I’ve said it before. I love tobacco. English, aromatic, Balkans, VaPers; I love it all. I am partial to Lane Leo, which is based on the old John Cotton blend, and the fresh release of Lane’s Crown Achievement. But then there are some great aromatics like Drew Estate’s 7th Avenue Blonde, Russ’s Spring Training, and my personal favorite: Ole Shenandoah Barrel No. 76. I just love tobacco; even just the flavor of a freshly packed pipe waiting to be smoked is high on my list of favorite tastes. That being said, this job makes it very difficult to keep extra money in my pocket.
In an effort to curb my spending, I try to set a budget of $60 per month for pipe and tobacco purchases. Unfortunately, I go over that amount just about every other month. The months I don’t go over get rolled over to the next month. That does not include random buying from local tobacconists. Between new estate pipes coming in and fresh tobaccos I’m in heaven. I was telling my coworkers that my cap for tobacco is set at 100. Once I hit 100, I’m done buying. They asked 100 tins, ounces or pounds? My answer was yes. Simply, yes.
My cellar isn’t huge as I’ve only been smoking for less than two years. I currently have about 4-5 pounds between bulk and tins, but sometimes it seems like I have tobacco and pipes everywhere. I have my cellar at home, tobacco here at work, in my truck, tobacco in my bag, and at my fiancé’s house. I also have 2 pipes in most of those places as well. I dedicate my pipes, meaning I will only smoke Latakia blends in certain pipes, only aromatics in others, and Perique in others. I only have to keep one pipe in the truck because that is an aromatic only spot. Captain Black Round makes a pretty nice air freshener.
I’m doing much better with pipes. I only have 16 pipes, with 4 or 5 more on my wish list so far. I am partial to Savinelli and Peterson, with about half of my collection being a combination of the two.
The problem with my job is talking to and being around other pipe smokers. I have smoked a decent amount of tobacco and can let customers know what works with their particular tastes. The trouble comes when they have smoked something that sounds good to me. One sentence I use about 15 times a day is “I’ll have to try that.” Bad, bad, bad. I write the tobacco down, and the damage is done. I’ll ask my coworkers if they have tried it to get more feedback about it. I’ll look at the reviews, and then it goes in my cart.
My next order: W. O. Larsen 1864, Savinelli Brunello Flake, another tin of McClelland’s Black Shag to cellar, and maybe…
Don’t even get me started on cigars.