2023 Pipe-Smoking Resolutions

2023 Pipe-Smoking Resolutions

At the closing of every year, it's common practice for people from all walks of life to reflect on the accomplishments and improvements they would like achieve. Of course, pipe smokers are no different, and we can all agree that, no matter how long we've smoked a pipe, there is always more to learn, new shapes to smoke, new blends to try, and better pipe-smoking habits to cultivate. So, in celebration of the year, we've polled members of our distinguished staff about their pipe-smoking resolutions for the New Year.

Sykes Wilford - Chief Executive Officer

Sykes Wilford - Chief Executive Officer

One of the most experienced and knowledgeable pipe smokers in our office, Sykes wants to return to exploring more blends. In his early pipe-smoking days, Sykes "tried everything." He "was smoking a hundred new (to me) blends a year and I was all over the place: I went through a heavy-Latakia phase and a Burley phase (that one didn't last long; it was a brief, if passionate, affair, after which my taste for Burleys was left greatly diminished) and a heavy, heavy Perique phase."

But, as time passes, we all fall into our habits, and as the years have gone on, Sykes has "settled into a routine pattern of smoking G. L. Pease Haddo's Delight, C&D Sunday Picnic, plus a couple of Mac Baren-made tobaccos, such as MB Navy Flake and Capstan Blue. Since then, my tobacco world has narrowed even further and I'm pretty much just smoking Virginia flakes from Cornell & Diehl (and still mostly Sunday Picnic), with the occasional tin of Haddo's thrown in."

For the coming New Year, he wants to expand his horizons: "It's not that I want to eschew those blend — they're superb and I do love them — but it's all become too routine, too comfortable. So, sometime in 2023, I want to work my way through some Gawith Hoggarth flakes that I haven't smoked in years, and revisit some Perique-heavy blends from C&D that I've fallen out of the habit of smoking — notably Bayou Morning Flake. It's not a radical departure: I sort of know what I like after 20-something years of smoking a pipe. But I want to do a better job of exploring those tobacco styles I really do love than I have recently."

David Wheelock - Community Manager / Gabriel Bass - Copywriter

David Wheelock - Community Manager /
Gabriel Bass - Copywriter

With so many available blends, pipe smokers have a tendency to get a little overzealous when it comes to buying new tins of tobacco — the wealth of choice creating a fear of missing out on a potential new favorite.

David and Gabriel know this problem intimately, so for the New Year, they've tasked themselves with being a bit more discerning. For David, he wants to "get more serious" about cellaring his favorite tobaccos, explaining how he "did a lot of experimentation in 2022 to try new blends and identify new mainstays in my rotation. In 2023, I want to take my cellaring and aging efforts to the next level with the hope of building a more robust supply of well-aged favorites. In the new year, the mantra is 'a little less sampling and a lot more stashing away.'" Gabriel, on the other hand, has a more simple resolution. He wants to strive to "not open any more tins of tobacco until I finish off what I opened already." A truly Herculean task for any pipe smoker.

Chuck Stanion - Editor/Writer

Chuck Stanion - Editor/Writer

Chuck has, to put it mildly, lofty goals for the coming year, but I'll let him explain:

"This is finally the year I master smoke rings. I manage a smoke ring without thinking now and then, and even deliberately on occasion, but I yearn to devise multiple rings in a chain, or maybe floating stick figures, or eventually dimension-phasing teseracts. I'd particularly like to reenact Gandalf and Bilbo smoking, when Gandalf blows a small smoke ring through the center of Bilbo's larger smoke ring. That is a skill I would find useful, especially during meetings here at Smokingpipes. If Shane or Sykes happened to blow a smoke ring and I sent my own straight through the center, I would dominate the room. My colleagues would fall to the floor in awe, and full management of the company would cede to me, but I wouldn't accept because the rest of the world would learn of the event and insist that I be made Planetary Emperor, from which position I would accept tributes of pipes and tobaccos from across the globe. All will emulate me and smoke pipes. It will be a world of tobacco-aging warehouses in every town and two pipes in every mouth. It will be the Pipe Enlightenment, and history will remember this decade not for its global unrest, pandemic, or geo-political absurdities, but for recalibrating civilization toward a happy pipe future.

"That's all dependent, of course, on learning to blow smoke rings and accepting that while practicing, I'll look like a pufferfish with gastroenteritis. I'm willing to accept that humiliation, though, in the pursuit of world peace and global tobacco availability. Prepare for changes. The year 2023 will be the Year of the Pipe."

Truett Smith - Merchandizing Manager

Truett Smith - Merchandizing Manager

Truett counts himself as lucky to work at Smokingpipes, because while the job has many benefits, "one obvious perk is being able to smoke in the office." However, Truett has run into a problem: He's "grown accustomed to smoking a pipe only in the office," and rarely "at home in the evenings or on the weekends." He explains: " For years before joining Smokingpipes, smoking a pipe was something of a ritual for me, a special time carved out of the day during which I could rest and relax and enjoy pipe and tobacco. I guess you could say I've been spoiled by such smoking accessibility, and I've unintentionally grown complacent about smoking a pipe: It's something I'm able to do any day and at any time thanks to my work environment, and I've failed to appreciate it as much as I should. For my resolution, I'd like to set aside a special smoking time throughout the week, some time when I'm not working or doing anything else and can just enjoy a pipe. Maybe I'll even set aside a special pipe or a special tobacco that I smoke only during this time to make the ritual even more exclusive and intentional. Either way, while I enjoy smoking a pipe all throughout the day, I'd also like to have a scheduled slot that's specially devoted to the pastime.

Alan Britt - Customer Service Representative / Tyler Caldwell - Customer Service Representative

Alan Britt - Customer Service Supervisor /
Tyler Caldwell - Customer Service Representative

We've seen how easy it is to fall into routines as a pipe smoker, to resort to old favorites, but it can be especially challenging for those who like to smoke a wide range of tobacco products. It can become an issue of balance, picking and choosing how to carefully allot one's time to maximize smoking experiences. Do you want to smoke a cigar in the morning? A pipe at night? This is an issue our customer service representatives Alan and Tyler are contending with as they approach the new year. Alan puts it bluntly: "My pipe-smoking resolution for the coming year is pretty simple: smoke my pipes more! I've been an avid cigar smoker for quite some years now, and oftentimes, due to convenience, cigars tend to be my go-to. Essentially, at the end of next year, I'd like to look back and be able to say 'I smoked pipes more than I smoked cigars this year'. I've recently acquired some pipes from quite a few artisans I love (Jared Coles, Clark Layton, Sam Adebayo, for example), and I plan on breaking them in quite nicely this year."

Likewise, Tyler, as someone "who is 95% of the time a cigar smoker," wants to "smoke a pipe more often." Further expounding on his strategy, Tyler says, "My plan, starting next year, is to buy two new-to-me tins every pay period. Taking one blend the first week, smoking a bowl of that every day, then the following week, taking the second blend and repeating the process. Then jarring the rest of the two blends and sampling through them throughout the year and see where my opinion lays. I'll also be researching and buying a few artisan pipes. Briarworks/Moonshine has been my favorite brand of pipes thus far, especially the Cannonball, which has become my favorite pipe recently, but I want to expand my collection and knowledge of pipes and get on that big boy level!"

John McElheny - Copywiter

John McElheny - Copywriter

A discerning collector with an eye for detail, John, one of our resident copywriters, wants to make sure he's taking care of his pipes to his utmost ability, explaining how one of his resolutions is to "make fuller use of my pipe maintenance accessories." He goes on to say, "I'm consistent with my pipe cleaners and keeping the chamber clean, but it's very seldom that I take the time to put obsidian oil on my vulcanite stems or polish my stummels."

Going beyond just that, however, John has a couple additional resolutions, which he shares with a great many pipe enthusiasts —– he wants to get more pipes. "The other things I resolve to do are focus my collection, get at least one more Tomato, and acquire at least one pipe from Abe Herbaugh."

What are some of your pipe-smoking resolutions for the coming year? What blends, shapes, or artisans do you want to explore? Any smoking habits you wish to start? Let us know down below!

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