A friend who travels in the States sent me a new Grand Duke. I'm very sensitive to wood stain in a new bowl, so I was a bit suspicious of the lining. At this price point, to get a good smoke I don't care what I have to do. So ... most of this lining came off under the hot tap! (Which perhaps surprisingly didn't affect the varnish at all.) It then took 5 or 6 alcohol-soaked cotton wool balls to draw out the wood stain. The briar is low-end with some openness in the grain. Very light in weight too. The bowl was drilled too deep and needed pipe mud. 10 bowls later, after a careful break in, this is smoking well. In fact I was impressed enough to order a Lark. I like small bowls and long stems. This really fits the bill. Now I'm looking at this carbon-or-whatever coating inside the bowl and wondering: should I risk it?