Cornell & Diehl’s Kajun Kake is aptly named. It has Perique Tobacco, hence "Kajun" and it is a crumble cake cut, therefore, "Kake". We have another reason for the word "Kake", as it is a mildly sweet blend with its’ main component being Red Virginia Cavendish. When you open the tin you see a solid, slightly rectangular block that actually looks like a piece of cake or a brownie. It looks delicious, but keep this one out of reach of small children as they make take a bite out of it! It looks that good. The tin aroma smells like cake too – like a mild rum cake. That must be the Cavendish and maybe the subliminal suggestion of the cake look of the tobacco cube. It is quite interesting how this blend melds together Cavendish and Perique to form a unique taste.
This is a VA/Per (Virginia / Perique) blend, but it is very different than the last VA/Per blend I reviewed, Blakeney’s Best Acadian Ribbon. It’s actually a completely different experience. I frequently say that tobacco has many similarities to wine, and this is a good example. Just as you can have two different Zinfandels that taste completely different, you can also have two different VA/Per blends that taste completely different. There can be differences in soil, climate, sunlight, and then there is the processing. How is it cured, fermented and aged? How is it blended? These are all variables. Every tobacco blend has its’ own recipe.
The cake looks solid, but actually crumbles quite easily at the slightest touch. You can effortlessly fill your bowl. It is somewhat moist and some drying time is recommended. I smoked my first bowl right out of the tin and it was a little hard to keep lit, and got a little hot as I tried too hard and re-lit too often. On my second bowl, I crumbled the tobacco and let it sit for an hour and it burned better, stayed lit and produced lots of smoke. The Perique mutes the sweetness of the Cavendish to create a unique earthy, peaty outdoorsy taste. It almost tastes like a cigar or even a cigarette. There is no added flavor. This is not an aromatic. The mild sweetness is completely from the Virginia tobacco. The Cavendish is natural, and this is not for the typical Cavendish smoker. It is nothing like Captain Black, not even close.
I liked Cornell & Diehl’s Kajun Kake a little better each time I smoked it. The first time, I wasn’t ready for this very different unique taste in a pipe tobacco. I actually didn’t like it at first. I was not going to recommend it. However, you have to smoke a pipe tobacco more than once. You should try it at least three different times in three different pipes. (This is what I do for all the reviews here as a minimum). The second time I liked it a little better, and as I am typing this, I am smoking it for the third time and enjoying it. It’s actually going quite well with my Starbucks Frappuccino Mocha Lite. A sweet drink harmonizes well with the earthy, slightly spiced taste.
In general, many pipe tobaccos have a smoother, rounder, fatter taste. Kajun Kake’s taste is thinner – earthy, peaty and more like a cigar taste than a typical pipe tobacco taste. This might be a good cross-over tobacco for cigar smokers that want to try pipes. I do not recommend this for a beginner pipe smoker unless, like I said, you are already a cigar smoker, or even a cigarette smoker. I’m not a lightweight smoker, but I am not a heavyweight either. (Peterson’s Irish Flake knocks me out, but I love it anyway! I smoke it when I can’t go to sleep.) For me, Kajun Kake is better smoked after a meal, or from the afternoon on. If I smoke it in the morning without a good breakfast, I get a little lightheaded.
Close-Up of the "Kake" Tobacco
|A Look Inside the Tin at the Kajun Kake "Brownie"|
|Kajun Kake Rubbed Out|
Brand: Cornell & Diehl
Blender: Bob Runowski & Craig Tarler
Tin Description: A crumble cake of red Virginia cavendish and a little Perique.
Country of Origin: USA
Curing Group: Air Cured
Contents: Cavendish, Virginia, Perique
Cut: Crumble Cake
Flavoring: Extremely Mild
Taste: Medium to Full
Room Note: Tolerable