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This is a traditional pipe mixture of which 80% is prepared from six different types of Virginia leaf. The remaining 20% is a specially prepared black tobacco (nor Cavendish or Negrohead) made by us from air-cured leaf. This is possibly the only British made tobacco containing this particular ingredient. The unique added flavour gives an agreeable taste and pleasant aroma. Origin Channel Islands.

BrandJ. F. Germain & Son
Blended ByJ. F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringPlum
CutShag
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
Medium
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

2.7
40 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
13
3 star:
12
2 star:
6
1 star:
9
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Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Strong Medium Tolerable

I guess I am the black sheep here, because this the bomb for me. I am normally not into aromatics, I wouldn't touch'em with a poker, but i found this one so unique and special that I would not count it as an "aromatic".

The cut is shag and the tin aroma is indeed very special. As always I will try to compare with foods: Aniseed, overly ripe oranges, dank store-room (yes I know, it is not food, and somehow or other it is meant positively) and Tawny Port. A strange mix indeed, but when lit, it produces the sweetest buttery smoke one could imagine.

The leaf is of outstanding quality and I sense some insignificant amount of orientals in it. It burns well, packs enough nic. to make me happy and does not bite at all. Normally I like some hot Earl Grey with my pipes, but somehow this does not work at all, because the fragrant aromas of both would mix in a negative way. Instead try some rich red Port wine with it, and sit back and dream away: This will tickle your tastebuds and lead your thoughts far away from the grey and dull everyday life.

The best (non-) aromatic I have ever tried, and I will explore the whole Germain line from now on.

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: Several

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

Similar Blends: None.

6 people found this review helpful.

cobster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cobster (2)
★★★★
Mild Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow! This blend is sublime. I know it divides opinion, but the best blends often do. Upon opening the tin you are greeted with a predominantly yellow shag (or at least very fine ribbon) with black flecks, which has been pressed into a block. The smell from the tin is wonderfully rich, deep, fruitiness. The tobacco benefits from 15-30 mins drying time to really make it sing.

Plum Cake Mixture lights easily and rewards when packed correctly. It needs to be sipped or it could potentially bite. The casing, though sweet and fruity, is clearly derived from natural flavourings and I detect no chemicals whatsoever. Additionally there is a proper spiciness to the smoke which tickles the back of the nose on exhaling, similar to that of Perique. Lovely.

Alongside the quality Virginia and "plum" flavours is a touch of anise and an almost powdery element. Someone mentioned that this blend transports them to Victorian England and I can see why. This is what we imagine the world used to taste like.

The nicotine level is low, but this is not a weak smoke. To someone who usually favours strong blends, I still find myself satisfied by this blend.It is a delight. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Don't be swayed by negative reviews. If you think this blend may appeal to you, grab a tin and find out for yourself.

Pipe Used: MM Legend Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke-King.co.uk

Similar Blends: It's unique..

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (566)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I had trouble deciding how to rate this and even how much I like this. I got off to a bad start when I lit the first bowl. There is a little perfume taste and smell that comes and goes, and while it's not like the Lakeland essence, it has a light cousin-like effect. I taste a little vanilla note, slight touch of honey, licorice, and light sour wine. I find the taste changes here and there as you smoke it down. Certainly burns easy and I hydrated it a bit, as I don't care for bone dry tobacco. No tongue bite or hot feeling in your mouth as you smoke it.

As I've now smoked a few bowls, I've decided I do like it enough to recommend it at the very least as a change of pace smoke. I can see how someone might like it in their regular rotation. It may be an acquired taste for many, and it took a little getting used to. Some tobaccos just have to smoked a bit to "get" and this is one of them. I did buy a few tins to age and see what happens. The more I smoked it, the more I liked it. It's worth revisiting when you're in the mood for it. I give it two stars if it's a change of pace smoke for you and three if you like tobaccos of this nature. Your mileage is likely to vary and often.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Strong Medium Tolerable

I guess I am the black sheep here, because this the bomb for me. I am normally not into aromatics, I wouldn't touch'em with a poker, but i found this one so unique and special that I would not count it as an "aromatic".

The cut is shag and the tin aroma is indeed very special. As always I will try to compare with foods: Aniseed, overly ripe oranges, dank store-room (yes I know, it is not food, and somehow or other it is meant positively) and Tawny Port. A strange mix indeed, but when lit, it produces the sweetest buttery smoke one could imagine.

The leaf is of outstanding quality and I sense some insignificant amount of orientals in it. It burns well, packs enough nic. to make me happy and does not bite at all. Normally I like some hot Earl Grey with my pipes, but somehow this does not work at all, because the fragrant aromas of both would mix in a negative way. Instead try some rich red Port wine with it, and sit back and dream away: This will tickle your tastebuds and lead your thoughts far away from the grey and dull everyday life.

The best (non-) aromatic I have ever tried, and I will explore the whole Germain line from now on.

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: Several

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

Similar Blends: None.

3 people found this review helpful.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (47)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

First off, to the star rating. I struggled with how to rate this. On the one hand, I have been smoking from the same tin for 6-8 years, so it is hardly a go to blend, and that pushed me to give it 2 stars. The flavor and experience is so singular, however, that it really deserves some special recognition. I give it three stars, therefore, because when you have a hankering for this, even if that only occurs once every six months, there is nothing else that will take its place.

If I had to guess, I would say that they start with a base very similar to that which they use for their Royal Jersey blends. It is the same ribbon/shag cut virginia base. I find a little spice in this when I smoke it, which could be from some use of perique, or from the topping applied. I have Royal Jersey Perique, and they are not worlds apart. In the tin it has a very unique aroma. I do not know what the heck makes up the plum cake topping, but I really cannot think of any one thing that it emulates. It is a sweet odor, with a faint hint of licorice, and something else, maybe tonquin. Germain refers to it as "honey sweet." There is cavendish there, but not a huge amount, and some other black tobacco which may be what is referenced in the description above, which, as others have noted, is different from what is stated by Germain.

I find all ribbon cuts a little tricky to get going, as you have to keep tamping them down when they start to burn. After the 3rd or 4th time though this will settle into a nice even burn which required few relights. It can bite if you smoke it fast or too wet, but when smoked slowly is generally cool. I find the strength to be mild to medium. There is definitely some nicotine there, and it would probably get to you if you smoked a huge bowl of it. I like to smoke this in a smallish Becker & Musico saddle billiard. It is the right size to enjoy the flavor without things taking a turn for the worse, and, as this burns relatively quickly, provides a short, enjoyable smoke.

This will produce fine volumes of smoke. The room note is not as pleasant as the tin aroma, and my wife proclaimed this to be a "stinky one." That of course is because I do not smoke the hardcore stuff in her presence, and I could probably get her to leave not only the house, but the county if I rocked some 1792 while she was around!

Everyone should try this at least once. You may love it or hate it, but you are really missing out on a truly antique, and truly original, blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

Talltree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talltree (10)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Original Review - I find this blend disappointing because of the casing. It has a bean flavor which I dislike more and more. The tobacco itself is a very finely shredded Virginia which tastes good. The background sweetness is alright, although I couldn't get past the worse attributes of the casing.

two months later - It's growing on me. It has dried out a little in the tin and is about perfect now.I switched from corncobs to a small briar bowl. It is better if smoked cool, that is, if it is smoked and then relit when it goes out rather than trying to get the whole bowl from a single light. Little nicotine. A good tobacco to smoke while letting my imagination indulge itself. Despite its mildness has an interesting depth of flavor. Good quality Virginia leaf. I wish I could say that I can pick out various spices and flavors but my taste buds aren't that sensitive, although there is for sure a honey sweetness. Take the sum total of this tobacco and it is good. Oh, and the wife says "not bad". Now if I can just get past the funky tin odor. I'll smoke it for a few more months and see if I start to wax eloquent like the other excellent reviewers here.

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Grand Duke (small bowl)

Age When Smoked: fresh out of the tin

Purchased From: 4 noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

cobster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cobster (2)
★★★★
Mild Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow! This blend is sublime. I know it divides opinion, but the best blends often do. Upon opening the tin you are greeted with a predominantly yellow shag (or at least very fine ribbon) with black flecks, which has been pressed into a block. The smell from the tin is wonderfully rich, deep, fruitiness. The tobacco benefits from 15-30 mins drying time to really make it sing.

Plum Cake Mixture lights easily and rewards when packed correctly. It needs to be sipped or it could potentially bite. The casing, though sweet and fruity, is clearly derived from natural flavourings and I detect no chemicals whatsoever. Additionally there is a proper spiciness to the smoke which tickles the back of the nose on exhaling, similar to that of Perique. Lovely.

Alongside the quality Virginia and "plum" flavours is a touch of anise and an almost powdery element. Someone mentioned that this blend transports them to Victorian England and I can see why. This is what we imagine the world used to taste like.

The nicotine level is low, but this is not a weak smoke. To someone who usually favours strong blends, I still find myself satisfied by this blend.

It is a delight. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Don't be swayed by negative reviews. If you think this blend may appeal to you, grab a tin and find out for yourself.

Pipe Used: MM Legend Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke-King.co.uk

Similar Blends: It's unique..

2 people found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (44)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Ordering this was purely serendipitous...When ordering holiday tobaccos from Smokingpipes, one of my choices was out of stock...In a mad scramble to replace the o.o.s. tobacco I defaulted to Germain simply because I like and trust their blends...Lo and behold Plum Cake...Well, Plum Cake, plum pudding...Close enough...One of the most tasty aromatics I've encountered...Perfect balance of prime tobaccos and plum flavoring...Thank-you Smokingpipes for being o.o.s. with C&D's Christmas offering...Plum Cake is not something I can afford on a daily basis but I will reorder a few tins for special occasions like changing my socks and underwear, or taking the dog for her daily walks...Perfect strength, perfect taste...Burns clean to a white ash and the room note couldn't be better...What more could you ask for in an aromatic!?!

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Smoked when received

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm working my way through a few Germain's tobaccos at the moment, this being the second. After the first, I was hoping for something good, so let's see.

The tin aroma is mild and fruity, not that strong to be honest though, I do like to have a good waft when I first open the packet. After very easy packing and lighting, I found the smoke a little disappointing, there is hint of fruit in there, not sure if it could be described as plum, and a half decent tobacco flavour but it can get rough at a moments notice for no apparent reason and back again. The roomnote follows a similar fashion.

In summary, a reasonable smoke that doesn't really do what it says on the tin with a hint of multiple personality disorder to boot.

Update 12th July 2013

Strange that I can't remember that I'd reviewed this one already, mustn't have been smoking it properly. Anyway, having bought a tin on a recent visit to my local shop, its now time to correct my mistake.

There's a small honey farm on the English side of the border with Scotland, it sits just up the road from the world's oldest suspension bridge still to carry road traffic. It produces, in my humble opinion, the nicest honey going. The tin aroma from this stuff reminds me of that very honey, not quite what I expected from a tobacco with Plum Cake written on the tin but none the less encouraging. The fine shag, again I find myself with a Germain's offering described as broken flake yet so finely cut, is relatively easy to pull apart and packs so nicely. The lighting is so easy, once again our friends from Jersey get the moisture levels just perfect. The first taste from this is a mild whiff of plum. The first couple of smokes of this did get a bit rough and that yucky boot polish taste from the black cavendish (or cavendish like pressed virginia if the description is to be believed) came through and wasn't particularly pleasant. However, I did read Smokey Sam's review above and decided to take my subsequent smokes a lot more slowly, probably the best decision I ever made. The taste flows from one of a brief sampling of plum to that oh so fine honey described above and stays like that to the bottom of the bowl. And it takes a good while to smoke too, even on a small bowlful. This is a tactic I've that I've begun to adopt with all my tobaccos and works well with all of them, though all the Germain's offerings I have seem to benefit the most.

In summary then, an excellent smoke if taken slowly, and worth every single extra second it takes to smoke as a result. It's like that beautiful, sophisticated girl at the bar or the gym, go in all macho and she'll bite your head off, go in and all honey tongued and she'll reward with so much sweetness you'll wonder why you never tried that tactic before. But then I'm happily single, so what do I know?

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Dark brown ribbon, nicely packed in the tin with a layer of cellophane. The tobacco appears to be of high quality but the results were ghastly. I could only make it through 3 bowls of this.

The first bowl was fresh from the tin (2 year old tin) and the flavor was of the Erinmore/tastebud wrenching sickly sweet stewed fruit variety. Quite objectionable. Even worse, this stuff burned hot. So I dried out the next bowl and was rewarded with tongue bite, although it did subdue that nasty flavor somewhat. For the third bowl, I re-hydrated and the flavor became sour and bitter. The tongue bite remained. Since no one else was bothered by this, I assume the tobacco and I simply don't agree.

My one star means "Not Recommended" and that's not entirely true. I think there are enough smokers that get better results than I that if someone is in the market for a fairly heavily cased tobacco of decent quality leaf, this might do the trick. As for me, let's just say that if this blend ever joins the ranks of those that are continually out of stock, I won't be one iota of the cause. The tin description states that this may be the only blend containing the specially prepared black tobacco. I certainly hope that's true.

2 people found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (44)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

My first review here and I wanted to redress the balance slightly as I feel that, for some people at least, this blend could prove more enjoyable than they might expect given its overall reception so far.

As someone who doesn't usually smoke aromatics I was a bit wary about ordering a tin, but I needn't have worried. This is not a heavily flavoured, cloyingly sweet or chemically tasting smoke - rather it is one where the slightly unusual aromatic flavourings blend nicely with the slightly unusual tobacco flavourings.

The taste in the pipe matches up to the smell in the tin, a slightly musty, fruity aroma that to me is reminscent of the filling from a mince pie. There is no bite or irritation here and with a bit of drying time the fairly fine shag cut smokes cool and dry all the way to the bottom, retaining its character as it does so.

Nicotine is on the medium side of mild (as opposed to the mild side of medium) and works nicely for me as a daytime smoke at the weekends.

The intriguing 'special' black tobacco that is mentioned in the description does impart a flavour which, I can appreciate, is going to be a love it or hate it experience, but I find it makes a nice change and gives the blend a body that it would otherwise lack.

The flavours in Plumcake seem to me a bit more grown up than the usual vanilla and cherry offerings most of us think of when we think 'aromatic'. I will be buying more. If you fancy trying something a bit different and like to be able to taste the tobacco in your aromatics then you might do well to pick up a tin yourself.

2 people found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (134)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

There is an almost bizarre characteristic to the topping applied to Plum Cake. The tin note refers to it in a mysterious kind of tone that mixes well with the idea of, well, a cake made with plums. To be honest, I've never had such a concoction, but the idea alone got me thinking that this might be something of an interesting smoke.

That it is. The flavor, whatever it is, reminded me very much of the uproar over the tonquin additive applied to 1792. You can get a feel of that reading the reviews here. There is really no comparison, however, in strength. 1792 will rip you apart while Plum Cake will, at best, set you in motion on a rocking chair.

It's an appealing package, presented with a slick graphic that seems to invoke poppy plants rising through a thick cloud. The cut alone is a great novelty, the tobacco itself dense as a cake, consisting of a highly compressed, almost shag-like collection of blonde and black strands.

I enjoyed RCUSElder's poetic tribute to the blend, and I think that fits well. Plum Cake takes you back to a time more simple in its demands. I would love to smoke this on a cold winter day when the smell of burning firewood wafts through the air. You know, I think I'll do that. Winter's just a few months away.

2 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This blend was a definite surprise in that it is a time-machine in the form of tobacco, read on...

Appearance and Tin Aroma: smells like some sort of oil essence. I cannot put my finger on what it is, it is a little scary too. This is almost a shag cut of yellow and black leaf. The room I am in begins to get fuzzy.

Packing and Lighting: The long ribbons are a little fussy to pack. The moisture is a bit high, but settles down after 4-5 re-lights. My office lights have turned into oil lamps, my ballpoint pens have turned into feathers with an inkwell...

Initial Flavor: The aromatic agent is there firmly, but it tastes much better than it smells. The leaf is flavorful, but mild. I walk to my car only to find that it is a horse. Also, my clothes seemed to have changed and I realize I am now wearing a top hat!

Mid-Bowl: This blend is really growing on me, it is smooth, mellow, but the leaf is flavorful in-spite of the aromatic agent.The room note is wonderful as well. I now find myself riding my horse not in Orange County, CA, but London circa 1880AD

Bottom of Bowl: It ends too quickly! It does not build up much strength, but ends with a clean and dry ash that practically floats away as you dump it. I immediately reload and start all over in this wonderful journey. Yes, I am in London before the turn of 19th century and in the company of other gents who have nodded politely as thay catch a whiff of my pipe's smoke. As my second bowl ends, I find myself back in the hustle and bustle of Southern California, too bad...

Overall: I really enjoyed this blend. Will it replace my other blends? No, but it will be a ocassional part of my rotation. It really is a time-machine type blend. It does everything in a very subdued, classy way, just like the gentlemen of old Victorian England. This would be a perfect blend to smoke while reading or watching "Pride and Prejudice". Yes, I have acquired a half-dozen tins to keep for the cellar. Give it a try...

2 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (81)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I thought I'd venture into some of the Germain line after being very impressed with the Smoker's Haven line of English mixtures (similar to Esoterica). I suppose the base leaf here is good quality but the aromatic additive is not to my taste at all. Actually, I was immediately repulsed by the flavor. Something like anise and rotten fruit combined, which is, oddly, kind of interesting in the tin but not under the match.

I can't reccomend this but of course taste is subjective. Not a thing like the MB blend of the same name, though the tin aroma may be vaguely similar.

2 people found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (75)
★★☆☆
Medium Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong

Reading some of the previous reviews makes me think these people are smoking an almost entirely different blend. A rather intense aromatic tin and smoke aroma. The aroma is liken to perfumed talcum powder. The flavor as being so aromatic does not taste like tobacco. The flavoring gives a somewhat bitterness to the smoke. There is another character in the smoke that I can only liken it to the carbination in cola; bazaar, I know. Despite what the tin says this is not sweet to the taste like cavendish. The base is golden matured virginia ribbon with the corresponding medium stregth smoke and heat. There are some flavor undertones similiar to Germain's #7, so some common ingredients are shared. Quite possibly the most unique tobacco I have ever tried, but so odd that it is'nt something I will smoke on a regular basis, perhaps as an occasional departure.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

This was one of my pipe club's tobacco bar offerings a few months ago. It is totally different in looks and smoking quality when compared to Mac Baren's blend of the same name.

This Germain offering is almost a shag in cut, and is very moist out of the tin. It has a fruity smell and taste, but the general impression while smoking was that this is indeed tobacco.

I found the experience to be less than satisfactory only because the taste was just too "over the top" for me regards flavoring. Additionally, if I had the time, this one would have been left out to air dry for a few hours before loading up. It burned okay, but did need more than the average relights.

Light, flavorful and fairly bite free, Germain's Plum Cake could possibly become a regular staple for aromatic smokers.

2 people found this review helpful.

DoomDealer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoomDealer (8)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've always been quite fond of aromatics, having smoked various blends. So, when I visited my local tobacconist recently I decided to get a tin of Germain's Plum Cake. I felt like trying something new and I spotted this. It was an aromatic, I liked the sound of it and I knew that it would be decent quality tobacco (having researched it) ... if nothing else.

On opening the tin I was greeted by golden shreds of tobacco and a lovely smell of fermented plum and/ or raisins. My first thought was of Victorian England (others have noted this as well; a typical English 'olde worlde' aroma). The tobacco was slightly too wet, so I let it dry out a bit over night.

This is a beautiful smoke. Flavoursome, satisfying and well behaved with no tongue-bite. I prefer it after dinner or in the morning, but you can easily smoke this all day long. The sweet-ish, fruity flavour is there but never overpowering. An all-round great tobacco. In fact, having smoked a tin of this, I have come to the conclusion that this is much better than some of the other aro's I used to smoke; much better quality tobacco and a much more natural flavour. A definite keeper.

UPDATE: After a couple of tins of this I stand by my review - great blend and I'm definitely gonna keep a tin of this in my cellar. One thing I've noticed, though, is that the tin aroma seems to diminish quite a bit after you've had the tin open for a week or two and, consequently, the smoke seems slightly less flavoursome as well. However, since I don't recall anybody else having commented on this, it could be just my imagination.

Pipe Used: Aldo Morelli, Ermanno Elite, Peterson Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Brucciani Ltd

1 person found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (566)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I had trouble deciding how to rate this and even how much I like this. I got off to a bad start when I lit the first bowl. There is a little perfume taste and smell that comes and goes, and while it's not like the Lakeland essence, it has a light cousin-like effect. Along with the plum, I taste a little vanilla note, slight touch of honey, licorice, and light sour wine. I find the taste changes here and there as you smoke it down. Certainly burns easy and I hydrated it a bit, as I don't care for bone dry tobacco. No tongue bite or hot feeling in your mouth as you smoke it.

As I've now smoked a few bowls, I've decided I do like it enough to recommend it at the very least as a change of pace smoke. I can see how someone might like it in their regular rotation. It may be an acquired taste for many, and it took a little getting used to. Some tobaccos just have to smoked a bit to "get" and this is one of them. The more I smoked it, the more I liked it.

1 person found this review helpful.

colonel jpl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colonel jpl (14)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

First bowl out of a new tin I thought this is pretty good. The spicy aroma you get from the tin comes across in the smoke however you have to try to taste it. The spice taste is very faint. I can't smell or taste wine in this blend. Yet it smokes cool and burns clean. By the end of the tin I think I was bored with the taste. But overall its not a bad smoke just not one I will rush back too.

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smoking pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (44)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Ordering this was purely serendipitous...When ordering Holiday tobaccos from Smokingpipes, one of my choices was out of stock...In a mad scramble to replace the o.o.s. tobacco, I defaulted to Germain simply because I like and trust their blends...Lo and behold, Plum Cake...Well, Plum Cake, plum pudding--close enough...One of the most taste full Aromatics I've ever encountered...Perfect balance of prime tobaccos and plum flavoring...Thank you Smokingpipes for being o.o.s. for my first choice...Plum Cake is not something I can afford on a daily basis but, I will re-order a few tins for special occasions like changing my socks and/or taking the dog for her daily walks...Perfect strength...Perfect taste...Burns to a clean, white ash...And the room note couldn't be better...What more could you ask for in an Aromatic!?!

Pipe Used: various for testing

Age When Smoked: fresh from Smokingpipes

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Simon.c Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Simon.c (7)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

I was hoping to pick myself up a nice aromatic baccy to smoke over Christmas and Plum Cake sounded right on the money for me, how wrong I was.

This stuff is utterly shocking tobacco, it's very moist but even letting it dry out a little doesn't help the fact it's soul is utter rubbish, the smell coming off it is about 1% Nutragrain cereal bars and 99% artificial chemical sweetness mixed with something really unpleasant.

After loading a bowl all I was met with flavour wise was a very light sweetness and some really nasty sour/chemical notes, but the lack of any "plum pudding" flavour isn't the biggest problem.

This stuff burns like a bonfire and even with time to dry out it royally gunks up your pipe.

Oh and it's got a unpleasant room note that all I can describe it as is day old cat food wrapped in newspaper.

All in all save your money.

BTW my video review of this for anyone who might be interested.

YouTube Video

1 person found this review helpful.

BigCasino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigCasino (27)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

The first time I opened a tin of Plumcake not being a fan of black licorice, or the Anise flavor I was worried, as the smell of black licorice filled the air, but as tobacco often never tastes like what it smells like I gave it a go, and as I lit the her up I was happy no real strong licorice flavor, maybe a hint, but paired with what other flavors tingling my senses it was ok, for a long time I was never sure what all I was tasting, I just knew that I liked it, and the more I smoked it, the more I liked it and noticed the different spice notes, a carnival of flavors if you will, but now I believe (and this is just a guess) there may be a small amount of tonquin bean hiding in there

Pipe Used: Big Casino Dublin, I prefer it in a larger bowl

Purchased From: Allegheny Smoke Works

Similar Blends: None.

1 person found this review helpful.

Smoking Sam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking Sam (20)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Teaching an old dog new tricks....

Parable: A city slicker stops at a general store out in the country. As he nears the store he spys an older gentleman sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch, with a dog lying next to him, blocking the front door. As he approaches the dog raises up and looks at the stranger. Apprehensive, the city slicker asks the old man, "mister, does your dog bite?" The bib overall wearing country gent replies, "no sir, my dog doesn't bite." As the stranger nears the dog, it turns and bites him in the leg. The stranger angrily turns to the older man and says, "I thought you told me that your dog didn't bite!" To which the codger replies dryly, "that's not my dog."

Pipe tobaccos have personalities, just like people or animals. Some dogs, such as the family yellow Labrador retriever, will allow two year olds to pull on their ears and tail, ride them like a pony, and will generally allow themselves to be abused. They show no aggression and will often just grin and wag their tails at the silliness of it all. Carefree, user friendly, pipe tobaccos in this category would be Frog Morton Cellar and Larry's blend. They don't care how they're smoked, wet, dry, sipped, or puffed - it makes little difference. They just continue to act amicably.

Smoking my first bowl of J. F. Germain & Son Plumcake, I treated it like the family Labrador, showing it little respect. I packed a fairly moist bowl tightly, lit it aggressively, and puffed on it like a freight train going up a grade. Germain's Plumcake showed its dissatisfaction of my treatment, and turned around and bit me in the leg. In fact, my tongue bite and mouth burn was so bad that I couldn't smoke a pipe for three days - lesson learned. Thank goodness for Biotene!

Today, two weeks later, I thought that I would see if I could make friends with the beast. The tin that I opened had been packed very moist. The wax paper inside was discolored and several strands of the broken flake had fused to the paper. On the other side of the tin, there was a divot where I had filled my first bowl. This tobacco was fairly dry, and looked promising. Picking up a pinch of the golden tobacco it fell apart loosely, and looked and felt reminiscent of South Carolina delta Spanish moss. Using the three layer method, I allowed three pinches to settle into the pipe extremely loosely. I used my pinkie and put the tiniest possible amount of pressure on the tobacco. My second layer was the same. Only at the top layer, did I put the lightest resistance. This time I was showing the Rotweiler respect.

I lit the bowl, not as if stoking the fires of Hell, but gently, using only enough fire to get the bowl burning. I slowly sipped the pipe. When the bowl on my vintage Bennington Irish briar got hot, I stopped puffing and put the pipe down. The result was a satisfying two hour smoke. This time there was zero tongue bite, and I didn't even have to drink anything to accompany the pipe. I could faintly taste the fruit topping. The loosely packed pipe puffed easily. I did not touch my tamper, but used my little finger to GENTLY tamp the tobacco when it would not relight. The tobacco burned all the way to the bottom of the bowl. There was only the finest powdery white ash, and absolutely no dottle - a satisfying three star experience.

Some dogs are gentle, and some will bite you in the leg. Those latter dogs, and tobaccos, require one to show the proper respect and let their personalities dictate how they need to be handled. Germain's Plumcake taught me a new lesson. I guess its never too late for an old dog to learn a new trick.

1 person found this review helpful.

dottledude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dottledude (3)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

To my taste this is the ideal "outdoor" blend. I generally smoke this in a small bowl pipe when I'm gardening or kayaking etc. and its ideal for that. Full taste, satisfying with an almost "peppery" note, you can taste the cavendish. Importantly, I found it to be a great burning tobacco as others have noted- stays lit very well and burns right down to fine ash. Its very lightly cased, you don't get a lot of sweetness once out of the tin, although as noted it does have an intriguing "nose" in the tin. If you are looking for a nice outdoor blend look no further

1 person found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (77)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My experience with this mixture dates back several years and most recently in smoking 100 gr. over the last few weeks.

In reading past reviews it reminds me of how the same tobacco I find pleasing...others find displeasing or not as worthy as I.

However, that being said, I do find this mixture most agreeable, "round" in taste, pleasing aroma and room note, and while I'd prefer it in plug form, it smokes well in almost any pipe. Not a strong tobacco, so morning through afternoon for me.

I have never seen any flakes(broken or otherwise) in this tobacco, rather thin ribbon almost shag cut. For me, I smoke this in a group 5 and larger pipe and have had little issue with lighting and keeping it lit.

Not a go-to for me but one I will keep available in rotation.

...a pipe is to be savored...

1 person found this review helpful.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is a funny cookie. A nice long cut, almost shag like, but not quite.

Very nice tin aroma, maybe something close to rum (like MacBaren's Plumcake).

Smoking it was not the most exciting experience however. Sure it smokes and burns well, but...something is missing. Vitamin N, I believe!

1 person found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (187)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I would like to start off with the description of this tobacco which is from what is printed on the tin face. Note that it differs somewhat from the tin description listed above:

"Pipe Tobacco made in the British Isles. Cavendish, virginia and air-cured tobaccos blended with a special black cavendish. Flavored with wine and spices to our 80 year-old recipe. A unique smoking experience."

Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a generous amount of golden colored Virginia tobacco which was interspersed with some black tobaccos, all in a shag cut. It came folded within a wax lined paper insert - somewhat stained by the tobaccos and very inviting as it evoked a nice, old-world charm. The tin aroma, at first, was a bit overwhelming. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. It was somewhat like a potpourri. With a more discerning second whiff, I detected a sour-wine smell (sour in a good way) and some spice. The tobacco was very fresh, but not damp. Packing and lighting were within reason considering its state of freshness. The first puff was spicy and the taste immediately brought to mind the taste of Sen-Sen breath mints that I remember from my youth. Sen-Sen is primarily licorice based and is augmented by several different herbs. It might actually be Heather Honey Liquor. The taste of the wine came through slightly with the smoking (perhaps a German plum wine, hence the name Plum Cake), and the Sen-Sen wafted in and out. The Virginia component was greatly tempered by the Cavendish treatment. I also feel there is a good amount of Burley in this blend as the overall experience was fuller than Virginia can give on its own. It tasted spicy all the way through and was very, very pleasant. One of the more unique tasting blends I have ever had in 35 some odd years of smoking a pipe. It burned slowly and not at all hot, nor was there any moisture accumulation throughout the length of the smoke. It was subtly sweet and there was no bitterness whatsoever. If I had to compare it with any other tobacco blend, I would have to say that it reminded me of Erinmore Flake - not exactly the same as Plum Cake was way milder in tobacco strength than Erinmore, and stronger in what it is cased in - making Erinmore tame by comparison. It was also reminiscent of the now defunct Irish Mead Pipe Tobacco by Douwe Egbert (which contained heather honey).

This tobacco has had many mixed reviews on this site as well as on other pipe smoking forums where one can draw the conclusion that either you like it or you hate it. I wouldn't classify it as an aromatic per se (certainly not American or even Danish style aromatics), as its flavorings (as prominent as they were) didn't interfere with good tobacco taste - albeit very mild. Obviously there are very high quality tobaccos used in this offering. I am glad I did not judge this solely on the initial tin aroma alone. After the tin is opened for a while, the intense top-note subdues quite a bit. A nice, albeit different, mild flavor that remains throughout, making for a different smoking experience. Its room note is very, old-world pipey. For when you want something different in your pipe, I've yet to find anything else quite like it. Not an everyday smoke for me, but when the muse strikes, it never fails to satisfy.

1 person found this review helpful.

Respateur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Respateur (2)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I purchased an old tin at the local smoke shop after I saw the owner pack it into one of her own pipes. She is by no means a blender per se but she has handmade her own pipes for over 4 decades and she rarely smokes in public (something about her german upbringing), so when I see her lighting up an exquisite pencil shanked squat tomato I was all questions. She did not go into great details like the other reviews here, but simply mentioned this was one of her all time favorite tobaccos. The next day I bought the last tin in the store - at least 5 years old but probably older. Tonight I cracked it open and was very intrigued by the tin aroma. The paper folds were stained brown and were very wet with very small crystals present. Someone who has the patience and experience for cellaring may know how significant that is, it is not in my nature but have been told by others that this phenomenon is an excellent sign. It smelled unique for a Va and was far more moist than most. I should clarify that I personally don't belong into any one category of taste classification or genre, aromatic, semi-aromatic, english, balkan, american, va/per, neo-pseudo-exotic-cavendish-whatsit-whatever. I like tobaccos from all genres and as a rule - don't enjoy the taste or odor of latakia, period (those of you who believe this to be heresy as the enjoyment of this particular tobacco is all too often equated with the upper eschalon of leaf conniseurs can go jump in a lake - with your shoe leather tasting tobacco).

The cut is extraordinary and very delicate. I did not let the tobacco air out at all. No drying whatsoever before carefully packing up an excellent smoking, small dublin and starting the lighting process. It burned much better than expected but the flavor was...odd. Not bad, just different and very subtle. While smoking I checked out the reviews here and when I read the reference to the taste of white wine it all clicked. This is what I imagine smoking the inside of a nice german sweet wine barrel would taste like. As the bowl is now at the finish it has a bit more body, probably due to a slightly increased cadence once my pallete sorted out the taste. No bite and a wonderful smoke. This is why I enjoy good VAs so much, it is subtle and will blossom into wonderful variations to the puffer who refuses to rush and allow the tobacco to stay just on the verge of going out.

Initially I thought the I was smoking quickly because at the first post-lighting tamp half the bowl had been consumed. Then it occured to me that perhaps I packed a little looser with less tobacco due to its high moisture. But as I...hold on a sec...yep, she's done...finish and check the clock it appears this was an hour and 45 minute smoke. It just seemed to go by fast due to the transcendant nature of the tobacco.

If you can ease up and slow down - this is a masterpiece. Outstanding and in a class by itself. I can't wait to taste some after a little drying.

1 person found this review helpful.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (23)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Yet another " Love-it-or-hate-it ".Aromatic ? By definition ALL tobaccos are aromatic, lit or unlit. After trying 3 tins of this, I have to completely change my ratings. If my taste buds (and smell buds) are anything to go by, honey is used in this tobacco.I found this to my cost when smoking hot, which is difficult not to do with this one, as it guarantees me a sore throat every smoke.The deposit in the bowl is like treacle. The room note is pleasant in the short term, but smoke regularly in one location, and the resulting aftermath is like an old fashioned "Bar Parlour". This is not the smell that I want in my office, (even if I liked the tobacco.)

Why are there two separate sections here for the same tobacco ?? Also, this is not broken flake, but shag....perhaps more suitable for hand-rolling cigarettes.

1 person found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium Very Mild Pleasant

One of the two or three sweetest smelling tobaccos I have ever tried. When I opened the tin I was greeted with the aroma of sweet figs and light berry, I was prepared for an aromatic delight. The cut is, as others have mentioned fine, like cigarette tobacco. East to pack and easy to light, the sweet smell permeates the room. Once lit the flavor quickly fades, Plum Cake becomes a rather bland, light English blend. The room aroma also quickly fades as well.

The sweet taste comes up every once in a while when smoking this blend, but on a whole it remains bland throughout. There are are many more light English tobaccos that taste better than Germains Plum Cake, but none that smell better.

1 person found this review helpful.

Cooksmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cooksmoke (29)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Germain has a reputation for high quality that is well deserved. This was the first of their blends that I have tried. Plum Cake has a delicious tin aroma that does indeed stimulate the appetite. It is reminiscent of raisins. It could be described as a very long ribbon cut. It was very tightly packed in the tin and needs to be rubbed out a bit to make packing into the pipe easier. It lit easily and produced clouds of thick smoke.

The taste, despite the tin aroma was very very mild. There was little there to ponder on, so I just puffed away. It maintained a pretty steady one note flavor the whole way down. It was not a hot blend by any means. Still, I was looking for a little more excitement.

It was not a total disappointment, but nothing to write home about either. If it were not for the price it would make a good all day blend for working in the yard and such that you dont want an overpowering blend or something to think about. There are other blends that do that for far less cost. Still it is not bad at all, just not that great either.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (137)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This is another hit in the Germain line, but a lightly aromatic one( I normally don't like many aromatics except for some lightly scented flakes or some old Edwards blends, etc.), but this is nice. Not hot or wet or anything like that.

Now it has a viriginia base so it should be packed in layers (with the top most firm), tamped occasionally during smoking, and puffed slowly, or it could bite some. We don't want that. But with proper packing and puffing technique, it is fairly cool and a delightful light virginia aromatic. I've smoked it indoors and outside in a large Bjarne bulldog. It's not really wet at all for an aromatic with a pressed cake for its formation. It's really quite dry smoking for a sweet blend.

I would call this a light Three Star Blue or a one-half or less CAO Blue Note in flavor. I can't tell what's in it, but is seems like a light grape or wine essence to me. I haven't tried MacBarens blend of the same name, but from the write-ups in these reviews, this blend must be cooler and lighter than MACs.

Now G's Plum Cake has not a lot of flavor, and it is lighter but sweeter with their Royal Jersey Perique for instance. (It's lighter and sweeter than Edward's cool Brandywine blend too.) I'd recommend this Germain blend for a light aromatic change of pace for natural smokers or as a mild dessert blend. It is probably not rich enough for a true aromatic smoker, but even for them it could be a change of pace into something a little more to the natural side yet sweet.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★☆
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

This blend is sweet in the tin, taste and the room aroma. The light VAs are complemented by a black add that I believe gives the tobacco its fruity effect. I've heard that they treat this portion with oils and whatever they're using imparts a rather unique but pleasant flavor. Perhaps the 'cake' in its name refers to the baked variety since this is more of a ribbon cut preparation in my view. It therefore burns much faster than the flakes that I normally smoke. Moisture content and this cut requires some practice in packing technique/pipe size selection or a difficult draw and hot smoke may result. Once this is mastered, you are justly rewarded with a cool, bite-free smoke without moisture buildup in the bowl. The taste is consistent thruout the smoke and although one dimensional, is good. A smooth, sweet and mild smoke that I enjoy especially in the hot/humid weather like we've been having recently in the Northeast.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (165)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Pleasant

Plum Cake . I find this lovely ! The unlit mixture has a nice Fruity Aroma and it holds a brilliant moisture amount . Once lit , which is very simple , the smoke has a really prodigious full Plum flavour to it which is not too sweet and it does not taste at all false . Nicotine level I find good as it is discernible but not too much . I don't get any bite and can also easily inhale the smoke . The room note is quite straight forward as its mainly Virginia with a sweet touch to it , neither sublime or malodorous . The burn is very even and not too quick nor hot . A very enjoyable Plum Tobacco !

Pipe Used: Mr Brog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

english fox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
english fox (6)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

i found this a most unpleasant smoke . it looked like cigarette rolling tobacco ,was very wet and left a wet unpleasant residue at the bottom of the bowl.the taste was unremarkable bordering on the unpleasant . most disappointing .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ROMMER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ROMMER (17)
★☆☆☆
Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Strong

In my opinion this is not a good blend. The taste is sickly and overwhelming and it left me with a nasty tounge bite. Never again Thankyou.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Just like some of the other reviewers here I find the flavour of Germain's Plum Cake slighty difficult to categorise. Vanilla, fennel and licorace with some sweet damp hay? I don't know, but it's very sparingly applied and actually quite pleasant, to my palette at any rate.

The tobacco is very damp on opening the (wonderful looking) tin and so will bite like a violent psychopath in a straight jacket until given some airing time.

I found that it burns better when given a fairly firm packing into the bowl and you can then sit back and pretty much forget about it. Like Jakob Kiilerich, I found that the taste didn't really work with my usual liquid accompaniments and I've not yet settled on a fitting alternative. If this is the worst thing to say about the taste though, it's obviously not the end of the world.

The smoke is light and creamy but I found myself wanting more; more flavour, more nicotine, just more. So I had another bowl and another and another...

The flavour (of casing and tobacco) is so light that it never gets over bearing and the nicotine is so light that it never gets over powering.

I have to try to remain resolute when tempted to inhale though. Despite it's mild nature there is something about all flavoured tobacco that I find to be very irratating to the much abused haggis casings I use for lungs.

UPDATE...

I found that this worked particularly well in summer as it is a lighter tobacco but one with an unusally interesting flavour which never gets repetative, for me at least.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BEN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BEN (58)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

YUK! I purchased two aged tins of this on Ebay over a year ago...I opened one, smoked one bowl, thought it was awful! But I put it in a Mason Jar for a year to see if it helped...WELL, it did not. Hot and Nasty with very little flavor, this blend is not even worth smoking. AND, I have another sealed tin! Oh well, at least the artwork on the tin is nice. ALSO, I don't know what the "unique added flavour" is, but what it tastes like is a word I like to use frequently, but is considered profane language and is not welcome on this forum.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium Very Mild Very Pleasant

I found the pleasant looking tin to be the best thing about this blend. It is nothing like Mac Baren's Plumcake (which I enjoy once a year or so)..... This mixture is soggy, very sweet and took awhile to dry out before loading into my pipe. And yes, it did burn a bit hot, even though I tend to smoke aromatics very slowly.

Germain is a terrific blender and this Plum Cake may appeal to some. It just did not agree at all with my taste buds.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This one just didn't do it for me. What ever the flavor they added did not jell with my body chemistry. It was also way to bland for me. The flavor was not worth the time spent with this one. I have to say it's quality tobacco and burned well, maybe it will do something for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.