Cornell & Diehl Red Odessa

The same as Odessa with Red Virginia substituted for the cavendish cut burley.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By Craig Tarler
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 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

3.23 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 26 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The smoky, woody, dry, buttery sweet and sour, herbal, lightly spicy and floral Turkish takes a small lead over the other components. The tangy, ripe dark fruity, woody red Virginia also sports a little earth in a secondary role. The smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia provides some support. The spicy, raisiny, plumy, earthy perique lurks in the background most of the time. The nic-hit is a step past the center of mild to medium. The strength is medium. The taste level just passes the medium threshold. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has no rough edges. Burns cool, clean and a little slow with a fairly consistent, lightly creamy sweet and smoky, woody, savory flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasant, lingering tangy after taste, and a lightly stronger room note. Despite its strength, it can be an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
C&D English/Balkan blends are very hit or miss for me. I either find them smooth, balanced and tasty or they tend to be rough around the edges, and lacking in refinement. Red Odessa is a winner in my book. RO is a very creamy, slightly sweet, slightly tangy smoke with the Turkish leading the charge. The red Virginias complement the Turkish very well. As others have pointed out there is a little sweet and sour here, but in a good way. There is more than a little bit of Latakia in RO, but by no means does it take the lead. The Perique is there, but only really shows itself around mid-bowl. After smoking a little more than an ounce of RO, I am not quite sure it’s a four star blend, but it is darn close. I think that a couple of years in the cellar will make this go from a very good blend to an outstanding one.
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: New
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I had a bit of trouble discerning the Oriental and Perique components in this blend, but I found the flavor profile very appealing. Creamy Latakia with a touch of Virginia sweetness. It reminded me, somewhat, of Low Country's Black, one of my favorites. If Black is ever discontinued this will serve as a more than adequate replacement on my favorites list. I can't imagine any Latakia lover not enjoying this blend.
Pipe Used: Brog churchwarden, MM General
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 21, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Excellent take on the classic "balkan" style of tobaccos... er... with the addition of perique. I seem to be finding more and more latakia blends with perique these days. In this one, the perique seems to be more for smoothing out the burn rate than for flavoring. This one tasted mostly of latakia and orientals to me, which was fine because that's what I was after when I bought it! The tin is about a year old.

A reasonably harmonious blend, this reminds me of a somewhat calmer version of Pease's masterful Charing Cross. The flavors are similar, but more relaxed here. Interestingly, I thought I was after that very thing when I first smoked CC, but I prefer CC to this. This is very good but less forceful. The latakia speaks loudly and clearly and meshes well with the oriental piquancy and sour-sweetness. The VA is robust but does tend to leave the arena at intermission, after which the Turkish strains are left alone to mingle. Nice wide-cut ribbon, easy to load.

And now for the downside. I could not keep this stuff lit! It was unimaginably reticent to hold a flame and the extra lights caused it to heat up to unacceptable levels. There is no reason I can see for this but it was consistent despite varying the moisture content. I like my balkans a bit on the moist side and it was here that it tasted its best, but dry is when it stayed lit. Odd. Still, this is a good one to try if you're a balkan fan. Hopefully, you'll be able to keep it burning.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
The tobacco used for this review was from a 2oz sample that I ordered from C&D. The age of this sample is unknown but I began smoking it within two days of arrival and finished it over a two month period. All pipes smoked are devoted to Latakia blends.

The pouch aroma had the familiar smoky camp fire essence that is similar with many Latakia blends (richer than most) but this one had a little something else: A sub layer smell that follows the first. Not necessarily richer or deeper but with a more distinctive smoky-sweet quality. This, I believe, is the result of the Virginia taking on its own aroma after rubbing elbows with its Latakia and Turkish buddies because I did not detect this in 968: Odessa which has the same proportions of Lat and Turk.

The moisture content was ideal. I grabbed a portion, squeezed it together, and felt the cool leaves press together to the point I felt they would stick in one lump. However, when I let go, they all fell apart before rejoining the group. Perfect.

Red Odessa loaded with no fuss but with a little less springiness than I’m used to. I don’t care too much about how tobaccos taste on an unlit draw but do notice it from time to time when checking the draw after packing. The taste of Red Odessa varied from pipe to pipe on the unlit draw. The ghosted remains of whatever was smoked previously in said pipe may have been responsible for these subtle differences. The starting light was not difficult but not as quick as some other blends in different genres that smoke better when drier. I’ve not tried this blend completely dried out but I’m not sure I want to either. After the initial draw, I find most blends rarely taste like the remainder of the bowl. Red Odessa was no exception but only at the earliest stage of burning. This is when the Turkish was most noticeable, during the first few puffs, but then fell quickly back into the shadows. However, I did find the Turkish could be forced to step out at any time during the smoke by taking very small puffs and doing what I’ve heard call “chewing the smoke” while letting it exit through my nose slowly. But if I did this for too long, the bowl would go out. Very early in the smoke the Virginia and Latakia make a distinctive impression and stay throughout. They are the main attraction in this blend. The Latakia deserves a nomination for best actor but an Oscar would go to the red Virginia for best supporting actor. This is a paring that created a superb experience and without one another would lose their chemistry. I had no issues with this blend turning hot as long as my sweet tooth for the Virginia didn’t get away with me.

The Perique is subtle and the use of this unique fermented weed improves the blend without getting in the way. Perique is not a star in this show but instead is the director of lighting: Creating an atmosphere and mood within the framework of its main subjects.

Since I’ll never compete in a slow smoking contest and don’t put much focus on the nuances of ember management, several relights were required throughout the smoke. The intense heat created by flame and heavy draw resulted in the Latakia and Virginia being the only tobaccos I tasted when this had to be done. I wondered why the Turkish did not come through on the relights as it did on the initial light. My guess is because the bowl was already warm and toasty with the Lat and Va.

I never experienced tongue bite or any harsh flavors with this blend and it burns through till the end.

The room note was not as strong as other Latakia blends but it ain’t going be a crowd pleaser for non-pipe smokers either.

I can’t compare Red Odessa to anything else I’ve smoked and my best attempt at classifying this blend would be a new classification: American Latabalkan. But this is unnecessary because it could be either an American English or American Balkan. It is smoky-sweet with a tangy touch. It has medium to full bodied flavor and I would rate the nic content about medium, give or take a notch or two depending on your constitution.

This is a wonderful blend on its own but goes well with a strong black coffee
Pipe Used: Custom-bilts, Petersons, and Neerups.
PurchasedFrom: Cornell & Diehl
Age When Smoked: Unknown
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 17, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is an excellent tobacco. It has some "raw" aroma that is so appealing, there's something wild and unrefined in this blend. I like it a lot. I've purchased 8 oz of this bulk masterpiece, and I plan to order more of it, and have it regularly in my rotation. I'm not sure what kind of oriental leaf they've put in it, but the choice is excellent. Latakia is not dominating, even in the first part of the bowl. Orientals are the main part from the beginning until the end. Virginias are here, but not distinctive, and the taste is full and satisfying. The secret here is not in the choice of the orientals, but rather in the choice of Virginias. Red and full bodied VA's, covered completely with nice orientals. Many Balkan blends tend to be blunt and somewhat "empty" despite of the nice oriental aroma, but this one (maybe because of the just right amount of Perique) is strong and full, but rounded. Doesn't pinch and bite at all, no sharpness but a lot of body. It's a winter blend, rural and wild. Perfect for the autumn-winter outdoor relaxing. I loved it from the first puff, all I can say is "Pure awesomness" When I want refined and distinguished luxury, I probably won't go for this balkan, but when I want' warm, cosy, cheerful, yet full and satisfying thing, this is it. Perfect everyday winter smoke. Highly recommended for Balkan style lovers.
Pipe Used: Briars and meers
Age When Smoked: fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Bought a one pound bag in a "cellar sweller" order, along with Engine 99# and Star of the East (both were also enjoyed immensely).

This is one that took a few bowls to get. By that I mean the first bowl was completely unexpected. My expectations were more oriented towards typical ratios of the constituent leaf here-- instead I got a lot of perique and turkish up front. It was interesting, but unexpected and I spent my first bowl in investigation mode, rather than vegging out with enjoyment the way I did with the Engine 99# and SotE.

The first bowl was in a briar, so I thought I'd try it in a cob. That turned this from an perplexing blend into a 4 star smoke. Especially the third and most recent, in a short MM legend with a longer (3") vulcanite stem. The cob really softened the perique (it was very spicy in the briar), and everything else came out more. I tasted more of the Red Virginia (a little bit of tang, and a little bit of sweet too), the Perique took a step back (although still noticeable), the Turkish melded with everything else as well, and the latakia was a little bit more noticeable than it was in the briar, although it was still far from up front.

Strength was pretty squarely medium. I don't think I've had a C&D blend that was less than the mild side of medium. And plenty are much stronger (Morley's best, Burley flakes).

I would strongly recommend trying this blend in a cob if you found it unsatisfactory in a briar. It came across as extremely adroit and balanced in the cob, which I think is this blends purpose.
Age When Smoked: Fresh/bulk
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Very sweet Virginia combined with nice amount of Latakia. Turkish makes this blend more tasty, and Perique gives a spicy touch to strain the taste. I'm not good at English, so I say just one word. Yummy.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 10, 2012 Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I purchased this because the burley in "Orient Express" was replaced with Virginia , expecting a sweeter smoke, it's really not. The latakia is way in the background, the Virginia tastes like Burley. This reminds me of a smoother OJK, better, but not by much.Real old school. This isn't real interesting ,kind of blah and nothing like Orient Express!
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 07, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
At last—a Balkan/oriental ("English") blend with just the right amount of Latakia! I love Latakia—in my younger days I used to smoke it straight—but lately I find it palls rather quickly if overdone, and the L easily overwhelms delicate orientals. First impressions: smooth, rich, well-balanced. Will update when I've smoked a few more pipefuls. Meanwhile, no hesitation in highly recommending.
Pipe Used: Carey Magic Inch, briar churchwarden
Age When Smoked: Fresh bulk
4 people found this review helpful.
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