This Castello left me scratching my head, I'll admit. As much as briar can vary in terms of grain and density, even outliers have their limits, and I would swear this dramatically wild, richly-grained bent Egg was made not from briar, but from strawberry wood instead. The thing is, though, that Castello doesn't make strawberry wood pipes - only briar. And as distinctive as their designs can be, Castello is pretty conservative about sticking to what they've established as "their own thing". Whichever way you approach it, insanely-grained briar or actual strawberry wood, this is still one extremely remarkable, thoroughly unusual piece.
- Eric N. Squires