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settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
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Cornell and Diehl's Star of The East is a mixture that I've seen labeled on some on line review threads as and English. While I'm not trying to split hairs, I'd call it a Balkan and a damn good one at that. With the first line in the companies own description touting that it contains 50% Latakia along with Turkish leaf and Red Stoved Virginias, it's pretty much a give away on what one can expect. What is or was surprising to me is that the cut is ruggedly masculine, there's no delicate ribbons or cube cut here! A pinch of SOTE reveals thick, wide cuts of or maybe it's better to describe it as torn pieces of leaf, like it was hand shredded. Dark black with golden browns greet you as you take a whiff and find a pleasing, not over powering but familiar campfire aroma of the Larakia. Packing is easier in a large bowl and and it's wise to sift if possible to get some "shake" to get your fire going good at first light.

Yes, it's a bit of lat bomb, But, not a lat bomb like say Gaslight from Mr. Pease, there's more to this than just the typical Lat heavy concoction you may have smoked before. The orientals are hard at work, pushing through with a spicy note that blends in well with the sweet hints coming from the Stoved Virgina. I get hungry while smoking this blend, hungry for a big, thick, juicy steak and I suppose it's because there's that smoked BBQ going on while I'm smoking. As I finish one bowl I'm salivating to fill another pipe and repeat the experience and it's safe to say that this is not just another run of the mill English/Balkan mixture. I try as many different labels as possible as the opportunities arise but I can tell you that SOTE will be renting a large section of my ever growing cellar. I typically open and smoke tins of this or that and in general, enjoy it but most often fall back to my default rotation of Dunhill EMP, 965 and NC. I will continue to show love to those 3 but SOTE is now part of my daily smoking rotation. I will strongly disagree with other on line reviewers that compare this to Penzance as I feel that comparison falls way short. It is MUCH better than Penzance and quite different in many ways. On a 1 to 10 rating scale I'm giving Star of the East a well deserved 9.5. Give it a try.

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
0
I'm going to add that after spreading some of this tobacco out on paper and manually dissecting the percieved clumps and bits of the various leafs, it would appear that this may have been pressed and then chopped or sliced or whatever and then just loosely spun out or tumbled. The bits and pieces can be pulled apart in layers which increases the volume to be sure. I'm going to smoke some of this "prepared" tobacco and see if there's any differences. I doubt there will be but I thought it important to note as this mixture may require some prep time prior to loading your favorite pipe.

 

derfargin

Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
2,025
0
Kennesaw, GA
Nice review.
On a somewhat related note. I haven't tried this offering and I threw a tin of "Star of the East FLAKE" in my last online order. I received the shipment today, and the retailer seemed to have put tin of S.o.t.E and not the Flake version. I'm going to call the company tomorrow and let them know of the error. I hate to nit-pic about this kind of stuff, but I just want to get what I ordered
I've had my eye on this one for a while, so I'm looking forward to trying it.

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
0
Aha! So maybe this explains the texture. The tobacco I'm smoking was purchased in bulk form so perhaps it was or is a flake that's been processed for the bulk market. Either way I doubt it makes too much difference. I'd just rub out the flake anyway since I'm not a "fold and stuff" type.

 

derfargin

Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
2,025
0
Kennesaw, GA
I will strongly disagree with other on line reviewers that compare this to Penzance as I feel that comparison falls way short. It is MUCH better than Penzance and quite different in many ways. On a 1 to 10 rating scale I'm giving Star of the East a well deserved 9.5. Give it a try.
I'm surprised there weren't pitchforks and torches at your place with that line. ;)

 

settersbrace

Preferred Member
Mar 20, 2014
1,565
0
After playing around with this bulk product a bit I'm now convinced that it's indeed a broken flake as there are still some larger chunks of the pressed pieces in my 2oz sample. I'll be packing a pound of this away this week. For me it's now one of those can't live without mixtures.

 

murf

Senior Member
Mar 1, 2013
446
0
I've had 4oz of the flake on backorder from P&C for awhile now. I'm wondering if it's ever gonna get here... :crying:

 

derfargin

Preferred Member
Mar 3, 2014
2,025
0
Kennesaw, GA
Still waiting on the resolution of the tin I ordered from BnB last week. I contacted C&D and they verified the tin I was sent was the ribbon cut version. BnB has responded to my request for a fix, and they're looking into the issue right now. All this talk about SotE, makes me want to crack the tin I have.

 
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