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.
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.