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Sam Hill's Cigars & Pipes

Best Selection of Cigars, Pipes and Pipe Tobacco in Prescott, Arizona



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Pipe & Pipe Tobacco Basics


Choosing A Pipe


Smoking a pipe


Pipes can be found in an array of materials, shapes and designs to suit the fancy of every smoker. Although

meerschaum and corn-cob pipes are available, the most widely used material is briar, the burl or crown of a

shrub known as Erica Arborea which grows in the Mediterranean area. Briar pipes are recommended for beginning

smokers. Your retailer has a wide variety from which to choose.

Before making your choice of a pipe, try the different shapes and designs to find out how they feel both in your

mouth and in your hand. See how they look, whether they suit your face and personality. Think about the

occasions upon which you will use your pipe, remembering that a heavy pipe demands the use of your hands

and a light pipe can be held easily in the teeth.

Regardless of your choice of pipes, keep in mind the fact that a pipe is merely a device in which to burn tobacco.

No matter how pretty it looks or how efficiently it works, your smoking pleasure will be no better than the

tobacco you pack into its bowl. The real key to pipe smoking enjoyment is good tobacco.


Types of Tobacco


Tobacco 101 Type of tobacco


Few pipe tobaccos marketed today consist of a single kind of tobacco. In almost every case, pipe tobacco is a

blend of several varieties. Tobaccos generally fall into six basic categories with their own distinct qualities and



Burley: More Burley is smoked in pipes than any other kind of tobacco, for experts consider this type, grown

mainly in Kentucky and Tennessee, to be the finest pipe tobacco in the world. Its popularity is due to its

excellence, its flavorful taste and the fact that it mixes readily with other tobaccos. Many quality pipe blends (like

ours) contain a high proportion of choice Burleys, which can be identified by their light brown color.


Virginia: This is a pleasant tasting tobacco grown in several Southern states, which mixes well with Burley or is

good as a stand alone varietal. Sweet and high in sugar, Virginia tends to burn faster than Burley types.

Latakia: Grown in Syria and on the island of Cyprus, its stems and leaves are cured to produce a strong, smoky

flavor. Latakia is a primary tobacco used in “English” style blends.


Perique: A slow-burning variety often referred to as the “salt and pepper” of the trade, because it is mainly used

for flavoring and aroma. This type is very mild and pungent, and is popular in English Style tobaccos. Perique is

unique in that it can only be produced in a small area near New Orleans (St. James Parish).


Turkish: A number of kinds of tobacco grown in Turkey, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East are known as

“Turkish”. These mild and fast burning tobaccos are commonly used in more exotic English style blends and some

cigarette blends. Many English and Balkan blends use Turkish extensively.


Black: Burley tobacco that has been steamed for over 48 hours to achieve its color and exceptionally mild smoking

characteristics; the tobaccos used are normally from the Green River section of Kentucky. It is not technically a

type of tobacco, but it is used as such.


Smoking A Pipe


Smoking A Pipe


Watch an experienced pipe smoker. He selects a pipe from his rack to fit his mood, for every pipe is unique. He

checks the bowl to see if it is clean, makes certain there are no obstructions in the stem, then carefully fills the

bowl with his favorite tobacco.

Our old pro places the tobacco in the bowl and presses it in properly, not too firmly, but just right. He lights up.

After a couple of puffs he tamps the tobacco again and may have to relight it. He is then ready to relax and

enjoy his pipe.

He puffs slowly and easily. He may relight his pipe from time to time and, before he finishes, can experience as

much as an hour of smoking pleasure from a single pipeful. When he is through, he carefully knocks the ashes from

the bowl and runs a pipe cleaner through the stem before placing the pipe back in its rack.

Pipe smoking requires certain equipment. First, of course, there is the pipe. Second, tobacco suitable to your

taste. Then there are appurtenances ranging from cleaners to reamers, which your local tobacconists can tell you

bout. They will show you how they can help make your pipe a greater source of pleasure.

With the basic equipment in hand, the neophyte needs only a little patience to acquire the art of pipe smoking.

There is nothing difficult about it if you keep this in mind. Don’t try to accomplish everything at once. The payoff

in contentment, relaxation, and satisfaction is worth waiting for.

Just like a marathon runner needs to start slow and work up to the full distance, the same is true for a new pipe

smoker. If you start with a quality briar pipe and a good, mild tobacco (like an Altadis brand, of course), you will

have no difficulty. Begin with a little bit the first day and go slowly to learn all the incredible pleasures and

nuances pipe smoking offers.


Here are a few tips:


Fill the bowl of a new pipe one-half to two-thirds full, using your finger to tamp each layer firmly, but without

losing the feel of springiness in the tobacco.


Light the pipe evenly all around. Tamp the tobacco again and relight. Proper packing and occasional tamping will

keep it lit.


Smoke the first few bowlfuls slowly. Allow your pipe to cool and dry between smokes.


Remove ashes by gently slapping the bowl on the palm of your hand. Hold it by the bowl, not the stem, and avoid

striking your pipe against hard objects.


Keep your pipe clean and dry. Use a pipe cleaner occasionally.


Rest your pipe between smokes bowl down.


A good retail tobacconist can answer any questions you have about pipe smoking.

Although pipe smoking is an art, it is based upon science. A pipe bowl is simply a combustion chamber in which

fuel is oxidized. The intensity of oxidation (burning) is governed by the kind of fuel and amount of air drawn

through the flue (pipe stem). With a clean chamber, good fuel, and proper air supply, combustion will be complete

and a maximum amount of energy released. In a pipe, pleasure, not energy, is the product. For the best results,

you need the right combustion chamber (pipe) and high quality.



Styles & Cuts of Tobacco


styles & cuts of tobacco


Aromatic – Mixtures are often a Burley/Virginia blend of tobaccos that are highly flavored. Cherry, vanilla, rum,

whiskey, etc. are some of the most popular flavors used. This style of tobacco is the dominant choice  of most

pipe smokers.


English – This term refers to tobaccos that are flavored ONLY with different types of tobaccos and DO NOT have

added flavors. Generally these blends use Latakia, Perique, and Virginia tobaccos. The nomenclature refers to an

Old English Law that stated that no tobacco products could have anything but tobacco as a percentage of its

total weight.


Navy Flake or Slices – The term Flake or Slices can mean different things to different people.


Typically in a Tobacco Shop, the term flake refers to the style of tobacco that has been hard pressed into little

cakes and thinly sliced. These thin slices are then “rubbed out” to smoke.


Cube – A more exotic style of tobacco that is formed into a cake, pressed together under extreme pressure, and

then sliced into little cubes. Red Lion’s products often involve the usage of cubes. Normally cubes are made from

Burley tobacco, although there is a demand for Virginia cube.



Casing & Flavoring




Casing – A process in which a casing mixture is made and applied to the tobacco to help smooth out the smoke as

well as act as a base flavor. Each manufacturer will have their own unique casing recipe and will typically apply it

before final flavoring. Popular casing ingredients are licorice, corn syrup, and sugar. There are two methods for

casing tobacco:


Dipping - Tobacco is dragged through a trough of casing and the excess is squeezed out of rollers. This applies a

great deal of casing to the product and is essential to the production of plug cut style tobaccos. Cubes, slices,

and some of the more traditional styled products are also dipped.


Spray Cased – Tobacco is run through a cylinder and casing is sprayed onto the product. This method is the most

common casing method today. Tobaccos cased under this process tend to be fluffier than dipped tobaccos.


Flavor – Blended tobaccos, are almost always treated with flavoring agents to enhance their natural taste. The

flavoring process – employing such ingredients as sugar, honey, licorice, or fruit extracts – is governed by

formulas which are perhaps the most carefully guarded industrial secrets in the tobacco business. Flavoring is

applied to cased tobacco, and some typical flavors include vanilla, rum, whiskey, or cherry, to provide the “Top

Notes” of the blend.



The Art of Pipe Smoking




The act of smoking a pipe carries a built-in responsibility. You owe it to millions of fellow pipe smokers to live up

to certain standards.

The sight of a man with a pipe rings a bell with most people. It conjures up ideas of leadership, thoughtfulness,

reliability, level-headedness- a long list of admirable characteristics which add up to a splendid masculine picture.

The very act of lighting up a pipe seems magically to endow a man with these attributes. Good tobacco in a

trusty pipe provides him with strength and serenity. There is a calming bonus in the ritual of filling, lighting,

cleaning, and caring for one’s pipes.

But you have another obligation, this one to yourself. There is no such thing as instant pipe smoking. To enjoy

fully the unmatched contentment of a good pipe and flavorful tobacco, you must learn how to go about it

properly. To attempt to smoke a pipe as one might smoke cigarettes or cigars is like trying to play tennis with a

nine-iron. It just isn’t the same game.











Sam Hill's Cigars does not sell tobacco or tobacco related products to anyone under the age of 18.
Sam Hill's Cigars does not sell any tobacco products online or sells outside of Arizona.


Sam Hill's Cigars 202 S. Montezuma St. Prescott, Arizona 86303  (928) 778- 7600