Monthly Archives:September 2014

October Meeting and HPC Newsletter

23 Sep , 2014,
coreyk6767

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Hello HPC members!

Our October meeting is approaching and will be held, like usual, at Stogies on Westheimer, Friday October 3. I hope to see you all there and maybe we will be blessed with some nice weather so we can take advantage of some outside smoking.

I have another 20 tins of Sutliff tobacco to give out. It’s an aromatic, so some of you tobacco snobs might not like it :)-

There has been a slight delay in the effort to get our club blend online at www.Pipesandcigars.com, Russ hasn’t answered my last few emails and I don’t want to bug him too much… I’d hate to get on his shit list. 🙂

I have our membership cards ready and I will be passing them out to the Charter Members. Even if you aren’t interested, just humor me and put it in your wallet.

I’d like to discuss keeping the HPC Holiday tradition alive by planning our Christmas gift exchange and our November Thanksgiving Feast.

I wanted to thank you guys again for helping support the HPC. I truly look forward to getting together each month and hanging out.

Corey Kelly

P.S

Be sure and check out the new website @ http://www.houstonpipeclub.com and submit any photos you would like to see on the page.

Are you a tobacco Snob?

12 Sep , 2014,
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I  was recently asked  ”Do only pipe smoking novices smoke aromatics?” by a friend who in fact is a pipe smoking novice. My response was a quick ” Heck no, what makes you think that?” He proceeded to explain to me that he had read many comments posted online about how “real” pipe smokers smoke English and Virginia blends opposed to the aromatic variety, and that he felt sort of embarrassed by the fact that he was really enjoying the aromatic tobacco he picked up recently. I assured him that many, many pipe smokers have enjoyed aromatics for years and that he was not alone in his sentiment of the crowd pleasing aroma that aromatics offer.

After packing a bowl of Sutliff Academy in honor of my friends quandary, I contemplated  the idea that maybe there is a negative tone regarding aromatics online. Could I myself have fallen into the classification of pipe snob? Am I guilty of turning my nose up at fine quality tobacco, just because it may be technically classified as an aromatic? I would like to think not. I spent some time looking back at most of the posts on the G+ community page and sure enough, it’s heavily dominated by non aromatic blends.  Granted, over time your pallet will develop a taste for English blends that at first may have seemed harsh to novice, but that is no reason to ostracize a fellow brother of the briar for his aromatic preference.

I sent my friend a message simply stating, if you enjoy the tobacco don’t worry about what others think. Don’t be ashamed of what you like, be a trend setter not a follower and eventually others might start to show interest in the tobaccos that you love. Write stunning reviews that make it hard to not want to try the blends you enjoy. In the end , if they still give you a hard time … screw em :)

From this day forward I propose that we not look down our noses at aromatic tobaccos,  but embrace them as a sudo ambassador to the curious  potential pipe smoker, drawn to the allure of the intriguing aroma. Let’s be honest with ourselves, most of the positive comments we get in public revolve around smoking aromatics.

aromatic

When Is Enough Enough

Sep , 2014,
coreyk6767
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Pipe CollectionThe other night my wife saw me feverishly toiling away cleaning some of my favorite pipes before I left for my monthly pipe club meetup (Remember “A clean pipe is a happy pipe“).  She walked by seeming slightly annoyed and asked, “how many pipes do you have?” My retort was “I don’t know… but not enough!”

I have never put an exact number on how many pipes I feel I need in my collection and I shutter at the thought of never buying another pipe, but I estimate that around 60 would be a good stopping point.  I would be able to smoke 2 pipes a day for a month without a repeat. Well, but  what about those extra heavy days when 2 bowls won’t quite do you. I had better make that 70 pipes. There are of course those very special occasion pipes that I only bring out every once in a while when I deem worthy an extra fine smoke. So lets make that 75 pipes. You see where I’m going here!

I guess with most interests some, like the tide, come and go. If I ever burn myself out on this current obsession, I know that my pipes along with my cellared tobacco will be there waiting for me like an undying friend or a childhood k-9 companion.

 

How many Pipes do you currently have in your collection?

Interview with David Jones – Pipemaker

Sep , 2014,
coreyk6767

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HPC

First off tell me a little about yourself David.

DJ-

I am 74 years old and in good health.  I fell in love with the pipe when I was 13 years old.  My Dad had a country grocery store/gas station on US Highway 82 east of DeKalb, Texas.  An old gentleman would walk through the woods to buy his Prince Albert at our store.  I was intrigued by the aroma of his pipe.

I served in the US Army in Korea (after the war).  I had begun smoking a pipe while in Korea.

I am retired from a 42 year career in Procurement for a US Government Prime Contractor.  I  retired in 2004.  I had begun making pipes in 1986.  I purchased lots of plateau briar while I was employed full time and making pipes on weekends.  I attended pipe shows around the US and won a number of awards.

Today, I make pipes full time in a shop that I had built in 1993.  I make 4 or 5 pipes per week; selling them on eBay and making quite a number of custom orders from individuals.

HPC-

It’s strange how aromas can stir up old memories, in your case over 60 years ago. I bet you still think of the old man from the woods when you smell some PA burning. I think that many people are drawn to pipes from comforting and nostalgic memories of the great role models from a bygone era. I know quite often when I’m smoking in public I’m approached by passersby that want me to know that my room note reminds them of their father or grandfather.

Can you tell me a little about the Briar that you have in stock and perhaps what makes it special?

DJ-

I purchased several thousand blocks of Briar from 1986 through 2005.  This was “Extra” and “Extra Extra” quality plateau cut, in order to always have seasoned briar on hand.  These were Grecian, Algerian, Calabria and Corsican.  This briar has aged and seasoned in my climate-controlled shop.

I found early on that certain specialized equipment was necessary to make precision pipes.  At a pipe show in Philadelphia in 1989, I met a pipe maker who had acquired some surplus, used, pipe-making equipment.  I purchased all of this equipment, which was delivered in 1989.  Without this equipment, which is difficult to find, I would not be making pipes today.

My hope is to live long enough to use all of the briar that I have on hand, and to perhaps sell the equipment.

HPC-

That’s an impressive cache of briar David and I’m sure you will be around for many years to come, all while turning out great pipes.

What are some of your favorite shapes of pipes to make?

DJ-

My favorite shape to smoke would be a bent Billiard or bent Apple.  My favorite shape to make is a bent Stubby Poker, smooth top and bottom.  This is also my best-selling shape.  I get a lot of orders for this pipe; which I call a “stubby” Poker because it ranges from 4 7/8″ to 5 1/2″ in length.

HPC-

Yes, it seems to me that the stubby Poker has become a very popular shape. That brings me to my next question. Have you seen an increase in pipe sales that mirrors the increase in the online pipe community? With YouTube literally having thousands of videos from pipe enthusiasts and tobacco reviews it seems it is on an upward swing.

DJ-

I attended 16 pipe shows in major cities, coast to coast, from 1988 to 2004. I made the club pipe for the North American Society of Pipe Collectors (NASPC) in 2004.  I designed the pipe and made 68 based on members’ pre-orders. I was always astounded at the crowds at these shows trading and buying pipes. I saw many female pipe smokers!

From my perspective, pipe demand seems to be quite strong.  I stopped attending shows because flying became such a hassle.

HPC-

You sound like a very busy man :)

Do you have a favorite tobacco and what do you smoke daily?

Do you have any advice for anyone who might be interested in getting into pipe carving?

DJ-

I smoked Dunhill 965 for many years, but Dunhill no longer offers this in bulk (in the USA).  So I now smoke Prince Albert (don’t laugh).  Prince Albert is coarse cut (not for roll your own cigarettes).  I think PA got away from offering cigarette tobacco and went to a coarse-cut pipe tobacco.  I buy it in 14 ounce sealed plastic tubs at about $24 per tub.  I love the Burley aroma.

On pipe making – I carved life-like waterfowl for many years.  My early love for the pipe surfaced and I became immersed in pipe making.  I don’t believe one can make a living carving pipes.  It’s a labor of love for me.  I retired well, but pipes permit me to expand my guitar collection!

You can find Some of Davids work @ his site

http://www.davidjonespipes.com/

or on his ebay store

http://www.ebay.com/sch/jones6725/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25

David Jones working in his shop

 

 

antique tobacco tins estate pipes

 

 

County Cork Review By J Cooper

11 Sep , 2014,
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The tin note is of sweet Irish Cream over a bed of Virginias and Burleys, but not in an overwhelming way. All flavors are detectable in a cohesive blend.  The moisture level was perfect…not wet like I was expecting of an aromatic.  In fact, this blend is closer to that I call a “crossover” blend that has traits of an aromatic and a virginia/burley, and Sutliff managed to pull it off perfectly in this offering.

Not difficult to get this tobacco lit, nor to maintain the ember. Room note is pleasant, with just a hint of Irish Cream over the sweet burley notes.  The smoke is very pleasant and this blend smokes very well…no bite at all even when puffed a little faster than normal.

The first half of the bowl is a very smooth and creamy smoke, however the more you smoke the more the virgina and especially burley flavors make themselves known, but not in a bad way.  This is a ver mild smoke, and not overly sweet, so I can see this being an easy everyday smoke for burley fans out there.

County Cork Review

Sep , 2014,
coreyk6767

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Having had several bowls, my overall impression is that Sutliff County Cork is an enjoyable aromatic tobacco that burns well and smells great with a pleasant taste. Aromatic smokers should delight in it while those who predominantly smoke non-aromatics will find it worth a try.

The tin note is fantastic, really mellow and fragrant without smelling artificial or being sickeningly sweet smelling. The tobacco is a tad moist and would benefit from drying but I’ve yet to do so before smoking resulting in the need to use pipe cleaners several times throughout the smoke. Despite the buildup of moisture while smoking, the blend takes a light well and stays lit without effort. The bowl walls get warm and the smoke stream also feels a bit warm at times but neither the walls nor the smoke itself ever get hot. I’ve had no problems with tongue bite.
The whiskey topping definitely shines through the first half of the bowl, I don’t pick up any notes from the Burley or Virginia but as the bowl progresses into the second half the topping lessens slightly and the natural tobacco flavors peek through here and there. First half or second, the tobacco is enjoyable and tastes well balanced; never overly sweet or bitter, sour or harsh. It’s nice to smoke a tobacco that actually smokes like it smells in the tin.
If you’re looking for a lot of nicotine, you wont find it here. It would make a nice morning smoke with coffee or post-meal smoke. Though primarily a Virginia and Va/Per smoker, this is definitely a blend I’d keep on hand when the rare aromatic urge strikes. I see myself reaching for this especially when I pick up a pipe in the company of those who aren’t so agreeable to being around smoke.

August Meeting update

8 Sep , 2014,
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Update from the August Meeting:

It has been a hectic month and I apologize for not sending out an update sooner. Our next meeting will be held at our normal location, Stogies Friday September 5 @ 6:00pm.
We had a great turnout at the August meeting and I hope to see an even larger one for Sept. Those of you who took home a tin of County Cork, interested in writing a quick review, please submit it to me digitally by the next meeting so I can get it posted online and sent to Sutliff.
Sutliff was generous enough to provide another 20 tins of there Kentucky burly blend “Breckenridge” so we will have plenty more free tins at the meeting.
Thank you to those who helped test the Official HPC blend. I just spoke with Russ Ouellette from Pipesandcigars and our bulk blend of “The Heights” will be available soon on their website.
We are also planning the production of a tinned option of “The Heights”. It will have a custom label and our new HPC logo. A minimum order will be required to have the tins produced, but I think, with all of our efforts combined, we will be able to get the goal accomplished.
I hope to see you all soon, Have a great week and get those kids to school safely today!

 

September Meeting Update

Sep , 2014,
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Thanks to all that attended the September meeting!

The turnout was a little less than average but there were a few rain showers on the horizon, not to mention dove season is in full swing 🙂

A special thanks to Stogies for the delicious Pizza, you guys never let us down, another special thanks to Mr. Butera for the vintage first run tin of pelican, I know we all enjoyed it .

A new website in under construction and our new logo will be finalized soon. I hope to have T-Shirts, caps and name tags available at the October Meeting.

We also have our first corporate sponsor lined up to help cover any of the costs our club might encounter in the initial development.

Thanks again Guys

Corey