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Combining equal parts stoved and unstoved red Virginias from 2018 with a generous portion of matured, St. James perique from 2002, Carolina Red Flake with Perique is a powerhouse of flavor. Layered with satisfying complexity, it offers an enticing melange of flavors and aromas, balancing pepper and piquancy with undertones of port wine, stone fruits, and citrus. The maturity of the perique lends an unparalleled richness and nuance to the mixture, complementing bright notes with figgy sweetness, breadiness with earthy spice. While incredibly complex right out of the tin, it's a blend that will increase in complexity and continue to improve with age.

Notes: "We created Carolina Red Flake as a tribute to the Old Belt, to the traditional harvesting and processing of Carolina tobacco straight from Carolina soil. Building on that tradition, we now introduce Carolina Red Flake with Perique, elevating equal measures of stoved and unstoved red Virginias from 2018 with a generous portion of genuine, 18-year old St. James perique. The resulting flavor balances pepper and spice with undertones of port wine, stone fruits, and citrus. It's rich, deep, and complex. It's how a Virginia/Perique flake should be." - Jeremy Reeves, Head Blender at Cornell & Diehl

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByJeremy Reeves
Manufactured ByCornell & Diehl
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
ContentsPerique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging2 ounce tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium, Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
3.5
13 reviews
Reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2647)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The stoved and unstoved 2018 red Virginias provide a fair amount of fermented tangy ripe dark and dried fruit, a splash of tart and tangy citrus, along with a little stewed dark fruit and light tart lemon. Other Virginia aspects include a lot of earth and wood, light grass, sugar, bread, and floralness with a touch of spice, wine, smoke, vinegar, and acidic sour notes. They are the lead components. The fermented eighteen year old perique offers a lot of earth, wood, moderate spiciness, and plenty of tangy stewed fruit as an important supporting player. The stewed fruit characteristics include a burst of plums, some dates and figs, and raisins, along with a few grains of sugar. The perique is a supporting player, though here and there, its effect lightly rises and recedes. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste is a slot past that, falling short of the medium mark. The nic-hit is a rung behind the strength level. There’s no chance of bite or harshness no matter how much you push it. It barely has any rough edges; fewer than one would normally expect from red Virginias. The easily broken apart flakes are reasonably moist, and need no dry time. Well balanced and nuanced, it burns cool, clean, and a little slow with a mostly consistent, rich, tangy, lightly tart, fruity sweet and mildly spicy, slightly savory and floral flavor from start to finish. It is a little smoother than the original Carolina Red Flake, and less stronger than XX Dark Flake. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires some relights. It has a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste, and the fruity room note is a tad stronger. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and repeatable for the less experienced. Three and a half stars out of four.

-JimInks

14 people found this review helpful.

America Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
America Man (2)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

I saw that my local B&M had tins of the new Carolina Red Flake with the 18 year old perique and quickly called them to confirm. I am a big fan of the original Carolina Red Flake from 2015, so I had to try this. I drove over to the B&M and picked up one tin for myself and one for my friend at $25 each, along with two packs of tapered pipe cleaners. The price did not bother me, because I like supporting local small businesses in a time like this, especially tobacco shops. Because of this virus fiasco I had to wait outside their front door for them to bring the tins out. No problem at all, and great service.

Today was supposed to have rain, but instead brought partly cloudy skies, with a rare deep blue sky since the traffic (pollution) in Los Angeles County has been nonexistent with the shutdown. It was quite a sight to see such a hue of blue, along with some warm sunshine. This did make for some great Virginia weather, which was perfect as I originally planned on smoking Bothy Flake all week.

Upon opening the tin I saw neatly organized dark flakes, with a tin note of tea and raisins. The smell reminded me of a tea shop in San Francisco. Some sort of hippy, heavily incense-laden tea shop (if those even still exist in the San Francisco I once knew more than a decade ago). The tea smell was one of authentic Chinese tea, perhaps with jasmine floral-like characteristics. If you think of tea when smelling this tobacco, you will smell tea. If you think of raisins, you will smell raisins. It was about a 50/50 split.

I got the tobacco to a perfect moisture level: Dry yet with good spring still left in the tobacco when squeezed. I loaded up one of my old Barling EXEXELs, and as the sun went down I stepped outside in my Patagonia fleece sweater.

Once lit, I knew that this was going to be a smooth, quality smoke. The taste had not yet settled, but I could tell that there was quality tobacco present. Immediately I was reminded of a Vegas casino, in a good way. Memories of the West Coast Pipe Show, gambling, and Vegas Golden Knights games. Now this is likely because I have smoked a lot of 2015 Carolina Red Flake while gambling in Vegas. It brings back good memories, and this tobacco shared that quality, although it was from a different crop. This is what I imagine Vegas casinos smelled like in the 50s and 60s - with good cigars and lit pipes. The second thing I noticed was a bready taste. I did not detect bread on the tin note, but did when smoking. There were also subtle notes of chocolate which were even further back than the bread.

The blend is smooth, but spicy. The perique is definitely there and in-your-face. If you are not a fan of perique, this will not be your blend. I am not even sure if I am a fan of perique, because at times this blend made me want to go home to my 2015 Carolina Red Flake. However, the perique is high quality and well aged. You can taste the quality and beauty of soft, aged, smooth tobacco. It is both smooth yet spicy. A strange interplay of extremes.

I then paused my smoke to talk to a neighbor that walked by. This talk lasted maybe five to seven minutes. Now, after this conversation was where the tobacco showed its potential. When re-lit, the tobacco took on a sweeter flavor, and the hints of chocolate were accentuated. The tobacco showed its aging potential here, because the sweetness will only be increased with time.

The blend stays lit perfectly with a normal cadence, and burns at a slower rate. In regards to this, I never listen to advice on cadence. If I am enjoying a tobacco at a slow rate, then I will smoke it at a slow rate. But some tobaccos do well with a fairly fast pace. With the original 2015 Carolina Red Flake I load up my pipe, stick it in my mouth, and puff away using a combination of normal puffing and the breath method. Contrary to what many will tell you, I like Carolina Red Flake when smoked at a faster, hard puffing pace. Not a chimney pace, but faster than what many will say you should smoke a Virginia blend at. I do not sip that blend. With Carolina Red Flake w/ Perique, I found that it needs a slower cadence. Let it hit your tongue and taste the interplay of flavors.

Although I am still deciding how I like the tastes this tobacco gives off, the room note on it is great. It gives off a true, vintage tobacco smell. When intentionally smelled it stings your nose. This is likely from the perique. I would rate the strength on this tobacco a high medium. I usually smoke standing up, and the nicotine hit me hard. I had to stop about 70% of the way through, whereas I smoke other blends in this bowl all the way through. The tobacco left a jasmine tea aftertaste in my mouth.

All-in-all, I have mixed feelings about this blend. I need to give it a second chance, but if I am still not feeling it I will likely jar it up and cellar it. The main thing here is whether I like the amount of perique or not. I like Va/Per blends, but this particular blend is an undecided for me as it seems to be more spicy than other blends in its class. I also have a hunch that the Virginias need some time to age to reduce their slightly rough edges. I feel this way about the XX Flake series as well. There is an absolutely beautiful quality to this blend, but an also average quality at the same time that could leave you frustrated while smoking.

Pipe Used: Barling 451 EXEXEL

Age When Smoked: New

Similar Blends: Bayou Morning.

12 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (219)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Another winner in the Small Batch series, although I think this will be a 5 star blend with some age on it. Sun Bear and Sansapolco were not my favorites, but this one is top notch. The fresh tin note smells like Parliment cigarettes (my friend growing up smoked them) and really smells like the American Spirit cigarettes, I got for free (for some reason) with an order from an online retailer.. This should be received as a positive attribute as I find the note nostalgic and comforting. Despite the age on the VA and Perique, this still has a "young" flavor to it. I think this is attributed to the unstoved Red VA, but that should mellow with time. There is a sharpness to the blend that I attribute to that same "young" issue. The flavor is earthy, and bready from the VA's and there is also some earth and plenty of white pepper coming from the Perique. The VA sweetness coupled with the figgy / pruney Perique is very nice and compliments the other flavors nicely. Occasionally I get some grassy, lemony notes as well. The nose tingle and tannic tingle on the tongue is all from the top quality Perique. This has a bit of a nicotine punch so, be mindful of that. I also love the C&D flakes: easy to work with and beautiful to look at.

Pipe Used: Briar’s and cob’s

9 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1982)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Cornell & Diehl - Carolina Red Flake w/Perique (Small Batch). From tin #01963.

I adore the plain Red Flake from the Small Batch selection and the same goes for this. A belting smoke! Although I received a couple of tins about a month ago I wanted to wait until I had a grasp on it rather than posting immediately. Albeit, I needn't have waited, I still feel the same as on my first bowl; lovely stuff!

The flakes are quite dark and slightly broken. The aroma suggests a higher proportion of fruity Virginias than Perique. It's slightly damp in the tin but that suits me! Due to the build being on the broken side a bowl can be filled with great ease. On to the smoke:

Fabulous, glad I bought a couple of tins; not loads as I'm no hoarder, just 3! The Virginias outweigh the Perique. Giving a sumptuous, fruity, rich, sweet leading flavour. I don't notice as many caustic, sharp Va qualities, I get mostly the succulent, luscious, dark fruity ones! Being fair, I get more of that 'hay' note at the beginning of a bowl, but this soon dissipates. Now, the Perique? Present, but having had so long to mature I don't find it a 'spice bomb'. I find the Perique has a deep-fruity characteristic which perfectly compliments the Vas. A bowl burns without quagmire, perfectly for the whole journey. Bite? Never!

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: not bad.

Carolina Red Flake w/Perique? An unequivocal 4 star smoke:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Banjo

Age When Smoked: 03/18/20

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

6 people found this review helpful.

Bulldog8483 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog8483 (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Just to give you an idea of my palate, I love straight Virginia tobaccos and I also am fairly fond of VaPers with Esoterica Dunbar being my favorite. Carolina Red Flake with Perique (CRFP) is a solid blend that I enjoyed quite a bit when smoking it. The Red Virginia is certainly of high quality and it is very easy to notice that when smoking the blend. The Perique is quite strong in this one and I personally wish it was a little bit less prevalent. It catches you quite strongly in the back of the throat, but did not put me off of the blend either. For my preference, I could do with a little less of it, but it, like the reds, is high quality. The Red Virginias are breadlike and a touch tangy, but not as much as something like Sutliff Matured Red Virginia 515 RC- 1. The smoke is smooth all the way to the bottom and has fewer rough edges than some Red Virginia based blends. The second half of the bowl mellows out considerably and appears to do so even more if you allow the blend to go out and have to relight it. I had the best results when having a slower cadence, but I did not necessarily have to sip the blend like I've had to on other Virginia blends. It's a little more resilient in that area. I do think with time, the perique will mellow out significantly and the Red Virginias will increase quite a bit in the sweetness department. As usual, I'm definitely looking to trying this blend with some age on it, but it is darn good with no age at all. I cannot see a way that CRFP won't age tremendously well. I give it a solid 3.5 stars out of 4 and recommend those that love VaPers or Red Virginia based blends in general to give it a try. Even those that do not know whether they would like something like this could benefit from giving it a try based on the quality of the tobaccos alone. Can't imagine you'd be disappointed when you do. Give it a try!

Pipe Used: Castello Sea Rock

Age When Smoked: Fresh

6 people found this review helpful.

cm1648 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cm1648 (59)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Going into this blend, I was curious how it would compare to the 20th Ann. XX Dark Flake put out by Smokingpipes and C&D, as their makeup and components are very similar.

Upfront, the Perique stood out in its pepperiness. I agree with others that the Perique seems to be stronger in this blend than in the XX Dark Flake. The red Virginas were certainly evident however (especially at mid bowl till the end), bringing forth dark fruity and earthy notes. The fermented character I assume comes from both elements.

If you are a lover of Perique, this blend will definitely satisfy. Their age and quality is evident. The Virginas are enjoyable, though age is needed I believe, to bring them forward and pull the Perique back a bit. Not a top VaPer for me and it settled slightly below my expectations, but it is still a solid blend that I will pull out of the cellar from time to time.

I would give XX Dark Flake a 9/10 and this blend a 7/10 (though age will no doubt boost the rating up)

Similar Blends: XX Dark Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (274)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

I purposely have not bought any tobacco for over a month until now. Since the virus brooha we no longer have a physical place to have our meetings so I was reading some fellow pipers’ emails at home and noticed that several of the guys have bought this. So, with just a slight case of cabin fever going on I ordered some too. I hope the tobacco store where we meet does not suffer too bad as they are limited to take out. Of course, the Gov out here in CA declared the pot shops as necessary businesses so it is okay for people to go in and linger in line to buy weed but do not congregate in a tobacco shop. Go figure. Once this blows over, I will make a point to buy something from the store which I normally due anyhow. Long story short I followed the email chain and decided to get some as I am on sick leave with nothing to do. I guess I picked a good time to have surgery and go on sick leave with this mess out there as I have to stay home on light duty anyhow. On to the review. The tin I opened #08604 of 10,000 was dated 031820, hot off the presses. When I first opened it, I was greeted with a mild pleasant sweet hay smell along with the visual inspection of some nice flakes. Actual flakes and some broken. My first task was to tear off the double paper lids on the tin as I just find it irritating. I lit it up in my poker Meerschaum and was greeted with a smooth VA flavor. I really did not notice much Perique until about a third of the way down, at least I think it was the Perique. Later I went to a cob with filter and the flavor and taste was really muted. A few bowls later I took the filter out and some flavor returned. Day 2: Back with the Meerschaum, mild VA taste, the 18-year Perique must have really mellowed out as I did not really detect it too much. Day 3: I smoked this in another Meerschaum, my Altnay, small bowl, Bent Dublin shape or something like it and this blend smoked pretty good. I really wanted to give this one a 4 star but I wish the VA was a little older and maybe 18 years of aging on the Perique mellowed it out too much. Just because something is really old does not always make it good, trust me I am a prime example. Ha. I also have stated this before but I am 60 and to be quite honest my taste buds and sense of smell ain’t what it used to be. I do like it but not a 4-star nominee. Just having a blend with 18-year-old Saint James Perique makes me glad I bought a few tins though. Wow, a huge paragraph to say that it was good but not highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum and Cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh

5 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (89)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Being a big fan of the Carolina red flake , I ordered several tins before they get sold out . I was a little worried about the strong Perique smell opening the tin as like my vapers on the light Perique side. No worries smoking this as it didn’t taste as strong as I thought it might . This is very smooth and quite delicious. Fruity creamy bready red wine smooth with not as much spice as i would have expected. Some nice high notes also . Citrus and plum and some grass . This is great right now and should be amazing with age ! This might be my favorite of the small batch series. Highly recommend.Don’t wait too long to order , I don’t think they will be available for long .

Age When Smoked: Fresh

5 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (190)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Carolina Red Flake with Perique is another first class blend from C&D’s Small Batch series. It’s a good deal stronger than their plain Carolina Red [VA] Flake, owing, I suppose, to a big helping of ancient, St. James Perish Perique in CRFWP. Whatever the reason, I find the nic hit to be significant and worth considering before smoking this blend. In my new tin (03-17-20), prime tobaccos are presented as broken flakes that are mainly red-brown, with a few gold flecks and a fair amount of soft bits that are nearly black. The lot is moist, and it smells like a high quality, health food, whole wheat fig Newton that is fermenting, with slight apricot. The fat “ribbons” can be bundled and dropped vertically into a pipe straight out of the tin for a very substantial smoke, but it burns much better if it’s dried some before lighting up. I’ve played with this blend for some time now, mostly trying to figure out how others have gotten “mild to medium” from it. The mildest I could get it was rubbing it out, then drying it, then gently nursing a loose load in a # 4 pot. It’s a good deal more saturated if whole, moist ribbons are smoked apace. Another thing worth mentioning is that this blend produces a lot of tar while it’s smoked. I keep several pipe cleaners on hand, including one of the bristle type, to keep the airway open over the course of a smoke. No matter how I smoke this blend I find it to be quite fragrant, very floral for red VA, bready, with dark fruit compote down low, also fermenting figs, some mustiness, strong, exotic bakery spices, very sweet (amply cased, I guess) over the sour Perique, and some paprika and pepper. It oozes quality (along with the tar…). Strength builds most of the way to strong, likewise the nicotine. Tastes build to full (rather, they can). Room note is better than tolerable. Aftertaste is a trailing off of the smoke.

I was a little surprised to find CRFWP so different from its straight VA counterpart, but I am pleased with this blend, and IMO it stands out on its own merits. Though CRFWP seems best suited to experienced VA/Per smokers, anyone who’s patient might try it in order to sample a blend comprised entirely of some of the best tobacco on the market today. 4 stars, and it will likely get even better with age.

Pipe Used: smaller briar VA/Per pots

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Watch this space..

4 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (87)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

C&D’s Small Batch Carolina Red Flake with Perique

When I purchased this Small Batch offering, there were no reviews out for this blend yet (it wasn’t even up and/or listed on TR). When my ten tins arrived, it was right in the midst of the Covid Crisis – and so into the hall closet the box went, where it remained sealed, until last night.

I did not check the TR reviews before filling a Cavicchi bent Dublin full of it and taking the stuff for a test drive. I would check it out, and then check to see what others had to say about it.

This was just love-at-first-char for me, and it only got progressively better after that. As I sat on the porch, luxuriating with this most magical stuff, it was easily a slam-dunk, 5-star Va-Per in my book.

So, I was taken aback to find that there were five 4-star reviews as well as five 3-star reviews for this blend. I held off on writing a “one-smoke” review until I sampled the blend again in a clay.

I re-read all of the reviews, and, before offering my own, normative, value-laden opinion, I thought I would put together a hit list of what others had posted that absolutely resonated with me:

-- This blend is delicious.

-- This tobacco was a surprising delight.

-- Another first-class blend from C&D’s Small Batch series.

-- Fruity creamy bready red wine smooth . . .

-- If you are a lover of Perique, this blend will definitely satisfy.

-- The Red Virginias are bread-like and a touch tangy

-- The red Virginias have a tangy sweetness to them with a little earth, while the perique is equal parts pepper and raisin . . . The smoke is creamy and pleasant all the way through.

While I do not consider myself a “lover of Perique” (I mean, I like Perique – don’t get me wrong), the 2002 perique in this batch was/is absolutely first rate, and interwoven/melded perfectly with top-notch Virginias.

If I may use this totally lame (or apt) analogy: different pipe tobaccos – just like Covid-19 – affect people differently. With Covid-19, a lot of people are asymptomatic (meh); some people lose sense of smell and taste; some people have inflammation of their toes; some people crash-and-burn quickly with a fatal pneumonia – it just depends, from person to person.

Very pleased to have caught this strain of viral Va-Per, for we may not see its likes again for some time. Here's hoping for just such another outbreak, soon -- a "second wave" -- but until that time, I suspect this Va-Per is going to age very well, indeed. 5-stars.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

3 people found this review helpful.

Desertislandtoolworks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Desertislandtoolworks (18)
★★★★
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco was a surprising delight. Easy smoking with the sweet Virginia very present. Overall the blend has nice flavor and complexity as well most likely from the added Perique. A pleasant easy smoke for any time of day.

Pipe Used: Weber Shellbrooke

Age When Smoked: Fresh from a new tin

Purchased From: Ohlone Cigar Lounge

3 people found this review helpful.

McQueen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McQueen (31)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is delicious. The red Virginias have a tangy sweetness to them with a little earth, while the perique is equal parts pepper and raisin, and makes an interesting presence throughout the bowl. The smoke is creamy and pleasant all the way through. Easily 4 stars. This will be an excellent candidate for aging.

Similar Blends: McClelland, 2015 Carolina Red Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (301)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As common with C&D, this came more as a broken flake than in whole flakes. If you like straight red VAs with a touch of the raisin/spice of Perique and nothing more, then this is one you should try. The red VAs are forefront, with a little extra structure from the Perique. The smoke can be a little rough after the halfway point, but young red VAs should be more about flavor than sophistication. Of course that may change with some aging.

This isn't a strong blend; it's medium in most aspects, more satisfying/solid than impressive.

Pipe Used: cobs

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: smoking pipes

2 people found this review helpful.