Pipes Magazine » Pipe Tobacco Reviews

Search Forums  
   
Tags:   

Review: Bell's Three Nuns (Mac Baren revival)

(22 posts)
  1. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 451

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Blend Name: Bell’s Three Nuns

    Tin Description: None Nicer. A blend of dark fired and sun cured tobaccos mixed with the finest Brazilian Lights to produce the unique flavor and mellow smoking characteristics for which Three Nuns is famous.

    Leaf: Kentucky, Virginia

    Appearance: Slightly rubbed out coins with a lighter exterior and slightly darker centers.

    Tin Aroma: Hay, grass, and a slight sweetness that reminds me vaguely of dark stone fruit. I like the tin note - well balanced and pleasant. Maybe it could have been a bit sweeter, but the earth tones are decent as well. But it’s the smoke that will ultimately determine its taste.

    Taste: I have to admit it’s not as great as I had hoped. There is a slight grassy and nutty note with hints of sweetness. I really wonder what this blend was like with its original Perique formulation. I think the pepperiness of the Kentucky is a bit different than that of Perique in a blend like Escudo. I guess it’s a bit stronger in a way, but it has an altogether different character. Sweet, spicy, and a bit nutty, but all in mild amounts. I wish there was a little bit more depth of flavor regardless.

    Strength and Nicotine: Decent nicotine kick. Won’t kick you in your teeth, exactly, but it’s there in nice quantities. Enjoyable strength – not too much, not too little.

    Smokeability: Good flavors that work well together, if not lack a little depth and melding of flavors that would probably improve with a few years in the tin. But enjoyable and definitely potentially a usual blend for me to pick out to smoke. Wouldn’t consider it an all day smoke or a special occasion smoke, but somewhere in the middle. I’d have to be in the mood for this.

    Room Note: Fine room note that is neither offensive nor especially pleasing. On par with other Va Flakes and such.

    Thoughts: An very nice Virginia/Kentucky blend that I would reach for again. Not my favorite blend in the whole world, but it is pleasant to smoke certainly. I don’t smoke many blends with Kentucky in it, so this is one of my rarer experiences with the leaf. I think this blend would benefit greatly with a bit of time to age in the tin. I am itching to try the original VaPer version to compare tastes!

    Recommend to: A Va smoker who likes a little extra punch in their tobacco. Someone who wants to try new versions of old, fabled blends. My grandpa.

    Summary: A nice tobacco blend with some good flavors. Good display of what a Va and Kentucky blend can bring to the table. But I’m going to probably let a bunch sit in the cellar for a bit to age.

    My Background: I’ve been smoking for about three years. Have all types of pipes in all different price ranges, and have tried a lot of tobaccos. My favorites are Vas, VaBurs, VaPers (lots of different flakes) and I also love pressed Englishes (flakes and cakes).

    Disclosure: I contacted Sutliff myself a few months ago to ask to be a part of their reviewing team. I was accepted and have been receiving gratis Sutliff products in the mail. The only condition on this free tobacco was to provide honest reviews to the community, so this is one of many that I'll be doing as part of the program.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. blueeyedogre

    blueeyedogre

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2013
    Posts: 1,604

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I just opened a tin my B+M gifted to me as well. Tried a few bowls but have the rest jarred for a bit to smooth it out more hopefully.

    "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." - Corinthians 16:13
    "Let us be English or let us be French . . . and above all let us be Canadians." – Sir John A MacDonald
    "The world was to me a secret which I desired to divine." - Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. tarheel1

    tarheel1

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 973

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I have tried a few bowls and really enjoyed it. I have a tin inbound and need to get a few more.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 18,116

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Great Review, but what does Sutliff have to do with Three Nuns? Just curious.

    My take on this blend is that it leaves a film in my mouth that is reminiscent of a particular cigar that I'm not crazy about. I love strong blends, but it's a flavor thing. It gets into the realm of cloying richness. If that makes sense. I love all of the components in this, Virginias, Kentucky Dark Fired, but maybe it is in a casing or something.

    Anyways, if you loved this blend and yet you didn't like that taste in your throat in the second half of the bowl, I would suggest Newminster Superior Slices. It is everything this one is, but a tad better, with a less cloying taste, IMO. And cheaper!

    Good stuff, and I look forward to seeing more reviews.

    Michael
    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. tedswearingen

    tedswearingen

    Friend of Ours
    Joined: Sep 2010
    Posts: 326

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Sutliff distributes Mac Baren's products in the U.S., which would include Three Nuns.

    Superior Service, Superior Quality, Superior Pipes - http://www.smokingpipes.com
    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 2,030

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    So it doesn't seem very different to me than from the previous version by Orlik, which I have tried last year. Thanks for your review.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. cortezattic

    Cortez

    A part of the problem since he ...
    Joined: Nov 2009
    Posts: 14,262

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I enjoyed reading this review. Thanks for putting in the effort to inform all of us.
    It takes a lot of discipline to sit down with a blend and work up a meaningful and
    well written review, and I appreciate that. Looking forward to more of the same.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. User has not uploaded an avatar

    Anonymous

    Unregistered

    Posts: 451

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks guys! I'm going to let the blend sit for a bit and then revisit it. I think it needs some time to become a truly great blend. I appreciate the encouragement as I try to write a better review every time. I hope to only get better!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. ejames

    ejames

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 4,126

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I never tried the original version of Three Nuns but really like this one and have been buying a few tins.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. danielplainview

    dave g

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 2,939

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Damn, you've been cranking out a lot of reviews lately.
    Nicely done.

    Make aromatics great again.
    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. 4nogginsmike

    4nogginsmike

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Aug 2013
    Posts: 1,093

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I missed the Bell's version of 3Nuns and maybe smoked a half-dozen tins of the Imperial version, which was outstanding. Superior tobacco, with Perique, and the best sauce ever devised. Given my history I won't give the present version a chance. No perique and a sales campaign that states this version is legendary, by which I find a far too healthy dollop of corporate cynicism; as if the corporate bean-counters have any regard for history whatsoever. And the shops market it in the same way, most knowingly, with a wink, even when this is brought to their attention.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. User has not uploaded an avatar

    derekflint

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 763

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Cracked open a tin of Three Nuns last night, it was very dry. After delicately getting it going I found it to be very harsh and acrid. Immediate irritation to the top back of throat. Needed many relights and was totally lacking in the flavor dept. This is the second tin I'm trying and the first one was pretty much the same.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 4,800

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Derek, if the baccy is totally bone dry then you might want to gently rehydrate it. My preferred method is a wet piece of terracotta.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. markthelad

    markthelad

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 592

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I smoke Three Nuns as a regular part of my tobacco rotation (usually 2-3 times a week), but I'm also a big fan of DFK.
    I would 2nd what Cosmic said earlier, Newminster superior slices is very good too.
    About a year ago, I rubbed out a couple oz of SS. and added some Perique to it (22% which is what I heard the original Three Nuns had in it) and then jarred it up. I'm planning on cracking it open here in about a month and trying it in comparison to Mac Baren's latest iteration of Three Nuns.

    "I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."
    Johnny Carson
    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Oct 2015
    Posts: 4,800

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Mark, Three Nuns hasn't had that leaf for quite some while.

    "Kentucky was substituted for perique. The latest version, blended and manufactured by Mac Baren, follows the latter formula."

    Good luck with your experiment though......I too love playing with Perique!

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. User has not uploaded an avatar

    derekflint

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 763

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Thanks JAY, Great advice...doing it now.......

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. markthelad

    markthelad

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 592

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Jay thanks, yes I know that they haven't used that recipe for a long time.
    I actually heard that the above recipe was a close cousin to the time when they did use DFK, but never having tried it, I have nothing to compare it to except the current version.
    I was just hoping to come close, but will have to judge the mixture on its own merits.
    I also just enjoy the idea of playing around with some blending.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. leacha

    leacha

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Jun 2013
    Posts: 966

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    @ markthelad

    Haven't tried this myself but am considering it real hard.

    Savinelli - Doblone d'Oro

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. markthelad

    markthelad

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 592

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    leacha, I have a tin of Savinelli, Doblone d'Oro but have not cracked it open yet.
    According to some reviews on TR it is peppery spicy and a sweet, sounds good!
    Now you got me thinking that I should crack it open and partake.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. User has not uploaded an avatar

    derekflint

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Nov 2017
    Posts: 763

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    Derek, if the baccy is totally bone dry then you might want to gently rehydrate it. My preferred method is a wet piece of terracotta.

    Regards,

    Jay.
    I did re-hydrate the Nuns and smoked a few bowls but no dice. It must have been too far gone because it tasted awful.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. mso489

    mso489

    Preferred Member
    Joined: Feb 2013
    Posts: 25,155

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I've read the specs on 'nuns for years, this one not the original. I think it may be one of those proportioned blends that either hits your taste buds just right or just doesn't hit them at all. A few take it up like a long-lost child and really savor it, but mostly it doesn't cause any general admiration. It's likely worth trying to find out if you are one of its devotees, or not.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. jayski

    jayski

    Member
    Joined: Jan 2017
    Posts: 115

    offline

    Login to Send PM

    I myself favor the Three Nuns and smoke a pipe of it every day just about. I find the taste reminds me of summer and working out in the hay fields. The flavor is not complex but more like a relaxed simply satisfying end of the day smoke. Still I am on the search for a tin of the original and placed an order of the Savinelli Doblone d'Oro.

    "[Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them."
    Posted 1 year ago #

Reply

You must log in to post.

 

 

    Back To Top  | Back to Forum Home Page

   Members Online Now
   ericusrex, pipejon, grilledokra, haparnold, donjgiles