Cornell & Diehl Three Friars

A combination of Virginia ribbon, brown Virginia, burley and perique.
Notes: Reminiscent of old original Three Nuns in ribbon version.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging Bulk
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.19 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 85 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2012 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
As a Three Nuns aficionado, I can say that this blend tastes nothing like the older tinned version of Three Nuns or the current tinned version either. Don't buy it thinking that it will or you will be disappointed. You should buy this because of its own merits, which are many.

This has just enough raisin, plum, and spice from the perique to notice, but not enough to control the flavor. The tart and tangy citrus from the lightly grassy Virginias is understated, and a little more prominent than the burley. The woody burley is a little toasty, earthy and nutty with a light brown sugar taste, well complimenting the Virginia. It comes a bit dry in bulk, so you may prefer to moisten it just a little. Once moistened, I find it to be a cool, clean, even burning smoke all the way to the bottom with few relights. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste level is medium. Has a minor rough edge at times, but there's no chance of bite. Fast puffing may result in a harsh note. Leaves just a hint of moisture in the bowl. It's not overly complex, but you will taste all the mildly sweet, nutty, rugged, lightly savory flavors in every puff from start to end. Has a lightly lingering pleasant after taste, and room note. An easily repeatable all day smoke. Three and a half stars.

61 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 05, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I am not basing this comparison on any meaningful recollection of the original Three Nuns or having tasted the current version. I expected to like this tobacco from the description, and I was not disappointed.

This is a wonderful Virginia forward VaBur with perique used as a condiment and not the main attraction. I found it to be about the right moisture content from the bag. It burns well and smoked cool for me.

I think when blends burn hot for me, it is because I am sucking on it too hard trying to get some flavor out. This one was very tasty - a slight Va sweetness with just enough spiciness and burley fullness to keep it interesting and push it from a 3 to a 4. For my palate, this is a great balanced flavor, and a very good smoke. There is a somewhat "thick" quality to the smoke that I find very enjoyable.

Edit 8/19/14 If anything this blend has grown on me, and my initial rating was a 4. It really is that good for me. I have two pipes in the rotation that are good smokers in general, but they just deliver with Three Friars.
46 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2006 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
A lightly sweetened Virginia/Burley with a dash of Perique. And yippee, nicotine!!!!!

If you like your Virginia without a grassy taste, if you like your Burley to be Grade A+, and if you like top-shelf, Louisiana grown (the real deal) Perique, then you're gonna love Three Friars.

The blend does stink in the tin, but at the match it smells good enough to keep you from being thrown outside with the dogs.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2011 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I think that this is one those tobaccos that it's easy to overlook. I suspect that's partly because of whole “clone” or “copy” identity that the stuff has. It seems to suggest second rate from the git-go. Can a clone ever be as good as the original? Aren't copies subject to degradation? So this stuff isn't Three Nuns. From what I understand, even Three Nuns isn't Three Nuns anymore. Never having smoked Three Nuns (in any of its successive iterations), this little fact doesn't faze me a whole lot.

On its own, I find Three Friars to be a wonderful smoke. It probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense to call this a Burley-based VaPer, but that's really what it is. It has some things in common with familiar VaPers like Escudo, Dunbar, Cumberland…even Haddo's. All of these share (though intensity levels vary, as do toppings) the standard VaPer nose of dried fruits (primarily fig and date), tomato leaf, dried hay, and caramel. Where 3 Friars wanders off on its own path is with the addition of a quantity of good quality Burley. This has the effect of muting the familiar VaPer qualities on the nose, and reducing some of the sweetness associated with straight Virginias and VaPers.

The muting of the nose and the reduction of the sweetness will no doubt be unwelcome to plenty of regular VaPer smokers. However, those with a fondness for the nicotine richness and, for lack of a better word, “dry” qualities of Burley (me, for example), may well prefer 3 Friars to the more familiar VaPers. I'm fond of both the familiar VaPers and 3 Friars. What I find, however, is that if I'm on a pipe-smoking binge, I'm better able to smoke successive bowls of 3 Friars than a sweeter VaPer. If I'm glued to my desk working on a project from home with a pipe stuffed in my jaw for hours on end, 3 Friars is great. If I'm just enjoying a pipe in leisure, I'm more likely to opt for the greater depth and concentration of Escudo or St. James Woods or Beacon Extra.

To my mind, 3 Friars is the OTC VaPer that the American market currently lacks. It ought to be produced by Middleton so that it can enjoy the simultaneously wide-scale and down-scale distribution of Carter Hall, Prince Albert, or Sir Walter Raleigh. In bulk, it's actually a shade less expensive than a typical OTC tub. And it shares the easy-to-light, easy-to-pack, easy-to-smoke qualities of the OTCs. For all-day smokers—especially those on a budget—I'd be inclined to recommend this highly. Less prolific puffers may well find something to like here, too.
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 13, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
A tasty blend. Virginias and Burley pretty well balanced and the Perique applied with a light touch. Medium body and taste. A nice any time of day smoke.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh bulk
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 22, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A good mixture with a sweet tone and solid structure. In my opinion Three Friars is another fine example of the kind of natural American style blends that Cornell and Diehl excels at. The pouch note has a sweet and sour fermented bread-like scent. The perique is done to balance, adding a touch of spice without overtly influencing the flavor. The burley is quite noticeable and adds a dose of rustic heartiness and a bit of flavor strength. The Virginia's used are the meatier, deeper kind more than the bright grassy-sweet variety. The flavor is bittersweet & earthy with a subtle tanginess coming from the perique. Three Friars is not a complex tasting mixture, but there are enough variations in flavor to keep things interesting throughout the entire smoke. Overall this blend has a good amount of flavor strength. Nicotine strength is a comfortable medium, and becomes more noticeable in larger bowls.
Pipe Used: Briar and Cob
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I was coming on here to update my review of three friars, which I was sure I placed 4 stars on after receiving a sample a while ago. That is when I discovered I never actually reviewed the blend at all. Well, I was so taken by my first experience with it, I ordered some more and just finished it today.

I will say that I still like this blend, but Would give it three stars today as it just didn't blow me away like it did the first time I tried it and perhaps, I have just tasted so many more Va Bur Pers since that time.

This is a good example of that genre that offers a nice balance between the three elements. C & D burleys can come off pretty harsh if they are over provoked only slightly and this one is no exception to that. You will get the most of this one in a quiet contemplative smoke. When you are in the zone it is fantastic. Nutty sweetness with a great amount of spice. The trouble is getting in the zone with this one. It is not as easy a task as many other blends. For this reason I ended up having several ashy tasting harsh moments when I was smoking this one.

I will say when I was there, it was a four star experience, but the difficulty of getting there put it at three stars for me. I will likely buy this again though for those times when I have a pretty clear mind and can really get into the zone.

11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 03, 2010 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I was sent a baggie full of this by a forum buddy to try. I find it to be a very interesting and unusual blend. First off, it has a very parculiar pouch smell to it, kinda tart but with a little of the old fashioned dark straight cane syrup of my youth aroma about it. Hard to describe but very different. The tobacco is a very rough cut running from khaki colored to medium brown. Being C and D, it arrived to me in the perfect moisture content, no stickiness and was very easy to pack and light up. Upon lighting up, it emitted a very creamy strong flavor of burley with a touch of sweetness and the spiciness of the perique. Though nowhere near as strong or loaded with perique as Frenchy's SunzaBitches, that is what I thought of when I lit this. Smoking the first half of the bowl, the burley and perique dominate and it is a touch harsh tasting but still very smokable. With light puffing, one can taste a touch of the VA sweetness but with anything other than light, it is very spicy and can bite you a little. But, at the half way mark, look out, the VA takes control and it becomes a spicy sweet smoke that just gets better and better down to the bottom of the bowl. I really enjoy the second half of this one, if it all tasted this good, this would be a regular for me. The room note is pleasant, not great but not bad or harsh. It burns clean, down to a grey ash with no moisture at all it the bottom, in fact i hardly pick up anything running a pipe cleaner through a pipe of this just smoked. I find it smokes much smoother in a large bowled pipe versus a smaller one. I would recommend trying this as it's an experience all to itself. I don't give it four stars because of the first half of the smoke, but a solid 31/2 for sure.

12/14/2011 Update. I don't usually update my reviews, but I feel i have to upgrade my rating on this one to a four star review. The reason is I find that everytime I open a tin of this blend, I find myself not smoking anthying else until the said tin is comepletely gone! This blend is very addictive in a good way, i find i just love the stuff especially during the colder months. I really think this blend offers enough that all should experience it. This blend is gradually becoming one of my regular blends and is for sure in my top ten blends that I keep in my rotation now.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2010 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
This is no Three Nuns!!!!!

Now that we have that out of the way (again), this blend screams for a 2.5 star rating within the TR system. This is mostly because sometimes when I smoked it, it was something I'd recommend to anyone, and other times I'd have to condition that recommendation. Few tobaccos I've smoked were as much of a changeling bowl to bowl as this one. I'm not sure what that means.

I'm a huge fan of Three Nuns and burley. That said, I think I would have left the burley out of this one or changed it 'round somehow. At its worst, it drowns out the perique and virginia and at its best, it's a bit of a question mark as to need. Even so, I found this to be a pleasant smoke, with a breath of perique spice to go with the VA sweetness. The burley gives it body - whether I liked it or not. Definitely something to try if you like complex tobaccos, as this one writes the book on it! I'd call it a successful tobacco, even though I'm not sure where it fits in to my rotation, if anywhere.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2003 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
There is nothing as cagey as gustatory memories: as ephemeral as a ballerina's pirouette, and not liable to being filmed, either...The very strong tobaccos that I enjoyed as a younger man I no longer enjoy as much, and have stopped using many of the large pipes that I favoured then. A Charatan full of THREE NUNS was a peak experience of the popinjay and coxcomb I once was...but my taste buds, like my temples, have become grayer. Nothing and nobody tastes as wonderful as it once did.

This hommage to the beloved old blend does pretty well, as far as my fading brain cells will allow me to be certain. The old Nuns probably had some burley in it too, and C & D has handled the Périque?top quality?very adeptly. I will certainly keep some of this around, gladly. And the ribbon-cut makes it easier to use, particularly in a smaller pipe. If only this was available in an elegant tin.
10 people found this review helpful.
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