Generous in breadth and depth alike, this fairly large, powerful composition from Tom Eltang impresses with its deep, full bent, luxuriously thick shank, perfectly executed transition, and yes, its handsomely proportioned bowl. The fluidity of the pipe's shape is spot on, which is to be expected from Tom, what with its supple, delicately framed s-curve and appropriately canted bowl. The whole thing just comes off as carefully executed. And on that note, it's worth mentioning that the pipe's horn ferrule is a brilliantly understated addition to the piece, both in terms of the way it pairs to the silky smooth texture of the briar and its overall hue. Replete with the kind of grain that Tom does best with his rich, vibrant, high-contrast stain, this Snail-grade Brandy has a lot going for it. This is one to write home about.
-- Ted Swearingen