Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

The Mountain Philosopher enjoying one of his favorite vices.

It will have to be another post where I detail all the pleasures of smoking top quality tobacco in a well-made pipe. A long-time cigar smoker, I picked up the pipe again early last year. I say "again" because I dabbled with it throughout college but never really "got it."

But coming back to the pipe last year, and at the same time discovering what decent pipe tobacco tastes like and smokes like, as opposed to the crap sold in the drugstore or even in the big jars at your local tobacconist, a new obsession was born. And I mean obsession - I spend almost as much time on pipe boards as I do reading newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

There's a great, I would say, best ever, tobacconist right across the Pigeon River Gorge in Knoxville -- Knoxville Cigar Co which maintains a mind-boggling inventory of cigars, pipes, men's grooming supplies, and the choicest pipe tobacco. These cool folks also maintain the best bulletin board on the Web.

Their board had become inundated with a few dedicated trolls. Fortunately, the moderator had seen enough crap and executed them with extreme prejudice. I rewarded his efforts with a bottle Bushmills' Black which was purported to be his poison of choice. I was subsequently provided the return favor of smoking some 15 year-old Ashton Black Parrot which means nothing if you aren't a pipe smoker, but compare it to a top California Cab that's been laid down for 15 years and you've found the rough equivalent. The pic above was snapped while enjoying the Parrot.

My sister Susie, who used to bum good cigars from me when we lived together, asked me for a stick when she visted for dinner recently. Having no stick, but plenty of good tobak and a spare corn cob pipe (smokes as good as a $50 briar while only costing five bucks) I fixed her up with a good bowl. A hour of smoking pleasure later, she was hooked.