Cornell & Diehl - Carolina Red Flake with Perique 2oz
This review is for the 2021 version that was just released; the tin aroma is stone fruits, very figgy and red grapes. The first flavors that I noticed were what you get from a sweeter red wine. The Perique gives some black pepper spice from first light and builds to a medium spice level that lasted the entire bowl. It also gave me a fruity sour sensation on both sides of my tongue that complements the red wine flavors perfectly. The components of this blend work perfectly together, they are easy to pick out on their own but at the same time meld together to form one fantastic smoke from beginning to end. This has enough moisture out of the tin that I gave it about 15 to 20 minutes of dry time, just enough to help the burn without losing any of the flavors and it needed just a few relights and left some moisture in the bottom of the bowl at the end. The nicotine strength I would place at a solid medium to full, there was enough that you could definitely feel it when the smoke was done but it isn't enough to bowl you over even if you're more sensitive to it. Carolina Red Flake with Perique for 2021 brings everything I want in a VaPer blend: dark fruit Virginia flavors, a nice sour note, and plenty of spiciness to make one memorable smoke! Jeremy Reeves and company at C&D hit another home run with this one in my book. An easy five star rating for this one.
Cornell & Diehl - Sun Bear Black Locust 2oz
Stands up to the hype
This is a very good example of a Virginia/Oriental blend. The Virginia's are clearly in the lead upon light up and give very distinct flavors of sweet bread with the honey casing complementing them expertly. The orientals show up more in the second half of the bowl and add light amounts of spice and some butter to the sweet bread flavors. I did not detect any tequila notes, which is fine with me because there is plenty going on with this blend to keep your attention. Smoked fresh out of the tin with about 15 minutes of dry time to help the burn rate just a tad and this burns very well with minimal relights. The flake is typical Cornell and Diehl and rubs out very easy. This blend is superb fresh and should get even better with time and more flavors should show themselves with age.
Presbyterian - Presbyterian 50g
Great light English
This is an excellent light English blend. The orientals are up front, buttery and smooth. The Latakia is present and easy to detect during the whole smoke but it doesn't over power the blend and instead help to enhance the flavor of the orientals. This is a great blend for those who have never tried an English blend and want to get a feel for what they are like and a great blend for English lovers who aren't in the mood for a Late bomb. It was the right moisture content from the tin, packs and lights easy, and stays lit fairly easy. I will be stocking up on this one!
Cornell & Diehl - Exclusive
Brings the spice!
I have been searching the pipe tobacco world for a blend that provides a good spicy smoke and there have been a few that come close like C&D Kajun Kake or D&R Rimboche S.J. but this one so far takes gold for providing that spicy pepper zing on the palate consistently every bowl. So if that's what your after than this is definitely one to get. I'll admit, at least to me, that the aroma out of the bag is not real pleasant, very barnyard-esque, but that is what quality aged tobacco smells like so it is a good thing in a way. I don't detect much in the way of sweetness like the description says, flavors on this one are very earthy with bready notes so if you have a sweet tooth this isn't likely to satisfy it. It came at the perfect moisture content for packing and lighting and burns to a grey ash very well. I definitely recommend trying this if you enjoy perique and spicy smokes.