Cornell & Diehl Da Vinci

Named for the famed Renaissance man of letters, arts, and science, this blend evokes the Near Eastern influence that trade brought to the docks of Renaissance ports. The base of light Virginias and burley is overwhelmed by the smoky pungent aroma of Cyprian latakia. This is the perfect blend for the true lover of latakia, but be forewarned, this blend is not for everyone. Additionally, because of the high latakia content (Boasting no less than 75% latakia) and slow-burning nature of Da Vinci, it would be a very good blend to break a pipe in with.
Notes: Mid 90's tin from the garage operation in Morganton NC sates: "A blend of specially selected and aged Latakia, rough cut Burley and bright Virginia flake. Heavy in Latakia."


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By Craig Tarler
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Latakia, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2oz and 8oz tins
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.07 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 12 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 17, 2015 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
The Cyprian Latakia is the major component, offering a very smoky, woody, earthy, incense-like, mustiness with a little more sweetness than one often finds in Latakia. The grassy, tart and tangy citrusy Virginia is a supporting player. The mildly nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet burley is a minor player. The description does not mention a topping, but I suspect something is added because there's too much sweetness for it all to be natural. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the medium mark, while the taste is full. Won't bite, but has some rough edges, and a possible harsh note if puffed fast. Burns clean and cool at a moderate rate with a very consistent, creamy sweet and very savory flavor that translates to the pleasantly lingering after taste. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a potent room note. Not an all day smoke. Two and a half stars.

17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong
Square and chop cut, mostly dark in the tin with the extremely musty aroma of latakia (go figure!). Lights easily and stays lit. Burns somewhat quickly and, as mentioned previously, this will create a nice cake in your pipe.

The taste was pretty much of latakia only, but with a hint of body. Not much of the burley or VA flavor came through but I've smoked straight latakia and it's less pungent - and sweeter! Somehow the basic sweetness of this leaf was masked in Da Vinci but the campfire smokiness came through. Unfortunately for me, this was a monodimensional blend that rattled its sabre constantly but failed to excite. It left a very dusty, dirty taste in its wake, and the room note is what I would use to get rid of unwanted guests. No flavor development of any kind and no complexity - just the brute strength of latakia. But that's what this blend is about so I can recommend it to those who love their latakia to the exclusion of all else... and to those who might enjoy eating a big bowl of mustard!

I think this blend does what C&D intended; it's just not for me. But it may be for you.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 11, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Preface: I have been smoking Dunhill Standard Mixture Medium for near-on 30 years, believing that it has no equal anywhere on earth. But it is gone now, and so I begin a quest for my Holy Grail: A substitute to replace the standard on which all English tobaccos are based.

DaVinci will not be the one. Primarily I object to the presence of Burley, which to my mind has no place in an English, and whose flavor I do not appreciate. Otherwise it is a quality smoke. Any Burley smokers out there who want to try what we English smokers rave about might want to start here. English absolutists will be disappointed I think.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2005 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
My favorite C&D blend so far. The consistently off-putting thing about C&D?s blends, though, is the massive amount of tobacco ?dust? or finely ground tobacco. I realized this morning as I packed my bowl with DaVinci that the tobacco literally had the consistency of dirt. Sure, it tastes great, but it doesn?t have the look and feel of a high-quality blend. Despite its fine taste, it?s hard to enjoy a blend when you spend the first third of the bowl sucking in little specks of tobacco. Admittedly, I don?t know much about the intricacies of tobacco blending, but I wouldn?t have thought that a mortar and pestle would be involved. Anyway, a great tasting blend, but it loses points for its physical characteristics.

I?ll say this for the blend, it burns extremely dry and smooth all the way down, rarely requiring a relight.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 01, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I had high expectations of this blend, being a Latakia lover. However, I found it rather dissapointing. It is not as rich as the Dunhill blends I am best aquainted with, despite its high Latakia content, nor does it have any of their balance. While blends like 965 and Nightcap blend harmoniously to produce a truly majestic smoke, this mixture seems rather discordant.

I suspect that Latakia needs to be supported by the musty Orientals to bring out the best flavour in it. This blend contains Burley, which does not seem to add anything. I presume the reason for adding it was to cool the smoke and prevent bite. But Latakia smokes cool and does not bite. Latakia is spice, and without the correct tobaccos to support it, it has no backbone, no body.

I was also dissappointed by the preparation. Moisture content has remained ideal, despite the unusual tin, but the tobacco has crumbled to a very fine consistency. When I first got it, it was cut too wide, and was a pain in the neck to light, and kept going out. However, its now mostly dust, and burns a little too fast..

The tin is like a cat food tin, which was quite a novelty at first, but it's annoying having to watch the sharp edges inside the top of it when taking tobacco out.

However, it is quite a pleasant smoke, and easy to puff away at when I'm at the pub with friends, I'll use it up there, and afterwards, will know better how to appreciate the magnificent Nightcap!
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 10, 2006 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Very Strong
[This review was originally written on 25 November 2005. One slight change was needed (reason for the update).] Cornell & Diehl products have always stuck me as inferior. Perhaps it is the name that they give many of their blends or the art that is chosen for their tins that has caused me to feel this way. [...] Whatever it is, I have not tried any Cornell & Diehl tobacco blends until daVINCI. Regardless of what I have just written, the name is good and the tin art is uncharacteristically splendid (even if the lid does not bloody fit). Equally surprising, I like this tobacco for its flavour. With an abundance of Latakia it is shocking that this weed is so mild, nevertheless. I would have preferred what I expected from a blend that boasts 75% Latakia--something stronger. It has such wonderful flavour, however. Visually, it is lacking. It looks like tobacco scraps, choppy little pieces, and does not pack well as a result. The roomnote is dreadful--like a mixture of sweat, liquor breath of an alcoholic, and stale cigarettes. (Hmm, I suppose that particular pong is akin to a busy pub the morning after.) I am going to try some more Cornell & Diehl blends in the future (if only because I already have purchased multiple tins), but I will not be able to purchase this again even if the mild flavour is fantastic. The flavour does not outweigh the weed's other problematic issues.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2006 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
I have changed my opinion on this blend. It really is sorta,kinda,maybe tasty for the Latakia lover. It does however have a noxious odor,uh, I mean aroma. C&D has many other better offerings. Their best Latakia Mix in my Opinion is the 5 star Strathspey. This Davinci will help you lose friends and not influence people. Take a pass.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 12, 2022 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
There are two blends with this name on the market. But the aromatic produced by Dan Tobacco has never interested me. A different thing is Da Vinci by Cornell & Diehl, which is one of those blends, which had his own hand from the founding father of Cornell & Diehl, Craig Tarler. I don't know unfortunately which latakia he had in mind, and whether or not the recipe was changed at the moment when Syrian latakia became unavailable on the market (hopefully not forever). I walked around this blend for a very long time, never deciding to buy a big tin that had been aged for over five years. But I had the opportunity to do a review, trading something for a two ounce tin that had a production date of "April 3, 2019." Fairly reasoning that a blend with that amount of latakia makes absolutely no sense to keep on the shelf, I waited for the first fall freeze and opened the tin.

Despite the claimed 75% latakia, the tobacco is not the same color, being a mixture of ribbons of different brown hues, with a predominance of dark chocolate. Nevertheless, there are plenty of lighter tones as well. It feels like different latakia picks were taken for blending. The slicing is somewhat sloppy, being closer to a coarse cut than a ribbon. Occasionally there are single flakes. The humidity is ideal.

Flavor: Certainly, tar, tanned leather with a slight sour taste of vinegar, smoke, grilled steak are dominant. A slight tannic, woody aroma of cedar and walnut is also present. Virginia's own notes are reliably hidden under this cover, created by the "black queen" with the support of the burley. But a slight herbaceous note I could still catch. The overall bouquet can't be called harsh or heavy. In fact, I expected a more vivid impression, remembering my acquaintance with Samuel Gawith's Balkan Flake.

Taste: initially unimpressive as a "latakia bomb." Yes, a good dose of smoky-meat flavor in a creamy wrapper is certainly present. But it doesn't seem like something very powerful - although the other tobaccos don't get in the way, they don't shade it or accent it. Burley and Virginia play their own parties of nutty and slightly sweet bread notes in some dissonance with the main player. In addition, at the beginning, the blend is a little rough on the palate and demanding in terms of smoking temperature. As you smoke, the Virginia completely disappears from the flavor, sunflower notes come in, and the blend itself becomes monotonous, calm, and even boring. The bentas still have a hint of burley, while the straight pipes have no other notes except latakia. This is when you realize what 75% of the latakia is. A little later, you realize why the burley was needed here - the blend is a little stronger than average, and in very large pipes you may get a nicotine hit. The blend does not go out, smokes dry, slow and even, turning into a gray ash with a subtle brownish hue and leaving almost no moisture in the pipe. The aftertaste is woody and astringent, quite persistent.

The smoke is extremely dense. Woody and piney, with a good portion of tar.

Bottom line? Unusual, but that's all. At any rate, even Hearth Of Galway with its 50% looks much more advantageous in terms of latakia impression, and Abingdon is clearly superior to the hero of the review. Both blends, however, retain the overall bouquet, which consists not only of latakia, but also the accompanying components that make it richer. This blend is initially perceived as if the latakia in it is less than stated, and the birley and Virginia are independent players in it, not creating an overall harmonious bouquet of flavors. However, as you smoke it, you get the feeling that you are smoking pure latakia, and the Virginia and birch were introduced to make the overall taste of Cypriot latakia similar to its lost Syrian sister. Did the author of the blend succeed? That's for you to decide. I'm much more interested in the answer to the question - why the hell it was called by the name of Leonardo?
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, B42, POTY 2007, 2017
PurchasedFrom: Traded for goods
Age When Smoked: 2019
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 29, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Over dose of Latakia. I like it, but it isnt something I would smoke everyday. This seems to me a little more like a blending tobacco. If you dont like strong English, dont smoke this one. I gave it two stars only because I dont think most people would like it. I do.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 15, 2008 Medium None Detected Very Full Strong
This is the heaviest Latakia blend that I have ever tried. The flavors are of Latakia, Latakia, and well a but of zesty VA and well they say there is burly in the blend, but I will have to just take there word on it. I am a HUGE fan of Latakia blends, but I think this one has taken it to a bit too far. Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The Latakia is of very good quality, and has a delightful smoky taste. The blend is very cool and long smoking, I just feel it is a bit too much of a good thing.
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