Dec 2, 2020 Initiation of a Clay

I acquired a new An Old German Markus Fohr Bishop & Knight that was delivered yesterday. This is my second one.

This evening, I was in the mood for some C&D Dark Burley. I have a Briar pipe dedicated to this– a Ropp panel apple. Earlier today, I had a bowl of C&D Pasha’s Dream in another new pipe that I purchased with this particular tobacco in mind. This pipe is my first Tsuge Tasting black, sandblast Billiard. It’s a beautiful pipe, and I felt like this may be a good, secondary match-up.

Well tonight, I first had the Dark Burley in the Tsuge (I leave my pipes outdoors after smoking so they can air out). The wind was up, along with the temp dropping (around 30 with a real feel of 19). I only filled the pipe up halfway due to the wind.

After the tobacco was consumed, I then loaded the clay. I had to ignite the tobacco under the table to protect it from the wind.

With this tobacco, I have come to realize that its flavor evolves as it “cooks down” offering the most subtle of coccao floral notes when sipped near the last half of the bowl.

The clay, having sat out for a while was cold to the touch. Concerned about the shock of temprature change, I warmed it up under my jacket and only half filling it, I brought the match to the pipe.

Now clays, for the most part, have much smaller bowls. I’m noticing how this effects the flavor of the tobacco. Here, it emboldened the taste. Now this is, as is, a blending tobacco. It provides the basis for many C&D blends, especially my “benchmark” tobacco: C&D Big N’ Burley.

I nursed along the pipe for this maiden voyage…after all, with the cold it is like driving a brand new car, you don’t push it. And since it is not my nature to abuse things, I sipped the tobacco, covered the rim with my finger to keep the embers lit.

It took a number of re-lights and mindfulness to make certain the wind did not over expose the tobacco to too much heat or over burn.

With this tobacco, when it becomes over cooked, it takes on the flavor of charred beef on an open grill. Though that tastes fine, it is an indicator that things have become too heated.

A clay pipe certain does awaken your sensitivity to the nuances of smoking a pipe and the interplay of the elements. It also teaches you to respect the gift of the tobacco.

The session ended before the tobacco was fully consumed. I removed the contents with my pipe tool (a very small amount of charred tobacco was left). I thanked the pipe, the tobacco, the matches, the wind, the earth and the brownish moon that rose in all her Full Glory tonight.

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