Cornell & Diehl - Epiphany 2oz
I admit to seeing Einstein associated with Revelation and to wanting the experience of such a storied blend no longer available today. Let me offer my thoughts on this blend. First of all, I should say that I am generally averse to aromatic blends, being more a fan of unadulterated tobacco flavor. With few exceptions, my experience with aros were that they smell delicious but tend to be wet and therefore bite, and no matter how inviting the tin aroma and room note, the taste was often a crude distortion. Enough said.. Fast forward to this blend - given it’s from C&D, a house proving time and time again to offer well-executed blends, built upon an unwavering foundation of high-quality tobacco - How could I not give it a try? I bought a few ounces in bulk, and upon receipt of the bag, I noticed that there appeared to be varying colors of dusty brown, with only a small amount of blackish Latakia and Perique specs to be found. I could smell a dark cherry note, but also a very natural tobacco smell. Very ragged cut-Burley form the base by volume, with what appear to be broken flakes of VA, smelling more pungently of dark fruit – not sure if the topping was applied to the whole blend or if concentrated in one or more constituents. Small Latakia tips and bits of Perique formed the darker islands in the dusty brown body. I was intrigued and quickly loaded up a wide and tall Rhodesian, which I find to suit well for burley-based American style blends. On the charring light, a dark cherry note and a bit of campfire from the Latakia hit my nostrils. After true light this leveled off to the sandy nutty flavor of the Burley, with added complexity from the slightly sweet stewed cherry topping. The first third progressed relatively consistently in this way. I found myself tasting the Latakia, but only as a smokey edge to the burley - I would miss it if not present, but not the focal point in any way. At mid-bowl, Latakia gave way to Perique. The flavor was now as if Latakia had been infused into the smoke, but I no longer noticed new crisp flashes. The cherry top note seemed to give way to apricot, as the raisin notes of Perique entered the frame to meld with the C&D sandy Burley. Near the end of the bowl, the topping became more and more muted, and the strength and body of the smoke markedly stronger (along with the N which had been steadily increasing since the half-way point). The finish was strong and reasonably dry, but with duller individual notes to identify, and a very slight cigarette feel. When I threw my hat in, I was surprised to see a good bit more dottle topple out than I would have thought was left. Overall, I really enjoyed this tobacco and its quality nutty Burleys, and tellingly, I felt the need to revisit this same blend later that evening (something I rarely do). If you like American blends, I recommend trying Epiphany, even if you are strongly anti-aromatic, as it may show you that there is less to fear and more to enjoy than you may have realized. Similarly, Kramer’s Cary Grant has shown me that I may have written off aromatics to soon. Keep an open mind and give it a try. As for Einstein, I can’t claim that the first bowl sparked in me his genius - I be still dumb as you think I is - but I plan to work on it in earnest, as I move through the remaining ounces of my order.