Its a brand new small batch so not much known for a review. I'm surprised SmokingPipes dint make a video in their Tasting Note series as they have done with other new blends.
So all we know is this......
Only 4,500 units produced A blend of fine red and bright Virginias balanced by Basma leaf from 2014 and Izmir Orientals from 2013, Sun Bear commends itself with subtle notes of South Carolina garden-grown honey from the personal beehives of Jeremy Reeves, head blender of Cornell & Diehl.
The natural honey complements the subtle drizzling of silver tequila and Elderflower for a natural, refined tasting tobacco with an underlying, swashbuckling boldness. Sun Bear is a unique experience for the connoisseur who appreciates a dance of flavor components dominated by quality Virginias.
Since for some reason I cannot edit my previous post, this came from the SmokingPipes email......
Cornell & Diehl handcrafts all of their pipe tobaccos, one small batch at a time. The Small Batch project, however, elevates that boutique approach with concentrated runs of special, limited varietal tobaccos, or those so labor intensive that they require precisely scheduled manufacturing and are impossible to produce regularly or often. And few entries represent that ethos quite like C&D’s latest release, Sun Bear.
A blend of the finest red and bright Virginias balanced by Basma leaf from 2014 and Izmir Orientals from 2013, Sun Bear showcases select varietals by highlighting their inherent characters with a range of unique and nuanced casings. South Carolina garden-grown honey — harvested from the personal beehives of C&D’s head blender, Jeremy Reeves — combines with a whisper of silver tequila and elderflower to augment the fruity and floral notes of the choice Orientals and Virginias. The result is a natural, refined tobacco with a bright, refreshing character and a creamy, rounded finish — the perfect complement to these final days of summer.
“It takes some of the ideas of a blend like Interlude, or Sunday Picnic, and pushes forward into different territory. I think it really showcases the red and bright Virginias that we use in the majority of our blends...Anyone who likes Virginias or Virginia/Orientals will likely enjoy Sun Bear. People who are fond of aromatics but are considering branching out into subtler dimensions, with lots of tobacco flavor, may find some of the same deportment, though the sweetness of Sun Bear is quite refined and delicate.” - Jeremy Reeves
Although it is cased, Sun Bear is not an aromatic. It is a Virginia/Oriental Flake with intriguingly sweet and complex top notes. Fans of C&D’s Simply Elegant series will likely find a new favorite in Sun Bear, yet its inherent sweetness also makes it an excellent transition blend for aromatic smokers looking to try more natural tasting tobaccos. Overall, it is an easy smoking and reliable all-day blend, interesting enough to smoke consistently, and smooth enough to want to.
Like previous Small Batch blends, production of Sun Bear was quite focused (limited to just 4,500 tins). And due to its limited varietal tobaccos and garden-grown casing, when it’s gone, it’s gone. So make sure to pick up a tin (or five) today. Limit five tins per customer, per day.
So I finally cracked open a tin and here are my quick thoughts. The tin note is like you would expect from a Virginia and you can definitely pick up on the honey. It’s not heavy but it’s there and quite delightful. Smoking the blend the honey is even lighter and eventually gives away to just a good clean Virginia. Grassy and hay-like with some citrus notes and even a bit of prunes or raisins or fruity on the dark side of things. C&D blends that are fresh tend to have a rough edge for my taste and need six months to a year to be something I can better judge. Sun Bear on the other is different. Pretty smooth from the start with only a slight edge to it. Given time, I can see this being quite a thing. I only grabbed two tins and wish I had grabbed more. Knowing my luck if I had grabbed more, it would have been a blend not for my taste.