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One half Latakia with a generous portion of Turkish and sweetened with stoved red Virginia.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 5 Users

3.0
55 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
17
3 star:
23
2 star:
11
1 star:
4
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Kashmir Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kashmir (19)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Wow! This is a really excellent English blend of Latakia, Turkish and Virginia. The label states "One half Latakia with a generous portion of Turkish and sweetened with stoved red Virginia".

In many respects I find Cornell & Diehls' STAR OF THE EAST (SOTE) as the perfect replacement for Balkan Sasieni (BS) and at less than half the cost ($28/lb for SOTE versus $7/50g tin for BS, which works out to approx. $63/ lb).

I find in both blends a dense campfire smokiness provided by the high Latakia content, although its much higher with SOTE (50%) than with BS (I'd estimate at approx. 30%). But the effect of the Stoved Virginia base and the sparkling spice provided by the Orientals is very similar in both to my palate.

The blend comes as a rough cut ribbon, rather on the fat side. The color is a dark brown with a 50% of pure black leaf, the latter presumably representing the Latakia. By the way, off topic, is it la-ta-KIA or la-TA-kia? I have heard both in common parlance. Anyways, the thick ribbons pack well via gravitation feed, with a stout thumb press to finalize the pack. After a preliminary charring, the top ash takes readily and offers a one- match smoke. The water content is ideal out of the sack, and keeps well in sealed glass bell jars.

As an aside, I have tried to find a replacement for BS for quite some time now. Cup O Joes offers a bulk version of Balkan Sasieni for only $40/lb. However, this is not exactly the same as the 50g tinned version. I presume that this is a house blend that approximates the original.

As the first post mentioned, this blend was created in June 1998 by "FredSmoke" (aka Fred Langer) and blended by Craig Tarler of Cornell & Diehls. Hats off to these fine gentlemen. What really impresses me with this blend is the cost of $28/lb! I don't think a better deal exists for the lover of English / Balkan blends who by necessity operate on a shoestring budget. I for one will be feeding my cellar with this fine blend to the tune of several pounds. I expect the Stoved Red Virginias, that neutralize the 50% Latakia and serve as a base of fine sweetness, to age well.

I would HIGHLY recommend this blend to any lover of English Latakia heavy blends. I give it 4 out of 4 stars. Happy smoking to all.

6 people found this review helpful.

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

WOW. This blend is smooth, rich and full. While the Latakia is the heavy hitter in SOTE, the red VA pokes its head through around mid bowl enhancing the semi sweetness of the turkish that compliments the Latakia very well. Burns clean and even, building up to a very complex and tasty finish that makes you want to immediately smoke another bowl.

While SOTE is not as profoundly smooth and creamy as Penzance, it has replaced Penzance as my favorite Latakia blend. Something no other Latakia blend has been able to do for the past five years. A winner and a solid 4 stars!

4 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (31)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is excellent. I couldn't find any flaw yet, and although intuitively, it seems somewhat mediocre, I tried to analyse what exactly is missing here, and I couldn't find anything. It has everything in just the right amount. I was smoking Red Odessa a lot lately, then I got sick, which changed my receptors as usual, and during the recovery, I switched to this one. First bowl of it, was in a meerschaum pipe, near New Year's eve on the city dock in Thessaloniki, a warm sea weather, ideal for winter latakia smoke. And I find it disgusting, there's something special in Cornell and Diehl blends that distinguishes them from all other out there, and the first bowl all I could smell was that undefined Cornell and Diehl taste. Second bowl however, was much better, and was getting better and better, and the last one I had 15 minutes ago, and I liked it immensely. It is truly a wonderful blend that lacks nothing. Latakia is overpowering, not as in Odissey, but close, and orientals are present, you can feel them periodically, although they don't play the main role. VA can also be spotted after the first half, all in all, decent quality smoke. It leaves that awesome latakia aftertaste that lasts for a long time. I'm beginning to like this more and more. I purchased 8 oz bulk, and probably going to order some more. Not a nicotine kick, more like everyday english. Not too mild like Balkan Sasieni either. Highly Recommended.

Pipe Used: Briars and meers

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A great blend with lots of flavor. Not quite as stout as most of the English/Balkan blends I smoke, but just as flavorful. I'll keep some of this around for the times when I want something a little lighter. This is a very good, solid, quality smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Furqueron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Furqueron (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This is my favorite tobacco. Not terribly complex. For me it is spot on. It is pure smokiness. Even though it is 50% Latakia it has a mellowness to it. Not bite, to speak of, either. I like subtle tobaccos. It is like a richer version of Presbyterian Mixture. I buy it by the pound.

2 people found this review helpful.

whitebriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
whitebriar (29)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

was a bit let down with this one--pretty bland--have a bit that will be allowed to age--perhaps it will improve a bit--

edit: a bit of time in the jar has improved SOTE or possibly my taste has just come around to it--upping the score to 3 stars--

2 people found this review helpful.

The Commoner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Commoner (30)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

I suspect this could be packaged in a GL Pease tin, introduced as his newest "genius' blend, and many of us would gladly pay the premium cost to rave about the "depth and subtle complexity of this intoxicating weed"... or otherwise engage in some other manner of hyperbole.

This is in no way a knock on GLP. I dig his stuff. Which is why I use it here as sort of the gold standard. The point is I personally think SOTE is damned good pipe tobacco. As good as there is out there.

Throw in that it costs less than 30 bucks a pound and it to me is a clear , no-brainer, stock builder.

If you like English/Balkan blends just try this. Could be a mainstay for you..

2 people found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (100)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The venerable, almost legendary C&D Star of the East. I wondered when I would finally get some to try and finally did include a small 2 oz. tin of this bulk blend on my last order. The reviews here and elsewhere piqued my interest especially with the comparisons to Penzance which seems to have gone AWOL again over here.

Described as a broken flake I wonder what difference there is between this and C&D's SOTE Flake? I guess I must buy that as well. However, upon lighting this up I was immediately pummeled by a fine Latakia with the sweet Virginias quickly coming to the surface. Sweet smokiness without the tannic pasting with which other heavy Latakia blends have left me (Three Oaks Original, for one). Unsure if I like this right off I immediately repacked my pipe and had another go. Yes, I liked it and can see how others have likened it to Penzance- it seems to be Penzance on steroids - the Latakia more to the fore, the Va's sweeter. The "finish" of this, to borrow a cigar tasting term, is short and does not linger for hours in one's mouth.

I very much like Penzance and could smoke it all day. I'm not sure if I can handle this all day, however; it is more powerful in nicotine (not that that is a bad thing). I do wonder why no comparison has been made (unless I missed it) to other heavy Latakia blends such as FrogMorton or Benjamin Hartwell Chesdin Mixture. Those blends seem more in the genre of SOTE, IMO. I prefer Star of the East to both of those and it has over the last two weeks replaced the Frog for me. I may not smoke it all day, but I do smoke it at least once per day as the drive-to-work blend where it satisfies my tobacco yen until lunch twelve hours later. 4 Stars - no equivocation.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (578)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

First of all, if you love the taste of latakia to the exclusion of all else in a blend, add at least one star to my recommendation.

The previous reviewer nailed my feelings on this tobacco. It's a fine, high quality blend that misses the mark for someone who prefers a complex smoke with some side flavors. I just taste latakia that ebbs and flows in intensity. This was smoked fresh out of the tin and I noticed that some reviewers find that it improves drastically with some age. I may try that experiment.

As is, it's a very flat, monodimensional smoke. That doesn't make it bad, though - and if that's what you desire, this is one to try, especially if you've ever mainlined latakia. :)

2 people found this review helpful.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

well i like oreintals and lately ive been examining the poupular blends out there,,this one came in the Q,,teel u the truth when half of the blend is latakia u shouldnt judge by the composure of other tobaccos included bcz it will b overwhelmed,,its an oriental blend that i will assure the turkish leaf sweetness can make it out some times in the bowl by a slight spicy touch but i would say the red virginia is definitly there with very mellow effect,,amazingly the blend dosent have a knock you off your feet effect,,it needs a wide bowl to pack and enjoy though,,would like to try it from time to time but not constantly

2 people found this review helpful.

BigBen53 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigBen53 (21)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Star of the East Tobacco This full English is a wonderful complex recipe of the finest Latakia, It 50% Latakia, choice Turkish, and sweetened with stoved red Virginia. Hand blended,It Smoker cool full bodied yet remarkably gentle no tongue bite. The Room Note Aroma was full Latakia/ English. star of the east is one of my favourite English tobaccos.English brand from Cornell & Diehl. in the Bulk. I would call truly outstanding. It is full and rich enough to satisfy just about any English blend smoker. I give it 4 Star . I smoke this regularly, and it is definitly ones of my favorite . Sometime a all day Smoke. if you like English Tobacco you have to get some to try

2 people found this review helpful.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

After noting the review in which the author mentioned a touch more burley - I began contemplating how this would affect this blend. I've mixed in some Burley/VA/P stock to this and it calls up a remarkably savory yet sweet smoke.

------- I tried this blend in a C+D sample pack based on the reviews above. Particularly the good Captain proclaiming that it could satisfy him in the absence of Raven's Wing...a high, high compliment.

Other reviewers have given this an excellent assessment. I will only note a few observations from my own experience.

I taste far less of a sweet note and far more musky/woodsy turkish and latakia. I don't find this bad but was hoping for something slightly more sweet. However I am aware that the C+D blends usually take a couple of months to really "plump up" in full taste range - particularly when dealing with freshly blended red VA. So I look forward to trying more of this down the road.

I will agree that this is an excellent blend - closer to the Balkan range than English in my opinion. Having tried several balkans I believe this to be one of the best to date - overtaking even the sasieni line and Carvan in excellence. There is simply much more robustness and a more even handling of flavors than in many of these blends. Where Odyssey is a thick, heady trip into an unknown land - Star of the East is an inviting visit to the courts, bazaars, docks and parlors of the near east. It is rich and deep yet not deadening to the taste buds. A smoke leaves you satisfied but not so blasted that you can't have another soon after and enjoy it.

So....order a pound, stow it away and enjoy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

An excellent English blend with dark deep and very smokey flavor, Turkish floral aroma is present in the background, less sweet than most English blends I have tried, very well balanced in every way, must be dried out for better result.

Pipe Used: Billards

Age When Smoked: New puchase

Purchased From: smokingpipes

Similar Blends: None.

1 person found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (44)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Yummy, yummy, yummy...Another great tobacco from C&D...It would be very difficult for me to choose between this and C&D Byzantium...Both are Primo in my book...Another to add to the rotation.

Pipe Used: various for testing

Age When Smoked: fresh from Smokingpipes

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

StrongMixturesOnly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StrongMixturesOnly (17)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

While I am more accustomed to the stronger English blends, I do enjoy this mixture from time to time, mostly when the night air is cool and crisp. It is a blend heavy in Turkish leaves, as it has a strong oriental, almost minty, flavor. The Latakia never comes to the fore, instead preferring to ground the mixture while letting the subtle Virginia undertones fill any flavor gaps the Turkish taste may have glazed over.

1 person found this review helpful.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (36)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Very common C&D bulk and liked by many. VA, Turkish and Latakia. Med-full, decent nicotine, cheap.

I wish I loved this but I don't. The Orientals are background, adding a little tang and coffee ground bitterness. This is mostly about the interplay between the Va and Lat. This tobacco bears a resemblance to Lancer Slices, but I find the venerable slices more enjoyable. This one doesn't have the same indescribable note from the Lat that C&D's Pirate Kake and Ten Russians share, which is good because I'm not nuts about those. This is smoky and leathery, just not lusciously so the way Lancer Slices is.

No real complexity here, but I will credit this tobacco with being very consistent. I have smoked no bowls of this that varied in experience. As bulk Lat blends go you could do worse, but this is not even in the same class as their bulk #505 Super Balkan, and probably not as good as #64 Mountain Camp. It's arguably better than Engine #99, although that one has a little more going on in it. This kind of strikes me the same way Squadron Leader does. Just average. Once this jar is empty we part ways.

1 person found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

SotE is another example of the 50-50 genre of Virginia/Latakia blends out there and is a pretty good representative.

The Cyprian Latakia leads in the blend, softened by the Virginias. The Orientals are really in the background, to the degree they're there. It's hard, I think, to create a complex flavor profile in blends of this nature but SotE does a decent job of it. As a result, it could be a fine all day companion. Like many C&D blends, it's fairly dry in the tin (not a bad thing to me) and burns well. I haven't had the flake version of this but I suspect it will have a little more punch and complexity--I'm looking forward to trying it. Recommended (in a 2.5 stars kind of way)--not wild about it but would smoke it from time to time.

1 person found this review helpful.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this one some time ago, had a small sample of it. I did enjoy it, but now having tried the flake version, I would always choose that one over this. A nice smoky latakia blend, for me it was difficult to pick out the other flavors though until I tried the flake which seemed to be much more balanced. I would like to try this one again, but still I would tend towards the flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Piper@thegates Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@thegates (20)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

I'm astounded to read some reviews stating that Star of the East is unbalanced. If anything to me this blend epitomises the skill and artistry of the blender in as much that I have never smoked such a well balanced and flavourful combination amongst the many Latakia blends. Given that the blenders notes state a 50% Latakia content, it is the higher than normal, I'd say 30% or more Turkish content, that creates not a blend where the various tobaccos compete, but rather a blend where the various components dance through the smoking experience in perfect harmony. What some have described as 'light', is to my mind the Turkish and stoved red Va tobacco countering the heavier Latakia and forming a marriage of sensations which continue throughout the smoke together as a well matched partnership.

This blend contains not just a high level of Latakia but also a very substantial amount of Turkish which gives it that almost minty lightness on the edges of the latakia body. A beautiful piece of art from the blender but one that I'm sure will only endear itself if the smoker is a fan of Latakia. I feel very comfortable in recommending this blend to any lover of the Latakia English/Balkan blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

beardedhermit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beardedhermit (30)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

this is quite the tobacco i must say. lightly sweet and peat moss woodiness, I feel like i just wondered into the green forest. If its not my favorite it should be. Takes some coaxing to keep lit but if let out to dry some you wont have any problems.

1 person found this review helpful.

PatrickM Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PatrickM (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

The tobacco came somewhat dry, but it still packed and lit just fine. This was my first latakia English blend, and I like it! It tastes great (don't quite know how to describe it). It tends to start out with a somewhat mellow taste, and develop into a progressively more spicy taste toward the bottom (with what I think is the latakia coming through). Not an all-day smoke, but a delightul experience nonetheless!

1 person found this review helpful.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (134)
★★★☆
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

This is my first C&D mixture that I have had the chance to try. I find upon opening the tin, that the moisture level was perfect for smoking straight away. The aroma from the tin was just wonderful. It lit and stayed lit easily enough. Tastes just like an English is supposed to. It will not endear you to the wife/girlfriend because of the Latakia content, which is why it got the dreaded "Tolerable" rating here. If you are looking for a good place to start off on your English journey, this is a great place to start. Highly recommended to one and all.

1 person found this review helpful.

ivycap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ivycap (63)
★★☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

You think you're a tough guy? Try some of this! This blend will round-house kick you in the face with latakia! It's fun and you have to try it at least once, but honestly, as others have said, it is quite out of balance. Who wants to smoke 50% latakia all day everyday? Not me. On the bright side, it does burn well and and has a nice finnish to it. I recommend you buy a small amount and smoke it every blue moon for a rush.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

Some of the reviews compare Star of the East to Balkan Sasieni and classify it as "light." Not so: With an advertised 50% Latakia proportioned in the mixture (I swear there's even more), SOTE is a fuller English that delivers the deep, smoky flavors that you would expect in this category. To me, it can be a bit ponderous and monodimensional, if not slightly bitter, and by mid-bowl, I've had my share.

To me it lacks balance. The finish is surprisingly light, so you can shake it off your tongue fairly easily. Frankly, I prefer many other blends in this category. Hmm . . . It's also available in flake form . . .

1 person found this review helpful.

TheBriarSire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheBriarSire (11)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is my second C & D blend, and I am very happy to say I have found another winner. Time will tell if I go back and order more, but for now I have another tobacco I find myself craving often, much like Pease's "Odyssey." This is partially due to the fact that I am still exploring the massive world of tobacco, but this does not hinder the fact that SOTE is a good blend.

Being familiar at this point with the obvious scent of latakia, SOTE surprised me with its barbecue-esque aroma, a new one on me. A friend of mine generally describes latakia as smelling like "beef jerkey," but I believe I finally understand his comparison: SOTE really hits the nose with a pungent leathery, earthy tang that smells of spice and soil -- and maybe even beef. Beef could definitely describe the chewy smoke SOTE left in my mouth after each puff, that is, the smoke was so rich with flavor it almost had a chewy texture as it coated my tongue. It was very cigar-like, and oddly even the room note (though I was outside) was very cigar-like (think maduro). Throughout the bowl, the light was kept well, and the flavors seemed to continue to crescendo into one very full smokey mixture that lingered long after the bowl was done and the pipe was cleaned. Again, like a cigar, I could feel the fullness of this tobacco in the back of my throat, as well as that feeling of having just eaten a porterhouse steak for dinner. This could be attributed to my rocket-puffing syndrome, but I digress: SOTE is a great blend and highly recommended to all lovers of rugged, full-bodied blends with a lot of smokey, spicy characteristics.

Whether this becomes a staple for me is a verdict only a few more stout bowls can deliver. 3.6 out 4 points for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Again, my desire for a 2.5 rating.

This is a fairly full English mixture. Mine was a bit old so might have "drifted" from the original concept but basically it's fairly heavy on Latakia, light on Virginias, and zero Burley. The result is a fairly flat and dry smoke, with some depth and spice, but not overwhelming. It's not sweet, not light, not open, not flavored.

People who prefer a flavor other than Latakia will want something else, also if you like a bit of sweetness or tang, this might disappoint. (There's a teeny bit of tang in this, but not much.)

1 person found this review helpful.

Tin Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tin Man (14)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is on a 2 year old tin, which isn't finished yet. Wow, very nice! Light sweetness to start, combined with smoky, leathery tang. Toward mid bowl it settles in to a workmanlike tobacco flavor, with sweetness backing off. Not sure about the balance on this one. Don't know as I like this much Latakia. Have to wait and see how the tin empties out. Personally, I really like the room note, which doesn't seem to linger much. There some twigs in this stuff. They need to be removed, or you will get a poor pack and uneven burn, resulting in harshness and biting. This isn't a good candidate for DGT. It becomes acrid and flat.

1 person found this review helpful.

kppeterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kppeterson (2)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

What a wonderful mixture. All that I have purchased has been in bulk and while it smokes wonderfully from the get go it gets even better after sitting in a Ball jar for as little as 3 to 6 months. It is a Balkan for sure and just slightly sweet from the Red Virginia and maybe the Orientals as well. Sweeter and less soapy (in the Latakia sense not Lakeland) than Pease's Odyssey, I like this much better. The Orientals are not nearly as acrid as in Abingdon, which I also enjoy and it may be a bit sweeter to my palate.

As many reviews have mentioned this blend contains 50% Latakia but it is not overwhelming, then again I cannot smoke bowl after bowl of this either because it does tend to max out my taste buds for a time. This blend can be smoked anytime of day though I prefer it after breakfast or as my last pipe of the day, after dinner. It is wonderful with a coffee, sausage and eggs in the morning and unlike a mild English or Balkan it can stand up to a flavorful or spicy dinner as maybe your last pipe of the day. The aftertaste is definite Latakia and it stays in my beard and nostrils for quite a while keeping the Mrs. at bay so be forewarned. Though it doesn't develop substantially down the bowl it also does not get overly bitter as some Balkans do and finishes quite nicely.

The cut is on the coarse side and packs well using many different methods. The slightly coarse cut make is a good candidate for outdoors but I do tend to pack it a bit tighter for those times if windy. Bowl size makes little difference though I do tend to prefer it in medium to large bowls. Smokes fairly cool though with effort can get a bit hot, so as always smoke slowly. Do not be put off or have and attitude about buying as a bulk (it can also be purchased in tins) because I would rank this with some of the favorite heavy Latakia blends out there such as Margate, Odyssey, Abingdon or Penzance and highly recommend it to lovers of such blends.

UPDATE-12/28/08 Though I hate to do so I am down grading this one star as I feel it tends to burn a bit on the hot side which is a problem I also get with Margate. After spending some time with Pease's Westminster, Maltese Falcon and Abingdon all which burn quite a bit cooler I feel it is only fair. Still a wonderful tobacco that I will be stocking up on again in the future.

1 person found this review helpful.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

With 50% of the blend being Latakia, I expected something a bit more strong than what I experienced. What instead of being a Latakia powerhouse was a bit milder than London Blend 1000 but stronger than Frog Morton Across the Pond. The Turkish was zesty and complimented the earthy Latakia. The sweet red VA, in my opinion, is what set this blend apart from others in the genre. The red VA seemed in my mind to be slightly sweet, but not as much as say a McClelland Christmas cheer. What I was unhappy about was the poor cut. It made loading a pipe an effort and even when effort was taken I could still notice some spots burned hotter than others. I did like this blend, but would like to have another tin with maybe a little better cut.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

A nice light Balkan with emphasis on the (tame) latakia. The other main taste is the Turkish; a tasty combination. But the red Virginia doesn't do much -- it certainly doesn't sweeten the smoke, the C&D blurb notwithstanding. As a result, Star of the East is a well-balanced but ultimately rather limited blend; it certainly doesn't develop significantly as you go down the bowl. Good for when you want a Balkan that won't wallop you on the head, and definitely worth a try. But I can't see buying it much in the future.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I find I like this one better than most of the Balkan/?Lots of Lat? blends. I don?t get a Penzance feel or taste from ?Star? at all, but it is a heavy smoke. Pease?s English blends (while excellent) taste lighter too, or not as rich to me. To my taste, the stoved Virginias tame the Latakia and Turkish to make a cool but complex smoke. A solid smoke that I can recommend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Latakia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakia (68)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A bit too much latakia for me but if you want a latakia blend that is smooth, this could be it. Reminded me of Odessy or Balkan Sasieni....both which I found very good and heavy on the latakia. Contrary to there brands though, SOTE is much easier to keep lit. Will put a little humidor disk in it and let it age as it should age well. Will return to it when I want a latakia overdose. Not bad but I wouldn't buy it again.

Decided to go back to the review and give it a higher rating than I intially did. I began to like the high latakia content and see where this can be a special latakia smoke when wanting a full taste.

1 person found this review helpful.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

The most outstanding thing about this tobacco is that it's a bulk blend and priced accordingly. It's basically a medium-strength Balkan, not as complex or full-bodied as Odyssey but with a similar flavor profile (and the bonus trait of being easy to keep lit). I like the flake version of this more, but this is a pretty decent (and easy to smoke) blend. I would rate it higher, but there are many blends of this sort on the market that I enjoy far more. YMMV.

1 person found this review helpful.

Big Blue Jazzman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Blue Jazzman (32)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Strong

Star Of The East will reward you with pure tobacco pleasure from start to finish. Lot's of Latakia and a good nicotine punch. Burns cool and like Mr. Chesterfield used to say, satisfies. I've got to try the flake, I'll bet it's even better. This is a man's smoke, and brother, it's a good one.

1 person found this review helpful.

1968Billy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1968Billy (13)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Easier to keep lit than Odyssey, with a better, fuller taste. I can understand where both are going, just doesn't burn well enough to get me there. Merits at least 2.5 stars. The orientials add enormnous complexities (cool & smooth) just seem hard to keep lit up?

1 person found this review helpful.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

10/02/2004: I give this four stars even though it isn't one I smoke frequently. Too heavy on the Latakia for frequent use. Excellent stuff though for you Latikia hounds. I selected tolerable room note, but I doubt it. You S.O. will most likely protest this indoors.

11/25/2006 Update: Drop to three stars. Not in the same league as Penzance or GLP Latakia blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

==Update= The new version of this is in flake form, and has a substitution of Izmir turkish for the original receipe..... While this bears the same name, the blend has been significantly changed. The change of form to flake has married the flavors in a more unified way. The change to Izmir has added a spice and body that makes this a new and improved animal..... I like it and very much recomend it. The sample I got did need a bit of drying for my taste, but an hour and it was ready to go. Burning characteristics were good- Needing an occasional relight- But the blend did not suffer from DGT. Stayed tasty to the end with no bitterness. As a side note- the tin art for C&D is improving, and they are fun to leave out rather than hide them on some shelf. Kudos to the artist as well. All in all a great experience.....

Ran across this is the local tobaconist in my search for something wonderful. Found this to be a great balkan. The latakia lends a great stage for the turkish and Va. to play in. Can be strong if smoked early in the am for me, but a great smoke when your in the mood for an exotic taste. Its always in my rotation. As with C&D, can be dry- throw a humidor disk in with it and let it rehydrate if you find this too be true and enjoy...

1 person found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

If you can imagine Penzance not in flake form this would be it.This is an incredibly rich tobacco.Although it is 50% Latakia the Turkish and Virginias make their presence known.This is in line with Nat Sherman #536 with a lot more Latakia.It produces a very buttery and full flavor.Some people might detect a bitterness,and it will make itself quite apparent if smoked on the dry side. This is best "SHPRITZED" with distilled water and then allowed to sit for about 2 weeks.When this is done it will provide a wonderful after dinner companion for you and your pipe.It actually has a stong similarity to "Old Ironsides".I truly enjoy this blend about 5 times a week (after dinner). It will best be appreciated when not smoked before a meal.The room note for some odd reason is actually quite nice and dissipates quickly. 4 of 4 Latakia stars!

1 person found this review helpful.

dualkarnain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dualkarnain (74)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong

This is a great sleeper blend that somehow hid in the back of my shelf without a thought for the past nine months.

The Latakia/Oriental blending has a very interesting depth that is hard for me to describe. Praeterdimensional, I'll call it.

The VA sweetens it up and the orientals are more amped up than in many blends. This is a good thing.

Check it out!

Images evoked: a band of marauder mercenaries, following the successful completion of a big job, visiting a house of negotiable affection.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

An excellent middle of the road Balkan. Satisfying in taste and nicotine, Star Of The East has a generous mouth-filling quality. It can stand up to many mixtures which are priced much higher. It lacks a certain je ne sait quoi that keeps it from being a great mixture, but it comes close to it.

1 person found this review helpful.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A remarkably just-right balance of components makes this an outstanding and harmonious blend; a light touch with the VA really works perfectly here.

SOTE doesn't provide the heavy dose of nicotine you might expect from first inspection, though (but certainly enough for my taste personally). As usual, C&D uses quality leaf and a skilled hand, and it shows here. SOTE was a great find---thanks, SP 8-sampler pack---and I'll definitely be keeping some on hand.

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Nice blend, recommended for the latakia heads. Full, tasty, it doesn't evolve in a particular way during the bowl and doesn't need to do so. It's pretty straightforward from the beginning, it gives you what you want from this kind of blend without any particular jump, mantaining an high standard from the beginning to the end of the bowl.

1 person found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Revised 05-17-2005

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Beautiful medium cut ribbon. Lots of reds, browns, and black. It smells delicious! It reminds me of a delicious filet mignon cooking!

Packing and lighting: C&D blends are usually a bit dry, but this one was a little moist. Packs easily as the ribbons are not too long.

Initial Flavor: Delicious! This blend reminds me of Raven's wing sans the Syrian.

Mid-Bowl:A delicious fullness, every leaf can be tasted, there is a nice spicyness from the red VA.

Bottom of Bowl: It develops flavor strength in a quick crescendo and all that is left is a gery mottled ash. You immediately want to pack another bowl of this fine blend.

Overall: For a bulk blend, this is a good choice. It is on the fuller side of English blends with it bordering on being a Balkan blend. Nevertheless can be smoked all day without fatigue. It does taste very similar to Raven's Wing, but does not fatigue me like that blend can. Because of the quality of the leaf, I think this blend will lend itself to aging very well and now that it comes in 8 oz. tins will make it to my cellar.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is an extremely latakia heavy blend in the same vein as Pirate Kake, Penzance, Bow legged Bear, and Commonwealth to name a few. It burns nice and cool and left remarkably little after taste for a blend like this. I must say however that I prefer a little Burley like they put in Pirate Kake, when smoking a blend with this much Latakia. It smooths it out and adds nuttiness. Then again I'm sure there are many out there who tried PK and thought that it would be a better blend sans the burley. Of course the beauty of this hobby is to each his/her own.

1 person found this review helpful.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

What a wonderful tobacco! As has been noted, the flavor is big and bold, but never monochromatic. Slow burning and cool smoking, this is a tobacco to enjoy in the evening with your favorite beverage. If you're an English smoker, you owe it to your taste buds to try this one. If you're a Balkan smoker and enjoy, for example, GL Pease's "Odyssey," you'll feel right at home. 5/5

1 person found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Strong

Star of the East is for Latakia lovers only. If you don?t like the Latakia big, bold, and in your face, pass on this one.

At 50% Latakia, this is a full blend. Rich and smoky and full of flavor. The Latakia used is of a good quality. With the high content of Latakia, you might think that it would dominate the taste, but you would be wrong. The Oriental and even the Virginias play a major role in the flavor. The stoved red Va adds a dimension to the blend that makes it a very worthy smoke.

Need I say that the room note will not make friends of non-smokers? Star?s subtlety is in the form of the interplay of flavors as you smoke it. There was none used on the room note. Fans of English blends, however, will love it.

Star is a very good smoke in all respects. Clean burning, easy to maintain. Actually, it burns so well, there isn?t much maintenance to it.

If I couldn?t get Raven?s Wing, or Odyssey, I?d be happy with Star of the East.

1 person found this review helpful.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Very Full Strong

This one kind of took me by surprise, it has a unique punch of latakia to it. I have smoked many other balkans before but this is kind of in a category of its own. Cornell and Diehl uses a latakia in their blends with a very distinct smokiness. This blend realy highlights the smokey aspect of their latakia. The virginias are in the backround but add a nice, light, natural kind of sweetness to this blend. Although there is turkish in this blend it sits in the back and appears occasionally throughout the smoke. If you are a latakia lover you should definately try this. I would give this the highest rating except for I feel that if I smoked this all of the time I would get bored of it and loose some of the enjoyment from it. Highly recommended for lovers of high latakia content blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

My local B&M tobacconist recently started carrying C&D tobaccos, and they offered me a bowl during a visit. I was intrigued when they mentioned that this blend consisted of 50% Latakia, but this is a very different smoke (in a good way) compared to Penzance, Raven's Wing or any other Latakia-heavy blend I have tried.

Available only in bulk (to my knowledge), the tobacco is quite dark w/ occasional lighter flakes. The smokey, woodsy aroma of the Latakia is most noticeable. The ribbon-cut leaf looks, feels and smells of high quality.

Upon lighting, the unique character of this tobacco is immediately evident. There is loads of Latakia flavor, exquisitely balanced by the Virginia and Turkish leaf, but it is very... refined? Strong and full-bodied but not heavy, I don't know how else to describe it. The Virginia provides a wonderful but not overwhelming sweetness, and the Turkish adds a great aromatic quality to the smoke. I absolutely love the room note (the Mrs - not so much).

I was totally caught by surprise by this one. Since that first bowl, No. 66 has become one of my favorite English blends; my personal trinity, including GLP Renaissance and Jack's Moose Scat.

1 person found this review helpful.

FredSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FredSmoke (1)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I actually created and named this and Craig Tarler made it a Premium blend back in June of 1998. The Turkish component is true, pure Turkish (back then, at least, I believe Craig used a blend of different tobaccos for Turkish).

I wanted a LOT of that smoky, woodsy Latakia, and the sugar sweetness of a Virginia (I think Craig had just started stoving Red VA back then) and the mellow nuttiness of Turkish. I had bought several single tobaccos from Craig to experiment with and came up with this blend. So I gave the desired ratios of the 3 tobaccos to Craig and Star of the East was born.

I just opened a jar that I had cellared for 5 years and the tangy, almost fermented smell of the Red VA burst forth. The moisture was perfect and I couldn't wait to pack my Tinsky Big Boy. When I first got this pressed pound back in 1998 it was really fine, but 5 years of aging has really melded and deepened the flavors. I would rate this up there (maybe higher??) than my alltime favorite English blend - Esoterica Margate mixed half and half with Esoterica Penzance.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (225)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Latakia forward blend supported by Orientals , not real sweet with an interesting bitter background , flavorful but not complex. It is a middle of the road Balkan that lacks that big bang.

I really liked and agree with the review by "Cakeanddottle 2011-11-21" in that this blend is good but not one that I would seek out, when my 2 ozs. are done , so is my journey with Star of the East.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month bulk

Similar Blends: C&D's Super Balkan, Engine 99.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davie Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davie Jones (61)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable to Strong

When I opened my tin, the tin aroma was one of the best I ever smelled in a Balkan mixture.

When I started smoking, however, i kept looking for some sort of taste.

I gave up at the end of the fifth bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable to Strong

Upon opening the 8oz tin, I could smell distinctively the Latakia and the orientals.

I drooled. Until I lighted up. Surprisingly, this mixture has no taste, no strenght and no personnality.

So far I wasted money on GL pease and Spillman. I will add C&D on the list...

What am I going to do with the rest of the 8 ounces? i guess throw them away and learn from this expensive lesson. When I think that I also bought a 8oz tin of Pirate Kake...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Adguru Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Adguru (20)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Strong

I love latakia better than a hog loves slop. So I read these reviews and I reach for my drool bib. Because the reviews make SOTE sound like King Latakia. Its like if Latakia was the volume control on a amp, SOTE would be pegged at 12. And, always before, I labored under a simple equation, the more latakia, the better I like a blend. Well, guess what. They were right, and I was wrong. This does have a huge amount of latakia, and no my equation no longer works, I don't like it. I'm in the boat with Devonshire. This blend is a mess. Nothing interesting, nothing satisfying, nothing to the blend. Might as well be smoking straight latakia. Anyone want to trade 8oz?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Devonshire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Devonshire (47)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I'm obviously in the minority here, but I could never learn to like SOTE. I purchased about 12oz bulk and found it to be harsh, grating, and full, without being flavourful. There was no complexity, just a smoky, burning mess. I can't figure out why others love it so. Maybe I just got a bad batch of bulk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wartooth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wartooth (5)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong

This is everything I am looking for in a tobacco ... lots of latakia and turkish. Something seems out of balance, however. It has the expected C&D quality in the cut of the tobacco and the moisture level also. Burns easily. Lots of smoke. But within moments, it gets somewhat sour and bitter ... this increases as the smoke continues. Unlike other turkish blends (Durbar, etc), the bitterness overwhelms all the other components. Well worth a try to those who favor orientals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.