A blend of fine red and bright Virginia's balanced by Basma leaf from 2014 and Izmir Orientals from 2013, Sun Bear commends itself with subtle notes of South Carolina garden-grown honey from the personal beehives of Jeremy Reeves, head blender of Cornell & Diehl.
The natural honey complements the subtle drizzling of silver tequila and Elderflower for a natural, refined tasting tobacco with an underlying, swashbuckling boldness. Sun Bear is a unique experience for the connoisseur who appreciates a dance of flavor components dominated by quality Virginias.
Brand: Cornell & Diehl
Series: Small Batch
Blended By: Cornell & Diehl
Model: Small Batch Sun Bear 2020
Tobacco Type: Orientals, Virginia
Blend Type: Virginia
Strength: 3 of 5
Room Note: Tolerable
Amount: 2 oz.
About a month ago Cornell & Diehl released Sun Bear as a Small Batch offering. Initially, I was intrigued by the inclusion of Jeremy Reeves' own bee's honey as a flavoring. To keep bees is a labor of love. To use their honey in tobacco may just border on eccentric dedication to the craft. More power to you Mr. Reeves if you keep producing the likes of Sun Bear. I am a fan of Virginia/Oriental blends and no stranger to honey-flavored aromatics, but I had never thought to marry the two. Sun Bear shows just what a great combination this produces. This flake has a nice mottled color and Goldilocks moisture level. The tin has an aroma that reminds me of Fig Newtons and this carries over into the room note as well. The flavor is the best part, full of Virginia fruity goodness with a mild figgy flavor. And, it's supposedly made from Bright VA, not Reds? The orientals are SO there and yet SO tame. Perfection. They come across similar to an ultra-mild Lakeland but are quite sweet at the same time. So easy to smoke, I kept waiting for the Orientals to blanket the flavor, but they just stayed mellow and let the Virginias lead the way. A bit old fashioned tasting in my book, like that special something in a homemade pie that you'll never get from store-bought. Sun Bear captures that “something” in a big way. I wanted to take it all in before writing a review and now I see it's sold out, but if it comes around again you should definitely try some. As is always the case, I wish I had bought more.
As a long-time traditional pipe tobacco smoker, I never thought I would be recommending a flavored blend. This blend is simply exquisite. Perhaps the quality tobaccos used in the blend makes it so. In any event, the flavoring touches are just right and not only do not mask a great tobacco flavor but add subtle notes that actually enhance it. Perfect for the morning pipe.
I find that I'm probably addicted to smelling the tin because I love the sweet aroma this has. I can pick up the honey and a bit of a floral aroma in the tin. It smokes nice, I prefer this over the Sansepreco small batch. I hope they do make another batch someday.
Reminds me of some of the best McClellands blends.
Very Morrish. Smooth, with a sweet aroma. Everyday smoke.
I'm not much on doing reviews. Sometimes I like tobaccos and other times it seems just like another day at the office. I think I have to tell a bit about my pipe evolution. I used to smoke a few times a week. Now it's several bowls every day. Like most, I like Va Pars overall. But, it's a new liking. I like Latakia, but most blends are just another in the murky waters. I miss McClelland. Cornell & Diehl has done a good job of marketing...what we have hoped to be a substitute. I've bought in. Most of the "red" Virginias I've liked, but maybe some age will make me like them. I was skeptical about another Cornell& Diehl small batch, but the marketing was there...Sun Bear is pleasantly different It is toned down and somewhat sweet. While packing the richness of the Virginias, I've grown to love. It's been a while, but this reminds me of McClelland 221B Honeydew. The additives "toppings" seem natural and desirable, as described on the tin. There is not a chemical taste that you get from "flavored" tobacco. I bought three tins and have about finished the first one. I'd panned to age a few years, but I may not wait. Sun Bear is nostalgic, for me. It reminds me of the pleasures I had when I began to understand and enjoy pipe smoking. Get Some.
Smoked one bowl so far, I believe it might be a perfect blend especially if you are into VA/Oriental blends. The topping is very minimal and after a few Puffs is only present on retro. I hope they bring it back as a main blend and offer it in pounds because I wish I had a lot more!
This is a good blend, however, it's really nothing special. It burns very hot, no matter how slow you sip the pipe. I'm kinda glad it's not a regular product. It's good but not amazing by any.
Nice loose flakes and perfect moisture level straight from the tin. The high-quality Virginia's are well complimented by Orientals and the honey adds just a bit of sweetness. I am glad that I grabbed a few cans, one for now and several more to age as I expect it to age well. All in all a lovely smoke.
Pretty good little smoke here. The very light flavoring added to sweeten it up a bit. I didn’t detect any of the tequila, however. I wish I would have bought a few more tins before they sold out.