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A full strength blend with Latakia, Perique and Turkish.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique
Packaging2oz tin, 8oz tin, Bulk
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Pipe and Leaf
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
29 reviews
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Michael Kindt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michael Kindt (18)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, I decided to become a tobacco blender.

So I ordered a few bags of blending tobacco and some blends I thought I wouldn't like but figured I'd use as condiments in my brilliant new creation. I took all this, plus the large bowl we normally use for popcorn on movie night, laid it out on the table and cried, "Watch out, Pease! Step aside, Ouellette!" The problem was what I came up with tasted like utter shit.

And so ended the Great Tobacco Blending Experiment of 2009 or 10.

Byzantium was one of the blends I ordered to use as a condiment, but I shoulda just thrown everything in the trash and smoked it. Byzantium is decidedly NOT utter shit.

The problem was I didn't know Byzantium was so delicious until just this year. Back when I lost my mind and thought I could blend tobacco, I was all about burleys and crossovers and aromatics. Englishes and Balkans and Orientals? Oh, my! So I threw it in the back of a drawer somewhere and there it sat, getting dry as hell (it was plastic bag bulk).

I happened upon it, smoked some, and loved it. Even though it was bone dry and crunched like Fall leaves, I loved it. Even though tamping eventually turned it into pipe clogging dust, I loved it.

I revitalized in a makeshift humidor I threw together by sitting a shot glass of water in a cookie jar, and it became a little more civilized. A little.

Byzantium is not a subtle blend, though it does have its moments of nuance, especially if you gently coax it rather than puff it. It's bold and in your face. Spicy (very), smoky, full-bodied, -flavored, full-everything. Obviously, it will bite the hell out of you if you're not careful, and it's not an all-day smoker (unless you're the type of man who pours whiskey over his cereal in the morning).

There's no Virginia in it, which I'm glad for. Virginia, I bet, would mellow this bad boy out a little, make him more presentable, rounder, more balanced, and, sometimes, I just plain don't want that.

6 people found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (44)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Turkish, Perique and Latakia. Hmm, Red Odessa minus the red Va?

Ok, this isn't Red Odessa minus the Va after all. It doesn't appear to be related to Red Odessa/Engine #99.

The jar note has a similar fermented fruit sweet tang, but that's as close as this blend gets. It's also fuller than Red Odessa, less full than Engine #99. This blend has a focus squarely set on the Oriental component, with enough Latakia to keep you from dozing off. The Perique adds a bit of pepper, but isn't as nicely integrated as blends like Red Odessa and Artisan's Blend. I don't get a very strong nic kick from this, so in the end, it's a medium strength, medium bodied Lat blend mostly about the Orientals with a bit of Perique.

I always miss the missing component in Lat blends that don't have either Orientals or Va. Less so in Va/Lat-only blends than in Oriental-Lat-only blends, but I always feel they're better with the trinity.

Byzantium sidesteps being a blend that draws attention to the absence of Va by throwing Perique in the mix. The Perique does add a nice element here, adding a tangy note to a blend that teeters on deliciously sour but doesn't quite get there. The Oriental component here never gets bitter, is a tad oily, and almost gets to sour, which I adore.

The Perique smells like heaven in the jar, all fermented fruit, like some delicious holiday treat for stuffing in your pipe. The Lat here is medium. Overall I have had pretty decent experiences with this blend. Not a hoarder, but at only $27.49/lb I may buy a pound to smoke on occasion. Good stuff, not great but definitely good.

This is a good smoke, and the elements blend well, but not so well that you block out everything else and launch into monologues to your wife about the virtues of English mixtures and well seasoned briar. Am I the only one who does that?

6 people found this review helpful.

Mongo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mongo (10)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Looking through reviews of tobaccos with which I'm familiar, I'm surprised to see that I never reviewed this one. Byzantium was the first English tobacco that I fell for, years ago. Although my tastes have changed over the years, it's a blend that I still enjoy.

Byzantium is a mixed-cut tobacco. There are some ribbons in the blend, but a large percentage of the tobacco resembles crumble cake that's been crumbled. Some of the crumbled tobacco is in very small pieces. The aroma of the tobacco is smoky, leathery, and a bit salty, but not overly strong.

I find Byzantium to be at its best when smoked in a wide-diameter bowl. I prefer it in a bowl with a 7/8" or wider chamber. I get the best results by drizzling the tobacco into the bowl, then tapping the sides to settle the tobacco as much as possible. By doing this until the bowl is slightly over-full and then lightly pressing the excess tobacco into the bowl, I get a pack that lights and burns easily. Relights are rare, and I almost always smoke this to the very bottom of the bowl without effort.

This is not a subtle tobacco. The flavors are simple and strong. There's plenty of smokiness from the (Cyprian) latakia, with the orientals adding a strong salty/musty flavor and a bit of sweetness. There's enough perique to add a peppery hint to the flavor, without overwhelming the other flavors. The flavor varies little throughout the bowl, starting off strong and staying that way. The mouth feel is smooth, though not overly full. I experience absolutely no tongue bite from this tobacco, regardless of how I treat it. Even more so than many blends, I find that gentle, slow smoking brings out the most intense flavors from Byzantium.

There can be a slight harsh edge to this blend when it's very young. A few month's worth of age removes this. If you buy Byzantium in a tin, you can check the date on the bottom to determine its age. If you buy it bulk and you can't determine its age, be sure to let some of it to rest for a few months before you pass judgment on it.

Byzantium isn't complex or sophisticated, but it is very good and it's very easy to smoke. It's a tobacco that I enjoy, whether concentrating on my pipe or otherwise engaged. Recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1419)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Now this is a Latakia laced blend I can sink my palate into! It is not often that I find a true English concoction that has enough strength (nicotine) to keep me satisfied. Byzantium does the trick and does it well.

The tobacco is not particularly foreboding once the tin is opened and the components are exposed. In fact, this one is really much stronger in both flavor and strength than it looks. There is no mention of Virginia leaf in the above description, but I sure saw and tasted it. The Perique, while present, was very sparingly administered and added a bit of spice to the overall presentation.

This is one of the oldest and best selling blends in the C&D line and it is easy to see why it is so popular.

I originally purchased this blend for my local pipe club's tobacco bar at the next monthly meeting. But now, I do believe I'll just keep this one for myself. Guess I'd better change my name to Selfishstud. (-;

4 people found this review helpful.

crazy owl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crazy owl (57)
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Extra Full Very Strong

By the fires of Hell here we face a strong mixture,very strong,extreme naturally flavoured and non easy to tame.I must disagree with not a few reviewers about the source of strength,for me it´s a lavishly added part of Perique.I love Perique a lot,but this doesn´t mean a lot of proportion,i.m.h.o. more than 20% is too much,at Byzantium is surpased.This beautiful beast is made to be smoked in cobs better than briars and wide bowls better than tall and narrow ones.Beware of the monster,oh brothers in holy smoke!

Pipe Used: Cobs better

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smokingpipes

2 people found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (46)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a blend that you smoke for yourself--it will make you no friends in a crowd...That being said, It is one of the most enjoyable blends I've tried...No complexity here just wonderful taste...A bowl of wonderful flavor!

Pipe Used: variuos for testing

Age When Smoked: fresh when received

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Armchair Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Armchair (4)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

To me, this is what the white dot folks had in mind when they blended 965- Dunhill missed the mark, C&D did not! One of my top three in rotation. It improves with cellaring, and I buy it in multiples of 8 oz cans, cause I'm fearful that C&D may stop blending th' stuff! I remove it from the tin and let it mellow in a glass humidor. Another five-star blend from the magicians at C&D! I concur with Mongo about pipe shape/size- I prefer this in a Peterson 80s, 999, or XL02. It doesn't work as well for me in any tall narrow bowl or any stack.

2 people found this review helpful.

poppy43 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
poppy43 (11)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

this is a great tobacco, the only fault I have with it is it seems a little harsh on my throat if I smoke to much of it, so it's a once a day smoke. I'll keep some around. No complaints from anyone on the room note.

Pipe Used: a trusty Kaywoodie

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

StrongMixturesOnly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StrongMixturesOnly (17)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A wonderful mixture of Turkish, Latakia, and Perique tobaccos, Byzantium is truly a metropolis of flavor. Latakia adds the strength while the Turkish flavoring and spice of Perique entwine superbly to create a distinctive and authentic English blend, rich in the signature taste Oriental leaves are known for. I personally enjoy this mixture best on a cool Autumn's night, alone with only my thoughts and my pipe.

1 person found this review helpful.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

I found this to be a strong and satisfying tobacco. Certainly not an all day smoke for me, this is best left to an after dinner treat. I am puzzled with the comparison of this with 965. I've smoked 965 since the early 90's and personally seen no similarities. My wife dislikes the smell of most latakia blends and this was no exception. She described the aroma as burnt Chinese food. (I don't know what that means but that is what she claims. She wasn't as offended by the even heavier Pirate Kake.) Anyway,this is a decent tobacco well worth a try.

soli Deo gloria

1 person found this review helpful.

churchwarden398 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
churchwarden398 (18)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was away at a wooded area with some friends over the weekend. Took three pipes of varying bowl sizes and my latest tobacco purchases. First I tried this in my smallest bowl. Whoa! This tobacco seemed to be a latakia bomb. However over the next few days, as I switched to successively larger bowls, the tobacco improved greatly. The larger bowls brought out a rich creaminess - WOW! Maybe the tobacco had a chance to dry a wee bit as well.

The tobacco was mostly black in color. It's aroma was not that of a latakia bomb; for which one might get thrown out of the house. I do not have the luxury of indoor smoking. The aroma made me question if this was what Ricardo Montalban was harkening back to when he spoke of "RICH, Corinthian leather". In my leather tobacco pouch it seemed as if the tobacco improved the quality of the leather; if that is possible. A pipe smoking friend made pointed inquiries into the name of what I was smoking. Even though he was offered several bowlfuls; he wanted the name because he planned to order some. This will definitely be near the top of my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

As an old 965 fan I was tempted to try this blend after reading these reviews. My palate found this to be slightly less rounded out than old 965 - a not quite as mellow. Or, in other words, lacking a dimension found in the Dunhill comparison - which component is missing I'm not sure. However, it will satisfy as a replacement. I plan my next taste of this to be enjoyed at more leisurely time of day when I do not have to rush the smoke and perhaps have some brandy to tone it down some. Fourteen hours later I was still tasting this tobacco. I found it very peppery, more than I had expected, and as smoky as I had hoped. I'll be stocking up on more of this before tax increase. It won't replace my everyday Finck blends (based on price), but a good find nevertheless.

UPDATE 09-09-10:

After having to amend several other reviews based on further experience and in fairness to the blenders of Byzantium I must upgrade my assessment of this blend. As 3 Stars is a high rating in my personal TR grade scale with 4 stars denoting my intent to repurchase it dawned on me last week while making my sixth repurchase of Byzantium that I am enjoying it evermore and that the slight deficiencies I noted above have abated or disappeared. This is an excellent blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was intrigued by the fact that this reputedly 'English' blend had no Virginia component. I like to think of it as a 'Louisiana Balkan' blend. But, classify it as one may, this is a hearty (but not overpowering) blend that has found a place in my tobacco rotation. Latakia is prominent, but the Perique and Orientals are what set this Cornell & Diehl offering above the 'meh', complementing the rich taste of Latakia with a hint of spice and sweetness. The room note is typical of a Latakia blend with the addition of a pleasant fragrance that, I assume, is attributable to the Orientals. Cool-smoking. An enjoyable blend.

Pipe Used: Savinelli billiard

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zekest Crowe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zekest Crowe (1)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Rich smoky Latakia that is slightly on the heavy side, very light Oriental/Turkish flavor, and only enough Perique to notice when I exhale through my nose.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kapet 120 Dublin

Age When Smoked: Less than a year in a Ball jar

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (451)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I agree with some others that this seems to be missing something (Virginias?). It might have been ok with a stronger dose of Orientals, but as it is it just doesn't cut it. It has potential though so I'm going to fiddle around with it and see what I can come up with.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (164)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

While I don't think this is by far a bad blend, there just seems to be something missing. It lights and stays lit well. It does produce a decent amount of smoke and seems to be a slow burning mixture. But just doesn't seem to have that oomph to put it to 3 or 4 stars. I give this a pleasant rating on room note because the wife didn't go screaming inside when I had this lit and was puffing away. I would recommend this for those wanting to give an English a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fumatore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fumatore (48)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I don't think this is bad blend but the combination here is not entirely pleasurable to my taste. It gives me a flavor or mouth-feel as would incense. My guess is that the Latakia is overdone in combination with just the Turkish and Perique tobaccos. Don't misunderstand, I love my Latakia and English blends, but something is just off the mark with this one.

Apparently some of you like your Latakia no matter the amalgamation, so I will give it a "somewhat recommend". While I would smoke Byzantium if nothing else was available, I won't order any more of it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mystic Rune Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mystic Rune (35)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

A Smooth, full, creamy, smokey. Delicious, singular but consistent flavor and mouth feel. While it is a one trick pony, I really like it. When I approached the end of an 8 ounce tin, I ordered more. As always, YMMV.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

matty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matty (21)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This blend is wonderful. For me it starts off mild and a bit sweet. The anticipation of the soon to come deep, rich and peppery end is near. The layers I taste in this blend are nice when smoked in a nice big bent pipe. It loads very easily. This is the last fair deal in the country when purchased by the pound. I can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines when I'm smoking the Byz.

Oh an it satisfies my nic craving nicely unlike most English blends. Exhaling through my nose towards the end is delightful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Good blend that burns well and goes to white ash. However, sometimes it lacks of strength, then taste becomes somewhat plain.

My rate: 3.6

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarPatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarPatch (33)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based.

Byzantium is not the one. If you enjoy Nightcap, you'll enjoy Byzantium though. Lots of rich/creamy/smoky Latakia, but lacks strength and complexity, just as Nightcap did. Mild and a bit boring for my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (70)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Anice mix of latakia, perique and turkish. Nice creamy taste with less latakia than Star of the East. A bit less would be perfect but it still is a nice smoke. A good evening smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lucas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lucas (7)
Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

One of the best Balkans out there. Needs a little coaxing to get it lit, but after that smokes very well. Very smooth, absolutely no bite. One of those blends that can be smoked back to back with no problem. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This blend by C&D is for me just about the perfect Balkan; it has everything I look for in a Balkan blend - smooth, creamy and rich taste. I've never ended up with tongue bite with this mixture, despite the sometimes two or three bowls I'll smoke in one day. I've gotten into the habit of cutting the ribbons/flakes up with a scissors and letting them dry about 15 - 20 before before lightly packing my pipe. By cutting, drying and lightly packing, I'm usually able to get most the way through a bowlful without more than a couple relights and it always burns down to dry gray ash. While I believe the room note is very pleasant, my wife describes the beginning of the bowl as "acrid"; however, she admits that once I've gotten about a fourth of the way into the bowl the acridity disappears and she finds the odor quite nice. I've smoked this in a large variety of pipes, including meerschaum, and I enjoy it the most in the evening in a billiard-type briar, about a group five. This type of pipe gives me over two hours to thoroughly enjoy Byzantium and makes for the perfect last-pipe-of-the-day smoke. The nicotine strength must not be too great, as it doesn't make me sleepy like some blends (Dunhill's Nightcap or GLP Haddo's Delight); however, there is enough nicotine to meet my needs and to relax me. Overall a very good tobacco and recommended for those who enjoy Balkans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (103)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This tastes to me similar to the old 965. Though this is less vibrant, more earthy, less woody. It is nearly as strong, in Latakia as well as in overall strength, which is full.

The kind of VAs in this are very creamy, the orientals slightly muted compared to 965, not as perfumey, and the Latakia is deep and smokey. The cut, which I can only describe as mixed, makes for a slow, sometimes slightly bitter burn. But this is very good, if sometimes tasting a bit rough around the edges. It's good enough that I'd say 965 smokers ought to try this as an alternative. It will get better with age.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Among other things, I am a Latakia lover, so this one is right up my alley. If I am smoking a Latakia blend, I want the flavor to be big and bold. Byzantium delivers.

Like all C&D blends, it burns well, and burns clean. A nice cool smoke that I really enjoy in the evening when it's time to put the day behind me. You can really get lost in the flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Very, very similar to Engine 99, but a tad lighter in body. Not the quality of many other C&D blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CJ (45)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

General Comment for All C&D Blends. So far, all my samples have burned clean and dry. They contain quality ingredients. If purchased fresh from C&D, I find that I must adjust the moisture content, and let them rest for 3-6 months before sampling. They change flavor dramatically in just a few months.

In appearance, this is a primarily dark looking blend that gives the appearance of a strong and full smoke ahead. On the other hand, the pouch aroma does not confirm this as it is not that strong. If you are familiar with delicate but full flavored English Latakia-Oriental blends, here is the meat and potatoes version. This has plenty of flavors, a decent nicotine content, and a good Latakia dose. I find it a bit rough. I prefer that even the strong full Latakia blends have some creamy and smooth balance. It is possible that this needs even more age. I have many similar blends from C&D and others that I prefer to Byzantium including C&D Engine 99. If you like full flavored Latakia blends, and if prefer them to be untamed, here's your blend. It has quality ingredients, does not bite, and burns clean and dry to charcoal gray ash.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Here we have another of the English blends from C&D that I recently began to try. This one turned out to be very similar to Engine 99; the only real difference I notice is an overall slightly lighter tone. The aroma of the tobacco is primarily the dark, leathery notes of strong Latakia, but with a few modifying lighter hints; it certainly isn?t the darkest English tobacco I?ve smelled. The leaf is roughly 80% very dark brown, with 10% each of medium and lighter brown thrown in. The cut is short, of normal width, and includes many broken fragments and some powder. The lighter brown pieces are somewhat longer than the rest. The moisture level is very low, like usual; I would recommend adding a little distilled water and letting the bag sit overnight. Packing is easy, if the powder is sifted out first. A bowl lights easily and burns well, if a bit quickly, and a normal number of relights is required. In the first third, the initial flavor is one of my favorites: dark, rich Latakia goodness. The smoke is fairly smooth, with no bite, and is not harsh when exhaled through the nose. I sense no real sweetness here, nor is the flavor excessively heavy. I?d call this a rather satisfying blend at this point. The middle 1/3 is darker but not a great deal so. There is still no bite, though there is a small amount of moisture at this point. The tobacco is not weak nicotine-wise, but I?m not reeling in my chair (yet). It is still fairly smooth and satisfying. The finish is much like the rest of the bowl, with no real bite and no additional moisture problems. The flavor becomes significantly stronger at the very bottom of the bowl, providing a very nice finish. Overall, I enjoyed this blend very much. It is an excellent example of the English/Latakia tobaccos that I like to smoke in the evening. It could use some aging, as with most C&D blends. The room aroma is not all that pleasant; but I recommend this to anyone who can stand the ?camel shit? comments from the ignorant masses . I certainly plan to keep some around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.