Quantcast

Where did you start...and where did it lead?

Help Support Brothers of Briar:

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,628
Reaction score
19
Re-Posted from What Are You Smoking.

————————-

I think that Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake is such a friendly blend that many pipe guys come across it early in their journey and really enjoy it. It’s perhaps like a gateway blend for serious flake for those expanding from aros. Then as is the way of human nature they move on, often leaving it behind for more “advanced” blends.  Then it’s either kinda forgotten or maybe perceived as an elementary level blend.  

Bjarne Flake DeLuxe was another in that kind of thing for me.

I’m sure a large segment of the pipe population completely agrees with a positive assessment of it...very enjoyable, very friendly.  And also what I think of as its cousin...Luxury Twist Flake.

Sidebar: So if LBF is a starter flake where does “the journey” ultimately lead? For me it’s Gawith Dark Flake Unscented. Well, to each his own.

So...that begs the question...what would you name as your first serious mainstream flake, etc. and where has it led you?
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
6,555
Reaction score
2
Blackwood's Flake was my first real foray into flakes, and it was a tough road. Almost put me off flakes in general.
GH and co. Scotch Flake was early on too, and I found it quite a bit easier to smoke.
Escudo was next, and that drew me to PS LBF. LBF got me to try LTF and LNF.
Danced around with SG flakes, but rarely until lately.
Went back to McClelland flakes and did better with them.
Marlin Flake was late to the game, but is now a favorite.
Now? It's all those, and weird new stuff I want to try. Kind of embarrassed to admit to trying C&D stuff as far as Small Batch offerings. Most of those I regret. Some were nice though.

Most often smoked though is PS LBF, SG St James and FVF, and Marlin Flake.
 

Brewdude

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
12,755
Reaction score
21
I've said this before but here it is again:

My late Pap smoked a pipe as long as I remember. Uhles 255. He was a one brand man. So when I started my journey I figured if 255 was good enough for Pap it was good enough for me. I eventually checked out many other Uhle's blends and found them much to my liking.

Years later I became a member of the Seattle Pipe Club and we met at a long-gone and much lamented TB who had an amazing selection of pipe weed, much of which were open to sample. It was here that I was introduced to lat-weed in the form of Bengal Slices tins, Balkan Sobranie in the B&W pouch, and others. Started to appreciate ginny weed. Acquired some very nice pipes from that shop as this was pre-internet days, or at least it was for me. In any case this went far to furthering my journey.

Another fast forward - took an 8 yr pipe hiatus while I was beguiled with the cigar thing but came back to the pipe around '08. Now surprisingly, lat was a turn-off! Vaper/straight ginny weed was the way forward. BH and I were on the same cigar oriented forum then and got to know each other. He invited me to join BoB in '11 and here I am. Big as life and twice as ugly!  :face:


Cheers,

RR
 

Brunello

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
9
I'm not sure it's a linear progression for everyone. Myself, I either like them or I don't. If I find something new I like that doesn't mean I've "outgrown" some past favorites. I think anybody who is using flakes has already developed further than many pipers will go (like yer Old Codger Velvet smokers).

Broken flakes, crumble cakes, and thick ribbons like VooDoo Queen are my favorites. My first real Flake was Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake which I still enjoy every now and then. My favorite flake is GLP Regent's Flake (a Va-Tur-Per), some aged Brebbia Latakia Flake is a real treat, and I also enjoy SG Kendal Cream Flake, one of the few (mild) Lakelands that I willingly load in my pipe! :)

 

Stick

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
3,727
Reaction score
20
Location
Blighty
Gosh, good question!

I do like a flake as I enjoy the pre-smoke prep; rub it out or folded, it's comforting ritual.  I think my first flake was an aro and probably SG's Firedance or Erinmore.  Sticking with the SG stable one of my favourite smokes is St James Flake as I rather enjoy a good VaPer.  Most recently I've grown rather fond of RDF.  I wonder where flakes will lead me next?!
 

Zeno Marx

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
1,971
Reaction score
4
My first flake was maybe my third tin ever purchased? Something very early on. Escudo. Not because I was astute or lionhearted, but simply because that it what the shop guy recommended. Who knows, maybe he wanted the extra couple bucks in the till? Or he was really keyed into what flavors I was chasing? Like so many of us pre-internet, we were at the whim of shop owners and other randoms who just happened to be in the shop when we were. Shop workers were the mentors. I basically took every recommendation he made, and either I was entirely malleable or he knew his stuff (probably a little of the former and a lot of the latter). His taste pretty much became my taste. He only smoked tins. I only smoked tins. It was a couple years until I ventured out and established my own path. I smoked many tins of Escudo in my first several years. For whatever reason, he nailed it. Other than Escudo, flakes weren't common in my repertoire. Until the 2000s, I was a 95% English smoker. It's now the complete opposite.

Speaking of tobaccos that were more than here and there and bought with consistency and decent quantity: McClelland #2015 and #2035. Then Stokkebye Luxury Navy Flake. C&D Night Train (does that count?).
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,628
Reaction score
19
Stick...I certainly like your choices, both early and late. My only problem would be paying ten times as much as we do for them. I mean, it’s not crazy...it’s taxes. But it’s certainly regrettable.
 

Stick

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
3,727
Reaction score
20
Location
Blighty
Blackhorse":136w5oyo said:
Stick...I certainly like your choices, both early and late.  My only problem would be paying ten times as much as we do for them.  I mean, it’s not crazy...it’s taxes.  But it’s certainly regrettable.
...tell me about it! Interestingly there is a bi-product of the expense; it makes you do your research when you venture into new blends - a process I enjoy, a bit like prepping a flake - and it makes you ensure each smoke is savoured and never rushed.

 

D.L.Ruth

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
1,575
Reaction score
26
Location
NC
LBF was my first flake I have smoked a few others but nothing really on the regular. Got my first tin of Escudo a couple days ago since everyone seems to enjoy it. Although I have added a few of the ones that have been mentioned here to my shopping carts for future purchase! I do have about 8oz of aged FVF that needs some smoking.
 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,628
Reaction score
19
There was a time here, and likely elsewhere, that pipe guys smoked one blend. They were an Edgeworth man...or a Prince Albert or Carter Hall man. Maybe some Middleton brand. Guys didn’t have closets FULL of twenty or thirty or fifty different blends at differing age levels. And if they had a couple of Dr. Grabow or Kaywoodie Pipes they’d be set.

So here’s D.L. Ruth with essentially Escudo and Full Virginia Flake to count on. You know, if it were a desert island kinda thing, I think I’d be OK with those two. They represent about the best of their type. If I had just found a couple of good ones and not played Indiana Jones looking for every valuable artifact blend out there...I’d be about a zillion dollars richer. But hey, it was fun, right?
 

Brunello

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
214
Reaction score
9
Blackhorse":2ewg70a5 said:
There was a time here, and likely elsewhere, that pipe guys smoked one blend.  They were an Edgeworth man...or a Prince Albert or Carter Hall man.  Maybe some Middleton brand.  Guys didn’t have closets FULL of twenty or thirty or fifty different blends at differing age levels.  And if they had a couple of Dr. Grabow or Kaywoodie Pipes they’d be set.  
This observation really has two different components, each of which could make for an interesting thread in its own right: Cellaring and Curiosity.

As for deep cellaring items, and talk of blends "developing" I had never heard any such talk in 40 years of piping, nor even read about it in the old book by Alfred Dunhill. I think it all started with the panic of August 2016 and the new FDA regs. People started hoarding items sufficient to last to the "End Times."

As for curiosity, I think that has always been a matter of personality. From the first time I walked into the local tobacconist in 1979 I was hooked by the smells, and all the different pipe shapes, and within two years I had tried every tobacco they stocked. But TAD was way more manageable back in the pre-internet days. Now, with online retailers, Tobacco Reviews, and forums such as this it just stokes that curiosity. Every time a member talks glowingly of some blend I haven't tried, it's another that I've just got to try.

But some people are more casual, and not obsessively inclined, and are happy to keep life simple. I've talked to contractors that do work for us who have never been to an ethnic restaurant, never tried Thai, Panamanian, or heard of Tri-Tip barbecue. I view piping like I do food: I like variety. I ate Chinese last night, having Mexican tonight, probably have German tomorrow night. If I had to settle for just one old codger blend and nothing else, I probably only light up once a month. Same ole, same ole just doesn't interest me.

 

Blackhorse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Council Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
10,628
Reaction score
19
Interesting. Boy, the TAD thing has gotta be era dependent. When I think old school I think of my father (born in 1909). Let’s say men in his era achieved smoking age In the 1930’s. So sure, there were B&M’s back then, no clue what they might have stocked. But I have the feeling that most of the pipe guys around the country got their tobacco from the local drug store. To me that means a Middleton frontmark including Prince Albert and Carter Hall. I just don’t think they had access to much else. Then came WWII during which there might have been exposure to a broader selection for a few. And that wouldn’t have been here at home. But not any huge number of GI’s. I’d guess it was the after the war boom that expanded offerings even into domestic aros, etc. I started with a pipe in the early 70’s and I don’t recall how much of what was out there. But I think the expansion of available brands might have been at that time. I might be wrong though. Whatever.
 

DrumsAndBeer

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
Messages
6,594
Reaction score
1
The very first flake I smoked was Reiner Long Golden and shortly after that Blackwoods. I greatly enjoyed them both and still do, but Blackwoods Flake was responsible for sending me down the darker, deeply sweet, spicy and richer tasting tobacco path.

Now I enjoy smoking a variety of blends including, St. James Flake, FVF, Best Brown Flake, Blackwoods, Matured VA No. 24, Jack Knife Plug, Fillmore, Haddo's Delight, Embarcadero, Night Train, Rouxgaroux, Old Dark Fired, GH Rum Twist and Brown XX ropes and now the new HH Rustica.

I still smoke a few aromatics and some Latakia's when I am in the mood too.
 

huffelpuff

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 10, 2011
Messages
3,000
Reaction score
0
First flake was LTF. Which lead to trying pretty much any flake I can get my hands on. Loved Blackwoods and have a bit put away. Escudo, C&D Safe Harbor flake and Star of the East. I'd have to say that right now for me it's Gawith Flakes and ropes. Love me some Cherry Cream Flake.

Jim
 

Thomas Tkach

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2010
Messages
684
Reaction score
0
I think my first flake was Solani 633. Tried the PS flakes early on, and they're pretty good, but I found I liked others better. FVF and BBF, and other stoved stuff like 2035 (RIP). I got into KY stuff, too. ODF is a top blend for me.
 

Thomas Tkach

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2010
Messages
684
Reaction score
0
This observation really has two different components, each of which could make for an interesting thread in its own right: Cellaring and Curiosity.

As for deep cellaring items, and talk of blends "developing" I had never heard any such talk in 40 years of piping, nor even read about it in the old book by Alfred Dunhill. I think it all started with the panic of August 2016 and the new FDA regs. People started hoarding items sufficient to last to the "End Times."

As for curiosity, I think that has always been a matter of personality. From the first time I walked into the local tobacconist in 1979 I was hooked by the smells, and all the different pipe shapes, and within two years I had tried every tobacco they stocked. But TAD was way more manageable back in the pre-internet days. Now, with online retailers, Tobacco Reviews, and forums such as this it just stokes that curiosity. Every time a member talks glowingly of some blend I haven't tried, it's another that I've just got to try.

But some people are more casual, and not obsessively inclined, and are happy to keep life simple. I've talked to contractors that do work for us who have never been to an ethnic restaurant, never tried Thai, Panamanian, or heard of Tri-Tip barbecue. I view piping like I do food: I like variety. I ate Chinese last night, having Mexican tonight, probably have German tomorrow night. If I had to settle for just one old codger blend and nothing else, I probably only light up once a month. Same ole, same ole just doesn't interest me.
IIRC, the cellaring thing was around when I was new to the pipe. I joined the forum in 2010, and it was a thing then. Maybe it wasn't as common, but it was there. I have liquidated much of my cellar to fund other hobbies, but I still have a whole lot left.
 

JPatrick

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
The first flake I smoked was Mac Baren Navy Flake, in fact it's the first pipe tobacco I smoked. I've smoked it daily for twenty plus years now. I haven't ventured into other flakes much, but I do enjoy Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake, so I'd have to say Mac Baren Navy Flake led to Full Virginia Flake
 
Last edited:

kxg

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
I'm another one of those fellows who started pipe smoking in the early 1970's, probably late '71 or early '72 in my college years. Over the next decade and a half I accumulated four pipes and smoked aros that I picked up at the occasional visit to a B&M, of which the nearest was 70 miles away. I eventually migrated to heavy Lat blends and ended up smoking a lot of straight Lat. After that 15 years, I made a move to cigars, mostly as a matter of convenience. I stayed with cigars until July of 2018 when the boys over at the Badger & Blade Brown Leaf piqued my interest. I found SPC Potlatch on a deep sale and snapped off an 8oz can. It sounded like right where I left off 35 years ago and I was not disappointed. One of the fellows on that forum extolled the virtues of Escudo so that was my entry flake. And I liked it. PS LBF was next, and I liked it too, still do. The TAD was strong and I'm north of 100 blends in the cellar and smoking stock. I've not met many flakes I don't like but have been trying to slow down a bit on my purchases as I have more tobacco than I'm likely able to smoke in the next decade or so. Then again, lots more blends to try!
 
Top