It would be surprising enough to see someone as new to pipemaking as Grant Batson pull off an exceptional execution of a shape like the Ramses, much less two of distinctly individual character. And yet that's just what Grant has done, this being the second of two we find within the first half-dozen pipes we received from this fresh new American artisan. More compact and muscular than the first, and plateau-crowned as well, this specimen displays something of a more wild and masculine style, while losing nothing in terms of the grace of the shape's defining "S" curve and a carefully balanced poise. On top of that, quite literally, there's also the remarkable stem treatment, wherein the saddle bit flows out from a perfectly shaped and fitted Cocobolo base. No doubt Grant's experience as luthier payed off in spades when it came to creating such a challenging accent as that.
- Eric N. Squires