Cornell & Diehl Chenet's Cake

Named in honor of Pierre Chenet, the farmer credited with discovering the process that turns burley into perique in 1824, this combination of Virginia and perique, pressed into an old-fashioned crumble cake, is a perique powerhouse for those who simply can’t get enough of this “truffle of tobaccos”. Estimated peak: 10-15 years. But it's fantastic right now!


Brand Cornell & Diehl
Series Cellar Series
Blended By  
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents 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
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.46 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 35 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 17, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
The Virginias offer earth, tangy dark fruit, wood, bread, and light floral note with a little tart citrus and grass as a lead component. The earthy perique content is high, though it didn't knock me to the floor as I was expecting. It offers tanginess from the raisin, fig, plum, and date notes, with a potent spice hit that doesn't overwhelm, but always makes its presence known. It's also a little woody with hints of chocolate. The perique is a lead component, too. The nicotine content is medium. The strength is medium, and the taste is a couple of steps beyond that. The cake breaks apart very easily, and burns slow, cool and clean, with a very consistent, deeply rich flavor. Requires some relights, and leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Won't bite, and has no harsh spots, though it does sport a few rough edges. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste, and stronger room note. A well blended, balanced product that may not be an all day smoke, but if you crave perique, you'll come back to it at some point during your smoking day.

47 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a slightly above average VaPer with an ample amount of Perique. The Virginias are sweet and raisiny. The Perique, tart and figgy with notes of chocolate and plenty of spice. It's mildly moist out of the tin and can be smoked immediately if desired. Crumbles easily. Smoke is smooth and relaxing with no hint of a bite. The question is how well it will age and only time will tell us that. I'm stashing a few tins.

(A small disclaimer here: I've been smoking a lot of Kajun Kake lately and that stuff is so good that it makes any other VaPer pale in comparison. It may have caused me to undervalue this one just a bit. It may be better than I think.)
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh
34 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 11, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Strong
Cornell & Diehl - Chenet's Cake (Cellar Series).

The tin contains a big block of kake with just one small piece sat next to it. So it isn't like some krumble kake blends where the tin contains lots of kake slithers. It's easy to fill the bowl with, just a very gentle rub results in the tobacco becoming fine and shag like. The consistency of the blend makes it very easy to over pack the bowl, without realising. Make sure you load the tobacco so it's still fairly loose in the bowl otherwise you'll never establish a good burn.

The smoke: lots of Perique! Throughout a bowl the smoke's rich, deep, fruity, and spicy, but toward the end any light, citrus qualities are replaced by much heavier tasting fruit. Up to here the Virginia's a definite addition, but after halfway the quantity of flavour from it gradually abates, until the Perique completely monopolizes the smoke. Although this is a smoke that's governed by the Perique at no point to I find it seems vinegary, or acerbic. It burns steadily needing very few relights. I get no bite.

Nicotine: medium to strong. Room-note: not nice.

Chenet's Cake? A very good blend but think of it being like a very rich dessert, although you enjoy it if you had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day you'd feel sick! Recommended:

Three stars.

Pipe Used: PetersonKinsale XL12 P'Lip
Age When Smoked: Five months
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 06, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong
Nifty looking square cake of mottled and pressed tobacco. Easy to break off and smoke but I recommend a nice sharp knife, as when I simply broke off pieces, I tended to get even more perique from a blend that already focuses on perique. But once cut, it rubs very easily. Tin note is perfectly awful, smelling like old socks and spoiled food.

My sensitivity to perique is on the low side. I can usually taste it when its lightly present but it doesn't start to get too interesting for me until quite a bit is included. With this one, I learned that I have a ceiling on the level of perique, and this one went thru that ceiling with force! It started out spicy and faintly sweet, with the Virginias providing more earth than sweetness. C&D's Virginias seem to be heading in that direction, more of a burley taste than traditional virginia. I would have preferred more natural Virginia sweetness to offset the heavy perique with this one. But balance isn't this one's forte - this is for the perique-aholic, not for someone who prefers a bit of delicacy in their smoke - even their richer blends. In that sense, it seems to pass with flying colors. 3 stars for this one... 2 stars for my personal taste (and I doubt I'll ever revisit this one!) but 4 stars for appearing to meet their design goals. Try this one if you like perique on top of your perique. Stay away if you want to taste something aside from perique.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
A cake easy to slice and chop up.

A little moist from the get go but no lasting issue.

Mix up well so you don't get too much perique in a bowl. It's high enough in per anyway (maybe not as bold as OJK by C&D), and the finish is still strong. The Virginia balances the mix nicely, but not a sweet variety as in Kajun Kake. The per's pepper qualities come through now and again. Mushroomy.

Easy smoking and cool. For those who love perique ( a must here) but not quite an overdose (e.g., Exclusive).
Pipe Used: Arlington
Age When Smoked: new tin
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2020 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Update, 06-30-23: Got into a jar that's been stashed since my initial review. It won't last long! It's funkier than ever, so rich and earthy. Gotta name it a favorite!

Original review: The reviewed tin of Chenet’s Cake is from better times, Halloween, 2019. Though it’s meant to age for a decade or more, I’m glad I jumped the gun! First thought on popping the tin and sniffing the contents was: beloved, faithful hound has returned, wet, from an adventure on the bayou, bringing along a damp burlap sack of festering dark fruit, figs, dates, and savory baking spices, along with some dank chocolate. As it happens, I like the funky aspect here, just as I do in the case of the best Turkish tobacco. IMO, all the fermentation during curing and in the tin has worked a treat. The tobaccos in the tin range from light/medium red-brown to dark brown. Ribbons have rotted during their relatively short time pressed into what is now a foam-ish kake that breaks up and loads easily into a pipe. It works best for me to carefully break off a chunk and gently roll it just enough to loosely stuff my pipe. It lights easily and smokes easily, too, although it requires fairly constant, very light tamping and some gentle stirring at the end. If it’s really rubbed out the bits get rather small, to the point where they can get in the draft hole. I’ve tried several pipes before settling on my usual-for-VA/Pers small-ish pots, as these provide the strongest and tastiest smoke. Lit, the fun begins. Typical of aged perique, there’s more in the way of scents than tastes to begin with. Larger pipes seem to keep it this way. Flavors soon develop from the preferred pipes, lining up very well with the tin note(s), while the aromas are like that too, but more “aromatic”. There’s plenty of deep, earthy, bready, yeasty, dark-fruity, semi-piquant, sweet and savory red VA, which features mild vinegar, and there’s a nice dollop of the prominent, sour, long-aged Perique. A little Burley provides both the barn smell and the fragrant meadow flowers, I suppose, along with some bitterness. Generally speaking, CC is rather deep for a VA/Per. Strength the way I smoke it is halfway between medium and strong, with the nicotine trailing a little. Tastes are toward full from medium. Room note is funky, like the tin note, but a good deal more intense. Although I quite like it I’ve gotten negative feedback about my clothes and hair after smoking CC outdoors. Aftertaste is a nicely drawn out, sweeter best of the smoke.

Chenet’s Cake strikes a fine balance between complex and busy, floral and rank. It’s easier to smoke and more “forgiving” than, say, Bayou Morning Flake. I like it a lot, and I’m guessing more age will only make it better, just as its “Cellar Series” designation indicates. Probably best suited to experienced VA/Per smokers. 4 stars.
Pipe Used: small-ish briar pots preferred
Age When Smoked: tin dated 10-31-19
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 16, 2016 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
The tin said to age for ten to fifteen years. I bought 2 and opened one. I found this to be a masterpiece of flavor and smoking enjoyment. The perique was playful and not overwhelming. The Virginias were sweet and refined. I found the flavor to be a delightful mixture of nuts, dates, and figs with other flavor packed surprises. This is a fine smoke that I will certainly enjoy further.
Pipe Used: Savanelli Champagne
PurchasedFrom: Indian Tabasco Traders
Age When Smoked: Fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 09, 2015 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong
I planned to age this as suggested, but couldn't resist opening the tin when it arrived; it smelled like a pig sty. Not in a completely bad way, but that's how pungent this stuff is when fresh. After letting it mellow for several months, it was still piquant like a barnyard but with less of that pig-sty potency, and more dark chocolate, dark fruit.

The plug cut easily and burned well with moderate tending. The first third of the bowl was pepper, pepper, pepper. It opened up through the bowl, reminding me of rum raisin, and there are some occasional perfumy notes that were interesting (not sure where those came from in a VaPer). But the background was very peppery all the way through.

I can't overstate the pungency of this stuff. The smoke actually stings the eyes and goes well beyond "tickling" the throat and nasal passages; more like being stabbed with a thousand tiny a good way. (Seriously!) Solid but not overpowering nicotine level.

Wife didn't care for the room note; too cigaretty, she said. I had a front row seat and thought it smelled great.
Pipe Used: Boswell freehand
Age When Smoked: 6M
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2018 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
It took me quite a few bowls to ''get'' this blend. My first smoke was fresh from the tin and all i felt was overwhelming spice. Subsequent smokes did not really change my appreciation for this tobacco. Until after about 6 months cellaring, i giave it another go. I filled the bowl with big chunks of cake and sprinkled some dry, loose baccy on top. For the 1st third of the bowl, i still didnt like it. The virginias are rather opaque, they dont offer much fruit or tang or sweetness to offset the spice from the perique. The perique itself also doesnt translate into figgy notes but rather peperry ones, with lots of spice and a taste evoking pencil shavings. But things changed as i reached the second third. Maybe the pipe had warmed up enough to coax out some flavor from the Va, maybe the burn finally really reached those big chunks of cake, i dont know. It suddenly went from hot, acrid, spicy air to malty, earthy, rich, spicy flavours, surprisingly close to a cigar taste. It becomes complex, has a velvet texture in the mouth and comes as a relief. The nicotine starts to creep up but doesnt overwhelm, rather it seems to be a warning for the last third. The end of the smoke, sadly, goes to opaque, dry and bitter notes. I really feel as though only by mid bowl does this tobacco shine. Burn qualities are excellent though, and it doesnt bite, though it may sometimes seem like it considering the amount of spiciness. For these reasons, i cannot wholly recommend this blend. Selling a ''young'' tobacco and asking people to cellar it for years to get the most out of it seems pretty strange, like buying a NAS scotch and being told to put it in a cask and wait 10 years to truly be able to appreciate it. And having to soldier on the first third of every bowl in order to get to the really interesting part seems like a chore to me...
Pipe Used: Various cobs and bent sandblasted Lorenzetti
PurchasedFrom: Tabagie Giguère
Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 14, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I have to agree with Zombie gentleman in regards to this tobacco review and his description of the aromas of the tobacco here. Upon opening the fresh tin of Chenet’s Cake I am greeted with a 2 oz crumble cake that resembles a small brownie, and the aromas that come from the tin are that of sweet fig like or raisiny notes from the Virginias although they are much milder than those of the Perique, and there is definitely a bakers chocolate sweet smell that is produced by the Perique in my tin as well. I do not detect any citrus notes that were described in some of the other reviews, however everyone experiences the tobacco differently. The crumble cake that I received is a little on the moist side and I suspect that this is to help with the aging process as these cellar series tobaccos are intended to be aged for ten years or more before being considered at their best. Before smoking, I broke off a small portion of the cake and broke it up and set it aside so that it could dry for about an hour. Once the tobacco had dried out a bit, it packed easily into my briar and took a light with little to no fuss. I would describe the flavors of the tobacco as a medium VaPer with a bread like taste coming from the Virginias and a smoky yet slightly nutty note coming from the Perique. The Perique definitely lets you know it’s there by mouth feel as well as there is a slightly spicy tinge that can be felt on the tongue as this blend is smoked. I can only guess as to what this will be like with ten years of age on it, but we will see as I have set back a few tins of this to cellar as well. My best guess though as to what this blend will be like in ten years is that the Virginias will continue to sweeten giving more of the raisin taste rather than the bread like taste that it has now, and the Perique will begin to become much milder and smokier than it is now. Either way, I am sure that it will be as good then as it is now, and I am happy with what I have in the fresh tin. As for burn characteristics, like I said before, the blend is a bit on the moist side and due to this it has a tendency to go out, thus there were several relights involved during each smoke. Room note is rather mild and those around me did not seem to be bothered by this in the slightest, so I would label this one as tolerable. Overall, I would recommend that any lover of Cornell & Diehl VaPer blends pick up a few tins of this to put in the cellar, and you may even want to crack one open now as they are rather tasty fresh.
Pipe Used: Italian Briar
Age When Smoked: fresh from tin dated 3/14
6 people found this review helpful.
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