Just a quick announcement to let you know about an exciting new documentary that is available for purchase or rental that's all about pipes! "Father the Flame" is a film project I've heard about for a few years now that has finally come to fruition, and I'm thrilled to report that it's a beautiful documentary which takes great care to present a highly artistic, yet approachable and honest snapshot of many aspects of modern-day pipe smoking and pipe collecting!
Directed by Chad Terpstra, "Father the Flame" takes us on a journey of discovery about pipes, pipe smoking, and pipe making. The film covers much during its runtime of 79 minutes, including snapshots into the past of pipe smoking, American artisan pipe makers, the Danish masters, Mimmo and briar harvesting, the Chicago Pipe Show, Native Americans and pipe smoking, and so much more. "Father the Flame" is a fantastic accomplishment that's not to be missed!
"Father the Flame" can now be rented or purchased on Amazon Video, here.
In addition, a DVD will be released on June 18, 2019, which can be preordered here.
Don't miss this wonderful and insightful look into the art, passion, and tradition that is inherently bound to this hobby we all love!
Keep 'em Lit,
It's not every day that I introduce a new brand of pipes here at The Pipe Nook. If you've followed me for the past few years, you know that my focus is on the line where quality meets value. As such, I've only been carrying Savinelli, Rossi, and Missouri Meerschaum pipes as of late. Well I'm very pleased to announce the latest pipe company to The Pipe Nook stable: Rattray's Pipes!
Established in 1903 by Charles Rattray of Perth, Scotland, this storied company has produced some of the finest pipes available for more than a century. These pipes are now made throughout Europe, mostly in Germany and England, and are prized for using the best of both modern and Old World pipe making methods. The attention to detail is first-class in every price point, from striking finishes to top-notch drilling, right down to the handsome pipe bag and presentation box. All of the Rattray's pipes that I carry here at The Pipe Nook are 9mm filtered, but if filters are not your preference, they aren't necessary to enjoy these incredible and beautiful smoking instruments!
I've launched with a modest selection of shapes from the Goblin, Fachen, and Old Gowrie lines, with more series and shapes to come in the near future. In addition, you'll find Rattray's Pipe Cases and tampers in my Accessories section. My initial stock is light, but don't worry - if I sell out of a shape you like, I'll be reordering soon!
I can't say enough good things about these pipes! I've been thoroughly enjoying them myself for some time now, and I'm pleased to finally offer them to you!
Keep 'em Lit,
I'm very happy to announce that The Pipe Nook now carries all 8 of Captain Earle's fantastic tobacco blends!
Captain Earle's Pipe Tobaccos were created by Jay and Louise Jones of Hermit Tobacco Works. Since Jay's passing in 2011, Louise has partnered with Cornell & Diehl to bring these popular blends to more pipe smokers than she could on her own. These blends were inspired by Jay and Louise's acquisition of an antique meerschaum pipe that was owned by Captain James A.M. Earle, who was most notably Master of the Charles W. Morgan, a whaling vessel built in 1841 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The Charles W. Morgan is the very last operational wooden whaling vessel in the world from an American fleet that once boasted more than 2,700 ships, and is currently harbored at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut.
This is a very unique line of tobaccos in the marketplace, as they are all non-aromatic, with no added flavors. Every one of these wonderful blends is comprised of very thin ribbon cut (nearly shag) tobaccos, pressed into easy to handle crumble cakes. The shining star throughout these blends for me is the interplay between the Orientals, which are present in every single recipe, and the other constituent components. Most blends feature Latakia, and many contain Perique, making for a wide range of flavors to explore!
Captain Earle's Tobaccos have become one of my very favorite lines in a very short time, since I discovered them for myself, and I'm very happy to present them to my loyal Pipe Nook customers!
Keep 'em Lit,
Greetings from The Pipe Nook! I hope you've had time recently to smoke your pipe, and to reflect on the many blessings in life. Recently, I've been compiling a list of some of my favorite quotations in regards to pipe smoking, which I thought would be fun to share with you. The first of these has even found its way onto the back of my business cards. So without further ado, here's the current list!
“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.”
-William Makepeace Thackeray, from “The Social Pipe”
“Nowhere in the world will such a brotherly feeling of confidence be experienced as amongst those who sit together smoking their pipes.”
- The Results and Merits of Tobacco, 1844, Doctor Barnstein
“A pipe is the fountain of contemplation, the source of pleasure, the companion of the wise; and the man who smokes, thinks like a philosopher and acts like a Samaritan.”
-Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton
“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”
-Albert Einstein, 1950
“The fact is, squire, the moment a man takes to a pipe, he becomes a philosopher. It’s the poor man’s friend; it calms the mind, soothes the temper, and makes a man patient under difficulties. It has made more good men, good husbands, kind masters, indulgent fathers, than any other blessed thing on this universal earth.”
-Sam Slick, the clockmaker
"If you can't send money, send tobacco."
-George Washington to the Continental Congress, 1776
"I toiled after it, sir, as some men toil after virtue."
-Charles Lamb, when asked how he became such a prodigious pipe smoker
"As the priest is characterized by his cassock, so the smoker by his pipe. The way in which he holds it, raises it to his lips, and knocks out the ashes, reveals his personality, habits, passions, and even his thoughts."
-E. Th. A. Hoffmann
"...pipe smoking is properly an intellectual exercise."
-Christopher Morley, 1916
“There is no composing draught like the draught through the tube of a pipe.”
-Captain Frederick Marryatt
“A pipe is to the troubled soul what caresses of a mother are for her suffering child.”
“I hated tobacco. I could have almost lent my support to any institution that had for its object the putting of tobacco smokers to death…I now feel that smoking in moderation is a comfortable and laudable practice, and is productive of good. There is no more harm in a pipe than in a cup of tea. You may poison yourself by drinking too much green tea, and kill yourself by eating too many beefsteaks. For my part, I consider that tobacco, in moderation, is a sweetener and equalizer of the temper.”
-Thomas Henry Huxley
“There is nothing like being left alone . . . to walk peacefully with oneself in the woods. To boil one's coffee and fill one's pipe, and to think idly and slowly as one does it.”
"On land, on sea, at home, abroad,
I smoke my pipe and worship God."
-Johann Sebastian Bach
I hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as I enjoyed compiling it! Be sure to check with The Pipe Nook from time to time to see what's new. I recently added Paladin Black Cherry and Lane Limited Ready-Rubbed to my Codger Blends category, and I am all stocked up with the pipe that has become my go-to favorite to smoke: the Savinelli Series III 320 9mm Filtered pipe!
Keep 'em lit,
Dunhill is one of the brands that I initially wanted to carry here at The Pipe Nook. A number of their blends have been personal favorites of mine, and it is with a touch of sadness that I announce that at The Pipe Nook, we are coming to the end of our stock of Dunhill tobaccos.
British American Tobacco announced near the end of 2016 that Dunhill tobacco production would soon be coming to a close. I was gearing up to begin carrying tobacco in 2017, and this news deflated me quite a bit. Nevertheless, I wanted to carry Dunhill as long as I could, and I'm glad to have been able to be a small part in the end of the Dunhill era of pipe tobacco. BAT has very recently gone on record as stating that Dunhill tobacco production has already ceased, and this is reflected in many of their blends already being sold out at many online retailers, including The Pipe Nook. I've already removed the blends that I'm sold out of, but I still have a small supply of about half of their blends in stock. All of the Dunhill blends are excellent candidates for cellaring and maturing for many years, so I would advise that you stock up on what you can before it's all gone.
While the decision for British American Tobacco to leave the pipe tobacco business seems completely numbers driven, and a cut at the heart of the pipe smoking community that the Dunhill name was built upon, I can still appreciate the blends and hope to enjoy the blends I have cellared for many years to come. And although the loss of these favored blends is significant to me, I hope you'll all take heart in the fact that they aren't the only game in town. There are so many excellent blends left out there from companies such as Cornell & Diehl, Mac Baren, Savinelli, and Peterson, that I have no doubt I'll still have plenty of fantastic flavors to stuff in my pipes. Visit The Pipe Nook for many of these blends, and all the best to you and yours!
Keep 'em Lit,
Today, I'd like to discuss some of the reasons that many who try their hand at pipe smoking often decide to quit. This is a topic that hits rather close to home to me, as I came very close to quitting before I really figured out how to smoke a pipe and how to achieve the level of enjoyment I've attained with pipe smoking.
As I've mentioned before in various blogs, my great-grandfather was the one and only pipe smoker in my life as I was growing up, and while many friends and family just saw him as an oddball, or saw pipe smoking as "his thing," I was always drawn to it. Around the age of 20 or so, I decided to give smoking a shot, and I started with cigars. Eventually, I bought a cheap pipe from the drug store and tried smoking a pipe with my great-grandfather. Unfortunately, he wasn't the best instructor...he'd smoked a pipe for about 70 years at that point, but his only instruction was, "just jamb some tobacco in the bowl and light it up!" Well, that didn't really help me, so I wound up frustrated and tongue-torched more often than not. This went on for nearly 20 years...I'm not exaggerating. During that time, I primarily smoked cigars, but would occasionally drag out my pipe and give it another go. I always wanted to smoke a pipe, but just never got the hang of it.
Just before I turned 40, I decided I was going to learn to smoke a pipe the "right" way, or I was never going to try again. I turned to YouTube for assistance, thinking that perhaps I would find some pipe smokers who had made videos about how to smoke a pipe. Lo and behold, there were a handful of folks, and with the help of a few YouTubers such as Jayson Dagner (The Smoking Dagners), and Kel (SmokeRingsPipeDreams), I got the hang of it, and have enjoyed pipe smoking immensely ever since. But had I not found those instructional videos, I wouldn't be here today, running a small online pipe shop, and writing about this. So let's delve into some of the reasons people give up on pipe smoking too soon.
Cigars are Easier
I found this to be true in my own experience. While there are techniques to smoking a cigar that prove helpful and assist in the overall enjoyment of cigar smoking, it's so much easier to get the hang of it much more quickly. With cigars, you clip the end, light it up, and you're off to the races. Cigars burn more evenly and stay lit better, because they are designed to do so. Provided they're made well, they will smoke evenly to the end with few (if any) relights. Cigar smokers who try pipe smoking will find that there is much more involved in pipe smoking: proper loading of the bowl, treatment of various types of tobaccos, the false light and true light, tamping technique, and relights. Because pipe smoke doesn't linger on your person as long as cigar smoke, I find that my wife prefers that I smoke a pipe. That's just one of the many reasons I prefer pipe smoking myself, but many cigar smokers who have an interest in pipes simply discover that they'd rather be able to just light up and go.
Cigarettes are Much Easier
While the vast majority of us would agree that cigarette smoking is the worst form of smoking when it comes to health risks, those who are cigarette smokers definitely have the hardest time adjusting to pipe smoking. This is largely due to the fact that cigarettes are the easiest form of smoking, and pipes are the most difficult. They are at opposite ends of the difficulty spectrum. You can grab a cigarette, light it up, and be done smoking by the time a pipe smoker can properly load his or her bowl! And when you light a cigarette, it won't go out. Once lit, a cigarette will burn itself down more often than not without you even having to take a single puff after getting it lit. This falls in line with the "instant gratification" mentality that pervades our society today. Without even getting into the health risks of sucking cigarette smoke into your lungs (most pipe smokers taste rather than inhale), or the extra chemicals that come from burning bleached white paper in addition to the low quality tobacco, I think we can all agree that cigarettes are the "fast food" of the smoking spectrum, whereas premium cigars and pipes are the "Filet Mignons" of smoking. I find that there is simply no comparison between the two, and while eating steak for every meal may not be the healthiest for you, I know that eating fast food for every meal is about the worst diet you can have. Nevertheless, if we step away from the food analogy, we can see that cigarette smoking is simply the quickest and easiest form of smoking, and those who have smoked cigarettes find that the pipe smoking ritual is much more time consuming and difficult, at least until you get the hang of it. Because of this, cigarette smokers are much more likely to give up on pipe smoking.
No Local Pipe Shops
This one also hits home with me. Two years ago, the last local brick and mortar shop that carried pipes and pipe tobaccos in my hometown closed. Because of this, there are no places left to go to be "in the scene" so to speak. There are no shop owners to provide much-needed information, or to host pipe club meetings, etc. Now, my hometown has a greater-area population (including suburbs and smaller satellite communities) of about 500,000 people. If such a population couldn't support even one pipe shop, I couldn't help but think that there are small to mid-sized towns all over the country who were in the same boat. This is what gave me the initial idea to start The Pipe Nook, with which I strive to attain the atmosphere of a "virtual brick & mortar" shop...one that provides information to those interested in pipe smoking. I try to be as helpful as I can to those who contact me with questions, in much the same way that a good local shop owner would.
No Guidance from Other Pipe Smokers
In much the same way that a lack of local pipe shops limits interpersonal learning, the very fact that so few pipe smokers exist these days limits an individual's chances of picking up tips from a friend or neighbor who smokes a pipe. It's very rare indeed these days to see a pipe smoker out for a stroll. This lack of pipe smoking visibility, in conjunction with a lack of local shops, is what causes many new pipe smokers to obtain their purchases, and find their sense of community, online. Which brings us to the final reason that many interested parties give up.
Too Many Choices
Searching online for pipes and pipe tobaccos provides a staggering amount of choices! There are literally hundreds of pipes and pipe tobaccos to choose from. Which pipe brand should I start with? What size and shape? Should I buy a filtered pipe, or non-filtered? What is a Flake, Coin, Ribbon, cake, or plug? What's the difference between Cavendish, Burley, Virginia, Latakia, and Turkish? What the heck is Perique? It can be overwhelming, and many just decide it's not worth the effort. That's why when I started The Pipe Nook, I decided that every brand I carry would be a personal recommendation from me. I sell Savinelli pipes because I smoke Savinelli pipes. I sell Cornell & Diehl tobaccos because I smoke Cornell & Diehl tobaccos. Now, I smoke other pipes and tobaccos that I don't carry here at The Pipe Nook. But if I decide to carry it on the site, it's a brand that I feel is an essential part of the pipe smoking world today; I only carry items that I feel the beginner pipe smoker could most easily get into. I never carry anything simply from a sales perspective, and I've gotten many positive comments from customers who are thankful for The Pipe Nook both as a source of information, and as a limiter of choice in the marketplace that only carries optimal choices for those new to pipe smoking.
I hope you've found this article thought-provoking, and I hope you'll stick with it and be patient with yourself if you're struggling with pipe smoking. If you're interested in further information about the pipe smoking hobby, I would recommend the following blogs here on the site:
"What Pipe Tobaccos Should I Smoke"
"Pipe Smoking 101: How to Smoke a Pipe"
"How to Smoke a Pipe Video Series from The Pipe Nook"
Please feel free to share this blog, as well as these other three, with anyone you know who would like to learn more about the incredibly satisfying world of pipe smoking!
Keep 'em Lit,
Here at The Pipe Nook, I'm often asked many different questions, but there are some that I'm asked more than occasionally. For some reason, I've not had the brilliant idea to include a FAQ page until today! So without further ado, here are the 10 most asked questions.
1. How much is shipping at The Pipe Nook?
Shipping is a flat $5 fee within the United States, and a flat $15 fee for orders shipped to Canada. If shipping for your order is more than that (which is often the case), I cover the rest. The more you purchase, the more you'll save on shipping, and larger US orders often get upgraded from First Class to Priority Mail, so stuff that cart full! :)
2. Do you ship internationally?
No, at this time I only ship within the US and Canada. International shipping of tobacco and tobacco related products requires much research of an ever-changing set of customs regulations and tariffs that are unique to each individual nation. A small operation such as mine simply doesn't have the resources to keep up with it all. Believe me, I wish I could ship anywhere; it's just not feasible at this point in time.
3. Why don't you ship tobacco to Canada or Florida?
Retail shipping of tobacco products to Canada is prohibited. As for Florida, it's a bit more complicated. I live in the state of Florida, and if I were to sell tobacco to my fellow Floridians, I would also have to charge an 85% pipe tobacco surtax. I refuse to do this, so I've made the decision to not sell tobacco to Florida residents. Keep in mind, however, that I can and will ship pipes and accessories to Canada and Florida!
4. What methods of payment do you accept?
You can pay using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or your Paypal Account. All payments are processed by Paypal, but you do not need a Paypal account to pay with your credit card.
5. When will you get more of _______ in stock?
Since I'm a small operation, I sometimes run out of certain things. The biggest offenders are estate pipes, Morgan Bones, Mr. Brog, and Savinelli Series III. I try my best to place reorders at least monthly, so stay tuned, and be sure to sign up for my email newsletter for updates!
6. I'm interested in something you don't seem to carry. Will you do special orders?
I realize my selection is a bit limited for more seasoned pipe smokers, although I do believe there's something for everything here at The Pipe Nook! In fact, I would go so far as to say that the vast majority of pipe smokers could spend their entire lives smoking and enjoying only the pipes and tobaccos that I carry, and not really missing much! There are literally hundreds of brands, pipes shapes and tobacco blends out there, but they are largely variations on a handful of themes. However, if you are interested in a special order of something I don't carry, I will do my best to accommodate your request! If it falls within any of the brands I carry, I'm confident I can obtain it. However, I can also obtain much more outside of those brands, so just ask me using the form on my contact page.
7. What pipe would you recommend for a new pipe smoker?
Anything you see on my site! The Pipe Nook is designed to be a limiter of choice for the new and nearly new pipe smoker. I only carry products that I personally recommend. As such, every brand I carry is what I consider to be "gold standard" products, brands that I feel every collector would do well to have represented in their collection. There's not a pipe on my site that would be "bad" for a new pipe smoker. However, there are two guidelines I would recommend. I would get a filtered pipe first, as filters help alleviate tongue bite, which is the biggest reason people give up on pipe smoking before they really learn how to smoke a pipe. Also, I would recommend that you not spend too much on your first pipe (say, $65 or less), so that if you decide it's not for you at the moment, you can hang onto the pipe and perhaps try again in the future. And if you decide pipe smoking is absolutely not for you, you're not out too much money. A great many pipes on my site fall in line with these two recommendations, including many pipes by Mr. Brog, Missouri Meerschaum, Rossi, Savinelli, and more.
8. What tobaccos would you recommend for a new pipe smoker?
This one is a bit trickier, as it depends upon whether you personally like Aromatics, Virginias, Burleys, Latakia, Perique, etc. Also, are you coming from cigars, cigarettes, or have you never smoked anything before? I'd say that if you really want to get to know what your personal tastes are, you'll need to start with at least 5 different kinds of blends to get your bearings. I wrote a blog titled "What Pipe Tobaccos Should I Smoke?" which can be found here. I go back and update this particular blog from time to time, to include new blends I add to the site. Keep in mind that if a particular kind of blend bites you more than others, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. For me personally, certain Virginias tend to nip to varying degrees. Try using a pipe filter to see if it helps; pipe filters make a world of difference for me!
9. I'm completely new to pipe smoking, and have no idea how to do this! Can you help?
I wrote a blog titled "Pipe Smoking 101: How to Smoke a Pipe." This is a 1-Page reference guide that you can print out to help get you started, which you can find here. For those who want to go a bit more in-depth, I created a 25-Part video series on YouTube, which you can find here. It's pretty conversational and low-tech, but I planned it out to be easy to understand and in an order of importance that makes sense, at least to me. I hope you find it helpful!
10. How to I become an expert pipe smoker?
You're definitely asking the wrong guy! It took me nearly 20 years to finally "get it," which is why I've created blogs and videos to help you on your way and not waste the kind of time I did. Beyond that, however, I would say that while there are certain universal tips, pipe smoking is a very personal thing, and what works for one person may not work for another. In addition, pipe smoking is a multi-faceted interest, and I don't think anyone ever truly stops learning. Keep in mind that mistakes are part of the learning process. And as with many of the best things in life, I strongly believe that the journey is more important than the destination. To me, the middle of the bowl is much more enjoyable than the bottom of the bowl. I hope you find as much fulfillment in your times of quiet reflection with your pipe as I do!
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,
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