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Cornell & Diehl: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas


Well-known member
Opening the tin you are met with the appealing aroma of that orange liqueur listed in the description. I initially thought of an orange cookie as the feint tinge of ginger made itself known only when "digging" my nose in. The aromatic quality of the tin note was definitely not that of a strong aromatic, but subtle and well married with the tobacco.

What better pipe to use than the fancy new 2018 Christmas Peterson 408 I got for my birthday. I set out a small pile as I took my photos and let that be the drying time-- about 5-10 minutes. Loaded it up, and trudged to the 12x16 building (a shop for the return of the Alfred & Son pipe.. woo) I recently had installed as to avoid the rain. Opened the windows and the doors, set a quickly dried off chair inside, and got to the best part of the day so far-- smoking.

The pre-light gave a surprising entrance to the Viriginias as the orange took a step back as to remind me that it isn't quite a "gooper." Soon the second light was had, and the orange came back a little stronger, though, almost as an orange zest and not sickeningly sweet. Within the first 3rd of the bowl that bit of Perique noted on the tin made its debut and added a nice note of spice to the orange/ginger. I did wish there was some latakia, but that's probably just me and would complicate the whole thing. The balance of the virginias and flavorings seemed pretty decent to me through the majority of the smoke and stayed consistent with the Perique in the background. Toward the end it did seem a tad ashy in taste, but nothing too distressing or noticeable. I ended up needing a few relights after the first half, but honestly, the only time that really concerns me is in a smoking contest. The nic hit wasn't too strong and lends it to a frequent smoke through the day.

The room note is probably where this blend truly shines (as with most aros); giving a pleasant aroma of fresh orange spice cookies combined with some hints of those virginias. Truly a smell of Christmas that I'm sure I won't be able to stay away from.

If anyone wonders if I'll further enjoy this blend, I did just order 3 more tins.

Love that tin art.


The cat really wanted to know what on earth I was doing.


Wyrd bið ful aræd.
Great review, thanks for taking the time to write it! :beerchug:

I've got more than enough aros in the cellar, but I'm always a sucker for a seasonal offering. I was on the fence with this one, but now I have to give it a try. I'll be adding two tins to my next order. :thumb-yello:


Senior Chief
I got my first two tins of Jolly Old St. Nicholas on Oct. 30 when Mayan Imports in Metairie received their shipment. I've smoked half of one tin of it so far and I like it. I'm a big fan of Rattray's Exotic Passion (formerly known as Exotic Orange) and I find Jolly Old St. Nick to be somewhat similar.

If I believed that tobacco companies buy something that is selling well and basically experiment until they come up with something close, I would say that's what C&D did. But I don't believe that. Besides, while similar, there are some striking differences to my nose.

When I open a jar of Exotic Orange and inhale deeply, I smell orange peeled that has been candied is orange blossom honey and then I pick the mango. It has always been an enjoyable smoke and one the wife likes the smell of, so that's a plus. When I smoke it, I get the honey and the orange up front and with the mango becoming more pronounced near the end of the bowl. I probably have about 250 grams of Exotic Orange/Passion in my cellar.

When I open my tin of Jolly Old St. Nick (I'll probably finish the tin before Thanksgiving.) I get an aroma which is more like the aroma of warmed Grand Marnier and candied ginger.
Just the tin note takes me back 40 years to when I was stationed on the Washington coast. There was a cocktail lounge I would go to on winter nights and sit around a huge round fire pit with my pipe and sip a warm brandy snifter of Grand Marnier.

When I smoke it, I first get the the Virginias with the orange liqueur providing support instead of being the dominant flavor. To me, the ginger pretty much stays in the background but after a few puffs I notice it more as the perique kicks in and it accents the ginger. (Sort of like how black pepper provides a little spiciness to ginger in a cookie recipe.) Throughout the bowl, the citrusy notes of the golden Virginia tobacco balance nicely with the flavorings. This is definitely not a gooper and it hasn't bit me or left me with a medicinal aftertaste.

According to what I was told, C&D only made 1,000 tins of Jolly Old St. Nick. When I was back at Mayan on Thursday, they had received a second shipment of the blend and was already down to 8 tins left on the shelf. I bought two more.