I have Dunhills, Castello, Charatans as well as artisan pipes. I like my Castello as well as any. I really don't care why they smoke so well they just do. I don't want to know how the clock is made. I just want to know the time. Are they worth the money? To me they are. That's all I'll say about that.
Early in my pipe collecting career I owned a number of Castello's. I loved the way they smoked and looked with the number 49 Calabash(49) being my favorite. It had incredible grain and it smoked like a dream. That was my Italian phase of collecting along with older Camineto's that were made by Ascorti/Radice and were great smokers. I also had a great smoking Don Carlos, Mastro de Paja, Savinelli Autographs, a Ser Jacobo and a few Viprati's that for the money had incredible grain.
My next phase of collecting were my Danish collecting. I had 6 Formers, 4 Rainer Barbi's, a few Matzhold's a handful of hand made Winslows that were E-B's hand made's and they smoked fine. I then went with some English pipes like a couple of Dunhill's, some Dunhill's, Upshall's, Charatans, Pre Transition Barlings, Willmers and something else.
I eventually ended up collecting American made artisan made pipes and that is where I remain. When it comes to smoking characteristics, looks, qualities of the blasts and a bunch of other characteristics I love giving our guys(American made) almost all of my business.
I love the shaping, the dimensions , the way they practically smoke themselves, their English looks from certain artisans like Rad Davis(22), Brian Ruthenberg(10), Jack Howell,(10) Bruce Weaver(3), Trever Talbert(3) 2 Ryan Aldens and others. I still own 1 Dunhill, a 1966 LB Billiard which for my tastes is the fines looking Billiard ever made. I recently put up 40 pipes for sale and I am not sure where I will be going. I will probably stay with our American guys as I enjoy how most of them smoke and look. I would like to go Danish for a few but I worry about their inside shank dimensions. Many can be too tight and I don't like those. I would own some Castello's but their stems suck, I hate acrylic as they are just too hard on my teeth. Their stems are just something I cannot get into. Also their shaping is nothing that I love. I would buy them for their smoking characteristics only.
The one good thing about all of this is that there are no shortages of pipes to buy. I recently just bought 10 ( I think, could be 11) Jack Howell pipes that are American made and are top of the line smokers. I might go with a Larrysson or 2 as the one I have is a great smoker. I am just amazed at how many people are still making high end artisan made pipes in this economy. The prices on these pipes should be coming way down as the economy takes a big dump. I have my eye on another Scottie Piersell as my first one is a great flake smoker. I am not a fan of her pencil thin shank pipes, but her regular sized pipes smoke like a dream. It will be fun to see which way I will go as the government money is play money for me.
He said soil ‘may’ be a difference, but without research it’s hard to know.
Of course everything will have an effect, types of soil, weather, drying/curing and how it was done, length of time, etc... All these things will make a difference, the problem is, where’s the proof, and which of these things makes for better or worse.
In regards to beauty as they say, it’s in the eye of the beholder, smoking is in the tongue of the beholder! LOL And because of this, even though we certainly have names we equate to quality, the tongue is the ultimate judge, where those names don’t always taste special or great to some, now matter how great the process is.
If I wanted to break for the price of a Castello, I'd go for one of the lighter weights that are sold more in Europe. Many sold by U.S. retailers are heavy compared to other pipes with comparable size bowls. I guess I have old sensitive teeth.