Cornell & Diehl The Beast

Legend has it that Aleister Crowley, famed adept of the Order of the Golden Dawn and founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis, is purported to have made a habit of smoking rum-soaked perique as a meditative aid. To date, many a dabbler has pursued his own manifestation of this concoction out of sheer curiosity. We have too. And so in the spirit of the nefarious occultist himself, we sought to tame the Beast with our own rendering of the recipe, soaked for seven days in spiced rum, so that we might share our vision of it with the most inquisitive and brave of pipe smokers.
Notes: From Cornell & Diehl website: The Beast features 51% Perique, soaked in spiced rum for seven days and supported by C&D's proprietary Red Virginia Cavendish, unsweetened Black Cavendish, and a whisper of Dark-Fired Kentucky. Given Perique's naturally high nicotine levels, its majority presence makes for quite a robust smoke, yet as a mixture, it's exceedingly complex: The modest addition of Dark-Fired Kentucky lends the blend a subtle, tangy note of mesquite smoke, with the Red Virginia and unsweetened Black Cavendish supporting the Perique's natural flavors of stone fruits and piquant spice.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Series Small Batch
Blended By Jeremy Reeves
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Black Cavendish, Kentucky, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Rum
Cut Mixture
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Re-release


Medium to Strong
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

2.76 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 17 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2023 Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Prep: Surprisingly perfect in moisture. Smells a bit chocolatey.

The Perique is certainly up and front with rich dark stewed fruits. I imagine the red cavendish is accentuating that. The spice of the Perique is there but doesn’t hit me with a load of pepper as I expected. It’s more noticeable in the retrohale. The Kentucky offers a nice base of woody, bbq. It’s only in a condiment amount but it’s evident. The black cavendish smooths it out quite well as this blend, though strong, has little sharp edges. Yes, it’s strong. I can smoke two bowls back to back but I’ll have a headache! Solid work once again by Mr. Reeves. 8.5/10
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2016 Very Strong Strong Extra Full Very Strong
The spicy, richly deep sweet rum and the tingly pepper from the earthy, woody, plumy, sugary and slight sour St. James Acadian perique are the first things that hit you as you light up. That sensation lasts from start to finish as this blend has a very consistent flavor. The topping never weakens, which doesn’t surprise me as the mixture was soaked in that rum for a week. The perique is likely to be around sixty percent of the product, and also offers some plum and figs. The aged red Virginia (from one particular 2003 North Carolina crop) has a fermented ripe dark fruitiness, wood, bread, vegetation, and earth, and is noticeable much of the time in a supporting role. Just as obvious in a back up position is the woody, nutty, earthy, herbal, vegetative, floral, sour and barbecue sweet dark fired Kentucky, whose spiciness often separates itself from that of the perique. I don’t really notice much from the Dominican Republic black cavendish, which is used to add a little smoothness, and is present in a small amount. Has a medium to strong nic-hit. The strength and taste are strong and very filling. I recommend you take your time smoking this for best effect, and don’t use a big or narrow bowl.

The tobacco was a little moist when I opened the tin, but I saw no need to dry it. The burn rate was slow to moderate, and required a few relights. It will leave a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. I experienced no bite, but your tongue will tingle some from the spice content. Despite its strength, it wasn't harsh at any time nor did it burn hot. Most assuredly, this is a blend for the experienced smoker, and is not an all day smoke as by design. For that type of smoker, I rate it at three stars out of four.

20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2016 Overwhelming Very Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming
Perhaps I will always try those C&D 2.0 "small batch" offerings with a little trepidation: what if I end up liking one -- what with only a few hundred tins out there? Well, no worries to be had with this one. What an odd blend: like a kid baking a cake, or some of those brewers who go all out with hops in an attempt to make a good IPA. The proportions seem all out of whack. This is positively overwhelming in terms of sense-experience. A lot of rum, a lot of nicotine. Not a great combination of tobaccos either, which includes cavendish and that dreaded Kentucky leaf... And extremely "spicy". When to smoke this? Not for quiet contemplation, unless by that you mean passed out! If you like overwhelming experiences, this is for you. Think death metal as opposed to classical. Think of the overwhelming spiciness as the ringing of your ears, to continue the musical analogy. Though this tobacco is perhaps not as bad and corny as its presentation/advertising: pictures of the tin next to a chain (is that supposed to denote toughness?! To appeal to headbangers?) and unhappy references to a rather demented -- and authentically bigoted -- pipe smoker (Aleister Crowley -- who would want to emulate him in any way shape or form?). I thought all that supremely gimmicky at best. A beastly tobacco to be sure.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 01, 2016 Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong
I have been smoking this in cobs and a clay for fear of ghosting. It might seem that a priest would feel more comfortable banishing a ghost, but as I rule I am cautious and try to avoid problems when I can.

The tin note is rum and a little perique silage. It seemed too moist, so I aired a bowl's worth before loading the first pipe. After that I smoked it straight from the tin. Smokability was about the same, and the rum may have been more pronounced when not aired.

W00t! is about all I can say. This is heavy and spicy. There is a sweet from the Virginia/perique combo that reminds me of fruit that is just a little overripe. I am not sure I am distinguishing where the perique ends and the DFK begins, and perhaps I should say the spice/pepper is very well melded. The rum comes through in every puff.

This is a stout smoke, and it is full of flavor. It does not hold back on the nicotine, and is up there with OJK and Irish Flake.

In terms of taste and strength, not everyone is ready for shots of spiced rum and Tabasco sauce. They are better served with rum -n- coke and some Texas Pete for the nachos. This blend is not going to be well suited to every smoker, but it is very tasty.

This blend is easy to recommend to the person whose smoking tastes are willing to wander to the "nothing exceeds like excess" end of the C&D spectrum.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2016 Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Summary: a rich Perique blend without becoming off-putting, "The Beast" enwraps Perique in a sweet, spicy and smoky background.

The "rum soaked Perique" of Aleister Crowley is unfit for regular smoking, but this blend adapts it with sweet and smoky flavors to create a final taste that blends the different ingredients together like a chord. An initial light gives rise to the rum and Perique, but this quickly fades into the background as the vinegar-sweet Red Virginia Cavendish and molasses-y Black Cavendish meld with the smoky Dark Fired Kentucky Burley, which gives off a woodsy and meaty flavor. The result tastes at first like a barbecue, but then takes on a flavor all of its own in which the Perique becomes more sweet 'n' sour spicy than fruity, and the dark fired absorbs the other blends as dimensions of its own flavor. The result both keeps the power of Crowley's blend -- I smoke straight rum-soaked Perique on occasion and enjoy it, but it is not an everyday lunt -- and gives it the context to shine as a full blend. The result has all of the intensity that Perique can provided without going overboard on Nicotine or allowing the Perique to crowd out other flavors, instead giving us a smoky sweetness with a spicy core that makes the perfect nocturnal smoke.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 27, 2016 Strong Mild Full Unnoticeable
My Mother used to use the word "Revolting" to describe some things. Being British - the word "Revolting" could mean either good or bad.

I really, really wanted to like this blend but I only find that to me it's "Revoltingly" bad. The tin aroma is planters punch with dirt. After letting the tobacco dry out a bit the punch aroma disapates and what is left tastes like bandaids, dirt, funky wood, cheap booze, and leaves a "Revolting" aftertaste in any pipe.

Those of you who have read my Reviews know that I am pretty positive when reviewing tobaccos but really this is singularly the worst tobacco blend I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. Truly Awful. Wish I could give it a negative four stars.

Okay, it's 2023 and I decided to revisit THE BEAST! I'm gonna bump my rating as I'm enjoying this novelty blend. Maybe I had a bad batch or maybe I dried out the blend too much last time. Needless to say, I'm glad I gave this blend another chance. Spicy like Tabasco with a strong smokey flavor makes this an occasional smoke. Not a tobacco I'd imbibe every day but still, it's nice to change of pace when I want a strong perique blend with more than a hint of rum. PS. I have found that the wonderful spiced rum taste dissipates after the tin is opened which is kind of a bummer.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable
I really love the tin scent of “The Beast” as it reminds me of the fermentation scent of my grandfather’s empty wine barrels. It is quite dark in the tin and needs some dry time. Interestingly, in the tin note and in the pipe, the tobacco changes for me (more than others) in appearance and taste with the longer dry time that I usually prefer. Keeping the tobacco a bit more moist offers up a bit more rum flavor and when dried to my preferred humidity level. I cannot venture to guess the amount of Perique in this blend, but it is the lead player for sure. The addition of the rum adds some additional sweetness that plays well with the Perique. The red Virginia’s are in excellent proportion to the rum and Perique as the two together add really push forward the raisin/plum flavor. The Beast is spicy, but not as spicy as I would have expected given the large amount of Perique in the blend. The spice hit is more “zesty” than sharp. I can only taste the Cavendish in the aftertaste and not in the blend itself, which I think is a credit to the way this has been blended. There are no real surprises with the Kentucky as it adds some earthy, smokiness and seems to be of high quality. On the strength side, I only found this to be medium in nicotine, but I tend to most often enjoy high nicotine blends so if you don’t, you may find it medium to strong. In contrast, the flavor is really full. The Beast makes a great, post steak dinner kind of smoke, but not an “all-dayer” for me. I think overall, unlike "Straight Up English" this is a niche blend. C&D blends generally are not among my favorites, but I have been quite impressed with both small batch offerings from C&D and could easily find blends like the two small batch blends in my daily rotation.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2017 Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable
I bought tin #352 of 777 production date April 2016 for what that is worth. It has a nice strong smell of rum and one of the wettest tobaccos I have bought in a tin. It is good and I enjoyed reading the description on the tin. Will I buy it again? It doesn't matter because it is a limited edition. It is good but for me nothing to rant and rave about. Anyway it is fun to try out new things. Update: 5-27-21. A few months ago Liberty had some of the new release. Apparently I don't read my reviews:). I bought another tin, Feb 2021, 0306/2.500. My opinion is about the same. It is a pretty strong smoke and one dimensional. Still okay but I guess you really have to be in the mood for this type of blend. I will finish the tin and that will probably be my entire experience with this particular weed.
PurchasedFrom: Liberty Tobacco
Age When Smoked: 1 year
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 08, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Tolerable
Cornell & Diehl creates magic with Perique. Bayou Morning, Old Joe Krantz, and Chenet's Cake are three of my favorites. When I heard about The Beast I knew it would deliver and it did.

On the initial light I taste fruit: plum, fig, and raisin coming from both the red Virginia and Perique. Almost immediately after this the spice kicks in. There is some intense pepper going on here but I wouldn't call it overwhelming. Whether in the background or foreground the rum is present. It is also spicy with cinnamon and nutmeg. I think the Dominican Cavendish tames the blend and smooths out any rough edges. There is some earthiness and nuttiness surfacing on occasion likely from the red Virginia and Kentucky leaf. Ultimately a very flavorful and BOLD blend!
Pipe Used: Cobs, Meerschaum, Briar
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2023 Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
Very smooth and ‘earthy’ is all I can think of how to describe The Beast. Whisper of rum in all my puffs. I get the taste of pepper but not the tingle I’m used to, not any stewed fruit either. I’m unable to detect any dark fired unless it contributes to the earthiness. Its smoothness makes it easy to puff fast but it is a potent smoke for me so I have to be careful. Very enjoyable. The room note for me is a guess, I don't smoke indoors.
Pipe Used: basket pipes
Age When Smoked: 2 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 16, 2021 Very Strong Strong Extra Full Tolerable to Strong
8-25-22 update I jarred this up in 21 when I did my initial review and forgot about it in the back of a drawer. Pulling it out I still found it very moist but the rum isn't as strong. The tobacco strength still is though and I'm finding it satisfying for my after dinner smoke. Still leaves lots of moisture during the smoke and requires several pipe cleaners per bowl.

Nice dark rich tobacco taste but not something I'll smoke back to back bowls of. .

2021 C&D re-released "The Beast" in Feb 2021 with a 2500 tin limited run that sold out on-line within hours. The first run was 777 tins in 2016.

This review is on the 2021 production as I missed the 2016 version.

Upon opening, the first thing I noticed is that is very moist for a C&D blend. It's damp to the touch. The tin note is rum and earth. At First, I tried smoking straight out of the tin without drying. It took multiple lights to get burning due to the moisture.

The smoke has a strong rum note to it (missing from most rum blends I've tried), a spicy undernote (From the KY or perique) with very little sweetness. It's a very robust smoke to me, requiring smoking after a meal to avoid the effects of the strength.

It leaves quite a bit of moisture in the pipe when smoked requiring a few cleaners during a bowl. It's not something that I can smoke multiple bowls of.

This one fills a space in the spectrum for those who really enjoy perique and very strong tobaccos. It's something that I'll enjoy having jarred for when I want a real strong smoke.
Pipe Used: sav 320, fat authors
Age When Smoked: 1 month
5 people found this review helpful.
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