A couple of weeks back I decided to give pipe smoking a try. I was at one of my usual Friday night spots, Fidels in Westport. (Also see Fidel's Cigar Shop on Facebook). Seth the Tobacconist on Friday evenings and an expert in both cigars and pipes showed me several pipes, but recommended a Peterson Pipe. As I had never tried pipe smoking I took his advice and bought a starter pipe kit that contained a very nice pipe, a tamper, some pipe cleaners (very essential as I would find out) and an ounce of pipe tobacco of my choice from their many house blends.
As Seth explained how to pack and light a Pipe I quickly deduced that this process was key to pipe smoking and would probably take me some time to master. Packing the pipe is a very essential step to successfully enjoying a pipe and I am still working to get the hang of it.
The tobacco that I tried was a little to sweet for me as when I smoke a cigar I prefer to have one that is very dark and rich. Seth explained that pipe tobacco was more aromatic that cigar tobacco and to date he is correct. I have found a pipe tobacco that was presented to me by M.E. of Baypoint Condos that so far is my favorite.
Sir Walter Raleigh Tobacco is a blend of aged tobacco moistened with French and Dutch liqueurs and has a rich taste.
Keeping a pipe lit is an art as I am finding out and I generally have to relight several times during a smoke. In discussing relighting with several other pipe smokers they all say this is a fact of life with pipe smokers and that as I continue with pipe smoking I will get better at packing and smoking an relighting while will not completely be eliminated will decrease. I found this true last evening as I only had to relight three times on the bowl I was smoking.
As always a big thanks to Fidels for having such a great establishment to learn about tobacco.
Here is a great site I found on packing and smoking a pipe.