Japan’s Tsuge has been making some of the most beautiful pipes in the world since 1936. They aren’t afraid to mix mediums to perfect both function and form. This is why the “living on the edge” folks at Drew Estates picked Tsuge to create the Drew Estates Pipe Collection line of pipes that could deliver the best experience possible for Drew’s tobacco lines.
These Drew Estates exclusive designs are best labeled as Metal Pipes based on the materials used — briar tobacco bowl, patented stay cool aluminum base / shank, Vulcanite stem and Drew Estates Logo aluminum cap.
Drew Estate will offer three pipe styles to start:
- The Robusto, which features a chunky bowl and is the smallest of the three designs. The pipe is nicely portable and will fit easily into a jacket pocket.
- The Churchill, which features a tall, slender bowl that is more stately in its styling.
- The Belicoso, which features a tall, elegantly tapered bowl and is a hybrid between the other two pipe styles.
All three styles are offered in two finishes, Smooth and Sandblasted.
The aluminum ring around the top of the bowl both protects the briar from burning with matches or lighters as well as being threaded to accept the cap, making the pipe very easy and clean to carry in your pocket. The briar bowl itself screws tight to the patented stay cool to the touch aluminum base.
The metal base is where things get very interesting. There is a chamber below the briar that allows the smoke to cool and leave much of the tongue bite causing moisture to condense, providing a cooler dryer smoke. Tsuge recommends that you place a small amount of tobacco — the same or complementary — in this chamber to act as a filter and, perhaps, a flavor enhancer.
Unlike most metal pipes, the shank is a separate part which screws into the metal base. This feature allows the user to clean the pipe very well and makes the unit even easier to carry in your pocket. The Vulcanite stems have a standard tension fit, much like a military style pipe.
Contrary to the claims on many websites, these three models do not sport interchangeable parts, although the stems on the Robusto and Churchill are identical.
Being fast and easy to break down to its parts, these pipes are a breeze to clean. While we don’t recommend you ever submerse the briar bowl in any liquid (although you can wipe the metal bowl band with just about any cleaner to maintain it’s pristine matte shine,) the metal base, shank and Vulcanite stem can literally be rinsed for maximum cleanliness.
Unlike the Falcon pipes, which have been around since the 1940’s, I haven’t seen any third party artisans creating alternative bowls for these pipes — YET. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.