I am not speaking about the web site, but tobacco reviews in general. I have been smoking pipes since the ripe old age of 15, and that was back in 1981. That's a lot of burning leaves in the bowl! Looking back, I can honestly say that I could not accurately describe, let alone appreciate, a blend until my third or fourth year of pipe smoking. Let's face it, there is a learning curve that goes with this fine art, and it cannot be rushed or skipped if one wants to be able to get the most enjoyment out of the pipe.
There are many variables that affect our reception and appreciation for a good bowl of tobacco. The palate must be "seasoned" to be able to distinguish the many nuances of the variety of tobaccos we smoke. This takes time, as it does with any new introduction to our tastes. Just as one learns to taste and appreciate a fine bourbon, time and experience are the teachers.
This same principle applies when learning a new blend. Even the most experienced smokers will need to smoke several bowls, preferably in a variety of pipes, in order to be able to accurately describe the characteristics. flavors and temperament of a new blend. The general rule is one full tin of 50 or 100 grams to be able to learn a blend, but again...variables.
So, onto my point regarding tobacco reviews, I've been seeing a lot of them that begin with one of the three phrases:
- "I'm a brand new smoker"
- "I smoked one bowl of this blend"
- "I despise (Latakia/English/VA/VAPer/Aromatics/Burley) but I am reviewing this anyway"
Given the narcissistic nature of Internet commenting, it seems that a lot of people like to think of themselves as critics. How about you? I'd love to hear some opinions on this topic.