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sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
I've smoked my $300 estate group 4 Dunhill for a couple of months now, and while it is smaller than my usual straight billiard I continue to be amazed at how well it smokes: truth to tell, it smokes better than even my beloved Peterson's. My question then: why and how is this little pipe so different from others?

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
22,435
18,724
Age of the pipe itself perhaps? I find that the estates in my collection with over 40 years of age are amazing smokers. My '74 Dunhills smoke about like my older 904s and Linkman pipes.

 

anthony416

Senior Member
Sep 30, 2016
339
218
I had the same amazing experience, about 2 years back bought an estate group 4 Dunhill from 1957. A bit smaller than I usually prefer but it smokes anything I put in it wonderfully.
Just the other day when I was smoking it I was looking at it and thinking how can there be so much difference between briars??

It is like there is some black art thingy going on here because there is no logical explanation to why is smokes so well....especially since I thought it would not be a good smoker, so there is no mental preconditioning going on there either.

 

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sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,117
469
No black arts necessary - pipes are fluid-dynamics machinery, and when you find one that outsmokes everything else you own it's because it's built "right" - what this usually entails is nice smooth internal structure, smooth transitions in the airways, small or no plenum space in the mortise etc. Dunhill always cut a very nice stem, and I'm talking inside and out. But you put that empty Dunhill up to your lips and take a draw, it will feel "smooth" where lots of pipes just don't. Smokes good because of that. Castello same thing.

 

bonanzadriver

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2016
476
5
preface: This is all from what I've read over the last year (meaning- I don't know a lot, I just read a lot).
From what I understand, the Dunhill folks, soak their pipes in olive oil for several months.
You might find this interesting, I did.....
http://www.folloder.com/pdf/1341418.pdf

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,733
7,814
Monterey Peninsula
SOME of this is psychological, I believe. An expensive and beautiful pipe is inherently better than an ugly and pockmarked object, and will seem to smoke better even if the briar and workmanship were level.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,964
272
Sasquatch beat me to it. It's probably the stem. Also, if it's an older Shell, it may have been oil cured, which could make a difference.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,964
272
Dunhill experts, though, are divided on whether oil curing makes much difference. Every Ashton that I've owned has had a particularly mellow taste from the first smoke, which I would attribute to Taylor's oil-curing process. I can't speak to whether it matters for Dunhills, though, as I've never smoked a Shell of either period.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,970
1,606
I have to agree with the above. Well, I don't have to agree, I do though.
My pipes during the day are for the nicotine and satisfying my oral fixation. My evening pipes are a bit different. The experience begins with the selection of the pipe (usually a meerschaum), the look and feel. No conscious thought though to the selection. I guess it is instinctive. I load with a bit more care, settle back with a book or TV show, light and forget it is in my mouth, adding immeasurably to my "wind down."
The experience is indeed nearly all psychological and tactile, as intended. The physical properties of the pipe, the balance, etc all add to the experience. I could do the same without the pipe or the book/TV by simply sitting back and relaxing, easy to do. But, having a book/Kindle in my hands, the pipe in place, the pup at my feet or under the table, and a glass of port at hand is a choice I find enjoyable. The pipes in my evening rotation may not in fact smoke better but, they are more pleasurable even though less noticed. They just hang there, more or less unattended, adding to the pleasure of my evening.
Those two or three bowls in the evening are a kind of reward at the end of a hard, or lazy, day. I'm self-centered enough to not deny myself the pleasure.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
31,152
15,284
Steering clear of the Dunhill discussion, smaller pipes all the way down to Group 1 and 2, are often surprisingly good smokes, and with flake/plug/rope blends, a smoke can take a pleasant while. At the asking prices, even on estates, Dunhills ought to be surprisingly good.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,970
1,606
Any well designed, engineered and executed pipe of good quality brier should smoke well. Some makers accomplish this by accident. Some, Dunhill included, do this more often than not, intentionally. It's all a matter of getting a pipe which is well designed, engineered, constructed and from a proper hunk of wood. Dunhill has a well deserved reputation of having done it "right" more often than not.
It really does all come down to the "luck" of the purchase I believe. The caveat of "some brands get it right with a great degree of regularity, others do not" should be kept in mind. I've been lucky with Peterson I suppose. I know smokers who have/had a Dunhill "stinker" in their collection. I've had "Petes" which smoke great and some smoke only good. But, never a "stinker." I know they are out there from reading certain threads. Dunhill appears to have a well deserved reputation of only putting "the spot" on only the best of the pipes they made.
Even being "anal", as perhaps I am, in your selection process is no guarantee of only purchasing great smokers. I've discarded many a pipe over the years as unsatisfactory for my rotation. Sadly, I've never stumbled upon a Dunhill which "caught my eye." I know they are out there, just haven't come across one yet.

 

sparrowhawk

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2013
2,906
150
The issue of curing a pipe insofar as it involves Dunhill's is interesting because the other pipes I own that remind me of Dunhill are the insanely inexpensive Cayuga pipes made in Paul's Pipe Shop in Flint, Mi. While I have to have my Cayugas refilled wider, they cure their pipes as well to produce a fantastic flavor. For about $30 you can get a Cayuga billiard, very similar to a Dunhill, aand somewhat reminiscent of Dunhill.

 

beefeater33

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
2,644
363
Central Ohio
There's good reason why Dunhill has been in business so long........

Yea, they are expensive, even over-priced, but a Dunhill is a Dunhill, and command the prices they do based on their reputation. Like Harley Davidson Motorcycles.... they have a following. And they hold their value. I can buy an estate Dunhill, smoke it for ten years, and sell it for just as much (if not more) than I paid...........

I find value in that, right or wrong, I don't know............. :puffy:

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
22,435
18,724
Until you come across a straight, Ruby Bark billiard that can't pass a pipe cleaner. :rofl:

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
22,435
18,724
Hey, I got three tons of Mephisto out of it, so I was very pleased with the trade. :mrgreen:

 
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