Cornell & Diehl - Three Friars
Easy Going Daily Smoker
I can't readily say whether or not C&D's Three Friars is successful in its homage to the legenday tobacco that inspired its namesake, but I can say it is a solid smoking tobacco. The Virginias and Perique play off of each other as expected, and the burley adds just a hint of strenghth to what would otherwise be fairly anemic on my palate. I say this, of course, with the disclaimer that I tend to favor heavy tobaccos. Three Friars is definitely the lightest of the Old Joe Krantz, Haunted Bookshop, and Three Friars trifecta, but shouldn't be discounted by those who do favor heavier blends.
Newminster - No.701 Straight Virginia
There is nothing in the way of surprises when it comes to this blend, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is, exactly what it says it is. I recommend it for people trying to isolate the characteristics of individual tobaccos, as a blending tobacco, or as a simple Va. blend to smoke while working on other things.
G. L. Pease - Navigator 2oz
GLP/C&D Do it again!
My tobacco cellar is full of blends that didn't quite hit right with me, and even moreso with blends that didn't sit well with my body chemisty. Alcohol cased blends are particularly notorious for tearing up my tongue and leaving me not tasting anything for days. This isn't the case with Navigator. I don't know if it's the Kentucky balancing it out, or if it's a matter of what C&D puts in (or leaves out) of the tobaccos they blend, but Navigator is likely to find its way into my daily rotation. I can definitely tell C&D's hand in producing it by some of the similarities it shares with it's cousin "After Hours". The big difference comes in where After Hours has a definite sweet body to it, Navigator is more balanced and savory.
Cornell & Diehl - Briar Fox 2oz
Briar Fox is my go-to Va blend, not because it typifies the genre, but rather because it turns it on its head. You will not find the haylike sweetness, lack of nicotine, or airy presence that distinguish many Va blends. Briar Fox is robust, sometimes even spicy, buttery, dark, and satisfies a palate looking for heavier and less refined tobacco faire. In perspective, if Briar Fox were a cigar, it would be a Connecticut Shade Dominican, with a good balance between ligero and seco in the fill. Although a fair bit heavier than a lot of pipe tobacco offerings, to a seasoned cigar palate, Briar Fox would fall in the medium range.