Cornell & Diehl Palmetto Balkan

(3.45)
Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch blends are handcrafted in small quantities by our expert blenders right here in South Carolina. Our unique interpretation of the Oriental-forward blends of yesteryear. Palmetto Balkan features mature 2018 Izmir and 2019 Basma varietals; top-tier 2017 and 2019 Carolina Red Virginias; and Cypriot Latakia enhanced by a special, proprietary process. Rich with notes of woodsmoke, berries, oak, and baking spices, it showcases a velvety, wine-like character reminiscent of long-lost Syrian leaf.
Notes: Production was limited to 3000 8 ounce tins.

Details

Brand Cornell & Diehl
Series Small Batch
Blended By Jeremy Reeves
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 8 ounce Tin
Country United States
Production

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium to Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.45 / 4
5

6

0

0

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 03, 2024 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
Tin note is aromatic wood and raisins, with a hint of very peaty Islay scotch. Packing is straightforward, and lighting was easy since the moisture level is perfect right off the bat. The flavor is beautiful: Hints of cedar, creosote and pine with a pleasant sweetness on the finish. An occasional spiciness weaves in and out during the bowl, but while the flavor is wonderful I wouldn\'t describe it as overly complicated. Latakia is present, but doesn\'t overplay its hand like so many Balkan blends do nowadays. The flavor deepens nicely as the bowl progresses, never getting bitter or biting. Smoked at a moderate cadence it burns cool and even. Full mouthfeel; somewhat thick and tingly. The smell in the room is very pleasant to my nose, but for the non-smoker would be likely pleasant to tolerable. A quick poll here at home yielded no complaints.

If you can get a tin, I\'d highly recommend it. Nicotine isn\'t really noticeable to me, but I suspect some will find it medium in strength. Easily suitable as an all day smoke, but its limited production probably merits some restraint, or a couple of backup tins. I suspect this will age nicely.
Pipe Used: Peterson 11s
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Production date 03/2024 (smoked 04/24)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The tart and tangy, zesty sun cured 2018 Basma and 2019 Izmir provide a lot of earth, wood, herbs, vegetation, floralness, some dry, bitter sourness, mild incense, spice, and a light buttery sweetness with a hint of smoke. They are the lead components. The Cyprian Latakia was processed to create a Syrian Latakia-like effect. It offers a fair amount of earth, wood, some leathery smoke, floralness, and tart wine sweetness with light spice and mustiness. It’s a supporting player. The Carolina Red Virginias produce some tangy ripe dark fruit, earth, wood, bread, sugar, a little floralness and vegetation, light tart and tangy citrus, grass, a few pinches of spice, and hints of cream and vinegar. They are a couple of steps behind the Latakia in the proceedings. The strength and taste levels start out mild to medium, and gain a little potency after the first quarter of the bowl. The strength is medium. The taste is a slot past that. The nic-hit is a notch below the strength level. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, and has very few rough notes. Well balanced with some nuance, it burns cool and clean at a reasonable rate with a very consistent floral, herbal, dryly sour, spicy, mildly smoky, sweet, savory campfire flavor that extends to the short lived dry after taste. The room note is a little stronger. Leaves little dampness in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. Can be an all day smoke. Three stars.

-JimInks
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Right when think the classic tribute blends are a thing of the past, C&D not only brings one back, but they make it cool again! this is a special tobacco. The tin note is slightly smoky with a hint of sweetness. There is a sour note and some vanilla spice that is very faint and enjoyable. The use of the Orientals is masterful and the star of the show. These Orientals have something I love that you don't find in too many blends anymore and I have a hard time describing it, but I will try. The Izmir gives a "fizzy" seltzer like taste?.. feeling?...not sure,what it is but I love it. This is something I have experienced in older blends that are no longer available, more on that later. The flavors are all grounded in a base of red Virginia sweetness and earthiness that support the woody, slightly sour/tangy and lightly floral Basma and Izmir. The processed Cypriot Latakia if quite unique. The goal was to emulate Syrian Latakia and as far as I can tell they did a great job. I had to go and sample this back to back with a few English blends that I still have that have Syrian Latakia, namely McClellands Wilderness and the original Celebrated Sovereign from Ashton along with the recreated Ashton Artisan blend (when it had Syrian leaf). PB had the same slightly sweet and tangy dry red wine flavor that they all had, Wilderness seemed to have the exact same flavor and that may be due to it using both Syrian and Cypriot Latakia. Bravo! This isn't the centerpiece of the smoke but the flavors it adds really puts this blend in a class by itself relative to what is available today in English blends. The smoke is fairly complex and is best when sipped, the retrohale helps separate the flavor notes and leaves a pleasant after taste that lingers for quite awhile. If pushed, which I did do because I really enjoyed the flavor and got a bit excited in the first few bowls, it will get a bit harsh in the last third of the bowl but if sipped it will burn sweet and complex to the heel. Not a drop of moisture in my pipe when the experience was over. This needs a little drying time, One final tasting note, this is best in a briar by far. Cobs, clays and Meers are ok but the briar really makes this blend pop. The cob was my least favorite and it seemed to change the flavor quite a bit, and for me not for the better. I am looking forward to aging this blend almost as much as I am looking forward to the next bowl. I never got the chance to smoke any of the earl iterations of Balkan Sobranie, but I did get to try one of the last batches before it disappeared, with a decade of age on it by the time I got to it. My memory isn't that good when it comes to old flavors but it IS good enough to say that this is similar, if you loved McClelland Wilderness, this is a must try. The only Syrian blend I matched this up with that had no similarities was HH Vintage Syrian and I think that is due to the DFK in that blend really changing the flavor profile form a standard English. If you loved Syrian Latakia of if you never got the chance to try it before it disappeared, I would highly recommend this blend.
Pipe Used: Briar's, meerschaum, clay's and cob's
Age When Smoked: very fresh
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 22, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
C&D Palmetto Balkan - Opened the tin to find a lovely shag cut tobacco . The Basma and Izmir definitely in the lead here . There is sweet and sour at the same time . Herbal and floral . Mildly creamy and buttery . Citrus tang . A little spicy. They did a good job giving the Latakia a bit of a wine like essence like Syrian was. The Latakia is smokey and a little salty also . A little fruity sweetness from the Carolina Red Flake . This Balkan blend has a bitter sour edge to it which isn’t really a bad thing and it will probably mellow with age . It is a good blend and I am happy with the purchase . 3
Age When Smoked: Fresh tin
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2022 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I hesitated a little when I saw this was only coming out in 8oz tins but I'm glad I went ahead and ordered a couple on release.

Appearance is C&D ribbon which is closer to the shag end of the spectrum with a variety of colors mixed throughout. Moisture content was a little higher than other blends, so works best for me if dried out for a couple of hours. Easy to pack and light.. takes a few lights to really get going and an average number of relights.

The primary tastes I've gotten through my several bowls in several different shaped pipes is a nice tangy sour, backed with sweet. There is a supporting campfire smokiness especially when sipped. The mixture is very consistent through the bowl and allows the different component blends to work well together.

I'm sure this will age really nicely so I'm glad I got a 2nd tin to put in the cellar for awhile. Freshly blended it is a winner in my book and is in my top "Balkan" style blends for sure.
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 2022
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2022 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
C&D's Palmetto Balkan-- In the interest of a full review, the tin I have smoked was 1460/3000. The production date is handwritten as 4/2022. The tin stamp is 5/10/22. I received this tin on 6/4/22 and opened it on 7/8/22. The tin note is smokey, woodsy, sweet, slightly herbal, and delicious. It came a little moist, but I did not dry it out as the weeks passed the tin dried to my liking quite nicely. The smoke is very woodsy, earthy, herbal, vegetative, and sweet, with campfire and leather notes trailing not far behind with a slightly spicy note too. Behind all this are some dark fruit notes, breadiness, some citrus, and the barest hint of hay. The smoke takes on an incense likeness for a puff or two here and there which is very nice. The notes say that they have a new way of processing the lat. and it is reminiscent of Syrian, I would say that it does remind me of Syrian, but that is as far as I will go. It does have a wine-like note to it and is much softer than I expected. The strength based on the volume of smoke, nic, etc. is at the upper end of mild to medium, the nic is slightly less than this. The taste starts out as mild to medium but by the end of the first third of the bowl has developed to medium. The room note is not the best, however. The finish is short for this type of blend. Overall, a good blend but there are dozens of Balkans that fall into this category and this one does not really stand out from the crowd all that much. 2.5 stars as there are others I like better and don't see myself buying this one again, rounded up based on the overall taste and performance to 3 stars. Recommended to those who like mild to medium Balkans and to anyone interested in trying one.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Palmetto Balkan has to be the best English/ Balkan C&D has ever produced, IMHO, and I don't make that claim lightly. It's unlikely to be otherwise considering the quality of the leaf sourced and the overall experience achieved by this blend. Taste may be subjective, but quality is objective. Fans of this style will certainly be pleased.

First third: It starts out fantastic, with a wonderful complexity captured in the first wispy puffs of smoke. As it progressed I noted the following: Creamy, woody, lightly smoky, a slight coffee note in the aftertaste. Also, a Red Virginia sweetness, with a hint of fruit. A little earthy and a very slight mineral taste.

Second third: A little less red VA fruit sweetness, more wood, gentle smoky note.. Slightly more mineral taste, and an almost dark chocolatey aftertaste. Still creamy, oriental forward, medium nicotine, and very slightly musty.

Last third: It became a bit more earthy, woody, and slightly less creamy. A bit more strength, mineral note still present, mild red VA sweetness, with buttery Orientals. Only the very bottom of the bowl was had a slight rough edge.

What impacted me the most was the creamy nature of the smoke, and yet somehow this blend managed to retain C&D's characteristic rustic charm. Sometimes a blend will become acrid at the bottom of the bowl, or rough in the last third, but Palmetto Balkan maintained its quality, with fantastic evolution. 4 stars.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: Fresh
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 15, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong
This is an interesting blend, which will certainly be novel for your senses. The Orientals take the lead giving a woody and floral character to the smoke that is underlined by the latakia, which is particularly smoky in this blend. The result is something more campfiresque than the typical barbecue notes that many Balkan blends offer.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 08, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Tin 1974 of 3000 has a tin note of smoky, slightly sour/vinegar, mildly creamy on a background of ripe dark fruit. Tobacco is brown, with a smattering of tan and black, ribbon cut. It's not damp enough to require drying. Burns reasonable with average number of relights. The strength is medium and nic is mild. No flavoring is detected. Taste is medium and somewhat consistent, with notes of floral, leather, earth, lemon zest, mild smoky wood, mild tart dried fruit, very mild sweetness and a spicy retro. Oriental/Turkish is leading with Latakia supporting. The Virginias seem to hang back during the 1st half before timidly making itself known in the latter stages. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is good.
Pipe Used: Castello Sea Rock Briar SC 31
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: 6 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 04, 2022 Very Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable
Uma excelente mistura, tendo os orientais como atores principais. A mistura é leve, floral, saborosa e naturalmente aromática. O Latakia processado traz nuances diferentes da tradicional versão Cipriota, sendo mais sutil, mais apimentado, menos defumada e com menos notas de couro. Os Virgínias Vermelhos e Dourados trazem um dulçor interessante e casam muito bem com os outros componentes da mistura. Na minha opinião, um ótimo produto. Não é nada excepcional; mas é muito interessante.
Pipe Used: Luiz Lavos Lovat
PurchasedFrom: 4Noggins
Age When Smoked: 3 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 13, 2024 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Cornell & Diehl
Palmetto Balkan

Blend notes: “Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch blends are handcrafted in small quantities by our expert blenders right here in South Carolina. Our unique interpretation of the Oriental-forward blends of yesteryear. Palmetto Balkan features mature 2018 Izmir and 2019 Basma varietals; top-tier 2017 and 2019 Carolina Red Virginias; and Cypriot Latakia enhanced by a special, proprietary process. Rich with notes of woodsmoke, berries, oak, and baking spices, it showcases a velvety, wine-like character reminiscent of long-lost Syrian leaf.”

A limited production (2800, eight ounce tins) of a very mild blend. Jeremy Reeves, the head blender at C&D, is attempting to mimic Syrian Latakia through a new process which is not being explained in any detail. There is a lightness to Palmetto Balkan and a mild sweetness, a very mild bit of smoke from the Latakia, with some dark fruit from the Virginias in the background. A tiny bit of sourness.

It lights easily and required few re-lights. The blend fades into the background as you smoke and hangs out with you as an old friend, the kind of friend that nods and smiles and agrees but does not challenge.

Palmetto Balkan is a pleasant smoke but not extraordinary. I do not get much of the ‘Oriental-forward’ taste that would define this as a Balkan. In my view (on my palate) this is way less interesting and less nuanced than other mild Balkans such as White Knight, Abingdon, Plum Pudding or PP Special Reserve, or Black House.

Generally I don’t jump to purchase special or limited editions (or small batches) because I don’t want to fall in love with something not regularly available. I will keep this around. Maybe it will age well.

3 out of 4 stars.
Pipe Used: IMP Meerschaum
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