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Arguably the most famous of Louisiana’s antebellum mansions, and certainly the most immediately recognizable, Oak Alley is a splendid namesake for this cellar worthy, new American standard. After establishing an impeccable partnership between sweet red Virginias and white/brown Burleys, discreet amounts of Perique and Katirini Turkish are added to enhance both the flavor, as well as promote the coolest smoke imaginable.

Estimated peak: 10-15 years. But it's really good right now!

BrandCornell & Diehl
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutPlug
Packaging2oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant
3.6
10 reviews
Reviews
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6
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4
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (492)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Yes, it is good right now. At the light the Virginias hit you first, but only 10 or so puffs in and all the components have melded together. The flavor is sweet and sour, tart, spicey, and mildly earthy and fruity. It has nice depth and is very smooth. No hint of a bite. Medium in body and flavor. I get the impression that the flavor has the potential to become rich with time. 3 stars for now. I'll reserve one for when I've tasted the aged product. I suspect it will have earned it.

I should add that it's not overly moist out of the tin. Probably enough to aid the aging process, but not enough to keep you from smoking it right away. I prefer to dry it a little before smoking.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

15 people found this review helpful.

Shane Ireland Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shane Ireland (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Primarily a Virginia/Virginia-Perique smoker, naturally I was most intrigued by Chenet’s Cake when the Cellar Series made its debut. Oak Alley took me by surprise. It is a very complex blend that actually fills several spots in my rotation at once, as strange as that may seem. This is a cross-over blend for those who desire something “in-between” their usual Virginia/Perique, or Burley, or Virginia/Oriental blends. The base of Burleys and Red VA is expertly proportioned and balanced, with the Perique (more generous than you might imagine) and Katirini constantly evolving and weaving in and out of the spotlight. Plenty of strength to satisfy, this is a blend that can be as complex as you desire at any given moment during the smoke. If you are working/driving, you get a solid flavor that will not become dull. Once you focus on the smoke, layer after layer of flavor will reveal itself. Again, this may seem strange, but the flavors are at once subtle as well as robust, and will keep you guessing all the way down to the fluffy ash at the bottom of the bowl (did I mention how well the C & D crumble cakes burn?). Truly unique in the best way, I am obsessed with the tin I have open and have laid down quite a few to enjoy at various ages. I should also mention that at this time, the tins in stock at Smokingpipes.com are still from the original release and are already aged 6 months!

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

13 people found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (119)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Presentation is a square, pressed plug of light and dark browns. Tin note is intense with naturally sweet tobacco flavors, and really strikes you when the tin is cracked. The initial cracked tin note is slightly pungent, tangy, with an overall sweet and sour nose. A few moments later, as the tobacco has a chance to breathe and settle itself down, Miss Perique walked in the room and asked me if she could mix this with chocolate and eat it. She said it smelled of Chaffhaye and cherries.  When a non-smoker perceives cherry in the tin note of an unflavored blend, I've found it to suggest a very good, well-blended VaBur. 

It fascinates me how different the Va/Bur/Per-Oriental mixes can be from each other, and I would say Oak Alley certainly represents the sweeter end of this genre's flavor spectrum.

Initially, the Virginias and Burleys are the stars of this show. The Virginias in this blend are truly first class - smooth, with no bite. Burley is a co-star, adding some strength and backbone to the blend, along with subtle salty, nutty, and parchment notes. The Turkish is a background player in the first third of the bowl, adding a sweet and vaguely floral note. The Perique component is very mild; my battle-scarred palate can't even pick it up. 

I found Oak Alley to be mildly Virginia-forward in the beginning but quickly transitions to more of a burley blend with the smooth, sweet Virginia and Turkish more of a supporting act. That's fine by me. I find that red Virginias are nicely tamed by burley and there's no bite in this blend. Similarly, a little Turkish can go a long way and C&D nails the proportions with this one. 

In the final third of the bowl, burley is dominant with the Turkish in hot pursuit. The flavor levels out to parchment, basswood, lightly salty, with a bit of background nutty sweetness. It gets a bit hotter and slightly ashy at the end, but nothing that would ruin the experience- Oak Alley remains vey smooth with no bite. 

This is a very smooth and easy-smoking blend for this style of tobacco, and could easily be an all-day smoke. This would be an excellent choice for someone who found other blends in this genre a bit too strong or harsh, and for those who like this style of blend but are very sensitive to Perique. Even for the intrepid VaBurPer smoker, this makes an excellent daytime blend with few demands on the smoker. The moisture level is just right out of the tin with an excellent, slow burn and clean, dry ash. 

This is one of those seldom reviewed sleeper blends that gets little attention, and deserves more. 

6 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (81)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Pop the top of this rich tobacco and immediately you get the sense of quality and thought put into it. It even looks rich and the middle part of this squared cake has a dark chewy brownie look to it. The casing is hard to describe but it's sweet fermenting figs or raisins to me. It's at the right amount of moisture and ready to smoke like the folks at Cornell & Diehl intended. My favorite part of this blend, it's a firmly packed crumble cake yet can be pinched apart with medium effort. Once you do that it's very easy to pack, light and smoke. Overall this a a rich spicy tobacco due to the Turkish and Perique but not over spicy like in your face but a constant spicy tone none the less. The white burley and oriental slows it down and keeps it cool like they advertise. Smoke it slow and you'll get the taste of sweet VA's. This is good right now and especially with a cup of coffee in the morning, but will age wonderfully. Has a nice nicotine punch (just right) to give added flavor. I recommend this to pipers looking for a favorable tobacco with a nice little spice and nic punch to it. Interesting blend. Tasty. Cornell & Diehl you rock.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie full bent. Kaywoodie straight dublin

Age When Smoked: March 2014

Purchased From: Ansteads tobacco Fayetteville NC

Similar Blends: Sunday picnic.

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1505)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The red Virginias are mildly tangy, earthy, sweet with a touch of dark fruit. The white burley is dryly sharp with some sourness, while the brown burleys are slightly sweet and toasted nutty, though the latter is often drowned out by the former. The perique is mildly present with a little spice, raisin and plum. The Katirini Turkish is very smoky and woody with some dry sour notes, and is more obvious than the tin description describes. Overall, this sweet and sour plug is easily broken apart, and some flavors can be subtle as they are often more noticeable at various times during the smoke. Burns cool and dry with no dull or harsh spots, no bite and no dottle. I think it works best when puffed at a slow or moderate rate as white burley can show more strength when it's smoked fast. A regular cadence will better reveal the complexity of the blend.

4 people found this review helpful.

Mhulsey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mhulsey (35)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Oak Alley is an absolutely wonderful blend in the cellar series by Cornell and Diehl, and it has quickly become my second favorite in the series only taking a back seat to Joie De Vivre. This blend is absolutely loaded with flavors that seem to interchange as one smokes the bowl further down. Popping the lid off of a fresh tin dated 3/14, I am greeted with the wonderfully sweet smell of the Virginias and a nice rich chocolaty smell from the Perique and a nuttiness from the Burleys. In the tin is a nice compact 2 oz cake of tobacco that resembles a small brownie. It is obvious while looking at the cake, that the tobacco is of high quality and due to the presentation, there will be no twiggy or woody bits mixed in the tobacco. The tin note is amazing, with aromas of sweet grassy or hay like notes coming from the Virginias, which balance well with the nuttiness that I detect from the Burley. The Turkish provides a light tea like aroma to the mixture, and the Perique provides an almost smoky or chocolate like aroma. The moisture level of this particular tin is much drier than any of the other tobaccos that I have smoked from the cellar series, however, it is still on the damp side, and will require a short drying time before being smoked fresh out of the tin. I imagine that this moisture level is intentional, as the tobaccos in this series are intended to be aged, and at their best in ten to fifteen years. In order to help with the drying process, I took my cake and cut thin strips off of one end and then rubbed this out into a thin ribbon, setting it aside for thirty minutes to dry. After allowing the tobacco to set out for a spell, I packed the pipe easily enough with the thin ribbons, and lit the pipe. The first flavors that I detect are those from the Virginias, they are slightly sweet and then they become bread like, but they are shortly followed by the smoky and somewhat spicy Perique. As for the Burley, there seems to be a robust nuttiness that constantly shifts from the back of the flavor profiles to the front and then back again sometimes it seems to steal the show. The Turkish provides a tangy or slightly sour quality that is detectable throughout the entire smoke, but it definitely takes a back seat to the Burley and Virginias in this blend. This definitely makes for an interesting smoke due to the flavors constantly changing place and swapping roles. As for burn characteristics, I did not have to tend to this blend at all during my smoke which made for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. When finished, the tobacco burned down to a fine white powdery ash which made cleaning the pipe rather simple, only requiring that I run a pipe cleaner through the stem and around the inside of the bowl to remove any remaining moisture. As for the room note, those around me made mention that the tobacco smelled like a cigar, so I take that to mean that it is tolerable to strong, and one may want to smoke this blend outside or while alone as not to offend those that don’t tolerate the smell of smoke. Overall, I have been very satisfied with Oak Alley, and can only imagine what it will become with ten years or more of age. With that in mind, I purchased several tins so that I could smoke a few tins now, and cellar several, comparing my notes later on down the road. I would recommend this blend to anyone who enjoys a good Virginia and nutty Burley blend.

Pipe Used: Italian Briar

Age When Smoked: fresh from tin and tins aged two years

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

2 people found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (104)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

The tin I have is from the 5-set samples of cellar series and luckily they are all from the first release. This one has aged for 1 and half years and this is by far the most finest VaBur with perique and oriental blends I've ever smoked. The tin note is intoxicated with bright fruity, fig, winy flavor. The burley is in the back and provide it's backbone, while the red, ferminated virginia floats in the front with perique and oriental just in perfect propotions bringing out smooth and delicate taste. As smoky as it is, Oak Alley shows no harshness and the spice is right on the spot of interesting and not overwhelmed. Extremely smooth with enough N strength. I reorder few more tins for aging right after two bowls of sampling. Highly recommended!

2 people found this review helpful.

thims Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thims (1)
★★★★
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Tolerable

It is a decent blend, I wouldn't smoke it a lot for two reasons: one, it rather costly for the quantity you get to not bring the richness that one desires in such a claimed tobacco; two, it has a luring, faint hint of the oak and spice one wants, without the fulfillment in richness and quantity that one desires.

It is a nice party tobacco, sitting around and conversing. A decent "time and place" tobacco, but not necessarily something you would write home about.

I would honestly go with something else if I had the opportunity.

Pipe Used: Cheap Disposabale

Purchased From: Cousin Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (56)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I didn't think Chenet's Cake could be beat but Oak Alley may be the star of cellar series. I currently rate it at 4 stars and it will definitely improve with age. This is a complex, Burley forward blend. The nutty/bready brown Burley dominates and has a little sharp white Burley to go with it. The red Virginia is sugary and earthy with spicy Perique in a moderate dose. The Katerini also adds a little spice and wood. All these components are very well married and balanced. The tobaccos combine with flavors of coffee, chocolate, earth and some fruit notes. Delicious!

1 person found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (43)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Estimated peak: 10 to 15 years. I would say yes to that but I have a problem with that..... It's too damn good to wait that long! This is what I always imagined what an English blend would taste like without Latakia. Very smooth with no bite. Just a very nice slightly sweet and nutty full flavored. End of the bowl give a tar light flavor just slightly but definitely not complaining. And goes very well with coffee. In the tin it smells just like a pouch of Levi Garret.

Pipe Used: MM cob, Molina Milano 101

Age When Smoked: 10-11-15

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.