During one of our brainstorming sessions, we batted around the idea of creating a new brand of pipes with some very specific characteristics. First off, these pipes had to be great smokers. Now I know that seems obvious, but we wanted the pipes made in a way to deliver a smoke like that of a well-made artisan pipe. To accomplish that, they’d have to be made of well-aged briar and they would also need to have a larger-than-standard airway. Next, we wanted them to be traditional shapes. We also wanted them to be light, but that would be easy if the briar was properly aged. We wanted them to be available in tapered and saddle bits, since every pipe smoker has their preference. The pipes would also have to be affordable and come in a variety of finishes. We weren’t completely sure that we would be able to pull it off, but we had a game plan.
We contacted an American manufacturer and told them what we were looking to do and were thrilled to hear that they could do it and hit every mark we laid out. We chose five shapes that we felt would please the widest range of tastes. We named the brand Argo, and the stamp was ordered. When they had made some, they sent pictures and we were really pleased with how they executed what we wanted. The next step was to wait patiently for the pipes to arrive, which was probably the most difficult part of the project.
When they finally arrived, Eric, Kevin and I chose one. Since then, each of us has made our pipe a part of our regular rotations. The pipes breathe easily, which is key to a superior experience. My test of a good smoking pipe is that smoke will curl out of the button after a puff and my Rhodesian does just that. I have smoked a variety of tobaccos in the pipe without a gurgle, and it delivers a nice, cool smoke. One other thing that we insisted upon was that each one had to pass a pipe cleaner, and they all do, flawlessly.
There are a lot of factory-made pipes out there, but we believe that none of them smoke better than an Argo. They’re priced below the majority of pipes like Savinelli and Peterson and stack up nicely in smokability. If you’re looking for a top-flight pipe at a nice price, take a good look at Argo.