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Roger O. Stein
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November 11th 1999

Top Ten Tobaccos
As the year draws to an end I thought I'd compile my top ten list of
tobaccos of 1999. The ground rules were that they should be readily
available commercial varieties and not special custom blends (of which I  make a few). Here is what I came up with:

1) McConnells Oriental Mixture
2) Royal Knowlwood Mature Flake
3) F&P's Inverness
4) Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake
5) Peterson Old Dublin
6) McClelland's Dark Star
7) McClelland's Arcadia
8) Royal Vintage Latakia #1
9) Esoterica Pembroke
10) Premium Blend's Golden Burley

This list was pretty easy for me to put together, some small problems in deciding the minor places to be sure, but I did have one BIG problem and that was the order of the (1) and (2) spots.

Now, if I was given just one more pipe to smoke on this earth of course I'd choose the Knowlwood, I have long been a devotee of this most sophisticated of tobaccos, I liken the first sensation as it hits the mouth to that of biting into a warm apricot - but let me stop there before I stray too far into wine buff territory ! Suffice to say that in the wine world you would not want to drink champagne every day, it is a drink to be savoured on a few special occasions and I feel that way about the Knowlwood, its impact would be diminished by frequency. For that reason I have placed the McConnells
first, a fine high-class smoke that delivers reliable quality time after
time, a touch understated maybe but that's want I want for my daily ration of three.

Of course some tobaccos MUST be smoked in their own pipe. For me Premium Blend's Golden Burley means one of my Missouri Meerschaum cobs, and what would McClelland's Arcadia be without an Aldo Velani bent ?

Maybe some ASP folk would like to contribute their own lists.

Happy smoking in 2000.


October 1999
Hookah Experience
I've been enjoying pipes smoking since 14 years old. Last Christmas my wife  bought me a small hookah as a kind of joke, which I didn't even try.  Although, I took it out a couple times later I never really got around to  lighting it up. First, I was wondering if it was legal to smoke in the front seat of my car. I live in Texas. And then I thought it would be better if I put it in the trunk inside the spare tire and drilled some holes through the  back seat so no one could see unless they were really looking.
And then I  tried it last night on the way to the lot and it was great. The instructions said to fill it up with Jack Daniels, but I used ice tea because I had no  Jack. I used a whole 8oz pack of Stonehaven which was about the right amont  because the bowl is fairly big. Sometimes I thought that I could see smoke coming from the trunk, but it didn't matter because the Monte Carlo needs a new muffler anyways and it was kind of smoking too. Has anyone else tried this let me know. The instructions also said that Arabians used "Opium" in these things. I asked Bob down at the lot and he only laughed, but I'm pretty sure the instructions are right. Let me know.
Roger O Stein

Many Thanks, Ted Woodley