Post subject: New Peterson Deluxe -- impressions Most of you already have several Petersons, so don't need to hear what they "are." Thought you might be interested in an old high-grade collector's impressions, though, since this was/is my first one ever.
Construction/engineering/workmanship: Outstanding. A very pleasant surprise. Everything carved & drilled spot-on and aligned, silver work excellent, finish very good, and the often maligned Spanish briar is outstanding. My specimen would easily be graded a Castello Pernice-Watchamacallit.
Design: Balance is odd (stem heavy), and bit is thick and chunky.
Smoking quality (taste/burn/etc.): Excellent. The same sort of dry-coolness I've only experienced with gourd calabashes and churchwardens. Flavor is fine for a new pipe.
Smoking quality (ergonomics): As a "mouth holder," poor. I was bummed by this at first, hoping for something that felt more like a Dunhill 120, since the shape and size are virtually identical. Then I shifted mental gears and decided to use the pipe in the same way as a calabash, churchwarden, or Charatan Extra Large. Meaning, as a "hand holder" while reading. Approached that way, all balance and bit issues disappear.
NOTE: Regarding wood quality---the outstanding grain and no fills---MIGHT have something to do with my specimen being a new-old-stock pipe from 1989. No idea if Peterson's current production is as good. Regarding the good first-bowl taste, know that I heeded the many cautions I received about Peterson's dip staining, and so scrubbed the bowl repeatedly (as hard as I could) with a cloth wrapped finger wet with Everclear. Every 30 minutes or so, until NO stain came off on cloth. Took quite a while, maybe 8-10 repetitions. I also thoroughly wiped the system chamber and draft hole, and soaked the aluminum thingie before using. Seemed to be a bit of rubbing compound in and around the plumbing.
Conclusion: There's not a damn thing wrong with this pipe. Nothing at all. Those who malign the brand because they're made by the million using machines, are either dead wrong, IMO, or my specimen is a freak... I like it a LOT, and the pipe I smoked immediately before this one was a custom Butera. For the $127 it cost, the bang for the buck is the best I've ever seen for a new pipe. Just callin' it the way I see it (and I'll never do otherwise!)