When I first saw this Medici Bamboo Acorn pipe I knew that I had to have it. The Medici mark is made by or for Todd Johnson of Todd Johnson pipes. I bought this one and later found out via Adam Davidson that it was carved by him when he worked with Todd. I bought it from a fellow Smoker’s Forums in late 2006 or early 2007. And I have been smoking it since that time and it is a great smoke. Since I had the day off today I decided to write a review on this beauty. The length of the pipe is 6 inches long and the bowl height is 2 inches. The chamber diameter is 3/4 inches and depth is 1 1/2 inches. It is great sized pipe and very light weight. It is comfortable in the hand. The overall shape is something like a ¼ bent acorn with a nicely done bamboo shank extension. The stamping is on the bamboo shank. It is stamped USA over MEDICI over 2006.
The finish on the outside of the pipe is a gnarly sandblast that highlights the ring grain on the front and the back side of the pipe and birdseye on the sides of the bowl. I have come to love the tactile feel of the sandblast on this pipe. The bamboo shank is a two knuckle piece that is very light coloured and natural looking. There is an ebony ring that is on the shank where it meets the bowl and where it meets the stem. The shank is joined to the bowl by a stainless steel tenon and the stem also has a stainless steel tenon. The shank is unlined bamboo between the mortise and the joint at the bowl. The staining on this appears to be a black but in the light it has highlights of a burgundy or red that shines through.
The stem itself is a well made saddle stem handcrafted from acrylic. The blade of the stem is well tapered and thin without sacrificing durability. The saddle and blade have been carved in such a way to make it look almost like a military bit with the blade meeting the saddle on a rounded platform. The blade is flattened on the sides tapering back to the button. It is a comfortable bit in the mouth and it so light that it makes an easy clencher. The tenon is stainless and sits against the ebony ring/disk that caps off the open end of the bamboo. The disk is applied in such a way that is forms a band around the end of the bamboo. The button is exactly the way I like them – thinner on the edges with a gentle rise at the centre top and bottom. It fits well behind the teeth for a comfortable feel. The draught hole in the end of the button is also funneled to deliver a mouthpiece that has the same diameter from start to finish. Comfortable and well executed. A pipe cleaner passes easily through the pipe with no obstruction.
The internal mechanics of the pipe are very well executed. The bowl chamber is drilled to a ¾ inch diameter. The inner edge of the bowl us straight and clean to the rim. The outer edge is sharp and clean with the blast coming right to inner edge of the rim. I don’t believe the bowl was coated. It is actually hard to remember back to the time of the first smoke of this one and it now has a nice solid cake of Virginia tobacco. There were no flaws or visible pits in the interior. The draught hole is centered at the bottom of the bowl and seems to have a slight funnel as well – like a shallow Y- leading into the shank and stem. There is a very easy and open draw to the pipe. The fit of the stem to the shank is very good – smooth and tight with no light showing at the joint. The tenon sits deep in the mortise against the ebony ring/disk. The fit of the tenon is smooth and tight. The edges of the stainless tenon have been polished and rounded so there are no sharp edges. The drilling of the draught in the bamboo shank is straight and centered in the back of the mortise. The air pulls clearly through the pipe with no whistling at all. Using a light to shine through the various airways reveals smoothly executed airways on the inside. It also appears that the stainless tenon that attaches the bamboo and the disk on the bowl is also polished and smoothed out as there is no catch when a pipe cleaner is pushed through the airway.
Since I was writing this up today I decided to smoke a bowl in while I took down my Christmas light. I loaded a bowl of aged McClelland’s 5100 and puffed on it as I unwound the lights from the columns on the porch. The tobacco packed as easily as I had remembered and kept burning after the second light. I love that about this pipe. Sitting outdoors or inside the thing almost smokes itself. The draught on the pipe is superb. The smoke was uncomplicated and effortless. It was just as I remembered it from the first bowl many years ago. It has always smoked incredibly well and delivered a flavourful and effortless smoke.
I end this post with a picture taken by a friend of me with the pipe in my mouth. I had just received it in the mail and had decided to save it for this occasion. What was the occasion you might ask? It was the wedding of a good friend. He had asked me to officiate at is wedding and when it was over I had gone outside to fire up this pipe for the first time. I did not notice but his photographer shot this picture. It was a gorgeous Vancouver afternoon and a perfect day for a smoke outside the church under one of the trees along the curb.
Thanks Adam for crafting a beautiful and great smoking pipe. Thanks for providing me with over five years of great smoking. This pipe is a veritable Virginia machine.