February 22, 2018, 11:22 am
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Cornell & Diehl: Pirate Kake

I was orignally going to write a review of GLP Telegraph Hill today, but when I lit up a bowl of Pirate Kake, I completely forgot about all the other tobaccos I've been smoking.

The tin is only available in 8oz, but that should only encourage you. I can't imagine anyone buying less than half a pound at a time anyway, and a pound seems more like it. Inside the tin, the tobacco is a pressed cake, cut into 4 sections, and wrapped as one unit in parchment paper. To ready it for smoking, you can simply break off hunks and rub it out, or slice off pieces and rub it out. A pocket knife to slice it up is not strictly necessary, as the cake breaks apart easily. Broken apart, the tobacco packes well, though is easy to pack too tightly due to the chopped nature of the tobaccos, so use some care.

This tobacco is about 70% latakia, with some turkish and some burley tossed in - possibly "just because". Okay, Turkish and Burley - burley hurts me, every time I smoke it. Turkish is fine, but seems to lack flavor and depth. But color me ignorant, as this blend is anything but shallow and flavorless. The first light shows a great deal of flavor, followed on by even more once the initial light is over. This blend settles in to a increasing crescendo of latakia flavor and room note - one that makes kids cry, and sends wives running.

There is a hint of sweetness, though only enough to keep you interested, and it comes and goes throughout until the very end of the bowl. At the end of the bowl, the flavors darken immensely, and the crescendo builds to to an amazing finale with some spiciness that pokes out at the last minute. Throughout the bowl is a deep, rich smoky flavor and smell not unlike the smoky peat flavors one finds in nicer Scotch - making a wonderful pairing. For kicks, get yourself some Talisker or Laphroig and drink it as you smoke a bowl of Pirate Kake. It's incredibly good.

The major player here is latakia, and there's no mistaking it - Pirate Kake is In Your Face And Not Backing Down. If you're going to try this blend, you better like latakia, in fact, you better *love* the stuff. Otherwise, you're not going to like the blend, and you're going to waste your money. But, if you insist on trying it, and find you don't like it, my address can be found elsewhere on this site.

The flavor is strong, no doubt about it, and the room note is heavy. Nobody in my family appreciates it like I do - but nobody appreciates Scotch like I do either, so that should tell you something, If you have a "smoking room" use it. If you don't, prepare yourself for the complaints.

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