Cornell & Diehl Orient Express

1/2 Odessa and 1/2 unpressed Pirate Kake. Designed to lessen the latakia content of Pirate Kake, but still a robust blend.
Notes: Odessa is made with burley, Turkish, latakia, and perique; Pirate Kake is made by 75% latakia, Turkish and burley.


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


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

Average Rating

3.45 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 20 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 20, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I was introduced to this recently in a box pass, and I am quite surprised to see only one review of it here. It is a full English blend of surprising complexity and gentle, friendly character.

The burning characteristics are good, as with all C&D English blends. It burns cool and dry, stays lit well, and burns to a dry white ash.

I prefer Latakia in blends where it is a player and not the only thing going on, and that describes how this one smokes. All of the many components come out during the smoke, but I don't feel compelled to concentrate on it so that I don't miss anything. Another winner from Cornell and Diehl! I strongly recommend that you try this one.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
I was met with such disappointment when I finally got around to this blend only to find out it is being discontinued. This blend is a mixture of 50% un-pressed Pirate Kake and 50% Odessa. I like Pirate Kake, and as of this writing I have never smoked Odessa. My only issue with Pirate Kake is that it’s too heavy and monochromatic to smoke daily. Orient Express, the child of these two blends, in the pouch smells very much like Pirate Kake, but in the pipe, where it all matters, Orient Express is a creamy, full flavored, creamy, well rounded, smoke. Did I say creamy??? Folks that aren’t lovers of Latakia heavy blends shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that cutting Pirate Kake would turn this into medium English. It doesn’t. OE is a full flavored English that is Lat heavy, but not muddled. Unlike PK, this blend allows the other tobaccos to play in the sandbox. Where Pirate Kake offers little complexity, Orient Express layers rich flavors as the bowl progresses. I have to think that this is one of those blends that in a world currently filled with English blends that this one was simply overlooked, rather than discontinued as a result of lack of interest. I don’t agree with the reviewer that mentioned that this blend could be re-created by just mixing Odessa and Pirate Kake. I think the pressing of the Pirate Kake would change the flavor of the component tobaccos in a way that would keep this from happening. The good news is that Smoking Pipes still has some in stock for the time being.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
From "One-half "Odessa" and one-half "Pirate Kake" (unpressed). Designed to lessen the Latakia content of Pirate Kake, but still a robust blend. This blend has been discontinued, but will still be available while our supply lasts."

I bought 2 ozs to try before there is no more. This is a fine blend. The Orientals really shine. Much more so than in Odessa or Pirate Cake. The Burley is reduced to a supporting role where in Odessa it's more of an equal partner. The Latakia is in more of a supporting role where in Pirate Cake it leads the charge. The end result is a showcase for the high quality Orientals. The Perique adds it's spice to the mix making for a grand smoke. Even though it's being discontinued all is not lost. Odessa and Pirate Cake will still be available and you can make your own if you want.
Pipe Used: MM General
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I've not posted any reviews of C&D blends over the past couple of years although I have nearly 100 of them in my personal tobacco log. So, I am running through them as I get time to transcribe here on my favorite place to hang out and blab with my fingers. (-;

So, Orient Express had beautiful tin art and an even better presentation once the lid was popped and the tobacco was smoked. Krumble Kake made packing easy and the combo of Pirate Kake and Odessa made for a still very Latakia forward blend but Odessa's fine Orientals shone through as well. The Virginia was not particularly well aged and too grassy, but did not detract much from the outstanding presentation. So, why discontinue this one?
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 11, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Lighting my pipe filled with orient express tobacco was like I was taking a step onto the Orient Express Train. Taking me on the journey of a lifetime, transporting me back 100 years. As I slowly take in the first puff of smoke, I am swiftly taken from the reality that I once knew. My senses are whisked away to the platform number 6 to take the orient express to the other side of the world. All of a sudden, I am no longer on my porch in my flannel shirt. I am now wearing a full suit and top hat, with a cane! And I have a beautiful asian woman on my arm, softly kissing my neck as we board the the old Steam Engine locomotive. I walk into a room full of the tobacco aroma of the Orient Express, where there are velvet love seats and more beautiful half naked women from all over the world and of all races, inviting me to sit with them. After we dine on delicacies from the 4 corners of the world they slowly begin to remove my cloths, starting with my top hat. And the pleasures of my mouth, created by this tobacco still transcend into that ensue in this Orient Express Train car. When all is finished and things have calmed down with the exotic women we finish up with tea as I receive a full body massage. Just as the aroma from this tobacco massage the smell receptors in my nose. As my bowl in my pipe begins to die, so does my time on the train. I pick up my things and kiss the ladies good bye, with a tip of the hat to the train conductor and leap from the train back to reality; back to my chair with my flannel shirt. Until next time when I light up on the Orient Express.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 18, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Latakia isn't as prominent as I would have thought it would be considering that this blend is made of 1/2 pirate Kake. Also considering that pirate Kake by itself is 75% Latakia. The orientals really show through hence the name. But this blend is a very unfamiliar territory. I've never had a balkan style blend that didn't have Virginia. I honestly can't really pick out the burley. It seem to blend into the character with the Turkish and just adds body to it. The Turkish does seem to add a different type of sweetness that I don't find with Virginias. A little bit of spice, mustiness, and fullness with a bit of smoky undertones. Nice balanced blend but a little lighter then what I hoped for.

12-01-18 I decided to drop this blend to a 2 star. The unfamiliar territory feel to this blend just became familiar. It reminds me of pistachios. Im not very fond of pistachios at all.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Sort of moot writing a review, but fortunately, I still have a half filled quart jar of it. I'm very impressed by how this mix is aging and I find it getting noticeably sweeter and more flavorful as time goes by. I agree that OE can be a bit airy and mild... But I've corrected this by picking over the mix and breaking up the clumps and chunky bits before smoking it. Tamping religiously results in a rich and interesting flavor. I also agree that this is not a beer drinkers tobacco. I'd rather have this one with plain water or tea. OE may not be the best C&D blend, but it did open my interest in Oriental blends and I hope to find an even better blend to replace it with. PS. As of this writing, pipesandcigars has finally marked this one as backordered, which I assume means that they finally ran out of it.
Pipe Used: MM Natural Freehand Cob
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars
Age When Smoked: 4 months from bulk purchase
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 25, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I find the complexity of this blend to be both an asset and liability. Rich in presentation and smoking experience, this blending of leaves presents a maze of flavors to delight one and all. By the same stroke, it presents an expansive spectrum that may not be appreciated by everyone. For me, this is the product of a skilled hand influenced by fruitful experience. Not just anyone can successfully combine all these elements without having this range of resonance manifest disjoint collisions. Simply to achieve this plateau of excellence without the alliance of Virginia leaf is remarkable. The treatment of the Orientals is a most outstanding accomplishment. The Burley and Cyprian leaf provide the best qualities of support. Yet, all the while, this is a comfortable smoke that burns easily and leaves little residue beyond white ash. The issue of classifying as either Balkan or Oriental matters not to me. What really matters is that this is an excellent smoke. The surprise for me is that many others have not undertaken the opportunity to investigate and discover this worthwhile blend.

Meerschaum Man Smoking an Altinok Canadian Smooth
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is going to be a tough review. I have smoked 1.5 tins of this blend. I have several more and don't really know what to do with them. Latakia and Burley are not aging tobacco's. Orientals are and I frankly, I have no idea what Perique does with age without Virginia tobacco to compliment it. Is this a cellar item or is this a smoke and re-supply item? I know not. By way of disclaimer, I am a fan or Oriental blends. I find Skiff Mixture, McClelland's Smyrna No 1 and Arcadia, as well as a few of Peretti's Oriental blends to be the lead in this genre. The thin is, they all have a Virginia base. I am also not the biggest fan of Burley. Now I like quite a few Burley blends, but I am very particular here. Burley can be harsh, over flavored or sour/bitter when not dealt with by an expert blender. All that said, a Balkan with no Virginia? An Oriental with out that same base? Burley as the base? I was a bit scared. I was further worried by the description of 1/2 of this and 1/2 of that in a new tin with a new name...come on man (in my best Joe Biden)! Okay, time for the review... The tin note is all Latakia, not surprising if Pirate Kake is part of the blend. Even if the tin sat next to Pirate Kake that is what I would expect. Monosmellmatic. Now the flavor. This is a fine blend. C&D is to tobacco what James Beard is to food, they are alchemists with tobacco leaves. I am not getting into the "let's classify this blend" psychobabble. This is a review based on what it is, not where I think it fits. If tobacco could be dry like wine, this would be the descriptor I would use. The smoke has a dry characteristic, it starts on the creamy Latakia forward side but by mid bowl it becomes woody, nutty and peppery. I can easily detect the Latakia and Turkish/Orientals but the Perique and Burley are hard to pin down. I think the nuttiness is from the Burley and the white pepper is from the Perique. This tobacco can be sipped or freight trained and it doesn't seem to change the flavor. There is almost no sweetness other than a hint from the Latakia. I like this blend. I find it eternally intriguing, but not something that rises to a "must have", it is the uniqueness that keeps me coming back. I love Odessa, and I like Pirate Kake. I would call this an A.M. English, like a post lunch smoke. It doesn't have the richness of an after dinner tobacco, but is easy going and fills the Lat carve I get when the weather turns colder. I find this best in a Briar or Morta, Morta taking the lead. It smokes a bit harsh in a clay or a cob and I never put it in a meer. C&D made a very nice blend in the way hunters make a good stew out of meat they wouldn't eat on a grill with salt and pepper. I have no idea how they throgh these leaves together and came up with something that approaches a Balkan, but they did. Only a true expert can do this. Well done C&D!
Pipe Used: Briar’s and cob’s and Clay's
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I'm smoking it right now as I write this review. I don't like it. It's a decent smoke, but the lowest of Cornell & Diehl so far. I've never smoked either of the two blends this one consists of, but something tells me both are better than this. You taste the orientals, the Perique is present also. I would like it better if they increased the Latakia and less Perique. Anyway, there is no more of it, so there is no point judging the poor fella. I have 8 more oz, and until gone forever, I intend of making a decent farewell goodbye by smoking it every day. It will last for a month, so it's not that bad. I really enjoyed it today in a meer lined french pipe, and orientals are ok. I kinda love it, but still not "bells and whistles". Rest in peace dear "Orient Express".
Pipe Used: Briars and meers.
Age When Smoked: 6 months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 09, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I sort of hate to go against the flow here and even kick a blend when it is down. I very much appreciate everything C&D makes that I have tried before now. In a way I can understand this blend's demise. was out of my favorite Engine 99 a while back and I took a gamble and bought a half pound of this along with 1/4 pounds of Red Odessa and Odessa. I figured I would take the time to explore the entire bulk Oriental RR line - Engine 99, Star of the East, Byzantium, Odessa, Red Odessa, and this.

With Engine 99 as my favorite being a blend of Pirate Kake ( a three star blend for me) I guess this might be close enough to fill in while awaited resupply of the Engine. Wrong.

While mixing Red Odessa and Pirate Kake yielded a blend exceeding the sum of its two component parent blends, Engine 99, Orient Express did not. In fact it rated less than Odessa and Pirate Kake for me. Why? I am not sure. It did lessen the Latakia of Pirate Kake but it also seemed to degrade the Odessa (which I will rate at 3+ and the Pirate Kake which I gave 3 stars long ago). It is tasty, but harsh to my tastes. I know this is odd, counter-intuitive, but alas, it is so.

I will eventually finish my remaining 4 ounces and be glad I won't have to give it a desert island test. Wife, who rarely complains did not like the room note, at all.
Pipe Used: Briar apple; cob
Age When Smoked: Current stock
2 people found this review helpful.
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