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 Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipes - Extensive Review

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bentbulldog

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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipes - Extensive Review   Fri May 03, 2013 6:29 pm

Following Kirk Fitzgerald's review of Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipe, I ordered a Dwarf Barrel pipe for myself. This is my review of the pipe from delivery, smoke, and clean.

Here is a link to the full photo album
http://s246.photobucket.com/user/Jones_indiana/library/Flogglewerks%20Dwarf%20Barrel

Upon opening the box, looking at the wrapped pipe, I felt that I had actually received something from the Shire. I'm used to getting pipes in pouches and boxes. This came in the form of a wrap, accentuating the middle earth feel. The pipe itself was bubble wrapped however. Once I took it out though, I was immediately taken away.

Appearance/Engineering:
As much as I loved the pipes used in the Jackson LOTR films, this is the pipe I imagine being used in Middle Earth. Everything about it felt natural. It looks great, and the bowl has a bit of a shine to it. I don't know if this is some type of lacquer, but it looks really nice. I would be concerned on how it affects the smoke though, but that will only come with time.
The craftsmanship is excellent. This didn't look and feel cheap. I've had MacQueen pipes, and these pipes are executed much better. For those who have owned a Macqueen however, you will notice a few similarities.
The chamber isn't all that big. I'd estimate 3/4" wide by 3/4" deep. The draft hole is on the bottom and center. This line, as well as many others, doesn't have a shank. There is a Myrtlewood bowl and a stem that is a single piece of maple which to me, adds to that Middle Earth feel. I would imagine pipes being made in a simple manner, just as you get here. It's also reasonably light, just a tad lighter than a MM Legend corncob. The stem goes into the bowl in a downward angle and one concern would be the bowl coming out, unless you're holding the pipe. I don't think this would work for freehanders or clenchers since the mouth end of the stem is just maple. My old MacQueens would wear away on the mouthpiece end, which bothered me a lot. But they use ash wood, so I'm hoping maple holds up better.
The last awesome bit I want to comment on, this pipe easily PASSES the pipe cleaner test. Shocked

My grade for this pipe in the Appearance/Engineering: A+






Smoking:
Now onto the juicy part. I filled the pipe using the McGrane method with Boswell's Premium Burley and headed to my "lounge" in the garage.


Now I LOVE briar. I have corncobs and they serve their purpose but to me nothing comes close to briar. I was a bit reluctant to try Myrtlewood and do plan on getting a MM's Maplewood pipe someday.
False light, then light, wasn't much different than what I would get from a briar. As the bowl progressed however, I started to notice the difference.
This blend smokes great in a cob and brings out the sweetness. In a briar it's less sweet but neutral. Maybe it's because I was smoking the bare wood, this pipe gave a "woody" addition to the blend. Not woodsy, but it tasted like, wood. It wasn't bad or overwhelming, but it didn't really compliment the blend. I'd bet a straight Virginia would do well in this type of pipe. My first impression is getting the most from "aromatic" or flavor topped blends would lead to some issues. I'm not bashing the pipe at all, I had a very pleasant smoke experience, just not fantastic. The bowl didn't get hot, and did well in spreading the heat evenly. The draw was smooth and cool. The bowl lasted me about 45 minutes.

My initial grade for smoking: B+ (may update as I grab another bowl)

Overall I'm VERY pleased. I paid $32.50 to have this shipped and it hold more value than the MacQueens which I bought for more and sold on eBay. I don't think these pipe would not be suited to more traditional pipe smokers, especially clenchers and freehanders.
However for fantasy and Tolkien junkies like myself, this pipe is a treat. I wish I didn't have to sit in a car to smoke because this is the perfect pipe to smoke on a hill while staring at a gorgeous vista. I look forward to many wonderful smokes with this pipe.



PS - This one has been named Anduril!
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PostSubject: Re: Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipes - Extensive Review   Sat May 04, 2013 12:13 am

Keep me updated on how this pipe smokes and how the bowl holds up. A heavier, cool burning tobacco like Irish Flake or ODF may be good with this pipe. By the time the smoke from one of these bacy's makes it to the end of the Flogglewerks stem it may give you frostbite instead of tongue-bite! Smile

I read a lot on the middle ages, Middle-Earth and D&D etc. I love churchwardens for zoning out with a good book under my ivy-covered oak tree.

I just ordered a 8" churchwarden Forever Stem for my MM's. I'll post a review when it gets here. I have a smaller/lighter Savinelli Prince "warden" for clenching and toting around the house. I see a Flogglewerks in my future.

Thanks for the review!
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Briar Spirit

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Age : 49
Location : England UK
Registration date : 2012-08-30

PostSubject: Re: Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipes - Extensive Review   Sat May 04, 2013 3:00 am

Brilliant review BB, I too found the 'woodsy' flavour a little distracting but I have no doubt in time that will dissipate entirely, I have now had over a dozen bowls in my Middle Earth C/W and the only wodsy takes now seems to be coming from the very tip of the stem. This is no real surprise to me being as my mouth is in direct contact with the wood and it a very absorbent wood so even the smallest amount of moisture on the lips gets into the wood. I've been trying to think of an alteration to make to mine to make the bit end more accessible to the mouth and of course to remove this final woodsy taste in the smoke. I've stripped the surface coating off my pipe and stained it with a dark brown dye and forced a 'distressed' look to the wood to try to make it look 'older' if you follow me there, I have waxed the pipe and after smoking a few bowls that nasty glossy shine has gone leaving a far more pleasing dulled sheen to the wood, it looks really gorgeous now, sorry, I can't take photo's any more but I'm sure you can imagine how it would look now.
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bentbulldog

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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Flogglewerks Middle Earth Pipes - Extensive Review   Sat May 04, 2013 10:01 am

Kirk,

I'm picturing what the pipe looks after you've modified it and may try doing the same.

I'm more concerned, just as you, about the mouthpiece. On one hand I wouldn't mind adding a more durable option, on the other I don't want to mess with the naturalness of the pipe.

If it weren't for your review I'd never have considered this. Now I'm very thankful I did.

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