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Honoring historic US Burley growing regions, Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch: Eight State Burley showcases the often overlooked nuance and complexity of air-cured leaf, beginning with a specially sourced, matured blend of 2014 white and dark burleys — offering a mellow, creamy nuttiness, as well as a subtle, soft cocoa flavor on the palate. Top-tier Canadian brights and SM2-18 red Virginias (the same grade as in last year's run of Carolina Red Flake and Carolina Red Flake with Perique) complement those distinctive flavors with layers of sweetness, tang, and bready spice. Finally, Oriental tobaccos, well aged for 17 years, further contribute to the complexity of this unique burley mixture: A blend of rare Sokhoum, Samsun, and Katerini sun-cured leaf from 2005 add a lightly floral, oily, spicy and tart flavor — their sweetness having deepened and their sour notes having muted with age.

Notes: This version has 2019 Canadian bright leaf instead of last year's 2017 leaf and switched to a 2014 white burley from a 2015 white burley.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByJeremy Reeves
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate, Honey, Vanilla
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging2 ounce tin
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
Very Mild, Mild
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable
4.0
2 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2883)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an updated review of last year’s ESB after having done several direct comparisons between the two blends. The year 2014 white and dark burleys provide a lot of earth, wood, nuts, mild creamy cocoa, and a sharp, dry sourness along with hints of sugar and molasses. They are the lead components. The aspects of the seventeen year old Sokhoum, Samsun and Katerini are earth, wood, herbs, floralness, spice, zesty tart sweetness, vegetation, and a mild smoky quality. They are moderately sweet, and mildly sour. They are just below being supporting players. The 2019 Canadian bright Virginia offers a lot of tart and tangy citrus, grass, bread, some sugar, vegetation, floralness, tart lemon, spice, and a hint of acidity as a supporting player. It competes with the Orientals for attention. The red Virginias produce a fair amount of tangy dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, light sugar, tart citrus, and a pinch of spice. They are a notch above being a condiment. The red Va.s add to the overall sweetness as they help mute some of the sourness from the white burley and Orientals. The casings on the burleys include a variety of flavors (molasses, rum, sugar, a drop or two of vanilla, cocoa, etc.) that very mildly tone down the tobaccos. The blend itself is not topped. The strength and nic-hit are medium. The taste is a rung past medium. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, and has a few very small rough edges. Well balanced and complex, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a rich nutty, woody, sweet, mildly floral, sour, spicy, smoky flavor. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, moderately lingering after taste, and room note. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and repeatable for the less experienced. Four stars.

This year’s version is fairly similar to last year’s though there are a few small differences. The white burley is a year older, and the Canadian bright is is two years younger than the 2021 ESB. The Canadian bright is a notch more obvious here, making the tart and tangy citrus and floral notes slightly more noticeable. The white burley is lightly more sharp and sour. Because the tobaccos stand out a touch more, this production is a tad smokier, floral, and punchier. The casing of the burleys is exactly the same as before. I rated last year’s taste level as medium. This is about half a rung fuller. The same goes for the room note.

-JimInks

10 people found this review helpful.

Thepipehunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thepipehunter (41)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

From a fresh tin the tobacco is on the moist side, but smokes well without drying. It is an uneven ribbon cut with various size ribbons as well as some chunkier bits. The tin note is very nutty, earthy, and has notes of cocoa and chocolate.

My first thought upon lighting is that this is one of those warm and cozy blends. The smoke is very creamy and silky. The Burleys are nutty and chocolatey with a touch of Earth. The Red Virginia has a nice tang and bit of fruit. I get a touch of citrus/lemon from the Bright VAs. I occasionally get a hint of espresso bean. The Orientals offer some herbal and floral notes that offer an interesting interplay with the cocoa from the Burley, while the Virginia help smooth out the profile. The casing on the Burley shines through without covering up the tobacco flavors. There is a hint of honey and cocoa/chocolate. The blend is moderately sweet full of various flavors that are fun to pick out.

Eight State Burley 2022 smokes cool and clean to the bottom of the bowl, with minimal moisture left behind. It did not bite, and only sported a very light edge if puffed very aggressively. I found that it smoked best lightly packed. Nicotine was medium, and taste was just a step past that. 3.75 out of 4 stars.

3 people found this review helpful.