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C&D Sunset Harbor Flake (Warning: Lengthy)

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kaiser83

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I decided that since our good buddy KV is out of here soon I should pop open something special to smoke this evening. It just so happens I had a tin on Cornell & Diehl's Sunset Harbor Flake from 2006 that has been busting at the seems begging to be opened. Away with that pesky plastic lid and up with the tab and man was there a major "woosh" coming out of that tin along with quite a pungent smell. Now according to the description on tobaccoreviews.com this blend is:
For those who love the sea few things in life are more satisfying after a long day on the salt than dropping anchor in a quiet harbor and enjoying a beautiful sunset. C&D invites you to enhance the experience with a bowl of Sunset Harbor Flake, a classic Balkan style blend made with the finest Izmir Oriental to add a touch of spice to the end of a perfect day.
Consisting of:
Latakia
Perique
Oriental
Turkish

Looking at the reviews it looks as though this one should have a "tolerable" room note and be about a 3/4 Stars....eh heck here's the darn link, look for yourselves http://tobaccoreviews.com/blend_detail.cfm?ALPHA=S&TID=2768

Okay so inside the tin was this little wrapped up pouch sealed with scotch tape which is darn cool (okay so it's my first time seeing one like this). The smell is really rather strong this soon after the tin opening but I assume it will peter off here soon. As I opened the pouch I was greeted with a few little crumbles that wanted to fall on out and into the tin. Opening the pouch all the way it is definitely a flake (some in the reviews called it a broken flake although it just looks like a normal flake for the most part to me), but there is one rather large piece in it that is just a chunk normal length and width but about 1/3 of an inch thick. That pungent aroma has already gotten quite a bit more mild and the couple flakes I pulled out seem just about ready to be smoked. Seeing as my Peterson Irish Made Army shape 69 has been giving me superb smokes lately I am going to load it up and give her a go early on today as well as later this evening. I will be writing this review based on this first smoke and if I notice anything different this evening I will post it as a response.

Ooh buddy, trying to get it ready for the pipe was an experience. No folding and stuffing available. I don't know if it is due to the age or not, but it just sort of crumbles away in your hands as you pick it up, so this one is definitely getting about a half rub before loading. Not even really a rub, more I picked it up in my fingers a few times and dropped it back down and it just crumbled apart. Sitting outside it is slightly breezy and in the low to mid 70's right now. Oh man, the initial light was easy on this blend after the 15 or so minutes I gave the two flakes to dry a little. It's not a white smoke like Gandalf might have, more of a very light grey. That initial light was bountiful in flavor and I am immediately taken to thoughts of sitting on the banks of the Mississippi watching the tip of my rod for a catfish nibble. After just a few minutes the latakia has mellowed out and the spiciness of the perique and orientals have started to hit my tongue, but not cause any real bite. On TR pipesutd mentioned Izmir in here which is mostly used for cigarettes (tobacco growing book was informative). KV woke up from his nap and came out and can smell a slight scent of cigarette/cigar to the blend. The breeze sort of whipped around just now and let me inhale some of my smoke back into my nose and it definitely has that hand-rolled cigarette smell, but not the old Phillip Morris crap smell.

About a third of the way into the bowl it still has that spice, but has mellowed out quite a bit. If I am remembering right that should be the Turkish tobaccos coming more into play to mellow this blend out. The latakia is there but ever so subtle and more outweighed by the perique which is unfortunate. With the spiciness it isn't so much a catfishing blend as more something that would keep you attentive while casting for Northern Pike or Walleye (because let's face it trolling is just plain boring).

:idea: :study: Okay so I was interested in the actual definition of Balkan blends and did some reading http://pipesmagazine.com/python/pipe-news/the-mystery-of-balkan-blends/ Apparently latakia is supposed to be the dominating force in those blends but in this blend that is most assuredly not the case in my opinion. Seeing as Russ, Greg, and the late Mr. Tarler only mostly agreed but still had some discrepancies (my take on the reading) I am still marginally left at a loss for the true definition of a "Balkan blend" (I have to agree with Mr. Tate that "the World May Never Know"). :scratch: :?:

Okay so disclaimer here..."I am a NOOB now, I will be a NOOB tomorrow, and I will be a NOOB to the world of tobacco when I reach brother Monbla's ancestral age of 107 :lol: "

Okay so I am now 4/5 of the way through the bowl and the spiciness is still there, but much more pleasant and tolerable the second half of the bowl than it was the first. If you make it through the first half of the bowl you will not be disappointed by the second half, and now I can retract my statement about it not being a good evening smoke, because the flavor now would be great to end your night with. Actually if you were smoking other blends during the day and wanted to really taste them I would suggest smoking this very last for the day because I think this flavor will last long beyond a couple brushings of the teeth. :rabbit:

Okay the bowl is gone now, smoked down to a fine white ash off the initial light :cheers: I think I will grab 2 more tins, one to smoke fresh and one to try again in ten years, but beyond that it isn't going to be a staple in my cellar by any means...no offense to C&D but they have definitely done better blends. Definitely a way better blend than C&D Evening Rise (the only blend I will NEVER smoke again). It is worth a try to those who enjoy their Orientals (Monbla I think you would probably dig this blend).

Yeah it's lengthy and boring so now feel free to post a response consisting of only :sleep: 's
 

Simple Man

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Not boring at all, that was a good review. I think I'll pass on Sunset Harbor... it doesn't sound like anything close to what I like. Is Monbla really 107??? :shock: :lol!:
 

kaiser83

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Simple Man":29gxgbzh said:
Not boring at all, that was a good review. I think I'll pass on Sunset Harbor... it doesn't sound like anything close to what I like. Is Monbla really 107??? :shock: :lol!:
Yeah it isn't particularly my norm either, but a decent change of pace, and I like to try a bit of everything to get my wits about me.
As far as Monbla's age....that is up for debate. He will probably say no but uh....his "wisdom" would dictate differently :lol: Yeah that's what I'm going with on that lol.
 

monbla256

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Nice review Kiaser. This being the age of the net, all definitions have changed so I'd guess it could be called a Balkan, especially if that's what the blender want's to call it :p None of the TRADITIONAL "Balkans" that I have smoked over the years had Perique in them but this is the 21st century where ANYTHING is possible :p If you want to try a "traditional" Balkan with just the base Va leaf, Latakia and copius amounts of "Oriental" leaf ala the much vaunted 759, get yourself a tin of McC's Oriental #14 or some of Peretii's Royal Blend!! :cheers: Nonetheless, your reveiw makes this blend sound like many would find it "right up their alley" so to speak! :p
BTW, I'll be celebrating my 110th b'day this next year :twisted: :twisted:
 

kaiser83

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Hilarious Monbla, we certainly have some characters around here that are just too much fun. I actually have a tin of Oriental #14 that I have yet to open. I had to pop this tin for KV, but am waiting on popping anything else because I wiant to finish off what I have open before I start catching birds.
 

monbla256

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kaiser83":ljj7drxy said:
Hilarious Monbla, we certainly have some characters around here that are just too much fun. I actually have a tin of Oriental #14 that I have yet to open. I had to pop this tin for KV, but am waiting on popping anything else because I wiant to finish off what I have open before I start catching birds.
Sounds like some sound thinking ! Finish up the C&D THEN open the 14 and you can compare a "taditional" Balakn to this "new" style :p THEn you need to get an order off to te boys in Beantown for some Royal Blend :twisted: :twisted:
 

kaiser83

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Lol will do brother, will just have to wait until after I get home. I will definitely follow your advice given by YEARS of experience :lol: Thanks Monbla.
 

Kyle Weiss

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Not a bad review. Kaiser, as a writer, always work up a draft-in-progress to forgo any repetition--but that's being picky. :lol:

C&D has this habit if having almost a "crumble cake" in some mixtures & blends, and it falls apart exactly as you say. I think they take cut tobacco and repress the deal, and you have this chunky stuff to deal with. I like it, to be honest, provided the product is to my liking. I'd call it "easy flake" if anything, because it smokes similar to it, but you can always rub it out for a bit of a finer texture.

Old Man Blabla, shakin' his cane at the Internets again. "759" is becoming synonymous with "40 YEARS" now... :lol!:

8)
 

kaiser83

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What...work a draft. My English teacher told people that same line of crud before she passed me....having never written a draft so there. Besides drafts are :sleep: . I threw out a disclaimer and just wrote as I smoked.

Wait wait....thank you Kyle for your honest response it is greatly appreciated....jerk. :lol!:
 

ScurvyDog

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Good stuff. I have a very special pipe dedicated specifically for this blend. I havent had any in several weeks, I will have to open my new tin tonight.
 

kaiser83

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ScurvyDog":4xeqz5mo said:
Good stuff. I have a very special pipe dedicated specifically for this blend. I havent had any in several weeks, I will have to open my new tin tonight.
Have you had any of this blend aged? If so what are your thoughts on new vs. aged?
 
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