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Dosidicus Pipa
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2,618 Posts
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Creature of habit, am I.

My first pipe was a MM Diplomat, that after much agonizing, surfing, and researching all things cob. Bit of background you ask? Why not! You see, my dad is a piper. When I was young he smoked Lucky Strikes, but he switched to pipes during my early adolescence, largely (I think) due to nagging from my little sister. I didn't get it then. I have a daughter and three sons now, my daughter being my youngest. I get it now. I love my sons and enjoy spending time with all of them. I am also lucky enough to have a lot in common with all three in different ways, so we get to spend time enjoying each other's company in different venues - music, sports, movies, camping, whatever.

But my "little girl" who graduates from high school this year? God I love that kid.

So anyway, my first pipe - the Diplomat. I bought my dad a cob when I was about 14 or so - for Christmas. He smokes briars until they burn out. One pipe, all day, all the time. Whatever is cheapest. I'm pretty sure that they are exclusively Grabows. His current one has just enough room for about 5-6 bits of Half and Half, which is all he smokes. The rest is completely sealed off with cake that he refuses to ream. Says that it saves him money. The cob? He never touched it that I know of. That left me somewhat curious about how the diplomat would smoke, but why worry? I spend more on one cigar than I did on my first pipe and ounce of tobacco.

The pipe itself is what I would describe as a medium sized egg shape. It comes with a filter insert that I pulled after the first couple of bowls. The bowl itself is plastered and lacquered, and diplomats have a wood insert on the bottom of the bowl, which you can feel in the hand as it gives it a bit of extra heft and a more solid feel. The shank has the "look - it's a cob!" pattern added to it that actually looks quite nice. The only thing that I have done to modify the pipe thus far is to add a pipe bit, which I really like.

The diplomat smoked like a dream, needless to say. It imparts a slight sweetness to tobacco that has abated somewhat over time, and has a medium bowl. I have smoked every tobacco I've owned in it, but mostly smoke aros and VAs in it now. It gets a bit warm to the hand if pushed, but never gurgles. It is comfortable to hold and sip from, and carries full and half-loads well since it presents plenty of surface for the cherry to breathe relative to the height of the bowl.

The only complaint I would have about my diplomat is one that has abated over time. There is a fair bit of space between the shank and the bottom of the bowl. This led to the pipe extinguishing fairly often when it was new, but this doesn't happen as much anymore. Whether this is due to me getting better at piping or the pipe filling in a bit on the bottom is up for discussion, but I would lean toward both.

I added a new MM to my collection yesterday - honestly so that I have something to burn some Mixture 79 in! In this case I wanted a smaller bowl and to try a different feel/finish, so I chose a Missouri Pride. Here are my cobs hanging out on my truck:



As you might see in my crappy cell phone pic, the Missouri Pride is a smaller bowled pipe with the rough finish. This means that the bowl is neither plastered nor lacquered. It is notably lighter in the hand and is a great little pipe size and shape-wise. It is perfect for a short smoke and sits nicely on a table. I don't believe that this pipe has the wood insert on the bottom (could be wrong here), and its shank lacks the patterning of the diplomat. I like them both for their own reasons. The size differential is greater than this picture implies - you will see the difference in ensuing photographs.

I fired up the Pride this morning for her maiden voyage with a load of nicely dried Prince Albert. Drying tobaccos was lesson one coming from cigars, and has made a WORLD of difference. Recent converts should take note there. The Pride is then a completely different pipe than the diplomat for several reasons:

The sweetness that I noted with the diplomat (when new) is nonexistant. Whether this is an artifact of the cob, the lacquering, the shape, or something else I do not know, but it was there nonetheless. In this case I could taste and discern all of the qualities of PA with ease, and the cob did not distract from the tobacco as it did a few times with the Diplomat. The pipe also burns notably cooler. This might be due to the greater surface area of the smaller bowl. Its lack of plaster and lacquer makes for a heavily stippled exterior that is interesting in the hand as well. The maiden voyage of this pipe was an absolute dream. Next time I will drop the filter and have a go at it again, likely with another bowl of PA.



This second picture gives you a bit better perspective of the size difference, although the height of the bowl is a bit misleading here. The diplomat has a greater diameter and about the same height.



The final pic gives a bit better perspective of the bowl rims. You can also see the difference between the faux-cob (diplomat) and the straight shank (Pride).

End result? I want/need another one of these. Or two, what the hell. Different shapes would be nice. For the price of an entry level cigar I get a pipe that smokes great but won't cry over if I drop it while hunting or fishing. I do love my briars too, but there will always be a special place for my cobs.

Thanks for listening. Time to cook calamari.
 

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Retired Chaos Designer
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13,666 Posts
Very nice, When I get a new cob I load the bottom with pipe mud to bring it up to the draft hole, for me it seems to smoke even better.
 

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Pipe Smokin' Piranha
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5,485 Posts
A little bump for a great review. ;)

On a side note... If you put one of those little round screen filters way down in the bottom of the bowl past the shank when it gets broke in like that, it will lessen the waste and make cleaning a LOT easier... Works for me anyways... YMMV.
 
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