Cornell & Diehl Bow-Legged Bear

(3.14)
Bow-Legged Bear is a full English blend with Virginias, Turkish, Latakia, Burleys, and Perique. It's stoved, pressed and sliced into an old-fashioned crumble cake.

Details

Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By Craig Tarler
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 2oz Tin, 8oz Tin
Country United States
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.14 / 4
34

29

7

8

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 78 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 20, 2024 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This review is for the 2009 version with Syrian Latakia. I will update it in the future when I try out the modern version with Cyprian Latakia.

An interesting historical note is that this 2009 version was made when C&D were still independently owned before the Lauvidisi Group took majority ownership. It's time to open this fascinating piece of tobacco history, and let me tell you this tin is about burst from all the gases that have formed inside. I pop the tin open with a little effort and a big WHOOSH of trapped air rushing out. It's time to try the legendary Syrian Latakia for the first time. This blend is a great showcase of it, as it is Latakia dominant. There is still plenty of Latakia flavour left after all those years. The Syrian Latakia has leathery smokehouse notes instead of the more herbaceous incense notes that Cyprian offers. The Turkish Orientals are a compliment with their sour floral notes. I cannot discern the other flavours as well, but the two dominant flavours make for a fierce smoke. This blend is also quite strong and I had to sit down while standing on my balcony and smoking. Cyprian Latakia certainly has it's own charm, but it's a shame that Syrian is no longer available — 4/4 for the 2009 version, and make sure to check back for my update when I smoke the new and the old blend side by side.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 10, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Now this is an interesting blend. It contains everything including the kitchen sink and I'd hesitate to call it any certain type of blend, such as "English". It's almost a genre unto itself.

Dark chocolate in color with a few brown streaks, this is pressed into a "crumble cake" that didn't crumble. It pulled apart fairly easily but not like some of the other C&D crumble cakes. Taste-wise, this is a moderately robust blend of several tobaccos, all of which gave way to the other. If you remember Deep Purple's comment of "everything louder than everything else", this was "everything quieter than everything else". All of the tobacco flavors were muted and that's probably a good thing. Otherwise there would be too much infighting. As it is, it worked. Some VA sweetness on top of a base of burley and perique, with some light latakia and oriental wisps floating around. I didn't find that this changed much throughout the smoke... what I mentioned just above happened from charring light to dottle. Reminded me of other good tasting but non-complex blends like GLP Odyssey and Lancer Slices, even though this tasted nothing like either of those. Nothing wrong with a blend being simple as long as it tastes good. And this one does. It's not a bear at all, it's kind of a sweetheart but perhaps one with a moderately strong personality.

Three stars, and one for my occasional list. Good to try for those who like Vitamin N and casseroles. 🙂
26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Plenty of excellent reviews, perhaps covering a few odd details might be helpful...

Tin Details... C&D tins are a welcomed alternative to the generic Scandanavian twist tops. The plastic cap does a more reliable job of protecting the moisture level; I've found twist tops to be hit and miss. Also C&D does us the favor of placing an exact date of manufacture sticker on the bottom. The tin is all aluminum and the inside is lined as are many beer cans. Tobacco is well protected with a paper liner and two flaps, plus a paper disc. This tin can be opened without a tool.

Tin note is delightful and reminds me of fresh Dunhill Nightcap covered in dark chocolate. The cake is a bit moist and sticky, but drying is easier than expected. This is one of those tobaccos that you'd love to smell all day; good enough to eat, but we know better. Crumbling is easy and a little bit goes a long way. Drying is needed and best done on a paper towell or inside a paper coffee filter.

I recommend packing lightly, then tamping carefully after the charring light and as the bowl is smoked. Using this method, I can actually smoke a slightly moist bowl with a single relight. After the relight, the typical English flavors meet a delightful sweet and moderately spicy medium to full flavor. Smoke is rich and creamy. When evenly lit, you get a well behaved bowl of tobacco that smokes to a fine ash. Latakia grows, but , but never overpowers. DELIGHTFUL! N level is perfect for me; strong to medium. I'll admit to being a C&D fan, but strongly suggest that you try this great American blend. Happy smoking, hope this helps!
Pipe Used: MM DIPLOMAT COB
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: 7 month tin
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
A very good English heavy on the Latakia. I felt that the Orientals were a little weak for my taste so I mixed this 50/50 with Low Country's Cooper. Wow! The results were more than expected. Got a truly FULL bodied English with nice balance between the Latakia and the Orientals. Try it sometime.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 20, 2004 Strong None Detected Very Full Extra Strong
Latakia addicts will love this blend. Those who like a more refined Latakia mixture may want to spend their money elsewhere. This is a dry crumble cake that lights easily. The Perique is so far in the background that I never located it. Pretty unrelenting and one dimensional, but the flavor sure is there and its good.

Bow-Legged Bear? One-Trick Pony would be a better name.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2010 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Bears may seem cute and cuddly from a distance, but they can be mighty dangerous. Starting a fight with one of our smaller east coast bears is not recommended, while the larger bruins such as the Grizzly or the Alaskan Brown can easily decapitate a human with one blow. After reading certain reviews referencing heart palpitations, I tried this blend for the first time in a small pipe. This was wise: I don't think a large bowl of this would be something I could...bear. My sample is a ten year old Ebay tin. The seal was broken, but the plastic bag was still intact. The tobacco is a bit dry, but is bearing up well, though the cakes are falling apart. Unflavored; the tin bears only the pungent smell of the various tobaccos in the blend. I have been a regular pipe smoker for two years, so while I'm not a grizzled old pipester, I'm no cub either when it comes to strong tobaccos. However, when I walked back to the house from my "smoking den," I could see why this bear is called "bow-legged." The nicotine sneaks up on you and could leave one too giddy to bear oneself up, and it is good to bear this in mind. Seems to have a bit of Latakia, but there is so much else going on here that one doesn't notice it as much as in a more traditional English blend. Bow-Legged Bear is dark, heavy, and slightly sweet; heady yet not at all overbearing. I think it is certainly more refined and less rustic than the "Ursus Hillbillicus" on the tin would suggest. Sipped slowly, and taking care not to let it past the palate, this is quite a pleasant and rewarding smoke. Thanks for bearing with me!
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 22, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I have wanted to review this blend for some time now. At this point, I have smoked over a half pound and feel like I know the blend well enough to comment in a meaningful way without resorting to "one bowl wonder" statements.

My personal preference is for tobacco that is rich, complex and strong enough in the nicotine department to satisfy me. Bow-Legged Bear fits that bill nearly perfectly. It has a wonderful variety of tobaccos that when you first start smoking, don't seem to harmonize all that well. They never get to the level of perfect harmony, there are rough edges, but after a couple of ounces you start to understand and admire the blend for what it is. A powerhouse of flavor and nic. stength that showcases well.

It is deep, dark and not really sweet at all. An evening smoke for the more timid, a morning smoke for me. The latakia is well placed in the middle of the profile with the perique, burley and turkish filling out the bulk. The virginia is only there at the edges, and this blend could probably use just a bit more of the va. that they have chosen. It would take this to a four star level I believe.

The blend can get a bit woody in the middle of the bowl if smoked hot. Again, a little more of the va. could round that out as well. All in all, a very acceptable smoke for the crowd that likes their whiskey straight and their tobacco strong.

UPDATE 1-24-11

I am taking this up to the four star level. It gets even better with age! The strength is still great and the flavor has smoothed out considerably, taking the rough edges referenced in my original review off. I just love this stuff. Although I have moved on to other tobaccos, this is still in the rotation from time to time. 5 pounds sit in my cellar, and they will all be consumed slowly by fire. I will savor every single sip. I can't help but notice that the esteemed reviews of Pipestud are almost without fail opposite of my own, but no matter, I just use this as a reverse guide in finding what I will probably like! Go figure...cheers.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2009 Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong
Tin Note: Sour, pungent, Oriental/English aroma.

Cut: Thick crumble cake that seems to vary between one big chunk, sometimes, two small ones, depending on the tin. Very dark with specks of lighter tan leaf. Looks somewhat like a brownie. The moisture is just right as it is not as wet as say Black Frigate but not quite as dry as Briar Fox (Both of which are great C&D cake blends as well)

False Light yields some spicy notes from the perique. I've smoked a good bit of BLB and this always seems to be the case. The next light let loose some of the smokey quality of the latakia.

First Third: The oriental leaf seems to dominate this portion of the bowl with the other components faintly in the background. Still a bit of spice from the perique.

Second Third: Ah, there's the perique. Some nutty burley stops by for a quick visit. Turkish and Va. seem to shine as I move to the final potion...

Final Third: The strength seems to dominate by this point. Not 1792 or Irish Flake strong, but it will get you if you are not used to stronger blends. At this point, each component is working together but none the main player.

Overall, a good, no nonsense smoke. Pure tobacco taste and plenty of nicotine. Though the room note will not win over any friends, I think it is just fine. This one will surely not garner one any of the "Oh, that's just how I remember Granddad's pipe" comments.

Very good blend from C&D. 3.5 stars.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 01, 2007 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
Long write up here, I apologize. Please bear with me.

The name of this blend intrigues me. A bow legged bear? What? How come? Who thought of that? Since I seem to match that description, I?m very comforted by the notion. It?s about time I get some recognition.

This was an out of the norm purchase for me. The LA Tinderbox, my local, yet often maligned (by me) B&M, doesn?t carry C&D blends, and by that extension, they neither carry any Pease blends. I asked one of the shop workers why they would ignore such a prominent force in the pipe tobacco industry. He shrugged it off as to suggest these people are amateurs, then pointed off to a dark corner of the store, where hidden out of view lay two dusty tins of Bow Legged Bear. I suppose he was trying to suggest upon me that C&D blends are impervious to consumer demand. I asked this very early on in my pipe smoking days?all of two years ago. ?Look at those tins,? I thought. My tastes demand only the freshest product.

Two years later, and those tins still sat on the shelf. I got my hands on them not so long ago, and noticed the date?wait for it?August 29, 2001. The guy who helped me out was anxious to get rid of them, and offered each for $5. He told me, ?You?d better open one before you leave, I?m not sure if they?re any good.? For the love of God, this man works in a tobacco establishment and has no idea of anything. ?Should I do him the favor??, I considered. I?d rather have not opened the tin in the shop, but under orders I broke the seal. Mind you, this wasn?t the current C&D tin design with the plastic lid and the air tight container, but the old, all aluminum design. A wonderful aroma of fermented tobacco lifted from the can, and he looked at me, astonished to see a beautiful package of tight, black bricks, wrapped in tissue.

This is the same Jackass that tried to talk me out of buying Escudo quite some time ago.

Having opened this baby up, I didn?t waste much time digging into it. Bow Legged Bear is strong as hell, thank all things Perique. There was a period when I swore off Perique, but I?ve been gradually bringing myself to reappraise its various qualities, and I would go so far as to say it makes all the difference in this blend. I don?t know much about aging, other than a feeling that Perique is some kind of magical presence that must have stewed my sample to new heights. I fear somehow I may go on another binge, and I will not cower this time, I swear it.

There?s something of a controversy regarding Bow Legged Bear. There?s so much crap in this mix, no one can really form a consensus on its taste profile. I can only be subjective regarding this matter. To my senses, Bow Legged Bear does not recall any English mixtures I?m familiar with. The Burley puts it in another category, one that doesn?t quite exist as a defined genre. Being somewhat averse to Burley, physiologically, I suspect, I approached Bow Legged Bear with a short apprehension. In practice, I can?t make heads or tails of the leaf, as to me, it?s been drowned out by nearly everything else that constitutes this blend. I know I?m a lousy person for cursing Burley in my recent Edgeworth review, but I cannot complain here.

There?s such a varied nuance, I feel as though I?d never tire of this bearish fellow, crooked posture and all.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Very pleasant full bodied smoke. Medium to medium high in the nicotine department. First half of the bowl, all of the tobaccos are distinguishable and separate. Nice smoky latakia flavor, sweet and haylike from the Virginia, perique is in the background and slightly spicy, burley is present in the mouthfeel, but not readily apparent as a nutty flavor, but guessing it contributes to a nice dose of nicotine. Last half of the bowl, the flavors seem to meld together into a nice creamy, buttery smoke. Semi-complex, and well balanced... Really pleasant smoke! 3.5 stars!!!
Pipe Used: Erik Nording Freehand Large Bowl
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 29, 2017 Strong Strong Full Strong
I really enjoy ripping this and crumbling into a bowl's worth of tobac, and then drying it on a wood table or tray. It is a hot-pressed crumble cake that seems to vary between one big chunk, sometimes, two small ones, depending on the tin. It appears dark with flakes of lighter tan leaf. You can see bright and red virginias mixed in with the burley and latakia.

The false light takes quite well after drying 8-10 hours, giving the spicey oriental and perique tingles. I taste some raisin and black olives. The second light I could taste the hay and citrus of the virginias and I little smokey leaf. The latakia comes in but doesn't bully the taste.

The first third of the bowl smokes slow and cool with no bite or harshness (other than the ting in the throat from I am assuming is the perique . I taste a lot oriental leaf in this portion of the bowl with latakia in the background.

The middle part of the bowl the burley gets nutty and the nicotine starts to kick and fuss. The perique gets heftier and eveything starts to shine. Again, the latakia riding along, peeking in and checking that the others are behaving.

Last of the bowl, the nicotine seems to be in control by now. The tobac is heated, a little moist, and is churning in clouds of interesting smoke. It may seem harsh, but if sipped and retrohaled there are some major nuances to be gained here. The flavors are medling at this point.

At the end, there is little dottle and moisture in the bottom of the bowl, enough to get a bit of cake, but not much. There is pure tobacco taste and plenty of nicotine. Though the room note will not draw compliments and non-smokers will shy away from you, I think it is just fine. Not for the faint of heart, but easily rewarding to those that have the skill and patience to appreciate such a blend
Pipe Used: Medium Meerschaum + Peterson Kinsale XL23
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 1-90 days
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