Top Resources For Pipe Smokers
Pipe smoking, though traditional in most ways, is an ever-changing hobby. From new tobacco releases, to ultra-rare stamps or shapes, to the latest up-and-coming carvers, there's quite a lot to keep track of. How do we juggle it all? Well, having an extremely knowledgeable staff and great relationships with carvers and blenders alike has allowed us to create some great original content here on the Daily Reader, but sometimes we do consult outside sources — great sites that we would like to share with you. So in no particular order, here are our most recommended resources for pipe smokers!
With thousands of blends on the market, how does a new pipe smoker (or even an experienced one) decide which mixtures to try? For nearly a decade, I've turned to TobaccoReviews.com. Currently cataloging over 84,000 reviews, TobaccoReviews offers detailed descriptions, tasting notes, component breakdowns, and other blend-related information in a simple, easy-to-use format. The reviews themselves are provided by a diverse range of pipe smokers around the globe who designate a review "helpful" or not with a sorting system that can prioritize the most reliable content, displaying the most recommended reviews first.
PipesMagazine is a comprehensive powerhouse of a resource, focusing on pipe and tobacco related news, ranging from tasting notes and reviews of recently released blends, to interviews with major players in the industry, to editorial articles about the pipe collecting hobby. Kevin Godbee and his team recently redesigned the website to be more mobile friendly and to prioritize content, making each article easy to read and share.
It's also the home of one of the best pipe-related podcasts in the business: the Pipes Magazine Radio Show, which is now available on the majority of podcast sites and apps for seamless incorporation into your daily commute or walk. After listening to an episode or reading an article, you can keep the conversation going by contributing to the site's robust forums, where enthusiasts discuss everything from beginner tips to historical information to presentations of favorite pipes and tobaccos. With over a million posts and 20,000 members, it's the answer for any question or topic.
The Briar Patch Pipe Forum
If you're in search of a forum for easygoing, laid-back discussion of pipes and pipe tobacco, the Briar Patch is a great spot. While not quite as large as some forums and sites on this list, it has a friendly, communal personality, almost like an online pipe club. Speaking of which, their Pipe Club Directory is a great tool for finding a local meetup near you. There's also an old-school chatroom for remote conversations and pipe smoking discussions in real time.
Probably the most extensive resource for information on well-known pipe makers and marques (outside of our own site), Pipedia is a user-friendly wiki for all things pipe related. Scott Thile, who's also a well respected pipe maker and all around great guy, manages the site with the dedication of a scholar; myriad editors also work to keep each article accurate and up to date, generally with some great photography, too. As one of Pipedia's contributors, our own content may be found there as well, and in a format that's conveniently organized (you might find one of our interviews appended to a pipemaker's bio or marque's history, for example).
Pipe Smokers Forums
Pipe Smokers Forums has been on our Top Resources list for years now. While some folks experienced difficulties registering in the past, the moderators and admins have done a great job of streamlining the process. Whether you'd like to share what you're smoking this month, ask for recommendations on advanced techniques, read reviews, or participate in secondary topics like food or hunting or fishing, PSF remains an excellent resource for the pipe smoker.
Mark Irwin's Peterson Pipe Notes
I can't think of anyone on the planet who knows more about Kapp & Peterson, both past and present, than Mark Irwin. Mark's the Pete Freek Extraordinaire who continues to school me on the ins and outs of the Peterson brand. His recent book, The Peterson Pipe: The Story of Kapp & Peterson, was a best-seller here at Smokingpipes and completely changed my understanding of the System pipe.
While far more specific and targeted than many of the resources on this list, Mark's Peterson Pipe Notes blog is among the first resources I share with those interested in collecting Peterson pipes. His blog even includes articles, photographs, and interesting information that didn't make it into Mark's book.
About Smoke: An Encyclopedia of Smoking
Written by Alfred Dunhill himself, About Smoke has been published in many editions for over a century, and serves as much as a deep dive into pipe history and ephemera as it does a catalog of Dunhill products. Especially helpful for those interested in vintage Dunhills, this book offers a fascinating window into the wide range of tobacco products the English marque once offered.
Pipe Smokers Den
Another great, laid-back forum in this list, Pipe Smokers Den is a micro-community of pipe smokers of all vocations, experience levels, and personalities. Among the threads, you'll find a list of current pipe sales and pipe smoking advice via "Ask an Old Codger," as well as what they call "pipe & tobacco bombs," which are essentially beautiful acts of charity and surprise giveaways. Like the Briar Patch, it feels less like a forum and more like an online pipe club, great for building tight-knit relationships with others who share the same interests.
The Ivory Smoking Lounge r/PipeTobacco
If you're prone to spending hours and hours diving deeper and deeper down the reddit rabbit hole, you're going to love the site's "pipe tobacco" sub-category. Completely open source, the Ivory Smoking Lounge is an inclusive and friendly place for beginners to ask questions and receive feedback from more experienced smokers. And quite a lot of them, too. With over 33,000 members, it's one of the largest online pipe smoking communities out there. It's also incredibly user-friendly, with pretty flexible CSS and easy-to-use search bars.
Perhaps a surprising addition to this list, Instagram, in fact, houses a thriving pipe community. Many fellow smokers post regular updates there, as well as pipe carvers, who often showcase their work and process through some quite impressive photos. It's a great way to discover new carvers and styles of pipes in a community that can fit easily into one's pocket.
Another online platform with an active community of pipe smokers, as well as their collective wisdom, is Discord. Various servers cater to tobacciana, but the Get Piped server is especially active, as the counterpart to the YouTube channel hosted by Adam "GP" Floyd. It can be a great place to share information, questions, or simply chat with fellow smokers.
Speaking of YouTube, there are a whole host of creators who upload pipe and tobacco-related content every day, affectionately referred to as the YTPC or YouTube pipe community. Get Piped, as mentioned above, is one popular channel, while Stuff and Things produces a fine series of in-depth tobacco reviews. Literally hundreds of excellent channels and creators in our hobby are on the platform, and to name them all would take an article of its own, but the two channels already discussed make for an excellent starting point.
Let's face it; some pipe maker's stamping traditions are less than clear, making dating a vintage briar difficult at times. Luckily, there's Pipephil, a comprehensive study of logos, stamps, and nomenclature, to help with the process. Its user-friendly setup allows searching for brands by country, name, or logo — making it much easier to figure out whether your Barling is pre- or post-transition.
The Wood Database
Trying to identify accents, exotic woods, and the like can be a daunting task. The Wood Database offers examples of a variety of exotic and domestic hardwoods yused in pipe making. With its enlargeable photos, detailed characteristics, and descriptions, it's a resource that our copywriters and data entry team use almost every day. How else do you think we can distinguish Wenge from Macassar Ebony in our descriptions? We ask Adam — or check the Wood Database when even he's not sure.
The Gentleman's Pipe Smoking Society Facebook Group
Created in 2008, the Gentleman's Pipe Smoking Society is an extremely active Facebook Group dedicated to the pipe smoking hobby. The group currently has over 18,000 members. It's perfect for starting discussions or showing off a new pipe, not to mention super convenient, as most of us are accustomed to Facebook.
Cornell & Diehl's Tobacco Selections YouTube Series
When tired of watching cat videos or grown men trying to do the "floss" dance, it's refreshing to head on over to the Cornell & Diehl page and check out their Tobacco Selection series. In each video, C&D's head blender Jeremy Reeves breaks down one or two grades of tobacco employed by the blending house. Aside from an explanation of the leaf itself, Reeves also smokes each component straight, offering tasting notes and tips on how to leverage each component for home blending experiments.
So there you have it: our Top 10 Pipe Smoking Resources (plus a few extra). Each of these resources has helped us here at Smokingpipes immensely, and all are incredibly important for the hobby. But what about you? What are your favorite pipe smoking resources? Feel free to share your go-tos in the comments below.
Note: This article was originally published October 25, 2014. It has been updated for added relevance and detail.
Tagged in: Pipe Basics Pipe Club Pipe Culture Reviews Tips Tobacco
http://smokersmag.com/archive – Pipe Smokers' Magazine in Russian. Pipes and Tobacco manufacturers history, interview with pipemakers, tobacco reviews and much more.
Thanks for the shoutout to reddit's /r/pipetobacco forum, Andrew, all great resources here!
Yeah baby, /r/pipetobacco representing!
Vitaliy, that's a really cool site! Thanks for sharing. Flatticus and Pylorns (and everyone else on reddit really), thank you all for helping make the /r/pipetobacco the great resource it is!
I use Pipedia all the time -- very highly recommended! I'd also point out tobaccopipecollectors.com -- not for the top ten, but I think it deserves honorable mention.
Thank you for your pipe smokers resources. I'm sure will learn a great deal and am pleased to join your mailing list.
You're welcome Dr. Mihail! Welcome aboard; we're glad to have you!
Do you now some pipes´s website in spanish?
Would you all mind if we put a link to this page on the Conclave Of Richmond Pipe Smokers (CORPS) links page? This is a very comprehensive listing! Thank you for it, btw.
@Linwood Not at all! Have you seen our glossary? https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/glossary.cfm
I have to disagree with pipesmokerforum.com They seem to restrict membership or can't seem to figure out there scripting issues. Impossible site to register and login to.
@Scott J Huh, that's unfortunate. They're a lovely bunch over there with a trove of information, if you still have issues registering send us an email and I'll see if we can't talk to the admins.
"send us an email and I'll see if we can't talk to the admins."
Sorta what I am talking about. Not a top 10 resource if you have to jump thru a bunch of hoop's to be accepted. I tried messaging them many times, just not worth it with so many other great places with great info. Thanks for trying.
Hey Scott J maybe when this post went up 20 mos. ago that wasnt the case you know??
Just tried to register 3 minutes ago, so sorry Cid:
Internal Server Error
The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
Please contact the server administrator, [email protected] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.
More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Scott J all i'm trying to say is that when this article was written almost TWO YEARS AGO pipesmokersforums was alive and well but your busting SmokingPipes chops like they posted the the article last week with a bad link. just trying to add some perspective here
@Scott J I absolutely agree that if you can't register it's probably not that helpful. As @Cid mentioned, PSF wasn't having these issues at the time, but you're right in that we need to get this updated. We've been looking at updating this anyway to account for A Passion For Pipes being closed, but were hoping to wait and see if the content was going to get a new home before just dropping it off of the list.
We're looking into other resources for you and will update soon.
@Scott J I just wanted to mention that I joined in May and while it wasn't the easiest to join, it does work. I think they make it a little difficult on purpose so they can screen out anti-smoking trolls and the like. I'm not sure of that but that's my assumption from the screening questions they asked. Pipesmokersforum.com is a great forum and was worth jumping through some hoops to get into. I wish you luck!
Wow..regarding PSF. I registered and everything was cool for about 3 days. All of a sudden I kept getting errors loading the site and when I tried to login. Can't seem to get it to work now any device...and can't reach any mods. Shame, it seemed like a cool forum.
I have to disagree about PSF. There are some great people there but admin rules with an iron fist and will ban you at the drop of a hat with no explanation, and no chance to talk about it. Not very cool after being a contributing and respected member of the community for over 2 years with thousands of posts, reviews, etc.
Give PSF 2.0 a try.
Chico, give the "real" New PSF a try at pipesmokersdens.com
The admin of PSF passed away and the mods moved to Pipesmokersdens. Same web design, same great folks, even better atmosphere.
This needs to be updated. Some forums are gone, and the newer THEBRIARPATCHFORUM.COM is going strong.
For those able to read in German, a very good blog/website is PFEIFENBLOG.DE. Lots of stuff about pipe smoking, tobacco, music and other interests.
For Spanish Speaking Pipesmokers...
El Rincón de la Pipa / Foro http://rinconpipa.foroactivo.com/
Pipa & Barba Worldwide FB Fanpage
Some Countries, Like Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina have clubs and they also, have pages on FB...
The pipe smokers forums on CigarForums.net (formerly know as Puff.com) are are a friendly, informative and active community. I highly recommend them.
Any tips on getting the lids off of some stored
tins? My hands are black and blue....
Really appreciate HELP.Lovingly collected great variety of pipes in 50's-70's. MD advised me to quit. Want to find new home. Have full list if desired. 100 would consider sell in a few increments. Would also accept tips to accomplish.Jerry
@Jerry Goldsmith We can help with that! I'll send you an email to assist.
I gave up on trying to join the pipe smokers’s forum. I swear I got the whole English/Italian pipe company mix and match question correct. I tried three times. Gave up. Must’ve been a sign.
The Briar Patch is a hive of drama and right-wing politics. It's supposed to be politics-free but the they're allowed to run amok, then jump on anyone who disagrees with them, name calling, harassing via PMs, etc. And the mods don't care.
This article is very informative and I feel like you are reading my mind
This article is very informative and I feel like you are reading my mind.https://pipesmagazine.com/
@Useman Ss We're so glad that you found this helpful, thanks so much!
So, I aged some Presbyterian for 17 months, and went to the SP page for reviews. Watched the video of Shane smoking/testing with his clay pipe, and make a review of good old Presbyterian. I thought that was a really great video to compare my notes with as I had not smoked any Presbyterian in 17 months. Also, when there is a picture of the opened tobacco on the cart page that is helpful for me too. Pipepedia has good articles and pictures of pipe collections. G.L. Pease and Loring collections are terrific.
I would also add to the list The Briar Report for current events in the Pipe Smoking World. You can find them at www.BriarReport.com and www.BriarReport.org.