The upside to the Castello Perla Nera is that it's a traditional dress ebony finish applied to an individually handcrafted pipe; that's stain, not lacquer, smooth as glass (and far more time and labor intensive to produce), and the shape underneath it is going to have subtle variations that make it distinct, unlike a machine-carved briar. The downside to the Castello Perla Nera is that it is a traditional dress finish applied to an individually hand-carved pipe... meaning, hunting down an example in one specific shape is liable to involve a great deal of patience, or some very fortunate connections. This Lovat? Only the second Perla Nera Lovat we've ever received, counting estates - and the first one was five years ago.
- Eric N. Squires