To be completely honest, Cornell & Diehl has been very hit or miss with me over the past year or more. Some of their blends are very enjoyable, however, the ones that miss, tend to miss big. Specifically, I am referring to most of their Small Batch and special release series. Understanding this to be the case, I opted for a regular production blend that I’ve been wanting to try since the start of the year.
This blend came across my radar after seeing the well-known Mike Murphy from the Pipe and Tamper podcast blast rave reviews about it along with showing off the abundance of Sunset Harbor Flake tins he has cellared away. Of course, anyone who puts away that much of a single blend will raise eyebrows, especially mine. So, I decided to pick a tin up and see what the hype, if any, is about. Afterall, my recent luck with Cornell & Diehl has been dismal at best.
Info & Overview
Brand: Cornell & Diehl
Blend Components: Latakia, Orientals/Turkish, Perique
Cut Type: Flake
Available Packaging: 2oz tin
Price: $11.40 USD
Tin Date: 11/2021
On to the review…
Watch my first impressions video review here: https://youtu.be/tFLB9nn8GiU
From the Tin: Upon opening, the first thing noticed was the dark color of the tobacco. Tin aroma was a rich, dark leather, musty wood, and slight hint of campfire smoke. The tobacco was on the moist side and needed time to dry out before smoking. Having now smoked 8 bowls, I found 30 minutes to be just about the perfect amount of dry time before packing and lighting. Although marketed as a flake, this tobacco is far from what I designate a “flake” tobacco. In fact, there were not even long pieces of “broken flake” to be found in the tin. I would instead classify this tobacco as crumbled tobacco once being in flake form.
Flavor Notes (Taste + Aroma): C&D Sunset Harbor provides the smoker with a very rich, flavorful smoking experience. Tastes consisted of mossy damp forest, wood, mushrooms, leather, and an initial faint spice. Aroma was an antique mustiness with a very prominent sweet cream noted when smoked in a meerschaum. In fact, I have found I enjoy this blend most in a medium size (group 3 or 4) meerschaum pipe.
Overall Impression: C&D Sunset Harbor Flake burned cool producing a dark gray gritty ash. The smoke was thick and cool presenting no bite with the tobacco strength being medium and body medium/plus. Although very enjoyable, I would not recommend this as an all-day smoke as you run the risk of potential palate fatigue due to the opulence of the blend. Overall, I find Sunset Harbor Flake to be a solid offering from Cornell & Diehl and will certainly be purchasing more to smoke over the next decade or more (I do think short term aging will show rewards for this blend). This tobacco is very much recommended and if you’re a Balkan fan you should certainly give it a try.
Tobacco Score: 4 out of 5 pipes