Yep, this Friday we’re upgrading to a 55″ screen. Watch your favorite programs in LIFE-SIZE* living color. Why? Because we love our customers. You’re welcome.
SEE YOU HERE!
*Please note that LIFE-SIZE is a relative term, and may be limited by the size of your life.
Today I’m going to offer some insight to one of the most frequently asked questions we get from folks who are either new to pipe-smoking or have limited experience in selecting and purchasing a new pipe.
1. Factory or Handmade?
This is a common question even from some pipe folks who are many years into the hobby. I read some good advice in an old collectors’ newsletter many years ago that I pass on to this day: “Buy and smoke the best pipe that you can afford.”
2. How many pipes should I have?
Another FAQ that requires a little personal smoking information to answer. If you smoke a bowl or two only on weekends, one pipe is just fine. One to two bowls per day? I’d suggest owning at least three pipes. I say this because Briar needs time to dry (or “rest”) to prevent any sour tastes from developing due to overuse. When I’m an everyday, bowl-a-day smoker, I work through a rotation of seven pipes over seven days. (I think you can see the point I’m driving home.)
3. How do you feel about corncobs?
American-made cobs (such as those made by Missouri Meerschaum) are the only corncob pipe worth smoking, IMHO; they’re a very affordable and enjoyable way for budget-conscious smokers to expand their rotation and keep their Briar pipes properly rested. The lowly cob pipe also offers a very neutral-tasting pipe for new tobaccos since – once it’s been smoked a few times – it doesn’t impart any external flavor notes like Briar will. (Briar can retain the “ghost” of whatever has been previously smoked in it while a cob stays somewhat sterile.)
Ok, back to the top: The short answer to Question #1 (assuming you’ve followed my advice about making an affordable purchase) is to come in to ASW and inspect our wide selection of hand- and machine-made pipes. I myself have easily over a dozen $50 pipes in my collection that smoke like a dream. I tend to shy away from extreme bends and will rarely select a pipe that is more than a quarter bent. My reasoning? Less of a chance for moisture to collect in the heel and create problems like gurgling.
ASW can work with any pipe budget, and we also have some excellent starter kits by Stokkebye that include a fine briar pipe, pipe cleaners, a tin of tobacco…everything but the matches (and we’ve got plenty of matches for you).
Like what you smoke, smoke what you like, and remember that pipe smoking is meant to be enjoyable, relaxing, and flavorful. And don’t forget to Puff On!