Cornell & Diehl Byzantium

A full strength blend with Latakia, Perique and Turkish.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2oz tin, 8oz tin, Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.07 / 4





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Displaying 31 - 40 of 56 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2019 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Byzantium: An enjoyable voyage to the Balkans with a short stop in the Bayou

The Cyprian Latakia is the star of this show and makes up the majority of the tobacco. It offers the normal camp-fire and leathery flavors without much bitterness as with other Lat-bombs. The orientals stoutly assert themselves adding a dry floral characteristic to the smoke. The perique hits you hard with its spice and fermented earthiness. These three tobaccos successfully walk a fine line between intensity and balance. The flavor profile reminds me of Nightcap in regard to the oriental variety, the healthy dose of perique and Latakia, though Byzantium lacks the sweetness of the Virginia leaf.

Edit: August 2019 The lack of sweetnesses has finally gotten to me and I decided to continue my search for a replacement for Nightcap.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 13, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Byzantium has been there for a long time with good reasons. It is a Balkan blend without virginia. It would be a latakia bomb if there wasn't a good amount of oriental in it. Spicy and tough on the nose, without sweat virginia to mellow it out. Good smoke for after dinner or nightcap enjoyment. For further refinement and balance, I will go for Red Odessa.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
this is a great tobacco, the only fault I have with it is it seems a little harsh on my throat if I smoke to much of it, so it's a once a day smoke. I'll keep some around. No complaints from anyone on the room note.
Pipe Used: a trusty Kaywoodie
Age When Smoked: fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 06, 2010 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
While I don't think this is by far a bad blend, there just seems to be something missing. It lights and stays lit well. It does produce a decent amount of smoke and seems to be a slow burning mixture. But just doesn't seem to have that oomph to put it to 3 or 4 stars. I give this a pleasant rating on room note because the wife didn't go screaming inside when I had this lit and was puffing away. I would recommend this for those wanting to give an English a try.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2010 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This blend is wonderful. For me it starts off mild and a bit sweet. The anticipation of the soon to come deep, rich and peppery end is near. The layers I taste in this blend are nice when smoked in a nice big bent pipe. It loads very easily. This is the last fair deal in the country when purchased by the pound. I can tell the queen of diamonds by the way she shines when I'm smoking the Byz.

Oh an it satisfies my nic craving nicely unlike most English blends. Exhaling through my nose towards the end is delightful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2006 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
This tastes to me similar to the old 965. Though this is less vibrant, more earthy, less woody. It is nearly as strong, in Latakia as well as in overall strength, which is full.

The kind of VAs in this are very creamy, the orientals slightly muted compared to 965, not as perfumey, and the Latakia is deep and smokey. The cut, which I can only describe as mixed, makes for a slow, sometimes slightly bitter burn. But this is very good, if sometimes tasting a bit rough around the edges. It's good enough that I'd say 965 smokers ought to try this as an alternative. It will get better with age.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 03, 2022 Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Strong
The first few bowls I smoked I found too spicy. It tickled my tongue, and not in the fun way. So, it sat in a jar on the shelf for about a year. Upon return, I've been enjoying it much more. Smokey, musty, creamy latakia. Spicy, peppery perique with a heavenly date-like sweetness that is constant throughout the bowl. I think the orientals are bringing some vegetative earth, spice, creaminess and the oft sour notes. A subtle aged cheese note in the background that doesn't overwhelm. I still find it quite spicy and I do notice it on my tongue, but it's not bringing me to tears this time around (I had my tear ducts removed, as any pipe smoking manly man should). Altogether, the taste reminds me of a spicier version of Plum Pudding that's been mixed with EMP. Burns well, no overabundance of relights. Pleasantly surprised by the sweet aftertaste. Not sure if the age helped, or my palate has expanded/deadened in the past year, but it was much better. All in all, it's pretty good. Affordable in bulk. Im somewhere around 3 stars. If you like this type of blend, or just a fan of english tobys in general, I would certainly recommend.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: 1 year
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2022 Strong None Detected Full Strong
It’s a smoky English with a tiny hint of perique spice and tang. Very rich. Buttery and soft, balanced with a sour note. The complete lack of sweetness leaves me wanting, and it leaves a dry aftertaste in my mouth. I liked this one when I first tried it because it is quite unique, but I quickly grew bored of it and passed it over for more interesting blends. I can see the appeal and I always enjoy the first few sips, but it loses my interest halfway through the bowl.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2021 Strong None Detected Full Strong
Available in both tinned and bulk preparations, Byzantium is a mannish production indeed. Catching an eyeful of this blend’s physical features, the initial impression is one of potency and power; rightfully so. Fragmented but distinctly concentrated, its visage is overshadowed by toothy, dense, rough-cut pieces of lush smoked Latakia. The dark and ruddy complexion of Cyprian throws hints foretelling the forceful mood of the recipe’s colorful temperament. With the varying thickness, flowing ribbons of the exotic Oriental and striking flecks of black Perique complete the grandeur of Byzantium’s ennobled show. Visually, an impressive Balkan specimen, showing a complexion of flush, cultured, abundance. Tactilely, Byzantium is particularly dry to the touch as it promises the smoker the imminence of an overgenerous experience.

The fragrance lofting from the mass of tobacco projects a deeply fermented opus of pervasive character. A fierce marinade of elevated smoky tartness grabs the immediate senses sharply invading the nose. The seasoned earthiness springing from the Turkish steams as it embraces the dominant fore note. In return, a brilliant reprise of dark fruit spice pulls from the Acadian Perique showering the final registration. Supplementing the mixture’s exalted appearance, the gritty pith of Byzantium’s aroma is plainly energizing and quite inspirational.

Not an overly complex recipe per say, the mixture is, however, decidedly rich, and intense in nature. Depending upon whom one polls there seems to be debate concerning whether Byzantium conforms to the proto-typical Oriental forward Balkan style. From my assessment, the fortitude of the Oriental is duly present as it should be in a traditional Balkan mix. It does not overly dominate as one might presume but dazzling Oriental affluence is strongly registered with each drawl of the smoke. Byzantium, by my definition, is a blend that I would stamp as a Lat-forward Balkan derivative. Namely, the recipe models the classic Balkan profile (less Virginia) yet brings an interesting twist to the usual convention.

Specifically, the Latakia moves compellingly to a vanguard position commanding the foreground of the taste field. Offering a bold smoky sweet leathery spice, it forges a base character of deeply charred thick, and I do mean thick, ancient woodiness. It is heavy and confounding in humor as it casts an aura mirroring the staunch dense feel of a weighty cigar. I dare say probably a bit too much for the passive or untrained smoker.

Circulating as a strong and cheered complements, the registration of the Turkish and Perique find even footing with stunning accuracy as they fill the elements of Byzantium’s well-balanced flavorful profile. Extending a notable variety of exotically spiced accents, the Oriental is characterized by a buttery must, mushroom-pungent, tangy, and very floral (ala greenish tones) appeal if you follow my colorized description. Interestingly, occasional subtle drifts of burned dried grass moved within the accent notes, perhaps a special refinement from the strain of Turkish? Finally, the consistent zesty Perique induces a well-defined nuance of dark stewed prune sweetness as the trailing note of the rounded taste characterization.

The room note on this one leaves no mystery as to the depth of its hearty character. As it turned out, the wife complained rather openly truth be known, meaning Byzantium is destined to be a remote and external smoking pleasure. As one would surmise, the smoky cloud produced is thick, frow, and leathery. A heavy charred woodsy odor permeates the entire room and then some. With that, some essenced sour, floral, musky spices surface from the Oriental bringing a delightful appeal to the whole olfactive experience.

Furthermore, the stamina of Byzantium’s essence is extraordinary grand and seems to feather-off with intentional delay. Personally, I rather like its odorous and resolute disposition. Poetically the scent’s determination to stand fast forming a legacy, much like the great city of note, underscores quality and virtue of constitution. Be advised, however, that one man’s perfume might be a noxious disturbance for others.

Overall Byzantium being a strong, full-flavored blend offers an unconventionally stout Balkan suit. Given the noted dryness, the tobacco tends to ignite easily, burning with moderated temperature and stride. One will encounter neither bite nor roughness unless the drawls are given an overly zealous cadence. Preferentially using a quality briar, with sips modeling small bursts and prolonged retro-hales the exemplary nature of this mixture can truly be appreciated. In the fairness, Byzantium is not for the amateur smoker, nor would I categorize it as regular day-long experience either. For myself, I tend to favor heady recipes, yet I do practice moderation by only partaking them in a gingerly spaced rotation.

Summarizing this trial, Cornell & Diehl have most assuredly created a unique Balkan variety. A Lat-heavy formidable base tempered with a moving ambience of rich tasteful accents makes Byzantium a captivating acquaintance. Generally, a straightforward recipe, Byzantium engenders a celebratory experience in which every element is given proper attentiveness and value in the creation of splendidly crafted flavor. If you possess an affinity for the character of Latakia and a quality Balkan varietal, then I suggest you give Cornell & Diehl’s entry a try. In pursuit, the timeless glory of the ancient Byzantine mystique will leave its memorable impression upon you.

Subjective Hanna based rating: 3.3 Objective assessment (scoring mechanicals, standard genre attributes, and pricing) 151.3 out of 166 @ 91%.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong
This is an ideal blend to accompany whiskey. The perique and turkish take the lead and assert their strengths back and forth between the periques spice and the turkish leaf's buttery and salty floral profile. The latakia is used as a condiment adding smoke and incense. Then 1/3 into the bowl the perique turns onto more of a plummy jam of stone fruits and the butter from the oriental picks up and the latakia adds a bit more smokey incense. Towards the middle of the bowl the perique picks up a little spice again, the oriental takes up grassy virginia qualities and the latakia is almost a ghost providing a slight smoky sweetness. Nearing the end of the bowl the perique once again increases in spice just a smidgen along with a jammier sweeter profile and the oriental and latakia work together to create a stronger incense but the turkish keeps just enough grassy notes. The stength reaches medium to strong and the nic hit is surely a medium. A 4 star bulk blend. A 3.5 star overall
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