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29 March 2012

Memento Mori
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 29, 2012

       -Posted by eric-

Being mutually occupied by both Adam and myself, the Smokingpipes pipe library has become the birthplace of many the office's finest, or, failing that, strangest ideas and conversations. Just yesterday, in fact, upon happening across a pipe which was, to put it mildly, rather more colorfully accented than is to my personal taste, I remarked to Adam, "If I were to die in the street, it would be a shame if the police were to find this... celebration of color upon my corpse." I stated as such, of course, because I felt that, as an accoutrement, said particular briar's composition was totally at odds with my own character and tastes. Though I'll never agree that "the clothes make the man", I'll readily recognize that they do tend to reflect who he is - or at least who he wants to be thought of as being, a pretension which can be if anything even more telling.

Clothing, however, tends to be much more ephemeral than a pipe; fashions and lifestyles change both with the seasons and as we grow and age, cloth wears out, soles thin down and eventually split. A leather jacket or a high-quality pair of boots might endure ten or even twenty years of regular use, but such garments are the exception. A pipe, however... well, just look at our estate department - it's not difficult to find something thirty years old, and we've seen quite a few of far, far older vintage. And even for a smoker, rather than collector, such as I am, a pipe will still reflect pretty clearly one's tastes, demands, and self-image. Some of you may have already guessed where this is leading, which is to the impishly absurd question I brought up between Adam and myself: "Adam, which pipe would you most wish for the police to find on your corpse?" This, naturally enough, led to a lively back-and-forth.

For Adam it was ultimately decided it would be something clean and classically English - perhaps one of his own artisanal pieces. What better for a man to drop dead with, after all, than a briar he made himself? Considering my own options, I was forced to eliminate my Beo Acorn; as much as I enjoy sipping a bit of a flavorful latakia blend from it, it is too gracile and delicate in aesthetic. Plus, I would probably break it if I happened to fall upon it in the course of my sudden expiration. My Churchwarden? Well, I'd feel a bit silly walking down the street with it in the first place, much less meeting my maker with it poking conspicuously from out of my pocket. Eventually I continued in this manner until I settled into a stalemate between my Beo bent Billiard and my Dunhill bent Dublin. Despite one being very English, and the other being very French, both share similar aesthetic and functional strengths: Deep and flavorful chambers, dark and heavy sandblasts, bold and forthright bowls, and eloquently flowing gestures of shank and stem following thereafter. As I do double duty as both the office cad and the office morbid crank, as well as main copywriter and general-purpose insufferable know-it-all, these were all design qualities which I felt most naturally suited to summing up my character. Were I myself a pipe, no doubt indeed I would be a pipe not unlike one of these.

I also decided I would prefer to have met my end by being shot by a particularly tempestuous woman, as this, too, I thought, would reflect accurately in death upon my life. It would also make for an all the more interesting and memorable eulogy too, I should hope. But look at me digress.

Some of the best advice a young man may receive is to remember that every day may be his last - but not in the "eat, drink, and be merry" manner. Rather, that a man should consider his words and actions as if they might one day be his last, and what he is remembered most for. Because one day they, and their sum, will in fact be, and that one should not to risk letting the last words you speak to a friend be a lie, or to your wife that her mother's cooking would make a stray dog balk (that latter one being particularly risky). As the big things reflect in the little things, so do the little things reflect upon the big things. My advice is to make sure you always have the right pipe at hand - and all the more so if you happen to be visiting in-laws. The question as to what makes a particular briar just the right pipe, I leave up to you.

Certainly you won't lack for options as of today's update, wherein we present for you: a broad selection of Stanwells, Petersons, Nordings, and Brebbias; a massive batch of Savinellis, focusing upon their finest handmade grades; a plentiful pile of fresh meerschaums from IMP, and select artisan pieces from Ardor, Il Duca, Scott Klein, Tokutomi, and Maigurs Knets. And finally, of course, dozens of estate briars, cleaned, inspected, and offered at killer prices.

 Eric Squires: Copywriter

Posted by eric at 4:15 PM | Link | 0 comments

28 March 2012

New Tinned Tobacco: G.L. Pease's "Sextant"
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 28, 2012

       -Posted by eric-

Freshly arrived, as in all of about an hour ago: The fruits of master blender Greg Pease's latest semi-secret, eagerly-anticipated project. (No project, we have found, is half so anticipated as a semi-secret one.) Samples of this latest smoking concoction had already been given over to the hands of a few select "beta testers", returning universally rave reviews - and signaling to Greg that his latest mixture was ready to go public. And signaling to us here at Smokingpipes, of course, to make sure we had as much as we could acquire from the first batch. So it is that today we're happy to introduce G.L. Pease's "Sextant".

 Eric Squires: Copywriter

Posted by eric at 3:30 PM | Link | 0 comments

27 March 2012

Visiting Savinelli USA
 Who'd have thought Raleigh would have briar like this?

       -Posted by sykes-

Wednesday of last week, I made something of a pipe pilgrimage up to the US HQ for Savinelli. I'd been chatting with Giacomo Carlesi, Savinelli's Italy-based export manager and Ruben Ysdiron, CEO of Savinelli USA, by email and phone a bit during the preceding couple of weeks and they convinced me to take the trip up to Raleigh to look at a shipment of higher end Savinelli pipes that they'd just received in the US.

This was, by far, the finest selection of Autographs, Linea Artisan, Briar Line and Milano Handmades that I've ever seen in one place. Beautifully grained briars abounded, laid out in tray after tray on their shipping tables, in anticipation of my arrival. I met Giacomo at noon and having completed the standard salutations, he asked "pipes or lunch?" Alright, anyone who knows me would know that, for me, that's a tough question. I take both pipes and lunch very seriously. But, I figured, we'd look at pipes for an hour and then head off for a bite to eat together with Ruben.

Four and a half hours later, we had moved on from pipes to lighters and Savinelli pipe pouches. Lunch had long since been forgotten amid the great bounty of briar. By the time we finally wrapped up looking through pipes, Ruben had to beg off of 'lunch' and Giacomo and I grabbed a quick bite among early dinner goers rather than the lunch crowd.

What's important, though, is that I had my single best opportunity ever to pick out pipes from the handmade, artisan end of the Savinelli range. Mostly for supply and selection reasons, we've never been terribly focused on these at, though Savinelli is a very important brand to us. Being able to see all of these together reinforced that there's some impressive work coming from the storied Italian manufacturer. And, almost needless to say, I picked out dozens and dozens of pipes. Added to that, I picked up an order that Pam had already forwarded. My little VW Jetta has never, ever been so full. I narrowly escaped having to have pipe boxes on my lap on the way home...

While it was all a little much for us to get up all at one time, we have a huge update from Savinelli on Thursday, totalling seventy-two pipes in all, of which many Autographs, Linea Artisans, Milanos etc are featured. I think my trip up there was definitely worth it; I've never been more pleased with the selection of Savinellis we're able to offer. Check back on Thursday afternoon and have a look!

Posted by sykes at 1:05 PM | Link | 5 comments

26 March 2012

Blackberry Brandy
 Newsletter Introduction for Monday, March 26, 2012

       -Posted by ted-

Last week I did something I never do: I smoked an aromatic. And not some lightly-cased Virginia of negotiable sweetness, either. No, this was the full-on, sopping-goopy real deal. It’s important to note that I don’t share any philosophical bias against these kinds of blends, and I don't think of them as beneath me as a pipe smoker, as it were. Mostly, the wet and sticky-sweet mixtures just don’t thrill me the way a complex and well-aged Virginia does. But when Gary Ferguson from Villiger visited us last week to show off Newminster, their soon-to-be-released line of luxury pipe tobacco blends, I couldn’t help but find myself a little spellbound by the generously-portioned sample of Blackberry Brandy he gave me.

To be sure, Gary brought with him a handful of samples. Twenty, to be exact. Between blends like Blackberry Brandy, Creamy Peaches, Very Cherry, French Champagne, Danish Black, and Creamy Vanilla, by the end of Gary’s visit, the atmosphere of our conference room was as rich and flavorful as a confectioner’s kitchen at full tilt. Yet it was the Blackberry Brandy, with its tart piquancy, and provocative candied coloring, that seemed to draw me in before all others.

And so it was that by the end of the day I had loaded up my pipe with the densely-fruity stuff and began wandering the campus, sharing with all the delicious perfume of the unmistakably blackberry-infused smoke while soliciting feedback on the room note. The reaction was so positive that by the end of my tour I had convinced Tom, Bill, Kaye, and John to take a sample as well (and in Eric's case, taking the more direct route of grabbing a pinch straight from the pouch and putting it in his mouth); all this by doing little more than wafting the highly fragrant smoke under their noses. My response? I have to say that while it might not be my normal taste in smoke, Blackberry Brandy is quite heavenly and incredibly true in flavor to its aroma. Kudos to Newminster for enticing me out of my comfort zone.

In tonight’s update you’ll find breathtaking lighters of hand-tooled sterling silver by Sillem’s, tastefully handsome leather tobacco pouches by Columbus, and a handful of savory new cigars from A. Turrent. All this in addition to a couple dozen fresh estate pipes, and new work from Tsuge, Dunhill, Sebastien Beo, Savinelli, Peterson, and Vauen.

Ted Swearingen: Vice President, General Manager

Posted by ted at 4:15 PM | Link | 0 comments

22 March 2012

How Adam Began Running Out Of Full Virginia Flake
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 22, 2012

       -Posted by adam-

When I got hired to work for Smokingpipes in late November 2005, I had already experienced the angst of purchasing a couple of tins of a particular pipe tobacco blend, thoroughly enjoying it, and later discovering that it had gone out of production. The name and blend of said tobacco really isn't as important as what I learned from my mistake: Buy more as soon as it's realized there's a chance it could go away forever (or at least annoyingly indefinitely). Whether the company quit making the blend simply because a specific component was in short supply or whether the blender perceived that demand for this mix was too short and couldn't sell enough to warrant continued production (possibly from smokers just like me who possessed the "Eh; I'll just buy more after I finish these' attitude regarding pipe tobacco purchasing) is a dilemma I cannot address. However, buying more to smoke later may have saved it from the graveyard.

When I began working in our retail store in 2006, I talked with a lot of customers that would try a tobacco and really enjoy it. "Buy more", I would say, followed by my personal story of woe. I'd let them know up-front that I wasn't trying to trick them into buying more tobacco to raise sales; rather, I was just informing them of the facts. Once you've found a blend you love it quite certainly will increase in price (as all things do), eventually it will cease to be produced (as all things do - even if it's many years away), and it should get better with age.

I took my own advice and purchased four or five pounds of Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake in bulk as well as a few other bulk blends, and between five and ten tins of each of the tobaccos I liked. It's here I'd like to mention that while some people might attempt to buy out the total inventory of a particular favored blend, and are free to do so, hoarding copious amounts that one doesn't even plan to smoke prevents all others from being introduced to and talking about this tobacco which would otherwise increase interest among friends and peers and thus may cause the blend in regard to have more fans, which will keep it in demand and surely the shops supplied, and so on and so forth.

Samuel Gawith pipe tobacco is a perfect example of the aforementioned syndrome. We used to get a lot of 50-gram tins and one-pound boxes back in 2006. Hundreds and hundreds of them. But because demand for their product is up and the general availability of it is extremely low (in small part because of smokers buying up as much as the can), many smokers have resorted to discovering other blends to replace their beloved Sam Gawith smokes (which, actually, is a good thing for the survival of other blends). Now do I think that Samuel Gawith blends will ever fall out of popularity so as to threaten its existence? No. Nevertheless, are there a lot of smokers who can now relate to my story at the beginning of this letter? Probably.

As I sit here typing this, I'm puffing on some Full Virginia Flake that I packed away in mason jars six years ago. The stuff is amazingly good. It's also a lot more expensive now that it was when I purchased it. Most importantly, I made the mistake of not buying anymore after my initial purchase, and now I can't seem to get any at all. I should have been adding to the stock whenever I could afford to do so.

The moral of this story, if I had to grasp one, is smoke what you have now, buy more to cellar (but not so much as to exclude everyone else), and try and remember to add a few more tins than you think you need each time you replenish. Again, you could accuse me of trying to 'drive sales' but really, I'm trying to save you future regret. The positives of such a practice will see you slowly building your cellar over time (be sure to write the dates of purchase on the tins to keep track of aging) and keeping the products in a trickle of demand so the companies will be less-likely to discontinue them. And you'll actually be saving money in the long run by avoiding future price increases.

Tonight you can find a great many offerings from Tsuge, Tonni, Michael Lindner, Kevin Arthur, Ashton, Randy Wiley, Winslow, IMP, Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, Stanwell, and sixty awesome estates.

Happy puffing (and cellaring)

Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector

Posted by adam at 4:15 PM | Link | 1 comment

19 March 2012

Hobby VS. Habit
 Newsletter Introduction for Monday, March 19, 2012

       -Posted by eric-

For one who is a pipe collector, I suppose it is not uncommon to a have a pipe (or several) for every occasion - dress pipes for formal occasions, cherished artisan pieces for inciting envy at pipe shows or club meetings, humble, well-used, yet diligently cleaned and cared for smokers for sitting by the fire at home - that sort of thing. As a non-collector, I've noticed that, without even intending it, I've developed a utilitarian equivalent; "a pipe for every purpose". Sitting on my desk at work, where I in fact do the majority of my smoking, are, unsurprisingly, two of my most capacious briars: a Tsuge bent Billiard for aromatics, burleys, and Virginias, and an old Dunhill Group 4 for English blends. On my nightstand at home, there sits a Peterson, well, sitter - a System Oom Paul. In the front room, surrounded by cushions, I have a big, square coffee table perpetually crowded with books, and in the center of that table there is a metal plate piled with various tobaccos - and wedged in amongst them all is a long-stemmed Churchwarden. In my car, poking out of one of the cup holders, there is a cheap cob with an acrylic bit - which I need not worry about becoming oxidized in the sun. And then there are the two briars which tend to follow me everywhere, light Sebastien Beo pieces, a deeply-bent Billiard and a gracile Acorn, the latter of which is reserved for Latakia blends. In short, despite not being a collector it would seem we may still find ourselves collecting quite a few pipes - merely having devised different excuses for them all. This briar? I merely purchased it because my only other pipe at the time was a meerschaum, and I didn't want to risk damaging it while on a stroll. This silver-mounted Group 2? Well, I needed something small and handy to smoke during an intermission should I ever, by chance, attend an opera. That antique Cavalier with wind-cap? Well, you never know when you might find yourself needing to ride a horse on a windy day.

This, as I believe we all are beginning to realize, can continue for quite some time, covering any situation imaginable to justifying any given pipe's "practicality". What always helps, of course, is having a broad selection of pipes for which one might devise excuses foresee a fortuitous purpose. To that end, we happily bring you today's update, which we trust you will indeed find positively loaded to the gills with fortuity of all sorts: Quality affordable briar from Vauen, Peterson, Savinelli, Brigham, Johs, Chacom, Luciano, and of course, Tsuge as well; solid English classics from Dunhill, and a select variety of artisan pieces by Chris Askwith; thirty-six estates, cleaned and inspected; lastly, we've even thrown several new cigar offerings from Perdomo, Illusione, and Ashton.

 Eric Squires: Copywriter

Posted by eric at 4:15 PM | Link | 0 comments

15 March 2012

Pipe Smoking and Civility
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 15, 2012

       -Posted by sykes-

At the beginning of last week, I went on a very quick trip to Germany. It was just four days, with two of those being entirely travel. I spent two nights with a German pipe collector-friend with whom I go back a number of years. We had a ton of fun looking at pipes, especially Danish high grades which is this man's particular interest, we ate extremely well, thanks to his wife's remarkable talents in the kitchen, and we pretty much spent every spare minute that I didn't have to go visit folks and do actual work talking about pipes, the hobby and life more generally.

As is wont to happen when you have two guys chatting for hours at a time, the subject turned to politics after awhile. We discussed American politics, German politics, broader European politics and a variety of other subjects. We also spoke at some length about the Chicago Pipe Show, an annual event that both of us have attended each year for many years. He observed how remarkably civil the event is. This is not something that had really occurred to me. Ensconced as I am in the pipe world, I often lack comparison for it. He asked "how many events, stretching across nearly a week, with fifteen-hundred-odd attendees go by without a serious incident of any kind... and not just once, but over and over, across more than a dozen years now?" He's right: aside from the one pipe that seems to be stolen each year--which is often recovered because it wasn't actually stolen--nothing untoward has ever happened at the Chicago show that I can think of. That, in itself, is remarkable. To make my friend's point, we pipe smokers seem to be an unusually civil bunch of folks.

Amidst the political discussions, where we agreed often and disagreed some, we did conclude that the world would be a nicer, less violent and generally more contemplative place if more people smoked pipes. We should start with the delegates to the UN and work our way from there.

And, with that in mind, perhaps in the furtherance of world peace, but certainly because new pipes are just fun, we have a large update for you tonight, including almost 230 pipes. You'll find exceptional entries from Hiroyuki Tokutomi and Peter Heeschen, joined by the likes of Lasse Skovgaard and Ardor. Don't miss the bumper batch of Savinellis, or the exceptional estates this Thursday!

  Sykes Wilford: Founder/President

Posted by sykes at 4:15 PM | Link | 2 comments

12 March 2012

Sam Gawith at the Park
 Newsletter Introduction for Monday, March 12, 2012

       -Posted by adam-

The weather was especially fine here in Myrtle Beach yesterday, so my wife and I went to the State Park for the afternoon. We have a year-long pass, which we take full advantage of in the summer, since the park does include a rather healthy stretch of beach, but my favorite time to go remains  late fall or early spring. Because these warmer days of the off-season combine comfortable surroundings, with an absence of the inescapable tourist-season crowds, she asked a few of her friends to come along. The back of my car was filled with a large picnic basket containing seasoned pork, chicken, charcoal, some cooking utensils, a small camp axe, and a pouch with some flint and steel for fire striking. Most importantly for my own relaxation, though, were my trusty pipe and some five-year-old Full Virginia Flake from Samuel Gawith.

Once we all unloaded the food and gear, the girls took to trying to make our spot in the middle of the woods a little bit more comfortable (and taking pictures, of course), while I sent off the only other male in our group to find some dead wood for a fire. Before long, he and I scrounged up an impressive amount of tinder and logs, organized just as neatly as the girls had arranged the table. Knowing that he is a high school history teacher, and an avid camper, I thought it would be fun to teach him the old technique of striking steel against flint and catching the sparks on a char cloth in a tinder bundle to start the fire, something which he had not seen before. While pieces of pork hung on a make-shift sapling spit, ready to be smoked, we chatted about history, and particularly the Colonial and Revolutionary War period. I proceeded to pull out an old clay pipe and the Virginia flake, filling my pipe beside the fire as was done centuries ago. Like most people who have never encountered flake tobaccos, he was curious as to what in the world I was doing, giving me a perfect opportunity to talk about some brief history of Virginia tobacco, its importance in early America, and, of course, explain why it looked like slices of beef jerky. Smelling the distinctive dark fruit and leather flavors from the pouch, and watching me tease the tobacco into ribbons (my preferred technique to smoke flakes in a clay), his curiosity only grew. After lighting my pipe with a twig from the fire, we continued to chat about various topics while the fragrant sweetness of the Virginia filled the air. Times like this make me especially proud to be both a pipe maker and smoker. We've already arranged for another outing in the same place, but next time I'll for certain be taking along an extra pipe and more tobaccos to help fuel the budding interest I found in the history and culture of this small, yet time-honored luxury we all love so dearly.

Tonight you can choose from two-dozen estate pipes from England and Italy, as well as dozens of offerings from Tsuge (which are selling faster than we can put them up!).  Dunhill, Castello, Sabastien Beo, Chacom, Savinelli, and Peterson also have a fantastic array of shapes, finishes, and styles for every collection focus. For our cigar fans, new offerings from Rocky Patel and Romeo y Julieta should prove very tempting!

Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector

Posted by adam at 4:15 PM | Link | 0 comments

08 March 2012

 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 8, 2012

       -Posted by ted-

This morning, as I was first rolling my chair up to my desk, I realized that in the course of the unusual rush with which I had had to leave the office yesterday evening, I had left one of my pipes out and untended. This was a gross violation of orthodoxy! Or, you know, failing that, just my personal habits, as I typically return my pipes to their allotted places each night (for rotation purposes, you understand). Upon inspecting the lone, forgotten, neglected briar, I found as it was prostrate upon the broad and desolate plain of a clean desk, I became aware of the fact that I had only really smoked about half the bowl, and that I would be faced with one of two choices: dumping out the remaining contents in favor or a fresh load, despite possibly compromising the development of the bowl’s cake (which I confess is a bit nit-picky) or finishing it, regardless of how ashy and rank the tobacco might taste initially having been half-smoked and left to cool and grow bitter, alone and isolated from its brethren, overnight. Naturally, this got me thinking about the Delayed Gratification Technique.

DGT, as it’s commonly referred to by pipe guys, is fundamentally a method by which a pipe smoker will deliberately smoke less than half a pipe’s bowl of tobacco before setting the pipe down for an indeterminate period of time with the express intention of finishing it later. The notion suggests that by purposefully deferring the impulse to smoke the whole bowl the pipe smoker will enjoy it more once he returns to it. Many feel that in employing DGT, aside from the benefits of self-inflicted mind-trickery, the bottom of the bowl is actually imparted with a fuller, richer, stoved taste, and that because much of the tobacco’s moisture has already burned off, the smoker can expect, and should experience, less bite. As you might imagine, the underlying ‘methodology’ can vary wildly from smoker to smoker and club to club. Some suggest waiting hours before relighting; others days. Still, most prefer to let the pipe rest overnight. By and large, it seems smokers fair best here with Virginias, and then blends with Latakia, and not so much with heavily flavored/sauced/cased blends. Some guys love to do this. Some guys hate it. Others think the whole thing is straight-up poppycock. (Even if you find that DGT doesn’t do anything for your tobacco, there’s bona fide, interesting science behind Delayed Gratification: Personally, I don’t normally think about it very much.

But I sure mulled the Delayed Gratification Technique over this morning. Like I said, I’m not ordinarily faced with such a conundrum. To waste tobacco or to not waste tobacco? That’s pretty much the bottom line for me - even working at a place like Smokingpipes, there are some blends that are difficult to come by, and, in much the same vein, you never know when a particular favorite might disappear from the market.

In the meantime, we’ve got a stupendous update put together this afternoon. We’re rolling out new work from Rolando Negoita, Maigurs Knets, Randy Wiley, and Claudio Cavicchi, as well as fresh meerschaums from IMP, and fresh briars from Ashton, Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell. Also, we’re adding 60 estate pipes to the site. Be sure to browse thoroughly!

Ted Swearingen: Vice President, General Manager

Posted by ted at 4:15 PM | Link | 3 comments

05 March 2012

Pipe Sightings In Film
 Newsletter Introduction for Monday, March 5, 2012

       -Posted by adam-

I love seeing pipes in old movies, which is just one of the reasons many of my favorite films were made between 1930 and 1950. During this time, men smoked pipes and cigars wherever they pleased and looked stylish while doing it. William H. Powell is one of my favorite actors, and is perhaps best known for his role as Nick Charles in The Thin Man movies. Even my wife, who is not especially a fan of old films, enjoys watching Nick and Nora (played by Myrna Loy) travel around New York City in classic cars or simply kicking back with a martini - or five - in one of the many fine establishments they frequented. Nora always seemed to be wearing the finest clothes, as did the other women cast in various roles. During the first Thin Man movie, there’s a scene featuring a dinner party, and my wife pointed out that one female was wearing a dress by Hermes (the white "H" gave it away). And so I mentioned to her that the company also was a pipe brand.

In most of these old movies you’ll see a lot of pipe smoking, but that rarely happens in modern films. We watched one of The Lord of The Ring movies on Saturday night and noted a number of scenes of when an elf, dwarf, man, or hobbit was smoking a pipe. "Cutty!" my wife squealed when someone was sipping a clay. Times like this make me very proud; not only because she likes the pipe, but that she knows the shape name. Pipe sighting in cinema is fun past time for many a pipe man, but it's especially nice when my wife plays along. I suppose she's proud of me whenever I can point out Louis Vuitton bags in movies too. We're training each other for brand and design recognition, you could say. How fine would it be to take a trip back to the 1930s? Me with my pipe and my wife, as beautiful as always, decked out in Hermes with a Louis Vuitton bag just for kicking around.

Tonight we have some briars that were made during this era, which can be found in the estate section. You’ll also find new cigars from Perdomo, as well as new briars from Tsuge, Dunhill, Luciano, Chacom, Johs, Brigham, Savinelli, Peterson, and Vauen. A few really beautiful sterling silver tampers make their debut tonight, and they caught my eye as soon as they entered the building! I was going to talk with Eric about the tampers and pipe sightings I had over the weekend, but I'm shunning him. It is fun to push his buttons at work, but I'm finding much more amusement today by not telling him things. That cup of coffee he just slurped? It was made on Friday. That donut he just took a bite of? It's a little-known fact that it fell on the floor and someone picked it up to throw away and got distracted. He seems to be enjoying it, though, so I think I'll just keep quiet and let him fully enjoy is cream-filled delight.

Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector

Posted by adam at 4:15 PM | Link | 2 comments

01 March 2012

Eric's Day Off From Adam
 Newsletter Introduction for Thursday, March 1, 2012

       -Posted by eric-

The weather is fine, the breeze is blowing, and as an added bonus, Adam is out today. As Pam readily pointed out to me this morning, this means that I'm free for the day to play whatever strange and aesthetically questionable music I might desire... a statement which I can't help but feel contained a certain subtle implication of a criticism all her own. Perhaps even more significant, however, is that for the first time this week he won't be dragging me into some intentionally horrible conversation. Sharing the expansive pipe library as a mutual workplace, as we do, and being men, as we are, it is not unusual for either of us to inflict this sort of behavior upon each other in a good-natured manner, but for the past few days he's been having himself a particularly grand time exploiting a rather specific Achille's heel of mine. Indeed, just yesterday Sykes came in to ask a question, and before he could get a word out, I thanked him profusely for interrupting the conversation Adam was, until that moment, having in my direction. "It was a conversation which needed interrupting," I informed him. I suppose it was my notably complete lack of sarcasm, as much as anything, which lay at the source of the confused look Sykes gave us both as he stood in the doorway. He was raised with manners, as I understand it, and likely is not used to the idea of being thanked for interrupting verbal exchanges of any sort.

But today is a fine day, as I've already said, and perhaps a particularly fine one to enjoy a good smoke in contemplative solitude, at that. In fact, even now I contemplate asking Ted if he has any good suggestions for an especially powerful latakia blend; something with a proper, eye-tearing room note. Upon his return, I have no doubt Adam would be positively delighted by an introduction to any new favorites I may have acquired.

And speaking of acquiring, what better day to acquire something new yourself? Just take a look at what we have in store for this update: briars from Stanwell, Peterson, Neerup, Nording, Brebbia, and Savinelli (including more new series from the latter); a full two-dozen fresh meerschaums by IMP; artisanal pieces by Ardor, Tsuge, Michael Lindner, Lasse Skovgaard, and Scott Klein. Plus, of course, plenty of estate pipes, and as a special bonus, from today through March 17th we're offering a special discount accessory pack with every order that includes any pipe, be it new, or estate.


Eric Squires: Copywriter

Posted by eric at 4:15 PM | Link | 0 comments



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