Great review. Interesting that you got good results in a wide bowl, but then again it IS a C&D blend. Many of theirs are great with room to breathe.
In regard to C&D specifically, the other thing I'll say is, and mind you I have ZERO proof to back up this claim, it's just my own paranoid suspicion talking here, I think they spike a lot of their blends with a touch Burley, even if the blend isn't listed as having it. Still undecided if CRF18 falls into this cstrgory.