Tanned and earthy, densely ringed, and well-defined in texture all make for a fine way to present a classic shape. And that's just what Michael Lindner goes with here, in the form of a towering, sturdy-shanked straight Brandy. That would have been fine and dandy had he just left "good enough" alone, but he didn't, and the pipe as a whole is better off for it. Just the right accent can add a lot to a pipe, and in this case the pale, smooth, softly grained band of box elder burl does just that, setting up an attractive contrast to the briar and its finish, while still sticking to natural materials.
- Eric N. Squires