A few weeks ago, I bought a strawberry wood poker (a Paolo Becker) from Mike at briar blues. I have never tried a strawberry wood pipe before and wondered if it would smoke as well as briar. Well, I am hear to tell you that this one does, at least. Now, some say that strawberry provides a sweeter smoke then briar, but I admit that I haven't noticed that, but it sure does smoke extremely well and has never gotten hot for me (but I am a sipper).
Not only that, but you would not believe how light this pipe is - it's like smoking a feather.
It is a great looking pipe
"You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. "
I like how it looks, rugged, natural, and the blast is just awesome -- simply terrific. Just curous -- how big is it?
I know Paolo's pipes are on the expensive side and I know I could look this up, but what is strawberry wood? And what made you decide to buy one?
A little over 5 inches long and a little over 2 inches tall. I love pokers and have many in the collection. I saw this in one of Mike's updates, and loved the look (before I even knew it was strawberry wood). Did some diligence (well, a quick google search) and many people raved about it.
Here something I found through google:
A RETURN TO THE PAST
While speaking with Paolo Becker at the 2009 West Coast pipe show he told me that he was experimenting with a new wood that might prove useful in the making of high-quality smoking pipes. This wood, from the Erica family (the same family as briar), is named, in English, Strawberry Tree wood. I quote from Wikipedia: The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is an evergreen perennial shrub or small tree in the heather family, native to the Mediterranean region and western Europe north to western France and Ireland, and south to the Algarve in Portugal. In experimenting with this new wood Paolo found that it greatly resembles briar in structure and taste. In addition the new wood is 20- 25% lighter in weight, due to its more open grain pattern. The culmination of Paolo’s experiment occurred at the 2010 Chicago pipe show when he handed out Strawberry Tree wood pipes to a few individuals in order to secure their opinions concerning taste and durability. The taste results from those chosen were indeed positive, the prevailing feeling being that the taste was at least as good as briar, while the difference in weight was noticeable. While researching what was written about the wood Paolo found that it had been used to make pipes in the past by Italian (and possibly other European) peasants. As homage to this culture he has decided to make a limited number of these pipes available in the near future.
The poker is a "4 clubs" which is some sort of Paolo Becker designation, but I don't profess to know what it means.
Very interesting, and quite a rugged looking pipe! Looks great
Thanks for the info!
I think Paolo's 4 Clubs is very high end.
Here's a new Strawberry 4 Clubs -- MSRP $600. http://www.thebriarpipe.com/?page_id=3&shopp_pid=746
Very nice.love the look of that one! Think that is the first sand blast Strawberry wood I've seen. Chris Askwith has made some pipes from it.
First strawberry wood pipe I've ever seen, or even heard of. Are we talking actual strawberry plant roots, or is this made from some type of wood I know nothing about?
Sorry to seem stupid
Are we talking actual strawberry plant roots, or is this made from some type of wood I know nothing about?
From Peck's post above in this thread, a bit of info (I wanted to know more about this wood too!):
"This wood, from the Erica family (the same family as briar), is named, in English, Strawberry Tree wood. I quote from Wikipedia: The Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is an evergreen perennial shrub or small tree in the heather family, native to the Mediterranean region and western Europe north to western France and Ireland, and south to the Algarve in Portugal."
Thanks for clearing that up. I still feel stupid, but a much better informed variety of stupid
I really like that pipe. Both the wood, the blast and the shape. Enjoy it!
Nice! When I started making pipes, I used all sorts
of woods; Pistachio, Apricot, Olive, etc. you just
have to make sure you put extensions on them/found
out the hard way after splitting a shank of a very nice
pistachio volcano I really liked...and also smoke them
Here is an interesting Lemon wood by Tom Spanu
Strange.... I immeadiately thought of a strawberry bush and imagined massive roots. Good to know that is not the case:) Nice looking pipe.
It is amazing how much lighter strawberry wood is. Blasting is pretty standard with the wood, it doesnt tend to show much grain and the grain it does show is more erratic. I have a dozen blocks I am holding onto until I get a blasting cabinet set up (hopefully not much longer)
Congrats on the pipe Peckinpah, very cool looking. Makes me think of some rugged little windswept tree hanging from the edge of a cliff. Paolo is a Master !
Has anybody tried making a pipe from sassafras?
Great looking pipe, I was looking at a strawberry wood pipe ant my local B&M and I was surprised by the significant weight difference. I might have to go back and pick one up for my collection now.
Sweet pipe! Beckers are fantastic pipes! On an unrelated note...I really enjoy working with strawberry wood, I need to order more!
Reviving this thread to ask a question - does anyone have an opinion on type of tobacco best smoked in Strawberry wood? I have two Strawberry wood pipes, one I smoke with Latakia and the other I smoke with mostly Va flakes. I'm thinking of moving the Latakia strawberry wood pipe to Burleys, and then Vas...
In honor of Peck's new pipe (and with apologies to John Lennon):
"Let me tell you now
'Cause I'm going to
Smoking is good
It's something to get pumped about
Strawberry wood forever!"
@huntertrw, I don't think it's too new anymore, this thread is from a year ago!
That's okay, the song isn't too new anymore either!
I've got two of Becker's dublins in strawberry, and I love them. I don't think that the type of tobacco matters. However, I do prefer Virginias in them, because the flavor is much more intense. I'm not sure why, but the sweetness come forward more. You get the full tobacco flavor, without the added aroma of the briar. But, not like morta or meershaum. It's hard to explain.
I'm sure that if you like Latakia it would come across great in strawberry. But, since I don't like it, take my advise for what it's worth, ha ha.
That is a sweet pipe Peck. Is it still in your rotation?
"Please don't throw me in that there briar patch!"
My Paolo Becker Strawberry Wood Rhodesian.
Do you guys keep a cake in your strawberries? I'm still breaking mine in, and I've just now gotten carbon build up, which is a tad faster than briar, IMO. But, I've been contemplating keeping it beaten back very thin, to let the wood sing more than the cake. I wipe it down after each smoke, but I'm curious as to what others are doing.
Cosmic, I treat my strawberry wood pipes the same as my briars. A thorough clean and a light wipe after every smoke. I don't know if that's the norm, but I assumed it would be the same for any wooden pipe. Interested in other responses as well.
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