Always give your pipes as many chances as you can to shine. I have a pipe from a well-known factory that is a beautiful group three Canadian. I have had it for years and I have continued to smoke it through the years, not because it smokes well but because it is such a beautiful pipe. But every time I smoke this particular pipe I am disappointed. The pipe is drilled way off center and smokes very wet. The last time I smoked it was a few years ago and I put it away in disappointment and forgot about it. Fast forward a few years and I decided to bring it to work and use it as one of my work pipes, After the first bowl I realized why I never smoked the pipe, the taste was terrible. I then loaded up some Hearth and Home Virginia Night, since this has been my morning smoke for almost two months. Nope, the tobacco tasted harsh and bitter. I then packed a few bowls of Orlik Golden Sliced, again terrible. I was about to give up on the pipe and bring it back home in defeat, when I packed a bowl of one of Russ’ new blends and boom, this blend really sang in this pipe. I am smoking it now. I taste the spice of the perique and the sweetness of the Virginia’s. The blend has a richness that this pipe amplifies. I have hope for this pipe now. After all these years I look forward to smoking this pipe in the morning while I work. Some pipes smoke great from the first bowl and some come around years later. I remember reading about the late Jim Benjamin and he said it took decades for one of his pipes to finally break in. That sounds crazy but I believe it.
I am so happy that I finally have a tobacco that sings in this pipe. I was feeling lucky last week and decided to pack a bowl of Virginia Night and guess what, it was horrible. I will only smoke one blend in this pipe. At least it smokes one blend really well.
Check out Talking Tobacco in the next day or two for a sneak peek of the blend.