I’ve been smoking cigars for about 10 years β€” in the summer months, when the weather is nice, I usually smoke every evening. I really enjoy the peace and quiet of sitting outside, smoking, pondering and minding my own business.

But cigars are expensive in Norway, and I’m not travelling much these days… So I figured I’d give pipe smoking a try. I have several cigar friends what speaks highly of it β€” so why not? πŸ˜ƒ

Buying

I got myself a “pipe starting kit” with:

  • Consul Briar pipe no 82, bent
  • Pipe tool, 3 in 1
  • Pipe lighter
  • Active carbon filters, 9 mm
  • Pipe stand
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cleaning fluid
Pipe tool, carbon filter and lighter

As for the tobacco β€” I ordered four types, all Ashton:

Ashton Gold Rush

Traces of lemon and honey emerge in a pure Virginia blend created from a select recipe of premium tobaccos. The smooth and savory profile is medium in body. The taste is tangy and a touch grassy with a hint of sweet citrus flavor around the edges. β€” Ashton Distributors

Ashton Winding Road

Bridge the gap between aromatic and English tobaccos with a mellow recipe of golden and dark-brown Virginia with a hint of Black Cavendish. Natural aromas of caramel and apricot emerge in a sweet, bright, and smoky finish. Elaborate and approachable flavors layer the palate in Ashton Winding Road. β€” Ashton Distributors

Ashton Rainy Day

An intricate blend of Virginia, Burley Leaf, and Black Cavendish is aged in whiskey barrels for precisely one month. A marvelous aroma of tropical fruit, hickory, and nuts heralds a luscious taste. Ashton Rainy Day is approachable, rich, and balanced, making it an excellent choice for a casual afternoon smoke. β€” Ashton Distributors

Ashton Guilty Pleasure

A glorious mixture of Cavendish, Virginia, and Carolina Burley carries an irresistible aroma with flavors of vanilla, mango, and exotic citrus. Sweet, creamy, and complex tasting notes converge in a savory, luscious finish. The profile is delicious and a touch decadent. β€” Ashton Distributors

I have also heard good things about Ashton Artisan’s Blend, so I’ll need to get some of that as well.

Tobacco is also expensive in Norway, but 50 g of pipe tobacco costs the same as one (1!) premium cigar, and lasts a lot longer…

Smoking

Last Friday I lit the fire pit, brought my newly purchased pipe; Gold Rush tobacco; pipe tool; lighter; and a fruity IPA, outside. Filled the bowl half full, as I have read it is important to break the pipe in gently. Got comfortable and lit the pipe.

Pipe on stand, IPA beer and a cigar humidor (that I use for keeping the accessories)

Oh man! It was a really pleasant experience! The smoke was cool β€” fresh, with a hint of sweet citrus and grass. I felt instantly at peace πŸ˜ƒ

The warmth of the fire pit; the quiet early spring evening, the sweet smelling smoke and the draw of the pipe. I concluded right then and there: this is for me!

Pipe and fire pit

I repeated the success on Saturday, and Sunday πŸ˜„

Tobacco storage

I plan on storing the pipe tobacco the same way I store my cigars, in an air-tight plastic container with a Boveda pack.

Pipe tobacco in plastic container

Zen

Smoking a cigar takes a while, depending on the cigar of course. So I usually brought my laptop outside with me. With the pipe smoking I’m thinking I’ll leave the laptop inside, and instead enjoy the peace and quiet, or listen to some music or an audio-book.

I’m on the computer a lot, both for work and pleasure. So spending some time in the evening without it, is probably not a terrible idea.

As long as the weather is chilly, and I have the fire pit going, I can just stare into the flames. Fire is magical πŸ˜ƒ