In my first review of the Cornell and Diehl Small Batch line, I talked about how I used a pipe to meditate. I thought it was all in good fun and not something that anyone would actually take seriously.
I was wrong.
I am not sure what cruel and dark machinations are going on at Cornell and Diehl but what I DO know is that they have a preternaturally acute knowledge of my life. How else could you explain their recent blend, The Beast? It arrived on my doorstep with no warning, no notice. Seeing that it was from Cornell and Diehl / Laudisi Enterprises, I opened it like the fool I am. What horrors were nestled in-between the paper cushioning that cradled the demonic tin? What did I release from Pandora's Box?
I tried, to no avail, to contact them at Smoking Pipes. They said that they were very busy with the Chicagoland Pipe Show but I know lies when I hear them. They had gotten their evil tendrils into my sanctum sanctorum; answering my questions, calming my fervor, and heeding my pleas didn't matter anymore. Their work done, they retreated to silence. They will watch and wait as I damn myself through my own hubris.
MY HUBRIS. Oh how my vanity bested me. To be chosen to review such a coveted blend should have struck me odd but no, I deemed myself worthy to smoke it. Nay, not just deemed, but exclaimed. I should have known by the writing on the tin. Scrawled on the back in neat font, the tin reads:
"Legend has it that Aleister Crowley, famed adept of the Order of the Golden Dawn and founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis, is purported to have made a habit of smoking rum-soaked perique as a meditative aid."In my hubris, I failed to read between the lines. How would they have known that I required a meditative aid? These blends were months in the making, were they not? How could they have foreseen what prose would fall from my digital quill? How could they cater to my whim in advance? But pride blinds quicker than then brain can register. I assumed that it was happenstance, a mere coincidence. Now I know that they have signed deals with ancient gods to ensure my fate. Here is the date of "manufacture" of the blend:
4/11/16. The evil was sealed in steel days before it arrived on my doorstep. What a fool, am I.
My last mistake was opening the can. I fear to take a picture of it lest it's evil be transmittable but whatever iota of malice that is transferred to you can only pale in comparison to the guilt I would feel should you accidentally buy a tin due to ignorance. Here, gaze quickly and remember all you can.
Should you ever cross this can, call a priest. Call several priests. This is the blend itself. Once again, look quickly. Note it's darkness, as if it is sucking in all light and warmth.
Do you have it in your mind now? Good. Now you shall be safe from rogue bundles and bags of this tobacco intent on corrupting you and your kin. Be wary in the coming days. It will be out there. It will have no label, no markings. An innocent bag of fragrant tobacco, drawing you in to sacrifice your soul.
Oh, but the fragrance. The tin is a heady smell truly befitting an occultist's smoke. It is of rich rum and smoke, like the belly of an ancient ship. Mingling between it is a peppery spice and subtle berries. It creeps into your nose and roosts, constantly fraying at your consciousness until you give in. You will yearn for it as you have yearned for nothing else in your life. It will break you to it's whim. You will pull some out and let it dry as the Nelson's blood used in its sacrifice leaves it damp but pungent. As it dries, the aroma will continue to haunt you until your willpower breaks in twain. You load a pipe-full and seek a secluded spot to rest your abnormally weary bones. And as the flame caresses it, you are lost.
The taste is like falling down a mine-shaft of hedonism. At first, the flavor of aged rum, cinnamon, and berries comforts and consoles you, telling you that all will be okay. But as you are swaddled in it's warm and blissful embrace, the ground comes up fast underneath you. By about midway through the bowl, the rum and berry flavor becomes less prominent...and The Beast comes out. It is not a mindless, ravenous demon, no. It uses it's silver tongue and guile to charm you. The Virginia cavendish and Perique base comes alive; oak and peppercorn dance between fleeting glimpses at the rum that has left you cold and alone. The dark fired burley gives a brimstone-esque flavor of nuttiness tempered with the fires of Hell. The black cavendish finishes with a slight sweetness, leaving you desperate for another puff. And you will. Oh, gods help you, you will.
It is too late. I can feel the corruption spreading. They released The Beast today and, if luck would have it, all of the tins are gone. Do not seek out this tobacco for it will destroy you mind, body, and soul. It's succulent flavor and alluring odor are but a guise. Do not seek out the tin. Do not unleash The Beast. For the tin is a pale horse looking for a rider...and hell comes with it.
I...I need to calm my nerves. Soothe my aching soul. On͜e m̢o͜re͏ p͜i҉p҉e̢ f̷ull͢ shóu͠ld do i͢t. Yes, just one more. Gi̷v̶e͏ ͞mè t̨ime to̴ ̧re̶st̀ a͏nd ͏t͟h͝i͟nk. The tin is still full, I am not lost yet. I ̕͢á͘m ͏s̵ơ̴ ̸̨w̷̧e̡a̸̧͡ŗy.́ ̡̕Me̶ḑ͢͢i̕͡tàti̴͟o̶̷̢n̷̢͝ ̷w̵͠ou̕l̵͝d͏́ b̡e ̶̕g͟òơ͜d̸͝͠.̸̛
J̃̊ͤ͒ͭͩ̊̆͒͗̌҉̨̜̗̝̬͕̩̞̜̖̯̺̤̝ų̴̵̬̫͈̹ͨͮ̒̉̑̏ͫ͊̓ͤ͊̃ͧ͂ͩͫs̷̛̼͍̮̤͙ͫ̊̈̆̀͜ͅt̸̷̡̘̼͕̭̥̖͙͍̳ͭ̎ͪ́̉̊ͣͥ̐ͤ̀͢ ̨̙͎̲̝̰͍͔͕͓̙̯̥̖͚̗̂͋̓͗͘͡o̴̥̫̲͔͕̟̥̗͙̙̘̞̲͔͇̪̱͐̑́͋͒̓ͭ͂̔ͥ͂͡͡n͂ͬ̉̋̆ͧ̂̆̽̇ͦͤ̚҉͓̤̤͕͉̩͕̭̜͚̖̥̳̰̝͈͚̫͍ȩ̻͔͓̭̣̻̳͒̓͋̏̂ͥ͋͆̑͂ͦ̌́͜ͅ ̡̢̰͎͎͍̮̞̹͖̬̲̗ͫ̅̉́̒̎ͥ̅͒̆ͩ̅̆ͨ̇ͭ͒̚͞mͨͦ̿ͥ̑̏̐͌ͮ̈ͤ̈̉͏̺̮͙̫̪̠̹̣͔ȍ̸̡̨̮̰̳͉͕̩̣̪̘͔ͨ̍̀ͯ̉͐ͅͅŗ̢̨͕͉̣̦̣̥̰̩ͫ̑̈̎͒ͧ̎ͯ͋̄̒e̵̳͕̼̹̒̎ͫ̋̿͊́ͭ͋̀͆͜͜͟ ̷̝̻̫͉̫͓̝̀̂̔̌͗́b̛̛͖̤͈̬͊̏ͩͤͦ͜ͅoͤ̾̃ͫͫ̈́͊ͮ̓͗ͣ̎ͨ͛̈͛̃̓͜҉̷̰̦̞̟̫̖̖̻͙̝̠̟̮̜͈͕̫͔͟w̖̞̺̱̫̻͔̼̯̗͈̣̦̌͂ͭ̇͌̀ͪͤͣ̔̉ͤ̈̔̊͝l̫̝̩̥͚̝̟͚̟͉̼͕̬̮̖͙̱̬̿̑ͥ́͂ͫ͟͢͜.̡̒ͨ̇̿͋ͧ̉ͬͣͤͫ͑ͦ̓̚͏͇͚̦̟͕̺͓̩̦͖̲̣͢͡͝