Turns out it's a sweet smoker....and you're right ...it's definitely got character.
The idea with the finish or lack of it is that the Sportsman series were made for the Ontario Sportsman Show back in the day....They were left unfinished with minimal carving so as to be used for outdoor pursuits and not have to worry about damaging the finish.
This in turn kept down the costs....I would be interested to know what this 5 dot cost back then when compared to a finished 5 dot from Brigham.
They had no polish or wax at all so they darkened a lot with use.
Brigham say that they only made the Sportsman in 3, 4, and 5 dots but I have a few 1 and 2 dots Sportsman's so I assume that they have gotten mixed up somewhere with their records.
When good condition ones come up on ebay they fetch decent money.....this was in a bad state but I spent a good while sanding out the scratches from the stem....looked like somebody had used pliers to try and remove it at one time....the bowl was nice but I couldn't even get a pipe cleaner through the stem there was so much gunk in it.
I agree that these are an acquired taste but their aesthetics just work for me.