Cornell & Diehl Carolina Red Flake

A blend of the finest North Carolina grown red Virginias, harvested in 2015, our Carolina Red Flake is a tribute to the Old Belt. Plucked straight from Carolina soil, these top-tier Virginias were all grown, thrashed, blended, pressed, and then lovingly sliced and tinned right here in the heart of old tobacco country.  Sweet, tangy, and spicy, Carolina Red Flake is both surprisingly straightforward and pleasantly complex: you'll find it's rich, deep, and earthy, with undertones of dried cranberries, orchard grass, and citrus.
 We're proud of our heritage—and we're particularly proud of this damn near perfect red Virginia flake. Enjoy!
Notes: First retail launch: June 10, 2016. 2,400 tins produced. 2016 - 2,400 tins produced. 2017 - 2,400 tins produced. 2018 - 8,000 tins produced. 2019 - 10,000 tins produced. 2020 - 10,000 tins produced. Components by production year: 2016 - 2019 : "L2DH-0-15" 100% USA FCV from 2015. Grade D1A, D1F, D1H Top Grade Virginias Sugar Content: 10.49% 2020 - Current: "SM2-18" 100% USA FCV from 2018. Grade D1A, D1F, D1H Top Grade Virginias. Sugar Content: 8.33% Recalls: 6/21/2016 All 2400 tins have been recalled due to mold being found in some tins. Refunds or trades for other C&D blends are being offered.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Series Small Batch
Blended By Jeremy Reeves
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Re-release


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

Average Rating

3.53 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 49 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Several 2015 North Carolina grown red Virginias are processed into a very easily broken apart flake to suit your packing preference, and for a better burn rate than what some flake blends offer. It’s very tangy, dark fruit sweet with a lot of earth and wood, very mild grass, bread, vinegar, floralness, natural sugar, tart lemon and citrus notes, along with slightly more than mild spice. The first thing that hits you as you light up is the tangy sweetness, wood and earth, which are the main features of the flavors. The other attributes I mentioned quickly show themselves, and remain all throughout the proceedings. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. The strength is a couple of steps past that mark. The taste is right at the medium level. It has a few rough, rugged edges.

Not a complex product, but there’s enough variety going on to hold your interest as the flavor is fairly smooth and very consistent from start to finish. I say “fairly smooth” only because the much appreciated earth and spice continually underscores the inherently tangy sweetness of the reds. Burns at a moderate pace, cool and clean with no dull or harsh spots. Won’t bite even if pushed, though I recommend a slow cadence in order to fully savor the experience. Easily burns to ash, and requires a few relights. Leaves a light dampness in the bowl. The tangy after taste very pleasantly lingers a little, and the room note is a little sweet. Can be an all day smoke if you wish. Think Christmas Cheer with less sugar sweetness, more earth and spice, and only a bare essence of "vinegar".

59 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 05, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Man is this stuff good! By that it is up there with a very good Christmas Cheer and it has the edge on 5100. That is high praise.

Mine came as a mostly broken flake due to the rigors of handling. I broke up the big pieces and got a texture similar to the Amphora Red of my youth. Tin note is earthy and slightly sweet. Hydration was very good.

Smoked, there is a heavy fruit with some tart when puffed. It is slightly sweet and exhaling through the nose has some spice and a little citrus as if the heavy fruit is an orange that is a too ripe. Smoking qualities are excellent. It left a nice aftertaste.

This is a great Red Virginia. You should try it if you can get one of the 2400 tins. I know you don't buy small batch to blend, but I suspect this would rock with some perique.
38 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
If you can get some of this, do so. It's that good. If you did get some, congratulations on a smart purchase. I managed to get two tins and one went straight to the cellar for aging. The other is being smoked only in cobs because I'm a cob guy and this is special stuff.

It's well rounded with the highs, mids and lows nicely covered. There are several fruity nuances that run together making a kind of "fruit punch" flavor that's only mildly sweet and somewhat tart. In the second half these nuances get deeper, darker and a bit earthier. I find it to be very, very satisfying. It truly is some wonderful leaf. Damn shame there's so little of it.

About medium in body, maybe a shade more. Nic is also around medium. Taste is medium as well. Satisfaction is full. This one will be savored.

Edit: 6/23/16 In case you haven't heard, there have been cases of mold found in some of the tins. C&D has issued a recall of all 2400 tins and refunds or trades for other C&D blends are being offered. I have found no mold in the tin I'm smoking out of and I intend to smoke every bit of it. I opened the tin I had put in the cellar and found no mold, jarred it and put it back to age. I would recommend doing that to any that you might have in your cellar. If you find mold you can get your dough back.
Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn
Age When Smoked: fresh
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
The good news for my pipe club was that a fellow member who is in love with all these small batch C&D blends brought a tin to our meeting. Further good news, no mold! Nice Virginia broken flake and C&D did not lie when they said it came from a special grade of Virginia. Subtle, sweet and smooth. I really liked this one and had to battle some of my other club members (but only the old ones that were littler than me) for a second bowl.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Carolina Red, the third blend in the “Small Batch” series from C&D greets the nose with a little bit of hay and fruit. From a moisture standpoint, most will find this pipe ready straight away. I prefer tobacco on the drier side so I did dry it for a few short minutes. In the pipe, my first puff was more of hay than tangy red Virginia, but it very quickly settled into one of the more interesting Red Virginia blends that I have smoked in some time. There is some tang, but not as tangy as some of the McClelland red VA’s. There is an ample amount of sweetness along with a tart undercurrent. The flavor is “richer” and deeper than many newly tinned red Virginias out there. The combination of sweet and tart really makes for an outstanding blend. There is more complexity in this blend than others in this genre too. The fruitiness becomes bolder as each bowl progressed as did the spice level. CRF burns cool with no acidity or bite. I don’t have any C&D blends in my regular rotation. But these small batch blends have all been outstanding and CRF is another great one in this series. It’s too bad that it appears there isn’t enough leaf to make some of these standard offerings. Congrats to C&D on another winner!
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 24, 2019 Medium Medium Mild Tolerable
Carolina Red Flake is one of those tobaccos that has a cult following. Not surprising as it's a limited edition offering.

I have the impression that pipe smokers can be described by various terms, divided into distinct classes along several lines of distinction. One of these is Cornell & Diehl. Either you love them or you don't. If you love them, their catalog has much to offer you by way of variety and unique blends that, failing distinction, don't wander far from the general vane than englobes their tobacco worldview--"honest, unpretensious tobacco."

I on the other hand just can't get hooked. I try and try. Generally I don't write reviews for tobaccos unless I like them, but somehow I think that this flake has a 3.8 rating because only its habitués have reviewed it. I suppose it was a limited edition so most of you aren't torn with indecision at spending a paycheck on 'in stock' Carolina Red Flake. So why mention it?

Well, Sansepolcro, another Cornell & Diehl limited edition run, is due to make an appearance tomorrow. As curious as I am given the appetizing reviews that others have written about it, I nonetheless can't bring myself to forget that, for my tastes anyway, Cornell & Diehl has always been a purveyor of tobacco mixtures that tend toward the harsher, dryer, and monotone end of the spectrum. Carolina Red Flake is a perfect example of it. A beacon herald, flagship tobacco. For example, it is an 'honest' tobacco, inasmuch as it is simple. As charming as a one-note piano. It is best sipped early in the morning otherwise its linear appeal will escape your distracted senses. It would likely make a good blending tobacco, but that's missing the point of a small batch limited edition, isn't it? I'm grateful to my friends who've given me many samples of Cornell & Diehl blends, most of which I've not enjoyed terribly much (the one exception being Star of the East Flake). I wonder how much Carolina Red Flake tins would have sold if they'd given out free samples first.

Anyway, that's my review. Call it a 'dissenting voice.'
Pipe Used: all shapes and sizes
PurchasedFrom: Tobaccopipes-dot-com
Age When Smoked: 2018 limited edition
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 18, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
C&D I salute you! This is an instant classic and a blend to be revered for generations to come. I am reviewing the Nov 2018 release, tin 1175/8000 from a 2015 harvest. This is a broken flake that comes on the dry side (just the way I like it) and is pure red VA. The tin note is subtle, virginia tobacco with light brown sugar sweetness on the nose. The flavor is reminiscent of McClellands red VA blends, Christmas Cheer immediately comes to mind as soon as the smoke hits my tongue. It is not the same as CC but these are top shelf red's. The flavor is earthy and mildly spicy, this is the dominant profile that I get from first light to last puff. There is a tanginess to the smoke that is always in the background and pronounced on the retrohale. There are also dark fruits and a bready/toasty and mildly nutty flavor on the finish/aftertaste. The tanginess boarders on sour occasionally and this adds to the complexity of the smoke. It is not an overly complex smoke but it is not without nuance. This is one of the best Virginia tobacco's I have ever smoked from C&D and deserves high honors among all the great Virginia's. This is a must have for anyone who enjoy's red Virginia tobacco.
Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum and cobs
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2018 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable
Well, I suppose I'm no old timer with smoking, but in the 5 years or so I've smoked, I've plowed through and amassed quite a collection. I've got English's I adore, Balkan's I love, VA/Per's I can't get enough of. I've got several example's from all the most readily available blenders/brands of varying percentages of leaf. I've even accumulated blending stock and have acquired the ability to get reasonably close to the one's I love.

I say all of that to say this. Red Virginia is just about the only pure strain that can be absolutely perfect on its own. 5100 and McClelland 40th Anniversary have it, so I'm glad I stocked a decent amount of those. Then, I stocked up on the newer sutliff Red virginia match, as well as their ribbon.

But I have to say, I've heard the old timer's talk about legendary tobacco's. I would have thought I could pick from the myriad blends I've tried some that are better than others, but it wasn't until I smoked this, that I could almost immediately say I had finally realized something that would be a legend of my pipe smoking tobacco experience. I did manage to stock enough to last a good while, but of all the tobacco's I've tasted, this one is so perfect, and above the rest, that I can truly say it is a masterpiece, at least in the modern sense. I know someday, I'll be that old timer, and this is the one I'll remember, and that is my review.
Pipe Used: Turkish Meer, Savinelli
Age When Smoked: Out of tin
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
This stuff is great. Very sweet - possibly the sweetest tasting and smelling tobacco I've had. Lemony with some other dried fruits, but not hay-like or grassy like a lot of the typical pure Virginias. This is more rich, with a bit of a kick to it - strength says medium, but I found it to be a little stronger. (It would be interesting to mix this with a little Cabbie's Mixture... the citrus fruit in this tobacco might pair well with the deep raisin of that other blend.) In the end, this is a top-notch tobacco - definitely worthy of cellaring/hoarding. I typically don't care for the light, pure virginias like Capstan, Navy Flake, etc., there just doesn't seem to be a lot going on behind the hay and grass taste. I usually gravitate toward the much heavier-tasting blends of the G&H variety. But this one does not fit that description, and offers more depth and complexity.
Pipe Used: Billiard, apple
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: 1.5 years
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Just after the first bowl I immediately knew this is the best tobacco I've packed in a pipe. It's just pure top notch red Virginia bliss. Perfect moisture content right from the tin. Perfect brittle red, loose flakes. The only thing I differ on from what Jim notes is that it is fairly complex. Tangy sour notes of toasted bread, bright notes of citrus, and a sweet natural mellow toasted sugar flavor throughout if sipped slowly. About half way through the bowl it picks up in spice and dark fruit sweetness combined to make for a more and more added perique-like peppery plum as you continue down the bowl. Some are saying use a small pipe. I disagree. Use varying larger sized bowls to get the spice and dark fruit flavor towards the middle-end. This is a sublime smoke. I was fortunate to snag several tins to cellar a few away and smoke a couple. This will age so wonderfully it's a crying shame only 2,400 tins were made. It burns very uniform and slowly. A large bowl burned away for me for well over 2 hours with a slow cadence.
Pipe Used: Merkur 2000 volcano (briar)
Age When Smoked: New and fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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