Monday, April 9, 2012

Waiting Game

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?


  1. I am almost ashamed to say that I have never tried any of these long time staples of pipe tobacco. Coming from a heritage of pipe smokers who smoked nothing but these classic American otc blends it makes me feel that I have forsaken something about my heritage. I guess I know the remedy for this situation so I shall soon set things right and join you and those countless smokers before me and celebrate with a classic smoke today. Oh and congratulations on the new addition to the family, my wife and I are expecting our first in November

  2. I didn't know there were so many brands OTC. Hmmmmmm. Are you smoking your Gandalf pipe at all? xo

  3. So so many! I have had fewer chances to smoke lately, but as long as I am sitting down and smoking (rather than walking) it is very likely that I am smoking my beautiful Gandalf pipe given by the most loving of mothers!