The Pipes Magazine Radio Show – Episode 115
- Radio Talk Show
- The Pipes Magazine Radio Show – Episode 115
- Kevin Godbee
- Nov 25, 2014
- 1 min read
Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern USA time and are available on nearly all podcast sites and apps. Listen on your computer, tablet, phone and even in the car! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Pipe Maker Jonathan Lavezzo. Jonathan has taken his experiences as a pipe smoker, woodworker, and cabinet maker to be able to offer some of the most reasonably priced handmade pipes one can buy. In “Pipe Parts”, Brian will talk about how to date a Dunhill pipe … and not in a romantic way. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Tonight’s show is sponsored by Sutliff-Tobacco.com, CupOJoes.com, SmokingPipes.com, Missouri Meerschaum, 4noggins.com, MeerschaumStore.com, Cornell & Diehl, and Savinelli Pipes and Tobaccos. Please give them some consideration when making your next pipe or tobacco purchase.
We hope you enjoy our 1-hour show produced just for you—the pipe smoker and collector. The following link will launch a pop-up player. Alternatively, you can download the show in iTunes and other podcast sites and apps after the initial broadcast is complete here.
Pipe Maker Jonathan Lavezzo
Moonshine Pipes Facebook
Written by Kevin Godbee
View all posts by: Kevin Godbee
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- March 14, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 548
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 548! Our featured interview tonight is with Andre Tessier. Andre was born and raised on Long Island, New York and still resides there today. He is a member of the New York City Pipe Club, and is the Secretary for the United Pipe Clubs of America. He is also a member of New York Sky Blues which is New York City’s Official Supporters Club branch of Manchester City. At the top of the show, Brian will give us an update on his custom-blended tobacco that he’s been aging since December 2019. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- March 10, 2023 You Have HOW Many Pipes?
I actually don’t really know. I mean, I have some vague idea, more of a guess, a sort of order of magnitude dart throw. I swear, this isn’t a point of pride or some kind of bench racing brag, but rather something closer to embarrassment. As I wander through the boxes, racks, pouches, bags full of pipes, in an attempt to 1) get them into a semblance of order, and 2) think about thinning the herd a little, it’s feeling a little daunting. Worse, it’s not the first time I’ve been through this, and I’m afraid it might not be the last. It all began at a time when I would answer the question, “How many pipes do you need?” with the ever so witty, “Just one more.” I know I’m not alone there. I sometimes feel like there should be a twelve-step program for the pipe acquisition afflicted. But, they’re such compelling little things; tiny works of functional art, where the beauty of the wood and the skill of the maker come together to yield something that’s too often hard to resist. I easily recall my early days as a young pipe smoker, enthusiast, burgeoning collector, fanatic, whatever I was at the time. I was full of wild enthusiasm towards building up a good collection. It began with just wanting a nice seven-day set, so I could let my pipes rest a week between smokes as I was told was necessary for optimal smoking. That happened fairly quickly, though my seven pipes weren’t all anything to be truly proud of. Then, I wanted enough pipes for two weeks, because I began to think that if one week of rest was good, two would surely be better. After that, it really did seem a good idea to have different pipes for different types of tobacco. (I still adhere to this notion fairly strictly.) And, then there should be smaller pipes for shorter smokes, larger ones for the longer, leisurely periods. See where it starts? When we’re told that a seven-day “set” is an almost necessary practicality, at least if we’re going to truly enjoy smoking a pipe on a daily basis, “they” might as well give us the first one free. The seven-day, at least for me, quickly revealed itself to be a gateway drug, leading me by the hand down a dark corridor to a much more sinister affliction. So, thus disordered over the years, I’ve found myself collecting brands, makers, pipes from specific countries, shapes, finishes – if there’s a way to categorize pipes, I’ve probably at some point had a sub-collection specializing in that particular categorization. I’m a pipe nerd; things like this are bound to happen. At some point in the journey, I had the bizarre notion that if I ever were ever to reach 100 pipes, I’d surely have enough, and I could stop looking for new ones. Or, perhaps better still, the collection could remain at or near that figure by careful selling and trading. This delusional strategy worked just fine. Until it didn’t. The collection continued to grow. More and more of the pipes in my collection began to take on some sort of emotional value. I’ve mentioned in the past that pipes can be talismans of events, or even more importantly, of people. Recently, I was reminded of an old friend who sold me a very special Castello 55 from his own collection. He is no longer with us, but that pipe will always remind me of him, of his vast knowledge, freely shared, of Castello pipes. I now have a lot of pipes like that. Some of them I smoke regularly, and the idea of parting with them never even occurs to me. Others, I don’t, for whatever reason, but when I think about putting them on the block, they whisper their stories in my ear, and back they go until the next round. The century mark has long ago come and gone. A bunch of years ago, I was fairly successful in weeding the garden a bit, selling off quite a few, and feeling quite proud of myself for thinking that, just maybe, I might once again find 100 pipes in my collection, this time coming at it from the other direction. I’m sure it’s no surprise that this hasn’t happened. What’s wrong with having so many, some would say too many pipes? It’s hard to find an answer I can really live with. I suppose perhaps the worst thing is that some of them, even the special ones, might be too-long ignored. Maybe this isn’t really a bad thing. Once in a while, there’s the opportunity to rediscover some old gem, listen again to the stories it might tell, put it into rotation for a while, and experience it all over again. Maybe it’s just keeping track of everything amidst my disorganized chaos, or finding suitable ways to display them all, while keeping them clean and dusted, or just finding them if they’re bagged up in their fancy leather gloves. Maybe it’s just me fostering feelings of excess, latent notions of decadent overindulgence. I should talk with my therapist about that. What I do know is that no matter how, or how many times I examine my “condition,” the same conclusion persists. I have a lot of pipes, and it’s highly likely that this will not only be an enduring condition, but it’s probably only going to get worse. There are times when a particular piece just stops speaking to me, and even that can be a problem. In the past, I’ve too hastily sold off or traded a piece that no longer felt special, only to years later regret parting with it, wishing I’d kept it. Or worse, scouring estate pipe offerings looking for it, or at least a suitable stand-in. There was this lovely old Charatan Executive, you know, and a pair of Larsen bulldogs, one straight, the other bent, that were different from any seen […]
- March 7, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 547
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 547! Our featured interview tonight is with Dan Croxall. This is the third in our series of interviews with “Journeymen Pipe Smokers” – guys that have been smoking pipes between five and 10 years. Dan is a professor at his alma mater, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Prior to returning to academia, Dan practiced law at the world’s largest law firm (DLA Piper LLP) as a complex civil litigator and white-collar criminal defense attorney. He then opened the world’s smallest law firm (Croxall Law) in 2013 to focus his practice on representing California Craft breweries and related parties. At the top of the show, Brian will have a trip report on his visit to Jackson, MS to The Country Squire for the party and last recording of the Country Squire Radio Podcast. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
- March 6, 2023 Ashton Guilty Pleasure Tobacco Review
Guilty pleasures—we all have them; whether it’s bingeing the latest water-cooler television show, midnight-snacking entire pints of ice cream, or devoting hours to an online debate that we’re sure we’ve won. Us pipe snobs (face it, if you’re reading this article, you’re likely past the point of no return into the hobby) often catch flack—or give flack—for full aromatic blends, mistakenly thinking them the piper’s equivalent of a bike with training wheels, or confections for filthy casuals. A true pipe smoker, such prevailing wisdom may say, can only find enlightenment in the most mephitic of concoctions, the kernel of bodhi within which they have unlocked through years of trial and sacrifice, with wonderful tastes that they alone know how to perceive, naysayers be damned! Well, that’s poppycock. As the holidays came and went, I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the tins of the aromatic C&D offerings reviewed in the last column, finding subtle little hints of new flavors here and there with every bowl full; I was particularly saddened when I went to re-order them and found them sold out; perhaps my guilty pleasure of being an unabashed aromatic smoker was not so singular as I had presumed? Such it was that I found myself pondering as I navigated the streets of the Financial District and popped in to Barclay-Rex, the City’s oldest family-run tobacconist—and indeed one of the few left of its ilk anywhere. Perusing through their offerings for new review material, my eye was drawn to the jazz-age graphic of a couple of flamenco dancers mid-embrace on a rose-colored tin of Ashton’s Guilty Pleasure, a no-pretense aromatic manufactured by Kohlhase & Kopp for the Ashton brand. Sure, there were English and cigar-leaf blends aplenty, various Virginias as far as the eye could see, but my holiday sweet tooth had not quite yet been fully sated. “This glorious mixture of Cavendish, Virginia and Carolina burley carries an irresistible aroma of vanilla, mango, and exotic citrus,” reads the tin, promising an immodestly candied experience. Kohlhase & Kopp have produced many of my favorite aromatic blends, notably the erstwhile Peterson special editions, so I had great confidence that the tobacco would be of the best quality and not a waste of my time or money, as the price of tobacco in Manhattan is on the verge of requiring a bank loan. Popping the tin certainly confirmed this hypothesis; it unleashed a bright and floral confectionery sweetness that was sure to send the burliest he-man Latakiaphile running for the hills. The tobacco itself was that perfect melange of light-gold to dark-mahogany leaf of consistent cut that is a trademark of K&K blends in my experience. Parsing the aromas back in the laboratory, I kept searching for vanilla and mango—‘exotic citrus’ being indefinite enough to discount. Vanilla firmly chimes in as an overall binding aroma that the fruity notes couch themselves within, but I found mango or citrus aromas neither overt nor distinct in the blend; rather, they are verbal proxies for the overall sweetness and fruitiness with a decidedly floral bent of the bouquet; in fact the unique and unmistakable—though confoundingly unspecific—flavor of Necco wafers popped into my head as the best analog, a notion which would later prove to be shockingly precise. Even after weeks of an open-and-closed tin while sampling, the aroma remains quite strong and readily induces salivation. Not to say that it’s done with too heavy or indelicate a hand—the tobaccos are clearly highest quality and allowed to shine through the mix to shape the smoke, which is quite a bit more restrained than the tin note would suggest. Puffing through a half-dozen bowls in search of the best instrument, I found the smoke then to be quite good and much more rounded than merely aromatic, if perhaps lacking a little in real depth, particularly held up against the last review blends mentioned. Bowl after bowl it presented quite brightly on top and faded to a good sweet nutty Cavendish-burley by mid-bowl, and tapered down slowly through to the heel—a heel that was easily reached with slow sipping and temperature control as well as a few rest periods and relights, and not goopy at all. Once I’d honed in on the proper pipe, cadence, and drink pairing, it was sweet heaven through the end of the tin. As for the room note, it is sweet but rather tame compared to the tin note; I would place both flavor and room note on the bright and fruity side of mild-to-medium. While swapping out pipes to find a good mate for this blend I stumbled upon my cache of several years’ worth of Kaywoodie pipes from the holiday dinner and slow-smoke, to my good fortune. The straight billiards and clay cutty I started with weren’t really bringing out the full experience of the blend, tending to get too hot past top-bowl and not really hitting the mark on the aromatic notes while smoking. The delightful Shellcraft half-bent billiard pictured, handmade by Bill Feuerbach of very old-stock Algerian briar and vulcanite stem, nailed it like Mary Lou Retton on a floor routine—the perfect geometry of chamber to coax down a small ember, and the bend deep enough that the smoke could drift up to the nose easily for sidestream olfaction, all at barely an ounce of weight—as fine as any Dunhill in my collection, not to mention a repository of fond memories. There’s a lesson to be learned here: before finding just the right pipe, the blend would score below fair-to-middling; after, it was sweet euphoria. Finding the best drink pairing for such a sweet blend proved challenging as well. Sometimes the notions come to me and I test them out to find they work perfectly, other times it’s down to a more Edisonian approach: determine the prevailing notes and alkalinity, then find drinks to congenially act as foils or amplifiers through brute force trial and error. In general it’s a good start to look for mildly acidic drinks, […]
- March 2, 2023 The Pipes and Tobacco Life
Ah, yes, March rolls in a-roarin’ like a lion and trots out like a sweet, innocent little lamb. So they say, whoever they are. Let’s not forget college basketball’s March Madness is also in this maelstrom. And Pundit is here to tell you that means only one thing, my pipe-loving amigos. The weather is getting about right and it’s time to grab a pipe and a new blend. And make certain the tele is in good working order for crazy Final Four Bracket hoops time. Just what the Pundit had in mind: a new pipe and a new blend for this mad, mad, mad month. But first, a bit of history. It will be brief for you non-history aficionados out there. Shame, shame. So, there was a day when the Pundit was a touch wet behind the ears (groan) and green as a freshly harvested stalk of green tobacco (better). One day in the deep iron and wheels of Atlanta while sauntering about and looking at pipes in a corner shop, well-known then for its fine offerings of Charatans and other legendary pipes, a veteran B&M and owner suggested I take a peek at his Savinellis. Now being a be-bopping college guy, Pundit said, “sure, is it parked outside?” and proceeded to look about for a snappy Italian sportscar. Let’s just say the B&M veteran pipe store owner tried to hold back a cheek-filling guffaw before sputtering, “you are kidding, of course!” Not to expose more ignorance, I just nodded and stared at a wall of pipes. Welcome to Pundit’s introduction to the famed Italian pipe makers of Savinelli. Today, Pundit owns quite a few Savinells, especially the “author” or the 320 KS, 320, and 321 series. All three have that pure “writerly” look to the Pundit’s eye. In a word or three, Savinellis are exquisite works of operatic tone and aura. Yes, most Savinellis are machined but are completely finished by hand, meaning artisans take over from the industrial side to finish things. So, Pundit was off and puffing with Savinellis, especially when he found the author group. Throw in a couple of Savinelli handmade Autographs and the mighty Hercules style of Roman and Greek mythology to sweeten the herd. While on mystical thoughts, the Savinellis—which ring with foreign intrigue for the Pundit—opened a brave new world for fresh pipe adventures. No longer a stranger in a strange pipelandia, basket pipes of questionable heritage, gave way to handmade wonders to behold. Oh, the Pundit fell in love with the singular Savinelli Autographs, but this also brought into focus other Italian pipe makers, such as Ardor, Ser Jacopo, and Claudio Cavicchi, among others. This of course led to the sky is no limit sort of thinking. Next arrived the Great Danes, such as Neerup, Bjarne Nielsen, Harcourt, Stanwell, and Erik Stokkebye 4th Generation. You’ll note that none of these brands were in the stratospheric price range, such as a Bo Nordh. Then came a whole array of exquisitely made English pipes, such as Dunhill, Ashton, and Peterson (in the Irish tradition, of course, in pipe making in Great Britain). Never mind independent pipe-carvers, who abound in our galaxy of wonder. This is just a quick history of loping down one pipe-puffing lane, as it were. This is to say, pipe smokers of today are blessed and afforded such magnificent pieces of briar for smoking, relaxing and just simply enjoying a day away from stress and worry. Looking at you, March Madness! Just to be transparent, as they like to say in today’s media frenzy, Pundit apologizes for not alerting you to International Pipe Smoking Day on Feb. 20. Oh, the horror! So a respectful roundup of pipes in the Pundit pack serves as a kiss and make-up for overlooking one of our global events enjoyed by millions. And, yes, more expensive pipes do smoke better in most cases. However, I have a couple of basket pipes that outperform some herd pipes in the posh and ritzy crowd. For any newbies out there, in an old-school B&M, you can still find decent basket pipes. Later you can reach for the stars of pipe making and tobacco blending. Pundit began stuffing Prince Albert, Granger, Sir Walter Raleigh, and non-descript drug store bulk blends into his first pipes. It was good enough for many of my college professors, so I thought it would naturally make me smarter if I mimicked the academics. That scheme didn’t work out as planned. But there is always hope and another pipeful. So, here is to more pipes, more pipe tobacco, and more pipe puffing enjoyment for the wilds of March, and beyond. Now for our pipe-smoking celeb for March: Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known simply as Dr. Seuss, legendary children’s author. He was born March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Mass., and died: on Sept. 24, 1991, in San Diego, Calif. Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one—Dr. Seuss And a philosophical note from The Pundit: Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus philosophized around 535 BC that “change is the only constant in life.” Pundit, a primordial pipelospher says “constant change in pipes and tobacco is the life.”
- February 28, 2023 Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 546
Welcome to The Pipes Magazine Radio Show Episode 546! Our featured interview tonight is with Jon David Cole. JD is the Owner/Tobacconist at The Country Squire in Jackson, MS, and he is the co-host of the podcast, Country Squire Radio. After a 10-year run, and approaching their 500th episode, it was announced that they would record their last episode live on March 4 at a big party in Jackson, MS. Read the press release here. In addition to talking about the podcast and the retail store, our main discussion will be JD’s recommended pipe tobaccos in each genre that are readily available for purchase, as opposed to vintage collectible tobaccos that are hard to get. At the top of the show, Brian will answer a question on how to proceed when your friend wants to try smoking a pipe for the first time. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
Kids! Boy friends, Girl friends- Get the shotgun ready!
Dating Dunhill pipes, dating any pipe is important to appreciate the history of the pipe. Now, to find a 1949 birth-year Dunhill.
I have heard of Jonathan Levezzo and moonshine pipes from facebook, but have not seen his work, except through photographs. I like his approach of making a nice pipe at a decent price. The pipes on his website look very nice. The bulldog shape has always been one of the harder pipes to make. Your interview brings back memories of my Dad who made beer and wine. I remember one jug of Tomato wine he made that tasted like Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry. I like Johnathan’s attitude and he will be a pipe maker to keep an eye on.
White Christmas, heck, according to the weather map, you may have a white Thanksgiving. Bing is always good for a music selection.
OMG, a RAVE – Brian, I am thankful we have people (you and Kevin) in our hobby that enjoys hosting the pipe podcast and bring us a plethora of great information. Happy Thanksgiving.
Great show, keep up the good work!
I haven’t been here much lately, but still haven’t missed a show!
I too will be investigating a birth year Dunhill in the near future. Hopefully I will be able to bring it on the cruise! Pipedia.org and Pipephil.eu are two of my favorite websites. I am always using those for reference.
I really enjoyed the interview with Jonathan. I think that it is cool that he is making a super affordable handmade pipe. This guys gets what it is all about. I am nonplussed about using molded stems. Hell, even GBD had pipes with molded stems. Pre-transition pipes to boot!
I loved the music choice. Always been a Bing fan. The only other pipe that has a shaped named after a person (at least that I know of) is the Oom Paul otherwise known as the Hungarian.
I am thankful for this podcast. It may seem cheesy or corny, but I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it. I look forward to it every week. Thanks, gents. I hope your Thanksgiving was great!
I haven’t been here much lately, but I haven’t missed a show!
I am glad you mentioned Pipepedia.org and Pipephil.eu. I always use those sites for reference. There is so much information there. I too will be looking for a birth year Dunhill. Hopefully I will be able to bring it on the cruise.
I enjoyed Jonathan’s interview. I think it is awesome that he is making handmade pipes for under $100. This is a guy that really gets it. I wish him all the luck in the world in what he is doing. As for the molded stems, even GBD made pre-transition pipes with molded stems.
I loved the Bing selection “Count You Blessings”. I have always been a Bing fan. The Oom Paul is the only other pipe that I know of that was named for a person.
I am thankful for the whole pipe smoking community! I am especially thankful for this podcast. It is one of the highlights of my week. Not only do you do a great job, you are doing a great service. Thank you.
I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!
Brian, great show yet again. That was a concise summary of Dunhill date codes. I have a birth year Dunnie but am lucky that I’m an England 26 (some homework for those of you who don’t know the date codes 😉 and they’re not that expensive as the patent years! I’ve seen Mr. Lavezzo’s pipe and it’s good to see people have an affordable artisan option outside of factory pipes. You may or may not remember “The Dagners” on youtube from your Joe Case interview but I believe they are a catalyst of the poker shape. They have quite a following of the younger pipe community members. The son, Jayson Dagner, is a big fan of pokers and pretty much launched Joe Case’s career and popularized the Jake Hackert poker. The Dagner Slayer is one of Joe’s popular shapes. And…it’s a poker 😉 Also, for new carvers, I would say it’s comparatively easier to carve (considering the work it takes to get a billiard or bulldog done right). Loved listening to Bing serenade us this week. They don’t make music like they used to. Have a Happy Turkey day. Your friend in Japan, Andrew. P.S. You need to try GQ BurPer Kake!
Great show Brian. “He hates these cans” is a reference to the only good Steve Martin movie, “The Jerk”.
Really good discussion of Dunhill Dating. I wish there was a chance in hell of me remembering it.
Very pleasant interview. I had never heard of Jonathan Levezzo. I did go to his site to look at his pipes and was disappointed to see he had none for sale and wasn’t likely to anytime soon. Obviously business is good. Don’t see how he can really support himself with pipes selling from $75 – $150. You would have to make and sell 2 pipes a day just to get by.
The Lovat might be considered a shape named after a person.
You can never go wrong with Der Bingle as a musical guest. Kudos for passing on the tired “White Christmas” and going with the wonderful “Count Your Blessings”.
You can never go wrong taking a little time and counting your blessings.
Oh, and the Ramses is another named after a person pipe.
I have been listening to the show for about a year now. Look forward to it every week. One of the best interviews of a down to earth pipe maker in my estimation. Thanks. Looking forward to adding one of his pipes to my collection.
Good to hear of another up and coming pipe maker. Who says the U.S. never makes anything anymore.
Bing Crosby is my favorite crooner. “Counting Your Blessings” is a wonderful segway song for this time of year.
You have given me a couple of missions now. Finding a birth year Dunhill, and looking into a Moonshine Pipe. I like Johnathan’s business model to keep prices down and getting new people excited about pipe smoking.
Hope that more people with these skills get involved in making pipes. But you are right there are very few blenders. Not too long ago there were tobacconist in all the larger towns now you may have to travel quite a ways to get to a true tobacco shop.