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What Is So Great About Castellos

(76 posts)
  • Started 3 weeks ago by workman
  • Latest reply from pipingfool
  1. philobeddoe

    Philo Beddoe

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    Jesse, I think your pipe looks lovely.

    George, does Castello follow the official “ According to Hoyle” pipe shape chart....no, but that’s kind of the point now isn’t it. Not everyone wants the same damn thing, Castello and several other Italian brands have always had a looser idea of form and shape. There are many ways to achieve beauty in briar, not all of them are as rigid and cookie cutter as the classic British shape chart and being so well versed in pipe making, you should recognize that.

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  2. workman

    workman

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    What the carver has done with the faulty lines on Jesse's Castello is give the impression of a shank that flows two ways at the same time. The bend is downwards, but the seemingly sloppy shaping gives it a slight upwards turn at the beginning. It's very pleasing to my eye and the strong chin at the bottom of the bowl perfects it. I think 55's are ugly. This one is pretty.

    Smoking is one of the leading causes of all statistics.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    One of the best Occhios I have seen in a while. That there are technicians who find fault with the shaping is not a surprise.

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  4. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    That's not a 55, though is it? (Jesse's pipe). I looked up occhio di pernice and came up with this beauty:

    Yes, I know I could have refined the search, but was amused by the images of ugly and troubled feet.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  5. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Also, be very careful about making assumptions regarding shaping frOm a non orthographic view. In any event, if the carver's mission was to pull every last possible bit of birdseye from the block, he did so admirably.

    An earlier post asked about the nomenclature: Occhio di Pernice, 60 in the castle, CASTELLO COLLECTION, KKK encased in an oval, Carlo Scotti, US, Kino in an oval,"MADE IN CANTU" over "ITALY". On the stem "hand made" over "Castello".

    And, thank you all for your kind words regarding this poor, maligned, pipe.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  6. pipingfool

    pipingfool

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    Over the years I've collected pipes from several different makers and countries. I first became infatuated with old Charatan's for a while, but soon figured out that they didn't fit my aesthetic or my smoking style. I sold all but two (one because it has a really bad replacement stem and the other because it is one that I really enjoy). Then I started collecting GBDs because they had a wide array of shapes and sizes, but a good number of them ended up being not great smokers for me. Again, I sold off all except one and it's because it has a replacement stem, but it is a great smoker nonetheless, so I will probably keep it.

    Then I was all about Ascorti/Caminetto brands. Had several and they were great smokers, but they were a bit heavy and I found myself not reaching for them as often. So, to the auction block they went.

    Then I decided that I would use my newfound pipe budget and purchase a couple of Castellos. I always wanted one and had heard mostly rave review about them. Found a shop (Tabaccheria Corti) in Italy and the owner, Luca, said that he would talk to the Castello shop and have the pipes that I wanted made for me. Two weeks later, I had the pipes in hand. I got a Shape 19 Sea Rock KKKK that to me perfectly combines elegant and masculine aesthetics. It has a polished wavy rim and a slight, almost hawkbill, curve to the shank and stem and a firm heel. It is an amazing smoker and one I reach for often. The other is a Shape 55 Vergin Natural KKKK. This pipe has its eccentricities. The chamber is drilled just a fraction of a millimeter off-center. I actually didn't notice it at first, but a friend of mine with a slight case of OCD noticed it and of course once seen, it can't be unseen. But the draft hole was drilled spot on and the pipe smokes like a dream. So I didn't care.

    Why tell you all of this? About 9 months after I bought them, the Shape 55 ended up having a soft spot around the draft hole and started the beginnings of a burnout. I took pictures and sent them to Luca who sent them to Franco at Castello. Within 20mins, he sent me a message saying the he and Franco would send me a new pipe of equal value. I just had to pick the one that I wanted from his website. They also told me to keep the Shape 55 and enjoy it as much as I could because they did not want me to incur the shipping cost of sending it back. My replacement pipe and another brand new pipe arrive today.

    This is why I like Castellos and Luca. When I purchase from them, not only do I get a high-quality pipe (yes, there may be some quirks, but both of my Castellos are great smokers and I have no doubt that the two new ones will be as well), but if for some reason there is an issue, then I am dealing with the actual people that stamp their name on the pipe.

    The amount that I spend on a Castello from Luca is not that much more (and sometimes cheaper) than buying a semi-high grade Savinelli (I have a few of those, too, and I like them), but I know that I'm getting well-aged briar, an aesthetic that I like and the reassurance that if there ever is an issue, I'm only two degrees away from the man who owns the company.

    There are several Castello shapes that baffle me (the weird Cherrywood/Oom Paul full bent shape comes to mind), and there is no such thing as the perfect pipe. But the first few bowls of a Castello have a taste that I just love and the following bowls are consistently good for my tastes and smoking style.

    Yes, I like other makers (I currently have several Radices and I am very fond of them) and will continue to look for other brands that fit my tastes and style, but Castellos will probably make up the majority of my rotation in the future.

    Just my opinion, of course, and I won't even attempt to get into the Sablebrush and GeorgeD debate as I am a relative newbie compared to them. But for my money (and I'm the only one that can have a relevant opinion on that; well, besides my wife), I would spend $220 on a new Sea Rock any day of the week over just about any other brand.

    But that Birdseye, though....whew!

    Posted 1 week ago #

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