Tonino’s Rook Grades have already become something of a conundrum for me, and, if you will indulge me for a tick, take a quick peak at all four of the photos and you’ll probably understand why. The 'Rook' is the entry grade of Tonino Jacono's smooth-finished briars. There is no ‘wonk’ to have to factor in; indeed, this is an adroitly shaped sitter, so we are left with the idea that we are looking at entry level smooth grain. Entry? My Aunt Mary’s pumpkin pie! (A rather long equivalent of “Pfffttttt!”)
The whorls of birdseye which is present on the left side, almost looks like coins of Escudo; the right side boasts a supernova of pinpoint pupils, radiating tightly striated straight and flame grain outward from the exploding disc. The top and bottom of the shank? ”SCHWING!” As I alluded to in the opening paragraph, the shaping is top-notch, and shows a fine stability as a sitter. The chamber has a depth of nearly two inches, with a cube cut I can easily envision a 70 minute smoke. Best of all, during that hour (plus) of relaxation, you have all that glorious grain to keep you company. Time passes quickly, when you’re having fun.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves