Confused About Castellos

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litup

Senior Member
Oct 16, 2015
479
911
Sacramento, CA
Castello collectors, do you consider the Aristocratica and Le Dune pipes to be a finish, a grade, or a line?

Castello's web site does not include either in their list of finishes. So from that I interpret that Castello views them as different lines. If so, are they ungraded lines? I don't see any of the typical K or G designations on any of my Aristocratica or Le Dune pipes.
 

Merton

New member
Jul 8, 2020
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I think of them as unique lines. I love Castellos and they are truly wonderful pipes, albeit sometimes overpriced. That said, I am ambivalent about the Aristocratica line and actively dislike the Le Dune carving as it reminds me of the body of certain insects. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With the exception of certain very high grade pipes, Castello smooth pipes will probably not wow any grain lovers but the greatness of the brand lies in the perfect drilling, mechanics and the quality and taste of their briar.
 

litup

Senior Member
Oct 16, 2015
479
911
Sacramento, CA
Thanks. To me they both feel like “finishes” but there’s no evidence to support that view. I guess it bothers me that they seem like outliers in terms of nomenclature that most other Castellos have.
 
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daveinlax

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May 5, 2009
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IMO They are fairly new Lines with distinctive Finishes. I haven't really studied either line but the only marks I've noticed is some are marked Great Line on the Aristocratica and some of the larger le Dune are marked G. I have noticed two distinctive styles within each mark. 🤓
 

ChuckMijo

Member
Sep 26, 2020
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Phoenix Az
I have been looking at there pots. They are beautiful, and very expensive. I’m still on the fence. Im hard to pipes. I’m not responsible enough for that expensive of a pipe.
 
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BrokenRecord

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Jun 26, 2020
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I have been looking at there pots. They are beautiful, and very expensive. I’m still on the fence. Im hard to pipes. I’m not responsible enough for that expensive of a pipe.
Estate prices for Castellos are not too bad. My favorite pipe is a mid 1980s Castello "Castello straight billiard. It is perfection and cost me less an a Sav Punto Oro.
 
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BROBS

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Nov 13, 2019
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Estate prices for Castellos are not too bad. My favorite pipe is a mid 1980s Castello "Castello straight billiard. It is perfection and cost me less an a Sav Punto Oro.
You must have been lucky most estate Castellos I see on the bay the seller thinks are made of solid gold. Regardless of condition.
 
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lukasstrifeson

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2019
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My immediately feeling is that they are a finish. Definitely not a grade (does Castello even have a grade ranking structure?) as Le Dune is a very particular rustication on a particular grain and the Aristocratica stain I've seen on a number of different 'grades' of Castello - to be fair they even have a mock version with their rusticated finishes too.

Also, not 100% sure I can differentiate between a Line and a Finish here, isn't each Castello finish its own 'Line'?
 
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litup

Senior Member
Oct 16, 2015
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Sacramento, CA
does Castello even have a grade ranking structure?)
My understanding is that they do. Sort of. For instance, a smooth pipe stamped as a "Trademark" is not as valuable as a smooth pipe stamped "Castello". So, in theory, a "Castello" is a higher grade pipe. And then there are the "k" designations which don't relate to grades in rusticated finishes (it refers to size) but on smooth pipes like the Collection finish it does.
 
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saltedplug

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Aug 20, 2013
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Castello smooth pipes will probably not wow any grain lovers but the greatness of the brand lies in the perfect drilling, mechanics and the quality and taste of their briar.
To me their smooth pipes exhibit mediocre to excellent grain and are priced accordingly. In this they are no different than any other brand and certainly far superior to the grain on Dunhill
smooths.

I feel lauding the drilling and mechanics of pipes to be retailer's jargon to command their high prices. 95% of pipes are drilled well, and mechanics, whether or not put into the word stream by carvers, refers to what qualities I know not what. In fact the word probably lives on the forums by way of retailers who will say anything to make a sale. I have never had one person define what they mean by it.

But perhaps amongst carvers airway enhancement is their most closely held secret, and though it actually exists, we likely will never know.

To promote Castello and oil-cured pipes because of their taste makes absolutely no sense to me, as it will be gone within a half-dozen smokes.
 

bayareabriar

Member
May 8, 2019
169
113
I think of them as unique lines. I love Castellos and they are truly wonderful pipes, albeit sometimes overpriced. That said, I am ambivalent about the Aristocratica line and actively dislike the Le Dune carving as it reminds me of the body of certain insects. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. With the exception of certain very high grade pipes, Castello smooth pipes will probably not wow any grain lovers but the greatness of the brand lies in the perfect drilling, mechanics and the quality and taste of their briar.
You’re absolutely right. The mechanics of them are amazing.
 

ChuckMijo

Member
Sep 26, 2020
231
676
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Phoenix Az
Do they make them with vulcanite stems? Or all the all acrylic? I love a tampered thin vulcanite stem with small button. Hate large buttons
 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
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Do they make them with vulcanite stems? Or all the all acrylic? I love a tampered thin vulcanite stem with small button. Hate large buttons
No. Though you can find a few estate pieces with Vulcanite stems, those appear to be from the very early days of the marque.
 
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Merton

New member
Jul 8, 2020
23
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To me their smooth pipes exhibit mediocre to excellent grain and are priced accordingly. In this they are no different than any other brand and certainly far superior to the grain on Dunhill
smooths.

I feel lauding the drilling and mechanics of pipes to be retailer's jargon to command their high prices. 95% of pipes are drilled well, and mechanics, whether or not put into the word stream by carvers, refers to what qualities I know not what. In fact the word probably lives on the forums by way of retailers who will say anything to make a sale. I have never had one person define what they mean by it.

But perhaps amongst carvers airway enhancement is their most closely held secret, and though it actually exists, we likely will never know.

To promote Castello and oil-cured pipes because of their taste makes absolutely no sense to me, as it will be gone within a half-dozen smokes.
Good morning, most respectfully if one were to take your observations at face value there would, absent aesthetics and ego, be no reason to smoke or collect Castellos or any other reasonably high end artisan pipe. I do think that Castello is widely known to have great, perfectly cured briar that is different than other makers and that making pipes with startling flame or straight grain is not, excepting high graded pipes in their upper lines, their general thrust. Certainly, the pipes are priced accordingly but Castello pipes are much more expensive at all levels than many other makers who produce beautifully grained pipes. Therefore, it must, i suggest be something else. If 95% of all pipes are drilled correctly then then a Castello might as well be a Grabow, Rossi, Molina or any number of other much more modestly priced pipes. As for the taste of the briar, not all smokers love cake in their pipes and, as a result, maintain bowls which have minimal carbonization. I have been a pipesmoker for almost 40 years and i do think that my Castello pipes, all well maintained, do taste differently and better than other of my pipes including even other high end pipes I own (and like) by Becker, Eltang, Radice and Dunhill. I do think that the Radice family does much better stem work, even in their acrylic lines, than Castello. I appreciate your viewpoint but can't fully agree. Hope you have a good rest of the weekend.
 

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