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No 267 - August 25, 2011
Are you on the List?

What list?

The list of pipesmokers waiting for a link to preview the upcoming selection of refurbished pipes.

If you are not familiar with these refurbished pipe selections, I can hear your question:
“Why on earth would I want a refurbished pipe?”

Well consider this scenario:   
While waiting for his Houseblend tobacco to be weighed out, a good customer was looking wistfully at the Dunhill pipes. As he collected his tobacco, he tapped the glass counter top, turned to leave the shop, saying “When my ship comes in”.

This latest selection of refurbished pipes could see his ship coming in.
Because there are 5 Dunhill, 2 Charatan (one a unique straight grain), silver band Loewe, a very interesting Peterson de luxe (the sterling silver band is not hallmarked, so required some correspondence), a Kriswill Freeform (haven’t had a Danish Kriswill in our selection before), a very old Stanwell Horn, an amazing Turkish Meerschaum Saxophone, Savinelli Sherwood Canadian (a relatively rare shape in a range no longer being produced), 2 unsmoked old Lorenzo pipes. And some very good bargain pipes.
And the beauty of the offer is that the top price for any single new, unsmoked pipe is less than two-thirds of the current price and, depending on the condition, the price of a refurbished pipe could be as little as one-third of the current price.

And the pipes look so beautiful – after cleaning and sterilising they have been finished with a fine coating from the Dunhill Silicone Pipe Care Cloth. What a glow that imparts, besides protecting the surface.
Just look at the pipes! You can have first look on preview days (if you’re on the list) -Join now.

Maybe the idea of a refurbished pipe doesn’t grab you – besides you have such a good collection already.
Take a closer look at your pipes – are some of them tired and faded?
Have you stopped smoking some of your old favourites because they taste sour?
You could achieve the same results as the refurbished pipes with a little DIY.
Bring your old friends back to life.               

An idea - there are a lot of Rugby matches coming up on television: you could pick up some cleaning materials and relieve the tension with some vigorous rubbing and reaming.
At least you’ll have some nice clean pipes, even if we don’t keep the Cup.
And don’t let the latest additions to your pipe collection wither and die – keep them polished and sweetened on a regular basis.              

To add some “sweetening” to this idea, we’ll slice the prices of cleaning materials, including bristle and other pipe cleaners, pipe spray and reamers.

From September 1 – 14, 2011 we offer 25% off cleaning materials and reamers
15% off Dunhill cleaning materials and reamer

Not a good idea?
You might get too excited and snap a mouthpiece or over-ream the bowl?
Or maybe you don’t do DIY!            

Let us do them for you.
Take the pipes to your nearest Wesley’s for professional refurbishing, or post them to
Wesley’s, P O Box 52466, Saxonwold 2132.

Colin Wesley
August 25 – September 7, 2011

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No 268 - September 8, 2011
What can go wrong?

A premium handmade cigar is still considered to be one of the world’s most affordable luxuries.
So why don’t you always enjoy each one you smoke?
What can be wrong, or go wrong, and what can you do about it?

Here are some of the questions and problems we field in the shop on a regular basis:

The first few puffs taste bitter and burnt       
You have possibly “charred” the foot by having the flame, or jet, too close to the cigar when lighting.
Next time – remember that the hottest part is just above (not in) the flame. Hold the cigar in this position to evaporate the oils at the foot which will then allow the cigar to ignite gently and evenly, especially if you rotate it slowly.

The cigar is unravelling in your mouth        
Possibly because too much of the cap has been removed when cutting the cigar.
Next time leave more of the collar around the cigar to hold it together – and don’t bite the cigar.
This can also happen if the cigar is too dry.

Bitter, hot smoke releasing from your cigar.
Often due to puffing too fast or drawing too hard.
Next time – slow down your puffing rate. Each puff has the same effect on the cigar as a blast from bellows does on a fire. Ouch!
Hot smoke can sometimes occur with the narrower ring gauge cigars as you draw too hard to get a larger volume of smoke. Loosen your lips and draw in a little air with each puff.

A tough, hernia-invoking draw
The cigar may be “plugged”, that is,badly rolled.
Gently run your fingers down the length of the cigar feeling for a hard spot. If you locate one, try massaging and rotating the cigar firmly (but gently) in your fingers. This can take 2 or 3 minutes and may require a few puffs to quicken up the release.
With all the care given to their task, rollers do make the odd mistake – but the mechanical “draw test” done in most factories today should pick these up.

A bitter taste as the cigar reaches the level where the band is (or was).
Time’s up!This is your signal to stop puffing and lay the cigar down to rest and self-extinguish without an unpleasant odour.
You feel that you have been short-changed – would rather have smoked a little longer?
Next time choose a bigger cigar. 

The cigar is not burning evenly
This could be a fault in the rolling but, more likely, lighting up was not thorough, or maybe you were in a draughty place. Try rotating the cigar while gently re-lighting the non-burning area. You may even need to cut off a centimetre or so – better than struggling for the rest of the cigar
Next time – try to shield the cigar when lighting, maybe even huddle in a corner if it is windy.
And, consider your ashtray. Does it have a channel that will support the length of the cigar so that it will rest horizontal when you lay it down for a while?
A cigar that “rests” at an angle will start to burn at an angle before it extinguishes itself. This is difficult to correct when you come to re-light.

Now here’s something we can help rectify straight away:

From 15 - 28 September 2011 we offer 25% off cigar ashtrays

The World of Cigars is wide and complex.
Experience different tastes by trying different brands from different countries;
Try different shapes and sizes to find out which suits your style of smoking best.
Experiment – to maximise your enjoyment of that chosen cigar in hand

Colin Wesley                                               
268 September 8 - 24, 2011

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No 269 - September 22, 2011
A man with a purpose

Saturday morning around 10.30. A lull in the foot traffic; the humidifier has been cleaned and refilled; the bottled Houseblend tobaccos have been replenished; replacement goods from our imports have been checked and put on display ……… time for a cup of tea?
Not quite.
A man comes in with a purposeful look on his face

He stops just inside the front door: “I’ve come to see these”, waving his hand in the direction of our walking stick display. “I don’t really need one, but I saw this lady walking along with a walking stick, and she just looked so comfortable with it that I stopped her and asked where she had bought it. Wesley’s in Rosebank, she said, so here I am.”

We discussed the optimum length (at the top of the hip bone , wrist height from the floor); the weight – most styles weigh between 260g and 340g; the rigidity of the stick – chestnut and beech have some “give” and won’t jar too much; he didn’t need a fold-up stick, a hiking or thumb-stick, or a seat stick.
Then the handles: the knob is sleek and elegant, but may create a pressure point and won’t hang to free both hands; the crutch does spread the pressure, but it doesn’t hang properly, the traditional crook does hang, but it doesn’t spread the weight.
We came to the “Derby” (or Melbourne) handle – spreads the weight, and the hooked end allows it to hang.
He chose the Derby handle, and for good measure fitted a wrist-loop to prevent it falling.
He looked quite chuffed as he left the shop.

Read more about the development of practical walking sticks and about ambulists.

At Wesley’s we have sticks for everybody:
Sticks for people who do need a stick to lean on – the Comfort, the Derby
Sticks for people who just like sticks – embossed chrome handles, knob heads,
beautiful colours, ash
Sticks for people who travel – fold up sticks
Sticks for people who farm or show animals – Shepherds crook
Sticks for people who go walking in an urban area – crutch stick, all-metal stick
Sticks for people who go walking in the bush – hiking stick, thumbstick
Sticks for people who don’t even want to stand, let alone walk – seat stick

And we have the accessories:
Ferrules –heavy duty for hard surfaces (including rocks),plain (for softer ground)
Wrist Strap – to catch your stick before it falls to the ground.

Look at our selection and bear it in mind – you’re sure to require a walking stick sooner or later.

Sooner may be better – because for the next special we’re offering 25% off the entire Wesley’s range.

From 29 September – October 12, 2011
Buy any Wesley’s walking stick for 25% less than the normal price
Normal prices range from only R145.00

A final “tip” – make sure the ferrule is hard-wearing and non-slip.

Colin Wesley
No.269 September 22 – October 5, 2011

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No 270 - October 6, 2011
Across the (e-)Counter

Way back in 2000, when we set up our website, we received more questions, queries and orders from people outside South Africa than from the local folks.
On reflection this shouldn’t have surprised us – we didn’t have a computer database filled with local pipe and cigar smokers, and our older, loyal “mail order” people were mostly unfamiliar with the Internet and uncomfortable with buying through this relatively new medium.

But times have changed, and although we still ship products to distant countries (which is interesting) many of the questions now come from the “local folks”.
Some are straightforward and some require research.
All-in-all they add interest to the day’s work.
Here are some of the questions I feel appeal to a wider group of readers.

Nice-smelling tobaccos:
Thank you for your message - I'm glad to say that the pipe and accessories did indeed arrive, and in perfect condition. I have been refining my packing, lighting and smoking technique, and have recently found it quite easy to maintain a lit pipe to the very bottom of the bowl without any relighting after the initial charring light - provided, of course, that conversation at the time does not get too engrossing as to make me neglect my pipe!
I do, however, have a quick question regarding tobaccos. Nearer the end of this year, I will be sharing my house with several guests for a week or two; and although they claim to not mind my pipe (which I do not smoke often, and only ever outside), I would like to try an aromatic blend that will be as pleasant as possible for them whenever they cross downwind or are exposed to my smoke should I light up while we are out and about together. I am also quite keen to try an aromatic as a new experience, what with my only two pipe tobaccos tried so far being English blends. I am wary of cherry flavours as I find the general taste and smell of cherry products slightly sickening (perhaps an association with medicine), but vanillas have always intrigued me.
Are there perhaps any recommendations on aromatics that you could make for a novice pipe-smoker?

My two suggestions from our Houseblends are No.43 Old Gold, and No.46 Full Gold.
No.43 – Ideal for a mid-morning or before-dinner smoke. Very pleasing aroma.Other than cherry our most popular aromatic tobacco. It’s a combination of US Burley (which holds the flavour) and a local Virginia / Turkish flake.
No.46 – Same pleasing aroma but more full flavoured with natural matured tobaccos and a hint of Perique. Better suited to an after dinner, or after lunch smoke.
Neither of these should offend your guests. You might even get a few compliments.
I’m not sure which English blends you have been smoking, but you should be able to blend in a little No.43 for aroma without altering the taste too much
(A further email: I can quite confidently say that from the very first light, No. 43 became my new favourite tobacco! It is exactly the kind of blend that I imagined as the ideal smoke for the situation - light, sweet, and with a beautiful aroma. I have already had some of my friends complimenting its note, and I've found it to be near-perfect for everything from strolling the suburbs to relaxing after a large meal. Well done on a brilliant blend!)

Kruger Opstaan
Are you guys able to source a Kruger Opstaan?
The Kruger Opstaan was a variation on an Oom Paul pipe, made solely for South Africa and widely available in the 1970s. Its popularity was due to the full bend which made it light on the teeth, and the fact that it was self-standing.
We currently carry the Oom Paul from Lorenzo in various sizes and finishes – also self-standing. And the Savinelli Dry System has great balance in the mouth.

New mouthpiece
I have a Savinelli Duca Carlo Pipe Shape 616 KS. The mouthpiece is broken. Any chance you perhaps have a replacement mouthpiece for me?
I’m not sure where you live. Can you by any chance get the pipe back to us so that we can do a proper job on it – cleaning and refreshing included?  Pipe mouthpieces are not all standard sizes. They need to be trimmed and polished.
Alternative: 6mm or 9mm pipes have a standard inside bore, so that if you don’t mind the outside fit we can send you a mouthpiece approximately the same as the one in your picture

Posting tobacco products
Hi Colin
Do you have any further clarification on the new tobacco law regarding sending tobacco via post? It's so far for me to travel to my nearest Wesleys.
To the best of my knowledge, the law is unchanged: we may not send, and you may not receive, tobacco products through the post. This does not apply if we are shipping to another retailer. Maybe you have a friendly shop in your area that sells some tobacco products, eg cigarettes. There would be a profit in it for them.

Cleaning your pipe – this was a really interesting question:
I have a query that I wonder if you could help with.
I have read about the salt treatments that can be done on pipes, and I’m assuming that normal drinking alcohol is not the right kind to use. is there a specific type or does wesley's maybe sell a pipe treatment kit.
As far as pipe cleaning is concerned I don’t know of “salt treatment”. Where did you hear about this?
Here is a link to a salt treatment description: http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Pipe_care/cleaning#What_can_I_do_when_my_pipe_.22turns_sour.22.3F
I have read about it on several pages on the internet, aswell as on youtube.
I’ve now read about the “Salt Treatment” (thank you) which I had never heard of before.
I noted though that there were some reservations about certain pipes being able to withstand the treatment.
The charcoal pellet treatment also sounds a bit drastic.
I also noted the sentence about using a bristle cleaner dipped in “pipe sweetener”.We have excellent results using just the Pipespray and bristle cleaner as described in http://www.wesleys.co.za/refurb.html#prof
Why not give this simple method a try – you may not need the complicated systems.
Visit our website and select some bowl polish, mouthpiece polish and a can of aerosol spray. 
Then prepare yourself to clean up a pipe watching a World Cup Rugby match.It may relieve the tension.

“Optional” filters:
I believe I was supposed to indicate on my order whether I wanted the Pavia with 9mm filter or not; I hope you might have gathered from the 9mm filters in my order that I was looking for a Pavia with filters;
The words “Optional 9mm filter” refer to the fact that space is available in the mouthpiece / shank for a 9mm filter, but you have the option to use the filter or to fill the space with the adapter provided if at any time you don’t use the filter.

When I receive my pipe with the “optional filter” does this mean that I can smoke with either the filter or the adapter? And does the adapter come with the pipe
Filter pipes must be smoked with either the filter or an adapter (usually supplied with the pipe). Smoking without the filter (or adapter), even once, will allow moisture to condense in the empty space and seep into the shank, causing it to swell. This will result in a cracked shank, or a loose mouthpiece which is very difficult to remedy. If this happens to you, take it in to your nearest Wesley’s for an opinion.
The Tenon/Peg is tougher than the wood! Keep it clean so it won’t stick. Wipe and pencil it occasionally so it slides easily. Have a look at the Gallery
Because of the metal band, Savinelli Dry System pipes are excluded from this warning – and also the Marca Parma back in stock at last.

Marca Parma PipesTalking of the Marca Parma being “back in stock at last” – a welcome return after nearly 5 years -
how about ……..

… from 13-26 October 2011 we offer 25% off the Marca Parma – detailed pictures on the website soon

We have a lot of fun – we’re always learning something new!

Colin Wesley                                               
No.270 October 6-19, 2011 

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No 271 - October 20, 2011
Cigars are Serious

“Give that man a cigar!”
One of the great American acknowledgements of someone achieving something special.

Many textbooks, collectable books, activities and videos have been produced on the serious side of cigars and cigar smoking:
• The passion and skills of those dedicated people who handle the cigar from seedling to cedar.
• Year after year striving for perfection in the leaves used to create and maintain the tastes, aromas and integrity of the great brands.
•The consistency of the rollers, cigar after cigar, determined to ensure that they deliver the expected smoking qualities of the product in their charge – the Premium cigar.

These credits are all valid and well deserved, but there is another side to the world of cigars – fun!
Cigar magazines are full of pictures of “Guys and Gals” smiling from ear to ear, either waving a cigar in the air or gritting their teeth on one. They are having fun.

One of the “fun” ways of enjoying cigars is a “Blind Tasting”.
It can work like this:
At a gathering of cigar smokers three cigars of the same size are presented –for example, Cuban, Dominican and Nicaraguan. But the original bands have been replaced with plain white bands marked A, B, C.
The cigars are scrambled so that no one knows which cigar he is going to smoke.
The guests are divided into small groups, or tables, each guest with his own rating sheet.
The cigars are handed out A, B, C, A, B, C, etc.
Each guest then proceeds to light up and rate his cigar out of 10 on the scoresheet – according to its appeal to 4 of his 5 senses:

How does it rate:

The cigar should……..

Sight – How does it look?

.. be glossy, smooth, fine-veined;

Touch – How does it feel?
Run your fingers along it -
Press it gently –

 .. have no uneven bumps;
.. be firm but springy (not too hard or soft);

Smell – the aroma
Sniff the open foot

.. make your mouth water;
.. smell rich and fresh;

Taste – the flavour when smoking -
Aftertaste –

.. start relatively light and smooth, and develop as the cigar is smoked;
(Does the good taste remain?)


.. burn evenly, with a comfortable draw and hold a good ash;

Teamwork is encouraged and that is where the fun begins.
Who’s got which, and what does he feel about it?
What do his neighbours with the same cigar feel about it?
Can they agree between them?
When the records are collected and checked the cigar scoring the most points overall will be announced.

A “Blind lasting” will be incorporated in our next Cigar Dinner on
Monday October 31st.

At Katzy’s – where else?
If you’re in Johannesburg, call up a few mates – come along and have some cigar fun.
What a way to spend an evening.

On Tuesday, 1 November 2011 the same Blind Selection (re–labelled D, E, F) will be available in the Wesley’s shops.
Organise your own Blind Tasting
Have fun!

Colin Wesley
October 20 – November 2, 2011

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