First Impression: St Bruno Ready Rubbed

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Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
I recently scored this Prince from @mkelaw and have been itching to press it into service.

My excuse to do so arrived in my latest TAD parcel, in the form of a pouch of St Bruno.

I was deeply concerned that I'd be associated with the likes of @weezell and @condorlover1 but I finally overcame my fears and took the plunge.

In addition to water, I grabbed a Founder's Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout, one of my current beer obsessions. A finely crafted 8% meal in a bottle.


The tobacco is described as Virginias and "other fine leaf", which we know to be Kentucky Dark Fired. It is claimed to have a floral and fruit topping.

The pouch note is "sweet and sour", almost tangy. I, personally, got little of the DFK on the initial nose. There's more going on with the pouch note than I can identify, Maybe an Esoterica-like apricot, as well as a distinctive back note reminiscent of GH&Co "empire Virginias" (think 1792)

The presentation is a broken flake/ready rubbed, kind of moist and clammy, but not wet. A lovely assortment of tan and brown leaf.


I rubbed out further a few of the larger pieces and gave it a 15 minute airing before impatiently cramming it into the pipe.

On the cold draw, I did finally sense some of the dark fired notes with the tangy top note, but not so much the Virginias. It is said that there is a vinegar component, as well. No McClelland style nose, but with the DFK, maybe a KC style BBQ hint.

The Pete, with an acrylic fishtail replacement stem, has a welcome "more modern" open draw. The chamber is deceptively larger than I first expected.

Things got underway after the 3rd light and it was slight, smoky and sweet. The Kentucky was a minor supporting influence at this point and the Virginia hid behind the various toppings and casings. It was more of a "dry" flavor affair, less sweet than one might expect. Overall, dare I say a delicate beginning in flavor. Docile and comfortable also come to mind.

Ten minutes in, it settled into a warm and tangy, joyous experience, with maybe a note of the vinegar rising in strength. A dual nature began to emerge, where sipping retained the gentleness and puffing a bit harder brought out the spicy and smoky attributes of the DFK. The expected floral notes were nowhere to be found so far.

At 20 minutes, I swabbed a bit of moisture from the stem and issued a relight. Somewhere around the half hour mark, the Virginia decided to get into the act, presenting some hay notes. A plummy/citrus/apricot something happened, also, some unclear combination of the VA and topping. Unclear, but pleasant.

Some light tamping throughout, at 40 minutes, I got a nice smoke output along with a resurgence of DF smokiness. At this point, I'd call it spicy, creamy and dry. Overused descriptors, for sure, but accurate, nevertheless. More VA sweetness and mild citrus compliment the DF nicely.

At 50 minutes, I dumped some ash and, once again, a relight teases out more smokiness. Overall, this tobacco could be described as naturally refined. I can see why it has passed the test of time and, thankfully, it appears to have entered market in its current iteration in 2006, sidestepping the ass-clownery of the deeming cutoff date. I look forward to emptying this pouch.


The claims of nicotine strength, to me, seem a bit exaggerated. Perhaps my tolerance is rising, but I'd not classify it any greater than "medium" in that department. A final stir to rearrange the remains for the lighter gets me to the finish line in about 70 minutes. Some moisture, to be expected with my hurried dry time. and a pleasant aftertaste that goes well with the Breakfast Stout.

All in all, a class act and enjoyable smoke.

Verdict: Get Some!



Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
You can tell it's a Mac Baren litter mate to Old Dark Fired and Doblone d'Oro.

Very good point. The shared taste aspects with ODF are hard to miss.

Great interview, Jay!

Do I get the job? nnnn

I’ve heard rumors that the sauce is even weaker than it was just a few years ago..

As I lean heavily towards non-aromatics, I was concerned but I agree that the sauce level is tolerable and in the background. I may need to go add it into the Lakeland Scale thread for posterity.

I'm having my 2nd bowl right now, with tea on the side. puffy



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Very nice review. St Bruno is one of my favorites. It's interesting to read how you characterize the flavors, at least the references you use.
When I've discussed St Bruno's unique flavor profile I've used leather, camphor and cider vinegar as among the major flavors. Next time I pack a bowl I'll have to focus on picking out those fruit notes you wrote about.