Folklore: An Unsurpassed Virginia Blend Pressed into 16oz Bricks

Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch: Folkore will be available for purchase Tuesday, February 1st.

The word folklore conjures images of griffins and faeries, mermaids, basilisks, and other mysterious denizens of our imaginations. Folklore is a concept that reaches into our misty, enchanted past and sharpens the shadowy confines of our subconscious. It rekindles stories passed through generations, stories that instruct and remind, advise and inspire.

Folklore preserves the stories and characters of cultural, geographic, and social communities. Celtic folklore, for example, offers leprechauns, selkies, banshees, spriggans, and sluagh, while Native American folklore conserves the legends of skinwalkers, thunderbirds, wendigos, and the bakwas.

Every community, clan, coterie, clique, every family, fold, faction, and fellowship, is suffused with folklore that binds people together in shared history and sensibility. The past nurtures the present and stimulates the future.

A Salute to the History of Cornell & Diehl

Cornell & Diehl's culture is no different. Its 30-year history is filled with stories that have reached near-mythic proportions, with episodes like its founding, when Craig and Patty Tarler bought the remnants of Atlas Blending Company in 1992 and loaded the entirely of its inventory and equipment into a rented van. Or the new company's inauguration in a simple two-car garage. Or its manufacturing the legendary G.L. Pease, Two Friends, and Captain Earle blends and moving to a large manufacturing facility. Craig and Patty grew their company through grit, charm, and perseverance, and made it known around the globe. Cornell & Diehl now hand-blends some of the most sought-after tobacco mixtures known and has become a staple in the tobacco cellars of approving pipe smokers worldwide.

Cornell & Diehl now hand-blends some of the most sought-after tobacco mixtures known

Adding significantly to the accomplishments of C&D is a tobacco that has been released under the impressive talents of Head Blender Jeremy Reeves. Its name, suitably, is Folklore, because it celebrates the history and philosophy of Cornell & Diehl.

"We wanted to release Folklore this winter," says Jeremy, "as a reflection of C&D's history. Folklore reviews the way that our company has matured since its inception in 1992. And since Folklore is a 16oz crumble cake, vacuum-sealed in brick-form, we thought it looked a little bit like a yule log and wanted to tie into the winter solstice and all of the folklore that applies to cultures all over the world as they review the past and consider the future."

Jeremy's intent is to honor the traditional approach used by C&D in its early history. "I thought of this blend as a way to look back on what would've been more traditional for a release like this at the beginning, except that it probably would've been more Burley-focused and a bit more rustic. We've learned some things as we've grown as a company, and we have incorporated a lot of newer elements and an approach to ever-evolving our palette as a brand and ever-evolving our progress as a company. This blend, Folklore, is a tribute to the way that we have developed as a company since the time of our founding."

The Components

Folklore comprises five different Virginias alongside very small amounts of genuine St. James-Parish grown Perique, Indonesian Kasturi, and a lightly fire-cured Burley leaf.

The lightly fire-cured leaf is especially interesting. "In traditional fire curing," says Jeremy, "the process includes 14 to 16 days of consistent fire and smoke. It starts with green leaf from the field, and by the end of the curing, as the leaf has lost moisture and chlorophyll, the proper balance of heat and smoke sets the sugars in the leaf without losing them. The pores of the leaves become deeply saturated with the flavor and aroma of the smoke. So what you typically expect from fire-cured tobacco is a really stout, smoky character, kind of like the smell of an old barbecue smoker that has been used countless times. Just opening the smoker, you get this intense smell of smoke. That's the kind of aroma and flavor that we expect from traditional, fire-cured tobacco."

"However," says Jeremy, "in a semi-fire-cured leaf, like we're using in Folklore, the leaf has been air-cured for the majority of its curing process and just gets a two-or three-day finishing smoke. The pores of the leaves have already closed and the smoke is really just a light sheen on the leaf. So it's not a deeply embedded smokiness; it's a subtle hint of smokiness."

"... it's not a deeply embedded smokiness; it's a subtle hint of smokiness."

The hardwoods used for curing are typically a mix of oak, mesquite, and hickory. "You get the kinds of classic barbecue aromas and flavors because the same kind of wood that would be used for traditional barbecue is being used to smoke-cure this leaf."

In addition to the lightly fire-cured Kentucky, the Kasturi, and the Perique, Folklore contains five different Virginias: Orange and Red from 2019, Canadian Bright leaf from 2017, a Mahogany with some darker leaf included, and perhaps most special, North Carolina tips — the same as used in Carolina Red Flake.

"Tips are the very, very top of the plant," says Jeremy. "They tend to be very strong in nicotine and you can get a really nicely developed, deep flavor from them. In this rare instance, the tips-grade that we were able to acquire had a comparatively high level of sugar. So, nicotine was still about where you would expect it to be, but rather than the sugars being down around eight percent or so, the sugar percentage on these tips was actually 13. You get a really, really nice sweetness while still getting the depth of flavor and the heft of strength that a tips-grade can provide."

"... you get a really, really nice sweetness while still getting the depth of flavor and the heft of strength that a tips grade can provide."

This combination of Virginias provides exceptional character. "Each of them has a little bit of a different part to play in terms of flavor. With the Bright leaf on the brightest end of the spectrum and the dark Mahogany on the darkest end of the spectrum, you basically have three different progressions in darkness and in depth of flavor. So you have a really rich, mouth-filling range of Virginia flavor that makes up the majority of this blend."

Exceptional Leaf Combined for Full Flavor

"The five different Virginias offer slightly different sugar variations, slightly different nicotine variations, and different flavor focuses with different depths of flavor." Those combined components offer a remarkable spectrum of Virginia flavor.

The semi-fire-cured Kentucky and the Perique bring nuance to the blend. "Kasturi adds just a bit of spiciness," says Jeremy. "It also plays nicely with the smoky character of the fire-cured, especially because that fire-cured isn't very deeply fired and it doesn't have the nicotine heft or the intense spice, as dark-fired tends to have. It's much more refined and has a clove-like, warming-spice element. So the Kasturi and the semi-fire-cured work really well together, and then the St. James Parish Perique has kind of a fruity element that merges beautifully with some of the sweeter characteristics and dark fruit characteristics of the Orange and Mahogany Virginias."

"It's much more refined and has a clove-like, warming-spice element"

The Bright brings a citrus-peel element to the smoking experience. "And then you also have some darker notes of molasses and plum, and even elements that are reminiscent of stone fruit, apricot, and peach. But again, that spectrum of flavor really ranges from tangy and bright into a more middle of the road, almost creamy sort of sweetness that you can get from fruits like apricot and then on into the really dark, rich sweetness of dark cherries and plum."

For the Perique element, Jeremy has incorporated genuine Perique from 2020, 100 percent St. James-grown and traditionally processed. For an examination of how traditional Perique is grown and cured, check out our article on Carolina Red Flake with Perique, which details Jeremy's hands-on experience with true Perique.

Artistic and Practical Packaging

Folkore's convenient label is transferable to glass jars for easy identification

A particularly noteworthy aspect of this blend is its packaging, which will be especially attractive for those who like to jar their tobaccos. "It's vacuum-sealed in a 16oz brick," says Jeremy, "and packaged in a very nice presentation box." The label used on the brick has a special feature. "It's a vinyl sticker that can be removed from the packaging. When you open Folklore and transfer it to a jar, you can just peel the sticker right off of the vacuum-sealed bag and attach it to the jar. And the sticker is almost infinitely re-stickable. We spent quite some time and had a little bit too much fun unsticking and resticking stickers on all sorts of non-porous surfaces. It sticks quite well to bumpers, though not to wood or plastic for long-term use. It sticks to your refrigerator, it'll stick on any kind of jar. So you can unstick and restick, peel off and restick this sticker numerous times. We definitely encourage people to keep the sticker."

As a crumble cake, all of Folklore's components are ribbon cut. The blend is pressed into a large cake, which is sliced into one-pound sections that are subsequently vacuum-sealed, helping each brick to maintain its form and shape.

It's necessary to jar the tobacco after unsealing. "There's no way to reseal the bag, unfortunately," says Jeremy. "We did look into resealable vacuum packaging, but we just couldn't find anything practical. So when you break the vacuum seal, you'll have no way to safely store your tobacco unless you transfer it to an airtight container."

Folklore's Place in Any Rotation

It's a great tobacco for aging; those five Virginias balance each other with nuance and full-spectrum Virginia flavor, all while the Perique and Kasturi bind the component flavors with subtle fruit and spice essence as the lightly fire-cured leaf provides delicate undertones for a foundational smoky presence.

"I think that if you are fond of other Virginia iterations that we've offered in the Small Batch line," says Jeremy, "this will likely appeal to you. There is no C&D blend quite like it. There just aren't many blends where we use so many different Virginia grades in one product. It's a unique blend." Those who enjoy After Hours, Red Carpet, Carolina Red Flake, or Carolina Red Flake with Perique will find some similarities, though perhaps not with the same full-spectrum Virginia attributes. "If you are a fan of Virginia/Periques but you're looking for something that doesn't have a lot of Perique in it, this is going to strike a sweet spot for you. All of the condimental leaves used are very, very slight. If you like Speakeasy, this is a blend that is going to fit right into your rotation nicely and still offer a lot of differentiation."

"If you are a fan of Virginia/Periques but you're looking for something that doesn't have a lot of Perique in it, this is going to strike a sweet spot for you"

As a Small Batch blend, Folklore's release will be limited to this primary run. Small Batch blends are special, one-time iterations that rely on very special tobaccos that aren't necessarily replaceable for future remakes. "We never go into an initial release of a Small Batch planning on doing it more than once. Because of the special tobaccos used, supplies are unlikely to be available again."

Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch line of tobaccos are the epitome of quality, each emphasizing the rare, high-quality tobaccos utilized. Jeremy Reeves has been crafting them since 2016, taking advantage of truly exemplary tobaccos when they, rarely, become available.

Folklore is particularly interesting for Virginia enthusiasts. Attractively presented in a 16oz solid-brick crumble cake, it's an excellent choice for the aging potential of long-term storage.

Its five Virginias provide a full orchestra of Virginia flavor that is particularly advanced by the high sugar content of the Virginia tips, saturating the palate with a comprehensive taste profile supported by the delicate nuance of condimental leaf for an elevated smoking experience of uncompromising satisfaction. With a release date of February 1, 2022, Folklore may be a good consideration for a new addition to your cellar. We all deserve to experience a tobacco of unconditional eminence for those special occasions when full-profile Virginia tobaccos of unsurpassed quality are desired.

Comments

    • LV on January 29, 2022
    • Good looking tobacco, nice packaging and sticker. Nice tribute to the brand by the mighty pen of CStanion. Even if JReeves is called a "Head Bender"! Suited for someone that prepares tobacco that make heads spin! 🤣👍 Congratulations from Portugal

    • michael smith on January 29, 2022
    • It would be nice to get a price. This is significantly more tobacco to purchase than the standard tin.

    • Frido on January 29, 2022
    • I think that I might have to add a brick of this to my packing list for my journey to Rivendell. I'll keep it a secret so that that I won't have to to share with the rest of the fellowship. Is that selfish of me? One blend to rule them all⭕

    • jack wong on January 30, 2022
    • 价格能便宜点多好,毕竟到中国运费很昂贵!

    • jack wong on January 30, 2022
    • 价格能便宜点多好,毕竟到中国运费很昂贵!

    • JayCee on January 30, 2022
    • Fantastic article Mr. Stanion. I' ve missed out on the past Red Flake batches, buy I'm very intrigued to try this Small Batch.

    • Joseph Kirkland on January 30, 2022
    • For someone who prefers English blends, Folklore sounds intriguing.My Uncle Julian Love who farmed in Obion County, TN, taught me to chop tobacco when I was a boy, put it on slats, and haul it to the tobacco barn for smoky curing.Another great article, Chuck.

    • Fred Brown on January 30, 2022
    • Brilliance again from the Stanion pen and the crafting genius of Reeves. Hope to get in on the fun for my cellar.

    • DAVE SOMMER on January 30, 2022
    • Darn you Chuck, my mouth is drooling just from the words that you put to paper. I am going to HAVE TO purchase some. PLEASE GIVE US A PRICE SOON.

    • SO on January 30, 2022
    • Thank you for the interesting article today, and the links on perique farming. I look forward to trying Folklore.

    • Intrigued on January 30, 2022
    • Sounds good! I'd like to try this. Unfortunately, I think they'll add a dash of "unobtainium" right before it is for sale online. The leaf hogs, many of whom cuff their jeans and refer to tobacco as "baccy", are going to buy up all they can so the rest of us read "sold out" the next morning.

    • The Spurgeon Piper on January 30, 2022
    • Looking forward to its release. I think it a great idea to release a bulk forward to break up the usual tinned form.

    • Jim on January 30, 2022
    • @Intrigued: I learned my lesson with Edisto. I got in early and still missed out! Damn hoarders!

    • KEVIN RUYLE on January 31, 2022
    • I hate to buy a lb. of something I'm not sure of, but I also hate to miss out on what might be something that sounds so interesting. However, I'm usually not overly thrilled with most small batches. I have a few.

    • Birddog on January 31, 2022
    • My reservation is whether a whole pound of tobacco make it through Customs in the UK. I also wish that a one pound per customer per day limit would be imposed so that everyone can get a look in. When I read about people buying up multiple lbs or excessive amounts of tins I can’t help but think “a-hole”. Forgive my language but it’s irritating when you get up at 5am to buy something and it’s already gone. Sounds good though.

    • Bill in District X on January 31, 2022
    • Price will likely be around $60, give or take. Another website is selling the product without the jar packaging at just under $60.BW, who researches stuff for a living...

    • ... on January 31, 2022
    • If you look at C&D bulk blends, price ranges $40-45.00 for 16oz.

    • Mountain Guerilla on February 1, 2022
    • Rest assured, limit of 1 this time. Got mine at midnight. Looking forward to tasting this blend. Thanks for the heads up Mr. Stanion.

    • The Little Shark That Could on February 1, 2022
    • I could've grabbed a pound until I saw the price. What? Because there's a sticker included and the tobacco is pressed into a brick... eye candy and marketing voodoo. Too much $$$, up to $20 more than your 16oz bulk blends. Believe me, my trigger finger was itchin' and twitchin', but this little shark swam away with his $60 plus tax and shipping and handling. You other sharks can enjoy the frenzy, I'm sure it tastes divine.

    • Mountain Guerilla on February 1, 2022
    • I won't weight the actual reviews with nonsense. Bottom line: this isnt the first small batch release. You win some, you lose some. Figure out how to win more. Good luck.

    • The Little Shark That Could on February 1, 2022
    • @ Mountain Guerilla: Just read some of the reviews and it's the typical discontent of people missing out on it. I dozed of and woke up at 12:30am CT and it was still available. As one commenter stated "You snooze you lose." How true. After last year's run of small batches and seasonal releases, my cellar is bursting at the seams. The price just seemed alittle steep for me, and like you stated "Not the first small batch release." And not the last. Maybe I'll put that $60 towards an IM Corona Old Boy lighter I've been eyeing....

    • Mountain Guerilla on February 1, 2022
    • @Shark.. Yes, go for the old boy. Definitely a nice tool for the kit. It helps give my relights more clout.

    • Charles Brockhouse on February 1, 2022
    • Now that it is all gone can y'all release the number of pounds that were available. The speed at which this sold out was amazing. I have not loved every limited release from C&D but it sure makes it fun.

    • The Little Shark That Could on February 2, 2022
    • I must confess that I experience different states of mind or consciousness, I want to give a complement to the artist that designed the sticker for FOLKLORE. I think the shadow of the doe on the bucks body is eye appealing and a nice touch and contrast, maybe hinting at a full moon. The two humans could be Saint Nicholas and his wife from long ago. The tree, the colors, the lettering, the curves of the design, and the whole motif I really do enjoy. A great work of art.

    • The Little Shark That Could on February 2, 2022
    • *buck's body

    • The Little Shark That Could on February 2, 2022
    • *compliment

    • Mountain Guerilla on February 3, 2022
    • @Charles, the bags were labeled xxx/1000. Got mine today.

    • Patricia S on February 6, 2022
    • I never received an email on this release. I knew it was coming as I keep up with the Daily Reader. I even knew the date of the release. So, at midnight I was logged onto the SP site. After 5 minutes of still not being able to find the tobacco Folklore under the C & D category on the site, I finally purchased it from a competitor. Very disappointed.

    • Peng J on April 15, 2022
    • 下次在上新是什么时候

    • Peng J on April 15, 2022
    • 下次在上新是什么时候

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