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A blend of the finest red and bright Virginias balanced by Basma leaf from 2014 and Izmir Orientals from 2013, Sun Bear showcases select varietals by highlighting their inherent characters with a range of unique and nuanced casings. South Carolina garden-grown honey — harvested from the personal beehives of C&D's head blender, Jeremy Reeves — combines with a whisper of silver tequila and elderflower to augment the fruity and floral notes of the choice Orientals and Virginias.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByJeremy Reeves
Manufactured ByCornell and Diehl
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringAlcohol / Liquor, Honey
Packaging2 ounce tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
8 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2410)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tangy dark fruity, earthy, woody, bready, lightly floral, slightly spicy, slightly citrusy red Virginia takes a tiny lead over the other components at times. Strongly vying for attention for the first slot and often getting it are the dry, sour, lightly tangy sweet, woody, earthy, floral, spicy, smoky Basma and Izmir. The bright Virginia provides some tart citrus, grass, a floral and spice note in an important support role, and ranks a slot below the Orientals and the red Va. The smooth, sweet honey is the most obvious topping, while the lightly fruity, earthy tequila rises a little above the “whisper” mentioned in the blend description. Its effect tends to vary a tad, though it seems just a little more potent half way through the experience. The tart, grape and berry-like, acidic, floral, herbal, sweet elderflower is always in the background. The toppings sublimate the tobaccos to a moderate degree. The strength and taste levels barely reach the medium threshold. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. No chance of bite, and while it’s not exactly smooth, there’s very few rough edges, and has potential for a hint of harshness that chiefly comes from the Izmir. The flakes easily break apart to suit your packing preference. They are lightly moist, but needs no dry time. Burns cool, clean, and a little slow with a modestly sweet, minimally sour and savory, mildly inconsistent, complex and nuanced flavor. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste. The room note is a rung stronger than the after taste. Can be an all day smoke.


14 people found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (140)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

==First Impressions 8/8/19==

I received my tin today dated 080119 so this first review is some pretty "Fresh" mixture. This is tin 312/4500 (I'm interested if there are differences within the batch)

Popping the tin, I could smell alcohol which I'm taking to be the Tequila mentioned on the label. There was also a sweetness which I guess is the honey.

Large broken flakes a la Sunset Harbor Flake. Pretty moist but easy to pack into a bent billiard bones. Char lighted it. Let it set 5 minutes and was able to get it to take well on the relight.

I don't really taste the alcohol topping too much in the first part of the bowl, nice sweetness from the honey topping on the bright virginias. Picked up a little tanginess through the bowl which I'm guessing are the oriental specs which are quite noticeable in the flakes.

One relight about midway through the bowl after swabbing a little bit of moisture out of the pipe. Second half of the bowl had a little bit more of the tequila topping and fruitiness. Didn't much in the way of deep notes. No tongue bite and medium Nicotine to my taste.

Had to look it up:

"What is the taste of elderflower? It's closer to lychee in flavor, and it has a crisp, palate-cleansing finish. If you think about how blueberries add a sweet-tart flavor to a lemon muffin or scone, that's exactly what elderflower's doing in the royal couple's cake. Only it adds a delicate floral flavor"

This is really a good combination for summer. Would be a great with a margarita I'm sure. Maybe sitting on the beach or the front porch. Looking forward to seeing how it cellars and also how this tin does with some more time to marry together.

Pipe Used: Bent Billiard Morgan Bones

Age When Smoked: about a week right now...

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Orlik Tobacco Company A/S - Golden Sliced (Red Tin) (Plus the toppings).

11 people found this review helpful.

Hoipolloi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hoipolloi (12)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

The tin aroma is very pleasant, like fresh raisin bread. The moisture level is low and no drying time is necessary. The flakes rub out very easily, they also fold and stiff nicely. It burns cool and will not bite unless you pull smoke like a factory chimney. The standard fl Virginia of grass and hay shine though. However, there's a very light floral note and a hint of tequila (very subtle). On the retro hale there's a very slight peppery spicey note. This is by no means an aromatic. The nicotine level seems to be mild to medium. I was nervous bc thought I over bought, but after a few bowls I am looking to forward to cellaring this to let it age.

Pipe Used: MM Gentlemen

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Oilk Golden Slices (with more depth).

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1884)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Cornell & Diehl - Sun Bear (Small Batch).

Tin number 3209 of 4500.

Hmmmm, nice, but not 'spectacular'. A bit disappointing!

Anyhoo, the tin contains flakes which are beginning to break apart. So, just stuffing them into the pipe is enough to reduce them to a smokable consistency. I get more of a sweet aroma in the tin-note than I do alcohol/tequila. The moistness of Sun Bear can't be faulted.

The tobaccos taste nice, together. I get more rich Virginia than I do Orientals; so the leading natural flavour's rather fruity. The Orientals aren't miles behind, a little way back, but not lots; there's a titillating nuance from them which, without question, works well. Regarding the added flavours, like in the unlit aroma, I note more honey than tequila. As is usual, the honey gives a fragrant sweetness, but the tequila lets it down; although not a headstrong flavour, it brings enough bitter, sour, alcohol to lessen the rating. I find the burn a little warm, with the smoke bringing a bit of bite.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: acceptable.

Sun Bear? If it weren't for the tequila I'd rate it well. Alas, the tequila reduces it to two stars:

Somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Cob, Meerschaum, Briar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Ash Ryan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ash Ryan (6)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This one has a tin note you would expect of the component tobaccos and toppings, dominated by the honey and brights. The flavor is very consistent and mechanics are perfect. The moisture content was just right. Nic hit is on the lower side of medium for me. The orientals are farther in the background than i was expecting, but still noticeable. I wish i bought more than one tin.

Pipe Used: Radice and Tekin

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Orlik Golden Sliced, Reiner Long Golden Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

McQueen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McQueen (29)
Very Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable to Strong

Had a pipe meetup on Sunday and a feller brought an open tin hes had for a few days. He brought it to basically get rid of it and pawn it off on his buddies hahah, isnt that how it always goes? I fired up a bowl in a trusty cob used only for virginias. Make no mistake this blend is an ARO-MATIC through and though. And its mediocre at best. It has a little sweetness from the outset, I think from the honey, but it dissipates verrryy quickly back down to C and D typical floor blended virginias. Bready, and boring. If youve ever tried C and D virginia flake - thats what this is like with the strange mix of casings.

Pipe Used: MM cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh

3 people found this review helpful.

PapaLukeB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PapaLukeB (1)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Tin note: cinnamon and clove. Fermented prune. Very sweet and fruity. Gorgeous semi- broken flake. Golden toasted almond brown with deep walnut and mahogany hues; very attractive. Came a bit wet but not bad… definitely not on the level of say a Samuel Gawith tin. Took a little coaxing to get lit. Stays lit well. First light: a little flash of harshness giving way to a very full smoky mouth feel. The honey hits with intensity: sweet, rich and somewhat dark. Red Virginia shows its maturity and rounded smoothness. Brights are crisp and go well with the sophisticated bouquet of the delicate accent leaves. The orientals lend Mediterranean flavor and aroma: sweet, floral; exotic and pungent. The warm spiciness is unique. It coats the tongue and is dry in the mouth. It doesn't sting say on a retrohale the way perique does. It is more of a subtle tingle on the middle of the palette and the tongue when the ember hits a pocket of Basma/Izmir. I wouldn't smoke this all day. It's more of a delicacy blend. It is so very rich and complex. It takes focus and intention to really enjoy. It's a contrast to a Orlik or PS Luxury Flake or Squadron Leader. I could pack bowl after bowl of these while enjoying a late afternoon in the sun with friends. Sun Bear asks to be experienced in solitude with few thoughts. It should be savored and consumed with meditative consciousness. It's perfect and lamentable in its rarity. The rareness of the aged oriental leaves. The rarity of the limited production. The singularity of its profile. There is no other blend to compare it. It stands quite alone. It is a beautiful blend. It is one I will enjoy slowly over many years. I'm certain it will continue to elevate itself unimaginably the older it becomes.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Roma Lucite 673KS

Age When Smoked: 42

Purchased From: smokingpipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Dethmutt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dethmutt (5)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Tolerable

Cant say enough about this one. Its that good.. I've already smoked 2 tins and im getting nervous about my stores! My favorite blend atm. The Tequila and Honey, and elderflower play well with each other!

Pipe Used: SMS Meer

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.