I've had a few of Alberto's pipes come in and out of my collection over the years. They have all been excellent smokers, yet my tastes are fickle, and they've been traded. At the Saturday of the Richmond show in 2003, I found this beauty on Alberto's table, and couldn't resist it. It's huge - easily the largest pipe I've ever had. The grain is magnificent, and the gold band sets everything off just right.The plateau top is a tactual and visual treat, and the smoking qualities are superb.
Alberto is a passionate and effusive man. It doesn't take long to figure out that he really loves to make pipes, and share his work with others. "Pipe Maker to the World," is how he sometimes describes himself. He uses briar that has aged in his shop for 10-15 years, which likely has something to do with their ease of "break-in" and wonderful flavor.
When I walked into the show Sunday smoking this pipe, he saw me. His eyes sparkled, and from across the room, I heard him, "YOU'RE SMOKING MY PIPE! DO YOU LIKE IT?" How could I not? This is one that will NOT be traded away!
The first new one!
This beautiful pipe was bought at the 2005 CORPS show. I think I'm establishing a tradition...