Castello = flake masters?

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pianopuffer

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Jul 3, 2017
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NYC
I was told by a couple of folks now that Castellos are known for being great flake smokers. Is there any truth to this from the Castello fans out there?
I just picked up an awesome estate Castello bent billiard on SPC with some glorious grain. It's my first and I'm wondering if I skip all my usual tobacco trials in new pipes and go straight for the flakes, you know, give her what she wants?
Here's a pic of the new acquisition:



 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I don't own a Castello, so I don't have experience, but when I see those broad deep bowls on fairly large pipes, I think of big complex English/Scottish/Balkan blends, and other complex blends. Since flake burns longer more slowly, I think of it especially with small and medium pipes. But I'm sure good flake would be magnificent in a Castello, though you might smoke in increments ... which is a pleasant way to proceed, to me.

 

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bluegrassbrian

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Aug 27, 2016
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I smoke 80% flakes, and I've really started to enjoy Castellos as a brand. Just got my 3rd today (thanks Michael) from Briar Blues.

I've already packed it with Germains Brown flake.. will light it up at halftime of the Cats game.
Pianopuffer, I like the contour of the rim on that one. Nice italian flair.

 

anthonyrosenthal74

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Jan 8, 2013
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I really don't see how any one brand of pipe could smoke a certain cut of tobacco any better than another. I do believe that drilling can have a lot to do with it, such as chamber size and draught hole width, but many companies use the same or similar. My guess is Castellos will smoke any cut as well as many other brands out there and vice versa.
By the way, that is a beautiful pipe. I love everything about it. Congrats and enjoy the heck out of it! :clap:

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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Just a note: Castello makes smaller pipes, but they seem to market mostly the larger ones in the U.S.

 

sasquatch

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Jul 16, 2012
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The idea that a Castello would be better at flake than some other pipe is nonsense. Castellos come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with all sorts of chamber shapes and sizes too.
Castello has two things going for it as a brand - 1 they use good wood well aged, it tastes good and it's nice and stable. 2 - they get the airway right from bowl to button. Airflow is smooth. So they smoke good. That's all there is to it. Castellos are good pipes. End of story. They'll smoke flake, mixture, ground up tire shreds, whatever you like.

 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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I smoke anything I want in any of my pipes. Castellos are fine pipes and you can smoke anything in them. You really don't know what will do better in a particular pipe until you try out different blends in it.

 

saltedplug

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Aug 20, 2013
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The notion is nonsense. Almost every pipe I've smoked as been drilled correctly with wood of a sufficient cure, not that I would know if it was green, but I hope I would. Given this baseline, all of these pipes have smoked tobacco of whatever cut equally well. Others will disagree, but I feel that all the discussion about brands or bowl size or geometry, or pairings between a pipe and a tobacco such that that pipe smokes that tobacco especially well exist only by the suggestibility of the subjectivity of pipe smokers.
There is no proof for any of these opinions. I imagine that there is some variability of the palate one smoker to the next. But I would imagine that our genetic heritage provides most of with the standard equipment of taste buds and semantic memory, home to impressions of past smokes, which allows us to compare the current smoke of a blend to past to prior smokes and conclude whether the current fits well enough with the past to fit. All of this is standard.
What is variable is the ever-changing conditioning of the mind, which varies enormously person-to-person through the dynamics of personality. People are full of deadends and switchbacks, including myself. I think it far more likely that these anomalies register such perceived difference between pipes than the standard issue of the palate. A palate can become increasingly acute through training, but I very much doubt that it can exceed its original functioning.
All of this is just my opinion. YMMV. It's just opinion and I hope if yours is different we can further discuss the difference and benefit by that exploration.

 

oldgeezersmoker

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Oct 7, 2016
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@pianopuffer, that is a seriously nice looking Castello. I am a long time smoker of a variety of flakes, mostly McClellands, and certainly enjoy them in my Castellos, but there is no reason to not try it out with the variety of tobacco's that you normally enjoy.

 

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
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As I suspected, smoke what you like and to hell with the rest. Thanks all.
I do agree that a complex blend might do well in a larger bowl such as mine, but time will tell. Until it arrives, I shall ponder which tobacco to pack first.
saltedplug - you make a good point. The apparatus is not what's subjective but rather our tastes. At this price point and level of craftsmanship, I would imagine any blend smoking just fine in them. Whether it's cold or warm, sunny or snowing, anxious or blue of mind, therein lies the rub. The medium is the message, as Marshall McLuhan states.

 

tschiraldi

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Dec 14, 2015
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I have several Castellos and, IMHO, they are the best pipes currently being made. From the quality of the Briar, to the aging/curing, to the drilling, to the final fit and finish... superb! Yours is no exception! That said, if there is anything I consider a "flake pipe" it is a well made pipe with a taller, narrow bowl. If you rub them out or cut them up it won't matter a wit. they'll smoke fine. Just be sure to pack a bit looser with flakes as they will expand.

The pipe is gorgeous, BTW!

Tim

 

johnbarleycorn

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Dec 28, 2015
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The only thing I have ever smoked in my Castello is Va flakes and VaPer flakes so I don't really know how they smoke other blends. But I can say that mine is the best flake smoker I own. But then again that could just all be in my poor little impressionable head. Who knows. Oh and by the way that is a beautiful pipe.

 

pipestud

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Dec 6, 2012
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I've heard all the stories. I've heard collectors swear that English blends work best in a Castello. Others say Virginias, others say Orientals, others say Aromatics, other's say VaPers. I say, give me a Castello and just about anything will smoke well in most of 'em.

 

lordofthepiperings

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May 3, 2010
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I would imagine almost any blend would be good in a Castello. They're pretty renowned for their craftsmanship.
Now me personally I'm of the school of thought that bowl shape will bring out differences in a blend. When it comes to flakes I've found a smaller more conical shaped chamber really makes the flavors more pronounced for me.

 

jeffro

Member
Jul 18, 2017
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I also agree you have procured a very nice looking Castello.

But in my experience the shape of the bowl and the air-flow of the pipe are the two main factors that make flake tobacco smoke well for me regardless of who the manufacture of the pipe is.

I own a couple cheap basket pipes that are drilled perfectly and have excellent draw, and have small surface imperfections in the finish of the briar;that smoke better than other vintage pipes I own from well known manufactures.

 
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