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A blend of the finest Bright and Red Virginias balanced by 2014 Basma and 2013 Izmir Orientals, Cornell & Diehl's Sun Bear: Black Locust commends itself with subtle notes of raw, ethically sourced, single-farm honey from the 2020 Black Locust nectar flow in Maryland — a variety prized for its small yields, extremely light color, and delicate sweetness.

Combined with a whisper of silver tequila and elderflower, the natural Black Locust honey complements these specially selected varietal tobaccos, elevating their fruity and floral notes for a bright, refreshing character and a creamy, rounded finish.

Notes: Released in a limited run of 10,000 tins on July 20, 2021, and sold out in less than eight hours, Sun Bear features honey from the Maryland Black Locust Tree harvest of 2020. Victor Seested, a pipe smoker/beekeeper, contacted Jeremy Reeves just as Jeremy realized his own hives were underpopulated and unable to produce the honey necessary for the new run of Sun Bear as they had for the original version. ""There's a little bit of a citrusy kind of tang," says Jeremy. "It's not the same tartness that I experienced from our honey. Victor's is more citrusy. But the focus of the flavor is definitely much more on these kinds of delicate floral notes. It's definitely sweet, but not as overpoweringly sweet as some honeys can be. It's wonderful in tea and delightful to drizzle over some berries and yogurt." Read the full story behind Sun Bear: Black Locust on the Smokingpipes Daily Reader:

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByJeremy Reeves
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringAlcohol / Liquor, Honey
Packaging2oz Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note
7 reviews
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StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2027)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Cornell & Diehl - Sun Bear: Black Locust.

Tin #06952/10,000.

This is the only blend I've smoked since yesterday lunch. Not just so I could extrapolate an informed opinion before posting, but because it's that good!

In the tin sits a sweet smelling, medium brown, rather well broken flake. This tin's moisture suited me, very well; a touch moist but not wet. Only a few flakes need further rubbing, the majority can be loaded straight in.

The smoke? I like it lots more than the 2020 version. Like it's predecessor, the Virginias outweigh the Izmir Orientals. There's a lemon-sharpness from the bright Va, which is a tad louder than the fruity red, but a floral yet creamy, butyraceous quality from the Izmir. The Black Locust honey easily makes more impact than the tequila. The honey's fragrant, sweet, but not sticky; quite charming and very tasty. The tequila differs, greatly (IMO), to 2020's offering. Before I found it diminished the rating, although not a formidable flavour it was bitter and acerbic. This year? I get a very slight touch of piquant alcohol, a subtle ''zestiness'', but nothing as game-changing. It burns perfectly, creating a smoke that's mid-temperature and bite-free.

Nicotine: below medium. Room-note: nice.

Sun Bear: Black Locust? A perfect smoke in these hotter months. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson #03

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (221)
Mild Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong

Summary: an acidic bright Virginia blend that never unites its parts

To make a bright Virginia blend, you either age and press the leaf to create a comfortably tamed version of the bright tobacco without its characteristic acid bite and tendency to flame up like an over-insured restaurant. "Sun Bear: Black Locust" blazes up with first the weirdly sweet topping that tastes faintly of indigestion, and then the sweet-sour punch of Orientals, but then all fades out and you find yourself smoking the under-aged bright Virginias that have made many wary of C&D blends, with a faint molasses and wildflower honey flavor from the red Virginias, which are few in number. To me, it seemed like there might be some white Burley in here as well, which makes sense since it calms down the bright Virginia and gives it a broader, almond-like flavor and the scent of something like cigar leaf. At this point, the Orientals and toppings burn off, and you find yourself smoking this raw Virginia leaf thinking, I should have gone for something more refined, like Capstan, since this tin is going to require three years in the closet before it is smokeable, and even then, it will not be exceptional. They tell you an awful lot about the five percent of ingredients -- tequila, Orientals -- and very little reminding you that the other ninety-five percent are their standard mixing tobaccos, marked up extensively. I love C&D blends, but there's a reason they named this one after a parasite. Hold on to your wallet and acquire something else.

3 people found this review helpful.

Coolbreeze Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coolbreeze (1)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant


I've had the pleasure of being able to enjoy last year's sunbear and was lucky enough to get some of the 2021 Sunbear :Black Locust, let's jump in.

Tin note: Fig newtons, bready, floral honey, wiff of tequila/booze and a very slight and fleeting smell of cigar leaf almost undetectable (I know it's not in there).

Let's get this in a bowl..... nice!

Immediately it reminds you of last year's run Sunbear but it has differences, in a very good way. The smoke seems more delicate and complex the black locust honey elevates this much more than previous release. While slightly sweet, very slight tartness it is more savory to my palate and there is a medium creaminess to the smoke, the retreohale is very nice, floral and little pepper. The casing was applied with an expert hand to allow the tobacco to be the star but there is just enough to let ya know hey your smoking Sunbear.

The Orientals are in the driver's seat here, followed by the bright VA, if there is Red VA it's way in the back seat and an after thought. It's best to take this one slow and sip it to really get the nuances of this blend it's such a rare gem as it should be savored with kicking back in a chair on a summer evening with a nice beverage watching the sunset or thunderstorm.

Overall this is a an improvement over 2020 version, that black locust honey is something special and really excited about aging this one in the jar, I'll update. If you enjoy Orientals and are able to track down a tin it would be well worth the effort.

Pipe Used: Mark Tinsky blast

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

Similar Blends: Sunbear 2020.

3 people found this review helpful.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (123)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This release tastes like a fresh tin of the previous batch so my review is about the same.

Sun Bear is tasty and the tin note is scrumptious.

The bright Virginias shine in this flake. They are grassy with some crisp edges. The reds add some earthiness. The Turkish leaf adds complexity with a little sourness—especially in the last third of the bowl. The honey and elderflower casing melds well with the sweetness of the Virginia leaf. There is a pleasant fruity undertone to the flake.

This batch has a few rough spots in the smoke upon opening the tin. It smoothed out after a week and tastes like the Sun Bear I know and love.

2 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (214)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I did not move fast enough to try the original release of Cornell and Diehl’s Sun Bear, and the only reason I got to try this one, subtitled Black Locust, is because I stumbled onto and immediately purchased a tin at my local B&M. After playing around with it for a couple of weeks, I’ve figured out that I prefer to smoke it slowly in a small-ish, number 4 pot that I use for spicy blends, most of which include both Orientals and Perique. Although SBBL is initially an aromatic blend, yet I don’t expect it will be a favorite of beginners or “typical” aro smokers (if there is such a thing…). Appearance is typical-for-C&D broken flakes, which are rather sticky in this case. Tin note is nice, woody/grassy, with VERY faint tequila, more elderflower and honey, and a very faint trace of vanilla. First up when I smoked it in early going was the sweet, flue cured VA, along with the elder flowers and the honey, along with the faint vanilla. It starts very soft, meadow grassy and fragrant. Next up is the fragrant Basma, woody, with fairly mild baking spices. Next up is the Izmir, also woody, also sour, with mounting pepper along with its spicy spices. Last is the red VA, somewhat earthy, wheat bready, a trace of very subdued “dark fruit”, rather bluff, and fairly dense. The final profile holds from about ½, and it builds slowly to the end. When I catch myself pulling on this one, I slow down; otherwise it’s too spicy for its own good. Sadly, the foregoing applied only to the first week or so. After that I found it started out bluff and wound up muddled, with faint “chemical” tastes, and it never burned consistently well for me, being in this reminiscent of McClelland blends I’ve tried. Strength builds from mild to medium, with not much nicotine. Tastes build from mild to just over medium the way I’ve smoked it. Room note is Turkish. The aftertaste morphs from sour Orientals to sweeter, earthy and bready VAs, which trail on and on.

In the end, all’s not-so-well that ends not-so-well, for me, anyway. All considered, I can see where others might like it, but it’s not for me. 2 stars. I’ll get back if it improves.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: tin dated 06-21-21

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

1 person found this review helpful.

FlowerPowerGirl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FlowerPowerGirl (2)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend taste like a sunny shine. Mouth so good flavor makes for water. Grasping at subtle notes easy and honey great. More tins the better.

Similar Blends: Sun Bear.

1 person found this review helpful.

Baubriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Baubriar (8)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

The tin has a unique note. I can smell the liquor, and it is pleasant. The smoke aroma just the same. Not offensive either way. It's one that excites me to fill the bowl up. Nice sweet treat.

Smokes clean and easy right from the tin. Taste is okay, not much to it perhaps a little bit of bite but nothing a swig of water won't fix.

I'm not nuanced enough to pick out flavors but I think the description does well enough.

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