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XX Flake Dark is a pure Va/Per blend comprised of stoved and un-stoved red Virginias, bright leaf, and perique that's been aged 18 years. With a nuanced flavor profile of bold spice and subtle sweetness, XX Flake Dark showcases quality Virginias and aged perique, offering a rich depth and enticing aroma, and is limited to 5,000 serialized tins.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
CutBroken Flake
Packaging2 ounce tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Where to Buy
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None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2976)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

All of the constituent tobaccos have a big burst amount of fermentation. The stoved and unstoved red Virginias provide a lot of tangy ripe dark fruit, tangy sugary stewed fruit, tart and tangy citrus, earth, wood, bread, light vinegar, a few floral, sour, creamy notes and a pinch of spice as the lead components. They get ample support from the bright Virginia. The bright offers a burst of tart and tangy citrus, plenty of grass and hay, vegetation, slight acidity, light spice and sugar, a few drops of honey, and has a minor floral quality. The very stewed fruity (raisins, plums, figs, dates), moderately spicy, musty eighteen year old perique is an important supporting player that doesn’t overwhelm the Virginias or the smoker as some blends with a lot of perique will. Instead, they synergistically join with the Virginias to create a harmonious, well balanced, complex, and very consistent, deeply rich, tangy, tartly fermented, ripe stewed sweet and spicy, lightly floral, punchy flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste and slightly stronger room note. The strength is medium, and the taste just steps over that line. The nicotine is a tad less potent than the strength level. There’s no chance of bite or harshness no matter how fast you puff. Has a few minute rough edges. This easily rubbed out broken flake mixture contains a little moisture, but doesn’t need any dry time. It burns cool and clean at a slightly slow pace, and leaves very little dampness in the bowl. It requires a few more than an average number of relights due to the cut and light moisture of the tobaccos. Despite its depth and body, it may be an all day smoke for the veteran, and is easily repeatable for the less experienced. Four stars out of four.


10 people found this review helpful.

PipeTobaccoReviewer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeTobaccoReviewer (12)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Well, the perique may be 18 years old, but the VAs certainly aren’t. Nor is it even remotely a flake. An extremely broken flake verging onto a very thick ribbon would be the closest one could get to a flake designation. C&D generally likes to play fast and loose with their flake designations though. In comparison, XX Flake is a flake.

However. Looking past the youthful VA which will be fine in a year or two, I think this is a really rather good blend. The perique is fantastic. The reds are what one would expect from a literal 6 day old tin. But the flavor bones are there for a rich cinnamon spice, vanilla from the stoved, with deep intense fruit with just a touch of pepper from the perique. Every confidence this is going to be a champion with some age and it’s rather nice ultra fresh.

Benefits from moderate dry time and a very slow breath smoke cadence. It will get very rough edges otherwise. However, treated properly the flavors spring forward. Really excited to try this again with a year or two on it and I bought more than enough to sample this out over the next twenty years or longer if I behave myself and limit it to a tin every couple of years to chart its course and have a bit of a treat to explore. C&D is catching some flack in the community for their chain of limited releases, but I for one appreciate them a great deal. The additional care and attention spent on their Small Batch/Limited blends is obvious and rather nice.

A good buy, while available, if you like the C&D red profile in general and appreciate some very good perique. Highly recommended.

Age When Smoked: Ultra Fresh

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

cm1648 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cm1648 (100)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Remarkable blend! In comparison to its sister, XX Flake, this is a night/day difference (hence the "dark" I suppose). Whereas the XX Flake is primarily brighter, citrusy, and lower in Perique content, this one is is primarily brings a dark fruit note from the heavier Perique content and red Virginias. The brights do make an appearance with grassy notes but they are subdued. As with the XX Flake, the age of the Perique is noticeable and supports the reds quite harmoniously. And to think this is a fresh tin! As of 3/20/20, it is sold out. This will be a blend I will store away and smoke sparingly, as it is one of my favorite Va/Pers I have ever smoked fresh.

Updated Review (6/18/21)- YouTube Video

5 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (118)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sorry to rain on your parade guys . I did enjoy the XX regular very much but the big brother , the dark flake , was a total let down . The tin note is musty and uninteresting , sort of a real turn off when compared to the XX regular which is inviting . The smoke is just not tasty in any way , sort of dark , drab and musty . I must use the word musty again , sort of old warehouse odor . I believe that the virginias used simply did not stand up to the 18 year old perique . Maybe the stoved virginias were not done right . These same virginias worked in the XX regular but cannot get the job done with extra added perique . Young virginias do not always work with perique at all . The overall experience presented no taste at all , just musty smoke . I smoked half a can in reliable perique dedicated pipes and did not get one puff of flavor of any kind . Reading the excellent reviews put forward I question my own review , maybe i got a bad can of an excellent blend , I have no way of knowing the truth . I can only evaluate the can delivered to me . This blend is so weak that I will dump out the rest of the can .

4 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (388)
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

I was able to smoke about three bowls of this from a fellow member of the club who hooked me up. The tin date was 022120. This is a nice medium and light brown, not dark like I thought it would be according to the tin and is a nice really broken flake, almost a thick ribbon cut. A well-crafted VaPer with the Perique starting to show about midway down the bowl. All three bowls smoked consistent and was really good from start to finish. The perique was mild and not sure as to whether due to the age of the tobacco, a whopping 18 years. Glad I was able to enjoy this limited blend which I am sure is already sold out. Thanks, Dawg!

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (123)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

XX Dark Flake: A Smooth yet Dynamic Va/per

The Virginia varietals are tangy, earthy, and sweet with a wisp of grassy-crispness—in that order. The aged perique tastes similar to the leaf C&D’s regularly uses in their blends, but with more fig-like undertones. All together, they meld into a smooth yet complex smoke.

XX Dark Flake reminds me of C&D’s other VaPers, but XXDF does a better job balancing tangy reds, sweet stoved Virginias, and fermented perique. Bayou Morning Flake comes across as unbalanced and harsh in comparison. I hope that C&D considers adding Dark Flake to their regular production with their regular supply of perique after the aged stuff runs out.

4 people found this review helpful.

LightMyBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LightMyBriar (17)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin Note: Very rich aroma, sweet, dark, slightly fruity with a tiny bit of Perique musk. Not a typical C&D tin note for VaPer blends.

First Light: Bright and dark Virginia flavors all hit at once. There is a muted black pepper Perique taste in the background, but not bland. Retrohale is very pleasant.

Mid-Bowl: Flavor evolves from the alternating bright / dark to a very full taste of charred bread crust, and the slightest hint of pine (not strong enough to notice without intentional flavor-hunting). After the smoke leaves the mouth, a very pleasant peppery-plum flavor clings to the palate. If anyone has tried smoking straight Perique, that is similar to the way this portion of the bowl tastes, only this flake possesses much more fullness and body. There is a noticeable but inoffensive bitterness present.

Bottom of Bowl: Flavor deepens significantly and takes on a slight cinnamon note, in the way that a good cigar does. Strength intensifies as does flavor. The Perique is very up-front and in the starring role, tasting somewhat like hot blackberry jam. Very nice, but take care not to get too enthusiastic about enjoying this taste, as the nicotine sneaks up very quickly!

Summary: The aged Perique certainly is intended to be the star of the show, and the blenders have fully succeeded in that regard. This is ready to smoke right out of the tin, and is strong and flavorful the entire smoke, without being offensive. Far from monochromatic, XX Flake Dark is an endless adventure of flavor-changes, all of which are enjoyable and center around all the variations good Perique has to offer. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: MarTelo Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Honestly, this is quite unique!.

4 people found this review helpful.

RonR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonR (86)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable


Just finished a tin of this fantastic VaPer. The red virginias give a nice sweetness to this blend that has all the perique you could want in a deep draw. Retrohale is heavenly with plenty of spice. I can sip the sweetness or pull back deep for the perique hit. I bought 25 tins in total, wondering if I should have cellared a few more when I consider what the aging process may bring.

Buy while you can but let me get more first!

Pipe Used: Cobs

Age When Smoked: Tin date of 02/24/2020

3 people found this review helpful.

Gr8tefuldawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gr8tefuldawg (87)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

C&D- Xx Flake Dark

Boom, that Perique hits upon first light and while peppery it never overpowered, I can say this because if it were I’d still be sneezing at this moment. This was smoky on exhale the first quarter through the bowl, from the Perique is my guess. I bought two tins one to try now, another to cellar but I may need to buy another two for just in case.

The Virginia shows up about halfway to a 3rd of the way through the bowl, and I could taste the lovely bready slightly toasted flavor in the Virginia.

I would like to mention that this blend stayed relatively cool and is a sippers blend. The flavors are fantastic and with a little more age on the VA’s this will be fantastic.

Pipe Used: Rossi 320

Age When Smoked: Less than a month

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: G. L. Pease - Fillmore (Fog City Selection).

3 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have to concur with everything that has already been said about C&D XX Flake Dark.

I wish I had a better idea/understanding/birds-eye-view of how this blend was actually blended. Or, in other words, I wish I knew how the blenders knew how much of "this tobacco" and how much of "that tobacco" would have produced such a blend in the end.

Will age this for another 2 or 3 years before I come back to it (when I suspect it will be utterly sublime).

It is considered poor form amongst gentlemen pipe smokers to hoard limited edition (small batch) tobacco, but if there is any of this left to buy one month from now, I will revert to pirate mode and shamelessly pillage . . .

So everyone has been warned.

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2065)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Cornell & Diehl - XX Flake Dark (Smoking Pipes 20th).

The flakes are only partially broken, don't expect a blend which has been smashed to ribbons. It has an aroma which is rich; ripe and slightly zesty. The moisture makes immediate smoking easy.

Upon first light it was apparent how cataclysmic it is this has only been produced in a limited quantity. It's divine! Vivacious, juicy, red Virginia gives the larger flavour of the Vas. The piquant, sharper, bright Va requires a more dedicated palate; it's a definite addition, only not as brash as the red. Then we have the Perique.... wow! At first I get more of a vinegary, spicy flavour, which develops into a calmer plum-like character. I can't fault the pragmatics of XXFD, it behaves perfectly; a sporadic tamp keeps it generating a medium temperature smoke.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: not the best!

XX Flake Dark? One of the finest VaPers I've ever had! Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Neerup

Age When Smoked: 02/24/20

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (317)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

V pleasant, but the VAs do need more aging, a little rough at the moment. The 'flakes' are so broken that even those who want to rub out flakes won't need to. those who enjoy bright or grassy VAs probably won't care for this; those who prefer them on the dark side with some spicy Perique will enjoy this, esp. once it has some age.

Pipe Used: cobs and meers

Age When Smoked: fresh when opened

Purchased From: smoking pipes

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