JESS
About Me:
Puffing on a pipe since 2016. Husband and father of 3. Campus ministry.
Badges

Cornell & Diehl - Speakeasy Navy Blend 2oz
Excellent
A VaPer navy flake. Nobody beats C&D in this department, in my opinion. They have the earthiest, most natural tasting Virginias, and their Perique is the darkest and fruitiest. The addition of dark fired, some orientals and some rum make this one even more complex. I like it so much I got myself a lifetime supply! (And since I only smoke about four bowls a week and I rotate blends a lot, that means about 10 tins). I'm looking forward to all of the nuance that this will deliver as the years go on!

Cornell & Diehl - Palmetto Balkan 8oz
Delicate, Flavorful, Interesting
This is well worth your money. It is the most interesting and exciting English that I have smoked in quite a while. My typical experience of Balkan blends is that they are very bold, and while this does have plenty of flavor, I pick up a lot of sweetness and delicate floral notes in this blend that I don't notice in most other Balkans. It also is delivered to you in a perfect ribbon cut that is dry enough to smoke right out of the tin, which is rare for me, since I have a pretty sensitive tongue and I often need to dry out my blends a bit so the steam doesn't burn me. I understand that the price tag is a big commitment for first-time buyers, but hopefully USEFUL reviews where people actually talk about their experience rather than griping about availability and other matters will help others know if this is a good blend for them to try. For as labor intensive as this blend is to make, the $44ish dollars that I spent in the spring of '24 for it is very reasonable considering that there are 8 oz of it here, it is fairly dry, and you are getting a good deal considering what 4 2 oz tins would cost you. If you like Balkan blends, if you like English blends that are nuanced, and sweet without venturing into aromatic territory, I think you will like this.

Cornell & Diehl - Palmetto Balkan 8oz
Delicate, Flavorful, Interesting
This is well worth your money. It is the most interesting and exciting English that I have smoked in quite a while. My typical experience of Balkan blends is that they are very bold, and while this does have plenty of flavor, I pick up a lot of sweetness and delicate floral notes in this blend that I don't notice in most other Balkans. It also is delivered to you in a perfect ribbon cut that is dry enough to smoke right out of the tin, which is rare for me, since I have a pretty sensitive tongue and I often need to dry out my blends a bit so the steam doesn't burn me. I understand that the price tag is a big commitment for first-time buyers, but hopefully USEFUL reviews where people actually talk about their experience rather than griping about availability and other matters will help others know if this is a good blend for them to try. For as labor intensive as this blend is to make, the $44ish dollars that I spent in the spring of '24 for it is very reasonable considering that there are 8 oz of it here, it is fairly dry, and you are getting a good deal considering what 4 2 oz tins would cost you. If you like Balkan blends, if you like English blends that are nuanced, and sweet without venturing into aromatic territory, I think you will like this.

Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning
Better than Escudo
I know that's an ambitious statement, but hear me out: Escudo is very good and a classic. It has a very clean and deep stone fruit Perique flavor. HOWEVER, The Virginia is not very distinct in Escudo. C&D's Virginia has a very earthy, natural taste that I don't find in other Virginias from other companies. Additionally, the perique that they use is very well sourced, and they have access to Perique that other blending houses do not. That means that with them, you get VaPers that have a nice earthy, grassy, and yes, that stone fruit flavor from the perique, but there is something earthier ans wonderfully funkier about the perique as well. Specifically, with most other places perique peppery flavor is something that I experience more towards the front of my pallet, and that means that it actually is reminiscent of tongue bite, even though it's not the same thing. THIS Perique pepperiness is something I experience in the back of my pallet, the back of my mouth, the back of my throat, and that is much, much more pleasant. So, I still like Escudo, I just like this VaPer, or really any C&D VaPer better than any of those of any other blending houses. Theirs just taste more, well, REAL to me. As Brian Levine says, I am the leading expert in my own opinion, so the title of this review is really just my opinion, but I stand by it.

Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning
Better than Escudo
I know that's an ambitious statement, but hear me out: Escudo is very good and a classic. It has a very clean and deep stone fruit Perique flavor. HOWEVER, The Virginia is not very distinct in Escudo. C&D's Virginia has a very earthy, natural taste that I don't find in other Virginias from other companies. Additionally, the perique that they use is very well sourced, and they have access to Perique that other blending houses do not. That means that with them, you get VaPers that have a nice earthy, grassy, and yes, that stone fruit flavor from the perique, but there is something earthier ans wonderfully funkier about the perique as well. Specifically, with most other places perique peppery flavor is something that I experience more towards the front of my pallet, and that means that it actually is reminiscent of tongue bite, even though it's not the same thing. THIS Perique pepperiness is something I experience in the back of my pallet, the back of my mouth, the back of my throat, and that is much, much more pleasant. So, I still like Escudo, I just like this VaPer, or really any C&D VaPer better than any of those of any other blending houses. Theirs just taste more, well, REAL to me. As Brian Levine says, I am the leading expert in my own opinion, so the title of this review is really just my opinion, but I stand by it.

Cornell & Diehl - Bayou Morning
Better than Escudo
I know that's an ambitious statement, but hear me out: Escudo is very good and a classic. It has a very clean and deep stone fruit Perique flavor. HOWEVER, The Virginia is not very distinct in Escudo. C&D's Virginia has a very earthy, natural taste that I don't find in other Virginias from other companies. Additionally, the perique that they use is very well sourced, and they have access to Perique that other blending houses do not. That means that with them, you get VaPers that have a nice earthy, grassy, and yes, that stone fruit flavor from the perique, but there is something earthier ans wonderfully funkier about the perique as well. Specifically, with most other places perique peppery flavor is something that I experience more towards the front of my pallet, and that means that it actually is reminiscent of tongue bite, even though it's not the same thing. THIS Perique pepperiness is something I experience in the back of my pallet, the back of my mouth, the back of my throat, and that is much, much more pleasant. So, I still like Escudo, I just like this VaPer, or really any C&D VaPer better than any of those of any other blending houses. Theirs just taste more, well, REAL to me. As Brian Levine says, I am the leading expert in my own opinion, so the title of this review is really just my opinion, but I stand by it.

Low Country - Edisto 2oz
Wonderful!
If you like Carolina Red Flake, you'll probably like this. It's got more brightness than CRF, while still having plenty of body and VA depth. For me, that means I MIGHT like it even more than CRF, which is awesome, because it's a little cheaper and a LOT more available!

Lighters - Kiribi Kabuto Mizo Black Matte
Excellent
It's hard to imagine a more reliable lighter than this one. It rarely fails to strike, it has the best wind resistance you can ask for in a butane lighter, the hardware works well, on top of making a very pleasing sound when you open and close it, it's heavy in the hand and feels very premium. I personally think these lighters are a better choice than an old boy because they have a 30% larger tank. The pipe tool that comes in an old boy lighter is an inferior one to pretty much any other pipe tool you can find, so there's no significant value added there. Kiribi makes a muc better choice and gives you a larger tank, which means you are far less likely to run out of fuel on a trip or something like that. AND it's it's about half the price of the cheapest Old Boy. I rest my case.

Cornell & Diehl - Five O'Clock Shadow 2oz
If you like Perique...
I meant to give it three stars, but once you input a certain number of stars, you can't change it. (That might explain why I sometimes see raving reviews with only three stars). Anyway, this blend is good if you like perique, but if you are more on the Virginia side of the VaPer spectrum, I would suggest something else. I basically taste almost all perique with a touch of Virginia, and the burly is barely perceptible at all. It's not bad, but it's not one I'm going to be reaching for, since I generally like my VaPers with a moderate to mild amount of perique.

Mac Baren - Vanilla Roll Cake 3.5oz
Yum!
There are different kinds of vanilla. There is the cheap vanilla ice cream type, then there is the fresh baked cookie just taken out of the oven kind of vanilla. That is what this kind is. The vanilla is strong in the tin and light when smoked, and I wouldn't mind if it were a little bit stronger when smoked, but the other tobaccos that are here are of such high quality that I don't mind! Also, quite a few Mac Been (non-HH line) tobaccos bite me, but not this one. I could hardly GET it to bite me!

Cornell & Diehl - Cordial
A Go-to
This was the blend that got me interested in English blends. It has plenty of that lot of Kia and Oriental spice to it, but also quite a bit of sweetness underneath all of that. What is more I've gotten plenty of positive comments on the room note! Takes just a little bit more effort to get lit than I would like, but once it's going, it's going! Smoke school, and I can't believe that something this good is in bulk!