Cornell & Diehl : The Old Ones (Series Review)


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In the process of selecting tobaccos I am a sucker for a gimmick. However I am a firm believer in strong institutions and when companies like Cornell & Diehl embark on a blend, word of mouth says they have a an outstanding track record.

My reviews on video are limited. Do you really need to see my facial expressions to determine whether or not I am enjoying the smoke?
The video at least shows what the product looks like.
Everyone is different and it is why Baskin Robbins has so many flavors of Ice cream.

Most of my reviews are best in retrospective as I have learned that tobaccos like wine need to breathe. Tobacco also needs to dry a bit before it achieves its pipe potential.

Tobacco Reviews has a few reviewers panning fresh tins immediately because of tin note. I will try to give my impressions and whether or not these select tobaccos have met my expectations.

We begin with Dreams of Kadath
from Pipes and tobaccos: The blend is composted of a fragrant mix of dark-fired Kentucky, Katerini, Perique, Virginia, Burley, and black Cavendish

The tobacco is not a crumble cake. It is a Plug, and a moist plug at that.
The tin note is interesting, think green apple or better yet apricot.
It leads me to believe there may be a topping or a casing, however the smoke does not yield a clear aromatic, although the apricot note fades in and out.
You also get the katerini and perique working together which later yields a very nice smoking experience.

It is not an easy tobacco to work with.
A thin profile pocket knife with a good sharp edge should be applied to produce smoke-able flakes.
Let them dry a bit.
If you choose to pull apart the block and proceed to rub the tobacco to use, be prepared to use a poker to stoke the coal during the smoking experience.
You will be reaching for the poker more than the tamp.

I smoked this out of what is now my dedicated Old Ones Pipe: a Molina Barasso Unfinished Bent Rhodesian.

I thoroughly enjoyed the myriad flavors and the intermittent clouds of thick smoke. It was unique and the flavor was interesting.
A full bowl lasted about 40- minutes with a few relights. Anything but harsh. Cool notes of apricot and plum. You can taste the different tobaccos and it really works as a unique blend with particular flavor characteristics. The nicotine to me is somewhat strong, although it could be my smoking style where I feel a bit light-headed after a bowl of wet tobacco. Perhaps it is the katerini...

Note: this blend dramatically improved with each bowl. I first opened the tin back in November. I've smoke about 5 bowls of Kadath between then and now and it improves on my desired tobacco scale.
Originally, at first I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars because of the labor intensive coal manipulation during the smoke and the preparation of the tobacco from the plug.
I will probably cellar another tin of this.
If you prefer plug tobacco and have the patience, and are seeking a floral, yet mild fruit flavor, I recommend Dreams of Kadath.

I give it 3 and a half stars


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from pipes and cigars: a singular blend of Virginias, Katerini, Perique, and black Cavendish.
Here is a video I did back in November

I've smoked this blend out of three pipes. The aforementioned Molina, The Molina Barasso Brilliant 104 Billiard, and a Missouri Meerschaum Cobbit Shire.

For a different take, go to Pipes and Guitars channel. I agree with him on Innsmouth that it is reminiscent of old man tobacco. Good honest everyday blend.

This is heavier on the virginia than the other components but it is exceptional. It is a ribbon cut and not too moist out of the tin. The tin note is ... tobacco. I really don't get any other flavors or aromas. It actually reminds me of that ancient plug tobacco "Days O' Work" (is that stuff still around?)

My wife claims it has a chocolate room note. I don't smoke indoors, but we'll call it a veranda note.
I don't taste or smell it, but I really like this as an accessible smoke. I don't find it complex nor hot burning.
A bowl packs easy and burns without a light for a solid 20-30 minutes. Have a tamp handy.

Its a good any time of day smoke in that it is light in flavor and the nicotine doesn't seem to heavy.

I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars and it is a go to smoke for me.


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Awakened Elder
From smokingPipes: Latakia, Katsuri, Virginias, Burley, Perique, and black Cavendish.

Tobacco reviews seems to have a consensus that there is a top note of wine or grape present in the tin note.
One reviewer claimed to have gagged from the strength of the tin note.
I confirm the note in my video.

It is dry out of the tin and ready to go. The wine note is apparent throughout. Think more like a white semi-sweet wine or a riesling rather than a chablis or dry white.

The pipe of choice was at first the Molina Unfinished. Later bowls I used the Barasso Brilliant Billiard.
Another example of a tobacco that opens up with each bowl. Give it time.

The wine flavor on the first bowl found some mingling with the perique and kentucky, yielding a mustard seed or peppery taste.

A week later, the mustard seed/pepper is not as apparent, and the wine has not occluded the tobacco blend.

It burns a little hot and I recommend a thick walled bowl or just pace this one. I did not experience tongue bite or other bits.
A bowl will burn for about 20-30 minutes. I was walking with my last bowl of this and it did not stop me in my tracks with any surprise harsh notes.
The nicotine strength seems mild compared to Kadath and this blend would probably work well after a large meal.

I don't know what the room note is, but my wife asked me if I had eaten asparagus lol!

The Old Ones are strange, but fun. I give Awakened Elder 3 out of 5 stars.


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Mad Fiddler Flake
From Tobacco Reviews: mixture of Virginia, Kasturi, Perique, and black Cavendish

The tin note reminds me of Kadath. It has a fruit aroma and some berry notes.
The flake is not dry, but need not be rubbed to work. It is ready to go.
It packs well and the smoke is consistent throughout. Good body and no need to pick to manipulate the coal.
Have a tamp ready. This burn will go almost an hour on a full bowl.

I really enjoyed this one and out of the series I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
The nicotine was bit strong and I did feel a little buzzed from this blend.

This is one to develop. I can't see it going south as it ages.

This leaves Miskatonic Mixture and Visions of Celephais to close the series.

I may not get around to them until the new year.
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Miskatonic Mixture
from Smoking Pipes: granulated Perique over a bed of Katerini and Virginia, finished with a dash of sweet black Cavendish to cure the Madness.

It was a cold, misty day here in Miami... we don't like the cold much. The breeze and mist from where I was sitting didn't give me a good vantage point for tin note or room note.

Tin note was reminiscent of Innsmouth and Mad Fiddler - you do get a hint of caramel/maple. I like the fact that C&D lets the blend speak for itself without overt toppings.
The color and composition is very similar to Awakened Elder.
It is a cut much like Innsmouth and Elder and it does split the different between the two in flavor.
I really enjoy the perique / virginia play. The Katerini shows up and remains as an after note, like you smoked a nice cigar.
The cavendish shows up as a sweet note - a strange caramel hit slipped in-between the natural tobacco notes.

I agree with Pipes and Guitars on certain notes, but I did not find it super-sweet.

Like Innsmouth, Miskatonic Mixture does have the old-style tobacco taste going for it and I believe it is the virginias that continue to remind me of older classic virginia blends.

It is a solid go-to every day smoke and I rank it with Innsmouth, with Innsmouth being a bit lighter on the palette. The nicotine strength is moderate.
3 out of 5 stars.

As the series goes: I wan to add additional observations.
If you are sitting when you smoke you and plan on meditative relaxation - Dreams of Kadath and Mad Fiddler are very similar and almost interchangeable. Dreams of Kadath has a more floral presence and Mad Fiddler plays off of that.

Miskatonic Mixture and Innsmouth compliment each other in similarities of cut and composition.

Awakened Elder is similar to Innsmouth but the top note places it in a class of its own. That one is opening up nicely!

How I rank them (the rankings are changing as the tobacco ages and breathes)
Top taste experience : Kadath and Mad Fiddler in the same spectrum, but Awakened Elder completely different
Why - I wanted to buy another tin of Kadath, but I believe Mad Fiddler satisfies that flavor spectrum for me.
For everyday smoking: Innsmouth with Miskatonic as a second call

I have a feeling that Visions of Celephais (which has not been reviewed in YTPC) will pivot off of Awakened Elder, but I am prepared for a surprise.


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Follow-up: Innsmouth is opening up as a blend. Sometimes a different pipe helps.
I smoked a bowl of Innsmouth yesterday in my Olivewood Molina. Prior to Innsmouth, this pipe has only been used for Fusilier's Ration.
Ghosts? I ain't afraid of ghosts.
While I have smoked Innsmouth out of cobs, and briars, the Olive wood pipe showed no hint of ghost notes from FR.
It has developed a mild sweetness and finishing notes of milk chocolate or coffee with extra cream, but remains subtle (weird) to complete the experience. I almost want to buy another Olive Wood to devote to this blend.

As I prepare for my journey to the equatorial tropics, Innsmouth will stay home and I will take either Miskatonic or Mad Fiddler.


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Miskatonic Mixture is becoming a favorite.
Its really amazing that these tobaccos really open up after they have "breathed" and dried a bit. Where Innsmouth finishes with cocoa or coffee, the cavendish in Miskatonic Mixture is a nice subtle sweetness. It gets better every time I smoke it.
If you like VaPers, this may be a winner.