About Me:
Retired appraiser, avid pipester.

Amphora - Kentucky Blend 1.75oz
Just right
God bless Kentucky tobacco growers, their hard work is the foundation of this excellent no holds barred blend. Opened the mail earlier and here it was. I thought about waiting a while to open the pouch then realized I had an undisturbed hour before bedtime so, throwing caution to the wind, I opened the pouch and filled a favorite large Peterson Bulldog folding stuffing and packing til it was just right. It’s typical of Amphora, a broken flake with large pieces of very dark tobacco...moisture content seemed about perfect. It took a bit of effort to get it going but once it was, I was entertained with thick, rich Burley smoke. It stayed lit very well. A rich dark flavor with just enough Virginia to sweeten things up a bit. I’m a Burley lover and this is a good one. I’ll be planning an order for more as I go through this pouch having not finished the first bowl as yet. It hits all the right buttons for a rich, sweet smoke. Not a hint of bite or steamed tongue here, just good solid tobacco flavor and easy smoking. Three cheers to Amphora for another winner. As a matter of fact, I’m ordering more right now.

Cornell & Diehl - Yorktown 2oz
Real Virginia
This smells like my grandads hay loft, a really nice friendly smell from decades past. A lovely orange and brown ribbon that seems dry in the tin but smokes beautifully. It’s sweet, mild, tasty and is easy to smoke as it stays lit with little effort. A perfect match for an MM General. It burns slowly enough to provide a solid hour of happy pipe smoking time. No bite, cool burn, mild but with a definite character. A straight up tobacco that can stand on its own with no trickery or treachery. Every description I’ve ever read regarding Virginia blends is right there...hay or fresh cut grass tin note, sweet from the first puff to the bottom of the bowl and a flavorful smoke that got an OK for aroma from she who will complain. The ribbon cut could burn hot but if you take it easy it’s a cool mellow smoke. As a die hard Burley smoker, I’ll place this one atop my list of Virginia’s worth smoking and fit it in to my tobacco rotation. It’s a winner. Smoked in a well used Missouri Meerschaum General from a freshly opened tin dated 5/6/19...pipe had a fresh filter.

Cornell & Diehl - Opening Night 2oz
This is Virginia...
Opening night, starring a lady named Virginia was a big hit in my just cleaned Peterson 106. Nothing like a clean pipe to reveal the true taste of good tobacco. Every descriptive comment I’ve ever read about Virginia tobacco is clearly evident with this one. Every nuance ascribed to Virginia is literally right on the tip of your tongue. I love Burley but if I were to chose a Virginia as a regular indulgence, this would be the one. The guys at C&D really did it on this one. I now own three more tins and have suggested it as a must have to my closest local sure and start with a truly clean pipe. I did fold and stuff for my first bowl using shards on top to start things up. The flavor is obvious and right now. It holds together well and makes for a really enjoyable light puffing experience. I also cleaned up 4 other Petersons so I’d have some back ups...then there’s the newish Estate 264 with a nickel band and a view of Opening Night after breakfast tomorrow, front porch beckoning in the cool morning air.

Cornell & Diehl - Old Joe Krantz 2oz
Sipping on the porch...
Burley; robust. Virginia; sweet. Perique; spicy. And apparent in that order. Freshly opened tin from 8/14/18 and an XL 307 Peterson system pipe (clean). Good Burley strength and flavor, a touch of Virginia sweetness and the spicy tang of Perique artfully blended. Pretty good nicotine hit about half way down. A nice dry smoke with some muscle. Is at its best sipped in a pretty ordinary size bowl. Could bite if pushed. My usual freshly opened tin approach to trying it out. Very likable blend and defies comparison to other Burley blends I’ve tried. I’ll probably update my review as I progress through the tin but for a fresh start up, I like it. Good nose tingle too.

G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights 2oz
Love at first puff...
61 of the previous 63 reviews are spot on. Little left to say except that it’s best I’ve ever smoked in my XL307 Peterson. The blend is so complete that the components are essentially invisible. On lighting, there’s a brief hint of Latakia that quickly fades into a rich sweet smoke. It’s a slow burner and seems to be bite proof. I tried breaking up a few flakes in one pipe and folding and stuffing another. It didn’t seem to matter. It’s fresh with a tin date of /3/7/19 and possibly a bit moist but regardless, it’s a thoroughly pleasurable smoke. Congrats to Mr. Pease and the folks at C&D for doing a superb job on all counts. Just after bowl number three, I put a large tin in my shopping cart. Lucky me, I had initially ordered two small tins to tide me over not knowing how good it was.

Cornell & Diehl - Da Vinci 2oz
Fear not, it’s terrific
Had a wild craving for Latakia after lunch today and stopped at my favorite Albuquerque Tobacconist to see what they had. This blend by my favorite C&D, was suggested as the most intensive Latakia blend they had on hand. I drove it home, popped the tin, loaded my favorite old Savinelli billiard and lit up. If the tin note wasn’t convincing enough, the first few puffs certainly were. Interestingly smooth and comparatively mild given its major, 75%, Latakia content. Still smoking my first bowl but I can see this becoming a regular anytime I’m in the mood for some serious Latakia smoking. An interesting combination of brown and black ribbon with broken yellow flake. Tangy but no bite, flavorful but not strong, great aroma without being an aromatic. Whomever is responsible for the blend is courageous and smart, paying close attention to details. The tin date of 11/18/18 says that it’s fairly fresh. It’s a nice smooth smoke that took care of my Latakia craving and introduced me to yet another top notch C&D blend. I’ll certainly keep a tin or two on hand. I’d consider it to be a good introduction to Latakia for those that haven’t explored this interesting flavor. Leonardo would probably happily admit that this is a good idea for the advanced thinker. Update: Trying it as a post breakfast smoke in a Savinelli 611 KS Extra, average capacity bent Dublin. Very good after breakfast smoke for Latakia lovers. Tarler is the reported blender and he did a fine job. It’s an assertive but mild smoke.

Amphora - Burley 1.75oz
First impression and update
Good Burley. Trying my first bowl ten minutes after my order came in. Smoking it in a well broken in bent Comoy. Good strength, good flavor, good aroma, no bite. Very nice smoke. More after I get through the pouch and the other two...I was counting on Mac Baren and their quality control. Looks like they’ve got a winner. Would love it in large tins. Update: Tried it in large and small MM cobs. Tried it in a brand new Nording freehand. It’s at its best in a well broken in pipe but tolerable in a brand new one. Good strength with no harshness. Likes to be smoked slowly for best flavor. I’m a fan. Update: the tobacco is presented as a broken flake. It’s possible to smoke it just as it comes out of the pouch, pretty easy to load and pack but...Trying it as a more completely rubbed out flake resulted in better loading and packing with a more uniform burn. I went ahead and rubbed out about half a pouch having smoked the first half unrubbed. It made a positive difference as far as uniformity of burning and smoked all the way to the bottom if the bowl. For me, rubbing it out is a better prep. method.

Cornell & Diehl - Consolation 2oz
Just a good smoke
A well balanced blend that reveals its components gently but without reservation. An enjoyable companion and likely a good intro to Latakia blends. The Burley and Latakia are up front with all the rest playing a harmonious role. Good in most of my go-to briars but outstanding in an MM General. A recent purchase smoked from a freshly opened tin. Likely a long term favorite

Cornell & Diehl - Kelly's Coin 2oz
Burley smokers unite!
Wow! Straight up Burley, no holds barred, take no prisoners. Wanted something different to smoke on a one hour drive so I loaded a favorite Peterson 106 and set out. This was from a freshly opened tin dated 1/15/19 and just received recently. At first I was put off by the strength and heat but when I figured out to take it easy, it became an instant favorite. I have a Cob full going as I write this. It’s strong, smoky and tasty. Gets better through the bowl and is only disappointing when you realize that you just smoked it all. Seems to be at its best in a briar but OK in a cob...both well broken in. Relighted are easy and I found myself doing that as I had to stop occasionally until I learned to take it easy with this one. It’s a pretty small ribbon and lights easily, smokes fast if pushed but pushing it isn’t right for the character of this one. There’s a definite sweetness here that improves as it’s smoked. Overall a very good tobacco. It’s real Burley. Could be a blender but I’m happy with it straight up.

Cornell & Diehl - Easy Times 2oz
What I was hoping for
A masterful melding of three top notch tobaccos. Smoking the first bowl full in a mid size Cob and loving every puff. Each of the components is there...the strength of Kentucky Dark Fired. The smoky flavor of Latakia and the subtle sweetness of Red Virginia. All proportioned expertly to create a truly delicious blend that’s easy on the palette and tongue. This blend would do Dunhill proud if it were theirs. Neither American nor English in its nature, it has nuances of both and is absolutely one of the best blends I’ve ever smoked. The tin date is my wife’s January birthday of this year so it’s pretty fresh as we’re now only into early May. The tin was open for a few minutes before I loaded the MM Cob. First taste was just perfect and it’s only getting better...I’ll drag out that trusty Canadian before bedtime and try it in a briar...I’m sure it will be just as good.

Cornell & Diehl - Sansepolcro 2oz
Seemed dry on opening the tin. It’s a partially rubbed out blend that loads easily with no further work. Lights easily, stays lit. Smoked in a favorite and well known briar Canadian. Good strength, good flavor, subtle sweetness. Finishes dry. It has a unique flavor and aroma. It’s pleasant and I will update my review as I smoke more. This is based on a first try from a freshly opened tin dated 4/11/19 and purchased at Stag in Albuquerque. Update: overnight humidifying in the tin with a moisturizing button improved the tin note but made it harder to light. Evidently, it’s moist enough in spite of feeling dry to the touch. Flavor and aroma were unchanged. Still stayed lit well. It has good strength and gets sweeter towards the bottom of the bowl. Finishes clean with no excess moisture. Update: Would recommend a deep bowl, large pipe like a 616 Savinelli. Thick walls help keep it cool and the deep bowl allows the flavor to develop as it becomes sweeter towards the bottom of the bowl. For me, it likes to be sipped and not puffed. Still enjoyable but after a dozen bowls I’m convinced that it’s a pretty strong smoke that needs to be enjoyed slowly. I ordered more and read the history of it...pretty interesting.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Ribbon Cut 2oz
Burley Lovers take note...
Good straight up Burley blend. No pretensions, no excuses, nothing fancy. I was concerned about the finer ribbon cut and the possibility it would burn too hot or too quickly but it doesn’t. I will suggest that sipping it is better than puffing and I might add that it has a familiar Burley tang...not bite. Seems at ease in a larger bowl of typical depth to diameter ratio. Could work as a blender too but I haven’t thought of ‘with what’ or ‘why’ just yet. Smoking it in a large Stanwell 1/2 bent billiard and a saddle bit billiard with a buffed out name...two old favorites. Best in the bent. One way or another, it’s a good Burley for those that like Burley’s.

Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop 8oz
Needs only smoking
Tangy, tasty, smoky...a well balanced blend of three American classics. Burley for body and strength, Virginia for sweetness, Perique for sharpness. I wasn’t sure I’d like this as I smoked the first bowl...figured I’d try it again. Second bowl was better as I learned to slow down with it...third and subsequent bowls are telling me to order more. I’m bad for grabbing what’s on top of the stack of tins and a favorite pipe as I head out for my almost daily mountain drive. This tin kept getting grabbed along with a favorite 50 year old Jost Canadian. What a fine combo for my taste. Moisture level in the tin was just right but needs to be maintained or it will smoke a bit dry and hot. Otherwise, a near perfect blend for American tobacco lovers. Not like anything else I’ve smoked. Runowski’s loss was a big loss. His legacy is noteworthy.

Cornell & Diehl - Cube Cut Burley 2oz
Perfect Burley Blender
I was introduced to Cube Cut Burley back in the 70’s at Jon’s Pipe Shop in Clayton, at first puff. His was from southeast Missouri and I’ve never had any since that came close to its character. I smoked it straight and enjoyed it every time. The C&D equivalent is a good smoke if taken slowly but lacks the mysterious flavor of my first encounter. Having said that, I regularly use this one as a blender with PA. Both benefit in my opinion when blended about 50/50. It smokes cooler than either and adds some missing taste to both. It’s a go to smoke for when I’m bored with the others or just want an easy experience. It’s a bit dry in the tin but picks up needed moisture from the PA after a few days getting to know each other. On its own, it’s OK, lights easily, burns well and has no bad habits...if smoked slowly. It’s straight up Burley for those who enjoy that sort of amongst them.

Cornell & Diehl - Dark Fired Kentucky 2oz
Opened the carton, opened the tin, loaded a bowl, lit up. Just right moisture for smoking but will likely hydrate a bit just to observe the change. Clouds of rich fat smoke with one light. A bit bite but a definite edge. Very tasty stuff! Should be a good blender too if you’re looking to add some strength and body. Stays lit well and I’m still SLOWLY puffing away on my first bowl. I suspect it could bite if pushed but it’s an easy slow smoke. Nice dark, short ribbons. Half way down, I can feel the nicotine, not unpleasant but definitely there. I had waited for quite a while for this to show up and I prefer tins as they’re more portable, hold moisture well and keep the tobacco from getting crushed and broken. I think it’s a winner. Just don’t smoke it fast. My Savinelli 616 hasn’t had anything like this since it was made...a good pipe for this tobacco.

G. L. Pease - JackKnife Ready Rubbed 2oz
Masterpiece blend
Not for the faint of heart, this is a full strength blend of finest components managing to hit you with a powerful, strong flavor that has persistent light sweetness. As I write, I have a cob full going. It’s a very satisfying smoke that pulls no punches with dark fired strength but has the finesse of quality Virginia’s contributing to its flavor. It’s a slow burner that is at ease when being sipped and a medium size bowl will easily go for at least an hour with no changee in taste or residual moisture at the end. I’ve tried both the plug and the ready rubbed but enjoy the ready rubbed for its ease of use...they both taste the same to me. It’s easy to get going and require no real effort to keep it lit and smoking. Pease really knows his stuff and this is a finest example in my opinion. I’ve been through several tins before writing this. Not necessarily an every day smoke but great for a change of pace and as a reminder that there are really fine unadulterated pipe tobaccos out there. This tin was opened by me in the store and smoked immediately. It’s date code says 060718, less than a year but great right out of a freshly opened tin. Relights aren’t harsh, just more of the same after a half hour pause. Seems like there may be a little Perique in there too...sort of a peppery nose.

Cornell & Diehl - Burley Flake #5 2oz
Good full strength blend
First try from a freshly opened tin wasn’t that great...too strong, hard to keep lit, a little steamy. 36 hours later, it had settled down to a manageable smoke. I didn’t let it air dry, simply closed the tin back up and let nature take its course. For me, prepping the slightly leathery flakes involves tearing them in half and rubbing the shortened bits into a better size for loading and packing. About 1 1/2 flakes loads an average size bowl well and taking some of the smaller pieces for topping provides an easy light. It’s a full strength Burley blend that is tasty and with a good aroma. Room note didn’t draw complaints from the wife. It’s a slow burner, thus good for an extended smoke doing my favorite thing...a low stress one hour mountain drive. The flakes allow good melding of the various components so that individual flavors are subdued. Very likeable blend with no bad habits. I’ll give it 5 stars as another winner from C&D. Update: finished the tin today and am sorry I don’t have a backup. Last two bowls were in an MM general and an XL 307 Peterson. Both really good with it. Both have comparatively deep narrow bowls and both are well seasoned vets. A rich and enjoyable smoke with no bad habits. Must order more.

Low Country - Natural Virginia & Burley
Everyday smoke
After trying this in several pipes, all briars, all broken in and known to be good smokers, I have concluded that it’s best in a smaller bowl. It’s a good high strength quick smoke. Well blended combination but with a finer cut than I normally smoke. In a larger bowl, it can be a bit hot but it does stay lit and needs little tending. I like it, wish it were a coarser Cut, but it is what it is and that’s not bad. Because of its limited range of pipe sizes, I’ll give it 4 stars and keep smoking the generous bag that I received.

Cornell & Diehl - Crooner
A decent cube cut burley blend mild smoking, tasty but...would benefit from more deer tongue. This flavoring agent isn’t apparent to my nose or taste buds...maybe that’s the intent. I was hoping for a more apparent taste or smell. The blend is OK as is but in my opinion lacking the extra that should be there with the deer tongue. Maybe Bing’s taste was more sensitive or refined. I like his music and his tobacco taste is admirable but just a bit weak for me.

Sutliff - 150 Mark Twain
If only Mark were here...
He posed for ads for Players Navy Cut and Prince Albert. Sadly, he’s not here to pose for a Sutliff ad. I’ll bet he’d be flattered and not admit it. I’ll bet he’d like this tobacco blend too. It looks great in the pouch, packs well in a favorite St. Louis pipe and delivers a tasty smoke with good aroma and strength. Seems like a good choice for those times when you’re not sure about the next bowlfull. A little sweet, a little smoky. Easy to deal with. Could become an old friend pretty quickly. Tried in a MM General and a Jost billiard. Seems happy either way.

Sutliff - Frosty Mint
Stuffy head antidote
The Burley and Virginia look great, the ribbon cut is large, bag note is...peppermint Schnapps! The tobacco flavor is hiding behind the mint. Agreeably moist and ready to smoke but I swear my test cob is asking me what I’m smoking. Straight up, it’s instantly cooling and soothing to nose and throat. My curiosity is satisfied and the next time I have a stuffy nose or raw throat, it’ll be a first resort. It has a minty nip but is otherwise mild. Stays lit well and makes a nice cloud of smoke. I’ll figure it out as a blender but it’s oddly satisfying as it is. I usually smoke Burley in one form or another so this is a major departure. It will most definitely ghost whatever you smoke it through. Probably not a permanent ghost but certainly there after smoking and letting the empty pipe rest for a few days.

Cornell & Diehl - Epiphany 2oz
It’s all relative
Got a freebie tin with a new Peterson Army bit Dublin. I decided to use it as my break in tobacco. I can’t imagine a riskier trial of either pipe or tobacco. Turns out that Peterson’s are pretty good from the beginning and the Epiphany was a complete surprise. I’m a Burley lover and well aware that some of it can really bite. This isn’t one of the biters and in a new pipe, it would reveal itself immediately if it were. Having laid the foundation here, I compounded the situation by purchasing another Peterson Army bit, this one their largest billiard. Given a patient approach to smoking the first few bowls, I was rewarded with easy to break in pipes and little displeasure. As a matter of fact, the tobacco is great and I consider it to be an excellent choice for break in. It lights easily, burns cool and produces a plethora of warm rich flavor top to bottom. Not into dissecting the flavor based on components just en enjoyable rich smoke that’s easy on the tongue and friendly to the nose. Wife even likes it. Moisture level was just right on a fresh tin and the occasional presence of unrubbed chunks was sort of fun to deal with. There’s a subtle sweetness here along with the rich smoke. In my opinion, a masterful blend. I ordered a tin wth second pipe too so I have enough on hand to firmly establish or reject this in time...think I’ll like it as it’s an easy enjoyable smoke. Even though I’ve been a pipe smoker for over fifty years, I’ve never smoked Revelation so I’m not fit to compare and contrast the two. As an opinion though I’ll suggest that Albert would’ve approved as this in my opinion is a fine blend and definitely worth trying...might even help you earn that degree in physics...who knows?
    On the Closing of Pipes and tobaccos Magazine
  • ► I hope you have rights of republication, you’re a good writer. Sad to see the periodical go but I think it must be the “last man out” so I guess it was the best. In my opinion, you’re now with the best pipe and tobacco company in the USA. I hope we hear more from you...maybe an in depth on blending for the adventurous spirits amongst us.
  • ► Worthwhile piece of sad news.