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Castello Pipe Shapes

(81 posts)
  1. ssjones

    ssjones

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    Great choices! My KK 55 goes on every trip, a perfect travel companion.

    Al

    Posted 1 week ago #
  2. pipingfool

    pipingfool

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    I might have to center my collection around KK 55s from now on. I think the size is perfect and there are a myriad of finishes and colors available.

    I like my bigger pipes, but I have a full-time job and a wife and two kids so I don't always have the time for an hour and a half smoke unless I stay up past my bedtime.

    I love the Shape 19 and 215 billiards, but finding them in anything smaller than a KKKK seems to be rare.

    Maybe that could be my next request from Luca at Tabaccheria Corti.

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    jojoc

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    I'm thinking that a Castello may be my next acquisition. I'm trying to wrap my pea brain around some of the various lines and K rating system. I have a few noob to Castello questions:

    It is my understanding that the K rating (fro smooth pipes) is related to the quality of the briar, and that the more K's the higher the quality. is this correct?

    Is the rating independent in each line? Example: Is a single K of the "Castello" line a higher quality than a KKKK of the Trade Mark line?

    Thanks!

    Posted 1 week ago #
  4. ssjones

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    Forum sponsor Mike Glukler at Briar Blues has a great selection of Castellos and some rare factory one-offs on occasion and his site has a dating and information guide.
    http://www.briarblues.com/castello.htm

    Posted 1 week ago #
  5. pipingfool

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    @jojoc - you pretty much have it correct from my understanding. However, it seems that the K ratings for the smooths also refer to the size in some capacity.

    All of the smooth pipes that I was looking at that were classified as KKs were on the smallish side, while the KKKKs are much bigger.

    See my pic below of the two Trademarks that I just received; one on top is a KK 55, and the bottom is a KKKK 215. The 215 isn't that big (less than 6"), the 55 is just that small (less than 4.5").

    But yes, as I understand it, a K "Castello" will have better grain (in Franco's opinion, mind you) than a KKKK "Trademark", but it could be a smaller pipe (generally), and a K "Collection" will have better grain than a KKKK "Castello", but again, it may be a smaller pipe.

    As other members have pointed out, Castellos can be a little schizophrenic when it comes to grading and stamping. I found a gorgeous KKKK "Castello" Shape 65 that I'm holding out on, but it has a pretty sizable sand pit on the shank near the stem. How it was classified as a KKKK "Castello" and not a KK, or even a "Trademark", I'll never know. But it is a beautiful pipe with some outstanding grain, so maybe that outweighed the small flaw.

    Bottom line... I love the brand and Franco stands behind his product. All of mine have smoked like a dream, and with the exception of the soft spot on the inside of my KKKK 55 (which Franco made right) I have had zero issues from my pipes.

    But the easiest way to bypass all of this is go with a Sea Rock, a Natural Vergin or an Old Antiquari. The K system really only refers to the size in these lines and they all come from the same well-aged briar stock as the smooths. The texture and feel of my Sea Rocks cannot be beat in my opinion. Plus, they are quite a bit less expensive than the smooths (a KKKK Sea Rock will cost about the same as a KK Trademark).

    So determine your budget and find some examples that work within that budget and look at the finishes/shapes that do it for you.

    Then enjoy that sweet, sweet briar!

    Posted 1 week ago #
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    jojoc

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    Any thoughts on the 71 bent pot shape?

    There seems to be a lot of love for the 55 here, but .... Maybe the shape does not photograph well, but the proportions seem all out of whack to me. There is a lot of talk about how well the 55 smokes. Does it smoke that much better than other Costello's?

    Does a Costello really smoke that much better than, say, an early 80s James Upshall or pre-1980's Comoy?

    If I get this 71, it will be my first foray into this price point. I am a little uncertain that there is that much difference.

    I appreciate your thoughts.

    Posted 2 days ago #
  7. dochudson

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    This one for me..

    Posted 1 day ago #
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    jojoc

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    I found a 55 without the pronounced chin, so decided to pull the trigger

    Posted 1 day ago #
  9. paulie66scandinavian

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    Congrats on Your new acquisition, I dare say sure it will smoke equally well than any Upshall

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 day ago #
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    jojoc

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    I dare say sure it will smoke equally well than any Upshall

    Paul - at 2 to 4 times the entry price of a P grade JU, "equal to" would be a bit of a disappointment.

    It should land early next week. I'm looking forward to trying it out. It is a "Castello" line KKKK

    Posted 1 day ago #
  11. paulie66scandinavian

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    @jojoc, those are wonderful value, as of today I have them two ,real workhosses

    Posted 22 hours ago #

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