It's so easy to slip into the day-to-day of our lives and not think about the many freedoms that we are blessed with here in the United States. The right to bear arms, the right to speak our minds, the right to fair trial, the right to worship the way we choose. And then we hear about some of the things withheld or taken from many around the world, and it stops us in our tracks. Those freedoms that we enjoy on a daily basis aren't free. Hundreds of thousands have served this country, sacrificed, and paid the ultimate price for them. This Memorial Day, I encourage you to take some time out to honor those who have fallen to protect and ensure our freedom.
In observance of Memorial Day, I'm running a special at The Pipe Nook. Use the Code "NEVERFORGET" at checkout, and you'll receive 20% off your entire order. I have pipes in stock from Savinelli, Paronelli, Rossi, Missouri Meerschaum, and Tom Correll. In addition, I have a good bit of pipe accessories available, so be sure to stock up. This offer is good through May 31st. The more you buy, the more you'll save, so don't forget that Father's Day is just around the corner!
I wish you and yours all the best this Memorial Day weekend!
Keep 'em lit, and Never Forget.
At The Pipe Nook, I only carry pipe brands that I personally smoke and can personally recommend. I'm very selective about the pipes that I carry at various price points, and Paronelli is one that I've wanted to carry for some time. For a while, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to carry them, since they don't currently have US distribution. But recently, I was able to contact Ariberto Paronelli and order directly from the Paronelli Pipe Company. It's a great honor to be able to present these Paronelli Pipes!
The Paronelli family name is synonymous with pipe making, and the Paronelli family may as well be considered Pipe Making Royalty. Established in 1945 by Jean-Marie Alberto Paronelli, the company that shares his namesake has been making high-quality smoking instruments ever since. Today sees the company run by 3rd Generation Pipe Maker, Ariberto Paronelli. In addition to the pipe making business, Paronelli also runs the first Italian Pipe Museum in Italy.
Here is my personal history with Paronelli pipes. As I've mentioned before, it took me nearly twenty years to really get the hang of the pipe smoking ritual, and to thoroughly fall in love with the pipe collecting hobby. I have two Paronelli pipes that I purchased about 8 to 10 years ago; they were the first pipes I acquired that were above the price level of "drug store pipes" or basket pipes, and there was very obviously a difference in the quality of the smoke. However, I was still very in the dark about how to smoke a pipe the "right" way. Years later, once I finally figured out how to smoke a pipe properly, I was able to fully appreciate the quality of the Paronelli pipes in my small but steadily growing collection. Today, those two Paronelli pipes are some of the most treasured pipes I have, and I can't wait to add more (I just picked out a Sandstorm Series for myself).
I'm very pleased to offer Paronelli pipes in the Vogue, Piuma, Sandstorm, and Style Series. These pipes come in a variety of Hand-Carved shapes with different types of stems and finishes, and range in price from $90 to $150. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the quality of pipes available in this range!
Keep 'em lit,
I'm always on the lookout for pipes that I can offer in limited amounts that aren't readily available elsewhere. Recently, I had the opportunity to purchase 8 Savinelli Collection Pipes from the year 2000! These "Millennium Edition" pipes are Artisan-quality beauties that would be a cornerstone in any pipe smoker's collection. And they've been aged for more than 15 years!
While these pipes fall out of the "sweet spot" price-wise that is my focus, I simply couldn't let these incredible pipes pass me by! I'll be keeping one for my own collection, and the other 7 are now available on the site for $225, which is significantly less pricey than the current Collection 2016 edition sandblast pipes!
Savinelli Collection Pipes were first released in 1985, and the annual tradition continues today. Each year, one unique model is created and the year is etched onto a silver or gold plate on the shank. These are well-crafted pieces of art as well as exquisite smoking tools, and are highly regarded by collectors. The 2000 Collection Pipe features a gold plate that reads "2000 collection" and a gorgeous light shell sandblast, with a dark walnut finish. A lighter finished 1/2" band of briar is left smooth where the shank meets the stem, reminiscent of army mount pipes. The stem is an elegantly shaped durable black acrylic. These pipes come in a blue velvet lined presentation box along with a gray Savinelli branded pipe pouch and small certificate of authenticity.
These 2000 Collection pipes are excellent additions to your Savinelli collection, or simply as an exemplary representation of Savinelli in a more robust collection. In addition, they are perfect commemorative pieces to celebrate anything that happened in your life during that year: the birth of a child, an anniversary, or retirement. I'm very pleased to offer these pipes to you!
Keep 'em lit,
It truly is a great time to be a pipe smoker! There has been a resurgence in recent years of the tobacco blending art, and many new blends have hit the scene. Not only that, but many blends that haven't been produced in years, sometimes decades, are making a return to the scene! Gone are the days of choosing one blend and smoking it for 80 years; as with pipes, there are literally HUNDREDS of choices.
I always recommend trying at least one of the following 5 blend types to help you figure out what types of tobaccos you like. Some of my recommendations are a bit muddled because of the inclusion of other tobacco types, but I feel these blends are good starting points.
1. Aromatics - This is the blend type that I think is most associated with pipe smoking, and thoughts of grandpa. I would recommend starting with a simple flavoring, like Vanilla. You can branch out into Chocolates, Rums, Whiskeys, Cherries, and other Fruit Essences from there.
2. Natural Virginias - From the lighter grassy/hay-like Virginias, to the medium-bodied bread notes, to the heavily aged plum-like or vinegary Dark Virginias, there's a wide spectrum of flavors here, but all share the most notable sweetness of the Virginia leaf, which has the most natural sugar content of any type of tobacco. Virginia based blends also seem to age the best in general, and are often found in flake form.
5. Perique Blends - Ah, Perique...my favorite. It can add that little something extra to so many different kinds of blends. Depending upon the types and proportions of the other tobaccos with which it is blended, it can be soothing or spicy. Many consider that it provides a dark fruit or aged flavor, which makes sense considering it undergoes a long anaerobic aging process. True Perique is only available from the St. James Parish of Louisiana.
Other “condimental” tobaccos (of which I also consider Latakia and Perique) to consider as you learn what you like are the deep flavors of Dark-Fired Kentucky (Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired, Peterson Irish Flake), the robust taste of Cigar Leaf (Cornell & Diehl Gray Ghost, GL Pease Key Largo), and the crisp and somewhat exotic tang of Orientals (Dunhill Standard Mixture, Savinelli Brunello Flake). As I've found my own personal tastes, I've gravitated more towards blends that include some sort of mixture of Burleys, Virginias, Perique and Dark-Fired...but that's just me. You may find that your taste in pipe tobacco is completely different from mine! If you enjoy smoking, I thoroughly believe there's something for everyone in the realm of pipe tobacco.
I could include many more, but that's plenty enough to get you started down the yellow brick road that eventually branches in so many directions, you may never reach the Wizard of Oz! But that's kind of the point with Pipe Smoking...the journey is much more important than the destination.
For many people, the art of pipe smoking is a mystery. Unless you are blessed with someone close to you who is an experienced pipe smoker, learning to smoke a pipe can be a search for seemingly secret knowledge that has nearly been lost, and many times you may feel like Indiana Jones trying to uncover hidden clues to ancient artifacts. I have no idea how pipe smoking survived during the "Dark Ages" of the 80's, when pipe smoking interest was low, and the internet hadn't yet made its appearance. Thankfully, the Information Superhighway wasn't just a pipe dream (see what I did?), and now we have a plethora of sources to learn about pipe smoking literally at our fingertips!
It's no secret that I love YouTube, and am part of a vibrant community known as the YTPC (you can Google that) as well as the Instagram Pipe Community (IGPC), and of course there are various forums. I'm sure I'll be writing about those groups in the future; however, another source for pipe knowledge that I'm relatively new to is the wonderful world of Podcasting!
Similarly to YouTube, Podcasting is a niche-driven resource. One can find a podcast about practically any interest under the sun. For instance, I have a good friend who plays in a Kiss tribute band that regularly listens to a fan-produced Podcast about Kiss memorabilia, band trivia, and lore. When I heard of that, I knew there had to be at least one Podcast out there about pipe smoking, and I very quickly found two that I'd like to share.
Pipes Magazine produces a podcast that features interviews from top-notch figures in the Pipe and Tobacco world, and is hosted by Brian Levine. It's a treasure trove of information, and quite often while listening, I find myself reaching for a notepad. You can find out more about this podcast here.
Country Squire Radio is hosted by the dynamic duo of JD and Beau, making for a more conversational tone. Based out of Jackson, Mississippi, they discuss various topics of pipe smoking, and occasionally feature guests. Their site is located here.
I recently made a YouTube video on my channel (The Pipe Nook) about these two Podcasts, and was contacted by another member of the YouTube Pipe Community who was working on a third Podcast, which has now launched and is just as enjoyable as the "Big Two," and I was privileged to be interviewed for Episode 2! Hosted by Mike Murphy, who has a 5-Year background in Podcasting, "Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It" is a weekly podcast that features pipe & tobacco reviews, as well as interviews with members of the YTPC and various Artisan pipe makers. Mike is killing it right out of the gate! You can find his Podcast here.
***EDIT: Mike's Podcast is currently on Hiatus, as work and various life happenings have taken their toll on his free time. I'll keep the link up, as I'm hopeful that he will return to making high-quality podcasts sometime in the future.***
Between these three Podcasts, you will find hours of entertainment and information about this wonderful pastime of pipe smoking, and the recently exploding hobby of pipe collecting! Enjoy!
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