Cornell & Diehl Gray Ghost

Stoved and plain red Virginia are mixed with fine Lancaster cigar leaf to form a full-flavored smoke.
Notes: Legend has it that on dark nights, a lone figure keeps watch over the city skyline, his billowing trenchcoat casting a long shadow over the metropolitan streets. In the midst of uncertainty, look for the refuge of Virginias carefully guarded by fragrant cigar leaf. Look for the Gray Ghost.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Cigar Leaf Based
Contents Cigar Leaf, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.67 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 18 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
It seems I'm not supposed to like this blend. But I'm not one to buckle to peer pressure: I like this one, a lot.

I've been smoking a pipe far longer than cigars. After years of piping I discovered cigars and soon grew to like them. So every once in a while I'll enjoy a fine cigar. But I'm still a piper at heart. Yet there are times I'd like that special cigar flavor while smoking my pipe, since the cigars I like tend to require a commitment I don't have the luxury of time for, and, smoke for smoke, cost far more.

Is Gray Ghost like smoking a robusto from H. Uppmann or Joya de Nicaragua or Rocky Patel? No, not at all, because I'm not smoking a cigar, not even close. And C&D claims it uses a cigar leaf called Lancaster. I don't know what that is. Is it like a Connecticut shade leaf? I could believe it. Whatever it is, it's definitely a cigar leaf, but is it a top quality one? Probably not, because it's a bit rough around the edges. But it really doesn't matter all that much because I'm smoking a pipe, not a cigar. Whatever cigar leaf is being used definitely gives me a strong cigar flavor that, blended with the virginias (which somewhat smooths out the cigar leaf's rough edge), provides not just a good, full, rich, creamy, billowy smoke with an excellent cigar flavor, but a smoke that is in some ways the essence of cigar flavor in a bona-fide pipe tobacco. And that's exactly what I was looking for, and C&D somehow miraculously delivered it. (And, as I learned from McClelland's excellent Dominan Glory Maduro, the absence of latakia works to balance the flavors of the cigar leaf with the virginias rather than obscure it by its presence.)

Gray Ghost gives me just what I want: an authentic pipe tobacco with a strong cigar flavor. And it's not just a crumbled cigar you stuff in your bowl, it's actually blended in a proportion that, while the cigar flavor predominates, it's tempered with virginia just enough to give it a little lemony and hay sweetness that makes the ingredients harmonize beautifully.

Some might say it's a bastardization of both. That may be well, but I love the little bastard. For me Gray Ghost straddles the line between the two tobacco worlds just right, giving me just what I want when I want to smoke my pipe but I'm craving a strong cigar flavor. Battleground cigars make a unique stick called Mysterioso that uses perique. It's a great cigar that uses a pipe leaf. But it's definitely a cigar. This is a pipe blend that uses cigar leaf, but it's definitely a pipe blend.

I definitely recommend this for pipesters who also appreciate cigars. I definitely would not recommend this to pipesters who don't like cigars.

This is a blend that I will always have on hand. Kudos to C&D for pulling off a most difficult balancing act!
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2006 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
I was recently sent a sample of Gray Ghost in one of those heavy, home machine vacuum sealed plastic pouches. I am not sure how old the pouch was or even if C&D makes this heavy cigar tasting blend anymore.

I sampled it for fun, but it was no fun at all. The leaf is strong tasting and even a bit over the edge nicotine wise as far as I am concerned. It did taste like cigar - albeit a cheap one.

Positives: Gray Ghost is dry and smokes evenly. I've tried a lot of pipe tobacco blends with "cigar leaf," and this is the only one I can think of that truly tasted like a cigar.

This may not be a totally fair review because I only smoked half a bowl. My beautiful wife knows I am the master of my domain and she doesn't ever complain about the smell of my pipe tobaccos. But, she said that if I continued to smoke "that foul stuff in the house," she would go on a shopping spree. Now you know why I smoked only half a bowl.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 13, 2001 Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong
Full-flavoured indeed!

GRAY GHOST is the only tobacco containing cigar-leaf?in this case, Connecticut wrapper?that has ever actually tasted like a cigar to me. At first I almost choked, at the unexpected tang of the thing. I let my Copenhagen Style billiard (a second by Gubbels, the Dutch maker of Big-Ben and Hilson pipes) go out, drank some cold water, and re-lit.

An ounce of Grey Ghost had been a free sample that Mssrs Davidoff of Geneva gave me, upon purchase of two tinned tobaccos, Peterson's University Flake and Robert McConnell's Original Red Virginia. The sample, from a bulk jar, was rather excessively dry, which might have exacerbated the piquancy of an undoubtedly strong mixture. Unlit, it didn't smell like much of anything!

I re-lit cautiously. Things were decidedly more enjoyable this time round. Frankly, I have never understood the idea behind putting cigar leaf into a pipe mixture. If I want cigar taste, I smoke a cigar! Having said that, Gray Ghost is a powerful, strong, pungent, cigar-like experience. After a dinner of highly spiced Indian cuisine, a large bowl of it was very pleasant indeed. At the end of the double whammy, I just had to irrigate my sorely surfeited throat with a large tankard of cold beer, which, not to put too fine a point on it, hit the spot.

An interesting experience, once in a while.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 08, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Mostly cigar leaf with just a hint of Virginias. While it tastes like decent quality cigar leaf, it lacks the character of a cigar. As cigar smokers know, a large amount of a cigar's flavor and character come from the wrapper leaf. This is like smoking just the filler which has very little appeal to me. I'm of the opinion that this is why cigar leaf, in a pipe tobacco, should be used as a condiment. This blend very badly needs other components that will compliment the cigar leaf and add some character. Here it's the main course and falls a bit flat. It's not offensive in any way though so it gets 2 stars.

Medium in body. Medium to full in taste. No added flavoring. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2006 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
First off I do not review tobaccos and this is truly a first for me. I smoke Va/Per's almost exclusively with some Va's thrown in for good measure. I have been searching for a good, non-Latakia, cigar leaf blend. Having enjoyed H&H Virginia Spice and McClelland's Dominican Glory Maduro, I almost passed on this blend after reading the reviews here on TobaccoReviews. Got 2 oz. in a sampler from C&D recently and very glad I did so.

Grey Ghost is a uniformly brown tobacco. I can see the red Virginia and assume the darker strands to be the stoved Virginia. Fairly easy to see the flat flakes of cigar wrapper, medium-dark brown so probably maduro or EMS wrapper. I'm not very knowedgable on cigar tobaccos. Grey Ghost has only a slight earthy aroma in the pouch. It packs easily and burns evenly. I have yet to have any pipe gurgle even the slightest.

Yes, Grey Ghost is strong tobacco and very flavorfull but not at all harsh on the throat and tongue. Almost on a par with Haddo's in this respect. Taste is quite full and I detect the Virginia easily as well as the cigar leaf. I don't think it is overly heavy on the cigar leaf but it IS notable. After all if you don't want to taste the cigar leaf, why seek out a blend containing it.

I started out with small pipes to try this blend and have expanded into my larger bowled pipes. Grey Ghost smokes very well in either. I have been enjoying 1 or 2 bowls a day of this blend until, alas, my samole is nearly gone. It has become a part of my daily rotationand I enjoy it as much as Dom. Glory Maduro, which is also excellent but different. As a last nite, I have DGT'ed this blend on several occasions leaving a halfa bowl to finish the next day. No problem, still tasty and I can't say this about Haddo's which I don't think DGT's well at all. Overall, a very nice tobacco, three stars at least.

Regards to all here, Alan Stevenson N. Cent. WI
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 29, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
The Maduro interacts wonderfully with the Virginias creating a savory full, smokey, and earthy experience rounded out with the slightly grassy dark/stewed fruit sweetness of the Virginias. I'd say it's pretty clean on the palate but has a long finish. Almost like dark flourless chocolate cake with a bit of pepper. I like it a lot. If you don't enjoy cigar leaf forward blends, especially maduro cigars then stay away. If you do then I think you should appreciate Gray Ghost - not that it tastes like a cigar more.
Pipe Used: OD Virginia planter
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 15, 2005 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
This definitely has to be a niche blend, i.e., for those of you who can relate to the early 19th century Mountain Men and who are NOT faint of heart. If you like to be smacked upside your heads with the taste and strength of an in your face, full-bodied, honest, heady and earthy tobacco, put a stash of Gray Ghost in your mule?s pack. The cigar leaf does make its presence known. This was not objectionable for that is what I expected based on its components. But it was just outright strong and at times had a subdued bitterness and harshness.

If you are faint of heart yet want to try this blend, get a buzz on first. This ghost was not too friendly to me. I was overwhelmed by it. The phrase ?all-day smoke? is often mentioned in the reviews here. I would call this a once a year smoke??? or is that a once in a lifetime smoke?

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 5.0 out of 10.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2003 Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
One of the worst blends I've ever had. My sample was like Eulenbergs and was a mix of Connecticut cigar leaf and Virginias. I think I got it from a buddy who cellared some in '98. Maybe C&D changed the recipe around some and now makes it with Maduro leaf. Anyway, hot harsh Virginias mixed with low-grade Connecticut leaf made for a very strong and rough smoke. Never again...
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2020 Strong Strong Full Tolerable
This is very high on my list! A terrific blend for cigar smokers, with premium cigar leaf. Very reminiscent of smoking a good cigar. Creamy, thick, rich smoke with a spicy retrohale notes of cedar, leather and earthy with an intoxicating aroma. I think the boys at C&D nailed this one!
Pipe Used: Savinelli 121 KS/Stanwell brushed black
Age When Smoked: 3 months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable
Way back in 1999 Cornell & Diehl only sold in bulk and I bought a pound of this. If my memory serves me correct I paid like 16 dollars for the pound. Fast forward to present day with taxes and inflation and at one website for $9.78 per 2 oz can the same amount comes to $78.24. I could not find it sold in bulk anywhere on the web to make an accurate comparison but you get my point. Yes, I am showing my age and as a kid I bought cokes for a dime, Copenhagen for 50 cents a can, etc. Anyway back to the review. I have about a half of jar left of this and it was dry to start with and is really dry now, almost like sawdust. It tastes strong and does have a somewhat cigar taste to it but there really is not much else in flavor. Could be maybe it has seen better days age wise not sure. Obviously if I still have a half pound left it did not have me reaching for more. It is okay but I will probably not buy it again and if I live long enough will finish the rest in probably another 19 years.
Pipe Used: Various Pipes
PurchasedFrom: Cornell & Diehl
Age When Smoked: 19 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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