A Day in the Life of Smoking My Pipe

pipes and tobacco picThought I’d share what a day of pipe-smoking looks like for me, the kinds of blends and pipes I might partake of throughout an average 24 hours. Of course, no day is exactly the same, and what I describe is a kind of “perfect day” for me, but it gives a good idea of where I’m at in my own little pipe-tobacco-smoking world…

The Weekdays:

My day inevitably begins with a chai latte, either home made or of a store bought mix like  Oregon Chai or Teavana Masala Chai for my Verismo system. Admittedly, my morning seems to circle around my cup of chai, and what I’ve found goes great with it is a flake of Samuel Gawith Best Brown or Orlik Golden Sliced, or a pinch of something like Cornell & Diehl Bayou Morning, happily stuffed into a corn cob pipe. The light, sometimes sweet, sometimes savory flavors of both tea and tobacco  play upon my palate, each enhancing the other to bring about– yes, dare I say — a joyful greeting to a new morning. I like the carefree simplicity of a corn cob, which makes for a perfect match.

(If my smoking-day had to end right here at its beginning, I think I’d be quite content. But fortunately, it doesn’t…)

Late morning is when I prefer Dunhill Early Morning Pipe or Brigham Maritime Morning, or even something like McClelland Drama Reserve. It’s the time I usually have a hankering for a basic mixture with Oriental in it, with or without a little Latakia. Helps me keep a good mood. I’ll  have it in a medium to smallish tomato or pot style briar bowl.

Afternoon, I’ll go back to a Virgina. Something like Robert McConnell Scottish Cake (or Flake) or maybe Dunhill Flake. Again, I’ll choose a smallish bowl. I have a dublin and a meershaum lined billiard I like for this.

My after-work tobacco is McClelland Frog Morton Cellar. Just give me a bowl, any bowl, but the larger the better. A pipeful of this tells me day’s end is near so relax into it. This is also the time I’ll allot to trying a new-to-me tobacco.

The after-dinner/before-bed hours I like to spend with Dunhill Royal Yacht. Royal Yacht is one of my all-time favorite tobaccos. Though, I might try some more new-to-me tobacco, or spend some time with something like Peterson Old Dublin, Ashton Artisan’s Blend or Rattray’s Black Mallory. Pipe selection just depends entirely on my mood; however, these hours do provide the moments to appreciate the more expensive models.

The Weekend:

The weekend mornings are when I break out Sam Gawith’s Full Virgina Flake, again, to be savored through a corn cob, and yes, with my cup of chai. The rest of the day is open to absolutely anything… Squadron Leader, Erinmore, Glen Piper, Bob’s Chocolate Flake, Special Latakia Flake, 1792, something completely new…

You’ll notice I like quite a few aromatics, but not of the American-Danish type. I’m still looking for one that completely suits me, which I can call mine: they’ve been falling under the “something new” category.

So there’s an idea of what my tobacco rotation is like. The only thing that’s consistent is my habit of enjoying light to medium Virginias and VaPers at the start and stronger Virginias or Latakia forward blends later.

What’s your rotation like?

Have any particular pattern?

Please share it.

Till next time…

(I’ll leave some ‘baccy by the doorway for ya.)

Quickie Pipe Tobacco Review: Capstan Gold Flake

Capstan Gold Flake tinCapstan Gold Navy Cut flake pipe tobacco is a bit of a strange bird… There’s nothing extraordinary about it, yet there’s something that keeps me going back for more.

Neither as nuanced to my palate as are some gold Virginia flakes, nor as “sweet & tangy” as others, it offers a truly middle-of-the-road smoke, but somehow it satisfies.

Opening the tin, the nice slab-of-bacon like slices offer that sweet hay aroma I enjoy. Moisture content is good, requiring little dry-time, and the slices pack and burn easily.

The charring light provides a hit of good straight Virginia tobacco flavor, and, overall, I’d say the smoke is rather full and rounded for its type with a subtle and unique flavor I can’t identify. It’s also mild to medium in nicotine.

Although I’m compelled to call this an unremarkable blend, I experience a slightly sour yet pleasant aftertaste that makes me want to load up and have another bowl — I’m just not sure it’s enough to make me load up with more tins at the premium Mac Baren is asking.

I can’t highly recommend Capstan Gold, but you certainly could do worse. You wouldn’t lose anything if you picked up a tin to give it a go, yourself.