Well fine readers of Talking Tobacco, I have a retirement to report. After many years of dedicated service and loyalty I am forced to make the sad announcement. No it is not master blender Russ Ouellette who is retiring, it is sadly my first pipe, an Armellini ¼ bent bulldog. This pipe has been a constant companion of mine for years. I smoked it before I started college, throughout college and the many years since. This pipe has been very good to me no matter how badly it was abused. Sometimes I would not ream the pipe for weeks and the cake would be dangerously thick. I have smoked every kind of tobacco in this pipe from ropes to aromatics to 1792 and highly scented Lakelands. For some reason this pipe never ghosted and what little ghosts did survive they would be quickly burned out of the cake by the next genre of tobacco I was exploring at the time. I remember smoking 1Q for a few days, then I smoked Solani 633 and then I moved on to G&H Dark Flake Scented. This poor pipe.
A few months ago I noticed a little discolored spot on the side of the bowl but I continued to smoke it. Then I decided to bring it to work and smoke it here, but I soon realized I smoked it too much and the little spot got a little bigger. I sadly came to the conclusion that this was the beginning of a burnout. After all these years my poor little Armellini is getting old and showing its years of smoking. The pipe still smokes like a dream and I will continue to smoke it, but I will smoke it gently at home every once in a while. No more multiple bowls in a day helping Russ test out new blends. No more letting the cake get out of hand. No more chomping the bit while I work. My best smoking pipe will be gently put in my pipe rack and will be added to my home rotation, where I can relax and enjoy smoking the pipe until the eventual burnout, hopefully many years from now. Here comes Russ with a bottle of …. I guess he thought this was his retirement announcement