Savinelli's Series III Unfinished pipes have been one of my best sellers. That's because they're some of my best smokers! And it doesn't hurt that they're some of the most affordable briar pipes on the market today. But it's no secret that I'm a big fan of 9mm filtered pipes, so I was ecstatic to find that I could special order Series III pipes with 9mm filtered stems! For me, this is a match made in Heaven, and I just couldn't wait to offer them to The Pipe Nook Faithful!
Featuring the same unfinished briar bowls as Standard Series III pipes, the comfortable vulcanite stems are made to accept Savinelli's 9mm balsa filters. They can also be used with 9mm activated charcoal filters, although they will be a looser fit, allowing some smoke to pass around the exterior of the filter. I sell charcoal filters as well as balsa filters in the accessories section, so my suggestion is to try them both to see which you prefer. And of course, you can choose to smoke them without a filter in place, and consider them to be "mini reverse calabash" chambers. Either way, these are incredible smokers at a fantastic price!
Because 9mm Filters provide a drier, cooler, easier to manage smoke that in no way affects the taste of your chosen tobacco, I consider them to be "training wheels" for new pipe smokers. However, because of the benefits mentioned above, I personally prefer to always smoke with 9mm filters in place for those pipes in my personal collection that accept them. I just don't see a downside to them, myself.
I think you can tell that I'm excited, and I hope you're as excited as I am! To my mind, there's no better time than now to pick up a Series III pipe. I've been enjoying my 320 9mm for about a week now, and have been enjoying some of the best smokes I've ever had. Check out The Pipe Nook store for more details, and be sure to look for the "9mm" designations in the item titles. Of course, I also have the standard Series III pipes still available as well!
Keep 'em Lit,
Cornell & Diehl is a company that's been on my radar, and in my pipe, for some time. One of the Great American Pipe Tobacco Manufacturers, Cornell & Diehl rose from the ashes of Atlas Tobacco Company back in the early 1990's. New owners Craig and Patty Tarler worked tirelessly to build what I believe is one of the "Big Two" American Tobacco Companies. Although many of their blends are favorites of mine, many are also too strong for my taste. As such, I've kept away from the "Cornell & Diehl Question" until now. However, I've come to realize that I can't only carry my personal favorite blends, since tobacco taste is so very much a matter of individual preference. But what I can do is select particular brands that I can stand behind, and Conrnell & Diehl is certainly among them!
Another scary aspect for me as a small retailer is that they have so many blends, I just can't imagine carrying all of them! Cornell & Diehl have spent the past 25 years creating a great number of top notch blends. Based in South Carolina, they currently have more than 100 blends! I'll be adding blends as I can, but will be starting with some of my favorites, as well as some popular ones, some "must try" offerings, and new items of interest as they become available.
Cornell & Diehl uses some of the best tobaccos from the US and around the world to create top-notch blends, including Burleys, Virginias, Perique, Latakia, Aromatics and more! There's something for everyone in the C&D line, and I'm pleased to present what I feel is an excellent selection of them here at The Pipe Nook. I hope you agree!
Keep 'em Lit,
Father's Day is nearly upon us! In preparation for next weekend, I'm running a Site-Wide Sale here at The Pipe Nook. From 6/8/2017 through 6/11/2017, use coupon code "DADDYDAYCARE" at checkout, and you'll receive 10% off your entire order! Why DADDYDAYCARE? Well, I just thought it was funny. The coupon code, not the movie. I've actually never seen that movie, so you can tell me if it's worth watching! I'm running the sale this weekend to ensure that all orders received during the sale can be shipped and received in time for the Big Day.
Save on Stanwell, Big Ben, Savinelli, Rossi, Missouri Meerschaum, and everything else in stock, including accessories and pipe tobacco! And if you want Dad to pick out his own gifts to enjoy, you can purchase Gift Cards in the Miscellaneous section under Accessories!
Make sure to take some time out next weekend to spend with Dad. If he's not close by, give him a call and catch up. And be sure to take advantage of this sale, whether for your dad or for yourself...no judgments here! I like to help out my wife with the shopping, at least once a year. :)
Keep 'em Lit,
I'm here at Gray Manor, back in the West Parlor (my garage), smoking some Dunhill Dark Flake in one of my treasured Neerup pipes. I just can't say enough good things about Neerup--they check all the boxes for me: looks, engineering, and that magical characteristic that I like to call "smokability." For it's part, the Dark Flake is similar to Dunhill's Flake, but is like an old friend you haven't seen in a while. He's changed a bit, has some new experiences to share, and it's a lot of fun catching up. Or to put it another way, if Dunhill Flake is your serene uncle who has a calming effect on conversation, Dark Flake is your sea dog uncle who spent some time in the merchant marines, and has a few more off-color stories to tell. But you love 'em both, and you're glad to spend some time with each of them.
Today, I want to talk about a common complaint from newer pipe smokers. "No matter what I do, my pipe just won't stay lit!" When I got started in pipe smoking some 20 years ago, I had the same lament. I came from cigar smoking, and cigars just aren't as "hands-on" as pipes tend to be. Cigars are designed to continue smoking right to the end, and as long as you take a puff every minute or so, you're good. The occasional cigar may burn unevenly, but it will burn, and keeping one lit is not usually a problem. When I switched to pipes, I had the same mindset, and got frustrated to no end that my pipe kept going out. I attributed it to some sort of failure on my part, and would increase my smoking cadence to "Ludicrous Speed." What I received for my troubles was a mouth full of lava, and a pipe that still would not stay lit!
Through the years, I've learned a few tips and tricks about the art of pipe smoking. Learning to pack your bowl in the "sweet spot" (neither too loose nor too tight), when and how to tamp, and how to navigate several other variables such as wind and humidity have all added to my success at smoking a pipe. But that doesn't mean my pipe stays lit from the charring light to the bottom of the bowl. In fact, that almost never happens without a little boost from a flame every now and then. In fact, I've had to re-light my pipe while typing this several times. And that's okay!
The bottom line is that pipe smoking is not cigar smoking. They are very different things, just as cigars and cigarettes are very different (thank God). I would think the most difficult adjustment would be had by cigarette smokers trying to switch to pipes, since cigarettes will practically burn their way to ash all by themselves, but never really get the chance to burn out because the smoker is constantly and manically pulling that ember towards its final curl of smoke.
So let's take a look at why you've come to the pipe in the first place. Is it because of the enjoyment of smoking? Or is it because you like to come to the end of things? In other words, are you enjoying the journey, or just looking for the destination? Pipe smoking has no destination aside from the relaxation it can provide, and I get there with the first puff! You have to come to pipe smoking with that mindset that the journey is the most important thing. Because the final destination is simply an empty pipe that you have to clean. Let's think about it in terms of eating. If you race through your meal, all you have to look forward to is doing the dishes, and possibly indigestion. But if you take time to chew your food, enjoy the flavors, and sometimes even set your fork down while enjoying some good conversation or a drink, the meal is much more pleasant and enjoyable. But if you're eating in a hurry, it's not nearly as nice an experience. The same with pipes: if you're constantly watching the clock and racing to the end, perhaps that's not the best time for you to have picked up your pipe in the first place.
I can't begin to explain the many ways that pipe smoking has enriched my enjoyment of life. It has been a catalyst for me to calm down, take time out daily for myself, and just enjoy the little things in life. And a pipe that goes out is also one of those little things. These days, I've come to enjoy relighting as just another part of the journey.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to re-light my pipe...
Greetings from The Pipe Nook! I'm here in the West Parlor of Gray Manor (my garage), enjoying some Gray Ghost by Cornell & Diehl in my Savinelli Impero 321. This pipe has become one of my go-to's! Practically a pocket-sized pipe, it's sort of a "matchbox" or mini version of the 320 shape, and it practically smokes itself. As for the tobacco, the Gray Ghost is a Cigar-Leaf and Virginia blend, and has really grabbed my attention lately. It straddles the line between flavor profiles of a mild cigar and a good Virginia/Burley pipe blend. Fantastic stuff! I'll be carrying it, and some other C&D blends, very soon.
Today, I wanted to announce the addition of a few items I'm now carrying at The Pipe Nook, which have kind of snuck in under the radar without much fanfare as of yet. First up, Kiribi Pipe Lighters. I've always kind of cheaped it when it came to lighters, honestly. And while there's something to be said for a cheap, readily available and disposable lighter like a Bic or a Clipper, there are times when I was smoking a pipe that I wished I had a complementary lighting instrument to the quality of pipe I'm smoking. So recently, I treated myself to a Kiribi Mikazuki ($80 price range), and I've been very pleased with it! All hand-assembled with quality components in Japan, this is a sleek, well-made lighting tool, the best I've ever had by far. The flint mechanism is very smooth, the flame is excellent, and the flip-cap action is highly satisfying! In comparison, I have a much cheaper but similarly styled pipe lighter ($15 range) that I've used for about a year now, which I haven't had any mechanical trouble with; yet this morning when I meant to grab my Mikazuki and accidentally grabbed the cheaper one for a quick re-light, I was immediately concerned. "Oh, no!" I thought..."What's wrong with my Kiribi?" When I looked down and realized I had the wrong lighter in hand, I just had to chuckle. Does the Kiribi add to my smoking experience? Absolutely! Highly recommended!
Next up, I've begun carrying some new tobacco blends from Peterson, including Hyde Park, Irish Whiskey, Irish Oak, Sherlock Holmes, Luxury Blend, and Peterson's Perfecct plug! Peterson blends are top-notch, and I'm very happy to have them. In addition, I've begun carrying Escudo, which many consider the measuring stick when it comes to Virginia/Perique blends. And finally, I'm proud to announce that I'm beginning to carry Seattle Pipe Club Blends, with an initial offering of Deception Pass, Plum Pudding, and the mighty Mississippi River. Excellent blends all, but the Mississippi River is a favorite of mine--complex and flavorful, yet mild enough to be an all-day blend!
Thanks again for your interest in The Pipe Nook! Stay tuned...there are more good things on the horizon!
Keep 'em Lit,
I was looking through my personal pipe collection the other day, and came across my 1987 Tinder Box Christmas Pipe. This is a beautiful pipe (most likely made by Ardor, given the time period) that has significant sentimental value to me, and is ultimately a part of how The Pipe Nook was born. Here's the story, and a bit of discussion about online pipe retailers versus local brick and mortar stores.
In the Fall of 2015, I learned that the only remaining pipe store in the Pensacola, FL area (a Tinder Box location) would be closing its doors after Christmas. I was quite deflated to hear this news, since The Tinder Box had been a fixture in the mall since I was a child. For more than 35 years, it was managed by a great guy (Bobby), who commuted from Mobile, Alabama every day. Now both Bobby and the owner were looking to retire, and there just wasn't enough local interest to pass it on to another management team. Memories of the Tinder Box down through the years poured into my thoughts. I would walk by the storefront as a boy and be amazed by the sights and smells, the giant stuffed brown bear in the front window, and the guys smoking at the counter, swapping stories, sharing laughs. There was just something magical about the place. As a young man, I would visit and pick up cigars. It was always a friendly and helpful environment. When I finally figured out the pipe smoking thing, Bobby witnessed my cigar purchases dwindle while my pipe and pipe tobacco purchases increased. But time would be short for me to benefit from the pipe knowledge to be found therein.
Pipes and pipe tobaccos were probably only 25% of the Pensacola Tinder Box's overall sales, but it was the final place in town that still carried pipes of any kind. No, they didn't carry everything I wanted, but I did my best to support them as I could, and wound up making online purchases for other items of interest not available locally. I truly wanted to do my part to keep them in business, as I'd seen two other local cigar shops in recent years completely stop carrying pipes and tobaccos, and the downtown pipe shop, The Pipe Rack, had closed its doors. By the time The Pipe Rack had closed, they had pretty much become a general store in order to stay afloat, carrying newspapers, magazines, cigars, candy, snacks, drinks, and whatever else they could to stay in business. But it wasn't to be.
Pensacola is a medium-sized city, and I was certain that if the greater Pensacola area (more than 350,000 souls) didn't have enough pipe smokers to keep even one local pipe shop in business, there must be many in the same boat as myself whose only recourse, barring extensive travel, was to purchase their pipes and tobaccos online. Then, the idea sparked. I wanted to create a web store that had the feel of a brick and mortar, not a "big box" online outlet, and thus The Pipe Nook was born.
Every brand that I carry is a personal recommendation from me as a pipe smoker. It is never my intention to grow as large as the "Big Online Shops," so I'll never have everything. But what I do carry is tried and true in my book. And while I do appreciate some of those bigger online sellers, the sad truth is that at their level of sales, they can't help but take sales away from the local brick & mortar pipe shops.
My intention is not to compete with those local shops at all. What I'm trying to provide is a smaller, more personal option for those in cities and communities like my own that don't have a local purchasing option. I can't tell you how many times I've been traveling, looked up a pipe shop or two, and walked in the door only to find they only sell glass pipes. We all know those aren't tobacco pipes, so we'll not discuss those any further! But the sad truth is that in the vast majority of small to mid-sized towns and cities in America, there are no longer any legitimate pipe shops.
So, how do I try to make an online shop have the personal feel of a local brick & mortar? Well, the personal recommendation aspect is a big one. I will never carry any product simply because it's a "hot item" or just a commodity. Pipes and fine tobacco blends mean more to me than that. In addition, I maintain a "Pipe Clubs" page where people can find like-minded individuals in their own local communities. I'm hoping that this section grows over time! Beyond that, my Blog section and my YouTube channel provide a means of direct communication between myself and my customers, many of whom I can happily say have become friends.
One special note: If you do have a local pipe shop in your town, and if they provide good customer service and decent prices, by all means do what you can to support them! They are so few in number these days that to have one in your area is a wonderful thing that should be treasured!
So that's the "rest of the story" of The Pipe Nook. I hope to grow this business in the years to come, and to be part of what I hope will become a resurgence of the pipe smoking and pipe collecting hobby!
Keep 'em Lit,
My primary goal for The Pipe Nook is to build the website into an informative collection of my favorite pipes and tobaccos! It's a lot of fun, and by the end of 2017, I hope to have all "the usual suspects" represented from my personal regular pipe and tobacco rotation. I'm nearly there with pipes, although I'm looking to introduce a few more brands, and to beef up the lines and shapes I carry within the brands I have. I'm hoping for 6 to 9 brands of pipe tobaccos as well. With that in mind, I rolled out two of my favorite pipe tobacco brands this past week: Peterson and Mac Baren!
Peterson pipe tobaccos are among the most well-known and well-respected in the business. Made from some of the finest leaf from around the world, many a pipe-smoker has found a go-to blend in the Peterson line, myself included! I'm getting things started with two personal favorites, Irish Flake and University Flake, and a recently discovered semi-aromatic "wild card," Nutty Cut.
Mac Baren is a distinguished Danish tobacco company with a history of more than 130 years! Many of their blends have been in production and enjoyed for decades, and newer entries have become modern classics. Many of their blends are personal favorites, and I hope you'll find your own go-to blends within the Mac Baren line. I'm starting with three blends from their much-heralded HH line: Acadian Perique, Latakia Flake, and my current personal favorite tobacco, Old Dark Fired.
The Peterson and Mac Baren brands are home to some of my very favorite tobacco blends. I'm starting with these 3 blends from each, with more to come as orders roll in. And while I may never carry every single offering from every single brand, my intention is to have the kind of stock that when a newcomer asks, "what do you recommend on the site?" I can wholeheartedly say, "Everything!"
Keep 'em Lit,
I think I get the most excited about a new batch of Neerup pipes more than anything else that I carry here at The Pipe Nook! Part of the reason for that excitement of course is because some of my favorite pipes are Neerups, and part of it is because I'm receiving these pipes from an individual (Peder Jeppesen) who I know takes great care in making them in the Danish fashion, all unique, and just right. But another part of it is also the fact that, as good as the photos may be, a Neerup pipe always looks best in person. I made a presentation video for these pipes for my YouTube channel (The Pipe Nook), and a viewer commented, echoing my very thoughts on the matter. Being able to see these pipes in multiple angles simply beats the few pictures I can post with my small knowledge of photography. But even beyond that, being able to hold a Neerup in your hand just takes it to a whole new level! And for the prices these are offered at, you just can't beat 'em.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, if you like the pictures of these Neerups...just wait until you get one of them delivered to your door...you'll be blown away! Believe me, I know from firsthand experience. If you watch my YouTube video, in which I share the box opening with you, you can see the gears turning with quite a few of these pipes. Not every shape calls out to every person, but when it was all said and done, there are 10 or 12 of these 20 that I would love to add to my personal collection! I can tell you that I'm definitely keeping two of them for myself, possibly more. Hmmm...for the sake of my bank account, perhaps I shouldn't carry Neerup pipes after all...
And now for a quick announcement: I'll be out of town for a few days, so any and all orders placed between now and March 22nd will ship out on March 23rd. Just a quick trip to recharge the batteries a bit, so I thank you for your patience for the brief wait time.
Keep 'em Lit,
Here at The Pipe Nook, we're just getting started on our journey of offering premium pipe tobacco blends to our customers. Just as I've done in choosing pipes to carry, I'm taking great care in choosing tobaccos that I personally feel are the best in the business when it comes to quality versus value. As such, I don't ever intend to carry brands simply as commodities. What that means is that it's never my goal to carry every brand, nor even every blend within the larger brands I may carry. Everything offered here at The Pipe Nook is a personal recommendation from me as a pipe smoker!
I kicked things off a few weeks back by offering Dunhill tobaccos. I plan to eventually have about 9 to 12 brands represented, and with that in mind, I'm pleased to introduce Savinelli as the second tobacco brand here at The Pipe Nook!
While some companies attempt to create blends for every mood and palate, winding up with dozens of blends, Savinelli has gone another direction and focused on providing just a few very high-quality blends that can be appreciated and enjoyed by many. No strong, overly-aromatic, or harsh blends here! Every one of these could be all-day smokes, and certainly could be entries into more natural-tasting blends for those who wish to move away from smoking primarily aromatics. Savinelli tobaccos are smooth, balanced and refined, just like the pipes that bear that name.
Four of these five blends are available in 100 gram tins, so let's start with the only 50 gram offering in the line, Giubileo d'Oro, which means "Golden Jubilee." This is an incredibly creamy Virginia/Latakia flake, moderate in strength, and very pleasing to even a Latakia-wary person such as myself.
The second of two blends in the line to make use of Latakia is also another very balanced blend, Essenza Cipriota, meaning "Essence of Cyprus." If the name make you think "Latakia Bomb," have no fear--this is another very well-balanced blend, presented in a ribbon cut and consisting of Virginia, Burley, Latakia, and Oriental/Macedonian.
The other flake in the lineup is Brunello Flake, a non-aromatic marriage of Virginia, Burley, and Oriental/Macedonian. It's very similar to Essenza Cipriota, but without the Latakia, and presented in flake form. This is my third favorite in the group--I told you I was wary of Latakia!
The only coin or spun-cut in the line is Doblone d'Oro, or "Gold Dubloons." This is a fantastic non-aromatic blend of Virginia, Burley, Dark Fired, and Perique. The inclusion of Dark Fired and Perique places this blend squarely in my personal wheelhouse, and I love it! Some compare this favorably with the original Three Nuns blend of old.
And last but certainly not least is my personal favorite of the bunch, Savinelli's 140th Anniversary Mixture. Each 100 gram tin of this limited run is individually numbered out of only 1400 tins made in 2016 to commemorate 140 years of Savinelli! It is very surprising to me that I like this so much, since it may be considered by some to be lightly aromatic in nature, due to the infusion of light citrus and floral notes (and to my palate, a bit of clove essence). But beyond that, this is an enticing blend of Virginia, Orientals, Dark Fired. The special florets used in this blend are a staple in Italian cigar production, and are all grown and double-fermented on a singular farm in the Tuscan Tiber Valley region of Italy— a location recognized for its history and tradition of tobacco cultivation dating back to the 17th century. This in a singular experience in pipe smoking, and I'll be happy to carry these tins until I just can't obtain them any more...although at that point, I'll be hoarding them for myself! While the other 4 blends are made by Mac Baren in Denmark, the 140th Anniversary Mixture was made by Cornell & Diehl here in the USA.
Rare indeed is the tobacco brand that has what I would call no sleepers in the stable, but Savinelli has certainly accomplished that here with their lineup. I hope you enjoy them every bit as much as I do. And stay tuned for more tobacco brands to be introduced here at The Pipe Nook in the weeks and months to come!
Keep 'em Lit,
I've yet to meet a pipe smoker who simply doesn't like Savinelli pipes. Savinelli is easily one of the most well-respected pipe makers in the world, and for good reason. They consistently create some of the most loved shapes and finishes on the market. However, I've heard many pipe smokers say things similar to, "I don't use the balsa filters, but they smoke great without them."
Although I'm personally a fan of the 6mm Balsa filter system, I can't exactly say the filters are strictly necessary. Savinelli's filter system is designed in such a way as to allow for pipe smokers to choose whether or not to use filters depending on their own preference, while still providing a great smoke either way! I personally find that the balsa filters are a fantastic feature to tame blends that are overly moist or tend to bite, but many pipe smokers prefer an unfiltered smoke, and Savinelli has answered the call. The Tre series features a more standard 3mm drilling for those who prefer not to use filters and would like to have a more standard draw.
I currently only have the Tre series available in the newly introduced 321 shape, but rest assured I'll have more in the near future. Which brings me to my next point: in addition to the Tre 321's in both smooth and rusticated finishes, I also have re-stocks of 321's in the Dolomiti and Impero lines! This has turned into quite the shape of interest for those who like the look of the 320, but would rather have a smaller bowl size and hand feel. I personally have a 321 Impero Rusticated that I'm over the moon about, but I'll also be adding a Tre 321 to my collection today!
Check out these fantastic pipes in The Pipe Nook web store, and let me know what you think of the 321 shape, and what other shapes you'd like for me to carry in the Tre line!
Keep 'em lit,
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