New Wessex Rotary from XYZ Direct
XYZ Imports, which specializes in imported tinned pipe tobaccos, distributing 17 brands and 87 frontmarks in all, is now importing a new sliced tobacco line from Wessex Tobacco Co. Ltd. - Rotary.

This German-made navy cut flake tobacco is packaged in 1 3/4-ounce rectangular tins, and has already gained considerable interest among retailers. XYZ president Alan Schwartz says the L.J. Perretti tobacco shop in Boston, Mass. has found it to be a good replacement for Capstan Navy Cut, which he notes is no longer available.

XYZ Direct Ltd., 1700 Cumberland Point Dr., Suite 2, Marietta, GA 30067, Tel: (770) 951-2800, Fax: (770) 951-2809.

New Nomenclature for Mastro de Paja Pipes
Mastro de Paja has created a new, simplified nomenclature system for its entire line of Italian-made pipes. All models are categorized into four basic groups, with every pipe's full model number stamped permanently on the shank of each pipe. Dealers and collectors will now be able to easily determine a Mastro de Paja pipe's price category from the stamp.

According to Alan Schwartz of XYZ Imports, the U.S. distributor for Mastro de Paja, the change will greatly simplify identification of individual pipes for repair or resale. The manufacturer has traditionally identified price levels - and thus specific features and materials - of its pipes with a temporary label, removed by customers prior to use. Without the model code, it often takes a bit of detective work to precisely identify a pipe and its individual components.

Existing "pre-transition pipes" will likely gain interest among collectors, notes Schwartz.

Viprati Releases First Pipe of the Year 2001
Italian pipemaker Luigi Viprati, noted for his straight grain pipes, has introduced his first Pipe of the Year for 2001. It's a very limited edition, with only 200 units planned worldwide.

This is the first in what will be an annual release. Each pipe is inscribed with the year and the pipe number and packaged in a handmade wood presentation box. Three finishes are being produced: Rustic sandblast, Smooth Walnut, and Smooth Natural (pictured).

"The first of any series is usually the tough one to obtain years in the future," notes Viprati's U.S. distributor, Marble Arch. The company says the pipe is very reasonably priced, as is the case with all of Viprati pipes.

Marble Arch, Ltd., P.O. Box 966, Rockville Center, NY 11571-0966, Tel: (516) 536-9757, Toll-free: (800) THE-ARCH, Fax: (516) 536-9781.

Smokin' In Scotland
Internationally known pipe and cigar book author Richard Carleton Hacker has been inducted into The Keepers of the Quaich, an honorary organization founded by Scotland's distillers, in recognition of his international writings on single malt whiskies.

The induction ceremony was held at Scotland's 16th century Blair Castle. Outfitted in formal Scottish attire, Hacker was one of the few individuals at the end of the evening who was able to complete a traditional three-part toast requiring attendees to stand on a chair and place one foot upon the table (the mystery of the kilt notwithstanding). With a glass of malt whisky in one hand, Hacker did not neglect his other passion and boldly hung on to his cigar throughout the ritual.

Hacker is author of The Ultimate Cigar Book and Pipesmoking - A 21st Century Guide. In addition, he is Smoke & Spirits Editor for The Robb Report, contributing writer on spirits and tobacco for Playboy, and a contributing writer for numerous other consumer and industry trade magazines. The author is also a member of the Confrerie des Ma"tres-Pipiers de Saint-Claude and the Academie Internationale de la Pipe.

SMOKESHOP - June/July 2001