2010 Chicago Pipe Show New Products

Imagine there was a giant shopping mall devoted solely to pipes and tobaccos. That is almost what the Chicago Pipe Show was like. Manufacturers, large and small, and individual pipe makers and tobacco blenders were represented, showing their new products, and existing items. Here is a walk through some of the new and current products that were displayed in Chicago.

We started at the Cornell & Diehl booth as they always unveil new tobacco blends at every Chicago show. There were three new C&D blends, including the start of a new series, along with a second release in the G.L. Pease "Old London" Series. C&D pays tribute to America’s African-American soldiers with two new blends; Buffalo Soldier and Tuskegee Airman. There is a 4th entry in the Burley Flake series, aptly named Burley Flake #4. The 2nd entry in G.L. Pease’s Old London series is Quiet Nights.

Buffalo Soldier – the first in a new series with Latakia and Perique added to a base of naturally sweet Va’s to create a well-rounded, all day blend. (Click for larger image) A look inside the tin of C&D’s Buffalo Soldier
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A look inside the tin of C&D’s Tuskegee Airman
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Tuskegee Airman – the second in the new series is a blend of Va’s, Perique, Turkish and Latakia pressed to marry the flavors then sliced for easy packing.
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Burley Flake #4 – A blend of dark and light Burleys and Latakia. With red Virginia for a touch of sweetness. The newest addition to the Burley Flake Series.
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The tobacco inside the tin of C&D’s Burley Flake #4
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The tobacco inside the tin of G.L. Pease Quiet Nights
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Quiet Nights – rich, deep, contemplative. Ripe red Virginias, fine orientals, smoky Cyprus Latakia, and a pinch of Acadian Perique are pressed and matured in cakes before being sliced.
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Here is a review of Tuskegee Airman.

Marco Parascenzo from Pipa Castello showed us the new Snake Pipe line, which is a limited edition with just 150 pipes ever being made. The shapes and finishes are a natural Paneled-Billiard and a red rusticated. The snake decoration is sterling silver and the price range is $765 to $1,575.

Pipa Castello’s New Snake Pipe Series Limited to 150 Pipes
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Neerup Pipes – Peder Jeppesen

Peder Jeppesen of Neerup Pipes in Denmark told us about his company’s product line. His workshop is in Denmark on the Island of Sealand. "My production is about 3,000 pipes each year spread all over the world, mostly in the United States, Germany and China and Japan and a few other countries. My pipes are made in some of the best briar from Italy and everything is made only by my own hands. I put a lot of personal things in the shapes the best I can do. I put them in a lot of different finishes from sandblast to smooth, some with stain and some with natural finishes and all the sandblasting is done by myself."

"I have a new poker shape which is very popular and been made for many years but now I created by own design of the poker shape. I have a new panel shape and a few others."

Neerup Pipes – Peder Jeppesen
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Stanwell Pipes

We spoke to Brad Emory from Music City Marketing, the importer / distributor for Stanwell Pipes. Stanwell’s ads for their Bamboo Series have been a big hit, so we started out talking about them.

Stanwell has long had some of the best quality, straight, clean bamboo. This year they’ve renewed that focus and are using it more in the line. The Dress Series is new to the line. Something else that is new to the U.S. is they’re offering it in the 9 mm. It has an adapter. So, in the U.S. market most people want the 4 mm, no filter. This has the option. So, you have either/or. But they still pride themselves on their bamboo. They have for years. They have pipe makers that are in Asia that actually order their bamboo from Stanwell because they’re so good at it. There are several different shapes, everything from your traditional billiards, bent billiards, bulldogs even, all the way to the free-hands. So, it’s literary open to almost anything.

Stanwell Bamboo Series – $400 retail
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Next, we looked at the Nanna Ivarsson pipes in the Stanwell line. This is another one that goes back to the long tradition of major pipe makers that have contributed to Stanwell over the years, Sixten Ivarsson designed pipes for Stanwell. His son, Lars, designed pipes for Stanwell and now Lars’ daughter has designed these pipes for Stanwell. This is actually the piece that came out last year and this is the N1, we call it the Nanna One. But just a few weeks back at the TAA show in Puerto Rico they released another one, or at least announced another one. We should see those hopefully by the IPCPR show. We’re not sure yet. But they’re in early stages of production. But there will be a second one.

Nanna Ivarsson will create a pipe by hand, and then that’s copied to be mass-produced, so we have an artisan-designed pipe that is more affordable.

We’ve only got a couple left here, but they do a light and a dark brown. There’s a brown sand blast and a black sand blast, and then there’s a natural which is actually one of the most popular. They range in price from $200 – $250.

Stanwell’s Nanna Ivarsson Pipes – $200 – $250 retail
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The interesting story about the natural finish is that it was not originally intended to be offered. We were showing the unfinished Nanna pipe, explaining that we didn’t have time to get it finished before one of the shows, and everybody loved it like that. They told us that’s how they wanted to buy it, so we are giving the people what they want.

If you look at the history of Stanwell, and the Ivarsson family, and how they’ve worked together to get a pipe that actually does have the Ivarsson stamp, it’s got the round Ivarsson stamp along with the Stanwell stamp. But generally when you see that stamp and that name the pipe’s going to have about three zeros behind the first number, (it will cost in the $1,000’s). So, it’s really a great way to get into a legacy that Stanwell has had with these fantastic pipe makers for just a couple of hundred dollars. So, it just continues.

Stanwell Revival Series

Stanwell likes to draw from their long history. We have some designs that were done within the first 10 to 20 years of the company founding, in the 40’s, just before World War II broke out. And this even has an interesting side note to that history, of using chalk when they would stamp the "S", they would use a chalk to actually just color that in a little bit and now they’ve progressed to where it’s the gold "S" with the crown, or a silver "S". This goes back to the very early ages of the company, so that design is called the Revival. So, again, the revival may be applied to different shapes, because it’s reviving something from their past, that they did long ago.

They’re neat. They’re unique. There’s not a lot like them and, again, it draws from a great history. They are beautiful pipes for only $175. The finishes are dark brown, light brown, and then a black sandblast, and they all have just the kind of almost smoked acrylic piece on the shank as well.

Stanwell Revival Series Brings Back Designs from the 1940’s for $175 retail
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Altadis USA

Altadis introduced several new tobaccos in the Sutliff Private Stock line that were well received and pleasantly surprising to some. You can see detailed information in the new Altadis Pipe Tobaccos here.

McClelland Re-Introduces 18 "Club Blends" and more …

Some of the big news at the Chicago Pipe Show was McClelland Tobacco’s re-introduction of 18 club blends. Some of these blends go back over 20 years. There are 6 blends each for three different pipe clubs; the Chicagoland Pipe Collector’s Club, the Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers, and the Greater Kansas City Pipe Club.

When you purchase these blends, not only do you get the chance to try some great tobacco from the past, but you are also supporting the pipe clubs, which in turn support our beloved hobby of pipe smoking. A portion of the revenue from each of these tins will go to the clubs to help cover the expenses of their activities.

McClelland Re-Introduces 18 "Club Blends"

Chicagoland Pipe Collectors Club Blends
Scottish Woods (introduced October 1990)
Epitome (previously Avatar) (introduced March 1995)
New Century (introduced May 1996)
Caramel Rush (new)
Rich Virginia Ribbon (introduced May 1994)
Samovar (introduced April 1995)

Conclave of Richmond Pipe Smokers Club Blends
Sophisticate (introduced February 1993)
Full Balkan Reserve (introduced April 1995)
Cyprian Star (introduced May 1996)
Quantum (introduced May 1996)
Vanilla Ice (new)
Ringlow Syrian Reserve (introduced May 1994)

Greater Kansas City Pipe Club Blends
Boston 1776 (introduced December 1993)
Syrian Star (introduced February 1997)
Beacon Extra (new)
English Woods (introduced November 1989)
Chocolate Silk (new)
Nocturne (introduced July 1993)

What’s Old is New at McClelland – more retired blends come back!

Old Dog and five more popular blends return – McClelland made these for Ashton from 1998 – 2005, and has now re-released them under their own label. The blends include; Black Parrot, Sovereign, Old Church, Old Dog, Pebblecut and Brindle Flake.

McClelland Ashton & Collector Blends

There is also a new version of 3 Oaks – the 3 Oaks Syrian Blend. Some of you may realize that Syrian Latakia supplies are slim to none because of the political situation, but McClelland was able to obtain some and had Tad Gage develop 3 Oaks Syrian Blend. There are also two new blends developed by Fred Hanna; Legends and Wilderness.

J. Rinaldi Pipes

We talked to Jon and Jennifer Rinaldi from J. Rinaldi Pipes. They are husband and wife artisans based in Arizona. Here are some pictures of the pipes and accessories they were showing along with an audio recording of their conversation with our Associate Editor, Bob Tate. [Note: we removed background noise from Jon’s audio, and left it in on Jennifer’s as we weren’t sure which had the better result.]

Jon’s Audio
Jennifer’s Audio

Mac Baren Tobacco

Mac Baren Tobacco introduced a new line named 7 Seas. After listening to what they had to say about it, combined with the name and the look of the packaging, it is our opinion that 7 Seas may be "Mac Baren’s Captain Black", although they didn’t explicitly state that. In the 7 Seas line, there is a "Gold Blend" with a gold package, a "Regular Blend" with a white package, and a "Royal Blend" with a blue package. Sound familiar?

Mac Baren 7 Seas Captain Black

Mac Baren’s Frank Blews told us about the new 7 Seas line; "It is a Danish produced type of tobacco. Produced in the Danish style, then we turn around and use an aromatic top flavoring. And that top flavoring is the American type of flavoring. So you have more of the light burning, mild smoking tobaccos with the aromatic side stream being along the lines of vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, depending on which one of the three you actually use. It’s cool, light Burleys are used,  Virginias, Cavendish, depending on the blend.

PipesMagazine: So would it be like a cross between like a Danish aromatic and an American aromatic from what you’re saying?

Frank: Yes, when you look at most Danish aromatics they use what they call their mature Virginia’s and that maturing of a Virginia is a Danish art which turns tobacco into different characteristics. This is more like the Virginia’s that you find in the United States, the Burleys and the rough-cut type of Burleys. In the Seven Seas we have three. There’s a regular, a gold, and we have a royal. They will be available in August 2010.

Kesling Briar Pipes

We wrapped up the details we didn’t already cover in other Chicago articles, videos and interviews with Don Kesling. We met Don last year year when it was the first Chicago Show for both of us.

Mitzi & Don Kesling

Don: My name is Donald Kesling and I’m of Kesling Briar Pipes. And this year we had a lot of custom work that we did. We prepared several pipes for the show; but not as many as I’d like to, but the shows been great. Sort of going from you know an eclectic approach to more standard shapes and things like that and back and forth in mixing and matching. So, it’s been real exciting and the process of growing and learning; learning how to make the pipes and all the encouragement I’ve had from all the people here and the great makers of the world. So it’s been a very, very good experience for me and I appreciate everything you guys do and thank you for your magazine and promoting pipe smoking and pipe collecting.

PipesMagazine.com: Thank you. Can you tell us about some of the pipes here?

Kesling "The General" Poker in tribute to General Douglas MacArthur

Don: Yeah; this is basically a poker design. It’s kind of hard to do this because you basically have to take most of the wood and cut it away and then your shank is very long and slender and so there’s a potential for breakage; so you have to be very careful. The symmetry of the two different cylinders obviously is very important when you get that thin and so that’s a large pipe. Very long, but it only weighs about an ounce. So, that’s considered a poker design. And I call it The General because it reminds me of the MacArthur Cobb pipe that you see him in the old reels, World War II reels on the ship smoking the real tall Cobb with a long stem. So I call it The General in honor of General Macarthur.

PipesMagazine.com: And this one here is The Stingray?

Kesling Stingray Pipe – $400 retail

Don: Yeah. I name all my pipes because it sort of reminds me of things as I make them. And, they’re that to me; they could be anything to you. You can call them what you want. Once you throw the tag away, you don’t even remember what it’s called. So, I try to conceptually; it’s more concept art to me. You know I look at the wood; what does the wood want to become? What does it want to look like? I don’t sit down and draw something, I try not to copy, I don’t look at magazines. It ends up coming out sometimes sort of like what somebody else made. Maybe subconsciously you’ve seen something …

And the ancients have brought us our originality so we’re making things that someone’s already thought of and made years and years ago; we add our little flare to it. But every pipe is unique because it has the makers’ hand in it. You can see the makers’ hand and his personality. And so no two pipe makers can make the pipe the same. Because it’s that flowing from your artistic ability in your hands, you know so.

Kesling Spoonbill Pipe

Don: This is kind of a volcano, but the wood was so beautiful. And I just call it The Spoonbill because you flip it over and it looks like a spoon. I try to make things ergonomic. So I thought when it’s getting a little warm you can just hold it like that. You know?

And then if you get tired of holding it like that, you can put your thumb on there and rest it there. So I try to do little things like that to make the pipes really ergonomic; fit the hand well. Everything to me is about how it feels in your hand. Sometimes the design is based around how it fits in your hand. And it just comes out like it does. It’s something that I don’t talk about much and most people don’t really ask me about it, but when they pick them up they sort of get it. Their hand tells their brain that this fits.

Kesling Tornado Horn

Don: This is a two-tone stain and it’s very difficult to do because there’s always the potential for bleeding and what not. This is The Tornado Horn. I call it The Tornado Horn because it looks like a tornado. And Bolivian Rosewood on the extension, the tip of a buffalo horn on the ebonite stem here. It might be hard to see much of a contrast with that, but it is buffalo horn there.

And the idea is it’s a horn pipe so I put horn on it. This is fossilized coconut seed as an accent for the stem, ebonite. Every pipe is entubed and all the unions are put together with Delrin insert that I make myself so. I basically taught myself how to do this and I get a lot of input here at the shows and people help me to improve my craft and so it’s been real good.

We leave you with a few more pictures of Don Kesling’s beautiful pipes …


9 Responses

  • Friends,
    In case this has not already been pointed out, Neerup is Peder Jeppesen, not Peter Jefferson.
    Keep up the good work and keep these reports coming!
    Jim Greenberg

  • Keep telling that history:
    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, “RaPR”, where Buffalo Bill Cody meets a Buffalo Soldier. A great story of black military history…the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.
    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never’ let them ‘know’ their history.
    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn’t for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.
    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial…and visit the website http://www.rescueatpineridge.com
    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn’t like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr. and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see imdb.com at; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0925633/
    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; http://www.alphawolfprods.com and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890’s, “spread the word”.

  • Superb article Kevin. It captures the show’s atmosphere and communicates the almost overwhelming variety of pipes, tobaccos and activities.

  • Absolutely Fabulous + Amazing + Fantastic + Beautiful + Spectacular…is that enough of an interpretation of the above articles and pictures ??? WOW…!!

  • These master’s of their craft astound me. These pipe’s are absolutely gorgeous. Thank’s for the peek. thezman.