Cornell & Diehl Oak Alley

Arguably the most famous of Louisiana’s antebellum mansions, and certainly the most immediately recognizable, Oak Alley is a splendid namesake for this cellar worthy, new American standard. After establishing an impeccable partnership between sweet red Virginias and white/brown burleys, discreet amounts of perique and Katirini Turkish are added to enhance both the flavor, as well as promote the coolest smoke imaginable.


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Series Cellar Series
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 2 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.53 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 13 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 18, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Yes, it is good right now. At the light the Virginias hit you first, but only 10 or so puffs in and all the components have melded together. The flavor is sweet and sour, tart, spicey, and mildly earthy and fruity. It has nice depth and is very smooth. No hint of a bite. Medium in body and flavor. I get the impression that the flavor has the potential to become rich with time. 3 stars for now. I'll reserve one for when I've tasted the aged product. I suspect it will have earned it.

I should add that it's not overly moist out of the tin. Probably enough to aid the aging process, but not enough to keep you from smoking it right away. I prefer to dry it a little before smoking.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh
31 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 01, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The red Virginias are mildly tangy dark fruit sweet, earthy, woody and bready as it takes a very light lead. The earthy, woody, floral, nutty white burley is dryly sharp with some sourness. The earthy, woody, toasty, nutty brown burleys and are often drowned out by the white burley. The perique is mildly present with a little spice, raisin and plum. The floral, earthy Katerini Turkish is very smoky, herbal, vegetative, spicy, and woody with some dry sour notes, and is more obvious than the tin description describes. Overall, this sweet and sour plug is easily broken apart, and some flavors can be subtle as they are often more noticeable at various times during the smoke. Burns cool, dry and a little slow with no dull or harsh spots, no bite and leaves a little moisture in the bowl. Requires a few relights. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark. The taste is a slot past that level. Has a medium nic-hit. Has a strong after taste that lingers a little. The room note is a tad stronger than pleasant. I think it works best when puffed at a slow or moderate rate as white burley can show more strength when it's smoked fast. A regular cadence will better reveal the complexity of the blend. Not an all day smoke.

27 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Presentation is a square, pressed plug of light and dark browns. Tin note is intense with naturally sweet tobacco flavors, and really strikes you when the tin is cracked. The initial cracked tin note is slightly pungent, tangy, with an overall sweet and sour nose. A few moments later, as the tobacco has a chance to breathe and settle itself down, Miss Perique walked in the room and asked me if she could mix this with chocolate and eat it. She said it smelled of Chaffhaye and cherries.  When a non-smoker perceives cherry in the tin note of an unflavored blend, I've found it to suggest a very good, well-blended VaBur. 

It fascinates me how different the Va/Bur/Per-Oriental mixes can be from each other, and I would say Oak Alley certainly represents the sweeter end of this genre's flavor spectrum.

Initially, the Virginias and Burleys are the stars of this show. The Virginias in this blend are truly first class - smooth, with no bite. Burley is a co-star, adding some strength and backbone to the blend, along with subtle salty, nutty, and parchment notes. The Turkish is a background player in the first third of the bowl, adding a sweet and vaguely floral note. The Perique component is very mild; my battle-scarred palate can't even pick it up. 

I found Oak Alley to be mildly Virginia-forward in the beginning but quickly transitions to more of a burley blend with the smooth, sweet Virginia and Turkish more of a supporting act. That's fine by me. I find that red Virginias are nicely tamed by burley and there's no bite in this blend. Similarly, a little Turkish can go a long way and C&D nails the proportions with this one. 

In the final third of the bowl, burley is dominant with the Turkish in hot pursuit. The flavor levels out to parchment, basswood, lightly salty, with a bit of background nutty sweetness. It gets a bit hotter and slightly ashy at the end, but nothing that would ruin the experience- Oak Alley remains vey smooth with no bite. 

This is a very smooth and easy-smoking blend for this style of tobacco, and could easily be an all-day smoke. This would be an excellent choice for someone who found other blends in this genre a bit too strong or harsh, and for those who like this style of blend but are very sensitive to Perique. Even for the intrepid VaBurPer smoker, this makes an excellent daytime blend with few demands on the smoker. The moisture level is just right out of the tin with an excellent, slow burn and clean, dry ash. 

This is one of those seldom reviewed sleeper blends that gets little attention, and deserves more. 
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2015 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Pop the top of this rich tobacco and immediately you get the sense of quality and thought put into it. It even looks rich and the middle part of this squared cake has a dark chewy brownie look to it. The casing is hard to describe but it's sweet fermenting figs or raisins to me. It's at the right amount of moisture and ready to smoke like the folks at Cornell & Diehl intended. My favorite part of this blend, it's a firmly packed crumble cake yet can be pinched apart with medium effort. Once you do that it's very easy to pack, light and smoke. Overall this a a rich spicy tobacco due to the Turkish and Perique but not over spicy like in your face but a constant spicy tone none the less. The white burley and oriental slows it down and keeps it cool like they advertise. Smoke it slow and you'll get the taste of sweet VA's. This is good right now and especially with a cup of coffee in the morning, but will age wonderfully. Has a nice nicotine punch (just right) to give added flavor. I recommend this to pipers looking for a favorable tobacco with a nice little spice and nic punch to it. Interesting blend. Tasty. Cornell & Diehl you rock.
Pipe Used: Kaywoodie full bent. Kaywoodie straight dublin
PurchasedFrom: Ansteads tobacco Fayetteville NC
Age When Smoked: March 2014
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 14, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant
This blend presents in a very nicely packed crumble cake. Smokes great with no dry time needed. The cake is a bit tricky to cut, use a very sharp knife. This blend is very burley forward. This is a must try for burleyphiles like myself. Oak Alley is a very full bodied smoke with a lot of complexity and nuance. The core flavors present as rich notes of chocolate, coffee, roasted nuts, hay, toast, and citrus. With a wonderful addition of a peppery spice through the nose and on the finish. The tin notes a peak age of 10 to 15 years, however it is great now. I really appreciate the out side of the box approach to the burly based blending that Oak Alley provides.
Pipe Used: MM Freehand
Age When Smoked: New Tin
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 09, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Oak alley is A very decent blend.when you crack the tin a very tence smell of vinegar ,citrus and spices comes out.the plug is very manageable with right drying time needed for me.while smoking the flavours are complex and several bowls are needed to get all the flavours.the main player are the virginias offering citruses ,dark fruits and bread notes.the other compoments offer sour notes,spices some plum notes and at last the katerini orientals gives you some earth and woods.the combination is very balanced between the flavours trust me!burns cool and slow leaving perfect ash with a bit moisture at the end of the bowl.the nicotine level is medium.never bit me.the room note is ok.definitelly an all day blend for every smoker.when i cracked the tin the smell reminded me a lot exhausted rooster ,while smoking though i found no similarity.
Age When Smoked: 1 year
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 20, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant
A hard to work with plug, get out your kitchen chef's knife and start slicing . An American style of tobacco that is , powerful ,and has some interest. This starts a little too tangy and Perique/Burley forward for the first 1/3 of the bowl, for me. It later smoothes out and gets more interesting with some minor Oriental support. A very satisfying smoke, that's nice after a big meal. In a style of 50/50 mix of GLP's Jackknife Plug and Temple bar.

I wouldn't go out of MY way to buy this again, but many might like it. Has a lot of C&D's Burley blending style in this one, with some earthy interest and some N punch. 2 1/2 stars now a full 3 in a year
Pipe Used: cob and maple
Age When Smoked: 1month open
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 12, 2022 Medium None Detected Full Unnoticeable
A friend of mine brought this in to the club as I had only tried this once maybe 4 or 5 years ago. The tin was dated 112320. Apparently, this is one of the cellar series where I guess they taste better with age. Well, sir, I do not have the luxury of time and found this one to be exceptionally full tasting, soft crumble cake with the usual sweet tin note from the Virginias but I also got a lot of worm dirt smell from the Perique. I guess over the past few days I have had around 5-6 bowls of this with maybe one bowl left from my pinoy sample. Full tasting with probably medium nicotine but I have built up a tolerance so others may find this more of a full nicotine blend. In other words, it did not make me dizzy or green. Enjoyed it and always have a blast trying something new.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Gift
Age When Smoked: 1 year, 8 months.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2021 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
I’m reviewing a 3 1/2 year tin. It’s a Crumble Cake nicely cut in a block. It has that sweet fig like note that some other C&D offerings have when you open the tin. After busting off a corner of the block, very little prep work remains. It’s almost in perfect condition to load in your pipe straight away. 4 or 5 sec of rubbing out and it’s g2g. Lights extremely easy. The taste off the bat is C&D burley, without a doubt. No surprises there. The first 5 min is all burley goodness, but then the spice kicks up a notch. The taste is right around a medium. Not a powerhouse. I’m 10 min into the bowl before I really detect any real Turkish tobacco notes. The spicy burley and Perique tobacco combine to push this blend into the full flavored category by the end of the bowl. Honestly.. this reminds me a lot of Big and Burley, minus the Latakia.
Age When Smoked: 3 1/2 years.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 03, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
First 15 mins: Mildly earthy, slightly sweet and sour notes are picked on the initial sips and breaths. 5 mins in, this evolves into a sweeter blend on the palate with mild tangyness and light nutty and earthy notes.

Retrohale: Mild to Medium peppery notes with some fruity sweetness. I would conclude that in the first 15 minutes Virginias were in the lead followed by Burley and Orientals & Perique playing a support role

15-30 mins: Virginias are still in the lead giving the sweet fruity and floral notes nicely intertwined with the hazelnut and mild leathery notes from the Burley. There are very little or no tangy or spicy notes suggesting the Orientals and Perique have really been added to support the blend without taking the centre stage at any point. Retrohale: Mild peperriness complemented by sweet nutty notes.

30+ mins: Burley has taken the lead... Creamy, nutty and slightly earthy leathery notes followed by some sweetness and mild sourness from the Virginias on the palate. Orientals and Perique are still in the support role. Retrohale: Mild peperriness complemented by nutty notes.

Overall: interesting blend which burns nice and cool with no harshness or tongue bite even when sipped a bit hard. Reuires only a few relights.Burns into nice white/grey ash and leaves very little to no moisture.

This blend needs to be smoked nice and slow to reveal the full spectrum.

Medium in strength and Taste

My score: 3.5/4
Pipe Used: Nova Bee Briar with 9mm Big Ben charcoal filter
Age When Smoked: 12 months +
1 person found this review helpful.
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