Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Review: Peterson Deluxe

LatakiaLover Knoxboard Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:26 pm

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!)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re. "bit issues," a counterpoint.

Personally I tend to hold a pipe between my teeth as often or moreso than in my hand. A bit that's too thin can wear excessively or even break off if one has a "hand/arm collides with pipe whilst moving about the house" accident. A bit that's too narrow concentrates the weight of the pipe on too few teeth, which is uncomfortable and also an accident risk. In either case the result is a tendency to be apprehensive about how one smokes the pipe.

Thus I prefer the older Peterson mouthpieces that are both thicker and wider. I also enjoy the sense of "presence" they give to the feel of the pipe; as with cigar smokers, for whom a larger ring gauge of the cigar is not a distraction or inconvenience, but a part of the overall experience of smoking it. And given that the geometry of most peoples' teeth is not perfectly symmetrical left to right, there will usually be a place where the pipe fits comfortably, even a larger and heavier pipe.

On one hand I'm happy that my preference seems to be in the minority, as there is less competition for the relevant estate pipes. On the other hand, if there were more of us who liked our mouthpieces thicker and wider, perhaps Peterson would accommodate as they have done with regard to the fishtail bits that many prefer. Perhaps this should be a topic for a poll, and some comment by someone from Peterson?