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.)

SoCal Pipester Inaugural Post: Favorite Tobaccos 2013

socal pipester top ten tobaccos 2013The SoCal Pipester Inaugural Post: My Favorite 10 Tobaccos 2013…

So I’m sitting in the barrack’s smoking pit, 4th Platoon, whatever training company it was, Harmony Church, Ft. Benning, and a soldier from the Michigan National Guard walks up and sets to packing his left cheek with Redman chew, the front of his lower lip with Copenhagen dip, then between his lips places a Marlboro regular and lights up.

“Holy Hell…?”

I pulled on skunk weed stogies for my nicotine fix, but his tobacco mix intrigued me.

“Give me a pinch of that Redman if you can spare any,” I said.

Placing a modest amount between cheek and gum, I then blew smoke rings as I pondered the juicy qualities of this new found manner of blissful tobacco enjoyment — the marriage of chew and cigar.

Ah, those were the days.

I’d like to think my tastes (not to mention unhealthy practices) have refined some since a few years have stretched out between then and now. I no longer smoke cigarettes or partake of chaw, and haven’t for years, but I am one of those guys who just flat out appreciates tobacco. And so it is that I find myself, in these wizened years of mine, returning to the art of the pipe, after much too long of an absence, with a desire to share this now maligned pastime with the world — or some small portion thereof…

Without further reminiscing or rambling, let me, for my opening post, simply state 10 pipe tobaccos I have found myself happily returning to throughout 2013. You may be the judge if I obtain a hankering for skunk weed. In no particular order they are…

Orlick Golden Sliced — There’s a reason this mild Virginia based flake is a staple for so many pipesters. Great for an anytime smoke and for newbies.

Reiner Long Golden Flake — Another mild Virginia based flake yet somewhat more flavorful than Golden Sliced.

Escudo Navy De Luxe — Yes, another standard, which most of us Virginia-Perique (VaPer) lovers love.

Cornell & Diehl Bayou Morning — A mild to medium ribbon cut VaPer I love to start my day with. Sold in bulk, it offers great value.

McConnell Scottish Cake — A medium strength VaPer variation. I’m thinking this might be becoming my favorite.

Former 50th Anniversary Jubilee — As Former’s anniversary was in 2009, I’m guessing it’s become a regular offering, otherwise I hope they have plenty of this in stock. I’ll be liking this English type blend for awhile.

Brigham Maritime Morning — R. L. Will’s take on Dunhill Early Morning Pipe. Already known in Canada as Rise and Shine, it’s a really nice, mild  smoke for all day or the newbie.

Samuel Gawith Squadron Leader — I find myself easily going back to this familiar standby when I’m wanting a touch of that Lakeland floral/herbal English blend.

McClelland Frog Morton Cellar — Yepper’s, I’m on the froggy’s cellar bandwagon. It’s just a nice, mellow tasting Latakia blend and different from aforementioned Squadron Leader.

Ashton Artisan’s Blend — Rumor has it there actually may be no more Syrian Latakia in today’s mixtures. Yes or no, I’m still diggin’ this “almost everything but the kitchen sink” kind of blend.

Obviously, we all have our own particular likes and dislikes when it comes to just about everything, including pipe smoking. But…if I’ve noted a tobacco blend you haven’t tried yet, load up a bowl and see what you think.

In my next post, I’ll tell you why I have no holiday spirit or Christmas cheer when it comes to special seasonal blends.

Till next time… I’ll keep some ‘baccy by the doorway for ya.