Saturday, June 28, 2014

Imagine If Pipes Were Sold Like Guitars?

Aside from writing, I am a musician by trade. I've been playing guitar for many years and I am still enjoying my career.  I was recently in a "big box" music store, recently, and some of the things I saw people do to some of the guitars broke my heart.  Guys wearing tank top shirts that smell like it's been weeks since either saw some soap, putting guitars under their arms and abusing them; little kids putting their sticky hands all over the delicate rosewood fretboards; teens with metal bracelets banging away on $10k Martin acoustics.  When someone finally decides to purchase one of these guitars, the store charges full price.

So I started wondering what it would be like if pipes were marketed and sold the same ways as guitars are.  Can you imagine a $3k Castello being picked up and handled by anyone, smoked, chomped, reamed, scorched, banged against the wall, etc. and then paying full price?  Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?  Well, it IS ridiculous and it should not be practiced in either business!  

So now it's your turn!  Tell us what you think! Would you buy a pipe (as "new") if it had been abused, smoked repeatedly, etc, by customers of the shop?

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Frog Morton Cellar Review

Frog Morton's Cellar is the most recent addition to McClelland's "Frog Morton" line of Latakia-based blends.  This tobacco comes with a small cube of Oak wood from an old whiskey barrel, thereby imparting the blend with a smokey-sweet hint of bourbon. 

The tin pop gives a nice scent of a wood fire and fine spirits. The moisture content is not too moist, that it cannot be smoked straight from the tin, yet a short breathing period brings benefit prior to packing.  The leaves are mostly black with a few ribbons of tan. There is a slight stickiness to the touch, however, the blend burns clean and leaves no tackified residue on the bowl walls.

On the initial light, the smoke is dark then slightly sweet with the whiskey flavor coming through.  Once the bowl is burning properly you get large plumes of fragrant smoke. The bourbon flavor is strongest in the first third of the bowl and then it becomes more subtle as the smoke progresses.  Mid-bowl, the flavors are subdued, leveling out to a mild pure tobacco taste.  As the bowl winds down, the blend starts to give one last rise in flavor and then it is over and one is left with a small pile of pure grey powdery ash.  Bowl walls are clean and ghosting is almost non-existent.

Overall, this is a very nice blend that you can enjoy anytime, even as an all-day smoke.  It pairs well with a good whiskey or a strong coffee.