**Available Tuesday, 08/02/22 ** Midnight EST.
Designed to be the perfect summertime smoke, Cornell & Diehl's Small Batch Sun Bear combines top-tier Bright Virginias and tangy Reds with two distinct varietals of matured Oriental leaf. Natural casings of silver tequila and elderflower complement these tobaccos, alongside a drizzle of raw, unpasteurized honey to elevate the leaf's inherent sweetness and floral notes.
While previous iterations have featured honey from various farms, including the personal hives of C&D's head blender Jeremy Reeves, 2022's edition further augments the blend with ethically sourced wildflower and blackberry honey from a family-owned apiary in Morganton, NC — a community that Cornell & Diehl called home for over 20 years. The organic Mountain Flower honey complements Sun Bear's tobaccos, elevating their fruity and floral notes for a bright, refreshing character and a creamy rounded finish.
Despite its unique casings, Sun Bear: Mountain Flower is not an Aromatic, but a complex Virginia/Oriental flake with both top and bottom notes of mutual sweetness. It appeals to customers across the smoking spectrum without targeting an individual flavor profile, and is a rare summertime treat that every smoker can open and enjoy immediately or purchase in multiple tins to put away and age.
Brand: Cornell & Diehl
Series: Small Batch
Blended By: Cornell & Diehl
Model: Small Batch Sun Bear Mountain Flower
Tobacco Type: Orientals, Virginia
Blend Type: Virginia
Strength: 3 of 5
Room Note: Tolerable
Flavoring: Liquor, Elderflower and Blackberry Honey
Amount: 2 oz.
Nice balanced notes for first quarter to half of bowl, but to me seems to fall off after that the more it burns. Starts to actually irritate roof of my mouth and nasal after retrohaling at that stage. I’m pretty new to smoking, so don’t know if possibly doing something wrong, maybe rub out a bit more and not pack quite as much. I know I’m not getting the pipe too hot though, so that’s not it. In any case, I know it’s a good blend, but will have to play with a bit more I suppose to try to get best out of it.
Stems are good. Sooo, I debated about adding this clarification since this is only a seasonal, but in the end I thought I'd correct an opinion I had on my first review. I made mention of "stems" in the blend. Really, those are more leaf "ribs" - and the good news is I have now found a perfect use for them and don't mind finding them at all. So, no complaints on that - hence I repent for my complaint. Cheers.
After letting it rest a few months I cracked it open. Really good smell from the tin. Packed a bowl slightly loose. First burn was on point. after giving it a go for a few minutes I found nothing spectacular. The rare honey does not really come through. If you can get it try it but don't loose any sleep if you don't. Part of the mystic is that it is hard to acquire.
It's just my opinion... The aroma upon opening is exceptional, so much so that I "had" to share it with my (generally "disapproving" wife and she loved the smell - and immediately picked out the fig component to it. In short I appreciated this more in the beginning than as the tin has progressed. It is good quality in the cut, moisture, and general ability to burn well overall. I have found some rather hefty stems in it and wondered if someone was in a hurry. I did find some unexpected tongue bite a few times from the heat and I was surprised. But the greatest surprise is that to me it quickly began to lose its unique appeal, and became rather ordinary and forgettable. I'm thinking of placing it in a jar and storing it for a while, which would be a brand new endeavor for me. Funny thing is, I really "want" to like it, like I'm supposed to, but right now it won't be missed if I finish it or cellar it for a while. Before I'm through with a bowl I'm already wondering what I could be smoking next, and that's my bottom line.
This small batch blend will doubtlessly be popular with some, perhaps many, people. Unfortunately I am not among them. This blend is too light and "Virginia-forward" for my taste. That said, Sun Bear allows a whisper of honey to show through which was nice and the overall flavor was a bit toasty. Not bad at all - just not my style. I did find that it burned a bit hot and might have bitten me had I not been careful with it. Sun Bear might be worth a try for those who who dislike stronger, heavier tobaccos or it might make a nice morning pipe for some. I kept thinking that my old college roommate who was a cigarette smoker might have liked this one if I could have ever convinced him to toss-out his cigarettes and pick up a pipe.
Always a matter of personal taste but I would take a pass on this. Tasted very peppery to me.
I really like this blend, smells very inviting, taste me. Too bad it’s not available all time. My only gripe is with tobacco pipes, I got 2 cans but I could only buy 1 can per order. I did but 2 and had to pay the shipping on both. I can see putting limits on it because of tobacco glutens who think they need to buy as much as they can to cellar………. Tony B
Too bad this is a small batch blend..
I cellared mine for a few months. I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Several people say that it tastes like the 2020 blend. We’ll see. Thanks for carrying it. Steve