** Happy New Year **

January 2007

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2006 - 7:00 PM or
** Meet at Nocera's in Stoughton at 6:00 PM **

Club Info & Events

Details of the December Meeting
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 location. Nocera's, 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.

A 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 Northeast Regional Pipe Smoking Contest
                                                                   By Tom Martin
My 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 More]

The 2007 Club Pipe
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 meeting.

Member Contributions

Dunhill Trunk Show at Peretti's of Boston
By Rick Frederics   
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 to everyone!

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

The 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 it out.

Other News & Information for smokers:

Websites Worth A Look

Pipe Makers Emporium
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

Michael 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.

This Month's Tobacco Raffle

Hearth & Home Old Companion
A 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
This 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 Powers
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

In 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.

Dock's Corner

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 your head...

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,
Dock J.Perry

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