Cornell & Diehl Oak Alley

(3.55)
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.

Details

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

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.55 / 4
18

12

1

0

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 31 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This may be my favorite Cornell & Diehl blend. I would love to know what the leaf percentages are. Unless the Perique and Katerini are doing the heavy lifting, I suspect there is a greater percentage of VA leaf than in many of C&D's Burley-based offerings. It's a sweet and sour offering with some nice fermented fruit notes. Extremely well-balanced. I do not notice any added flavorings, but that doesn't mean there are none. I would consider it medium in flavor, and medium-full in nicotine strength and body. Presentation is a crumble cake, which is exceedingly easy to prepare and smokes very well. All my experiences with this blend have been with younger tins, but I will put a few away to experiment with in the future. This would be a good choice for those who find some of the other C&D Burley-based tobacco, such as Old Joe Krantz or Haunted Bookshop, a bit too rough or plain tasting.
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes, Tobacco Pipes
Age When Smoked: <1 Year
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Primarily a Virginia/Virginia-Perique smoker, naturally I was most intrigued by Chenet’s Cake when the Cellar Series made its debut. Oak Alley took me by surprise. It is a very complex blend that actually fills several spots in my rotation at once, as strange as that may seem. This is a cross-over blend for those who desire something “in-between” their usual Virginia/Perique, or Burley, or Virginia/Oriental blends. The base of Burleys and Red VA is expertly proportioned and balanced, with the Perique (more generous than you might imagine) and Katirini constantly evolving and weaving in and out of the spotlight. Plenty of strength to satisfy, this is a blend that can be as complex as you desire at any given moment during the smoke. If you are working/driving, you get a solid flavor that will not become dull. Once you focus on the smoke, layer after layer of flavor will reveal itself. Again, this may seem strange, but the flavors are at once subtle as well as robust, and will keep you guessing all the way down to the fluffy ash at the bottom of the bowl (did I mention how well the C & D crumble cakes burn?). Truly unique in the best way, I am obsessed with the tin I have open and have laid down quite a few to enjoy at various ages. I should also mention that at this time, the tins in stock at Smokingpipes.com are still from the original release and are already aged 6 months!
Pipe Used: Various briars
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 6 months
36 people found this review helpful.
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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
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
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.

-JimInks
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
PurchasedFrom: Tobaccopipes.com
Age When Smoked: New Tin
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Cornell & Diehl - Oak Alley (Cellar Series).

The 2 oz. tin contains a single kake, medium brown, a touch wet but not soaked, and easy to crumble; just pinch some off, and stuff it in.

The smoke: the brown Burley gives a rustic note, and is quite woody, with a tamer flavour from the white Burley, but there's also a sort of dustiness from them; this is only at the start, it soon dissipates. The Perique and Katirini are of an equal weight, giving a buttery, plummy, note, which sits atop the Burley/Virginia. The Virginia and Burley are the 'main' flavours throughout. Oak Alley gives a very good burn, which is cool and even. There's no bite whatsoever.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: boring.

Oak Alley: yes, it's well made, and a fairly pleasant smoke, but it bores me. Two stars:

Somewhat recommended.
Pipe Used: Barling Meer'
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: One month
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
I was granted a sample for about 4-5 bowls worth and REALLY enjoyed this one.. I even packed the last crumbs (maybe a quarter bowl worth of tobacco) into a pipe, because I found it to be that tasty!

An autumn-y scent comes out of the tin, the name is very aptly chosen, as it really reminds me of strolling down an alley in autumn. The scent of freshly chopped wood, old wooden doors and huts... "old-time-y"!

First off: They describe it as a VA/Burley, yet the Burley somewhat dominates for me! The Virginias on the other hand aren't really sweet, but moreso earthy and also offer a nice spiciness along with its hay-ish character! Characterstic for the C&D burleys, they offer their rich earthy aroma, with some nice nutty undertone lurking. Dry, spicy, warm!

The Oriental is what makes this really interesting! At first I thought there's some dark fired leaf in it.. but after reading other reviewers I'm quite sure it's the Oriental that contributes this distinct sharp-smoky aroma, that I really appreciate in this blend. The perique is discreetly added, just a bare hint of it to be perceived for me, yet the Katerini Turkish/Oriental is quite intense and genuine in its aroma. Less floral and ethereal, moreso sharp, smoky and spicy!

Stout in both nicotine and mouth-feel, but not overly so! A great smoke after dinner, in the evenings, or when strolling down an Oak Alley 😉 I'll definetly buy a few tins of this and the update my review, when I've smoke through a tin or two, but my provisional rating is: 4-stars! Great, unique smoke!

|| Personal rating: 4-stars | Attempt of an 'obective rating' : 4-stars ||
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 17, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
I didn't think Chenet's Cake could be beat but Oak Alley may be the star of cellar series. I currently rate it at 4 stars and it will definitely improve with age. This is a complex, Burley forward blend. The nutty/bready brown Burley dominates and has a little sharp white Burley to go with it. The red Virginia is sugary and earthy with spicy Perique in a moderate dose. The Katerini also adds a little spice and wood. All these components are very well married and balanced. The tobaccos combine with flavors of coffee, chocolate, earth and some fruit notes. Delicious!
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 15, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Oak Alley is an absolutely wonderful blend in the cellar series by Cornell and Diehl, and it has quickly become my second favorite in the series only taking a back seat to Joie De Vivre. This blend is absolutely loaded with flavors that seem to interchange as one smokes the bowl further down. Popping the lid off of a fresh tin dated 3/14, I am greeted with the wonderfully sweet smell of the Virginias and a nice rich chocolaty smell from the Perique and a nuttiness from the Burleys. In the tin is a nice compact 2 oz cake of tobacco that resembles a small brownie. It is obvious while looking at the cake, that the tobacco is of high quality and due to the presentation, there will be no twiggy or woody bits mixed in the tobacco. The tin note is amazing, with aromas of sweet grassy or hay like notes coming from the Virginias, which balance well with the nuttiness that I detect from the Burley. The Turkish provides a light tea like aroma to the mixture, and the Perique provides an almost smoky or chocolate like aroma. The moisture level of this particular tin is much drier than any of the other tobaccos that I have smoked from the cellar series, however, it is still on the damp side, and will require a short drying time before being smoked fresh out of the tin. I imagine that this moisture level is intentional, as the tobaccos in this series are intended to be aged, and at their best in ten to fifteen years. In order to help with the drying process, I took my cake and cut thin strips off of one end and then rubbed this out into a thin ribbon, setting it aside for thirty minutes to dry. After allowing the tobacco to set out for a spell, I packed the pipe easily enough with the thin ribbons, and lit the pipe. The first flavors that I detect are those from the Virginias, they are slightly sweet and then they become bread like, but they are shortly followed by the smoky and somewhat spicy Perique. As for the Burley, there seems to be a robust nuttiness that constantly shifts from the back of the flavor profiles to the front and then back again sometimes it seems to steal the show. The Turkish provides a tangy or slightly sour quality that is detectable throughout the entire smoke, but it definitely takes a back seat to the Burley and Virginias in this blend. This definitely makes for an interesting smoke due to the flavors constantly changing place and swapping roles. As for burn characteristics, I did not have to tend to this blend at all during my smoke which made for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. When finished, the tobacco burned down to a fine white powdery ash which made cleaning the pipe rather simple, only requiring that I run a pipe cleaner through the stem and around the inside of the bowl to remove any remaining moisture. As for the room note, those around me made mention that the tobacco smelled like a cigar, so I take that to mean that it is tolerable to strong, and one may want to smoke this blend outside or while alone as not to offend those that don’t tolerate the smell of smoke. Overall, I have been very satisfied with Oak Alley, and can only imagine what it will become with ten years or more of age. With that in mind, I purchased several tins so that I could smoke a few tins now, and cellar several, comparing my notes later on down the road. I would recommend this blend to anyone who enjoys a good Virginia and nutty Burley blend.
Pipe Used: Italian Briar
PurchasedFrom: PipesandCigars.com
Age When Smoked: fresh from tin and tins aged two years
7 people found this review helpful.
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