The Tobacco Cellar … Considering Tobacco Reviews

Considering Tobacco Reviews

YouTube, 2008 …

Some who remember me from my original
foray onto the Internet in 2008,
have expressed the wish
that the quiet, refined, sober-minded aspects
of pipe smoking, could return once again –

without the “instant expertise”
of those with least experience;

or preoccupation with buying gadgetry
as a subject to (for some reason) boast:
a … “look what I own” exercise.

The pipe Supplements the quiet occasions in my life:
it does not Define my life.

In endeavouring to present “old fashioned”
Countryman’s practices, and the sailor’s methods
that I was taught in the 1980’s,
to a very limited audience on YouTube in 2008,

there were certainly those who expressed
their appreciation
for the historical aspects and morality tales
that were presented on that ’channel’.

But YouTube showed me, clearly, that
people – generally – Despise
anyone who advocates self discipline;
moral restraint; or even Respect Enough
to leave certain things alone –

like Sherlock Holmes … and the quiet, contemplative,
‘old world’ traditions of pipe smoking;
and it was obvious that my attempts to share
another, forgotten way of life,
had no place in the modern mentality of YouTube.

Being ridiculed for espousing the quiet aspects
of the briar was one thing;

but once crass vulgarity began to appear, it was
– for both my brother and me – most definitely
time to leave.

I live contentedly without television, stereo,
newspapers, or technological toys:
I have neither need for, nor interest in,
a ‘smart phone’.

My worldly enjoyment in this life centres upon
peace, quiet, and the freedom of owning
very few possessions:

a piping hot pot of Scottish Blend tea,
a freshly lit pipe of sweet Virginia tobacco,
my reading chair, a book …
a seat on the porch in the pouring rain.

With regard to Tobacco Reviews,
I am certain that enough maturity exists
in those who stop by this site,
that they would treat the articles offered here

much as they would the offerings when invited
to dine at someone else’s home …

You would not – I would hope –
get up and storm out of someone’s house,
simply because they set upon the dinner table,
something that is not to your taste.

There may be the occasional offering
at this Internet site which, equally,
will be not to your taste.

Please, simply pass by what is not to your liking,
and partake of something else that is.

And so – with that thought,
on then, to The Tobacco Cellar …

A Genuine Desire to be Helpful

Anyone who might possibly remember the
video tobacco reviews offered by me from 2008 to ’10,
may recall that the thoughts were, indeed,
properly considered reviews.

I light my tobacco with a wooden match – always have;
and tamp it, when needed, with my finger – always will.

Having never ridden the rails of popular opinion
or subscribed to modern thought,
I hope that you will not be disappointed
if the thoughts presented here
turn out to be different than the popular opinion
of the Internet.

For me, when considering reviews in general,

It is utterly Ludicrous for anyone to present
a “tobacco review” until they have had at least,
7 bowls of a given tobacco;
and that, over a period of no less than a month.

If a tobacco is truly horrible, then by all means
state the fact – but do so without infantile absurdity.

I remember, when recounting my experience
of one tobacco in particular, noting::

“Half way into my very first bowl of Peterson’s Irish Oak,
my head began to ‘swim’ … upon rising from the seat
on the back porch, I keeled over, fell to the ground,
and tried to be sick.

For three days afterwards, I could not get the foul taste
of (the stench that I associate with) cigarette ashtrays
out of my mouth and throat, and was nauseous constantly,
for those subsequent days.”

The tobacco made me ill. A fact that I relayed to the
reader, without melodrama.

I still recall the appalling spectacle of seeing
so-called “Tobacco Reviews” on the Internet, in 2008,
consisting of sentiments like:

“Sets my mouth on fire”,
“tastes like swallowing a bottle of cough syrup”.

Of WHAT use are such puerile outbursts
to any mature, sober-minded man?

The very declaration of pipe tobacco tasting
like ‘a bottle of cough syrup’, for instance,

serves to reveal only that the “reviewer
is either a liar, or neurotic,
or both … for

if he has Never actually swallowed
a bottle of cough syrup,
he is a liar in making the comparison;


if he Has done so, he is mentally unstable,
and no fit judge of anything requiring
mature discernment.

I have certainly always regarded a tobacco review
as a serious responsibility: the tax imposed by tyrannical
governments determined to control the habits
of the population, is appalling;

and therefore, the potential cost to anyone
placing confidence in my review, makes it
a serious matter indeed.

If people are willing to place their trust – and their purse –
in my estimation of a pipe tobacco, I am determined
to make sure that I do not lead them astray;
nor will I play ‘fast and loose’ with their money.


From 1985 until opening an account on YouTube in 2008,
I had never heard of it … not in 33 years of sharing a pipe
with shepherds, sailors, and Scottish and Irish Countrymen.

We drew calmly and evenly from the pipe.

The only thing that could explain this “phenomenon” for me,
was seeing the examples that flowed from YouTube:
people sucking on a pipe as though they were sucking a
milkshake through a straw.

Cased tobaccos “burn” … ?
I have just never encountered such a thing.


I have always lit my pipe tobacco with a wooden match;
nor will it ever be otherwise.

Incinerating the tobacco with a man-made gadget
will never happen.

The gentle flame of the match provides the optimum heat
for releasing the flavour and aroma of pipe tobacco,
and it is this method – natural flame, of natural wood,
applied to the dried tobacco , that is used here.

Now, a word of Consideration:
those reading the reviews will understand
that my own taste preference is for sweet,
full flavoured tobacco.

Perique, Latakia, and English tobaccos
are not to my taste at all – accordingly, if you
like the latter, then you will understand
that the reviews presented here,
will be of little benefit to you.

What I like; you, probably, will not.

With these things in mind, then, I hope
that the tobacco reviews offered here
will be of some use to one or two folk.

Should there be any interest from visitors,
I hope to provide a few considered reviews
of the tobaccos that help me to relax
and contemplate those thoughts in life that truly matter.

It has always been a pleasure to hear from others
about their favourite tobacco,
and how, and when, they most enjoy their
own pipes and tobacco.

P Livingstone
Traditional Methods of Pipe and Tobacco