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,
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.
If you start out this way, and 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 Missouri Meerschaum, Rossi, Savinelli, and Rattray's.
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!
Keep em lit,
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,
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!
Thanks again for your interest in The Pipe Nook! Stay tuned...there are more good things on the horizon!
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,
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 haven't been this excited about a new production pipe shape in...well...ever! Introducing the new Savinelli 321--a smaller, lighter, and easier to clench version of the venerable 320 Author! As soon as I found out about this shape, I ordered at least one of every line available. These are currently only offered in the new Dolomiti and Impero lines, and the Tre series, in both smooth and rusticated versions. But you can be sure if the 321 is added to any other lines, I'll be carrying them too!
"Okay, so what's the big deal?" you may ask. Well, the 320 has always been one of my favorite shapes; the 320 Trevi is the pipe that gave me my first "A-Ha!" moment, the one that made me fall in love with pipe smoking after many false starts (pun very much intended) over the years. There are many who agree with me that the Author shape is simply one of the best smokers around. But I have to admit, it is a bit on the hefty side. Many a pipe smoker has opted to not purchase a 320 for the very fact of it's size and weight, which is unfortunate because they're fantastic pipes in their own right. But it's true enough that there have been times I've reached for my 320 and thought better of it, because I didn't have that kind of time to devote to smoking such a large bowl. "Wouldn't it be nice," I've thought, "if there were a similar pipe with just a smidgen of a smaller bowl?"
Enter the 321! Savinelli has become a prophet of wish-fulfillment with these little smoking machines! I literally went giddy when I opened the first 321 box of my initial order and held it in my hand. I just can't say enough good things about this kid brother of the mighty 320. This one's gonna be big, because it's so small!
But not too small--Here's a quick comparison of the dimensions:
Length: 5.5 in. (320), 5.25 in. (321)
Bowl Height: 1.7 in. (320), 1.5 in. (321)
Bowl Interior Depth: 1.3 in. (320), 1.2 in. (321)
Bowl Interior Diameter at Rim: 0.9 in. (320), 0.8 in. (321)
Approximate Weight: 3.0 oz (320), 1.8 oz. (321)
It doesn't seem like much of a difference on paper except for the weight, but it's just enough to put a BIG smile on my face! And just like the 320, it smokes like a charm. I don't have many at the moment, but not to worry--I've already tripled my second order and should have them soon!
If you've held off on a 320 because of the reasons mentioned above, do yourself a favor and pick up a 321. You'll be glad you did!
Keep 'em lit,
Just a quick note today to let you know that I've added a Gift Card feature to the site! Gift cards can be purchased in increments from $25 to $500 and work just like any other form of payment at checkout. If you're like me, you're always second-guessing gifts that you give to friends and family. Is it really something they wanted? Even if they wanted it, did you pick the right color? And on and on. But if you have a pipe smoker in your life, here's a great option to make gift-giving a piece of cake!
This Holiday Season, surprise a fellow pipe smoker (or convince your friends & family to "surprise" you) with a Gift Card from The Pipe Nook! Gift Cards are delivered to the recipient by email and include instructions on how to redeem them at checkout. Our Gift Cards have no additional processing fees and never expire!
Keep 'em lit,
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