The Best 6 For Beginners

The Pipesmokers' Council suggest a short list of six tobaccos which have the right smoking characteristics for beginners. Try them to find which suits your taste. They are, of course, equally appreciated by the experienced Pipesmoker.

GOLD BLOCK: an aristocrat of pipe tobaccos, is a blend of the highest quality tobacco sweetened by a secret process at Ogden's in Liverpool . Cool and slow burning, it has an exceptionally pleasant flavour and aroma.

CLAN: Clan is manufactured in Holland by Theodorus Niemever and is available in 25g and 50g pouches, ready to smoke. A mild, cool burning tobacco with a very pleasing aroma

DUNHILL READY RUBBED: a new tobacco produced especially with the modern Pipesmoker in mind. Cool, mild, exceptionally easy to smoke, gentle on the tongue and made to the quality standards expected from Dunhill.

ERINMORE MIXTURE: a long-established favourite. Surprisingly light, mild and easy smoking with the famous aroma Now in a convenient, airtight pouch.

LAMBERT & BUTLER: an aromatic tobacco ready for the pipe. It is easy to light, easy to smoke and cool burning.

MELLOW VIRGINIA: Mellow Virginia Ready Rubbed, from Benson & Hedges, is a mellow, cool and easy burning pipe tobacco with a distinctive aroma it is neither harsh nor mild, but cool and satisfying.

Whatever the choice of tobacco, one point remains paramount: the need to maintain it in good condition to be smoked. As with everything else in pipe smoking, this will depend upon personal preference - some Pipeman keeping their tobacco on the dry side; others preferring it moist. In either case, the extremes should be avoided for it not only destroys the smoking quality of the tobacco itself; but an over dry 'fill' tends to burn like straw, whilst an over moist one is virtually impossible to light. You can spray very dry tobacco with a little water (a plant spray does well) or if you've a larger quantity you can steam it over a saucepan for a few minutes, drying off surplus moisture on a cloth before it goes back in the pouch - but be warned, too much moisture applied this way may produce mould!

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