I had intended to do a review on Doug's custom corncobs sooner, but I wanted to give myself time to smoke multiple bowls thru multiple pipes beforehand.
When the pipes I ordered came in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised with the overall condition. All bowls were in pristine condition, with all of the original POP intact. I am pointing this out, because sometimes when I have purchased a cob from a retail store, it has been banged around so badly before purchase that sometimes there are chips and cracks visible externally.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the small cob crop is definitely behind us now. The cobs I received all had substantial bowl size, compared to previous MM I have purchased in the past. If you want something on the small/lightweight end of the spectrum, you will probably want to go with either the Washington model, or the ultra lightweight nekkid Missouri Pride.
As for the smoking qualities, they are all great smokers, with no condensation issues whatsoever. Doug's cobs are not designed for filters, so for those of you who prefer a filterless pipe, you will most likely approve of the engineering. The shanks are crafted of Maple, which are considerably more durable than the standard MM shank.
The Vulcanite stems are handcrafted from a single piece of rod stock, and the fit to the shanks on all the pipes I purchased was just right. Not too tight, but not too loose. My only complaint, is that on one of the pipes, the button end was not wide enough to snugly hold my protective rubber bit in place, but I can remedy that with my Dremel tool and one of the fiber cutting discs. The only thing I felt I needed to modify, was to add some pipe mud to the bottom of the bowl, to keep the portion of the stem that rests inside the bowl intact long term.
Overall, this pipe is a great value, and here's why. When I purchase a MM standard pipe, I pay around $12 plus shipping/tax depending on where it is purchased. Then to get a higher grade stem, I paid around $18 for vulcanite, and around $23 for acrylic plus shipping/tax. Essentially I have spent a little less money with Doug's pipes, the stems are fitted perfectly, and I don't have the worries of a cracked shank, which is common with stock MM pipes, especially when inserting and removing an aftermarket stem. The maple stems on Doug's cobs are crafted and fitted perfectly, and should color and patina well over time.
Also, I have another brand custom cob crafted with a bamboo shank and acrylic stem, but it cost more than twice what I paid for one of Doug's cobs, making Doug's cob's and much better value in a custom cob.
I'm also a big fan of nosewarmers, as they are really handy and easy to clench. However, Doug has recently crafted a Lovat offering, as well as a Cobwarden, if those style cobs are in your wheelhouse
I will definitely be purchasing more of Doug's cobs in the future. His shipping was very prompt, and the entire order arrived undamaged. If you have never smoked a cob, Doug's offerings would be a great place to start.