Tuesday, February 10, 2009

David Enrique

I bought my first David Enrique pipe less than a year ago. Someone on Smokers Forums had posted a link to David's website and I was blown away by his work. I took some of the money I had squirreled away for the Chicago Pipe Show and contacted David and commissioned a sandblasted Pencil Shacked Liverpool. When I received the pipe a couple of months later, again I was blown away. It was beautiful! And incredibly light weight. But ... It seemed too thin. The bottom of the bowl seemed thin. I wondered if the draft hole was centered through the long, oh so thin shank. I emailed David and told him of my doubts. He emailed back and said "It's fine. Smoke it". I wasn't convinced, but I figured I was covered if something proved defective. I smoked it. I smoked it again, and again. It was great. Everything worked great. No problem. The bottom of the bowl didn't get hot or threaten to burn through. The draft hole did it's job to perfection. I was pleased - more than pleased! I was happy with my new pipe! And that's a wonderful feeling.
I continued to watch David's website (daily). He hardly ever puts new pipes on his site. Commissions seem to keep him busy. But then late in the summer he put several pipes online. I resisted (as best I could) but to no avail. He had a black Belge that was too cool. It wasn't the kind of pipe I am normally attracted to, but something about it  ...was too cool. My one concern was that it was a sort of "stack". A long deep bowl. I've never had good luck w/ this type of bowl. They smoke great for the 1st 1/2 of the bowl and then I can't keep them lit after that. But this pipe looked cool and I wanted it. When it arrived I was still a little more than concerned that it might not smoke as well as another shape. I was wrong to worry. It smoked fine from the get-go. So 2 pipes from David and 2 home runs.
The 3rd pipe ( yes, 3 pipes from one maker in less than a year!) is the Prince Silex ( I'm told silex is french for flint). This one is from David's Gamma de line. These pipes are made from very old pre-drilled stummels from pipe factories in St. Claude (where David lives). David then finishes the bowl and hand cuts a stem to fit. They are not a truly hand made pipe, but a hand finished one. The prince Silex has a lucite stem and once again I had a concern. I must be turning into a real curmudgeon. I emailed David and asked if the bit would be as good as his hand made pipes. He said it would be good, but that the Gamma de was not meant to be the same as his Accord (hand mades) and the pricing reflected that. Long story made short- it arrived and again it's great. The bit on the Gamma is as good or better than many on higher priced pipes I've owned.
So what I'm driving at here is- I will never question David Enrique again. This old curmudgeon is  firmly convinced that if David makes it, it will be a superior pipe and I will be very happy with it. -T

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