For centuries, clay pipes have been cherished throughout the west. These were long, plain-looking pipes and pubs would provide them to customers. After smoking one, the pipe would be returned to the pub. The next customer who wishes to smoke it would snap off a little of its mouthpiece before doing so. The pipe gets shorter and shorter and will eventually be discarded.
Clay pipes were – and are still – popular also because with clay pipes, just as with meerschaum pipes, there is no ghosting. Even the best briar pipe can subtly retain the flavor of the tobacco that was smoked in it, but not clay. However, traditional clay pipes were not only plain-looking, they smoked hot, making it difficult to hold. If you look at old paintings of people smoking clay pipes, you would notice that they were always held by their long stems. The bowls would be far too hot to touch.
Lepeltier clay pipes, made in the US, are game changers.
Handmade of a unique mixture of four American clays and fired to a temperature of 2300 degrees Fahrenheit or 1260 degrees Celsius, Lepeltier pipes produce an ideal marriage of strength and porosity, so necessary for true enjoyment of pipe tobacco. Each individually painted Lepeltier clay pipe gives the smoker all the advantages and benefits of traditional clay pipes, yet is shatter-resistant, smokes cooler and is scaled in size and shape to please the modern smoker.
I was blessed enough to receive one as a gift from Julian on my 60th birthday.