Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cleaning pipes

I'm trying to stick with a weekly cleaning of pipes. So far, so good. Today I cleaned up this past week's worth of pipes, six in all. Much easier than last week's backlog of pipes that needed reaming and so forth. There's something quite satisfying about starting the week with a shelf full of clean pipes.

No pipe smoking today, alas. I often forsake the briar on Sunday. This would have been a good afternoon to sit outside with a pipe, a book, and a glass of iced tea, but the decongestant I took this morning was making me feel sluggish and dazed so I simply rested and watched a movie.

I am still putting further thought into my next tobacco order, which will be a sampler pack of eight blends plus at least one tin of some additional tobacco (if it's still available when I order), from Cornell & Diehl.

I dug out my sample of Cornell & Diehl's Berries & Cream this past week, to give it another try. B&C is part of C&D's series of "fruit & cream" aromatics. This one was made by taking an already existing black vanilla cavendish called Green River Vanilla and adding blackberry brandy.

All indications are that this tobacco is well-loved by bystanders. It's aroma is warm, sweet and tangy. But...

Here's a little bit of information for non-pipe smokers who read this blog: a pipe tobacco is never experienced by the smoker in the same way it is by bystanders. It never tastes or smells the same.

Aromatic tobaccos are best experienced second-hand. My problem with all aromatics is that they are flat and uninteresting to the palate. Or as Peter Griffin might say, "Truthfully, I find it rather shallow and pedestrian." I would so much rather explore the infinite nuances of sweet Virginia, bold maduro, smoky latakia and dark, tangy Perique.

I am still open to having my mind changed on candy-flavored tobaccos, but I don't hold much hope that it will ever happen.

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