When I first took up the noble briar back in the early 70's, pipes leaving a given shop with an utterly natural finish were downright thin on the ground. If the Castello Natural Vergin wasn't unique amongst pipe companies in this approach during that era, it might simply be that no other version caught my eye. I can't honestly say that it was love at first sight for this (then) 16 year old. I thought that pipes had to be bright and shiny and some of the colors that I found attractive back then now give me the same shudder as when I see pictures of myself in my first polyester leisure suit. Fortunately, tastes mature, with age comes a new found appreciation of the inherent beauty of unadorned materials. Maturity (or at least what passes for the same in me) also brings about an appreciation of how the patina of lovingly used items changes over years of handling. Be it an old leather satchel, a favored pair of jeans... or a well smoked Castello Natural Vergin, some things simply get better with age.
-- R. 'Bear' Graves