The Elusive Brandy Shape

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Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
Brandy shape pipes are simple to identify since they are shaped like a brandy snifter,

a bit wider at the bottom and narrowing -- a little or a lot -- toward the top. You'd think.

I find brandy shape pipes to be quite elusive. On many bent billiards, the front of the bowl

is perfectly cylindrical but the back of the bowl joining he shank slopes toward the rim --

billiard or brandy? Most of the time these get called bent billiards. Some brandy shape pipes

narrow so decidedly toward the top, people call them volcanos, and arguably they are, or they

are both. For almost a year, I lived with an extra large 1/4 bent pipe I assumed was a brandy,

a Johs, until I found that the carver had declared it an apple! It was a gift from my wife, who

lived in New York for years -- so I now call it The Big Apple. Anyway, the brandy shape is one

of the more evanescent shapes. And where are those straight brandy pipes? I bet they exist,

but I don't think I've ever encountered one. Do you have any brandy pipes? Or brandy pipe stories?

Do you like the shape?



Preferred Member
Sep 20, 2011
I have a Brebbia brandy with a slight quarter bend and a very large bowl. Love the shape. I view it as distinct from a billiard with a slightly tapered bowl. I see a true brandy as more sniffer-like, with a more pronounced taper. An apple is something entirely different, IM(very)HO. I'm smoking an apple now and, as I look at it, it has a more spherical quality with tapers top and bottom. Whereas a brandy tapers directly from top to bottom. A brandy is also taller than an apple, exaggerating the effect.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
I have two Peterson bent brandy B11's, one ebony Killarney and the other a Shannon. They are sitters,

light weight relative to their size, and great smokers. This seems to be one of the best developed,

longer lived versions of the brandy shape that I know.



Dec 15, 2018
I've got a straight brandy, or a brandy-billiard depending on your definition (and if such a thing exists). It's a Comoy Rover 350 that I bought in about '96.



Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
I'll play. A very nice bent brandy from Eliott Nachwalter, Briar Workshop Stowe VT. Pipe is in excellent condition, dates from the late '70's.




Preferred Member
May 23, 2018
I have a rusticated brandy bowl for my Falcon. Actually, it's the only bowl I have for my Falcon...I need a few more.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
I own 2 Brandy's. I am not a huge fan only because in general the dimensions of the ones I look at are smaller than I like.
Here are the ones I own.

Brian Ruthenberg

Ryan Alden



Preferred Member
Dec 14, 2015
The 1/8 bent Brandy is favorite shape. I have 2 commissioned by Jesse Jones. Fabulous!



Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2013
I have several, the first is definitely a Brandy shaped bowl. One of my favorite Falcon Pipes is this straight Black Shillelagh, with custom made Bowl by Pipemaker Yves Backstoner of Switzerland, called The Sea Urchin. Keeping it smokey with some 10 y/o Wessex Brigade, cheers.


The pipe I’m smoking is a different variety than most bamboo shanks are made from, it’s much thicker than the normal ones we generally see and much smaller than the variety used for the Buddha bamboo shanks be they conventional or Reverse Calabash style. The pipe is from Bruce Weaver and has a beautiful flame grain brandy bowl with a slanted top, married to the 3 knuckle bamboo shank and lightly bent black stem, if it were a knuckle shorter it would have been a nose warmer, keeping it smokey with more of the 23 y/o Grey Havens from Mac Baren.

The second is what we normally have seen used for bamboo shanks since Sixten Ivarsson was putting out pipes. It’s also a 3 knuckle but you can see the diameter is smaller and the distance between the nodes, or knuckles if you prefer, are further apart.
This pipe also sports a brandy style bowl that is canted and had the grain been oriented slightly it would have made a fabulous Ring Grain pipe but it’s damn nice as it is. It was made by Brian Ruthenberg and the stem is dark maroon Cumberland, and I too kept it smokey with the same 23 y/o Grey Havens from Mac Baren, cheers.




Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
I was asked to do a straight-shanked brandy, straight grain. "No problem" thought I. And then went and looked at the blocks and realized that because briar grain expands radially in 2 directions, the block is the right shape for a straight-grain BENT brandy every time, and never a straight - the shank runs out the edge of the block.
I had 1 block amongst a collection of large blocks that was shaped weird enough AND had good enough grain.

But I couldn't make another and I have... 100 blocks in stock.
But it is, under normal circumstances a shape that plays into briar grain very well indeed, with either a bamboo shank or a bent presentation.



Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
I prefer Apple shaped pipes, but a good compact brandy bowl is wonderful when done right and with weight less than 45 grams.
Sandblasted Bent Brandy With Black Palm (A) By Peter Heeschen.



Senior Member
Jun 17, 2018
I love Brandy shapes. I stopped at Boswell's last summer on a road trip and this big beautiful bent brandy called out to me from the shelves so I brought her home. Easily my most beautiful pipe. I have a Stanwell 83 which they call a bent billiard but reminds me of a brandy.



Preferred Member
Aug 2, 2016
I only have a couple of them including a rusticated Castle Birr by Peterson, a bent brandy shape. Love its chubbiness.