My New Alden Tomato Bear (pic heavy)

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

shaintiques

Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
3,589
21
Georgia
My favorite pipe is made by Nording. It is his Hunter series Bear. I first saw one at the Briary 3 years ago. It was love at first sight, but I didn't have the funds. At some point Bradley, the old Cajun, got wind of my desire for one and gifted me one. And then later gifted me another. I love the shape, the way they feel in the hand, the way they hang from the mouth and they smoke great. Bradley also steered me towards buying a pipe from Ryan Alden and so in Chicago last year I purchased my first. It is a beautiful bent Danish egg shape and as Bradley recommended a wonderful smoker especially for flakes. Having this success I commissioned a pipe from Ryan when I saw him at the New Orleans pipe show. I showed him the Bear and asked him to make me one. I told him that I wanted his take on this shape, but I would prefer a Cumberland stem and a light brown or red color. I also said I would like it to be smooth and have lots of Birdseye on the rim or bottom. The pipe came today and Ryan surpassed my expectations. The pipe is gorgeous and exactly what I had hoped for in every way. It is light, with smooth lines, and the button and slot work is some of the nicest I've seen. I smoked it this afternoon and the inaugural bowl was 12 year old Escudo. It was a perfect smoke, glorious draw, and the fresh bare briar was a nice sweet compliment for the aged Escudo. Now for the pics.
The bear is the top pipe, Alden on bottom.

















 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
0
Very nice! :clap:
You really should branch out from Escudo, though. :mrgreen:

 

peckinpahhombre

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2012
7,096
0
Beautiful. Love the shape and Ryan cuts a great pipe. I am just starting a commission with him myself.

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,752
0
Topeka, KS
Dave:
I'm partial to Nording but I've never been crazy about those squashed tomatoes.
On the other hand, that new Ryan Alden is a winner, winner, chicken dinner. It's beautiful for openers, great style and lovely grain, but it also just looks good hanging out of your piehole. That burner is formidable and it's a damned handsome fit on your face.
New pipes are a rarity for me and I'm glad your 12 year old Escudo was chosen for the maiden voyage. You did good, pal, and it certainly looks like Ryan did right by you.
Thank you for sharing this.
Fnord

 

stanlaurel

Preferred Member
Jan 31, 2015
701
0
Another great Ryan Alden! I love it. I am soon to start my second commission from him. Congratulations.

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,024
0
Nice Alden.
I believe the grain on the bear pipe may clear right up with a little elbow grease and a bit of OTC topical ointment.

 

shaintiques

Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
3,589
21
Georgia
Thanks guys, as I said I couldn't be more pleased. Fnord hit the nail on the head. It looks good, but it fits my face, this shape is the best for hanging and it is very light. I'm sure it won't be my last pipe from Ryan.

 

yazamitaz

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2013
1,757
0
That is a great looking pipe and it doesn't surprise me that Ryan made it. I have one of his and my evil genius mind is thinking about another. I love that shape Dave. I hope it brings you decades of fine smokes.

 

lifesizehobbit

Preferred Member
Oct 23, 2015
831
0
Alden pipes are popping up around here pretty often and every one I've seen is fantastic. Not sure, but it would be nice to meet Ryan in St. Louis next month (he said, wistfully...).

 

brass

Preferred Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,840
0
United States
The Alden is nice. Does it smoke any better than the Nording? Erick really does some nice, innovative work. I like the Quail in his Hunter series. His Harmony line is also very unique. I only have one Nording, a freehand, but I wouldn't be surprised if another one or two didn't appear in my collection.

 

shaintiques

Preferred Member
Jul 13, 2011
3,589
21
Georgia
Good question Brass, the Nordings are great smokers and always give me a dry cool smoke. Just something about this shape I think that makes them flake smoking machines. Ryan's pipe smokes wonderfully, his draw is a little more open which I like for flakes and the stem work is what sets it apart. His button and slot work are a work of art by themselves, I don't know how he does it. I know that he has spent a lot of time perfecting that area of the pipe especially and it shows. So I couldn't really say if one smokes better but the mouth feel of the Alden is perfection.