Morta smokers, report please

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tslex

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
1,483
2
So SPC's blog recently had a great article on morta -- what it is, where it comes from, the idiosyncrasies of making pipes from it. (Here's the article: https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/high-risk-high-reward-morta-pipes-duca )
I don't own a morta pipe -- never even handled one -- but I do think some of them are amazing to look at. Morta pipe owner, what say you? How do they compare as smokers to traditional briar? Pros? Cons?

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,652
294
I've owned three morta pipes, but kept none of them. I'm allergic to a number of different trees including oak, and smoking tobacco in an ancient piece of bog oak didn't work for me. In fact, one of the pipes made me feel sick. The initial flavor of all of them was off-putting to me, and that flavor didn't fade in two of the three pipes. I eventually really started to like one of the pipes, but didn't smoke it much so I let it go along with the others over time. I would encourage everyone to try a morta pipe at least once. They just aren't my thing.

 

smokeyweb

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2013
522
686
If you smoke English blends, you will love smoking it out of a Morta. For whatever reason, morta takes Lat blends to a higher level. NIghtcap "sings" in my Morta!!!

 

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clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,659
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I have made morta pipes and smoked morta pipes.
It is a love it or hate it kind of thing. Some claim it imparts little taste, like a meerschaum, I disagree.
It smokes very similar to briar but even after break in, you get a bit of a flavor from the oak. It adds to englishes as has been stated above. I don't feel that a briar continually imparts its flavor after break in, so that is why I am identifying it.
Everyone should try morta at least once!
I do note that it gets hotter in the hand than briar when smoked, although that heat doesn't necessarily transfer to the smoke.

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,659
14
The Morta I've used is 6,000 year old. 3 pipes, all get hotter to the touch than briar, do not smoke hot however.

 

tslex

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
1,483
2
Gents, thanks for the great responses so far. Several of you have keyed in on something I find very appealing about a morta pipe -- that it is a useful object carved from materials that are thousands of years old.
Thanks again for these diverse appraisals. Please keep the coming.
And I was encouraged to see that a morta custom could be had for under $200!
Picture, 1coyote? Others.

 

andvary

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2016
69
0
Interesting topic.

I've actually seen a couple of tampers made of morta before I realised this is also a pipe material.

Quick ebay search showed a couple of custom pipes as well as offerings from HS Studio and Mr. Brog at much cheaper prices (both names having somewhat dubious reputation).  Very interesting indeed. :)

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
5,126
1,751
East Indiana
I have two morta pipes, a Paulo Becker and a Mimmo Provenzano. They are both very good smokers and the tactile sensation of blasted morta is wonderful. I do not get the odd taste others have gotten, if anything it's kind of a neutral or non-taste, I know that sounds funny, but I don't know how else to describe it. Both of my mortas smoke cool and do not ghost the previous tobacco, though I haven't tried to push this with anything goopy or something like Ennerdale. The bottom line is, I will keep buying morta pipes, I would also like to add a blonde morta or two and would like to add a smooth, unblasted morta to my stable as well. I hope this helps your decision!

 

andvary

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2016
69
0
1coyote, that is one beautiful pipe. My sincerest compliments to the maker.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,851
616
Robinson, TX.
I own several Morta pipes (Moretti, Talbert, Davorin & Askwith). All have offered a very similar taste impression to me. I smoke a lot of Virginia/Burley or straight Burley and all seem to have an almost dark chocolate note when smoked in my Morta pipes. Latakia laden blends seem to taste less full in flavor and I can't detect the slight top and bottom notes as well. Just general impressions.

 

tslex

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2011
1,483
2
Thanks for the photos. There is something SO enticing about that deep, bottomless, light-absorbing black of a morta pipe.

 

andvary

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2016
69
0
1coyote, I feel your pain. I once bought a small "Brog" on a whim when I knew nothing about pipes, and, thought I haven't burned through it yet, it is the worst pipe I own, period.

 

drennan

Senior Member
Mar 30, 2014
344
2
Normandy
I've got several morta pipes and love them all, infact I prefer morta over briar. I've noticed some add a flavour, to me it's a red/purple fruit type flavour but without sweetness and this does fade after 20ish bowls and then they smoke fairly neutral; some smoke more neutrally to start with. I would agree that the bowl can heat up quickly during smoking and that it cools quickly too, I would also agree that they smoke cool. They also smoke incredible dry, alot drier than briar so I feel happier smoking multiple bowls through the same pipe.

 

rigmedic1

Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
3,894
25
Morta pipes are excellent smoking machines, but like anything else pipe wise, your results may vary. I have a Davorin Golden Morta pipe, and a pipe made by Ryan Alden of black Morta. They seem to like strong flavored best, like ODF and Latakia.





 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,718
434
The only morta I have is this one by Pipa Ciro from Italy. It was barely used when I got it, but I never tasted anything different than the tobacco I was smoking. I didn't notice the bowl getting hotter than any briars I have with the same bowl thickness either. It's not real black, but I like the looks, and after reading this thread got it out and loaded it with some GH Brown Flake Vanilla. :puffy:


 

andvary

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2016
69
0
I'm on the verge of bidding on the HS Studio pipe on Ebay (this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HS-Studio-pipe-ancient-oak-wood-Morta-wood-unsmoked-/222222918657?hash=item33bd84a401:g:Oa0AAOSwU-pXtU~z).

Even if it doesn't smoke good and ends up being a shelf trinket, the concept itself is worth an investment: a guy from Russia is buying a pipe from the seller located in Phoenix, Arizona, who is a "face" for a Hong Kong-based company, while the pipe is (I assume) made in China from morta supposedly harvested in the Ukraine. Globalization at its finest! :lol:

 

clickklick

Preferred Member
May 5, 2014
1,659
14
Hey Orley, that is the true color of old Morta. It is a greyish black. The reason you see a lot of dark black morta pipes is because the pipe makers uses a black stain over the top. The dark black is considered more attractive by consumers.
Although I do see a trend of non stained morta pipes coming up, Mark Balkovec and his off angle rhodesian design comes to mind. That boy can make a pipe!

 
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