I was in Nashville yesterday "on business", and was able to squeeze in a visit to Uptown's Smoke Shop. It's really a lovely spacious store. This was my first visit since their move to this new location and I am impressed. It's heartening to see a tobacco store expand rather than contract. They seem to be focusing on cigars more than pipes. They had one of the largest and most well stocked humidors I have ever seen and I came away with a nice stash of cigars I've never tried before. They also have a friendly crew working there. I spent about an hour in the store. It was a nice diversion from "business". -T
I'm on a roll! I just received a pipe in the mail yesterday from Denmark and it is a beauty ... and not only that, it smokes great. I mean really great. This pipe is from Søren Eric Andersen.
He's one of those Danes who have been making cool pipes for 40 years, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he knows what he's doing. What surprises me is that both this pipe and the Pierre Morel that I bought recently, smoke fantastic. I mean they jump into the my top 5 smokers list. I'm not a scientist or a wine reviewer so I can't tell you why they smoke great or really what I mean when I say they smoke great ... they just do. They smoke noticeably better than the majority of pipes I own. Weird. I wish I could pin it down, but I must have the brain of a neanderthal ( I recently read that scientist now believe that neanderthals spoke w/ high pitched voices. Not the deep and guttural grunts that the movies would have us believe.). So if there is anything to gain from reading this, it is the fact thank I highly recommend that everyone go and buy a pipe from Mr. Andersen. You'll be glad you did. -T
Update- I've been smoking this Andersen pipe for a couple of days and I absolutely love it. It feels great to hold, it looks beautiful (the birdseye is amazing) and I swear tobacco tastes better in it. I am so happy with it that I just checked the Eric Andersen website w/ the intention of buying another, but most of them are sold ... I guess I will have to continue checking in and hope I am quick enough to get another one. -T
I have been interested in Pierre Morel's pipes for a while now, but have not had the opportunity to actually see one. I have read excellent reviews of Morel's pipes by the guys at the website Compagnie des Pipes and one of my favorite pipe makers, David Enrique has begun an alliance w/ Morel, making pipes together. I was intrigued. On our adventure to The Briary I was able to see and purchase a wonderful little rusticated apple. It is a beautiful pipe and it is one of those smoking machines that if you are fortunate, you come across from time to time. I couldn't be more pleased w/ my find. It is the highlight of a really exceptional trip. -T
Mark and his son-in-law Joe and I met up in Tupelo on Saturday morning and headed for The Briary in Birmingham Al. We have come to think of this winter voyage as "the kick-off of the Chicago Season". Sort of the start of the feverish anticipation of Chicago Pipe Show. A mini version of that large scale insanity. And we weren't disappointed. The Briary parking lot was packed when we rolled in. The store itself was crammed full of people and the air was ... non existent. It was a wonderful smoke-filled temple of pipe and cigar enthusiasts. In other words - Heaven.
Danish pipe maker, Peder Jeppensen had one counter top filled w/ his Neerup line of pipes. It took a couple of minutes for Mar, Joe and I to squirm our way over. Peder had over 100 beautiful and affordable pipes laid out, just waiting to tempt us. On a counter to the right, Eric Stokkebye had the Villager/Stokkebye line of tobbaccos out with tins open, ready to sample. Moving around the store was difficult with so many folks jockeying for position, but everyone was friendly and in high spirits, so it was fun. The group included a wide variety of society. Old (like Mark and I and even older), young (college students), male, female (ok- just one), rich (guys talking stocks and bonds) and working class and all having a great time. Skip (the owner) and his cohorts John and Mark were looking a little worn after a couple of hours of very brisk sales. There was to be a pipe smoking contest, but we had to skip that and make the 4 hour trip back to north Mississippi and Memphis. We had a fantastic time. Now let the Chicago giddyness begin! -T
This is by far my biggest seller. It's one of my least expensive racks and I'm sure that has a lot to do w/ it's popularity. I like to think that the design also contributes to the sales. It's clean, simple and efficient. It does what a pipe rack should- it holds pipes and pipe stuff. Here's a couple of recent ones. -T