Even when rusticated, virgin briars require an artisan to be extra picky. Sans any sort of stain, natural flaws will stand out and shout to the attention. For this reason, a block of briar has to be something of a standout, in order to be executed as a Virgin. Fortunately Tonino's selective sourcing of briar payed off here, resulting in a pipe with a not only a wonderful hand-pleasing texture, but also one whose lucky owner will get to watch build color and character with time and enjoyment.
- Eric N. Squires