Castello = flake masters?

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Preferred Member
Mar 29, 2016
"Ground up tire shreads, how did you find out Germains secret recipe for Penzance?"
So that's what it was, their famous secret recipe for the Esoterica Tobacciana English mixtures. Now we need to figure out their "Virginia and Va/Per tobaccos".



Preferred Member
Oct 22, 2013
I find Castellos to be better flake pipes than others, at least by MY own collection's numbers. A new Castello is a very good blank canvas for any tobacco. Of my eight Castellos, six are great flake pipes. Of the other two, one is a Sea Rock bulldog that is my second best pipe for heavy Latakia blends, especially things like Bengal Slices. The other is a restemmed 55 that gives a lackluster smoke no matter what is loaded in it.
I think the briar and shape have a lot to do with what tobacco a pipe smokes best, but there are no 100% truths. Pots are generally pointed to as better for Latakia mixtures, but I have a Caminetto pot that makes everything taste like dried out Prince Edward, except Tilbury. The same is true of a stacked Sasieni that I thought would be a perfect flake pipe, but turns out is the perfect Red Rapparee pipe.
Bottom line, you never know what kind of pipe it is until you light it up.



Aug 3, 2017
Good Day All;
I believe the term “ flake pipe” is a misnomer. It really depends on how you prepare the flake tobacco of choice. Fully rubbed out, it is no different than any other already rubbed out blend, that comes already prepared.
Flake tobaccos will offer a variety of differences, depending on how prepared. Rubbed out fully, partially rubbed out, chopped into cubes, folded, or sort of folded / stuffed.
IMHO …. And ONLY IMHO, smaller bowled pipes are better suited ( for me personally ) for flakes, plugs, or ropes, if the tobacco is left in larger pieces. This holds true for Virginia’s as well as English ( Latakia ) flakes.

As far as Castello’s, and I am jaded in my opinion, as for me Castello’s smoke very well. I have found that there is something from the briar used by Castello, I assume due to age, that the tobaccos smoke with a “brighter or more vibrant” flavor profile. For me, this makes most Latakia blends over the top in a Castello. It does not matter the chamber size on this. Small bowl, deep bowl, or wide bowl. Latakia in a Castello, for me, does not work well. For others, they sing the praises of full rich Latakia blends in their Castello’s.
There is IMHO, no one rule that covers everything pipe, as we are all different. We enjoy different flavors. We enjoy different comfort zones with weight, stem thickness, draw openness etc.
The pipe you’ve shown us is truly a beauty. I suggest you begin with a tobacco you know well and then go from there, with other similar blends, and maybe then to some others you do not know well, until you find that blend type that works best in the pipe.
If, like me, you tend to stick to a specific style / type of tobacco and it works well in most of your pipes, but not all, you need to do a collection assessment. Split your pipes into groups. Ones that smoke well, to begin. Then break the group down into which pipes smoke best with specific tobacco types. From there look at the groups and see if you can find some common thread that runs through each group. Chamber sizes, length, weight, draw openness and any other variant that strikes you. Once you hone it down, you can then aim your purchases towards pipes that fit into specific groups, or at minimum reduce the chances of purchasing a pipe that does not work well for you.
Alost all my pipes have chambers between .75” - .80” across. Smaller than this lean towards smoking hot for me. Beyond .80”, I find they smoke airy with little flavor. BUT that is just me. Finding your personal “ sweet spot” takes time and patience.

Michael J. Glukler


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Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
Thanks for all the input. As I am partial to orientals, I think I'll start there and see where it leads me. I tend to break up my flakes, but will certainly give those a go as well.



Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
It's a good looking shape19 and I'm sure it will smoke whatever you enjoy just fine. I really like the two tone contrast stain with the matching band. What year is yours? I picked up one with the same stain and matching band a couple of months ago that i really like. 8O



Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
Now this lead me to thinking having me some Castello in the future, not now funds do not allow this yet they seems be pretty expensive.But will look into these, quite possibly Castellos maybe a little cheaper here in The Eu than there in America.



Preferred Member
Nov 17, 2015
Springfield, Mo
I own a Castello Collection Great Line bent Dublin, and the bowl is mammoth; wide and deep. For my personal preference, it smokes Oriental forward blends better than Virginia based flakes. I usually enjoy my flakes fold-and-stuffed into a narrower chambered, straight-stemed pipe (I have a Armellini poker that's exceptional with flakes), but, then again, I own an Il Ceppo bent pot that I've dedicated to Irish Flake, because those two were meant for each other.
I'm sure Castello makes a pipe ideal for flake tobacco, but I wouldn't assume the company, as a whole, designs pipes with strict single styles of leaf blend in mind.
I guess pipes are like children: you have certain aspirations for them; but in the end, they do what they do, and you have to learn to love 'em for their individualized quirks. ... or sell them on the black... er... estate market.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
Check out this Castello I ran across. Never seen one priced this high before. It looks pretty cool.



Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
Harris, there have been a few "Pezzo Unico" available over the last year or so. Smoking Pipes had one a few months back, sold it and I don't recall the price, but it might have been as much or more.



Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
North Carolina
In my opinion,which is just that, my opinion, all the theorizing about shape, maker, briar, etc., etc., ad nauseam, is at best the output of pipe smokers' fevered minds having nothing better to do than fancy causal relationships that do not exist, and at worst is entirely misleading. Tobacco is placed in a bowl and set afire at one end and smoke is drawn through the other, and it is here, in managing the draw, that if pipe smoking magic is to be found, that it occurs. One member says that pipe smoking is 25% tools and 75% technique, and I couldn't agree more.
Blends taste absolutely the same to me no matter the pipe I choose. I select them based on chamber size, shaping and finish.
These relationships are the products of the imagination. Stuff and nonsense, I say!



Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
I say, give me a Castello and just about anything will smoke well in most of 'em.

That is essentially true. Except, some of the big HUGE greatlines and full bent pipes are much better for ribbon and loose cut baccy.
For the OP question, IMHO having collected and traded many Castello pipes, the best flake shapes are as follows (images from the internet, not my own):
Shape 55 (hands down the flake machine)

Shape 26, Small apple (second best IMHO)

small zulu (rare),

small billiards (especially shape 16, military mount)

Shape 10, chubby billiard

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