Us vs. Them

20th January, 2009: Posted by glpease in Tobacco, Pipes, Enjoyment, Cigars

From what I’ve read on various pipe smokers’ fora, there is some crossover between cigarettes and pipes or cigars and pipes, however, “We,” as pipe smokers, seem to be more than a bit jingoistic about the way we choose to enjoy tobacco. Pipe smoking is seen as superior by many, both smokers and non-smokers alike. I suspect this has much to do with the historical image of the pipeman as thoughtful, educated, considerate. We’re not all Albert Einstein or Fred MacMurray, but there is a strong iconographic link, forged over decades, that still persists to some extent today, even despite the popular influence of the rabid anti-tobacco movement.

The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish: it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.

—Wm. Makepeace Thackeray

Personally, though I thoroughly enjoy both pipes and cigars, I have never really been a cigarette smoker. Sure, I’ve had more than a few of the little things over the years in moments of weakness or curiosity, and some have been exquisite. I fondly recall the Balkan Sobranies in their little tin boxes, and the French Boyards, with their black tobacco and yellow corn-paper, sweet and powerful in flavour and in effect, not to mention the Old Holborn RYO tobacco that was splendid. I’m sorry to say these have gone the way of all flesh, even though I would only rarely indulge in their guilty pleasures. Read more…»

Aged, or just Old?

22nd July, 2004: Posted by glpease in Tobacco, Cigars

I’ve had the pleasure of smoking some pre-Castro Bolivars that were amazing, as well as a few Cuban Davidoffs. But, I’ve had a lot more old cigars that just didn’t hold up. Depending on the blend composition, the storage conditions, and the quality of the original leaf, cigars *seem* to have a reasonable life of somewhere between 2 and 10 years, providing it’s a good cigar to start with. I’ve been smoking through a box of H, Upmann 2000s that I laid down in 1993, and they are absolutely exquisite. They’re softer than they were, yes, but they have more overall dynamics than I remember when they were young. There’s a lot going on in these beauties. Read more…»