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Long cut Virginia and latakia, pressed into perfection.

Notes: Bengal Slices was, originally, the flake version of Balkan Sobranie. When Gallaher took over the Sobranie mixtures from the Redman family the original blenders finding the composition too complex and costly, they simplified it.

After Gallaher stopped making the simplified Bengal Slices, Mr James B Russell arranged for a composition similar to the Gallaher revision to be made exclusively for them by A & C Petersen, Horsens, Denmark.

A & C Petersen has recently been sold to Orlik A/S, of Assens, Denmark, which promptly discontinued the manufacture of Bengal Slices. A replacement, under the James B Russell ægis, has been released, approximating the A & C Petersen blend. FOR THE NEW PRODUCTION BENGAL SLICES SEE LISTING UNDER The Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania

BrandJames B. Russell
Blended ByA & C Peterson
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g. Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild, Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 3 Users

28 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Bengal slices burns cool and dry. It is a flake and rubs out easily too. My version was the English original and I was absolutely wonderfully, delightfully, exquisitely overwhelmed by the depth of the flavor. I understand now why this one is considered to be one of the world's finest ever blends. Smooth and bulk building jet black cavendish, Latakia and Virginia leaf with depth of flavor like no other. I want more!

10 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

My review of Bengal Slices is based on a tin from the 1990's. Due to the age of the tin the Virginias offered sugar crystals that made BS visually inviting. I chose to rub out the small flakes. The tobacco was still moist and I found it smoked better on the dry side after having smoked it both ways. On every occasion I really enjoyed the first half of the bowl. Unfortunately, as each bowl progressed, the Latakia really took over and I found myself longing for some Oriental component as the flavor was too monotone. I do find BS similar to Lancer Slices, however I prefer Lancer Slices over this blend. I am glad I was able to experience this fabled blend, but I won't be spending my hard earned cash on finding a rare tin.

7 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (111)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Alas, another great blend which for sometime has gone the way of the Dodo bird.

A dear elderly neighbour and friend who was the former proprietor of the best tobacco shop for many miles around. A very wise man indeed, he amassed a spectacular inventory of his favourite pipe tobacco and cigars to see him through until his final departure; yet to arrive.

I had the pleasure of receiving six tins of the British made original, approximately 35 years old. I really enjoyed the aroma and the contents were in impeccable condition. I found this to be a truly fantastic blend, cool burning, complex but not too demanding, very creamy mouth feel with dense blue smoke greasily hanging in the air.

It is certainly true that this was the flake/slice version of the famed Balkan Sobranie with a soapy floral Lakeland essence. I actually prefer the Sobranie in this form. The last decade or so, I have had a strong preference for slices and pressed tobacco. I really like the richness of a slice and the exceedingly complex flavours. Many folks complain about the packability and combustion, both of which do not bother me in the least.

Of the blends of today, it would be sort of somewhere between Esoterica Penzance and J.F. Germain Special Latakia Flake. I have tried ageing these slices together and then smoking them in the same bowl and the result is sort of close and a most pleasant smoke.

I wholeheartedly recommend the Bengal Slices, a true luxury and exceedingly rare.

4 people found this review helpful.

CherchezLaghost Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CherchezLaghost (52)
Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I was lucky enough to score 3 tins of this storied blend from my local tobacconist, who acquired it in an estate purchase from a former patron. Nothing like smoking a dead man's tobacco stash to put you in a contemplative mood...i felt very lucky to get my hands on it, but also vaguely wrong somehow as well. Not badly enough to not come back for 2 more tins after my initial smoke mind you, but a bit uneasy all the same.

This blend is lovely. It is a crumble cake of dark luxurious latakia, virginia and cavendish. Somewhat ahead of its time i think. The scent is what you'd expect from the contents, though the latakia has much softened in the nearly 30 years since it was tinned. The top dressing is still apparent in the nose as well, though less so than in Fusiliers Ration or the new Bengal Slices. More subdued, but very similar. I have smoked all three side by side, and i find them all to be tasty and very similar in effect, but this older version was my favorite. Its not a fair comparison, as tge virginias here had a whopping head start in aging, and the result was a sweeter, more perfumey richness. The lat here was also more muted, which was to my liking. I think the cavendish used in fusiliers ration was a bit better than the other 2, in that it was slightly less cavendish sweet, as opposed to virginia sweet. Overall not something i reach for often at all, but it fills a certain place. The gorgeous tin and the history and laurels of this blend also make it well worth the purchase. A true classic that is unique, rich, and satifying. I am glad i was able to find out what this one was all about.

Pipe Used: Cobs, meerschaums, briar

Age When Smoked: 25-29 years (approx)

Purchased From: Smokers Haven

Similar Blends: Fusiliers Ration, Bengal Slices (current).

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1645)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bengal Slices.

When I opened the tin I found one of the most unique looking blends I've had. I'd expected some neatly presented dark flakes, going on the list of ingredients and the cut specification. Instead, what I found was a tin of, what I can only describe as, 5 thin Krumble Kakes. The tin-note implies a more formidable English flavour than what I actually get.

As the tobacco's thicker than the usual 'flakes', it can be crumbled into rather chunky pieces: this gives an incredibly cool smoke. Igniting B.S. is, due to the moisture, easy peasy. And then the flavour of the smoke is a very 'smooth' English one. Forgetting the Black Cavendish for one second, the Latakia, Oriental, and Virginia taste as would be expected for this type of blend: smoky, woody, with a slight grass quality. The Black Cavendish is what totally adjusts the scenario: this gives a nice vanilla-cream attribute and changes the smoke quite a lot in comparison to the normal English blends.

The nicotine's not much higher than mild: to become anywhere near medium it needs a big puff, and to be honest the room-note's about the only thing I'm not a fan of: pleasant to tolerable at best.

This is a definite four star blend:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Founders Edition P-Lip

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very old tin - from sometime around 1992 or so. Still very moist in the tin, this is a predominately black flake with some mottled leaf. Very nice looking small flake.

Hard to keep lit out of the tin so I dried it to varying degrees and got the best results when it was extremely dry and crumbly. That must be the result of the flake because latakia flakes always seem to work better for me when close to tinder dry, whereas ribbons work best when somewhat moist.

The latakia definitely makes its presence known throughout the smoke. My tin was not toned down (based on my memory) through aging and if fact I'm wondering if the latakia became stronger (i.e the cavendish and virginias mellowed but the latakia did not!) with aging. This was like sucking on straight latakia with a fleck or two of sweetened burley. Robust and zesty but not terribly memorable. This is something to try if you can find an old tin but, as other reviewers mentioned, Penzance does a better job in the latakia flake department, as does McClellands Latakia Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is no longer made, not even by J. B. Russell.

It bears only the most casual resemblance to Balkan Sobranie, whose flake version it originally used to be. The addition of some Cavendish-processed leaf gives the blend a disconcerting creaminess that, as far as I am concerned, just doesn't go with Latakia. I know that the Danes love this "Scottish" (in their dreams!)combo, and that Dunhill has some famous Latakia/Cavendish blends; but here the balance is not really successful. The whole thing tastes like a "cross-over" Latakia-aromatic. HERESY!! HERESY!! do you hear?

This is like Frog Morton with shoes.

Not the worst I have ever smoked, and the tin-appearance suggests quality, but there are many better attempts at this kind of thing in the market. Blends seldom die without reason.

3 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Similar to Penzance, a crumble cake showing much dark leaf with medium mottling and a few light flashes. The aroma is heavy Latakia, with good matured sweet Va, possibly some light topping. The taste is rich and lovely, quite complex with the smokiness playing off against the sweeter VA notes. For me, hard to keep it lit, much more so than Penzance. Worth a try, as YMMV.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This review is from a 1993 tin a friend of mine cracked open the other day. I was surprised to see those jet black slices all lined up in a perfect row after so many years. Call me crazy, but the tine note sort of remains me of Erinmore flake with sour and fruity undertones. Upon closer inspection I detect sugar crystals (bloom) here and there. These flakes crumbled quite easily despite being so compact and thick, I guess, because how old they are and the lack of moist. Maybe I should have rehydrated them a bit before packing my pipe, but they smoked just as fine despite that. The smoking experience was somewhat similar to Penzance, but duller and way more subdued. The Latakia is definitely there, but pushed way back into the background, with sort of sour and fruity undertones. And again, Night Cap pops to mind, relatively speaking of course. I cannot detect any tongue-bite, but a few relights were needed to keep it going. Obviously, time has worked its magic, so I cannot tell what this tobacco was like fresh straight out of the tin, and this can only mean I cannot give it 4 stars.

PD. As this thread is for the A&C Petersen Bengal Slices, only the Danish made version should be posted here, and not the English one made by Sobranie.

Age When Smoked: 24 years

2 people found this review helpful.

guitar2mw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
guitar2mw (92)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I was given some of this from an unopened tin from the 1990's. I have the newer version but have yet to compare it. All I can say is WOW. I feel pretty fortunate to have tried a tobacco of this vintage. The flake rubbed out easily and packed well. It took flame right away. I was afraid it would burn a bit too hot being as dense as it was, but it burned just fine. I love the way this stuff tastes! Smooth, but bold and full of rich tobacco flavor. It had no mustiness to it at all, which I was afraid of based on the initial tin note. This stuff put out clouds and clouds of smoke - each puff being as flavorful as the first. It is rather monochromatic and didn't change a whole lot throughout the bowl, but with as good as it tastes initially, who would want that?? If you can still find it (currently going for about $100+ per tin), make sure you treat yourself as a pipe smoker and grab it up.

Pipe Used: Tim Thorpe

Age When Smoked: 20+ years

Purchased From: Gifted

2 people found this review helpful.

Pkloop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pkloop (52)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm smoking through the remains of a tin I purchased about a dozen or so years ago..

At this point the Latakia has softened substantially and the VAs have more of a say in the smoke then when it was fresh. I think the black cav adds a nice subtle sweetness to the two combining for a pretty well rounded smoke.

The well aged version I'm smoking has a nice creaminess to it but also displays that "greasiness" a fellow reviewer mentioned below..a characteristic which was indeed much more pronounced smoking tins back in the day when they were still in production.

I like the thick little flake presentation they used as it facilitated easy prep. Crumble & go was all it took. Easy to pack, keep lit and enjoy. I like the room note but I doubt it would win over any non smokers.

A fine smoke both back when fresh and the quite aged version I'm finishing now. I'd seek out another tin but wouldn't get too carried away pricewise..its a good smoke not a legendary one..for me anyway.

Try it if you can find it..

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: new back in the day..and a 12+ year old tin

Purchased From: can't remember

Similar Blends: Frog Morton..kinda.

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

The Virginias were grassy and hay-like with some earth, citrus, fermented dark fruit with a “barbecue” quality, and a very light floral hit. The black cavendish provided a mild sugary creaminess. The smoky, woody, mostly dry, barely sweet Cyprian latakia was the dominant component. The dry, woody, sour Orientals also had a touch of spice in the background. The nic-hit was mild to medium. Didn’t bite, but had a rough edge at times. Burned cool, clean and slow with a consistent flavor. Left some moisture in the bowl, and needed a fair amount of relights. Had a woody, smoky, lingering after taste, and the floralness was obvious in the room note. Was not an all day smoke. Two and a half stars.

This review is for the original production, not the recent Standard Tobacco Company release. My review for that one is in the appropriate place, unlike a couple that have been posted here that should be moved to here:

2 people found this review helpful.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Smoking this in a Castello and enjoying every puff, I've had this tin unopen for well over 10 yrs and finally cracked it open. This is a fine tobacco, it get's better as you move down the bowl. It burns well and is easily rubbed out to your liking. The latakia comes through at the mid point and continues to get better, it reminds me of good Virginia flakes that just get richer as your nearing the end of the bowl. As all good blends you don't want it to end, a fine blend that I wish I could still get.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Made in Denmark. Bought on Ebay. Bit of a gamble and i lost. Tastes like Black Cav really. Somewhat similar to Frog Morton On the Bayou which i didnt think much of either. I'll be giving or trading this as its just to awful to smoke. I see why this was discontinued. Update: I see i was pretty scathing in my previous review. Probably due to paying way to much and being very disappointed. Two years later and i have tried this again. Sitting in the jar has opened the flavours up somewhat and it now appears to be a mild Cav dominant blend which is ok. Certainly not worth what i paid($75) but i can now see why some would enjoy this. Two stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Review based on a pre-2000 tin, opened January 2010; so this comes with more than a decade of age on it. (It always seems a bit pointless to review a blend no longer in production. But maybe there are tins still hanging around out there for the curious...)

I largely agree with the reviewer here who wrote: "Of the blends of today, it would be somewhere between Esoterica Penzance and J.F. Germain Special Latakia Flake." Bengal Slices, however, lacks the distinctive Oriental presence that makes Penzance such a unique and wonderful smoke. Minus the orientals, it is an ultra-smooth and soft mixture that seamlessly blends a constant latakia presence with an equally constant VA/Cavendish underpinning. It is surprisingly mild in flavor.

It is also surprising in its production of smoke from the bowl: This is the smokiest blend I've had in a long, long time. Not a concern whatsoever, unless you're in the company of others who don't share your love for a fine English mixture.

I haven't had the original Bengal Slices -- the flaked version of Balkan Sobranie -- since it was in production. But I can say that this is a completely different blend. The original bore the distinctive spice and rich latakia presence of a true Balkan blend; later-era Bengal Slices had moved into quite different territory. Both are enjoyable. But the original still remains a truly amazing -- and unduplicated -- mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Is it that we're so spoiled by the likes of great Dunhill, C&D, McClelland and Peace blendings - that the old mainstays are vanishing? There is certainly genius at work in today's American crafters and time tested quality from, is a dull but faithful companion. Mild, not potent...simple, not exciting. Perhaps it takes a tour on the sub-continent and yearnings for the cool, damp, green countryside to generate warm feelings for the comforts found in Bengal Slices. I have one tin in a well sealed glass jar on my shelf - that's enough.

Hmm-m-m-m. I wonder if I mixed it half and half with Penzance if that would.....

Oh, why waste the Penzance. If you want this sort of profile, but with flavor...then that's what you should have in your pipe anyway!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Visions of the days of the Empire, the Raj, and Kipling, made this a must. This tobacco, like some others, have either dissapeared, or have been reborn into a different but simular configuration. Bengal Lancers chasing after the Turks, make for good reading, and this tobacco is a good accompaniment. Upon opening the can, one can smell the rich musty smell of Latakia, and Cavendish. The flakes are small, but bold, and break apart easily. Filling is no problem, since this tobacco is related to Krumble Kake. Lighting emits a smokey presence, that is enjoyable, and somewhat acrid. The Latakia, and Virginia's are well blended, and the Cavendish is the glue to the whole mixture. Tasty, and familar, this is a easy smoke, on all in the area, except maybe PC cranks. Unfortunatly, this tobacco may vanish. Here, Here, for the folks at JBR, for trying to keep the old blends around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: This blend smells heavily of molasses or caramel mingled with Latakia. A wonderful mix of smoky and sweet notes make for a tobacco scent unlike any other.

Physical Characteristics: Very dark sliced of pressed latakia, cavendish and stoved virginias. These slices are slightly smaller than most virginia flakes. The rub out to a chunky broken flake, but are too small to fold and roll, as is popular to do with virginia flakes. Burns slowly and smoothly to a fluffy white ash. I do find this blend slightly too moist upon first opening a tin, but after a day or two, it normalizes to a nicely smokability.

Notes: This is a very full-flavored mixture, suitable as an after dinner or evening smoke. The molasses and caramel notes I detected in the aroma are present in the flavor as well. I very much enjoy this sweet note, and so do not accompany this blend with any alchoholic drink, as they all seem to overpower the sweet note. Tea does seem to go well with it, I particularly like it with a Lapsong Suchong!

Nobody has rated this review yet.