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The sea is a bewitching mistress, beautiful but always unpredictable and apt to turn stormy at a moment's notice. Those who have experienced her tempests know what a blessing it is to drop anchor in a safe harbor after a troubled and storm filled day. We invite you to add to the enjoyment of finding a safe harbor with a bowlful of this Burley flake reminiscent of a lost American classic.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByBob Runowski
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeAmerican
Packagingtin, bulk
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

43 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

UPDATE 8/8/10

Ok, relief! A friend sent me a large sample of this and what I bought was NOT Safe Harbor Flake. I can't imagine what was in my original tin, and I hope to never smoke it again. The sample was a very good burley with tons of flavor. Nice flake cut that crumbled when rubbed out. Made it easy to plug a draft hole but that's a small complaint. The topping was discreet and the burley flavor and aroma came through. I'd buy this again but only a tin at a time until I'm sure of what I'm getting. If you like burley and prefer something mild in strength and taste, give this one a try. Upgrading to 3 stars


I sincerely hope that this tin was mis-marked! I see no reference to this blend having latakia in it, yet my tin contained this condiment. The cut was nowhere near a flake; not even a broken flake. It was sort of a rough cut. The smell of latakia was very noticeable amidst the burley. One of the worst tin aromas I've ever experienced but then again, so was Burley Flake #2 and that was an excellent smoke.

Nothing wrong with latakia in a burley blend... except maybe in this one. The latakia seemed an afterthought in the taste department but certainly took over the room via its aroma. Even though it wasn't easy to taste (but was still obviously latakia), it totally covered up the burley's typical nuttiness and body. I've seen references to this blend having no character. Believe me, no character would have been an improvement! This seemed like a blend that failed and yet was released. I'm keeping this tin and I challenge anyone to smoke it and like it. What happened on this one, C&D? You're WAY better than this! I can't read the date on the tin - did I get one from 2007 when you took it off the shelves???

Sorry for the snotty review, but I have great experiences with C&D in the past. Even their blends that I do not like have enough character to make me understand that tobacco taste is personal. But I can't believe they put their name on this blend and I can't believe it's really the same SHF that others have smoked since it definitely contains latakia.

3 people found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable

I am not used to giving C and D low ratings as. I usually really enjoy their tobaccos. This one however is just a very strong burly with an unusual flavor that I don't like at all.

It states it is a flake but came mostly broken in the tin. It has a very peaty pouch note and very moist. The color is a dark brown and even looks ominous. After rubbing out and letting dry, it packed easy enough in my pipe but upon lighting it had a very unusual flavor that I still can't describe, was very strong and rather harsh. As I smoked down the bowl, it just intensifies, and by the bottom of my bowl I felt like I had sanded my tongue. I have since smoked half the tin and get the same experience every time. This is just not one of their better blends, I normally like their burly but if this had been the first blend of theirs I had tried I would never buy any of their blends which I do a lot. Can not recommend at all. fun from this one.

Pipe Used: briars

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: in trade unopened

1 person found this review helpful.

Captain bob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain bob (38)
Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

SHF is a great way to begin your transition to non-aromatics or for that change of pace for a natural tobacco taste and comfortable smoke from your favorite aromatics. SHF is "classic smooth". But, don't be fooled, this very high-quality grade Burley based blend does have a kick! It will satisfy that urge for less aromatic (flavoring) and more natural tobacco taste. Beautiful Flake Burley. An easy rub or fold didn't matter. Great smoking characteristics and natural Burley flavor that just won't quit!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I have decided to give Safe Harbor Flake a two star rating simply because it is too limp wristed to get me excited. I appreciated the delicate addition of whatever casing was added but sure would have liked more strength. I will certainly smoke the entire contents of the tin and order more. But, I cannot fully recommend this blend to anyone looking for an alternative to the original Edgeworth Slices or any other Burley based blend that packs some punch.

Others here have perfectly described the visuals once the tin is opened (and by the way, mine held its water beautifully - is that a good thing?) I've smoked many a C&D blend over the years and Safe Harbor Flake wins the wet award.

I have been on a Burley binge of late and believe I'll now take Stan's advice (first review of this blend) and try Wessex Burley Slice in the hopes that my palate will get slapped around a little bit.

1 person found this review helpful.

hoo-boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hoo-boy (26)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

I will begin with saying I like most C.& D. blends . Having said, that this is NOT your fathers Burley blend ! I think he would have better tastes in Burley! The only thing I can think of positive to say it burns evenly with at most with only 2 lights. That and an attractive container! I was given a tin of this and I now know what he was doing he was getting rid of it . After trying to smoke it I cellared the rest hoping it would get better with aging, WRONG. I have passed it on to another and his response was similar to my own. He said he " it was so bad he was tempted to lick his cats butt to try to get the taste off his palate". It was flake cut and looked good but that was IT. Knowing that everyone does not have the same opinion of Blends and this is mine just try it and I will be surprised if your opinion differs. I know NOW why C&D. discontinued it, This is some god awful stuff! .....again my opinion!

Age When Smoked: nothing helps!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

Safe Harbor Flake comes in a beautiful tin, presented as a broken flake. Mine came a bit moist, too, but I just left the tin open over night to get it right. The tin note was of wet hay, grass, earthy, roasted bread and very reminiscent of a cigar. I did not sense a topping, fermented Burley tobaccos only. So far so good.

When I smoked it felt like sand paper treatment for my palate. Rough, bity, very high on nicotine and awful tasting of a bad cigar. Slow sipping does improve digesting it a little, using a carbon filter doesn’t change much. In several pipes, sizes, shapes I couldn’t get it to a comfort level and I had even trouble to get past half the bowl. It does ghost your pipe(s) and the after taste is intense.

The closest description I came up with, is when you finished a cigar to the slightly moist remaining quarter, put that in your pipe and relight, you'll get pretty much SHF. The room note indicates the same. If you find this thought appealing, SHF is for you, but I certainly do not and much prefer Germain's Brown Flake or even a real cigar.

Pipe Used: Several briars with and without filter, corn cob

Age When Smoked: fresh to 2yrs

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is good stuff, and it smeels just like the Simply Elegant After Hours Flake, but with less Rum. Right, there is no rum according to C&D, but nevertheless this stuff is very similar to their After Hours. It's not a flake, since it is broken into stripes and it looks like wet. It's not: I like the fact that this good tobacco lights up and burns to ashes or even better to white dust. I found the Safe Harbor not much mild, and I would call it a mild-strong in fact. It does require its own pipe or you risk you pipe to taste Safe Harbor for a couple of bowls after. I am not disappointed at all and will buy it again. But this is not an all-day tobacco both for its strenght and its cost.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (108)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I gave this blend a good run with a half ounce sample from a friend and never could bring myself to enjoy it. The closest I came to liking this blend was when it dried out a bit, but even then I found it to be somewhat boring and it would always get to be very bitter about half way through the bowl, suppose that was because it smoked to wet or something, but I'm not sure. Bottom line, this one was not for me. It tasted like wet hay, some blends can pull this type of flavor off, but for me this one was not a success. After trying it in a few different pipes I've come to the conclusion that I would not recommend this blend nor would I purchase it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Piper (12)
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Tobaccos that I have purchased from C & D have always been of the finest quality. Until now. I bought a tin of this stuff and upon opening I found the tobacco packed and layered in a strange waxey sort of paper. The aroma was not very good. The stuff was so dry that when crumbled it fell apart and almost ended up like powder. I tried it anyway and I was not happy with the results. I tried misting some with purified water and the results were no better. Very hot on the mouth and poor flavor at best. Save your money and pass on this Burley. C & D has other very good blends from which to pick from.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

For people that find McClelland's Virginia tobaccos offensive to their nose, they should try this. This stuff smells of rancid blueberries and tastes only marginally better. Not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

If you have bothered to read enough of my reviews, you probably noticed I am a Burleyphile.

But not this one.

It is well made, discreetly topped, and smells good in the tin and while it burns.

However, where is the flavor? I smoked it rolled up as a flake, and it burns well. Rubbed out, it burns hot, and tastes like absolutely nothing.

There just isn't much flavor to it, and the cost makes it completely untenable for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I am just plain stubborn. Despite many disappointing, and some downright awful, experiences with Cornell & Diehl, I have persisted in believing that this American company is capable of manufacturing a quality tobacco. Well, I am afraid that my most recent experience, this time with Safe Harbor Flake, has led me to finally conclude that I can now buy imported tobacco with a guilt free conscience.

While I acknowledge that I'm not a real huge fan of most burleys, I do ocassionally enjoy indulging in a simple and robust smoke. I have an affection for Carter Hall, and smoke this when I'm out and about running errands, or doing yard work. So I'm not a burlyphile, but neither do I harbor any ill will toward burley. This stuff, however, is quite simply downright crappy. If it is simply due to the fact that there were some bad cans that got out to the public, then I would be curious to know why C&D never bothered to issue a general recall.

Upon opening the can, I was greeted with a warm, slightly fruity aroma; something like Prince Albert on steroids. The even brown flakes were extremely moist, even in a can more than a year old. I dried a couple flakes for awhile, just to get them to smokability, and then loaded up and lit. The initial flavor was actually a lot like Carter Hall, only with a slight peppery feel on the tongue. The flavor bloomed and filled out for about a minute, and then disappeared. It seems that whatever flavoring agent used that resembled Carter Hall had quickly burned off. I was left with what I can only describe as "very Sir Walter Raleigh Like" (the regular, not the aromatic); very disappointing given the price.

About halfway through the bowl, the tobacco finally left SWR behind, and became absolutely chemical tasting. I realize that C&D creates a lot of their blends to be similar to some of the classic American blends of old, but I think they came too close to creating a classic drugstore blend. It lacked any real flavor; it created a very harsh smelling smoke; and it had the same acrid chemical taste found in the OTC drugstore blends. They have managed to create an exact replica of a $1.89 drugstore burley, but packaged in a $4 an ounce can. By the time I got toward the bottom of the bowl, this stuff was tasting like a bad bowl of Granger; same icky plastic like taste.

I'm not sure what the folks over at Cornell & Diehl are doing, that they have had so much trouble with the quality of so many of their blends. I cannot believe that they intentionally produced this blend to taste the way it does. And I cannot believe that they intended for Haunted Bookshop to be so dry that it nearly all blows away when you open the can. Nor do I believe they intended for cans of Kajun Kake to swell and pop while sitting on store shelves. I am now afraid to even open the remaining tins of other C&D blends I have cellaring. This experience has shown me once and for all that C&D is a company that still has many problems to work through.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update: I'm afraid I'm downgrading this one. The tin aroma and initial burst of flavor are remarkable, but after a third of a bowl or so it just seems to go limp. No real taste other than a hint of bitterness, although the room note stays good. This is realistically about 1.5 stars. I'm "rounding up" to two stars, however, because it excels as a blending agent, especially with sweet virginias.

Initial review: This is about as pleasant a burley blend as you're going to find. It would be a perfect "all day" blend if it were cheaper or available in bulk. I wouldn't really call this a flake -- it's more like a loose crumble cake. Just tear off little chunks and let them crumble into your pipe, light and you're off! This stuff burns very well (if a little bit hot) but seems to have no ability whatsoever to bite. It does, however, dry my mouth out somewhat (most burlies do that to me, however). It seems to have a mild topping, but the topping has little impact on the flavor or room note. I never sampled the "slices" it's supposedly reminiscent of, but I can definitely say this is the highest-quality burley blend I've encountered except for Stonehaven (which is a different beast entirely).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (97)
Medium to Strong None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

In case everyone hasn't already heard, a good many tins of this tobacco were tainted due to God-knows-what disgusting chemical reaction. There might be some good ones floating around on the market, but not the one I was sent.

Don't fool yourself, if it tastes like all hell, it's not because it hasn't had time to grow on you. This was a single mistake amid a host of Classics from Cornell & Diehl and I have no doubt that it was only a sad fluke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (56)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm a lover of Burleys and a lover of flakes. I bought this tobacco hoping it would be a Burley 'par exellance'. Liking everything C&D makes, I bought 2 cans.

Disappointing to say the least. Upon opening the can, the moisture and aroma hinted to Redman. Where's my chocolate, nutty aroma?

I gave it a weekend of air, then tried a few bowls. Nothing of note that justified the price.

This burley does nothing to justify the price. Go with Granger of Carter Hall for real Burley.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Group 4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Group 4 (8)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I just bought a 2 ounce tin of Safe Harbor and during the first few minutes into the first bowl, I knew I was going to buy more. I've read other people's opinions on this blend and don't taste the molasses/vanilla sweetness that others mention. There is a slight sweet/sour component which hovers in the background, adding some complexity to what is basically a very round, gentle burley. Though it's advertised as a flake (and comes in a sliced cake) it breaks off into a irregular pebble cut. Some have commented that their tins were too wet to smoke right away. And while I'll agree there's a little more moisture in this one than many C&D blends, mine smoked beautifully without any drying out. Just make sure you don't pack the pipe too tightly, leave some air between layers. No bite and little alkalinity with this blend, so I can load up another pipe right away; but I find it pretty satisfying so rarely do. I give this 4 out of 4 stars. A solid winner.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In short, this is a great burley! Previous reviewers have likened the subtle flavor from eggnog, vanilla, licorice, brown sugar to molasses. The flavoring is hard to pinpoint but I will agree with a molasses / brown sugar taste. I also tasted wisps of cocoa and chocolate. Regardless, the taste is why you perceive and if you perceive a taste you like, you will like this blend. The flavoring is not overpowering or overly sweet and it dissipated somewhat as I progressed down the bowl into a truer, cleaner, honest burley smoke.

The tobacco is very moist and comes wrapped in a ball of thin, white paper. To quickly get it in a more smokeable condition, I spread the tobacco out in a plastic mixing bowl and placed it directly under a hinged 75 watt lamp for 5 minutes + -.

This isn?t a true flake????yet. It is more of a broken flake for the time being. But as Craig Tarler mentioned in a recent ASP post, flakes are difficult to produce and blenders, unlike pipe smokers themselves, are loath to share their methods, secrets, tips and tricks with each other.

Quoting Craig, in part, from his post:

?SH has some rough cut burley and that's causing the flakes to break up. We will correct this. Please bear with us until we get the fix. FWIW, flake is extremely difficult to make and "Gimbels doesn't tell Macy's" when it comes to getting information.?

The old maxim says ?A high tide floats all boats? but I have no doubt that Safe Harbor Flake will ?float YOUR boat,? ????even at low tide! ?Harbor? some of this flake in your cellar! Good stuff! Hats off to Craig and, if he had any hand in it, hats off to Bob 'The Polish Tobacco Prince? Runowski as well!

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this blend 9.8 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was surprised again when I opened the tin based on the cut description in the header for this blend . I don't consider what I received a flake but rather a cube cut and don't know if the blend is offered in multiple types. As a flake, I'd probably rate it **. The rather moist tobacco is hand wrapped in a small bundle of white paper that makes packing difficult if done directly from the tin. However, overall an effortless smoke results. Smokes evenly, cool and dry without any hint of bite and with a mild, enjoyable, nutty flavor. If you enjoy burleys, give this one a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This is a good all day smoke. I just scoup us some broken fibers and drop them in the bowl with a light tap.

It seems closer to the recently demised European version of Edgeworth Slices than does Wessex's (which is sweeter like the Richmond original, but still full sized flakes), but this is a broken to fully rubbed flake and on the lighter side than Edgeworth.

Neverthless, whether a dab of licorice or brown sugar passed over the flake, this is a little bit of extra fragrance added to accompany the white burley base. Pleasant, nutty, and light.

Mild as May aroma and taste. Cool and dry but don't puff too fast, as flavor is light and will be lost. Better than the protype previously offered by C&D which was grandular and burned too fast IMO.

Higly recommended for nostalgia and as an excellent all day smoke. Mild as May. I dig it but if you want fuller, try some estate Edgeworth or go to Wessex.

Nobody has rated this review yet.