A virgin finish pipe might seem a little strange to someone new to pipes; they've likely already heard or read others praising certain finishes after all - deep reds, dark, rich walnuts, grain-popping contrasts, and so forth. Yet, an unstained briar does have it's own charm, one that takes time to fully mature. That's because it takes time, and enjoyment of the pipe, for a virgin finish to come into its own. Put simply, like meerschaum, unstained briar will take on color. I know this because one of my favorites from my personal rotation of pipes happens to be a virgin-finished number. It's nothing quite as refined as this silver-banded Silk Cut, but even so the fact that I've managed to smoke the thing until it's become as dark as a nut has created a special attachment - just like the one meerschaum smokers will often speak of for their particular, well-colored favorites.
- Eric N. Squires