Friday, January 29, 2010

First Pipe in a While

For the first time in quite some time I got to get outside and have a full bowl. It was a great and wonderful, peaceful and sweet. It was quite cold out and life has been busy, but at long last it was just warm enough to sit out and enjoy the nice taste of some Special Balkan from Edwards. The spicy and rich taste of Latakia and Orientals tantalizes and calls to me. There is a sweetness that comes in and out as the bowl continues.
I enjoyed this bowl in my new pipe, which is still smoking very nicely. I finally broke with an experiment that I have been at for the past three months. For the previous months I had dedicated each pipe to a particular blend. There is a thought that if a pipe is dedicated to a specific blend the smoker will be able to taste new the deeper complexities of the tobacco and thereby enjoy the tobacco more. Results: I'm just not there yet. It was nice, and for a while I wondered if I was tasting more of the subtleties. Then I decided to finish the test by tasting the same familiar tobaccos across the pipes that were dedicated to other blends (even crossing the lines between natural, English and [gasp] aromatics). I decided that there is not much to report for me personally and therefore I'll not bother about it for a while. More to think on...perhaps I will try again later and see.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Black Watch

For 10 years I have been smoking this beautiful tobacco, and for 10 years I have loved it. I won't say I love this tobacco as much as I love my wife...but I have loved it for a longer time. There is a wonderful sweet, cool, beauty to this tobacco that has made it wonderful for 10 years. The taste is vanilla. It turns out I just like vanilla.
It also turns out that it was named for a famous Scottish Military unit. I gotta admire anyone who can fight in plaid, though I imagine that they no longer fight in plaid. They are, however a pretty impressive group of soldiers. Gotta love a military tradition that has stood the test of time. You also have to respect a company that is willing to take advantage of the bravery and dedication of others to help them sell a product that causes cancer. Great stuff. Try it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Pipe for My Birthday

And a big thanks to my Grandpa and Grandma B. Their generous gift was funneled towards the purchase of this beautiful pipe. It is officially the most costly (and nicest smoking) pipe I own. My two favorites remain the two that April bought for me, as she picked them out with things in mind. While one of them is packed away in the "moving confusion" this is the first one she picked out for me around an anniversary, with the directive, "pick a pipe that reminds you of me":

It is a great pipe with a nice big bowl. The rustication makes it look extra big. And the bowl size is larger than any of my other pipes. It smokes nice and I have dedicated it to latakia blends. When asked why this pipe made her think of me April replied that it was the pipe that most made her think of a cuddly bear. So there you go. Love that pipe, and yes, I love cuddling as well.
Back to the pipe in question. I have learned some things about myself. Having tried some more pipes I am finding that I like shapes that are a little funky, and I really like the 3/4 bent stem. It just seems to sit so comfortably in the mouth and not demand the amount of work (especially helpful when smoking while doing another task). I was so thankful to go into Edwards to pick out my first "next level up" pipe. It was a fun adventure. The friendly fellow who works there took the time to answer questions and guide me to the right pipe for me and helped me to find the best pipe in my price range. Then he sat with me around the counter for the next hour and change while I broke it in, and he warmly congratulated me on getting a new job. Good times.
So there it is, celebrating the joy of much change it is really nice to be able to enjoy a nice sweet smoke from a pipe that is a cut above what I have had before. Quite thankful.