Gawith Hoggarth & Co. - Kendal Kentucky
An Old Friend
Kendal Kentucky isn’t a bad substitute for GH&C’s brown ropes, and it doesn’t go out of stock the very same day it went in. The shag cut might have been easier to pack for the old-tyme sailors, but it gets hot and nasty quicker than rubbed-out coins or ribbons to me. I’m explaining, not complaining. Dark Bird’s Eye is more palatable, but what does one expect from a straight DFK? I’m a fan of both! This tastes better to me than HH Bold Kentucky, and I love that stuff. I can’t taste any Lakeland soap here either.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #2 2oz
Basically Good
Had this tin since last year, just poured the last of my Haunted Bookshop into its remnants to finish off this week. I love the taste of C&D’s Dark Burley, but this particular broken flake only satisfies me blended with other tobaccos. For what it is, I think I should give it a full 5 stars, but with everything else C&D has to offer, it might be a long time before I ever taste it again. Not this Dark Burley, I mean, but Flake #2.

Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil 18ml
Stems That Shine Like New, Forever
I paint this stuff onto my Vulcanite stems about every two weeks with a small brush, then I let it sit for half an hour before polishing it off. There is an obvious difference afterward, and even my older pipes are starting to look new again. After months of abuse and travel with my pipes, their stems still look glossy. It’s well worth the time and effort. Mineral oils are what industry uses to maintain hard rubber, so it’s also a good idea to keep the already-abused stems on your workhorse pipes from oxidizing and becoming brittle.

Cleaners & Cleaning Supplies - Brebbia Stem Polish (7.5 ml)
Had an estate pipe I recently restored with what I thought was irreparable oxidation on the stem. This stuff is like magic, it really impressed me. Works on the briar just as well - it took years of caked soot off the rim of the bowl with just a little effort (to be honest, I used a Dremel tool with a buffing wheel on the rim in conjunction with this polish. What can I say, I was a Teamster for years - “work smarter, not harder” is like the 11th commandment, might as well be a constitutional amendment.)

Cornell & Diehl - Green River Vanilla
The Only C&D Tobacco I’ve Ever Hated
This BC has the worst consistency of any black, wet leaf I have ever smoked. Oh sure, they’re all a little goopy, but this stuff is actually viscous, even slimy. I had no problems inhaling C&D’s Green River Vanilla BC - and it doesn’t taste bad, or leave any weird mouthfeel afterward. You could probably even eat it; I baked mine in the oven for a while on a sheet of wax paper, low heat. It dries out ok. It still leaves an oily film that lingers longer than any other on the fingertips, even after baking. The guy that said it’s motor oil really, really wasn’t kidding. I gave most of it away.

Cornell & Diehl - Kajun Kake 2oz
Just Don’t Eat It
I was hoping to review a C&D tin I disliked tonight, because I seem biased and had not touched this one since last year. But it didn’t seem fair to review it without smoking some again first. Kajun Kake is smooth, strong, and simply delicious. Candidly speaking, I can hear old Satchmo off in the distance now playing When the Saints Go Marching. I said that Gates of Light was a sweet and spicy ride - this is plain old Earth Candy. AH EE! Welcome to de swamp, bruthahs un sissas! Yeah! But eat something before you inhale too much, no really.

Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 2oz
The Most “C&Dish” Blend I’ve Ever Tried
The title might say everything. Sweet and musky, peppered with broken flake, stout and packed with flavor, I’ll smoke every bowl down to powder and finish the entire tin before the end of Spring - that’s in case it didn’t.

John Cotton's - Double Pressed Kentucky 1.75oz
A Porterhouse in your Pipe
I received a tin of this two years ago as a Christmas present, so its cost has no bearing on my opinion of the smoke. It’s not just as good as a good cigar, it’s even better - this stuff will have you rethinking your own concepts of a flavor profile. Despite that hefty B&M shelf price (can you believe people actually pay this price for HH Acadian Perique at stores?) and the admittedly small-looking cake size, the depth and intensity of flavor is worth every single penny. That Christmas tin only lasted me a week, I couldn’t stop reaching for it. Believe me, the next one I get is coming out of my own pocket, and it will not be the last. Glad to see it here! Even if it somehow feels like extortion. (Of course, Stokkebye was not to be outdone by the likes of you there, SGT. But these John Cotton tins are all delicious, and Smoking Pipes has them at rock bottom prices.)

Cornell & Diehl - Gates of Light: Sha'are Orah 2oz
It’s As Magical as Its Name Suggests
The tin of this I’m finishing up now is almost a year old, so - bear in mind I hit the jackpot. But this has got to be my favorite treatment of C&D’s Perique so far. Its interplay between that mouth-watering Stoved Red and the floral hints of Turkish is nothing short of miraculous. A ponderous medley of some of the best raw components you can find, curl up with a good book and stretch your mind a little - you’re in for a sweet and spicy ride all the way to powdertown.

Cornell & Diehl - Morning Light: Boker Or 2oz
Turkish Treasure
This stuff never gets old, so I smoke it all the way down to its tasty, powdered ashes. Perfect nicotine level for a daily smoke, even great at night. Another one that tastes as great to smoke as it does to sip and savor.

Cornell & Diehl - Sansepolcro 2oz
Not What You Might Expect
This is not an ordinary DFK blend. The Dark Fired here presents more of a vinegar and pepper profile than that of smoky leather, and it’s incredibly light. It reminds me of a good, unroasted Dark Burley. The Virginia here is sweet and grassy, and it comes in equal measures. Had no clue there was any cavendish in this until just now. That said, what seemed like a disappointment at first turned out to be a real champion - I have been milking this tin for months, and I’m eyeing another one before they’re all gone.

Daughters & Ryan - Ramback Gold
If it tastes this good now, I can only imagine what a year or two would do.

Daughters & Ryan - Windsail Platinum
Same Quality, More Convenience
Glad to see this in bulk, my wallet and my palate both love D&R.

Daughters & Ryan - Windsail Platinum 16oz
Terrific Value!
It’s a little sharp, but it doesn’t bite - this is an incredibly smooth and citrusy bright Virginia blend, rich with flavor and intended for a pipe. Some of these bags must have been sitting around for a while, because the bag I received had a depth of flavor it takes some age to acquire (think the bag said over a year.) Windsail Platinum is high-quality, naked leaf - it’s ready to smoke straight from the bag and burns down clean. I have made this my daily smoke since I received it, and that says a lot. Try blending 2:1 with Ramback Gold, you won’t regret it.

Low Country - Natural Virginia & Burley
Bargain Price, Bombshell Flavor
I was hesitant trying this blend. As far as I understand, Low Country is blended by C&D, and my experience with their Dark Burley has been a little rough. The batch I recently received was a bit long in the tooth, and it had more pepper than flavor - that was even blended 2:3 with LC Natural Virginia. What was used in this blend, however, is a lot more fresh - the balance here between pepper and flavor is perfect. For the price, this is one of the best “sit down and smoke” blends you can find for the price.

Cornell & Diehl - Pegasus 2oz
Thankfully, You Don’t Need To Be Bellerophon To Fly This Steed
This is my personal favorite C&D blend to-date - it’s the pentacle of the art. Stout but cool, bite-free and easy smoking all day long, unrelenting with natural flavors of cocoa, cream, and granola all the way down to the powdery ashes, an almost carbonated tingle on the retro - I can’t seem to put this stuff down. Tasty doesn’t even scratch the surface. I’m puffing on a bowl right now in my Country Gentleman, and nothing could wipe the grin off my face for the next half-hour. No, it’s not very complex, but it does not need to be - everything is in perfect proportion. Yes, it can be a bit rough, but it’s raw and I love it. This is the reason Burley is still the king of pipe tobacco to my palate. And unlike its namesake, this one might actually fly you to the heavens.

Cornell & Diehl - Daylight: Or L'yom 2oz
Tobacco The Way Adonai Intended
I must say, I was somewhat disappointed in this blend at first. I got nothing of the Perique or Turkish, and the Cavendish only appeared intermittently. It was all good tobacco, but that’s about it. It really surprised me today. It seems the more I smoke Daylight the more the components color my experience - the Cavendish is definitely present in every bowl. Now I can distinctly taste the melon tang of the Turkish, and won’t be shocked to discover in future bowls the musk of the Perique that no doubt contributes to the delightfully stout pepper in the retrohale. Given a chance and some attention, the pure taste and complexity of this blend really does shine like the Light of Day. In fact, I think Aaron could have burned this stuff in the tabernacle instead of frankincense and G-d would have been just as pleased. Wish they carried this in bulk! I’ll have to try the whole series!

Newminster - No. 702 Light Burley
Tastes like Prince Albert but without the chemical lacquer applied to your tongue. If I couldn’t smoke any other tobacco but this one for the rest of my days, I could still die a happy man. If you don’t like it, you don’t like Burley - but let’s keep this a secret, alright?

Cornell & Diehl - Dark Burley
A Method for Setting One’s Face on Fire
Description reads, “a mellow smoke and fine flavor”, but smoking this batch on its own I get pepper maced and have to labor to find the flavor. I love the smoky ketchup and cigar taste of a good Kentucky Burley, and you will find it hiding its full glory in this leaf, but there is far more pepper here than anything else. It is fine blended - given a month to sit in a tin with some Virginia, the flavor becomes far more evident - it’s truly delicious - but the strength of the pepper persists. I ended up giving the majorly of the two ounces I purchased away to an older man in a care home who normally smokes sniped cigarettes, and he fell in love with it, though in hindsight I could have found my own good uses for it. Maybe it was just the batch I received - fermented indeed, there was a significant amount of bloom on the leaf, and I think if I’d sat on it much longer it might have turned into actual Perique (that was a joke). But in all fairness, mellow seems to be subjective. This stuff might actually set your face on fire. I’ll stick with tins and avoid bulk from now on, at least while I still have my own teeth!

Cornell & Diehl - Red Virginia Ribbon
Sticks & Powder
The leaf itself deserves a full 5 stars. Rich with the flavors of hay and tangy cider, this is pure, quality Red Virginia, and it doesn’t get any tastier than this so fresh. Smokes smooth, cool, and bite-free on its own, and has a fairly modest kick of nicotine. It arrived quite dry, but it hydrated nicely. When it arrived, I applied roughly 3mL of water to an ounce and a half, mixed it in the bag, and let it sit overnight. The problem is, I had ordered 2 ounces - roughly half an ounce of the weight consisted of a fine powder that I had to sift off the intact ribbons, and three disappointingly large stems (one of which was almost 7cm long and had the thickness of a muddling straw.) My advice, since this is such an excellent tobacco - try a tin first. C&D tins usually have perfect moisture levels (which means no powder) and fewer stems. Then, buy a pound in bulk if it suits you - the 1lb bags tend to have better moisture content, far less powder, and any large stems found within them will seem more unavoidable than disappointing.

Low Country - Natural Virginia
Not A Cheap Tobacco
It’s not just a decent blending base or cob-fodder, this by far the best value for an honestly good Virginia blend out there. It’s smooth, creamy, cheaper than any “pipe tobacco” bulk bag from a liquor store, and 10x tastier. A 4:1 blend of this and C&D’s Dark Fired has become my new daily smoke. In hindsight, I wish I would have gotten the Virginia/ Burley blend - didn’t expect it to be this good! EDIT, just bought another pound, and “complexity and sophistication” be damned, price is a factor, and it really does deserve a full 5 stars.

Mac Baren - HH Bold Kentucky 1.75oz
Very Good but Not Quite A Brown Rope
I love this stuff! The extremely rich and smoky flavor of the Burley really pairs nicely with the subtle sweetness of the Virginia here. It’s strong but well-balanced, and that musky flavor will permeate your senses in a way that keeps you coming back for more. I do have to add, though - another reviewer attempts to suggest this is a viable substitute for GH&Co ropes. Bold Kentucky certainly has a similar profile and decent strength, but it misses the flavor mark for me by a wide margin. It is not as oily or pungent - it’s more like a cousin than a brother. Still tastes delicious, worthy of 5 stars without any comparison, so don’t let that diminish your enjoyment of what this actually is - very good indeed.

Cornell & Diehl - Three Friars
Breakfast of Champions
Citrusy bright Virginia ribbon and musky, peppery balls of Perique is aggregated with big chunks of broken flake - what must be Brown Virginia. I don’t taste any of the Burley, only Perique and Virginia. The flake has an almost graham cracker-like twang to it, a lot like Newminster No. 400. No need to fiddle with this blend, just pack and light (I did find an almost entirely intact flake at the bottom of my bag, but still, the larger chunks lend enjoyable variation to each bowl.) The nicotine level is just right, but it can pack a punch after consecutive bowls. Turns out to be a pretty good daily smoke, though. Goes good with a cup of black coffee first thing in the morning - it’s an eye-opener.

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