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I've been a pipe smoker for 35+ years. I stated with Borkhum Riff and Middleton Apple, then quickly moved on to IRC 3 Star Red, then Blue. Going downtown Chicago to Iwan Ries to buy tobacco and gaze at the pipes was the ultimate adventure.
Attending school at the University of Illinois I discovered Jon's Pipe Shop, Patrick Callaghan and his lovely mother Lorraine. I started smoking English and Balkan mixtures, ultimately settling on Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture as my smoke of choice, and deviated little from that until I ran out in the early 90s (I bought a ton of that stuff). I spent several years in lament, and practically put the pipes down until I started experimenting with G. L. Pease tobacco blends (his English and Balkans are very good). I started fiddling with Virginias and VAPERS, dusted off the old pipes, and was back in business.
Tried cigars back when that was cool, but they were too damn expensive (I am a tightwad - I haven't even bought a new pipe - except for a few cobs - for over twenty years)!
I happily smoked my G. L. Pease blends and the occasional VAPER or Virginia flake (whatever they recommended down at Jon's) until I finally discovered tobacco links on the internet a few years ago. Now I feel like a kid in a candy store again (bringing back memories of the shock and awe of going into IRC at 16)!
Tobacco Reviews has been a constant source of information and entertainment. I will do my best to contribute what I can. Thanks to everybody who helps to make Tobacco Reviews a great site!