Club Info & Events
Details of the December Meeting
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!!!!
Another nice turnout for the December meeting. Prior to the meeting
six of us met at Papa Ginos and realized that this isn't the greatest
alternative to Applebees. I did an Internet search of resaurants
in the area and found a couple of possibilities. X and O's is not
open yet but should be open soon and is not too far from our current
a reasonably prices Italian restaurant looks like a good place to
try for the next meeting. It's just off of exit 18B and only a ten
minute drive through town back to our meeting place. I will send
out details in an email before the January meeting.
bit of sad news. Ted Blank (left),
our second oldest members has
decided he can no longer attend the
Club meetings. After having a second
heart surgery it's just become too much
for him. In addition, Ted always
brought Sid, our oldest member to the club meetings so it's possible
we may lose them both. Hopefully Sid can catch a ride with Tony
who also lives in the area. We want you both to know you will be
missed and hope you can come back from time to time.
What Did the Holiday's Bring?
I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season and were pleasently
surprised to find lots of pipe related niceities under your trees
and/or from a loved one. I bought myself an early Christmas present
in the form of a Tim Hynick Stacked Poker in the Tree Bark finish.
This is one big hunk of wood and a bit out of character from what
I'm used to smoking. But once I lit that baby up there was no turning
back. It smoked like a dream just like the 2006 Club Pipe did, and
although its big I was still able to keep it clenched firmly in
my teeth throughout an hour long pipe cleaning session (well...
most of the time anyway). Tim made the pipe to my specs (for the
most part) and he did an awesome job. I highly recommend purchasing
one of these quality pipes before the time comes when you can't
afford one, but be prepared to wait a bit, he's already got a back
log. In addition, I also received a Savanelli Bing's Favorite in
a smooth finish. I've liked this shape for sometime and decided
to put it on my christmas list.
What did you get for Christmas, Hannauka, or whatever it is you
celeberate this time of year. Bring it to the January meeting for
show and tell.
Husdson Valley Pipe Clubs Holiday Extravaganza and
The 2007 Club Pipe
The Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest
first annual pilgrimage to the
Hudson Valley Holiday Extravaganza
and Pipe Smoking Contest certainly
lived up to my expectations. It was
held at the S. M. Frank & Company,
Manufacturers of Kaywoodie, Yello-
Bole and Medico brand, in Peeksill,
NY. After hours of driving we stopped at the I-84 Diner for brunch.
With only thirty minutes of driving to go, I was excited to get
there. Apparently not as excited as Dock, Steve were as they passed
us on the highway hell bent on Peekskill, obviously anxious to be
the first of the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Smokers to arrive. [Read
As mentioned in last month's newsletter, we have commissioned
Joe Skoda to make this years Club Pipe. We will start taking orders
from those of you who are interested in purchasing one at the January
Dunhill Trunk Show at Peretti's of Boston
On Saturday, December 2nd my original plans were to go to the
New York Pipe Show. Instead, I decided to forgo the trip to New
York and go to another trunk show at L J Peretti in Boston. This
show had a large assortment of Dunhill pipes. It was nice talking,
not only to the representatives from Dunhill, but also to the many
customers who came into Peretti's including a prospective new member
to the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Club. Tim Hynick also joined me on this
visit, and it was nice talking and showing some of the great pipes
Tim has made --- including the one I was smoking. As with other
visits to Peretti's it was a very enjoyable afternoon. I've had
good times at the New York Pipe Shows in the past, but I have just
as enjoyable times with Steve Willet, Steve Smith, and Charlie -
and everyone at Peretti's. I look forward to my next visit. Oh yes,
in case anyone was wondering I did get a Dunhill pipe which I plan
to light up on New Year's Eve. Happy smoking and Happy New Year
& Tobacco News & Info
Rest of the Story: (Blog)
Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
Fellow member now living in Vermont, Bob Kiess sent me
a link to a blog by a Boston physician Michael Seigel. The
subheading for Mr. Seigel's blog reads "Providing
the whole story behind tobacco news." Here you'll
find a well balanced resource of information, opinions and
facts regarding the laws, research, myths and more of second
hand smoke and the tobacco industry.
Take a few minutes to check
Worth A Look
For those of you who may be interested in crafting your
own pipe, this might be a good place to start. They have everyting
you need to get strarted; quality stems in vulcanite and lucite,
tools, supplies, bands, wheels, stains, tenons, rods, buffing
compounds, meerschaum bowls, Algerian briar and much more
Parks - Briar
Of special interest are the SUPER BARGAIN Grecian MF Ebauchon
blocks at $2.00 USD per. These blocks are 20+ years old and
are a one-time offer in limited supply. They are smaller in
size but at this price make for an excellent value.
Month's Tobacco Raffle
Hearth & Home Old Companion
blend to bring back great memories. A traditional American mixture
of Pressed Burley and steam-toasted Red Virginia which has a
nutty/toasty flavor and a nice cool burn. Reminiscent of many
of the old foil-pouch blends that Grandpa and his friends used
to smoke. This is one for the whole day, everyday.
Hearth & Home Old Tartan
smooth-smoking mixture uses a variety of cube and rough cut
Burleys and a splash of natural Cavendish with just enough
Latakia to add a slight smoky spice. The uniqueness of this
tobacco, however, comes from a rather rare herb- deertongue.
This pale green leaf adds a natural fragrance and light sweetness
to the flavor.
Don't fret... Don is still with us he's just not as close to us
as he used to be. I've received word that Don Powers, our former
President has moved a little farther North. He's staying with family
in Salem, NH. If you need to get in touch with him you can request
his info via email.
We'll keep you posted of any new developments.
Baking the Kake .......... By Horace Harker
my never ending quest for the perfect tobacco (for me anyway) I've
come across two that I've really enjoyed. I'm a bit hard to please
in the tobacco category but these two seemed to be doing the trick
for me. Both of them are tobacco shop house blends; Deerstalker
I found at the Smokers Gift Harbor in Mt. Kisko, NY and Anniversary
Kake is one of the Hearth and Home blends from PipesandCigars.com
and blended by Russ Oulette. Both of these blends I tried a couple
ounces at a time and in both cases finished it all quickly and ordered
another couple of ounces that were also quickly consumed. Both blends
were enjoyable from the first light to the bottom of the bowl. Here's
where everything changed....
Feeling confident that I loved the tobacco I decided to buy some
in bulk and purchased a pound of each (at two separate times since
this was over the course of a couple of years). Upon smoking the
first bowl of the Deerstalker I noticed it didn't taste the same.
I tried it in numerous pipes and at different times of the day and
it never tasted the same. I called the shop and the woman who answered
told me she blends the tobacco and has been blending the same recipe
for years. I wondered if it may have had Syrian Latakia in it which
is no longer available and they substituted it with something else
but didn't tell anyone. They didn't offer to send me another pound
without me shipping my pound back to them. Needless to say I was
a little disappointed.
I had the same experience with the Anniversary Kake. I probably
liked this blend more than the Deerstalker but when I smoked from
the pound I bought I experienced very varying results. Unlike Deerstalker,
Anniversary Kake is a pressed tobacco and comes in 5" by 1" bars.
I found inconsistent smoking qualities from bar to bar. I mentioned
this to Russ when I saw him at the New York show this past March
and he suggested that the inconsistency may be a result of the way
the perique is added to the blend. Because its a pressed blend it
is difficult to ensure that the perique is evenly distributed throughout
the blend therefore causing some of the bars to have more perique
than others. In a more recent conversation with Russ he mentioned
that he may try a new layering method sandwiching the perique between
the other tobaccos. Hopefully this new process will work out so
I haven't given up on the blend just yet.
In a effort so see if I could improve what I already had I decided
to try stoving both blends as described on Jason Newquist's Tobacco
Aging, Storing and Cellaring FAQ. From the options outlined
on this site I decided to try the 220/220 method (2 hrs 20 min at
220 deg) and after reading all of the comments about the different
processes I made a slight adjustment to 200/200 (2 hrs at 200 deg).
I put both tobaccos in ball jars, rubbing out the Anniversary Kake
completely. I covered the jars with tin foil and put them in the
oven for the two hours. Other suggestions on the site said to let
them sit awhile, even as long as two weeks before trying. I left
them both alone until the following day then decided to try the
Kake first. The blend was slightly different and a bit mellower
but it still really wasn't what I was hoping for and subsequent
bowls still varied some. On the other hand the Deerstalker was noticeably
better. It was smoother and the tobaccos seemed to have blended
nicely with each other. I'm sorry now that I didn't use a larger
Ball jar which means I'll just have to go through the process again
sooner. It still is not the Deerstalker I remember from the first
four ounces but it is once again a very enjoyable all day blend.
And so goes my first experience with stoving tobacco. It was an
interesting and enjoyable experiment and I recommend it to those
of you who may be interested in trying to improve any blends that
are close but don't quite meet up to your approval. You never know,
you may just end up with the perfect "stranded island" tobacco blend
you've been looking for.
On The Virtues of The Estate Pipe
I was surprised to find out that there are a few in our pipe club
who have never smoked an estate pipe! I won't refer to them
by name but we'll just call them Mreg Graniero and Frick Redericks.
I hope the following missive will convince Mreg & Frick to
give pre-smoked pipes a try. Estate pipes are a relatively new phenomenon
that the late, great Barry Levin's monthly newsletter is credited
with starting. For the first time, folks began to warm to the idea
of smoking a pre-smoked pipe. There are several factors that make
estate pipes a great option in pipe collecting/smoking: (1) The
ability to smoke a brand of pipe which has long since been extinct
and may have been so since before you were even born! (2) Estate
pipes are far less expensive than new pipes by an average of 40
to 50%. (3) If treated well an estate pipe will likely always hold
it's value. Compare that to that brand new briar you just forked
out a few hundred dollars for which after JUST one smoking will
devalue itself nearly in half! (3) If you hate to break pipes in,
rejoice in utter happiness as someone's already done the dirty work
for you. (4) If it's an especially old pipe, you will have an instant
connection with someone who lived long ago and smoked that pipe.
It's kind of neat to wonder who they were as smoke curls up over
By recommending to you that you should smoke an estate pipe I'm
not simply saying that you should buy some dirty old piece of wood,
fill it to the brim and light it up. I'm saying that once properly
cleaned an estate pipe will be every bit as sanitary as any sitting
in your racks. It's usually best to send them out to a professional
for a complete rejuvenation. For especially filthy pipes the pipe
cleaner starts out by washing the pipe with a mild cleanser. He
then scrubs out the shank with bristle brushes, pipe cleaners and
a strong alcohol like Everclear. Then the carbon is trimmed down
in the bowl and it's wiped out with alcohol too. The stem is then
buffed on a wheel using Tripoli polish to remove oxidation as well
as teeth marks and scratches. Then the bowl is polished with carnuba
wax to bring back it's luster. If the pipe has a plateau top, a
wire brush is used to remove any darkening or built up "crust" which
might be present.
I'd like to extend an invitation to Mreg, Frick and anyone interested
the opportunity to smoke a thoroughly cleaned estate pipe and would
happily clean one myself for them free of charge. I won't even say
"told ya so" afterwards...
Best to all,