Burley Flake #3: Cornell & Diehl

Nothing encourages a pipe smoker to want to fire up his pipe more than opening a new can of a great smelling tobacco. I just did that with this C&D Burley Flake #3, and I cannot wait for lunch!

I am not a tobacco professional. As a matter of fact if you want one, you need to speak to Kevin Godbee at Pipesmagazine.com, or perhaps even more so the well renown tobacconist G.L.Pease. I’m here because I’m one of you guys. A commoner. I’ve been smoking pipes off an on for more than 20 years (and sometimes more off than on), but for the most part, living within a budget or circumstance that kept my pipes relegated to Five-and-Dime type store tobacco purchases, and if I was lucky, was able to find something other than Captain Black or something flavored in cherry or apple and only found in flimsy folding envelopes of plastic.

Now I’ll grant you that at times some of those convenience or department store tobaccos were surprisingly good. But I also found out that when I went back to get a particular label or blend that was really good, that the consistency from bag to bag, well, left a great deal to be desired. But, now that my involvement in the industry, along with a better income than when I was a Private First Class in the Army, allow me to get my hands on some real quality tobacco blends from some real quality Tobacco companies that do excellent blending.

I was introduced to the company of Cornell & Diehl, and blogged about them and their Autumn Evening blend last week. It was fantastic. It was also very exciting to learn about the company itself, so do yourself a favor and go back and read that other blog post if you have not already. But today, it was with great personal fanfare and pleasure that I was able to open a can of Cornell & Diehl (C&D) Burley Flake #3.

The can opening was simple. Pull-tab peel back type can opening not unfamiliar to this industry. Immediately under the lid is the typical C&D moistened cardboard cover with the words, “Selected, hand-blended tobaccos for the discriminating smoker”. Underneath that sheet is another paper layer lid, and immediately under that a third layered lid the last two that are attached to the paper lining in the can, all designed to keep the tobacco from drying out. The devil is in the details, and with this packing the burley aroma was sweet and fierce when I opened the tin. All in all, not just a practical packaging job, but one that gave off a tin aroma that was as inviting a smell as any tobacco tin I’ve opened to date. It simple was screaming to get into my pipe!

Once opened, and you have recovered from your excitement, the package will reveal 2 ounces (57 grams) of some of the prettiest looking and feeling Burley Flake tobacco you may have ever seen. The tobacco blended looks like a fall scene with the brown palette covered from light to dark. There are twinges of some really bright golden-brown flakes in there akin to a brunette with streaks of bright blond added to her hair. Still moist to the touch but by no means wet, the flake rubs out easily revealing more and more aroma as you go.

When ribbed out, C&D Burley Flake #3 becomes all the more brilliant. The sweetness of the Virgina tobaccos really brighten and the sweetness becomes more apparent. With Burley that can be overwhelming at times in its bitterness, the Virginia is just the right added tone to the blend, and as the label states, the added Perique does add “interest”. It is amazing and always to try new blends and see just how a subtle addition of a different and yet known tobacco element in the right amount can change or balance a blend so different even though the components are similar or even identical to other blends. This is part of what amazes me about this industry and our hobby. Always something to learn.

The smoke is cool, very cool to me, and yet bright and full-bodied. The pack went nicely after a rub-out, and a good light was easily attained. I cannot attest to a room aroma as I was by myself at the time and outside to boot. What I can say is that I enjoyed it supremely, and I was left wanting for more (which I will account more to the tobacco than to the fact that I did not want to go back to work!).

This is the second tin of Cornell & Diehl that I have tried, and so far, I find their products to truly be superior to a great many other blenders that I have tried. Good job C&D. Keep it up!

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