Adam came rushing into my office again. "Cob in a cob!" he exclaimed dramatically. This time I knew exactly what he meant.
Adam has been looking for an excuse for the two of us to smoke a couple of corn cob pipes that we've had sitting around the building for the last couple of weeks. I guess he figured it out: smoking Sam Gawith's Cob Plug in a corn cob. Keep in mind that both Adam and I are rather fond of this blend of Virginia and Oriental leaf sauced in tonka bean extract. Also, Adam is particularly enamored with the corn cob.
This was remarkable. The Cob Plug did really well in the cob pipe. The natural buttery sweetness of the corn lent itself to the sweet casing of the tobacco excellently. Some of the bitterness I often find with this blend was perfectly neutralized by the porous qualities of the pipe. The shank on Adam’s pipe even turned a shade of purple in a spot.
Because the cob pipe doesn’t have to be ‘broken-in’ it smoked like a champ right out of the gate, which was fantastically rewarding and a little refreshing in light of some of our recent experiments.
However, because the corn cob pipe will absorb so many of the characteristics of a tobacco it tends to ghost pretty badly. This is especially true with a blend like Cob Plug or 1792. I know this as well as Adam. Yet after his bowl of Cob Plug had finished Adam packed his pipe fresh with McClelland’s Dark Star. Then Ennerdale Flake. Then he tried to smoke Cob Plug again.
“That Cob Plug can’t taste as good as it did the first time, can it?” I asked, knowingly.
“It tastes like butt.”
I suppose the moral of the story is this: Corn cob pipes are a lot of fun. They’re inexpensive, easy to smoke and can offer a unique flavor to a tobacco. Also, they are easy to abuse. And if you insist on abusing your corn cob pipe by continuing to smoke it past its prime or by cycling through it dozens of strange blends the cob will crap on your taste buds. In the meantime, try Cob in a cob!