At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


This blogger is a restrained and abstemious person.
I only have good habits. Nothing peculiar.
Nothing I do qualifies as 'bent'.
Especially smoking.

If you see a dapper-looking middle-aged dude walking in your neighborhood with a handsome piece of briar sticking out of his mouth, that might be me. Especially if you live in Sany Francisco, north of California Street; anywhere between Van Ness Avenue and Chinatown.
I like to wander around Nob Hill with a pipe.
Sometime between noon and tea-time.

That's 'San Francisco'. Not 'Manhattan'.

One of the things I'm currently smoking is 'Manhattan'.
Manhattan-ish. Between noon and tea-time.
Hence the title of this post.

Manufactured by Cornell & Diehl.
From the 'Simply Elegant Series'

Tin blurb: Naturally sweet Golden Virginia leaf with a drop of honey sliced into flakes.

The tin I opened dated from 2009.
It bulged in a disturbing way.
Which is a good thing.
Nicely fermented.

It was destabilizing one of the stacks of tins on a bookshelf, so I had to open it. Rubbed it out fully and dried it to the moisture level that I prefer.

The slices of flake where beautiful, of a hue that indicated a lot of deep brown goodness. The aroma was intoxicating, though not overly so. Rubbed out, the constituent tobaccos are somewhat evident, though guessing the proportion of blonde to brunette would be difficult. Some blondes are at heart brunettes.

[Never trust blondes. Good rule to live by.]

I'm about half-way through the tin now, it does not pall. Unlike finer-cut flakes it needs a bit of attention, but the pay-off is well worth it. Smooth, sweet, with a very pleasant rich taste, and an excellent room-note. The drop of honey is more noticeable in the tin-aroma than in the smoke, by a wide margin. And unlike gooped-up blends it does not leave a layer of skank in your bowl.
Remarkably, it is both tangy and creamy at the same time.
Blondes can be a bitch, but this one is very nice.

Smokes down to a fine ash that sounds crisp when stroked across the walls.

Blondes benefit from maturity. This product proves it.

I still have one tin of that vintage left.

*      *      *      *      *      *

I've always admired the attention to detail that the Tarlers of Cornell & Diehl showed in their products. Craig Cornell Tarler passed away on Tuesday, September 4, 2012, aged eighty-two.
He was an all-round good man, and the fraternity will miss him.
Morganton, North Carolina, is a less exciting place now.


NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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