Cornell & Diehl Crooner

A specially cut, cube-style burley and deer tongue tobacco, Cornell & Diehl's Crooner is an authentic copy of Bing Crosby's private blend, shared with C&D by one of his closest friends.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley
Flavoring Deer Tongue
Cut Cube
Packaging 2 ounce tin, bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.71 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2013 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Strong
I'm highly suspicious that Bing smoked this since we know for a fact he smoked Hayward Mixture in the 1950s. Anyway, the floral, herbal, vanilla properties of the deer tongue overwhelmed its minor mint notes. The dry, nutty, earthy, woody, sharp, sour white burley is also sublimated by the deer tongue, and the whisky lurks in the background. The strength and nic-hit are almost medium, while the taste is medium. Won't bite, but it does sport some rough edges, and fast puffing may result in a harsh note or two. Burns cool and clean a little slow with a very consistent tart and tangy sweet, floral flavor from top to bottom. Being a cube cut, it requires some relights. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and pungent room note. Not an all day smoke. The smell just about drove m'lady and friends out of the house when I tried it. It got more complaints from innocent bystanders than anything I have ever smoked.

Update: 2-25-2017: I have given this blend another try. The formula has been tweaked since I last smoked it. The deer tongue seems to have dropped a percentage point or two, which allows a little more of the dry, nutty, earthy, woody, sharp and sour white burley to peek through. While the aforementioned inherent properties of the deer tongue are obvious, they are very mildly less so than before. Also, the cubes are smaller than before, which affects the burn rate, and though it’s not a fast burner, it burns closer to a moderate rate than before. It requires fewer relights than before, but still needs a few. The strength and nic-hit are a slot below the older version. The taste is medium. All other noted aspects remain the same. It will ghost a briar. I have upgraded my rating to two stars to reflect my current thinking regarding this blend. Your proclivity for deer tongue will certainly decide whether or not this blend is for you, which is another reason for the neutral two star rating.

42 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 14, 2009 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This was an epiphanal blend for me upon smoking the first few bowls. A nice vanilla taste without casing - how cool is that??!? The deertongue flavor remains throughout the smoke, although it becomes more subtle as you get down to the last 1/3 bowl where it becomes more of that nutty burley flavor.

Crooner is a high quality tobacco. My rating is less about if I would recommend it than how it hit me. What happened is that after the first 4 or so bowl, the deertongue flavor wore me out. I don't know why or how. Perhaps I'm just not used to it.

Two stars for how I liked it; four stars for recommending it as something everyone should try once. But for God's sake, give it a dedicated pipe! The flavor is hard to remove from a briar pipe.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2007 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
While I do enjoy Bing's music, I think I'll take a pass on his tobacco preferences. Yep, I tasted the deer tongue loud and clear while working my way through a recent bowl (and believe me, it WAS work.) And for anyone who cares, I copied the following description of deer tongue from an herbal website:

Description---Herbaceous perennial plant, composite distinguished by a naked receptacle, oblong, imbricated, involucre, and feathery pappus, fleshy basal leaves obolanceolate, terminating in a flattened stalk. The leaves are used to flavour tobacco. Their perfume is largely due to Coumarin, which can be seen in crystals on the upper side of the smooth spatulate leaves.

Now I ask, is the above description going to make you head off lickety split for your nearest tobacconist?

The Burley in Crooner was top-shelf and burned easily. But the strange taste provided by the deer tongue just flat put me off. I don't know, maybe it was the "oblong, imbricated, involucre feathery pappus, fleshly basal leaves" that just didn't work for me.

And finally, Crooner is the only Burley based tobaccos where I had to rub out the chunks before loading up. Now I've got deer tongue all over my fingers....
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 08, 2018 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I never had deer tongue before so it was time to give it a try via Crooner. Well the tin note has that dive bar aroma to it. Right then and there I’m saying to myself do I really want to do this….of course I do! So here we go. Packed up my old Peterson B11 and lit her up. The tobacco itself was cut very fine and the moisture level was perfect.

You do have to be careful with the charing and true light because Crooner burns hot. Might be due to the cube cut but, its hot….I didn’t get bit but it wouldn’t take much. So I calmed it down and it settled in to a nice even smoke. You can definitely taste the burley. Toasty and nutty on the verge of bitterness if you take a big draw and heat it up too much. The deer tongue imparts a different taste ever so often. I’m not sure I can accurately describe it…herbal, kind of sweet, dry oak leaves, the forest….beer soaked wood perhaps, hence the dive bar smell. Different for sure.

What Crooner taught me is that I don’t really care for burley as this is a very burley forward blend and I’m not a fan of deer tongue either. Well I bought 2 oz of bulk so I’ll jar it up and put it in the cellar and try it again in 10 years. Live and learn.
Pipe Used: Peterson B11
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 18, 2016 Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
Cornell & Diehl - Crooner.

The cube cut's very fine, in fact the bottom of my pouch is dust! On the plus side it's not too moist; that would turn it into sludge! This clarifies perfectly how Deer Tongue appears and tastes; the pouch is full of bright green flecks!

When I first lit this I couldn't understand all of the mint comparisons, until ten minutes had passed; there's a sort of herbiness that can give a minty impression. I don't get much of a vanilla flavour from it, the herby quality seems to rule the taste. Whether or not the added flavour's enjoyed, there's no arguing that the Burley's exceedingly high quality; toasty, nutty, and rich. The best feature of Crooner is easily the room-note; it's very flavoursome without making lots of actual smoke.

If you like Deer Tongue you'll probably love this, but as well made as it is, I can't give it more than two stars.

Somewhat recommended.
Pipe Used: Chacom Robusto
Age When Smoked: New
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2014 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
Old Crooner presumable replicates a private recipe used by Bing Crosby; it probably does, but Der Bingle did not smoke a single blend. What we have here is a cube cut burley laced with a significant amount of deer tongue.

Cube cut burley: anathema to burley haters, but not to others. The cube cut burns cool. At least in does if you can get a good light, which is not easy. Also any vigorous puffing intended to get or keep a good light can propel a lighted coal onto your clothes and burn a hole therein. Still, for those who enjoy burley, that part of the flavor here is fine.

Deer tongue biologically is a kind of wild vanilla native to the Southern Appalachians. Unlike the "real" vanilla, often from Mexico, used to produce vanilla extract, deer tongue has a less sweet, more flowery taste, and for some even a hint of mint.

Deer tongue, as with tonquin, provides a taste that engenders love it or hate it reactions. In days of yore, deer tongue was often used as a condiment, barely sprinkled in pipe mixtures. That way, many smokers did not even identify its flavor. But where the deer tongue provides a clear cut taste, the reaction of smokers varies sharply. Incidentally, deer tongue like tonquin (which comes from tonka beans, a totally different biological species) contains trace amounts of coumarin which in amounts astronomically more than you could get it a pipe is used medically as a blood thinner.

So how do I rate Old Crooner? I now hereby contadict my observation that it is a love it or hate it blend. I have purchased it twice. On both occasions I have enjoyed it-- as a change of pace. I had no yen to smoke it daily, however. So, neither loving nor hating Old Crooner, I award it a weak two stars.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2016 Strong None Detected Full Strong
Happy am I to be finished with the four ounces of crooner I bought nearly four years ago. My thoughts on this blend is that it is disgusting. My only joy from possessing this was from the reactions of the several people to whom I sent small samples over time. All of whom, despised it as I did.

To me this smells like burning hair on light up. If you get a nice slow tempo, you may get a hint of vanilla, with perhaps a mint undertone. When you have finished the bowl, you will have a mustache note of burnt plastic to follow you around.

Yes, it is that disgusting, but there are a few souls who like it. I have told you the bad, so I guess I will go into the good. It is primarily a cube cut, which is always a pleasurable cut to me. They burn nice and are a no brainer to pack. It is more of a pour it in the bowl til it is full and go to town.

The cube cut portion is burley and the burley is made by C&D. C&D does burley well and if you get all the green flakes out of it, I am sure that this would be a nice nutty smoke. Also, the burley is heavily packed with Vitamin N, so if the deer tongue doesn't make you heave, perhaps the nicotine overdose may.

I had one good bowl of this over the four years. I believe it just happened by luck that I had a bowl with very little of the green flakes (by the way, the green flakes are the deertongue), and it was with this bowl that I did get the vanilla type taste that some people rave about.

My thoughts on this blend is that it just has too much of the deer tongue in it. Unfortunately this is my only experience with Deer tongue, so I can not validate this belief. I am giving this two stars as I somewhat recommend it for someone if they want to know what Deer tongue tastes like. To that person, I would recommend ordering the smallest quantity possible. Better yet, find someone like me to send you a sample or go to a pipe show and ask Chris Tarler to give you a small sample.

When I do get around to trying another blend with deer tongue, this will drop to one star if I find I like the latter better than Crooner.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 05, 2015 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
I purchased an ounce of this to try out deer tongue as a tobacco additive. This was only my first bowl of Crooner but it won't be my last. After smoking two cigars last night, I started smoking a bowl of this. So, my palate was somewhat tainted to start with. Looking at the bag, I could see the green flecks of deer tongue but I couldn't smell them standing out above the rest of the blend. Upon the initial light, the taste was not unpleasant but was alienating: I was detecting the non-tobacco ingredient, deer tongue. Not sure how to describe the taste but it was not a typical bowl of tobacco taste, but still not unpleasant. I puffed on it for about 5 minutes and put it down, letting it go out. Considering that my taste was addled after smoking the two cigars, I decided to give it another shot the next day. This afternoon I fired up the same bowl of tobacco and was met with a very pleasant smoke! It was full of full-bodied burley taste; the deer tongue had taken the back seat, but still had a spicy influence. The smoke reminded me of Edgeworth Ready Rubbed with a little something extra. Detected a moderate nicotine effect, but not overpowering. The pipe was hard to put down; it kept getting better the more I smoked it. Impressive in that it smoked so cool. Not a hint of a bite; I even stirred it up near the end, re-tamped, relit and it still didn't bite.

A few notes after finishing an ounce of this blend. I have smoked it in a Captain Black billiard, a Charatan second dublin, a Sunrise featherweight apple and a Lepeltier clay. The cut on this blend is fairly fine cube cut; I wonder if it's not cut too fine. It is kind of hard to keep going after about 10-15 minutes smoke time; I've experienced that with several of these pipes with this blend.
Pipe Used: Captain Black billiard, Lepeltier clay
Age When Smoked: Just purchased
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 06, 2009 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
When I first tried this blend I had illusions of grandeur. I was excited about smoking the blend of the great Bing Crosby. Those illusions and the fact that this is a Burley are what got to me to not give up on this blend right out of the gate.

From the package, these little cubes were quite moist. You could just feel it rubbing them between your fingers. I hoped for the best, gravity fed the bowl and fired up. It is a difficult blend to keep lit. I would imagine with some drying time it would burn better, however, I would worry about the heat and the burn rate if it dried out to where it needed to be.

The flavor is great, when you can keep it lit to get the flavor. I enjoyed the Deer Tongue, and the Burley was rich and nutty. Great combination IMO.

In general, not a bad blend, however the the difficulty keeping it lit makes it more troublesome than it is worth. Nice for a change of pace, but not an everyday. 2 stars is the best I can do.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 22, 2008 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Crooner has an ineffable taste that is at once spicy, toasty, nutty, musty and dark. Further, it leans toward the bitter, the sweet, the soapy, and the incense-like, without really being any of those things. All of that, and yet there is no symphony, no chord of notes -- just a monotone with outré harmonics. Whatever it is, the taste seems unified, integrated, balanced. Weird description, I know. But its a weird tobacco.

For me this tobacco is as difficult to smoke as it is to describe. I struggled mightily in keeping the hard little nuggets of tobacco lit. They look like dessicated mouse pellets (IYKWIM). I finally got great results by mixing in some plain Burley which improved the burn without shifting the taste too much. Still yummy. I also found that a large diameter bowl opened up the taste to good effect (a whopping 24mm ¼-bent bulldog). Hopefully I'll find some Maryland tobacco to blend into this stuff to improve the burn. This sounds like a lot of effort to put into a smoke, but I like this stuff well enough to jump through a few hoops.

Though I would normally rate this at 3 stars based on taste, I'm giving it 2 stars because of the PITA factor.

P.S. I rated the "Flavoring" category as "None Detected" to suggest that I couldn't taste any casing sauce. But technically, I guess deertongue is a top dressing, albeit a dry, natural one; and you can certainly detect it here.
3 people found this review helpful.
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