October Pipe Guys’ Pick: Opening Night

October Pipe Guys’ Pick: Opening Night
October 16, 2013 The Pipe Guys

You can’t imagine how long it takes to select the Pipe Guys’ Pick each month; not because we’re indecisive, but because when you’re walking past shelf after shelf of the world’s finest pipe tobaccos, it at first seems impossible to narrow the choice down to one.

However, in the end we managed. I’ll start with the bad. It wouldn’t be an honest review without some well-placed and constructive criticism when merited, and in this case it is best placed on the labeling, I think. The label on Cornell & Diehl’s Opening Night is nothing you’d frame and give to your mother on her birthday, let’s just put it that way. On the bright side, the label is the least important thing to discuss when talking about a tin of tobacco. Much like the cover of a book, it can be deceiving, and should not be the basis of executive judgements. Now on to the meat of the thing!

Cornell & Diehl

Cornell & Diehl is one of our favorite tobacco blenders for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they are committed to tinning their tobacco close to the appropriate moisture level for smoking. This means you’re getting more tobacco and less water which is valuable, but it also means if you’re impatient like us, you’ll have more than dashed hopes and wet dottle when you smoke it immediately upon it’s purchase. You’ll actually have a good first smoke! Secondly, they blend unique tobaccos that have proven to be some of the best in the history of the business; a respectable ongoing accomplishment. Cornell & Diehl also packs each tin with a full two ounces (57 g) of tobacco instead of the industry standard 1.75 ounces (50 g), the benefits of which are quite obvious to the smoker.

[spb_single_image image=”5702″ image_size=”full” frame=”glowframe” full_width=”no” lightbox=”yes” link_target=”_self” caption=”The late master blender, Craig Tarler – Photo Credit: Matt Rose” width=”1/2″ el_position=”last”]

Red & Bright Virginias at Their Finest

Part of Cornell & Diehl’s “Simply Elegant” series, Opening Night is made by pressing red and bright Virginias, and slicing them into flakes. Here’s where you were expecting me to say “then a secret flavoring, purportedly contrived from certain extracts of the exotic plant Decaisnea is added,” but it isn’t. Cornell & Diehl’s Opening Night is a simply elegant mixture of pure Virginia tobaccos. As they are known to do, I am sure they have been very selective in their choice of leaf, resulting in a more flavorful experience than one might expect, even one who isn’t a diehard Virginia fan. It is predictable in one way, though: as can be expected of a high quality VA blend like this, it only gets better with age. The bottom line is that this wonderful blend produces a balanced sweetness perfectly suited to the medium body and mouthfeel of it’s rich, white smoke. A slight increase in complexity and intensity throughout the course of the bowl means it won’t get boring. We recommend it sans accoutrements, to be smoked in the early evening. It stands up by itself.

Broaden Your Horizons

As a closing note about this magnificent tobacco, it should be said that while it can certainly benefit from the best practices in smoking, it is quite forgiving, and even an inexperienced smoker can enjoy a tin of it! Cornell & Diehl have created a winner in this tin. Pure, sweet, and refined through and through. Bravo!

Branching out and trying new blends is one of the great delights of pipe smoking. So, as with all our picks, we’re lowering the price of Opening Night to $7.90 through the weekend!

All of This Year's Picks

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