it.

:D Paul
 

Wet Dottle

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Different strokes for different folks. I smoke it as it comes in the package, what many consider too moist, and get plenty of flavor and no tongue bite. It's not one of my favorites, but it's all right for a change of pace. That is to show how different we all are, mouth chemistry this and that, blah blah blah...
 

tin man

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I remember not caring too much for stonehaven the first time I tried it. I don't really remember why, I just remember that I didn't like it. I think it was the topping.

I'm working on a generous samlple that I received from :afro: and loving every flake of it. It's a little dry this time, but not totally dried out. I'm also a little more consistant at knowing what I like and what I don't like. I don't know if this has anything to do with my enjoyment of stonehaven.

I'm having great success with stonehaven in group 3/4 straight pipes that are dedicated to either burley or straight VA. I find it very sweet and flavorful and an excellent blend. I tend to get a lot of enjoyment out of VA and burley anyway, so maybe that has a lot to do with it.

It's a quality smoke for me. :pipe:
 

Puff Daddy

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Tin is right, Stonehaven loves smaller pipes. A group 3 or 4 billiard with a nice open draw and it'll sing. I usually rub it out roughly, let it dry (pretty darn dry actually) and then do a modified Franck pack wherein I loosely slip some tobacco into the chamber while tapping on the sides of the bowl filling it about 2/3 full, and then ease a small plug into the top a'la the Franck method (you press the plug against the opposing bowl sides until it slips in. This way you have a tight little pack at the top and loose leaf underneath, works great for me, just don't get carried away with a too big plug at the top. Takes a while to get the hang of it but it smokes great).

Stonehaven has a nice soft floral element to it, not from the topping (which is certainly there but burns off after a few) but from the burley. Like the burley in Barbary Coast, it is special beyond anything I've smoked in any other blend.
 
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Anonymous

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I put mine to dry at least 4 hours before smoking it
I also rub out enough for a few days at a time and let it age at least a week
before smoking it

where you buy it is also a concern
I have bought some that couldnt be smoked for at least a month and from other etailers that you can smoke it as soon as you get it
 

Mr_Houston

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I've always enjoyed Stonehaven when I've smoked it. I usually have a little bit around somewhere. I get this urge for it. Then after a smoke, I'm good for another month.
 

Natch

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Interesting comment, Mr. Houston, as I feel the same way. Every month or so I rather crave it, but after enjoying a bowl or two, I don't desire it for another month or so. I'm that way with Big-Macs, except half way through one I wonder why the hell I ordered it in the first place!

Natch
 

Ol'Dawg

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Count me in as a former once-a-month or so smoker of Stonehaven. I thought of Stonehaven as a stoved and flake version of Tilbury. Both were good but a little too rich for my taste buds. The one thing I liked about Stonehaven was the way it would smolder and smolder in the pipe with little effort.

The first batch of Stonehaven I had was at first bitter, but someone at the Knox board suggested to age it for 6 months then try it again. Sure enough it was not bitter and tasted much better.

Mark/dottleman suggested another way to prepare flakes and I found it to be the best way to prepare Stonehaven. His suggestion consisted of:
a. cutting a off a portion a flake enough for a bowl

b. folding that portion length wise then cross wise into a square shape

c. placing the square portion between the palms of your hands and rubbing in a circular motion for a few seconds forming a "ball of yarn"

d. form the ball into a cylindrical shape and place into your pipe.

When I first heard his method I didn't think it would work with the tough Stonehaven flakes, but if the moisture content is correct, the method will form a little ball of yarn.

Jim..my ha'pence worth
 

jeffya2

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Ol'Dawg":hghrc41d said:
Count me in as a former once-a-month or so smoker of Stonehaven. I thought of Stonehaven as a stoved and flake version of Tilbury. Both were good but a little too rich for my taste buds. The one thing I liked about Stonehaven was the way it would smolder and smolder in the pipe with little effort.

The first batch of Stonehaven I had was at first bitter, but someone at the Knox board suggested to age it for 6 months then try it again. Sure enough it was not bitter and tasted much better.

Mark/dottleman suggested another way to prepare flakes and I found it to be the best way to prepare Stonehaven. His suggestion consisted of:
a. cutting a off a portion a flake enough for a bowl

b. folding that portion length wise then cross wise into a square shape

c. placing the square portion between the palms of your hands and rubbing in a circular motion for a few seconds forming a "ball of yarn"

d. form the ball into a cylindrical shape and place into your pipe.

When I first heard his method I didn't think it would work with the tough Stonehaven flakes, but if the moisture content is correct, the method will form a little ball of yarn.

Jim..my ha'pence worth
Stonehaven seems to vary greatly from batch to batch more then any other tobacco that I encountered
Sometimes the flkaes are very thick {Then I cube cut it} Sometimes thin {then I shred it & roll 2-3 small loose balls}
Sometimes it is sloppy wet & I have to dry it a little more but never more then 1 hour
I find that it does become bland if it gets too dry, you puff it too fast {must smolder} lightly inhale & exhale & as mentioned it is not the same tobacco until it has some age on it
 
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