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 Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.

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fishnbanjo

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Age : 67
Location : southern me
Registration date : 2013-01-11

PostSubject: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 4:29 pm

Since I own seven Morta Pipes I thought it would be a good idea to discuss a bit about what Morta is, how it differs to briar, both as a base for a pipe and smoking wise.

So what exactly is Morta? Morta, or Bog Oak. comes from dead Oak trees which have fallen into a bog, or similar environment, and have spent anywhere from 1000-10,000 years in the soup of the bog which gives the Morta its distinct coloration. The colors recognized are from blue grey over green grey to deep black, there are also brown and copper colored and a combination of grey, brown and black, very few are red or blue which I have not seen a pipe made with as yet but there probably will be at some point.

Bog Oak stands for Fossil European Oak or Sessile Oak, which have lain in bog for centuries. Stored in bog, the tannic acid of the wood reacts with the marsh gases of the bog, whereby such wood changes its color extremely. Understand the closer it becomes to fossilization the blacker it gets as it will turn to coal if given enough time to fossilize.

What I have learned through reading is that Bog Oak is available throughout Europe with Croatia, Ireland, England, Germany and Italy being the major sources, I'm sure there are more but these are the ones I see most of the Morta pipe makers make reference to. Recently Morta from Lake Michigan has surfaced and while not being a bog the conditions are similar in what happens to the wood and will be interesting to see if any more pipes are made from it then the one I saw that sold quickly, it was darker than the copper Morta yet lighter than the brown Morta I have seen.

So how does Morta differ from briar, Meerschaum, clay, corn cobs and even rock pipes? Well simply put Morta like Meerschaum, clay and rock pipes (pipe stone or soapstone) smoke neutral, i.e. one gets a purer sense on the palate, and the snork, of the tobacco than one gets from a briar or a cob. Morta can smoke much hotter than the others as well but setting it down finds it cools much quicker as well. It's light and generally the pipes made from it are much larger than their briar counterparts and the bowls much smaller as well since they do smoke hotter but have the ability to be smoked again as soon as they are cool enough with no issue so they make a great companion if one were traveling and could only bring 1 or 2 pipes.

Now that we've gone through a bit of the history of Morta and how it differentiates between some of the more common vessels used for pipe bowls let's see how different Morta pipes smoke against the others in my collection. For the purpose of the Smoke Off I did not smoke anything other than Anniversary Kake or a light VA in other pipes over the two days it took to complete this and I did it with the outside temperature being relatively equal except for the first smoke which ended up being a rather windy period.

The seven pipes I smoked were smoked using 6 y/o Anniversary Kake from the same jar housed in the same pouch so as to not taint the outcome:

A Chris Askwith Rhodesian, from England, with Olivewood Cap and white stem was the first pipe smoked and here is a photo and the results.




The smoke in the Askwith Rhodesian took 45 minutes with mostly white pillow like puffs the first 1/2 of the bowl with a nice mild and cool smoking experience. From the second half of the bowl on there was decidedly more spiciness to the smoke yet still cool and the smoke thinned a bit to a blueish grey with the admittance of Perique was there in the background. The smoke ended w/o the need to relight simply the char light was sufficient and a mere few shards of moist dottle and moisture were found after it had gone out. Clearing the dottle with a pick was quick and what moisture that was observed in the bottom of the bowl dissipated within 30 seconds, an excellent smoke and a quick run through with the pipe cleaner produced a very light tan coating with no moisture.

A Davorin Denovic, from Croatia, Rustic Freehand Bent with Field Maple end cap.

The Denovic finished its smoke in 40 minutes with mostly medium billows of blueish grey smoke throughout the entire bowl, like the previous smoker it needed no further lighting after the initial one. The first 1/3 was a lovely taste of VA and migrated toward some spiciness into the next 1/3 with a dominant taste of Perique which lasted about 5 minutes into the last 1/3 then settled down into a lovely combination of spice and great tobacco flavors. The finish was met with clean grey ash and minimal moisture in the bowl which dissipated in 15 seconds. A pipe cleaner ran through came out a medium brown with no moisture.





A Moretti Freehand Rusticated, from Italy, with Bone colored end cap.

The Moretti smoked in 40 minutes with large billowy puffs of whitish grey smoke throughout and required only the initial lighting. The first 1/3 of the bowl was soft and luscious VA then notes of cinnamon crept in with the palate experience being like a wonderfully deep red burgundy and the snork sense continuing to cinnamon and developing to toasted nutmeg. Spiciness abundant in the next 1/3 with a deeper palate of dark red burgundy continuing through the second 1/3 of the bowl. The final 1/3 of the bowl was a dance of flavors from the spice to the wine then mellowing to just a delicious tobacco ending with a whitish grey ash with no dottle nor moisture in the bowl, a swipe with the pipe cleaner revealed a deeper tan color with no moisture.



A Tom Richard, from Germany, Rusticated Freehand with Boxwood end cap and Cumberland Stem.

The Richard smoked in 43 minutes with a light blue hue to white billows of smoke also required no lighting after initial. The taste of VA was predominate with the warmth of honey on the palate, the snork was true VA. It wasn't until the last 1/4 of the bowl did any hint of spice begin and it did not strengthen but continued to the end of the bowl which was left with no dottle just a clean whitish grey ash. Once the ash was removed there was nothing there but the bottom of the bowl and it was free of moisture, a quick run with a pipe cleaner gave a tan color and no moisture.



A Chris Askwith, I believe a Freehand Volcano Sitter but hopeful Chris will set that straight if he reads this, from England, with Mastodon Ivory end cap and White Stem.

The second Askwith smoked in 38 minutes with a light grey medium smoke, again no lighting beyond initial. The taste of VA was present and turned to a note of Fig on the palate with cinnamon in snork, eased its way into spicy which it finished with leaving a white grey ash, no dottle nor moisture evident in the bowl, the color of the pipe cleaner inserted and removed was light tan with no moisture



A Paulo Becker Maya Shape, from Italy, as Paulo puts it the name comes from "Maya desnuda" by Goya, with Chocolate colored stem and Smoky swirls.

The Becker smoked in 40 minutes with a medium grey smoke throughout with no lighting past the initial. The taste of VA was present after the first tamp and through to the middle of the bowl where some hints of cinnamon and other spices began then leveled off to spice on the palate and the snork and finishing with no dottle nor moisture in the bowl, a pipe cleaner ran through left residuals of dark and tan but no moisture



A Radice Chubby Morta AEROBilliard, from Italy, in collaboration with Luca di Piazza.

The AEROBilliard smoked in 35 minutes with no lighting beyond the initial, with huge puffy pillows of whitish grey smoke until the first tamp where it settled down to medium grey puffs. The initial note was cool and mild and the VA made its presence known on the palate and the snork. The palate note quickly changed to a rich red burgundy feel and the snork picked up hints of Cardamom and other spiciness. The wine note stayed the course on the palate with playful meanderings of VA, spice and pure tobacco on the snork with the final few minutes being wine, wine and more wine on the palate and the snork. There was no dottle nor moisture and a pipe cleaner picked up the lightest trace of coloring with no moisture




Well as you can see my experience differed some from pipe to pipe but not one of them was less than an outstanding smoke. I hope you found this helpful if a Morta pipe is something you've been thinking about and will happily answer any questions that I can, thanks for reading.


Last edited by fishnbanjo on Sun May 26, 2013 12:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 4:48 pm

What is a snork? Evidently, they require some feeding and care.

Quote :
Urban Dictionary: snork
1. snork Verb: to drink something and have it come out your nose because you're laughing so hard. I told her a funny joke while she was drinking a soda and she snorked.

Quote :
Wikipedia: The Snorks is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera which ran on NBC from September 15, 1984, to May 13, 1989. Although not as popular as the animated series The Smurfs, the program continued to be available in syndication from 1986 to 1989

Quote :
Wikipedia alternate: The Snork is a horrifically mutated human soldier or Stalker, still wearing tattered remains of his uniform, boots and a ШМ-1 gas mask with cracked eyepieces, and a flailing hose. Exposure to radiation and anomalies in the wake of the second Chernobyl disaster has destroyed the human mind, leaving a feral, vicious beast psyche in its place and twisted the body, creating a dangerous predator.

I'm thinking none-of-the-above here. However, the pipes are handsome.
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cigrmaster

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Age : 59
Registration date : 2012-06-15

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 5:11 pm

fish, thanks for a wonderful post. The history lesson was great and the pipe pics even better. You certainly gave my PAD an awakening, I need to add a Morta one day soon.
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Hiram-2011

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Age : 39
Location : Illinois
Registration date : 2012-03-23

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 5:35 pm

That is one excellent write up and you do make me suffer from pipe envy. Those are seven beautiful morta's. Makes me want to add another morta to the collection.
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fishnbanjo

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Age : 67
Location : southern me
Registration date : 2013-01-11

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 8:32 pm

Snork is allowing the smoke to exhale through your nose where the nasal passage picks up the flavor of the tobacco being smoked as well, this is not taking it in through the lungs, you roll the smoke around in your mouth and blow it out your nose.

JKenP wrote:
What is a snork? Evidently, they require some feeding and care.

Quote :
Urban Dictionary: snork
1. snork Verb: to drink something and have it come out your nose because you're laughing so hard. I told her a funny joke while she was drinking a soda and she snorked.

Quote :
Wikipedia: The Snorks is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera which ran on NBC from September 15, 1984, to May 13, 1989. Although not as popular as the animated series The Smurfs, the program continued to be available in syndication from 1986 to 1989

Quote :
Wikipedia alternate: The Snork is a horrifically mutated human soldier or Stalker, still wearing tattered remains of his uniform, boots and a ШМ-1 gas mask with cracked eyepieces, and a flailing hose. Exposure to radiation and anomalies in the wake of the second Chernobyl disaster has destroyed the human mind, leaving a feral, vicious beast psyche in its place and twisted the body, creating a dangerous predator.

I'm thinking none-of-the-above here. However, the pipes are handsome.
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Brewdude

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Age : 64
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 8:49 pm

Very comprehensive. Well thought out.

Don't know that I've seen a more inclusive assessment of mortas.

I've been on the fence. This may move me off it.

Smile


Cheers,

RR
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Mr. Doody

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Location : MA, USA
Registration date : 2012-04-14

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 9:08 pm

exceptional post, sir! exceptional!

thank you,
doody.

sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sat May 25, 2013 10:10 pm

Very nice post and beautiful pipes. Thanks for the post. I must say, however, that, to me, smoking a morta pipe feels like smoking an ashtray. I just can't stand it. It seems I'm in the minority, though...
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 3:01 am

fishnbanjo wrote:
generally the pipes made from it are much larger than their briar counterparts

Really?
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fishnbanjo

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Age : 67
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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 3:42 am

Yes, I can give the dimensions of what I have and the outside is larger and I have large hands, the wall thickness is as well since the bowls tend to be smaller, plenty have complained about this but considering how much wood is there and the pipe gets as hot as it does it's easy to understand why.

Harlock999 wrote:
fishnbanjo wrote:
generally the pipes made from it are much larger than their briar counterparts

Really?
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leftover421

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Age : 39
Location : Idaho
Registration date : 2012-10-24

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 5:50 am

I love you fishnbanjo! You always bring the very best pipe porn for me to drool over! Thank you!
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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 1:57 pm

Excellent. Only one point of consideration: having something organic "turn to coal" is a very specific process, and because fallen trees can vary in species and locales, bodies of water, etc, the mineral content of said water, even the ground they lay within over time, can further petrify the wood (which is what "bog wood" is overall, a not-quite-petrified material) as organic material is replaced by various minerals. Coal is produced slightly differently, and usually from many organic compounds (peat and other swamp flora being the most common).

Coloration is not an indication of time spent under water or pressure, but more from the contents mentioned above. There's bog wood that comes from the Great Lakes area that stays a muted chocolate brown, and could be 15K+ years old.

Morta is beautiful, rare and fascinating stuff, and it can be made into fascinating and great-smoking pipes, provided the unique flavors and nuances of the wood suits your palate and tobacco. They don't always have to be large, I think the two I own are probably on the small side where morta is concerned.

Harlock, don't you have a morta pipe, or five Laughing ? I thought you did. scratch
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fishnbanjo

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 3:25 pm

Well perhaps my 7 are just bigger than what I've come across for similar shapes in briar, I know the walls are far thicker and the bowls smaller but then the attraction for me was the bowl size since I like them smaller. All I know is I thoroughly enjoy the ones I have and will do so for as long as I can.
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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Sun May 26, 2013 5:02 pm

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Trifecta13

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Thu May 30, 2013 6:12 pm

I have an admittedly tangential question. Before I get to that, I definitely wanted to thank you for this info as I have often considered picking up a morta. Anyway, what packing method do you use? I only get 40 minutes or less out of my smallest briar, and almost never have it survive with only the initial light. So now, I not only am consumed with envy over your collection, but your technique as well.
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Harlock999

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Fri May 31, 2013 12:11 am

Kyle Weiss wrote:
Harlock, don't you have a morta pipe, or five Laughing ? I thought you did. scratch

Just one, a small Il Duca bulldog.
But then, that brand tends to produce smaller pipes in general.
Nice pipe, but not particularly well suited to my hot, fast and wet smoking style.
It does tend to heat up a bit...
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Ocelot55

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Fri May 31, 2013 12:21 am

Harlock999 wrote:
Kyle Weiss wrote:
Harlock, don't you have a morta pipe, or five Laughing ? I thought you did. scratch

Just one, a small Il Duca bulldog.
But then, that brand tends to produce smaller pipes in general.
Nice pipe, but not particularly well suited to my hot, fast and wet smoking style.
It does tend to heat up a bit...

I'd be happy to take it off your hands!
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fishnbanjo

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:33 pm

Trifecta13,
Yesterday I responded to a post by GrampaGrossbart concerning a Denovic Morta he just purchased and I used this thread in reference. I went back to reading the thread as I wished to review what I had written so I could compare my Askwith Morta Cutty when I open my next jar of Anni Kake.

I then realized you had asked a question and I had not responded and for that I would like to publicly apologize as it was not my intent to let a question go unanswered it was I completely missed it. To answer your question, if I use coins of tobacco I have used the fold and stuff method and I had rubbed them out as well, if it is plug, or flake taken from cut plug or prepackaged) I fold the flake in thirds if the bowl can handle it and tease the ends out then sprinkle a bit of ripped and rubbed to top it off, I also use the gravity feed standing method of tearing up the flake into smaller sections then drop them in the bowl, if it is a crumble style cake I simply use the method of 1/3's, i.e. the first third is placed in lightly with little pressure, the second 1/3 tighter but not pressed and the final 1/3 pressed and tamped this also goes for regular tobacco as well. In other words I don't treat the pipe differently because it is Morta what I do is treat the bowl's shape as I would of any other pipe in my collection, it seems to work fine.

I hope this answers your question and once again please accept my apology for missing your question I feel it's important to any forum that the members contribute both questions and answers so that others can gain experience, warm regards.
banjo

Trifecta13 wrote:
I have an admittedly tangential question. Before I get to that, I definitely wanted to thank you for this info as I have often considered picking up a morta. Anyway, what packing method do you use? I only get 40 minutes or less out of my smallest briar, and almost never have it survive with only the initial light. So now, I not only am consumed with envy over your collection, but your technique as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:46 am

Thank you for all the time, effort and consideration you put into this post.
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Idlefellow

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:10 am

Very informative; thanks for taking the time. My question concerns the rusticating pattern: it seems in most cases to be a series of fairly evenly spaced lines, and in one or two a cross hatch of lines. I'm wondering if there is a reason for this, or maybe just tradition, etc? Thanks...
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fishnbanjo

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PostSubject: Re: Seven Morta Pipe Smoke Off.   Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:05 pm

I truly wish I knew the answer to your question as I agree with what you so state. I give pause when inspecting the pipes I own thinking it's each individuals way of highlighting the grain structure but adding some depth to the rustication, either because they feel it needs it, or for additional cooling. While there are smooth Morta pipes out there, I don't own one, not that I personally think anything it wrong with them, or that the pipe won't smoke well, it's just too dang cold looking to me in a dead sort of way, so realistically I see nothing endearing about a smooth finish on a Morta Pipe. Regards.....
banjo

Idlefellow wrote:
Very informative; thanks for taking the time.  My question concerns the rusticating pattern: it seems in most cases to be a series of fairly evenly spaced lines, and in one or two a cross hatch of lines.  I'm wondering if there is a reason for this, or maybe just tradition, etc?  Thanks...
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