Two Friends Valle Crucis

A blend of fine stoved Virginia and Oriental tobaccos, rich Cyprian Latakia, black toasted cavendish and just a pinch of perique. The mixture is finished with a delicate top note of ginger, perfectly complimenting the complex flavors and wonderful aroma of the natural tobaccos. A subtle sweetness and gentle spice is present from first light to last puff, and a clean, dry ash demonstrates the tobaccos' purity.


Brand Two Friends
Blended By Craig Tarler & Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Ginger
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.73 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 33 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2024 Mild Medium Mild Tolerable


Gentle English with Virginias leading the way. The Latakia is very light. The perique is barely noticeable. The Oriental Leaf is pretty much hidden under the ginger topping.
It is not a bad-smelling tobacco.. but it is not my style.


The good news is that the ginger topping almost goes away after the third of the bowl. Once the topping is weak, we do get to experience the underlying tobaccos. The sweet tartness of the Virginias. The molasses of the black cavendish. Smokey campfire of the Latakia. Little stewed fruit and pepper of the perique. And yes ... even tiny amounts of the spicy floral notes from the oriental. But the topping is always there... and it is not that pleasant.


Some drying time was needed. Took to flame well. Hard to keep lit once down to the last third. It did not bite or go acrid even when pushed.


It is a decent all-day aromatic that will appeal to people who want to dabble with Latakia. I really dislike the ginger topping.
In my opinion, it is not as good as Crosseyed Cricket or Eastfarthing.

[T][W][O] [S][T][A][R][S]

Pipe Used: Savinelli 101
PurchasedFrom: smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 20, 2015 Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Virginia is grassy with a few earth, bread and wood notes, some tangy dark fruit along with tart and tangy citrus, providing a base for the other tobaccos. The black cavendish kind of tame, but tries to round out some rough edges with a slight sugar note in the background. The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, earthy, musty, woodsy sweet and is evident in every puff, though it never takes control. The Oriental/Turkish is woody,earthy, floral, vegetative, lightly spicy with a sour note or two; a minor player, as is the spicy, raisiny, plumy, earthy, woody perique, though I seem to notice the latter more after the half way point. The ginger topping is tangy, spicy, and at times unpleasantly dominant. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the mild mark. Won't bite or get harsh, but it does have a few rough edges. Burns fairly cool at a moderate pace with a mostly consistent flavor. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a slightly sour and bitter, lightly lingering after taste, and a decent room note. Not an all day smoke.

9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2015 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This one is my current all day smoke. I was looking for an "English Aromatic" and found a true gem. I like everything about it. The subtleness of the ginger topping only enhances the nuances of the tobaccos. The latakia is the condiment to the other leaves. It's balance is impeccable, while the complexity is extraordinary. I've already been stocking up the cellar, as I can predict nothing but greatness after it has been aged a few years.
Pipe Used: All of them
Age When Smoked: 3 mos
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
There are some who find the ginger element of this fine tobacco as a bit "off-putting" but it appears to me to be so delicately flavored that it adds to the enjoyment. The Cavendish component seems to me to be unsweetened and adds a "roundness" to the blend, while the Virginias add a subtle sweetness that develops slightly as the bowl is consumed. The main flavor and aroma one gets from Valle Crucis is the Cyprian Latakia and the Orientals add a bit of pungency.

I find myself returning to this blend again and again as VC offers more than just the typical Lat-Bomb experience. Subtly sweet, and very satisfying in my opinion. DO NOT confuse this with your typical aromatic tobacco - VC is FAR FROM any of the lower quality tobaccos masked with cloying sauces and soups. If you like Latakia, there is enough here for you, unless you are ready for the Betty Ford Clinic for the Latakia addicted...
Pipe Used: Mostly Bulldogs and a Thuner Freehand
PurchasedFrom: Gift from Bear Graves
Age When Smoked: 12 years
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 01, 2009 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable
Two Friends' Valle Crucis is, at least technically, an aromatic. It is most probably named for Valle Crucis, NC, 32 miles north of the tobacconists in Morganton, NC . (Whether the town is, in turn, named for the famous riuns of a Welsh abbey is another matter.) In any event, Valle Crucis, the tobacco, is not soaked with polysyllabic organic compounds from a chemist's flask to simulate, when burned, an aroma acceptable to non-smokers. Rather, it is flavored, so we are told, by ginger; and it compliments this blend very well. I therefore recommend it even to those smokers who avoid, de rigueur, blends that contain non-tobacco ingredients. There are no "drug store aromatic" properties or problems.

This is a spicy sweet, rich tasting tobacco with a balanced mosaic of mid-tone, musty, and dark tobacco flavors. It might be considered a light bodied Scottish blend, though the Cavendish and/or ginger might rule out that classification. By the tin description at least five component tobaccos and the ginger top-note all seem to work in perfect harmony throughout the smoke. In my experience this is one of the few blends that use Latakia and Perique as flavor adjustments rather than featured components; and they work in that role very well.

I can scarcely comprehend how much insight, discernment and skill was involved in selecting and balancing so many ingredients to achieve the resultant effect. Whether by genius or serendipity, this is a masterful blending accomplishment. Tarler and Pease are to be commended.

This blend's apparent lack of popularity, at least as judged by the small number of contributions to these reviews, is a real puzzlement. It may not be an all day smoke, or even an every day smoke; but it is sure to please most palates, and should be handy for occasional refreshment.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2015 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have had an 8 oz tin of this for a couple of years, purchased on sale, and go in and out of smoking it, keeping it humidified with a metal pouch button.

The tin aroma is an intriguing mix of sweet, smoky and a hint of tart fruit. The appearance is an even mix of bright, brown, and dark evenly cut pieces. Packs nicely, especially in a medium large Aldo Velani.

Lights easily and stays lit, producing a fluffy gray ash Smokes cool with a room aroma that has a little earthy funk to it, I suppose owing to the orientals and ginger, which compliment each other well. The ginger is not obvious, and maybe that's in part owing to the age of this tin. The Latakia is also not obtrusive, more a condiment. The flavor is rich and sweet with no bite if not pushed, becoming a bit simpler halfway down the bowl where the Cavendish and Perique take hold. Plumes of rich smoke.

I would classify this as an updated Scottish. A good all day blend and killer with a big cup of French roast coffee
Pipe Used: Aldo Velani, rusticated chimney, bent
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: 2 years?
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 16, 2006 Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I was reluctant to try this blend for several reasons. Smokeasaurus' comment "This is very akin to Esoterica's "And So To Bed" in flavor except for the ginger spicyness..." really put me off. Out of the tin, And So To Bed, just doesn't cut it for me. (Aged a few years is another matter.) The thedstnguishdgntlmn calls this an aromatic.With very few exceptions, I don't like blends with added flavors, and especially those that are aromatics.

The fact it was blended by G L Pease and Craig Tarler compelled me to give it whirl. If you like what these two do with other blends, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try. I'm not sure if this is cased with Chinese ginger liquer or topped with ground ginger. Whatever is done, is done with subtlety. This is a very flavorful blend that I can enjoy from time to time. Too much is like too much of a favorite dessert. A most distinguished blend unlike anything else I've tried.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2017 Strong Extra Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming
Mom do you remember last month when Mean Willy took my lunch money for the last time? How I took a dirty sock and put a grapefruit in it then hit with over and over again? Yes Mike I do why do you ask? Well I just found the sock and moldy stinky grapefruit under my bed wrapped inside a towel with dirty underwear. What the heck does that have to do with pipe tobacco you may ask- Well I will tell you! That is the smell that greeted ASSAULTED my nose when I opened up a zippy bag of this awful tobacco that a friend wanted me to try. The grapefruit story never happened but my daughter did come down stairs from my bedroom where she was doing homework and said there is something smelling dead in your room dad and it burns my nose!After that I just chucked the bag in the trash can outside. Now taste wise this tobacco tastes just as it smells and did NOT go away until I brushed my teeth used mouth wash. It is very acidic and filled my whole mouth with this acrid smoke that made me shudder as soon as flame touched tobacco. Not only did my mouth feel like it was on fire the burning started to go down my throat! I really can't tell you how anyone actually came up with this blend except maybe on a dare or a few guys had WAY too much to drink before work and created this monster and to hide it they actually put it tins with labels before the boss found out. The thing I believe this tobacco is good for is giving it to the new guy at the pipe club who is a real blowhard and tell him he isn't allowed back to the club until he smokes the whole tin..with video proof of him smoking it..that will stop that guy from ever coming back.

I tried to be a bit funny with my comments on this blend because the joke was on me when I tried smoking this horror story of pipe tobacco.
Pipe Used: Cheap chinese cobs
PurchasedFrom: gift from friend
Age When Smoked: fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2006 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong
Another Cornell & Diehl product I got a chance to sample at the Chicago P & T, and I'm so glad I did. This is a very refreshing change of pace. Interesting name, and the reason for it is explained by Cap'n Dan below. The pouch aroma reminds me of something I've tried way back when, though I can't put my finger on what it was. I really taste the Virginias, though the latakia is more for the nose than the tongue. I have trouble picking out perique. Unless someone told me it was there, I don't detect it. The ginger must add that musty, teasing quality to it. It certainly rounds the flavor out nicely. Room note tends to be a bit stinky, but it dissapates very quickly. At first sight, the whole look of the tobaccos exude a purety akin to all of Pease's blends. As you proceed down the bowl, the experience changes from sweetness to spice to just the right hint of tangy mellowness. This is an American J.F.Germain ala King Charles, with that briny, peaty quality. Unique and one I'd like to return to every now and again. These are two friends who know what they're doing.

Three and half of five stars
september 2006

I have been storing a tin of this for awhile and just opened it now that the weather is a bit cooler. Still two great friends making a superior product. A wonderful late summer/autumnal blend with lots of spicyness and probably the finest figgy/pruney perique you'll ever enjoy - and i'm not even a perique lover. A beautiful, speckled tobacco the way I remember Dunhill's Elizabethan or Aperitif to be prior to their EU outsourcing. The ginger adds the crowning finish to pure, unadulterated tobacco. Still one of my favorite English crossovers that is deserving of the true tobacco lover's attention.

Four and a half of five stars
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2004 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
Having enjoyed the efforts of both Craig Tarler and Gregory Pease individually, I knew I had to try the Two Friends offerings.

The first Pease Influence I noted was the name. ?Valle Crucis? translates to ?Valley of the Cross?. Valle Crucis Abbey is in North East Wales, near Llangollen. The abbey was founded in a remote location particularly suitable for the Cistercian order. Valle Crucis was founded in 1201 but some rebuilding of the church was necessary after a mid 13th century fire. The Abbey is in a very picturesque setting. The kind of place where you could really lose yourself in your surroundings and your pipe. No wonder the monks chose it.

The tobacco is attractive, with a nicely balanced contrast in color. The aroma is sweet with an underlying scent of the Latakia. It packed well, and lit easily.

The ginger topnote is present throughout the smoke, but never overpowering. It plays well with the Latakia and Oreintal with the Virginia adding that hint of sweetness. The real treat though is when the ginger combines with the hint of Perique to create a taste that just can?t be adequately described.

Plenty of flavor without being strong, and more than its share of complexity make this a very pleasant smoke. Hats off to Greg and Craig. I will be enjoying the fruits of their labors for some time to come.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2020 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
t’s a nice English blend with not a lot of latakia. The ginger topping is light and only adds a bit of sweetness. It is not chemical tasting topping and makes for a delightful smoke. If you smoke it slow flavors of ginger and occasional coffee and chocolate emerge. If you don't like heavy aromatics but want to try something with a topping, I suggest you give this a try.
Pipe Used: Briars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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