What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease

What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease | Daily Reader

Greg Pease has garnered accolades for his blending since the inception of G.L. Pease tobaccos in 2000. Even before then, he was admired for his photography, writing, tobacco, and pipe expertise, and his reputation has continued to multiply. He's been entrenched in premium tobaccos and pipe smoking since his start at Druquer's in 1978 and we now appreciate his tobaccos for their creativity, nuance, and their sublime ability to provide unique experiences. When a new G.L. Pease tobacco is released, we know that it is supported by the substantial experience of a man who knows what he's doing.

Horizons

Horizons is a new tobacco representing an original vision for Greg. It's part of his Zeitgeist series, which he launched as a creative outlet for his more innovative examinations of what is possible in pipe tobacco. His inspiration for Horizons, and what provides the imagery for representing its character, is retrofuturism, most often associated with the 1950s and '60s viewpoint. Retrofuturism looks to a future of magnificent possibility from the perspective of an earlier era and the conquering of new horizons: flying cars, shuttles to Mars, personal robot assistants, and the promise of technologically impossible aspirations.

The tin art conjures these themes. "The artwork is gorgeous, thanks to an incredible creative team with a remarkable artist," says Greg. "It's a nod to retrofuturism, and I had ideas for the art before I had a name in mind. Horizons partially came about because of the whole concept of new horizons retrofuturism, and also because of the beautiful horizontal stripes in the tobacco. There was a visual connection. It seemed irresistibly appropriate."

Horizons is a pressed-flake mixture of heirloom Red and Bright Virginias, Turkish Latakia, and a dazzling balance of Orientals, delivering a silky mouthfeel, a zesty character, and the savory flavors of clove and allspice for a full-bodied and sophisticated smoking experience.

His inspiration for Horizons, and what provides the imagery for representing its character, is retrofuturism,

"It's delicious," says Greg, "and I think, primarily because of the pressing, it develops that little extra sweetness and complexity and depth during a smoke. I really like it. It has that nice balance of Latakia, Orientals, and Virginia, and a tiny bit of Black Cavendish, and it just comes together beautifully in the flake form. And the artwork is incredible. I'm very excited about everything with this tobacco.

Greg seems especially pleased with the Latakia, which is important in a Latakia-forward blend like Horizons. "Turkish Latakia is more nuanced than Cyprian Latakia, and rounder in flavor, a little less edgy. You'd have to really concentrate on it to identify the differences, which are subtle but important. It has a beautiful flavor and it works really well in the blends. I'm very happy with Turkish Latakia."

While the Black Cavendish manifests only a tiny proportion of Horizons, it contributes to the overall flavor profile. "It just adds a little sweetness, a little bit of a more velvety mouthfeel. Again, it's very subtle, but it delivers an individualistic, slightly sweet finish that works wonderfully."

it just comes together beautifully in the flake form

Simpler beverages work best with Horizons, rather than complex alcohol concoctions. "I think it's really good with sparkling water," says Greg, "and delicious with a nice cup of black tea. I don't tend to be a spirits-with-tobacco person generally. I find that they compete with each other. Either the tobacco is walking on the delicacy of the spirits, or the spirits are walking on the tobacco. And for me, it just never works. But I do like something like water; it's refreshing. I also like tea because there's enough acidity there that it keeps the palate fresh. Horizons is probably not a tobacco to smoke with your first flush green teas because they're just too delicate, but a nice black tea is stellar, even with some milk in it."

What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease | Daily Reader

Horizons will be available on Wednesday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. ET. As part of the Zeitgeist series, it represents the latest innovation from the talented mind of Greg Pease. Each mixture in the series is carefully considered in all of its details, from the blend itself to the packaging artwork for a holistic approach. "The whole thing about the Zeitgeist series for me," says Greg, "is that each is fun in a lot of different ways. The tobaccos are, of course, really lovely, but just exploring the art and the whole package is, I think, pretty neat."

Aside from Horizons, Greg has lately been busy with additional activities. He's always busy with something because his interests are wide, but in May of this year, he was honored with a title that confirms his lifelong dedication to pipe smoking. On the 31st, he was inducted into the Confrérie des Maîtres-Pipiers de Saint-Claude.

The Brotherhood of Master Pipe Makers

What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease | Daily Reader

Resurrected in 1966 from an incarnation from the early 20th century, the Confrérie was initially reserved for local pipe makers, but the Brotherhood soon invited interested pipe smokers and carvers of particular fame and reputation to join. The Brotherhood holds two meetings every year, one electing the new Premier Fumeur, who receives a special pipe carved in their likeness by Paul Lanier, chosen as best pipe sculptor in 1991. The Council of Master Pipe Makers is composed only of pipe manufacturers, while other members are referred to as colleagues or brothers.

It just adds a little sweetness, a little bit of a more velvety mouthfeel.

Both meetings induct new members, who must have been sponsored by a Master Pipe Maker before consideration. Colleagues cannot invite new members. Membership is highly selective, with current numbers tallying around 1,500 worldwide. Induction is a highly ceremonial affair with robes, hats, incantations, and tests of smoking skills. Membership in the Confrérie is perhaps the most coveted and respected honor within the international community of pipe enthusiasts. Greg Pease has now joined their ranks.

"The whole experience of being in Saint-Claude," says Greg, "was simply incredible." He and pipe maker Nate King were the only two Americans nominated for 2024, both names submitted by pipe maker Bruno Nuttens. Greg didn't know about it until this year, though there were inquiries in 2023 that made him wonder what was going on.

"I started hearing little things like, 'Can you come to France next year?' Gradually, the window when they wanted me in France narrowed, and I had a feeling that this might be what it was, but I wasn't absolutely sure because nobody ever said, 'We're inducting you into the Confrérie.'" The fraternity is secretive, though as far as we know, they don't abduct and imprison those who might join or inadvertently learn of its plans. They don't strategize for the takeover of the planet, only to promote the gentle art of pipe smoking.

"Then I was finally sent a little questionnaire," says Greg, "a little sort of a bio thing to fill out. I surmised at that point it was pretty much a certainty. I didn't really have any preconceptions. I've read everything that's online about it, and it just seemed like a really cool organization. I've always held it in high esteem. Years ago, it was a dream to be a member, but I didn't think it would ever happen. So it was really very, very exciting, very thrilling."

Membership is highly selective, with current numbers tallying around 1,500 worldwide.

Nate and Greg, who are good friends, traveled together. "The ceremony was beyond my expectations. It's really beautiful. It's reverent and ceremonial, but also there's a healthy little bit of silliness and self-deprecation." The Brotherhood doesn't take itself too seriously — just seriously enough.

What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease | Daily Reader

Tom Eltang, Greg Pease, Bruno Nuttens, and Nate King

Thirteen people from around the world were inducted in May. "We convened in the antechamber of the chapter house of the Confrérie at the Musée Pipes et Diamants and sat around the table. It's the room where all the pipes are on display." These pipes are from each member of the Brotherhood. When accepting admission to the Confrérie, each new brother leaves a personal pipe as a record.

Antoine Grenard, owner of Chapuis-Comoy & Cie (Chacom) in Saint-Claude and current president of the Confrérie, arrived in the antechamber and described what to expect. Members in their ceremonial robes and hats filed into the chapter house. "Chapter house or temple," says Greg. "I think "temple" is a good word for it. We knocked on the door and waited a couple of minutes, and then the little panel in the door slid open and there was a little conversation through the door." The panel closed and the inductees waited as it was decided whether to allow them entry.

"Then we entered the room. It was dark, and many of the members were sitting in the shadows. Tom Eltang came, and that was a fun surprise for me. We've been friends for over 25 years, so that was special. After some ceremonial words, a pillow was passed to the prospective new members." This pillow was for receiving the personal pipes of the members to be added to the antechamber.

it was a dream to be a member, but I didn't think it would ever happen

Greg submitted one of his pipes, and it was a thoughtful selection on his part. "I wanted to leave something really special to me, so I gave them the first pipe I ever made, a nice little apple that I made years and years ago. Funny story about the pipe. It actually started as an ODA-size Bulldog. But once I cut the bulldog, I found all these flaws in the briar, so I started reshaping it, and I kept reshaping it and reshaping it until I got down to a pipe that didn't have flaws. By that point, it was a group-three Apple."

That's when things started to get interesting, says Greg. "They collected our pipes, and then they came around with a tray of pipes for us to select from. That pipe was our initiation pipe. I chose a lovely little semi-Freehand with a boxwood application, a beautiful little pipe."

I wanted to leave something really special to me, so I gave them the first pipe I ever made

After that, the biography of each applicant was read as they stood before the membership. "We mostly wrote our own biographies in the questionnaires. I did not write mine in French, but Bruno was kind enough to translate it for me. Then, one by one, we were called to the front where we filled our pipes. This was our ordeal by fire. We had to demonstrate that we actually knew how to smoke a pipe. We returned to our semi-circle, and after that, we emptied our pipes into the ceremonial ashtray."

Each prospective member took a solemn oath. The final step was for the Grandmaster to place a ribbon and medallion around the neck of each and knight them by dubbing them on the shoulders with a giant Billiard, welcoming them to the brotherhood. Certificates were awarded and a party ensued.

For Greg, it seemed the culmination of a career dedicated to pipe smoking. "It's a huge honor. It was very special to me. Just to be in Saint-Claude, which is the ancestral home of the briar pipe, was an amazing experience. You walk around the town and there are pipes everywhere. There are pipes painted on the walls, and there are pipes on the little signs on the streets, and there are statues of pipes, and all the rubbish bins on the streets are in the shape of a bent Billiard. The town is still very dedicated to pipes."

Saint-Claude seemed like home to Greg, like he was visiting a place he had always been destined to be, and he now looks forward to returning. He's been dedicated to pipe smoking for more than 40 years, and to G.L. Pease tobaccos for almost 25, so of course the birthplace of the briar pipe would deliver a powerful attraction.

it seemed the culmination of a career dedicated to pipe smoking.

G.L. Pease tobaccos have been his creative contribution to the hobby he loves. Now, in its 24th year and with the addition of Horizons to its portfolio, it continues to garner the attention and affection of smokers everywhere. Greg Pease possesses an infatuation that will not waver, so don't expect him to retire. He is adamantly dedicated to the advancement of pipe smoking, and though he has achieved much already, his future is intertwined with the pastime we all appreciate.

What's Happening Lately with Greg Pease | Daily Reader

Greg Pease, Antoine Grenard, Nate King

Category:   Tobacco Talk
Tagged in:   G. L. Pease Tobacco Zeitgeist

Comments

    • Phuc Nguyen on June 22, 2024
    • Congratulations Mr. Pease.

    • DAVE SOMMER on June 23, 2024
    • WAY TO GO GREG!!!!!

    • Tom Scalero on June 23, 2024
    • What a great honor. But Greg could have dressed up a bit. Nate’s suit doesn’t fit well at all. And it looks like both of them have never used an iron in their lives. And is there anyone in the pipe world that’s heard of a weight room? Or personal grooming?

    • Pat McDermott on June 23, 2024
    • So true, Tom. Better Greg had rolled up in an Aston-Martin, hopped out in a slightly too tight Tom Ford suit and said "Pease. Greg Pease!"

    • PD on June 23, 2024
    • Haha!!! Excellent comments!!

    • Jeff Portwood on June 23, 2024
    • Congratulations to all! In particular I want to congratulate Nate King a local Indy guy. I used to see him quite a bit at the Pipe Puffer on the southside of Indianapolis. It didn't seem that long ago he brought a pipe kit in and said he was going to give it a try. That seems to have worked out well!

    • Tom Scalero on June 23, 2024
    • Go to a pipe show. It literally looks like a Walmart meme.

    • Tom Scalero on June 23, 2024
    • Go to a pipe show. It literally looks like a Walmart meme.

    • R. Fisher on June 26, 2024
    • So true, Tom. Maybe when you're inducted, you can show us all a proper example.

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