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Review: Mac Baren Scottish Blend

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    I've been taking a lot of notes with these tobaccos as I've gone along, and now I'm starting to crank out reviews a little bit more to try to get the backlog of overdue reviews out. So don't worry, I smoked a bowls before writing this.

    Blend Name: Mac Baren Mixture Scottish Blend

    Tin Description: High Quality Pipe Tobacco - A mild and lightly aromatic Scottish Blend, manufactured from ready rubbed, matured Virginia tobaccos and golden brown Burley grades, Cavendish and loose, ripe Virginia. Mixture is one of the most popular pipe tobaccos in the world, and is the leading brand tax free, a position which Mixture has been able to maintain through decades.

    Leaf: Burley, Cavendish, Virginia

    Appearance: Rubbed out flake with a medium brown color with darker leaf interspersed throughout. Nice moisture straight out of the tin, but I still found leaving it to try for a bit yielded optimal results.

    Tin Aroma: Pleasant sweetness out of the tin. I really appreciated the aroma, probably because there was a good balance of the sweetness and some of the hay and earth tones that are in it at the same time. I like the fact that the topping/casing flavor is not overwhelming and lets the natural tobacco aroma shine through.

    Taste: Honey/toffee/caramel is the note on top, with a sort of toasty, hay like quality on the bottom. There are not very many bass notes in the smoke, but it’s more of a light to medium bodied smoke. As with all Mac Barens, I’m wary of my cadence to avoid bite, and it seems to be working. The taste shifts as the bowl progresses to become a bit spicier and nuttier. I appreciate how the taste shifts as the bowl progresses, so it’s not one note all the time.

    Strength and Nicotine: Mild to the low end of medium. Not a knockout punch of nicotine, but it’s there to some degree. Good for all nicotine-tolerances. Light in strength.

    Smokeability: Very smokeable with the caveat of being careful to not puff too hard or fast. Maybe that takes this blend down a tad in the smokeability department. But in terms of taste and strength, I could smoke a few bowls of this in a row. The overall mildness plays a big part in its smokeability, certainly.

    Room Note: Sweet on toast. I hesitate to put a fruit flavor note on it because that would be too specific, but it’s vaguely a toast and jam scent.

    Thoughts: An interesting melange of flavors that work well together to create a pleasant blend that is good to “smoke to the dottle”, as it were. It’s well-balanced and works well as a distinct flavor profile.

    Recommend to: Someone who likes light Virginias, an aromatic smoker who wants to try some non-aromatics, someone who is a nicotine lightweight, someone who wants to try an aromatic with some real tobacco notes.

    Summary: A very nice semi-aromatic mixture that is at the crossroads of some beautiful flavors derived from the topping and the tobacco itself. Really neither here nor there, it’s hard to put this tobacco into a box category-wise, but it certainly delivers some shifting, just short of what I’d consider “complex” flavor. It is certainly very enjoyable and I suggest giving it a shot, if only a bowl’s worth.

    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 weeks ago to ask to be a part of their reviewing team. I was accepted and 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.

    *EDIT* -fixed your title title. -Jason

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Nice review, soymilkisgood.

    I'll admit that after reading all of the glowing reviews, I was quite disappointed when I tried Mac Baren Mixture Scottish Blend a while back. It has a great room note, but as you mentioned, beware of the typical Mac Bite. Also, I had a harder time keeping it lit, even after proper drying. I tried several different packing techniques, but no dice. And I could never get it to burn down to a white ash like most of my other tobaccos do. I guess it's due to the added toppings. The flavor was good, but not great in my opinion. Maybe I'll revisit it again after it has 'breathed' a bit more in the pouch.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. wyfbane


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    I scored some on eBay from 1979ish timeframe. That stuff is GOOD.

    Great review, btw!

    It only gets better, tho you are right about it being a tad bitey.

    Posted 4 years ago #


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