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The more things change

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#1
In an attempt to focus my smoking on certain blends and blenders, I'm finding that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As an aside, watch the trade section here at PSD, as I'll be offering some nice trade deals on tobaccos I enjoy and have aged well but that I just don't smoke that much of anymore!

I started smoking non-aros around 1985 or so. My staples were McClellands and Rattrays. Now with 30+ years of sampling, I'm finding that a lot of my smoking is... McClellands and Rattrays! Ok, add a few SG, G&H blends as well. And of course, my current favorite blender is Ernie Quint of Watch City. And there are a few outliers such as Stonehaven. But I've whittled my "rotation" from about 60 blends down to about 25. If you confine that to what's currently available, it's about 14. Those are what I'll be focusing on.

Anyone else find after years of sampling that their overall favorites are the ones they started on?

And this just in! It always warms my heart to find a tin or two of long gone blends to enjoy. So today as I'm preparing to travel, I'm going through the upstairs closet for carry-on bags. "Hmm... what's this? Ah cool! A small case for bathroom stuff! I wondered what happened to that! But what's inside it? An old cell phone?? Some papers I don't recognize. A couple of guitar picks. And a tin of Wills Cut Golden Bar and a tin of Elephant & Castle New World!!!!! Woo-hooooo!!!!!"

These would be from around 1990 or so. Not many folks marked the dates on their tins back in those days. When I stopped smoking for a few years in the mid-1990's, I put my stash in a large suitcase for storage and later use (one tin of Escudo died!) and I must have found these two later as I was packing to move to my current house and stuffed them wherever I could find space. Then forgot about them. Nice surprise! I cracked both tins and the tobacco is in perfect condition. And yes, folks, I'm smoking a bowl of New World as I type this. These are the kind of days that bring excitement to pipesmoking. May you all have days like these!
 

Sentient.

Nearly lifelike.
Patron
#2
That's really cool. I got q-tips in my dopp kit. Trade ya. I know what you mean about things staying the same, but not. The Ginnies and Va Pers like GH's stuff have always been smoked here, but just the sheer VOLUME of new and new-to-me blends is very seductive and I can't help trying new things. The interwebs have really opened up the selection. But we do end up with blends that just sit around, and I guess they should be traded. One day I will. Or my survivors. I got some Mammoth Cave at the supermarket yesterday. It's like a punch in the face.
 

DGErwin11

Supreme Curmudgeon
Staff member
Patron
#3
Yes and no. In the 70s I smoked some really good Carp . Maybe that is why I gave up on the pipe for so many years. A few years ago when I tried it again I picked some OTCs. I was hooked . I ended up a ClH fan. Then I quit looking. While it may not be the perfect tobacco , it is damned good and that is good enough for me. YMMV.
 

Sentient.

Nearly lifelike.
Patron
#4
Yes and no. In the 70s I smoked some really good Carp . Maybe that is why I gave up on the pipe for so many years. A few years ago when I tried it again I picked some OTCs. I was hooked . I ended up a ClH fan. Then I quit looking. While it may not be the perfect tobacco , it is damned good and that is good enough for me. YMMV.
You must have tried the HH Chatham Hall? I'd be interested in your comparison. That ...feeling I get in the back of my throat with CH....is that the cinnamon doing that?
 

leacha

░░░░░
Patron
#9
The first blend that I thought was truly special was McClelland 2015 VPF. It was always a true love for me even as I continued to bounce around aromatics and burley blends. At some point I realized VaPers and straight Virginia's were my thing and I've been focusing on them.

I go back to Burleys and Aromatics and enjoy them even more now but not on a steady diet.
 

Jhelms

Well-known member
#10
I smoke a number of different tobaccos. I will admit that most of them are aromatics and I like them a lot. One of the first tobaccos I ever settled into after I started smoking a pipe in 1972 was Country Squire Cherokee. I think I bought my first pound of it in 1974 and I still smoke it regularly and if I could only purchase one blend for the rest of my life it would be Cherokee.
 

craig

Well-known member
#11
on a personal note.

I went through a bunch of different tobaccos, probably not as much as the likes of jim inks, but enough to get a good idea of what I like.
I am now down to 2 regular blends I smoke on a daily basis, amphora and rich dark honeydew.
I will never say that I will never smoke anything else, as I do enjoy trying something different from time to time but I will always have these two around for my daily smokes.
chances are I will find something else I may wish to keep around but I'm not actively searching for it.
if I find it I find it if not I have enough to keep me happy.
 

Jerry Ford

Well-known member
#12
I know you've been around the world and back with tobacco, @dmkerr. Some years ago, I did something similar with Scotch. Early into my investigation, I noticed I had a particular affinity for 10 year old light single malts: Glenmorangie was a favorite. Then I went on and tried everything--hundreds of malts--and enjoyed almost everything. But of course I'm back to 10 year old light single malts. I found I prefer Glenmorangie.

Likewise, I got hooked on pipe tobacco with a B&M Oriental blend. I recall it tasted like the best cigarette I ever smoked, but somehow 10x better. I have gone/am going through the various blends, and enjoy them all, but know well where I will return.
 

Sir Saartan

The Tan Saarlander
Patron
#13
Somehow I'm the exact opposite:
Of course, I'm only 3 years into my pipe smoking journey, but so far I can say this:
- I enjoy trying new blends, and not counting the rare occasion of blend I absolutely dislike (mainly goopers), I kind of like them all
- about every 20th blend I try seems to find a permanent home in my cellar.

that said, I didn't just order blindly, but stuck to manufacturers like Dunhill, HU Tobacco, Motzek, Tabak Heinrich, Dan Tobacco,
Rattray's...

So from every phase of my journey (so far) there's 1-2 blends that stay.
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#14
I know you've been around the world and back with tobacco, @dmkerr. Some years ago, I did something similar with Scotch. Early into my investigation, I noticed I had a particular affinity for 10 year old light single malts: Glenmorangie was a favorite. Then I went on and tried everything--hundreds of malts--and enjoyed almost everything. But of course I'm back to 10 year old light single malts. I found I prefer Glenmorangie.

Likewise, I got hooked on pipe tobacco with a B&M Oriental blend. I recall it tasted like the best cigarette I ever smoked, but somehow 10x better. I have gone/am going through the various blends, and enjoy them all, but know well where I will return.
I'm a little different with the malts. I have favorites from all regions, particularly Highland Park, Talisker, Lagavulin and Glenmorangie.
 

Oouder

Well-known member
#16
Yes, I find that 15 years later my favorite is still the same as well! Unfortunately they’ve discontinued my beloved EMP and nothing is just right as a replacement. Luckily they gave us enough notice and I bought my weights worth of the blend! Stuffed some jars so full there can’t be much air in there. Hopefully that will help it keep for 30 years!
 

dmkerr

Fabulously non-descript
Staff member
#17
Yes, I find that 15 years later my favorite is still the same as well! Unfortunately they’ve discontinued my beloved EMP and nothing is just right as a replacement. Luckily they gave us enough notice and I bought my weights worth of the blend! Stuffed some jars so full there can’t be much air in there. Hopefully that will help it keep for 30 years!
Well done!

When McClellands went out of business, a dozen of my favorites went with them. Luckily, I stocked up as well.