That's really interesting. I never thought of that, but I can definitely see how that would be a factor in the smoking characteristics. I agree, technically, a pipe starts with the tree its made from. I'll have to look into it!Agreed. I only have about ten briar pipes that I smoke with any regularity. I'm sure I'll add more to the collection, but most of us here have far more pipes than we need. It's really just a matter of enjoying the variety, but not at all necessary to have a lot of pipes to have excellent smoking experiences.
I'd recommend doing a google search on Fred Hanna and his book The Perfect Smoke. He also has a chapter in there about what he calls a "Magic Pipe" and he speculates about how briar characteristics (such as where the heath tree is grown, what the soil conditions are like, etc.) might affect the smoking characteristics of a pipe that is made from that particular tree, just like how those conditions affect grapes grown for making wine. I just posted about it in another thread here as well. It's an interesting concept, and is not really understood by anyone or accounted for in pipe making.
After reading all of these comments, I find a lot of the beauty in pipe smoking is how personal and intimate it is. We all seem to have at least 1 pipe that smokes a particular family or blend of tobacco well. With that being said, along with what lawdawg mentioned about the specific tree the pipe is made from (more specifically, different parts of the same tree will have different biological characteristics, ie. the grain, how porous it is, etc), no pipe is exactly the same. I'm glad the art is still being pursued after such a long time!On the “magic pipe” topic, I do have one pipe (a briar hobby block of all things) that smokes Lat-heavy Englishes better than any of my other pipes. I always attributed it to the incalculable number of bowls of Balkan Supreme that have been smoldered in it, but I guess it could be the pipe.
I usually only smoke one blend and smoke it in all my pipes. So they all taste good! HahaI've been really discovering the "same blend same pipe" thing and it really does make a difference. After about 10 bowls or so(in an already broken in pipe mind you) things really do start to sing.