Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Sadly, both of these fine tobacco products have apparently been discontinued; the assault by sensitive types with delicate noses proceeds apace. Both were appeals to the taste buds of an older era.
And both were, after a little age, quite remarkable.

By Cornell & Diehl
Invented by William Serad
Crumble cake

All the good stuff in right proportion, which is not surprising for a compound invented by noted tobacco scholar and afficonado William Serad. Dark, rich, chunky.

I'd venture to guess that both Sobranie and Bengal Slices were underlying inspirations for this product, though after the space of a few years aging (it is no longer available), that is hard to say for certain; much has changed inside this little tin. One of the things that is highlighted is how well Turkish pairs with Syrian Latakia, versus how fragile that combo can be with Cyprus leaf. Probably because Syrian contrasted better; Cyprus "Latakia" is after all Smyrna seed-stock, rather than Shek El Bint, which was in some ways slightly similar to Burley, albeit with a winey base flavour rather than that chocolate note that good Burley often has.

This is a very fine product.
A great pity it is no longer made.

Cornell & Diehl

Two kinds of Latakia, with red and bright Virginia, and a little Perique. Plus Burley, because the company in question has a Burley fetish.
Complex, and almost overwhelming, even after a few years age. This absolutely demands a glass of sherry.

I could go on and on about booklined studies, and darkened rooms with Persian carpets and antique furniture, but I won't. Nor will I talk lasciviously about sex, as so self-indulgent and sensuous a confection might tempt me to do.
It actually smells like several churches in Switzerland and Southern Germany. Imagine, if you will, the lone Latinist of some agrarian burg smoking this while listening to tawdry confessions. He wishes his sinful parishioners had more imagination. Can't they at least engage in something he hasn't heard before?
Sorry, meine kinder, pork chops on Friday don't cut it.
Won't even give you gout, or a social disease.
The father in Rome doesn't care.

Please go away, and leave me in peace.

Oriental tobaccos that have a few years maturing in the can behind them often reduce down to a fine grey ash, with little grit. Sometimes their essential Levantine spiciness mellows to a fine degeneracy, often they are mellower and more balanced. The Latakia softens, the Turkish acquires perfume.


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