Cornell & Diehl Haunted Bookshop

A predominantly burley mixture with a touch of red Virginia and perique.
Notes: Another of the late Bob Runowski's blends, named in honor of the famous novel written by Christopher Morley, Haunted Bookshop is a burley and Virginia blend with just a touch of perique.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By Bob Runowski
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Perique, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin, bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.80 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 287 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 20, 2024 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Strong
Finally got a tin of Haunted Bookshop to try out. I\'m reviewing as a non-burleyfile ,just a casual smoker and quite like certain aromatics.

I only smoked one bowl, so this is first take review. Overall, I liked it, it is simple, but complex in its own right, so I didn\'t go down the rabbit hole trying to figure it out, I just smoked it.

It lights and smokes really well, the tin I got was just right on moisture. I turned it out onto a leather rub pad and let it sit for 5 minutes or so to breath. First draws were dry and rather hay-like. Once lit and 1/3 or so into the bowl, it started to come alive. Lots of spice and peppercorn in the nose and throat. It reminded me of that dry bite a cigar has ,yet no real tongue bit to note.

I got some bowl and room notes of dark berry, hay, brushfire and a very slight hint of brown sugar on occasion. Taste was decent, I got a dark molasses type taste on the tongue which surprised me. It was interesting, hard to describe, but pleasant.

The nic-kick is a real thing, as soon as I finished the bowl, I had a definite cigar-like nicotine rush, something that didn\'t bother me, but might turn off new smokers. I\'m also a cigar smoker, so the puff-n-buzz was fine.

Burley-files will surely like it, and those wanting to explore more straight forward burley dominate blends should find this a good place to start. For me, this will be a 3-4 tin a year blend, a change-up here and there for me. I also think I would prefer this in cooler weather.
Pipe Used: Lorenzetti Emperor Julius Caesar
PurchasedFrom: Victory Pipes, Oshawa Canada
Age When Smoked: New Tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong
You'd better like nutty, earthy, dry, woody, unflavored bold burley with a few rough edges and hint of spice, or you won't like this even a little bit. The red Virginia adds a very light dark fruit sweetness, wood and earth, but it's hardly a major player in this blend. The perique is strong and plentiful and adds a strong nic hit along with a very obvious pepper and plum taste, so don't smoke it on an empty stomach. Not an all day smoke, but if you want a strong burley with kick, it'll satisfy. The strength is closer to strong than it is to medium. The taste is a step shy of being full. The nic-hit is near the center of medium to strong. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor, but puff slowly or risk a cigarette-like, ashy taste. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. Has a long lasting after taste. The room note is pungent, and won't make your relatives happy, but if you don't like them, this will increase your enjoyment. Three and a half stars.

157 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 05, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I initially wanted to try this blend because of the name, and have since become a fan of both Cristopher Morley (the author of the book for which the blend is named), and Bob Runowski (the originator of the blend.) Normally, I prefer Virginias, and Latakia blends, but this Burley impressed me greatly.

Appearance: Predominantly medium reddish color, with a fair amount of lighter leaf, and a small percentage of darker tobacco. The cut is random, with some cube-cut apparent. A bit drier than most blends, but perfect for my taste in that area. I usually have to let most tobaccos dry out a bit before I can enjoy them.

Aroma: Mostly a clean, nutlike and slightly sweet aroma, with a trace of ?mustiness?. This is probably the perique?s characteristic aroma

Packing: Packs easily by just dropping it into the bowl a pinch at a time. No special care seemed to be necessary. Packs easily in different size pipes.

Lighting: Lights easily, sometimes one match does it. A little tamp in mid match, and it?s ready

Initial flavor: I taste the Burley mostly in this blend at the beginning, (which means more body than flavor), pleasant and natural. Stays lit well even at a slow burn rate.

Mid-bowl: Flavor develops nicely, with a cigar characteristic. NO, not a big Cuban or Dominican, more like a small dry cigar in the Dutch or German style.

Finish: Finishes pretty much like the middle, without a gurgle. Leaves a clean, gray ash.

Tried in the following pipes: I tried this first in an old pair of Rhodesians: a Parker Goldenbark, and a Savinelli Punto Oro. Next, I tried it a pair of Peterson Barrels, and a fresh corn cob. (I know, should have tried it in the cob first). Also smoked in a Sasieni billiard

Summary: This is Prince Albert with an attitude, and without the casing. If you like a natural Burley base with just a little condiment, this should be excellent.

Particularly liked: The cut, the burning qualities, the honest flavor. An excellent all-day smoke that will even work in the evening.

Particularly disliked: Nothing. I would like a little more red virginia (I always do), and a dash more perique.
95 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 29, 2008 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I see that the overwhelming majority of reviewers here enjoy Haunted Bookshop, and I can certainly understand why. With focus on enhancing "pedestrian" Burley leaf, I think C&D has found a niche. Pennington Gap and Old Joe Kranz were winners in my book and Haunted Bookshop works for me too.

Haunted Bookshop's robust Burley taste has been elevated by a smidgen of Perique and a delicate touch of Virginia. This one is more sweet than bitter and more heavy than light. Although not at the level I enjoy most, the nicotine content is recognized with no problem either. As is the case with most Burley blends, Haunted Bookshop is an extremely cool burning smoke with no bite to it.

I finished my tin in a week and will seek more in the future.
84 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 01, 2012 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Another favorite from C & D and Bob Runowski. This is a codger burley with an attitude. Not so powerful as Old Joe Krantz (which I also love), but but with enough juju to kick your butt if you're not careful. And that's being said by an ex-cigarette smoker. It's a great tobacco to just sit and enjoy without trying to figure anything out about it. Simply sit down, light your pipe, and relax. It is what it is... and I think it's superb.
50 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Prince Albert fans will probably love this. Burleyphiles probably will as well. The rest of us... um... perhaps, perhaps not.

The high quality leaf gives this an extra star from me, but frankly I find little going on here. Very cigarette-like in flavor, the burley overwhelms to the point where the virginia and perique are barely noticeable. The taste doesn't change its shape as the smoke progresses unless it's to become harsher. It's a lot like smoking hot air (which might be what reviewer Old Puffer meant when he said strong but dull, or words to that effect).

The blend is not cantankerous in the least, and smokes fairly easily down the bowl with no tongue bite. I guess as predominantly a virginia and VaPer smoker, I'm just used to a lot more complexity. There is something to be said about a tobacco that doesn't demand much of a smokers taste buds, however - something comforting, perhaps. It's just that when one averages only about 10 bowls per week, perhaps something with a little more personality is required. At least for me. With tobaccos, as with most things in life, your mileage may vary. I'm going to add a dash of blending perique to this and see if I can spice it up a bit.

UPDATE 1/21/10

As I become more enamored of burley and try different blends, this one needs to be elevated from 2 to 3 stars. This is a great take on the American OTC blends and is something I'll return to occasionally. The complexity I mentioned above... well, I'm not sure complexity is the point here. I think this is just a nice, tasty, interesting bowl of tobacco that one could smoke all day if one were so inclined - and I think that was true of most of the old OTC burleys. Good stuff!
40 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2010 Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable
I get a kick out of reviews for burley blends that state the tobacco tastes like cigarettes. Cigarettes have burley as the main component. That's why burley tastes like cigarettes. Unless you sauce the hell out of burley, you're going to get cigarette "flavor" at some point. Even Aged Burley Flake, which is so highly revered by so many tastes like cigarettes.

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows anything about tobacco that Haunted Bookshop tastes at times like a cigarette. But it's a damn fine cigarette! If I could have bought cigarettes that tasted this good, I probably would still be smoking them.

The perique and virginia tobaccos lend themselves well to the overall balance in the fine blend. The perique goes from peppery to fruity and back again throughout the bowl. The virginia adds a nice but subtle sweetness that remains constant.

At times the burley tastes a little like chocolate, at others it's kind of nutty. It's subtle and if all you think about while smoking this is that it tastes like cigarettes, you'll miss it.

The first light is harsh. It takes a couple of minutes for it to settle down. It's not pleasant, but it is tolerable. Don't freak out.

It burns nice and clean. Easy to keep lit. It's a great burley.

Don't smoke it if you don't understand burley tobacco. This is a great blend and deserves to be reviewed by those who can appreciate burley for ALL of its flavors and nuances.
39 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 23, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Haunted Bookshop has been on my top five tobacco list for years now. Hell, it may be on my top three. Christopher Morley may well have been the last author to write about and so evocatively depict a lost glory days of American pipe smoking, and Bob Runowski was among the last blenders to continue to evoke it into our own time. I'm glad that C&D has the good sense to continue to produce and distribute Mr Runowski's concoctions, because few if any other companies even remotely bother with this kind of mixture anymore.

Think of Haunted Bookshop as a boutique codger burley and you will get some idea of it. It's mostly burley, and it's a bitter, powerful, almost cigar like burley at that. Some people might be put off by how the strong, ashy, burley is almost reminiscent of cigarette tobacco. The rough and chunky little squares and ribbons of Haunted Bookshop, however, assure that this is a slow burner easily ladled into any size pipe.

The fact that the strong burley leaf is of the highest quality should satisfy enough people, but, as I must always remind myself, there are people who desire something more than burley in their pipes. To round out the sooty bitterness, there's some very nice red Virginia in here as well. The sweetness that the red Virginia furnishes is rather minuscule, I'll admit. The Virginia is there, but it's almost like taking a bite of biscotti along with your unsweetened Italian espresso.

The only reprieve from the earthy wood and hay like sweetness that will otherwise dominate the flavor profile comes from the perique. As is to be expected with perique, though, it more adds to a level of depth and complexity already to be found, so don't expect this blend to let up on you as you smoke it. In my experience, perique can transform a grassy, earthy blend into something more like an old fashioned spice cake with dried raisins and figs. A deep, oily sweetness that certainly doesn't make this any easier on someone unused to strong tobacco.

Does it smell good? No. Not unless you like the smell of tobacco not pretending to be anything else. Does it taste good? Yes, but only if you want strong, assertive, monochromatic burley blandness wright there in the foreground and never relenting. Will I smoke it again? Well, I've smoked Haunted Bookshop since I was a much younger man; it may well have been the first blend that showed me what burley can do in a pipe. I'm smoking the last of a 500 gr tin right now. All I need to decide now is if I'm going to order my next 500 gr now or a little while later.
Pipe Used: Cobs, briars, and meerschaums
Age When Smoked: New
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2014 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
A very American blend with a very English name. Well, "haunted bookshop" sounds very English to me, anyway. Here in America, people don't really read. It'd be like "haunted Walmart" or something.

I struggled with this blend. When I first tried it years ago, I thought it was too strong, so thought "Well, I don't really like strong tobaccos." I mean strong, robust, LOUD, as in flavor.

This has turned out not to be true. I love many very robust pipe tobaccos. Byzantium, also by C & D, is one of my faves.

Then I thought it has too much vitamin N for me, which also has turned out not to be true. I enjoy many blends these days that have a bigger kick.

I thought maybe I didn't like burleys: not true. I thought maybe I didn't like burley and perique together: not true.

In other words, I was trying to blame my lack of enjoyment of this tobacco on myself, on my tastes, but what it boils down to is that I don't like Haunted Bookshop because it is poorly done. Musty, stout, heady, spicy, dark, full--and very unbalanced.

You would think this blend would work and be delightful, but it just doesn't. Of course, as with everything on Tobacco Reviews YMMV.

It's a blend that tries to be 'rustic' and thinks 'rustic' means lacking any and all subtlety or nuance, and being completely off balance.

The same thinking that creates these modern craft beers with stupid, ridiculous levels of hoppiness also created Haunted Bookshop.

Cool name, though.
29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 27, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
Cornell & Diehl - Haunted Bookshop.

I'd wanted to try this ever since I first saw Matches860 (John Harden) on YouTube highly praising it; the way he smokes it with his lovely story telling skill highly implored me towards it. Sadly though, in the U.K. it's unavailable so I was enthralled when I got in touch with Gentleman Zombie and he very kindly did me a trade; thanks Franck, you've made an Englishman's day! I wanted to wait a few day's rather than imminently reviewing it, but I couldn't wait anymore so had to put some words to it today! Enough babbling, on with the review:

The course cut mixture is perfect in the department of moisture, it can be smoked straight from the tin. The aroma from the tin is nothing great or spectacular; what'd you expect from the tobacco's used though? I gravity feed my bowl and, then, like a kid in a sweetshop, light her up! What a smoke: I find it has a nicely rounded flavour, with the Kentucky and Burley leading. I can't get much flavour from the Virginia but I must admit that the Perique is a little stronger than I anticipated; I don't mean it's a 'Perique Prodigy', but it's a great strength to embellish the smoke without taking full control. The actual burn?...very, very, good; I can't add anymore to that subject! The nicotine's about medium; again, there's not much more to say. Room note? Very pleasant; once again, to finish succinctly, that's about all I'll say about that!

This is a very nice blend, Highly recommended; thanks Franck!

Four stars.

Update: having enjoyed this blend so much I decided to read its namesake; Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley. This is a must read for any book and pipe lover. It just compels the reader to settle down to a good book with a relaxing bowl!
Pipe Used: Stanwell Pipe Of The Year 2016
PurchasedFrom: Trade
Age When Smoked: New
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 16, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This was gifted by a good friend. Thanks D.

This is a really nice smoke. The Kentucky leads with it's earthy, spicy, very mildly nutty, and very lightly smoky flavors. There is also a very clear nutty note that can only be coming from a standard Burley. That note is most evident in the first half but can be detected throughout the bowl. The Perique adds just a slight amount of flavor and some spice. The Virginias add sweetness and little else. It's a smooth smoke that I find very pleasant. I can't find a single reason why I shouldn't give it 4 stars.

Medium in body. I detect no added flavoring. Taste is medium to full. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain
PurchasedFrom: gifted
Age When Smoked: unknown
27 people found this review helpful.
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