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Old 13.02.2017, 00:03
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Pipe smoking

Hi,

Just wanted to check if there are other people on this forum who occasionally enjoy a bowl of some nice pipe tobacco. And maybe exchange information on where to find certain blends etc.
I don't smoke that often. A few times a week. Currently I am trying a few english blends; Squadron Leader, Nightcap and Skiff mixture. The best shop here in Luzern is probably "Tabac Boutique" located on Hirchengraben. They carry the usual suspects, as well as a few not so common blends, like Presbyterian. They also make their own house mixtures, some of which are very good.

Hope to hear from fellow pipers
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Old 13.02.2017, 01:07
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Re: Pipe smoking

Hello Hellbent and welcome to our forum.

I happen to have been a pipe smoker for like 50 years. Being a captain, albeit only part-time, it's an important aspect of image building, if yaknowattamean. Ok, just joking, but not concerning those 50 years.

I have been having a hard time finding tobacco blends of my liking in Switzerland in the last 25 years. 50 years ago there were tobacconists around every corner. Every little village had one. St. Gallen City, where I grew up, had a dozen or two. These days, even a city with a metropolitan area of 100,000+ inhabitants may have only one or two. In St. Gallen, there's only one left.

To make things worse, the maker of my favorite blend for several decades shut their business down about 25 years ago, and I've been trying to find an adequate replacement ever since. I'm the "slightly English but not too much" kind of guy, meaning mainly Virginia and Burley with a hint (but really only a hint) of Latakia and a tad of Perique too.

Dunhill mixtures, for instance, are too Latakia-heavy in my book, which, of course, is a matter of taste, so to say. They remind me of the infamous "klister wax" my paternal Grandpa used to iron onto his cross-country skis when I was a little kid, i.e. pretty close to the smell around an asphalt laying machine in action. I tried to tone that smell down by blending in some plain Virginia and / Burley. For some reason unbeknownst to me that somewhat improved the room note (in other words, my OH stopped complaining) but it tremendously reduced my smoking pleasure.

Luckily, two years ago I found a tobacconist in Traverse City, Michigan, just 15 miles from our second home, that has exactly the right base tobaccos to make a blend that is almost exactly what I want. My OH tolerates it too, although I very rarely smoke at home. (I mainly smoke when working aboard our boat or on the island where we are restoring the most remote light station on Lake Michigan.) Their blend according to my recipe is fairly affordable too, and the guys at the store are pure fun. Might be a bit too far from Lucerne, though.

All the other mixtures I can find in the rural US Midwest are dirt-cheap compared to Swiss pricing but they seem to be pure horse manure stretched with some hay from highway shoulders. The USA produces great tobaccos, but I've yet to find a decent ready-made blend. The nearest city with several tobacco stores is a five-hour drive away. However, since I found those folks in downtown Traverse City, I don't care any more. Lucky me. Now I can go on planning my relocation to the Midwest.
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Old 13.02.2017, 12:15
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Re: Pipe smoking

Here's the link to my local tobacconist shop (online shop as well), they have , as they claim, Switzerland's biggest selection of flavoured tobaccos.
wheni was still smoking cigs, I sometimes went there and got myself 30-50gr of a pipe tobacco to smoke Worked well with my small cig rolling machine

https://www.kellertabak.ch/
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Old 13.02.2017, 12:43
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Re: Pipe smoking

I don't smoke (anymore). My grandfather used to smoke a pipe though, and I loved the smell of it.

Little did I realise that the language of pipe smoking was so pleasant also. But of course that would be the case, steely eyes gazing into the middle distance whilst drawing on a pipe has to lend itself to deep thinking.

I hope the natural consideration that pipe smokers have will prevent this thread from going in the usual direction of posts on this topic. I'd like to hear more about it.
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Old 13.02.2017, 12:49
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Re: Pipe smoking

I'm always intrigued by the smell of a smoking pipe. I'm a non-smoker. Does smoking a pipe nearly taste the same as the smoke it emits?
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Old 13.02.2017, 13:07
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Re: Pipe smoking

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I'm always intrigued by the smell of a smoking pipe. I'm a non-smoker. Does smoking a pipe nearly taste the same as the smoke it emits?
Generally I would say yes. It depends a bit on your technique though To get all the nouances out of the tobacco you need to sip slowly. To high a cadence often results in hot and harsch smoke. It takes practice; packing the pipe, lighting it etc. There are many good tutorials on youtube with tips on how to get started
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Old 13.02.2017, 13:10
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Re: Pipe smoking

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Generally I would say yes. It depends a bit on your technique though To get all the nouances out of the tobacco you need to sip slowly. To high a cadence often results in hot and harsch smoke. It takes practice; packing the pipe, lighting it etc. There are many good tutorials on youtube with tips on how to get started
I've watched quite a few of those on youtube. I might just have to invest in a starter pipe and give it a go.
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Old 13.02.2017, 13:11
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I don't smoke (anymore). My grandfather used to smoke a pipe though, and I loved the smell of it.

Little did I realise that the language of pipe smoking was so pleasant also. But of course that would be the case, steely eyes gazing into the middle distance whilst drawing on a pipe has to lend itself to deep thinking.

I hope the natural consideration that pipe smokers have will prevent this thread from going in the usual direction of posts on this topic. I'd like to hear more about it.
Indeed. The necessary slowing down while preparing and smoking a pipe naturally lends itself to contemplation. I find it to be a most enjoyable hobby.

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Here's the link to my local tobacconist shop (online shop as well), they have , as they claim, Switzerland's biggest selection of flavoured tobaccos.
wheni was still smoking cigs, I sometimes went there and got myself 30-50gr of a pipe tobacco to smoke Worked well with my small cig rolling machine

https://www.kellertabak.ch/
Thanks for the link. They do seem to have great selection.

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I've watched quite a few of those on youtube. I might just have to invest in a starter pipe and give it a go.
Yes it's good not to spend too much before you know that it's something you enjoy. A corn cob pipe should not set you back that much. And if it was good enough for Mark Twain then ... There is also the possibility of getting an estate (used but cleaned) for not that much money. www.neatpipes.com has a pretty good selection.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.02.2017 at 14:39. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 13.02.2017, 13:44
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Re: Pipe smoking

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I've watched quite a few of those on youtube. I might just have to invest in a starter pipe and give it a go.


And your rep as a hard nut etc on here,will go ...........up in smoke
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Old 13.02.2017, 13:55
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Re: Pipe smoking

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And your rep as a hard nut etc on here,will go ...........up in smoke
I'll change my name to "lost_inbroad_withPipe" then.
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Old 13.02.2017, 14:22
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Re: Pipe smoking

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Yes it's good not to spend too much before you know that it's something you enjoy. A corn cob pipe should not set you back that much. And if it was good enough for Mark Twain then ... There is also the possibility of getting an estate (used but cleaned) for not that much money. www.neatpipes.com has a pretty good selection.
Thank you for the link. Those are some very intricate and beautiful looking pipes.
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Old 13.02.2017, 14:52
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Hello Hellbent and welcome to our forum.

I happen to have been a pipe smoker for like 50 years. Being a captain, albeit only part-time, it's an important aspect of image building, if yaknowattamean. Ok, just joking, but not concerning those 50 years.

I have been having a hard time finding tobacco blends of my liking in Switzerland in the last 25 years. 50 years ago there were tobacconists around every corner. Every little village had one. St. Gallen City, where I grew up, had a dozen or two. These days, even a city with a metropolitan area of 100,000+ inhabitants may have only one or two. In St. Gallen, there's only one left.

To make things worse, the maker of my favorite blend for several decades shut their business down about 25 years ago, and I've been trying to find an adequate replacement ever since. I'm the "slightly English but not too much" kind of guy, meaning mainly Virginia and Burley with a hint (but really only a hint) of Latakia and a tad of Perique too.

Dunhill mixtures, for instance, are too Latakia-heavy in my book, which, of course, is a matter of taste, so to say. They remind me of the infamous "klister wax" my paternal Grandpa used to iron onto his cross-country skis when I was a little kid, i.e. pretty close to the smell around an asphalt laying machine in action. I tried to tone that smell down by blending in some plain Virginia and / Burley. For some reason unbeknownst to me that somewhat improved the room note (in other words, my OH stopped complaining) but it tremendously reduced my smoking pleasure.

Luckily, two years ago I found a tobacconist in Traverse City, Michigan, just 15 miles from our second home, that has exactly the right base tobaccos to make a blend that is almost exactly what I want. My OH tolerates it too, although I very rarely smoke at home. (I mainly smoke when working aboard our boat or on the island where we are restoring the most remote light station on Lake Michigan.) Their blend according to my recipe is fairly affordable too, and the guys at the store are pure fun. Might be a bit too far from Lucerne, though.

All the other mixtures I can find in the rural US Midwest are dirt-cheap compared to Swiss pricing but they seem to be pure horse manure stretched with some hay from highway shoulders. The USA produces great tobaccos, but I've yet to find a decent ready-made blend. The nearest city with several tobacco stores is a five-hour drive away. However, since I found those folks in downtown Traverse City, I don't care any more. Lucky me. Now I can go on planning my relocation to the Midwest.
Thanks a lot for the welcome as well as the contribution to this thread. Yes it is a shame that the brick and mortars are dwindling. The online shop whilst good cannot replace a physical building with real people to talk to and get advice from. Without a mentor it's hard for beginners to get a feel for the "art" of smoking a pipe. What the optimal moisture level is, how hard to pack the tobacco, how to puff and sip to get the most taste out of the tobacco. It's mostly trial and error, which of course can be fun as well

I'm not so familiar with the American mixtures. I have tried a couple of "klister" blends from American blender G. L. Pease www.glpease.com. And enjoyed them very much. Otherwise I suppose Carter Hall would be the most common OTC blend over there?
Personally I'm a big fan of the blends made by Samuel Gawith. Especially their Virginia flake tobaccos. They do come a bit moist so some drying out is needed before packing. But the sweet citrusy notes are sublime They started out in 1792 and pretty much use the same equipment and techniques today as they did back then.
I'm happy you found a proper shop not too far away and wish you all the best relocating, and restoring that old light station while puffing on some good tobacco

Btw, what was the name of the discontinued blend you used to enjoy?

I would like to mentioned a very useful review site: http://www.tobaccoreviews.com
It contain thousand reviews with the possibility to filter your search for Brand, Blend, Leaf and a bunch of other parameters.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.02.2017 at 15:59. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 15.02.2017, 00:55
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Re: Pipe smoking

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IDoes smoking a pipe nearly taste the same as the smoke it emits?
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Generally I would say yes. It depends a bit on your technique though
The technique, of course, is very important indeed, and there are blends that taste good AND give a nice room note, but there are others that taste great while smelling like heck, and again others may make all females within a quarter mile flock around you while your tongue and palate are badly suffering (which sometimes may be worth it, though).

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Without a mentor it's hard for beginners to get a feel for the "art" of smoking a pipe. What the optimal moisture level is, how hard to pack the tobacco, how to puff and sip to get the most taste out of the tobacco. It's mostly trial and error, which of course can be fun as well
I agree. Cigarette smokers very rarely manage to switch to pipe smoking. Most of them just keep inhaling (cough cough) and sipping way too hastily, which, as you know, turns the bottom of the chamber into a tar pit that accumulates chemicals that would put an oil refinery to shame.

My Dad, a heavy cigarette smoker for decades, tried to switch many times, to no avail. He always blamed the pipes, which meant I "inherited" them. Good for me.
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A corn cob pipe should not set you back that much. And if it was good enough for Mark Twain then ...
Talking about corn cob pipes, last summer we had a couple from Texas volunteering as lighkeepers at our station for a whole month, their second stay out there. Towards the end of their stay I arrived with my boat to drop off another couple for a few weeks and take the Texans back to the mainland the next day.

In the evening, the husband approached me and asked me if I could kindly teach him how to smoke a pipe. It had been a wish of his since he was a teenager, he said (he was in his late forties meanwhile). He went to one of his camping equipment boxes and produced a linen bag containing a virgin corn cob pipe, of which he said he had carried it everywhere for decades without ever using it because no one was able to teach him.

So we sat down by the camp fire, and I gave him a basic lecture. Fortunately, he wasn't a cigarette smoker. So we were enjoying a great sunset over the west beach (four miles of immaculate white sand and not one human being besides us), when his wife showed up after introducing the second couple (rookies) to their lightkeeper duties. She almost fainted when she saw him smoking his pipe. She, too, said she had known about his wish ever since they got engaged. He was as proud a kid that had managed to head-dive for the first time.

After arriving in our home port, I told him to pay a visit to that tobacconist is Traverse City on their way south. Months later I got an email telling me that he now keeps smoking one pipe every weekend and enjoys every minute. And they are planning on manning our station for another month next summer, which is nice. They are great people.
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I'm happy you found a proper shop not too far away and wish you all the best relocating, and restoring that old light station while puffing on some good tobacco
Thank you very much. The air out there is so pure, it sometimes needs some particulate matter to make it breathable.
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Btw, what was the name of the discontinued blend you used to enjoy?
It was a mom-and-pop business in Bülach, ZH, and their brands had "Churchill" in their names, which was pretty funny because they did not make cigars, just about three pipe tobacco mixtures. In the late 'seventies the husband died of old age, as I was told, and his widow went on blending tobaccos according to his original recipes until age or maybe the doctor prevented her from continuing.
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Old 17.02.2017, 18:08
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Re: Pipe smoking

Was visiting Thun yesterday to show some of my friends the place. I walked past what looked a great little tobacco shop in the old town

Moser Cigarren
Balliz 43, 3600 Thun, Switzerland
Tel. 41 33 222 34 59
http://www.moser-cigarren.ch/home/
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Old 18.02.2017, 12:56
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Re: Pipe smoking

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I agree. Cigarette smokers very rarely manage to switch to pipe smoking. Most of them just keep inhaling (cough cough) and sipping way too hastily, which, as you know, turns the bottom of the chamber into a tar pit that accumulates chemicals that would put an oil refinery to shame.
From what I understand, cigarette smoke is more acid than pipe and cigar smoke. In order to get any nicotine a cigarette smoker is forced to inhale the smoke, something which is not necessary when enjoying a good pipe. But, I must say that I rarely get hit hard while smoking a pipe. A cigarette on the other hand might make the room spin.


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Talking about corn cob pipes, last summer we had a couple from Texas volunteering as lighkeepers at our station for a whole month, their second stay out there. Towards the end of their stay I arrived with my boat to drop off another couple for a few weeks and take the Texans back to the mainland the next day.

In the evening, the husband approached me and asked me if I could kindly teach him how to smoke a pipe. It had been a wish of his since he was a teenager, he said (he was in his late forties meanwhile). He went to one of his camping equipment boxes and produced a linen bag containing a virgin corn cob pipe, of which he said he had carried it everywhere for decades without ever using it because no one was able to teach him.

So we sat down by the camp fire, and I gave him a basic lecture. Fortunately, he wasn't a cigarette smoker. So we were enjoying a great sunset over the west beach (four miles of immaculate white sand and not one human being besides us), when his wife showed up after introducing the second couple (rookies) to their lightkeeper duties. She almost fainted when she saw him smoking his pipe. She, too, said she had known about his wish ever since they got engaged. He was as proud a kid that had managed to head-dive for the first time.

After arriving in our home port, I told him to pay a visit to that tobacconist is Traverse City on their way south. Months later I got an email telling me that he now keeps smoking one pipe every weekend and enjoys every minute. And they are planning on manning our station for another month next summer, which is nice. They are great people.
That's a lovely story there. He was lucky to meet you Corn cobs usually makes for really good smokers. A solid choice for beginners in my opinion. http://corncobpipe.com
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Old 16.05.2017, 11:27
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Re: Pipe smoking

I'm glad I found this thread.


I've been carrying a pipe with me when I'm out fly fishing, and while the journey has been enjoyable so far, I had no idea how difficult smoking a pipe could actually be. It's an art. I'm able to fill, light, and smoke a pipe without many issues, but discerning flavors and developing a palate isn't the easiest thing in the world either!
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