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 1 - 11 of 57 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2024 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Cornell & Diehl

Blend notes: “A full strength blend with Latakia, Perique and Turkish.”

Byzantium is a seriously Latakia forward blend which would be at the light end of the Lat-bomb continuum. An example of a heavier Lat-bomb might be Ten Russians or Mountain Camp.

The Perique and Turkish sort of meld into a counter-balancing sour note that plays well off the strong Latakia.

It’s a good blend. Tasty. If you like strong Balkan blends this is decent.

3 stars out of 4.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 18, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
The very rich smoky, woody, earthy, musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is the star component in this lat-bomb. The Turkish is woody, earthy, floral, herbal, vegetative, mildly dry and buttery sweet with a little sourness in a continually evident support role. The fruity raisin, fig, plum, and spice from the perique underlines every puff, especially the spice. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark. The taste is in the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is nearly as potent as the strength level. Won't bite, and has no dull or harsh moments. It does have some roughness. Well blended, you’ll notice every nuance in virtually every puff despite the strong Latakia presence. Burns at a little more than a moderate pace, cool and clean with a very consistent smoky, woody, spicy sweet campfire flavor from start to finish. Requires few relights, and barely dampens the bowl with moisture. The pleasant after taste lingers, and the room note will not make your friends happy, which you may consider a plus if you’re a true curmudgeon. Not an all day smoke.

44 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2005 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Now this is a Latakia laced blend I can sink my palate into! It is not often that I find a true English concoction that has enough strength (nicotine) to keep me satisfied. Byzantium does the trick and does it well.

The tobacco is not particularly foreboding once the tin is opened and the components are exposed. In fact, this one is really much stronger in both flavor and strength than it looks. There is no mention of Virginia leaf in the above description, but I sure saw and tasted it. The Perique, while present, was very sparingly administered and added a bit of spice to the overall presentation.

This is one of the oldest and best selling blends in the C&D line and it is easy to see why it is so popular.

I originally purchased this blend for my local pipe club's tobacco bar at the next monthly meeting. But now, I do believe I'll just keep this one for myself. Guess I'd better change my name to Selfishstud. (-;
36 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 07, 2014 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, I decided to become a tobacco blender.

So I ordered a few bags of blending tobacco and some blends I thought I wouldn't like but figured I'd use as condiments in my brilliant new creation. I took all this, plus the large bowl we normally use for popcorn on movie night, laid it out on the table and cried, "Watch out, Pease! Step aside, Ouellette!" The problem was what I came up with tasted like utter shit.

And so ended the Great Tobacco Blending Experiment of 2009 or 10.

Byzantium was one of the blends I ordered to use as a condiment, but I shoulda just thrown everything in the trash and smoked it. Byzantium is decidedly NOT utter shit.

The problem was I didn't know Byzantium was so delicious until just this year. Back when I lost my mind and thought I could blend tobacco, I was all about burleys and crossovers and aromatics. Englishes and Balkans and Orientals? Oh, my! So I threw it in the back of a drawer somewhere and there it sat, getting dry as hell (it was plastic bag bulk).

I happened upon it, smoked some, and loved it. Even though it was bone dry and crunched like Fall leaves, I loved it. Even though tamping eventually turned it into pipe clogging dust, I loved it.

I revitalized in a makeshift humidor I threw together by sitting a shot glass of water in a cookie jar, and it became a little more civilized. A little.

Byzantium is not a subtle blend, though it does have its moments of nuance, especially if you gently coax it rather than puff it. It's bold and in your face. Spicy (very), smoky, full-bodied, -flavored, full-everything. Obviously, it will bite the hell out of you if you're not careful, and it's not an all-day smoker (unless you're the type of man who pours whiskey over his cereal in the morning).

There's no Virginia in it, which I'm glad for. Virginia, I bet, would mellow this bad boy out a little, make him more presentable, rounder, more balanced, and, sometimes, I just plain don't want that.
27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 23, 2009 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
Looking through reviews of tobaccos with which I'm familiar, I'm surprised to see that I never reviewed this one. Byzantium was the first English tobacco that I fell for, years ago. Although my tastes have changed over the years, it's a blend that I still enjoy.

Byzantium is a mixed-cut tobacco. There are some ribbons in the blend, but a large percentage of the tobacco resembles crumble cake that's been crumbled. Some of the crumbled tobacco is in very small pieces. The aroma of the tobacco is smoky, leathery, and a bit salty, but not overly strong.

I find Byzantium to be at its best when smoked in a wide-diameter bowl. I prefer it in a bowl with a 7/8" or wider chamber. I get the best results by drizzling the tobacco into the bowl, then tapping the sides to settle the tobacco as much as possible. By doing this until the bowl is slightly over-full and then lightly pressing the excess tobacco into the bowl, I get a pack that lights and burns easily. Relights are rare, and I almost always smoke this to the very bottom of the bowl without effort.

This is not a subtle tobacco. The flavors are simple and strong. There's plenty of smokiness from the (Cyprian) latakia, with the orientals adding a strong salty/musty flavor and a bit of sweetness. There's enough perique to add a peppery hint to the flavor, without overwhelming the other flavors. The flavor varies little throughout the bowl, starting off strong and staying that way. The mouth feel is smooth, though not overly full. I experience absolutely no tongue bite from this tobacco, regardless of how I treat it. Even more so than many blends, I find that gentle, slow smoking brings out the most intense flavors from Byzantium.

There can be a slight harsh edge to this blend when it's very young. A few month's worth of age removes this. If you buy Byzantium in a tin, you can check the date on the bottom to determine its age. If you buy it bulk and you can't determine its age, be sure to let some of it to rest for a few months before you pass judgment on it.

Byzantium isn't complex or sophisticated, but it is very good and it's very easy to smoke. It's a tobacco that I enjoy, whether concentrating on my pipe or otherwise engaged. Recommended.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2011 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Turkish, Perique and Latakia. Hmm, Red Odessa minus the red Va?

Ok, this isn't Red Odessa minus the Va after all. It doesn't appear to be related to Red Odessa/Engine #99.

The jar note has a similar fermented fruit sweet tang, but that's as close as this blend gets. It's also fuller than Red Odessa, less full than Engine #99. This blend has a focus squarely set on the Oriental component, with enough Latakia to keep you from dozing off. The Perique adds a bit of pepper, but isn't as nicely integrated as blends like Red Odessa and Artisan's Blend. I don't get a very strong nic kick from this, so in the end, it's a medium strength, medium bodied Lat blend mostly about the Orientals with a bit of Perique.

I always miss the missing component in Lat blends that don't have either Orientals or Va. Less so in Va/Lat-only blends than in Oriental-Lat-only blends, but I always feel they're better with the trinity.

Byzantium sidesteps being a blend that draws attention to the absence of Va by throwing Perique in the mix. The Perique does add a nice element here, adding a tangy note to a blend that teeters on deliciously sour but doesn't quite get there. The Oriental component here never gets bitter, is a tad oily, and almost gets to sour, which I adore.

The Perique smells like heaven in the jar, all fermented fruit, like some delicious holiday treat for stuffing in your pipe. The Lat here is medium. Overall I have had pretty decent experiences with this blend. Not a hoarder, but at only $27.49/lb I may buy a pound to smoke on occasion. Good stuff, not great but definitely good.

This is a good smoke, and the elements blend well, but not so well that you block out everything else and launch into monologues to your wife about the virtues of English mixtures and well seasoned briar. Am I the only one who does that?
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a tasty lat bomb. I bought the one ounce sample a little over a year ago during one of SP's many bulk C&D sales. When I popped the mason jar I kept it in, it revealed a mostly dark tobacco in shades of dark brown and a musty campfire smell that signaled the presence of a lot of latakia.

It is a ribbon cut combined with some broken flake and is a very unique blend in that it has no Virginia or burley, or at least none is advertised. I don't think I can say I tasted anything that conflicts with that description and the blend doesn't suffer any for the lack of those two popular leafs.

It has the positive traits one would look for in a Latakia heavy blend. Creaminess and smoothness. The latakia does not steal the show by any means, this blend does contain a good amount of Perique and the orientals are zesty. All three elements meld together quite well into a cohesive, balanced smoking experience. This also has a very nice sidestream aroma. It really is the complete package.

I am up in the air on whether to give this one three or four stars, but have decided to go with four as the blend is unique and really has no direct comparison that I know of.
Pipe Used: Primarily used my Wozniak bent billiard
Age When Smoked: 1 yr. 1 month
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 23, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
This is definitely not one I'm in the mood for every time. But when you're in the mood for bold and spicy, there's none better. Smoky, meaty, bbq from the lat + musty, salty, sour, incense/spice from the oriental + pepper/dark fruit/raisin from the perique = flavor bomb. I think the lack of prominent virginia makes this a great "change of pace" blend. I love the fact that it's ruff around the edges. I feel like a manly stud when I smoke this.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 02, 2016 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
The blend was "C&D dry" in the bag. It is slightly chunky with bits of mostly rubbed out flake and some short wide ribbons that are not exactly fish food. Loading, the texture is a little leathery. The pouch note is smoke and maybe a little horse stable.

Smoked, this is very good. The latakia campfire is always burning. The orientals provide some herbal and a little floral that teeters on the edge of sour. The perique adds some pepper when puffed and a little fruit when sipped. This sounds like a lot of flavor, and it is. You get a mouthful with every puff, and every now and then it is almost salty.

This is almost a flavor bomb, but there is a certain nuance to it. It is not a single note hit hard and loud. There is just a lot of it, and exploring the sour edge is a plus.

I like orientals in general and think they add a lot to a blend. This one is a strong recommendation to those who like the herbal spice and might enjoy it with some campfire and pepper. I was surprised to find a blend like this with no Virginia and a C&D blend with no burley. It works.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2020 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
What an absolutely pungent pouch aroma! The Perique slams your olfactory senses into next week. Smells of smoked sour cheese, and fresh cut red oak firewood. The Turkish offers a slight vegetal note way in the back. Blend of dark, dusky brown tobaccos, some broken flake, with a decent amount of black Latakia. Great moisture level, packed very easy.

Initial lighting, as with most C&D blends goes without a hitch.

First half of the bowl is a powerhouse. Strong, full flavored blend. Smoky Latakia out front with the highly floral Turkish. The sour spice of the perique fights to be up front as well. Nothing sweet, nothing toasty.

Second half sends the spiciness into overdrive. This blend has a ton of backbone not found in most blends. Bold and in your face, Byzantium can have a rough edge if puffed too hard. Burns clean and cool, leaves your palate coated in Perique minty-ness. Not a blend for a beginner, and even a veteran may find this too much. Not suitable for an all day blend, I would reserve this to an outdoor after dinner smoke. I smoked it inside, once...…..
Pipe Used: several
Age When Smoked: Fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2017 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
Cornell & Diehl - Byzantium.

To me, this is a bit of a powerhouse: strong with nicotine and lots of bold Latakia.

The ribbons are mid-sized, but at the bottom of the bag there's a gathering of dust. The moisture's good, and the smell's predominately Latakia.

I think the smoke is very full tasting. I get heap loads of smokiness from the Latakia, becoming stronger as a bowl burns, but it's also embellished by the others. To be fair, I get a lot less of the Perique compared to the Turkish. I struggle to identify the Virginia many reviewers mention, but in many strong English/Balkan blends I often find it hard to recognise, so the Virginia's a bit of a moot point, to me! The burn from Byzantium goes well, and the smoke's bite-free.

To me, the room-note's a bit on the heavy side, and the nicotine's strong.

This is a very good blend, a bit full for a regular smoke, ergo, I give it three stars!

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Elegance Oom Paul
Age When Smoked: New
8 people found this review helpful.
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