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A smooth, middle weight Balkan crumble cake with Syrian Latakia, Turkish and red Virginia ribbon.

Notes: Discontinued Blend.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByWilliam Serad
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging2oz Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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None Detected
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14 reviews
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morleysson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
morleysson (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Smoking "Longevity" was a venture in new waters for me. Normally, I prefer the burley based blends which I can smoke all day. I am not unfamiliar with latakia blends, having smoked all of the earlier (and much lamented for their absence)offerings of Balkan Sobranie. Normally, though, latakia is not my first choice. But, I was intigued by a sample bowl of this blend, and a few others which I tried at the NYC pipe show in June. So, I obtained a few tins of William Serad's blends. His reputation as an impeccable reviewer of tobaccos is well known, but Serad's hand as a blender is not largely unackowledged.

In any case, I opened the tin and was reasonably surprised at the dark rich quality of the tobaccos. large cubes of mostly dark tobaccos, pressed not flakes. The aroma is, well, rich and full. The smoky essence of latakia, the raisins and slight sense of fermentation of red VA, and an undertone of nutty turkish leaf. The latakia is present, assertive w/o agression. These were fearful waters for me, friends, exotic and unknown. But, the tobaccos separated easily and packed with a springy quality in an old full bent Gold Crown billiard, especially cleaned for this moment. Two quick lights and the room was filled with a blue pungent smoke. I waited for the catch and back-of-throat bite I usually get with latakia. It wasn't there, but a fragrant, pleasant smoke was. And, that same quality with minor variations stayed through the smoke. The bowl of this Gold Crown is not paticularly large, but there was an obvious interplay of the turkish and latakia throughout the smoke, bolstered by the sweetness of red VA. I purposely let the pipe go out to see if there was any bitterness on re-lighting but none was discerned in that smoke. The first smoke finished with a reasonably dry pipe and minmal dottle, which was also dry to the touch.

I moved then to two large Custombilt straight billiards which were also recently cleaned. The reaction both times was about the same as the first smoke, but the larger bowls permitted the tobaccos to reach a fuller flavor. You can pick up and re-light even hours later /o bitterness.

This is a very competent blend with staying power. I have to believe that a few months in the tin will meld those tobaccos even more, but Longevity is mature enough for a pleasant smoke now. Two thumbs up and I'll add the tin to my stand at the computer. Longevity is a good complement to a diverse smoking agenda.

2 people found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

[Based on a 2002 tin] Although there may be little point in reviewing a blend that has been discontinued for several years, this is one to seek out.

A true crumble-cake Balkan based on Syrian latakia, this smells musty and moldy in the tin. Once crumbled and in a pipe, though, it's a joy for anyone who appreciates orientals and the unique qualities of this particular Syrian vintage.

I haven't tasted all of the Balkans out there, but I'm not aware of any comparable, currently-in-production blends. Given the Syrians used -- and its fairly unusual crumble-cake presentation -- this makes for a unique smoking experience that is truly enthralling in the bowl.

The only reason I'm not giving this a fourth star is that it is, largely, a monochromatic blend. If you enjoy the first dozen puffs, you'll enjoy the rest of the bowl. But if you really seek to savor every puff of this delicious blend, chances are you'll find your mind wandering before you tap out your final ashes.

1 person found this review helpful.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I recently finished off a tin of this dated 2002. Wow! (thanks Joe!) This is similar to original Balkan Sobranie, for what that's worth. (not much, I know) Come to think of it, this is better. Believe them when they say this is smooth. C&D's crumble cakes are great, too. None (or much less, at least)of the dust and wormdirt found in some others made from too fine a cut, before pressing. Although this is a slightly finer cake than, say, Briar Fox.

Equal weight from all the components in both flavor and body. And I think the body of the smoke affects the flavor bunches.-- A little smoky, a little sharp, a little sweet. (Smoky tasting smoke, amazing, eh?) But it all seems to work together. The age didn't hurt, either.

There's nothing overpowering about Longevity, but I wouldn't want to smoke this while driving or during work (unless I had a pound) because there's so much going on in terms of flavor profile. Anything but a good old sit-down-smoke-out seems like a waste here.

Tin aroma is indeed, whiny, I mean wine-like. I can't remember a tobacco I've sniffed so much. Not even my beloved Full Virginia Flake!

One thing wonders me though, why not make this today? There's still Syrian around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I revisited this while re-evaluating my cellar for the long-term stocking plans. There are nazis afoot hellbent on removing options and opportunities, and it's important to get choices right.

In this case, it's sort of moot. No longer generally available, but... to trade? I think so. A year made a significant difference, no great surprise. I remember it initially as being nondescript. It has graduated to descript.

It is dry, a pleasant faux-nuisance to prepare, ounce-size particle board biscuits to shred; one had moulded in the tin. Worth the hassle? In a word, yes.

Pro: Absolutely bite-free. Unique syrian character. Fragrant oriental aroma. No drying necessary. Compact for carrying. Spicy, smoky, interesting in its own right.

Con: not a flavor blitz: average intensity, good but not great; future improvement likely diminishing.

Recommendations: smoke it if you've got it. Share it, enjoy it, swap it. This contains the much-touted syrian latakia that should be experienced by all smokers. It is a quality unique balkan never to be repeated. If syrian is your thing, this will be, too. Yeah, I like it, but it has competition. 3/4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Longevity is a middleweight Balkan crumble cake and a member of the Serenity Series tobaccos developed by William Serad and blended by Cornell and Diehl, Inc.

The tin aroma of Longevity is wine-like and has a medium smoky background with slightly sour notes. Longevity is blended from Turkish, Latakia, and Red Virginia tobaccos, with the most emphasis being on the Turkish leaf. The blend appears as a walnut brown, mottled with black, rust, and some pale green.

Longevity arrives as two 2?x 3/4?x 1? pressed blocks of square and ribbon cut tobaccos wrapped in coffee filter paper. The blocks of tobacco appear very much like particleboard and can be quite stubborn to tear apart and rub out. Longevity rubs out into small stiff square flakes of tobacco. The initial moisture of the tobacco is minimal and is ready for immediate smoking without any drying needed. Longevity has the tendency to pack quite dense. For Longevity to have decent smoking characteristics, the tobacco must be packed lightly with very little tamping.

Longevity lights well enough, and if packed somewhat loose, will have a decent burn. The room note is medium strong with musky aromas. The burn rate of this blend progresses medium fast and yields a fine medium gray ash.

The flavor of Longevity is dry, sour, and slightly smoky. The Turkish tobacco leaf dominates the blend with the Latakia playing a more diminished role and the red Virginia only providing balance to the blend and contributing very little if any sweetness. The flavor is consistent throughout the smoke but does tend to become slightly bitter near the end of the smoke. No casing was noticed with this tobacco and the tongue bite is minimal if nonexistent, even when loosely packed. Longevity tobacco also has no noticeable nicotine kick and produces a medium smoke.

In being a true Balkan pipe tobacco blend, Longevity is predominately based on high quality Turkish tobaccos and Latakia, with just enough Virginia used to provide structure and balance. Although Longevity is a unique blend composed of higher quality tobaccos, it is monotone with respect to flavor and its burning characteristics can leave something more to be desired.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable

this blend reminds me of another C&D tinned favorite, bow-legged bear. i've always liked crumble cakes; seems like the flavors just flow together into a more balanced taste. longetivity has got to be my favorite balkan blend at the moment. the dominant thing for me is that lovely latakia creaminess that's perfectly complimented by the sweetness of the virginia. easy lighting, nice burn rate, and fine gray ash burned to a nearly dottle-free finish make it that much better. four stars and a thank you to mr. serad.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I see that most of the esteemed reviewers above love this C&D offering and after having just completed a tin, I certainly understand why. William Serad of P&T Magazine fame blended this offering for Craig Tarler in an effort to put together a true Balkan style blend in crumble cake form. Therefore, it in no way tries to resemble Penzance or Pirate Kake except perhaps the form itself.

This is a true Balkan, so it obviously contains no Burley or Perique. It has that familiar "Balkan" taste while smoking which brings the Virginia and Turkish leaf to the forefront with the Latakia acting to support the main cast. This tobacco arrives at just the right moisture level and is easy to pack. It tastes mellow, sweet and cool and packs enough nicotine wallop to please even the most addicted puffers out there.

Truly delightful!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

If you have smoked Pirate Kake from the same brand (see my review for it), you have a slight idea of what to expect: a latakia-rich crumble cake, not for the faint of heart.

Sadly I think that this blend, while good, suffers in comparison to PK for one big reason: it doesn't have burley, which in PK added a lot of body, robust taste and bread-like substance.

By all means, Longevity is very nice, and smokes slow and cool... but for me Pirate Kake can't be beat.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RobAtHome Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RobAtHome (25)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Longevity is, perhaps, the crown jewel of the William Serad "Serenity" series from Cornell and Diehl. In presentation, aroma, flavor, and body it outdoes all the rest.

Longevity is packed as a crumble-cake into two-ounce tins. The two thick hunks of tobacco that are the contents of this tin are comprised of a wild & ribbon cut blend, pressed into a solid mass. I think this treatment is particularly suited to this blend, as the flavors of red Virginia, musty Oriental/Turkish, and smokey Latakia really have a chance to meld in such close contact.

Preparation is easy enough. Break off a 1/2" chunk of one of the cakes and then break it up to your desired consistency. I find that this blend smokes best (for me) when I leave some larger flaky pieces to fill into the bottom of the bowl, and load increasingly finer toward the top.

On first light, the flavors and aromas that hit you are all the Oriental tobaccos - musty, cedary, smoky, and leathery. After the initial light, these flavors settle down a little and the Virginia tobacco begins to add a bit of depth and sweetness. This is not a "sweet" tobacco, though. It is rather "dry" on the palate. The slight sweetness of the VA keeps it from being overly astringent.

As the bowl smokes down, the Orientals and Latakia will again come to the fore, intensifying as one progresses. The end of the smoke has a tendency to be a bit bitter, though usually not unpleasantly so. Throughout the experience, there is plenty of flavor to be had. This definitely cannot be categorized as a bland mixture.

Longevity is a robust, relatively full-flavored Balkan. I would recommend this tobacco to seasoned Latakia smokers - this would probably be too assertive for someone newly introduced to English and Balkan blends. I would also say that this is an "end of the night" smoke. As it finishes rather intense, it can wear out the palate. Nicotine strength is medium.

For its body, and excellent smokeability, I heartily recommend Longevity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Horse Bodotes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Horse Bodotes (19)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Longevity is a wonderful blend that defies an easy description. C&D describes this as a balkan, but it is not quite that. Others have described this as an english blend, but I do not consider this a traditional english blend either.

So, how to catagorize this stuff? Who really cares? Longevity is a fantastic smoke, flavorful and very cool. The tobacco is packed as a Krumble Kake with just the right amount of residual moisture: not too wet and not too dry. The Kake is easily rubbed out into the bowl. As I have discovered with other C&D blends, the size of the "crumble" affects not only the burn rate but also the flavor; larger pieces make for a somewhat sweeter smoke.

Upon lighting, you are presented with a a wonderful virginia flavor tempered by the other tobaccos in the blend. To my tongue, the Latakia is definately present but is slightly in the background. The orientals round out the flavor and add to the perfume of the smoke. The overall impression is a brilliant symphony of tobacco tastes; melded into a layered mix of complex yet refined flavors.

I love this stuff. I have not smoked anything else quite like it, and I find myself reaching for a tin of Longevity when I want something flavorfull but lighter than a straight english but deeper than a straight virginia or V/P blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Yes, I am a latakia lover and if you are one, you will enjoy this blend. The latakia content in this blend is not over the top but perfect for all day reflection. This blend is smooth, sweet, and smoky. It lights easy once crumbled into your pipe, very little relighting is needed and leaves no dottle. It is monochromatic though, with the same taste fom pipe to pipe and from top of the bowl to the bottom. It is the perfect blend for those who don't want to think about the tobac but are busy doing other things while smoking (like sermon preparation). This one is now in my rotation. Highly recommended.... Update: 10-07-03, I just opened a tin that I had cellared. It was dated 4-1-02. What a difference! This blend has smoothed out wonderfully. A bright, sweet note has developed and the smokiness of the latakia is more apparent. It tasted so good, that I smoked three bowls back to back in my group 6 Ringrain Poker without nary a hitch.The nicotine content has mellowed even more, which is perfect for a wimp like me. This is definitely a delicious all-day blend! Go out and get some and stash them away and you will be blessed a year from now. Rating: 5 out of 5 points. Enjoy...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Yet another krumble kake from C&D, this one a Balkan blend. They say it has virgnia "ribbon" but it all seems crumbly to me. Now, I kind of like the krumble kake koncept, 'cause it is fun to play with, but this sure can be messy to load while on the go, unless previously rubbed out.

This mixture is quite on the dry side, typical for C&D. That makes it easy to light and keep lit, plus allows for great billows of smoke.

I have lately taken to stuffing a chunk of this un-rubbed into one of my "english-only" pipes (no, this is not a political statement) and lighting. There is evidently enough pore space in the kake to allow for some air to draw through. Doesn't stay lit very well in this form though. So, after a couple of lights, I gently break up the chunk with a pipe tool and lightly tamp. The next light brings an explosion of flavor. Pretty cool. (An aside, this peculiar technique does NOT seem to work with other krumble kakes, e,g, Pirate Kake, for some reason.)

From here on in, the blend burns well down to the bottom, with a consistent flavor. Gets a tad bitter at the bottom, but for a hearty Balkan, this is a tolerable price to pay for the robust flavor. I think that the relative dryness and the crumbly-fine texture of the various C&D kakes tends to make them: 1) kind of one dimensional, and 2) more intense in flavor than the same ingredients mixed as a moister ribbon-cut would be. This is part of the C&D krumble kake experience which keeps me from smoking them more regularly, but adds to the experience when I do.

Longevity is not as strong as Bow-legged Bear, due to that blend's perique, or as intense as Pirate Kake due that blend's high latakia content, and it lacks the cloying aroma of Cross-Eyed Cricket. It clearly fills a unique niche in C&D's lineup.

What this has to do with "longevity" I will never understand, but "serenity" fits for this blend. This will always be in my large rotation of good english/balkan blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A very tasty Balkan-style crumble cake. Very easy to break-up and put in your pipe. Very easy to keep lit and burns to a clean ash.

The taste is fairly mild (I guess that's why C & D calls it a "middle-weight") with just enough Latakia to satisfy Latakia fans. Even though it is pressed, it is not dark/rich/sweet like Penzance. Instead, Longevity is more in the style of a traditional English/Balkan blend. In some ways, it might be what you would expect if you pressed the old Balkan Sobranie into cakes. A nice balanced natural tobacco with smokey Latakia undertones. Suitable for regular smoking and not just that occasional treat.

I also think this would be a good introduction to English blends. There is just nothing not to like (assuming you like English blends).

I do think the tobacco would benefit from some time in the tin. I have put a few tins down for resting and will be interested to see how they are in a year or 2.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a very flavorful Balkan crumble cake that, like most C & D's, comes on the dry side compared to most tobaccos. I found it to be at the perfect moisture level for me. This blend breaks out into rather small flakes that pack easily. I found the burning characteristics to be exceptional. It lit and burned particularly well all the way to the bottom and left a fine white ash.

The flavor is well balanced, not being dominated by the latakia. I do not find that it builds up flavor in the bottom third, nor does it present a range of flavors as it is smoked. It basically maintains the same flavor the whole way.

This is one of the better players in the Balkan field and I recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.