Elva Iris Style Pipe Refurb

New pipe for a new challenge! This pipe was certainly a one-of-a-kind to work on. I have never seen one carved like this. It is literally carved to look like an Iris flower. Plus, I had never heard of the Elva brand before, so that was new too. Check out the refurb process below!






I knew that this stem would have to be patched, but to get down to a good surface, I have to clean off a couple of the oxidized surfaces. So I started by wet sanding the stem with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and then 1200 grit. The way the previous owner had smoked it had created an indent into the airway rather than a hole. I had to break out some of the indented material from the inside, which created a small hole that I would patch. I patched the stem using cyanoacrylate and activated charcoal. After a few layers, it was built up enough, then I proceed with the wet sanding of 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. I then sanitized the inside of the stem with high proof vodka and pipe cleaners. The stem was finished with a buffing of re tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

This bowl was tricky! I started by reaming the inside of the bowl to remove charcoal buildup. The bowl was then sanitized and cleaned with q-tips and high proof vodka. The top of the bowl was charred pretty good, so I worked on topping the bowl with some light sandpaper. That was really tricky since the petals of the Iris stick up above the top of the bowl. One of the petals had been broken by the previous owner and glued back into place, the glue stuck out in a couple places. I decided to sand down the glue to make it a smoother patch. I then put a bowl coating on the inside of the bowl to protect it. I lightly re-stained the top of the bowl after the topping. The shank was also sanitized with q-tips and high proof vodka. The bowl was finished with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax (as best I could, it was really tough around those petals)! Here is the finished product!






I hope you enjoyed the refurb! Let me know about the weird pipes you own or have worked on!

RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT Cigar Review

Ahhhh yes, the lure of the “hard-to-get” or “hard-to-find” cigars is always a constant for regular cigar smokers. The RoMa Craft 2018 CRAFT cigar has a similar lure, not that it is super hard to find or necessarily purchase, it’s just a smidgen bit more difficult than a regular production cigar. The reason this one is a little harder to get is because there are only 2,000 boxes made. In addition to having a limited supply, when RoMa fans find them, they buy them… ALL. Boxes, five packs, singles, they simply clean out their local sources.

I was lucky enough t get my hands on a few and here are my thoughts!


Blend Profile
Wrappers: Ecuadorian Connecticut Candela, Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Double Ligero GRS-1, Nicaraguan and Dominican Criollo
Vitola: 5×60 Figurado

Appearance & Smell
The candela really pops at the end of this cigar and with the stripe towards the head. The candela is very eye catching in contrast to the dark maduro. In addition to the candela contrast, the cone shape that they call figurado made me do a double take. The smell was very interesting. The candela pieces really gave me hay and earthiness, the madder gave me cream, earth, and roasted nuts.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a clean flat cut on the cap. Then I used a Xikar Enigma double torch to get a good even light.


Burn & Draw
It took me a little bit longer than normal to get it lit and burning the way that I wanted to. I can say that it burned very evenly from the get-go. I was surprised by how good the draw was and how evenly it burned throughout the whole smoke. I was concerned that the unusual shape might adversely affect the smoke but it turned out to be really good. The ad held really well. As you can tell from the next few pictures, this was a very well constructed cigar.


Strength & Body
This is definitely not what you would consider a typical candela cigar! That Pennsylvanian Broadleaf Maduro really packs a punch. It’s not overwhelming but I would definitely put it in the medium-plus to full strength range. The body is really lovely. When I got to the middle of the cigar I was really enchanted by the complexity of the flavors from the different tobaccos intermingling.

Final Thoughts
Would I smoke it again? Yes and I plan to! Would I search all over the world and pay “whatever the price” to get one? No. They are really great smokes but I suggest not paying over the MSRP of $15. If you get the chance to grab one and smoke it, then I would definitely suggest it. It was worth the money and the time. Well done to RoMaCraft for accomplishing a fantastic release of CRAFT 2018!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: RoMa Craft Tobac






Peterson Tankard Pipe Refurbish

A friend sent me a Peterson Tankard that he had picked up. He asked me to make it shine like new again. So here are the before and after pics of the process! It’s hard to tell in the before pictures but there was a decent amount of oxidization that had occurred to the stem. I usually get better pictures than this so I’m sorry for the poor lighting/pictures. Trust me though, it really was an awesome refurb!







Even with the flash on my camera, it’s hard to tell that there was quite a bit of oxidation that needed to be removed. I wet sanded the stem using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned on the inside. The stem is finished with a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

This bad boy was pretty clean on the inside. There wasn’t a lot of carbonation that had to be removed. BUT the bowl had some serious ghosting, whatever tobacco that was smoked in this pipe before was very strong. So I reamed the bowl down and added a professional grade bowl coating after sanitation to help dispel any remaining ghosting (per request of my friend). The shank was then cleaned and sanitized as well. The metal ring was shined up with some fine steel wool. The bowl was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.








I’m sorry that the lighting isn’t that great in these pictures. The transformation really was awesome! My friend will receive his pipe back soon and I can’t wait for him to light it up. Thank you for reading about this refurb and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

Golden Grain Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that came to me in a lot of estate pipes. It’s a beautiful little Golden Grain. The grain in the bowl was gorgeous, so I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the stem to make the whole pipe stand out again. Here are the before pictures:






The stem had some fairly heavy oxidation, so I wet-sanded it with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The tooth marks were shallow enough that they came out with the oxidation removal. The stem was finished up with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

I reamed the char/layers out of the bowl and sanitized it with vodka. The vodka helped to clean out the extra carbon and dust. The shank received the same vodka cleaning with q-tips as well. The top of the bowl had some buildup, so I topped it by dry-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. Then I re-stained the top to match the rest of the bowl. The bowl was also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the after pics!






Thanks for looking!

Wellington Churchwarden Refurb

This was a nifty pipe that came to me in a lot that I purchased from an estate sale. It looked like it had been smoked once or twice but it still had a sale price sticker on the bottom of the stem near the button. I thought it was odd that it wasn’t removed when it was smoked. I’m not sure if it was the original sale price sticker or a second hand sale price sticker but it’s cool either way!

Here are the before pictures!






This pipe had quite a bit of oxidation. It looks like it had some water/liquid spots on it from long ago. Luckily I didn’t have to fight with tooth marks! A quick wet-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. It was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax. I did remove the sticker to gain uniformity in the vulcanite.

Since the bowl only seemed to be smoked once or twice, there wasn’t a lot to clean out. I did a very light reaming and cleaned/sanitized it with q-tips and vodka. There were a couple spots on the outside that needed a quick buff, so they were also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product!








The pipe turned out perfect! It’s hard to tell from the lights and reflections but the button end on each side of the stem turned out awesome! I can’t wait for this pipe to find a new home!

Thanks for taking a look!

Gispert Intenso Cigar Review


Some of my best friends have been bragging about the Intenso cigar since the cigar dropped this spring/summer. I haven’t had time to get to it but it had been on my list. Well, I was at a cigar event and I decided that it was time! Here is the rundown of the Intenso!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Vitola: Belicoso 6.13×52
Blended by: AJ Fernandez

Appearance & Smell
Ooooooo weeeeeeee! This has a nice toothy wrapper! It also has a little bit of a veiny appearance. The texture feels nice in the hand though. It feels well-rolled, not too soft and not too firm. The smell is rich and earthy with a hint of clay. The picture above shows the belicoso with a flat cut already.

Smoke Preparation
With the belicoso I opted for a flat cut with Xi1 from Xikar and lit it with a generic no-name triple torch that I had on hand. Pre-light cold draw was giving me notes of earthy pepper.


Burn & Draw
This cigar lit evenly and the draw was perfect. There were many times I got caught up in conversation, it stayed lit the whole time. I didn’t have to touch it up once or re-light at all. When I encounter a cigar that is this well-rolled, it really does make it so much more enjoyable. The ash held on well, there were no problems with flakiness.


Strength & Body
This is definitely a full bodied smoke! Most of the Gispert line is all milder, so they went a  little bit in a different direction with AJ Fernandez’s influence. The pepper stays consistent throughout. This cigar stayed smooth throughout the whole smoke. Sometimes peppery cigars can get bitter towards the end but this one never did that.

Final Thoughts
I have heard a few of my friends compare this cigar to the Padron 1964. I will admit that it had a lot of the same tastes and smoke. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the same as a 1964 BUT I will say that if you like the 1964, you will like the Intenso. In most shops it is a $7 cigar, so it helps with the budget too! I loved the full-bodied, creamy smoke and I think it is safe to say that I would definitely purchase this cigar again. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Source: Purchased Locally
Brand Information: Altadis USA