Monday, April 9, 2012
The introduction of our fourth beautiful and wonderful child has slowed my smoking a great deal. However, something exciting has occured and that will lead to a soon return to pipe writing as well as a review. I have found my local grocery store has begun to cary Velvet over the counter tobacco. I have more than a small fascination with over the counter blends, and I am not sure why. They really are not in any way cost effective, and with the internet a specialty or "boutique" blend can come about easier and even cheaper than the typical price one would pay for an OTC blend. Nevertheless, I love them. I think they connect me to an earlier generation of pipe smokers: those who didn't smoke pipes like we do, feeling like we are a minority, but those who smoked pipes because men just smoke pipes. What did they smoke? Likely one of the dozens of blends that were sold at every corner drug store! There are those I have liked less (Capt. Black, Bjokum Riff, Paladin). But I have also gotten a great amount of satisfaction from such classic american blends as Prince Albert, Carter Hall and Half and Half. Even some that I have been a bit indifferent towards like Sir Walter Ralleigh. I won't go so far as to say that I prefer OTC blends over my specialty blends (I have been smoking a great deal of Hartenstein Trail from Edwards in Denver lately), but I do know that as long as I cointinue to smoke a pipe I will always have one of my trusty old OTC blends on hand. How about you? Any dirty little sectrets in your enjoyment of cheap tobaccos?