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Virginia, burley tobaccos sweetened by a secret process. Smoke this tobacco peacefully.

Pouch blurb: "An aromatic blend of bright Virginia and rich burley tobaccos. Finest quality leaf for a subtle smoke."

Notes: Now owned and made by MacBaren.

From P&C's website: Gold Block from Ogden's of Liverpool was known for being one of the most widely available pipe tobaccos in the UK. This smooth and relaxing blend of sweet, bright Virginia and mellow white burley is treated to a pleasant top note which allows the user to get real tobacco flavor, while delivering an enticing room note. For anyone who is looking for an all day blend, or for a lightly flavored tobacco for earlier in the day, Gold Block is certain to please.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMacBaren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringSweet / Sugar
Packaging50 grams pouch, 50 gram tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2151)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

The Virginias are citrusy with a fair amount of grass/hay, and a little peppery spice. The burleys are lightly nutty, mildly molasses sweet with very light smoky woodiness and even lighter cocoa hit. The interplay between the varietals is well balanced as you notice all their inherent aspects in every puff, though the Virginias take the lead. The discreetly applied topping is sweet with a little fruity citrus, and does not sublimate the tobaccos. The nic-hit is a shade past mild. The taste is very mild with mild strength. The tobacco is a little moist out of a freshly opened tin, but not enough to require any dry time, and I do not recommend drying this out. Being a shag cut, it burns at a slightly more than a moderate pace. I suggest a slow puffing cadence. Locomotive puffing may cause you to risk a light cigarette note. I experienced no bite. Produces a fair amount of smoke. Burns well with a cool, clean, consistent flavor as it easily burns to ash. Leaves no moisture in the bowl. Has a pleasant, woody after taste and a room note, neither of which is strong. An all day innocuous smoke without much body or strength. You won’t have to think about it much as you go about your business.

9 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (127)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not sure why Gold Block has been reviewed so unfavourably by so many posters. I agree that it's not a patch on what it was years ago; but of what OTC blend is this not true? My late father-in-law loved it and introduced me to it forty years ago, and there's no denying that it's not the same now as it was then. The big difference, I think, is the omission of Cavendish from its present incarnation. Also, the demise of the tin is to be regretted. Sold in pouches in B&Ms, it is often very dry when you get it (though it isn't hard to rehydrate).

Nonetheless, I think there's still a lot to be said in its favour. It's a mild tobacco with a very subtle, sweetish flavour that you'll miss unless you smoke it as slowly as possible. Also, it'll burn away very quickly and fry your tongue unless you smoke it as slowly as possible. The answer, of course, is to smoke it as slowly as possible! GB is certainly not for the furious puffer, but it will reward you if you treat it properly; it's a tobacco for someone who doesn't want anything too distracting or fancy. The problem that people have with GB is, I suspect, precisely that it is so mild and unassuming: it's an all-day smoke that you can just light and forget while you get on with something else; it makes no demands on you at all, but for that reason doesn't offer much to interest the connoisseur. I'm inclined to describe it as a cheaper and less sophisticated version of Fribourg and Treyer's Golden Mixture. On its own, I'd recommend it, but with the reservation that you won't like it if you are looking for strong flavours or a big Vitamin N hit.

The money-shot is this, though: mix Gold Block 50/50 with Ogden's St Bruno (flake or ready-rubbed; it doesn't matter), let the result stand for a few days in a jar, and you'll have a very fine smoke indeed. People have taken to calling this "Ogden's Mixture," and I've reviewed it separately under that name. To my mind, it's an absolutely outstanding smoke that I'd recommend to anyone.

Similar Blends: Fribourg & Treyer's Golden Mixture; Gawith & Hoggarth's Broken Scotch Cake - but perhaps a tad less classy than either of them..

7 people found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (34)
Very Mild Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

First tried this in the 80s - it was a very popular tobacco at the time, found everywhere and lots of English smokers smoked it.

I thought it burned very hot, savaged your tongue and tasted mostly of white pepper with a slight overtone of Lavender soap. The room note wasn't so much a tobacco-related odour as an acrid smell that wasn't very strong but caught you in the back of the throat.

As you may have guessed, I didn't like it.

Tried it again last week. It hasn't improved.

5 people found this review helpful.

Blueplume Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blueplume (7)
Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I bought this because I remembered my mate's father smoking it and it seemed to have a pleasant room note. I am one of those people who can't actually smell the room note when smoking it myself. Positives : nice smell in the pouch, lovely appearance and packs well and easily. Negatives : Burns hot, produces not just tongue but whole of mouth bite, no flavour can be discerned because the mouth is numbed.

This stuff reminds me of a roll your own tobacco which I tried when I smoked fags called 3 castles.That too was a lovely golden colour and handled really well but when you actually smoked it your throat was left like you'd swallowed razor blades. Gold Block is the same, and no matter how carefully you smoke it ,it will punish you relentlessly.You sip to reduce the furnace in the bowl and just taste hot air then just after halfway down the bowl the gurgling starts and you are left with a plug of soggy golden dottle. I have tried this in a variety of pipes, I hoped a meerschaum would tame it but to no avail,I have mixed it with latakia and perique but nothing can improve it.If you persist to the end of the bowl you do eventually get some kind of taste. Unfortunately it is like a cheap cigar that has been lying in its own filth in an ashtray. The remainder of the pouch has been given away because I wouldn't even put it in my odds and sods jar in case it ruined the previous disappointments lurking therein. In summary I would say Gold Block is like a beautiful woman that you take to bed trembling with anticipation who then turns out to be a ladyboy...

Pipe Used: various briars, one meerschaum

4 people found this review helpful.

Contemplative Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Contemplative (22)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

It's a strange business, smoking pipe tobacco. Very often you will find that tobaccos you couldn't stand early on in your smoking 'career' suddenly become very acceptable.

I always liked the aroma of Gold Block, which is probably the most popular proprietary brand in Britain, when other people were smoking it, but I couldn't bear the stuff at all when I smoked it myself. That was 27 years ago, when I started pipe smoking (at the tender age of 40).

At that time it seemed little better than smoking hay. Now, however, I find a lot of depth in the Gold Block experience, and it barely seems like hay at all. I think the new EU regulations, which have increased the cut width of the tobacco, may have something to do with the improvement. They've given the tobacco more 'body'.

I find the stuff now to be a fairly rich, pleasant smoking experience, with good flavour and a really deep, impressive aroma. The tobacco does burn a bit fast, but not excessively so. You can't, in any case, really go wrong with a mix of Virginia and Burley, as most experienced pipe smokers will affirm.

For me, there's absolutely no tongue burn whatsoever.

I find Gold Block now to be very satisfying, and I do recommend it as a standard baccy which I'll often turn to, though I also vary my smoking a lot, as I like to smoke many different brands, as the dozens of tins displayed on my living-room wall testify.

3 people found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to buy this when I was about 17 (I'm 39 now) and it came in a nice vacuum packed square olive coloured tin. The tobacco then, smelt of honey and mild fruit and was a light coloured mixture that had a hint of stickiness. It literally did look like a little 'block of gold' wrapped in white grease proof style paper.

It smoked well and had a nice room note. But that was then..

As with most other reviews about Gold block today's incarnation is a sad sad shadow of its former self. A completely different blend that is cigarette like, hot burning, and bland as a plain wall coated in magnolia paint.

1 out of 4 stars for the current production. 3 out of 4 stars for the 1989 version.

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1627)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mac Baren - Gold Block.

This always makes me smile as I remember the UK TV advert with Ballard Berkeley from Fawlty Towers: where, when offered a fill of it off a fellow golf club member he produced the worlds biggest pipe!

Although no toppings are listed the pouch has a caramel-esc aroma. The moisture's good, it's ready to go right away.

The smoke has a subtle sweetness, a chocolate/molasses note, but I think a lot of that emanates from the burley. Although the smoke's sweet it doesn't necessarily imply much of a casing. The Virginia offers grass, hay, but little dark fruit, or deeper Virginia traits. As a bowl burns a peppery flavour comes forward. It burns well and doesn't bite.

Nicotine: mild. Room-note: pleasant.

A nice blend but not quite a four star smoke. Recommended:

Three stars.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Various

Purchased From: Various

2 people found this review helpful.

SamH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SamH (31)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I wanted to like this. I bought loads on a whim a while back. I found it dry, harsh, lacking in nicotine and hot to smoke. TW's review of 2012 says it exactly. However, when I was at school my carpentry teacher smoked Gold Block all day long in class and I used to love those crisp autumn mornings, going up the stairs in the old converted barn to lessons. The smell of turned pine and Gold block mixing with the crisp autumn air. Bonfire night and the smell of cigars and hotdogs coming soon, Then Christmas. Then I tried it when I grew up. Now I smoke Full Virginia Flake and from a packet St Bruno. Completely different. I don't hate it, if you smoke all day and slowly it could be quite ok, It's not 1988 any more and I don't work outdoors so I prefer a punchier heavier strength tobacco. (I work long hours most days, so whilst I long for the days when one could smoke at the drawing board, actually I'd probably end up smoking continuously whilst awake so looking in a positive light, at least for most hard working men a pipe is a treat to look forward to I suppose). I can't hate this tobacco at all as it taught me at an early age that pipe smoke is nicer than any other.

Pipe Used: Billiards.

Age When Smoked: From the pack.

Purchased From: Online bulk supplier.

Similar Blends: Well, lots and nothing. It's an odd one..

2 people found this review helpful.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable to Strong

a ribbon cut mixture of of virginia and burly and perhaps other leafs but in lower percentage (bright virginia being dominant in texture and in taste). out of the pouch it has a hay grassy smell to it, the fine cut makes it easy to pack and it smokes cool if you dont pack it too tight and smoked slowly. very mild on the strength compartment and can be smoked any time of the day. burn to clean ash and leaves a clean pipe. the room note is not friendly though as with all non aromatics virginias. an easy non significant all day smoke. just put that in your pipe and smoke it!!

2 people found this review helpful.

jb1991 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jb1991 (4)
Mild Mild Very Mild Tolerable

This is another one of those English over the counter blends, except this one isn't as satisfying and a tad disapointing, the smell of opening the pouch is pretty non-existent for this one, maybe some small hints of raisins but nothing spectacular,upon lighting, it tastes like hand rolling tobacco in your pipe, you'd be better off smoking something like Amber Leaf in your pipe, the flavors were unfortunately one dimensional and burned like a furnace with often tongue bite, I hate to give a bad review because Gold Block isn't what it used to be a long time ago (trust me, I've tried an aged variety from 1983 in a jar haha!) and it used to taste so much better, citrusy flavours were present in the older blend.

It wouldn't be a good tobacco to start puffing with, if anything, a beginner would be best going with Clan or St. Bruno in comaparison.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mark Devall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mark Devall (9)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I tried this because it was recommended on a website. It burns well but with little flavour or anything else to recommend it. in the bag it smells weak. At least Condor has so much nicotine it makes my body quiver. I thought Clan was weak but next to this it's a stunna!

I'm waiting for 9 samplers from E A Carey's aromatic range and I know they will blow this away. I won't wake up at night dreaming of this stuff, I might have to give it a decent burial tomorrow. Don't waste your money! Seriously! For the same amount you can buy a Bentley; why drive a battered old Lada. It's crap!

EDIT: Just mixed 50/50 with E A Carey's Soft Aromatic Blend, it was like crashing a Bentley into a Lada; did nothing for either of them. I'm going to go up to St James in London on the weekend and pick up something nice in a tin!

2 people found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (139)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

The smell in the packet is barely discernible, save for a vague scent of rice pudding. Probably the easiest lighting and easiest packable tobacco I've found so far.

The smokes is reasonable pleasant and light but doesn't particularly stand out amongst all the tobaccos I've tried. Does give a bit of tonguebite.

The nicest thing I find about this is the room note, which has a habit of popping up hours later and surprising me with a really nice waft of tobacco scent.

Update 27/04/2013

I recently bought a 25g pouch of this to check it out again. I've done this with a few tobaccos recently that I bought when I first started and wasn't fond of, usually because of rampant tonguebite, and ended up liking second time round, in part due to the tonguebite disappearing probably because I'm more used to pipe tobacco now. First time around I have to confess that the bite without filters was horrendous and manageable with (that's both bowl and stem). Sadly, this hasn't changed at all unlike the others and has fallen into the mediocre and the dull. I ended up putting most of the packet in my scragends mixture with the leftovers of a load of other tobaccos, only to be smoked when a lack of other tobaccos keeps me from smoking something good. Not so truly rank as to deserve a single star and that room note still charms, but I doubt I'll bother getting this again.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (834)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff has its place in the pipe smoking world. If you're an amateur blender and you have a concoction that won't take the match so well, add some of this. It doesn't impart much flavor and it will improve the burn rate.

Smoked by itself, this is an overly blase smoke that burns rather quick. It will certainly smoke hot if you allow it to but puffed temperately, this is cool enough. I just found it bland but if bland is what you want, this is your ticket. I plan to keep it stored for blending, and it really helped out one of my Vapers burn properly and also toned down an overly rich taste. Nice! Of course, some shag or finely cut burley will do the same trick at a lower cost.

2 people found this review helpful.

ex20adayman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ex20adayman (30)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm going to go against the flow on this one - I like it. I've tried all the readily available shop (or "drugstore") brands in the UK bar this one, until now. I was put off by the reviews on here.

Typical cost cutting from Imperial, no longer available in a tin - it comes in a pouch either 25g or 50g. Very lightweight tobacco, almost like cigarette tobacco.

Packs easily, burns evenly (too quickly IMO). Pleasant smoke aroma (lots of it too), good basic flavour with no topping, cool burning and no bite unless provoked. It has the taste and smell of a classic British pipe tobacco. Guess this was why it was so popular and "the aristocrat of pipe tobacco" for so long. This is the "straight" blend I've been looking for - not too heavy on the nicotine and suitable for all day smoking. As another reviewer said it leaves you wanting more. I think I'll race through the pack I have.

Loved the anecdotes on here about it being more expensive than St Bruno back in the day and also the one about the Ogdens sales rep who recommended a 50/50 mix.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Gold Block is not receiving the best of reviews here (for the most part), and that is no doubt because so many reviewers have only smoked the newer Mac Baren's pouched version which is not even a ghost of the original Ogden's produced Gold Block, which was a classic blend with deeply rich Virginia and Burley leaf that was almost black in color due to the special processing that made the palate squeal with delight. If you find an old tin of this stuff, pay the extra nickel to make it your own!

The tin I smoked was quite aged, perhaps 8-10 years. I'm here to tell you that it aged well. The shag cut and sublime Virginia/Burley leaf was peppered with an unusually naturally sweet flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed. It did indeed smoke cool, burn slow and provide lots of smoke. If you want a "tobacco tasting" tobacco with an unusual sweetness that is certainly unique, live on the wild side and try a bowl of this delightful blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (150)
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

ìts a typical Macbaren burley blend, with virginia behind. Its sweet, cool and easy to smoke all day. Its not at all complex and can get very boring very fast. But...many many people love this blend so this speaks to the subjectivity of taste in pipe smoking. If i want this sort of blend, id pick one of the pure virginias from macbaren, which tend to have a touch more character.

it is what it is.

Purchased From: 4noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (107)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

The Gold Block today doesn't resemble the Gold Block of yesteryear; I tried a couple of tins over twenty year ago. It used to have a rather intensely sweet taste with a honey and cooked apple-spice like character primarily derrived from deertongue extracts I think or tonka beans. Well, that changed in the 90's do to issues with sources of coumarin and it's removal. I bought those tins prior to and just after that reformulation and it was obvious GB became far less sweet. It had a bit of an overriding bite for me so, I never smoked it regularly. Today's version is barely aromatic with a slightly sweet fig-fruit aroma to the tin with more a natural smooth golden virgina note albeit cased with subtle fragrance. The burley is rather attenuated and doesn't seem to lift it's head above the virginia. This a a much more smoother virginia blend that I hardly get any bite from which is a real pleasure for a change. Nicotine is slightly above mild. It doesn't have the more intense character it used to but, in and of itself is a very pleasant almost straight forward tobacco striking a balance between natural leaf and augmentation of casing. I wonder why there wasn't more of an attempt to recapture the older fragrance with whatever alternatives the flavoring industry could provide but, maybe that wasn't possible. Nevertheless, recommended to anybody who wants a smoother virginia and especially to novices moving up the smoking ladder from generic golden cavendishes.

Pipe Used: Stanwell bent billlard w/military Stem

Age When Smoked: New

1 person found this review helpful.

SunriseBoy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SunriseBoy (16)
Mild None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

A pack of this was sent to me by a mate in Pommy Land. I really looked forward to it as he has smoked it for 40 or more years.

OK, so it showed up with the postie this morning just in time for me to give it a test drive. Well, how can I put this burnt the living crapola out of my tongue, the roof of my mouth and the back of my throat. Two hours later I can still feel the discomfort on the back of my palate. Holy crap!

The guys who like it must have a mouth lined with stainless steel.

Pipe Used: French Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Gift

1 person found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I think there's only one way to enjoy this tobacco and that is to smoke it as slow as possible. At my normal pace the flavor goes off the rails quite quickly. When I force myself to have the patience it provides a decent smoke with sweet hay, a touch of citrus, and a hint of nuts and earth. I'll recommend this to those who have the patience of Job.

Mild to medium in body and taste. Has a very mild added sweetness. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Ian K Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian K (26)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I bought a pouch of this as I had forgotten my tobacco on a fishing trip and it was all the newsagents had. I'm not gonna waste time going into depth but it brought nothing to the table and ended up in the trash, burned quickly, tasted bland and left me thinking how has this stuff survived for so long?

My advice is as this is the same price as most premium your money...don't bother

Pipe Used: Falcon hunter

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: B&M

1 person found this review helpful.

Mawnan Smiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mawnan Smiff (28)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

My first post.

After far too many years rolling my own smokes I have made the move to piping. I bought several OTC tobaccos from my local supermarket to see which if any suited my palate. I have to say of all those that I tried, Gold Block is by far the worst of the bunch. A very bland smoke that bit both my tongue and my throat (non of the others bit at all). When smoking rollups I blended my own baccy, usually a mixture of Old Holborn with Drum/Sampson which I suppose gave me something of a strong baccy and perhaps this is where Gold Block misses the target.

So as to not waste the stuff (foolishly bought 50g) I shall be mixing it with equal quantities of St. Bruno & Condor, both of which I much prefer in the vain hope I might end up with something smokable.

Pipe Used: Various 'basket' pipes + a rather nice Parker.

Age When Smoked: Fresh.

Purchased From: Asda

Similar Blends: Nothing yet tried..

1 person found this review helpful.

Puffing Billy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffing Billy (1)
Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

This used to be my staple 30 years ago and beyond. The rubbish that is marketed today is a travesty. The original certainly was an "aristocrat" but the current incarnation is an impostor. Enough to drive you to cigarettes, and equally as bland. This is NOT a blend for any serious pipester. It may just have some limited appeal if you were never spoilt by the original, but I doubt it. You'll probably end up using it sparingly as a blending bulker just to get shot of it.

1 person found this review helpful.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

After watching a series of reveiws of classic American blends on YouTube (by nickandhispipe) I decided to work my way through some of our classic (and readily available) British blends.

So what do I think of Gold Block? I am genuinely unconvinced that the ribbon cut, golden leaf in the (rather nice) gold foil pouch is really tobacco.

It was harsh and stung the lining of my mouth. It tasted of over-brewed tea and the smell of the dried, mouldy grass clippings that you find when you drag the lawn mower out for the first time in spring. I found nothing that I recognised as tobacco flavour and nothing that I liked.

I hear it is niced mixed 50/50 with St. Bruno, which is how I will use the rest of my pouch. I'll give an update when I've formed an opinion on this mixture.

1 person found this review helpful.

goldfinger63 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
goldfinger63 (13)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

based on my 31 years of pipe smoking,i read that gold block gets very low ratings.but to me this is an ideal smoke for the first pipe of the day.i keep this one in my next smoke will be either penzance or balkan flake.also i have had no problems with tongue burn,it depends on how the pipe is packed.

1 person found this review helpful.

The Full English Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Full English (31)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

This review is based upon a 25g plastic pouch of the recent variety:

I impatiently grabbed a pouch of this from Tesco, for want of trying something new, but in all honesty, I could have simply veered left to point at the ample selection of budget cigarettes. Gold Block epitomizes the jaded selection of mainstream, same-old pipe tobaccos in the UK - or to put it bluntly - those few that are only readily available away from internet shopping. Why anyone would choose this particular pipe tobacco more than once defies logic and reason, as one may as well just buy rolling tobacco and give up the briar. It seems to render the whole notion of pipe smoking a moot point.

Indeed, Gold Block shares the same kind of grassy, hay-bale aroma and quality of Golden Virginia, and it's cut a shade above shag. It's lightly sweetened rather than cased, but imparts very little flavour and does nothing to really rouse the blend out of monotony. Neither does the Virginia hold up as a good example of a well- seasoned base - lending credence to my theory that Gold Block is cut and banged out in record time, stems and all, devoid of quality management. Even Drum and Amber Leaf rolling tobacco are better examples, and frankly I'd rather have those scorching in the pipe than this.

As a cigarette smoker, I can acknowledge that without the nicotine, a cigarette is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard, and Gold Block seems equally pointless, with a low nicotine content. It loads and burns well, but it's fine cut will need a lover's touch when packing, or else you'll find you've just made a tight plug with a terrible draw.

In summary, this is a rather stale and grassy tobacco that tickles and scratches the throat in an unpleasant manner; the room note being sadly reminiscent of the kind of itchy-eyed summers, with a high pollen index that I loathed as a boy.

Trust your intuition next time you're at the supermarket - and jog on by. If you're not buying Condor, your money is better spent on the web.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (107)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Original June 16 2008

I had a passionate afair with this for a good number of years, would'nt smoke anything else 'till one day my tobacconist, Nat Chait (RIP) led me astray, could hardly face it afterwards.

Reccomended here in England as good tobacco for new pipe smokers, and as I'd just come back from ten years on the other side of the pond, it was a good one to get back into English tobacco's, burned well, smoked well, with a good taste. Unfortunately, as I said, I was led astray and wandered into the world of aromatics for a goodly number of years before coming over to flakes.

There seems to have been a lot of poor reviews to this particular offering of Ogdens, and in comparison to other tobacco's, I would have been inclined to agree, had it not been for my discovery of this site, which gives much credence to the cellaring of tobacco's, virginia's in particular. last week, my wife discovered a tin, yes a tin of Gold Block that I had opened and then left, perhaps eight years ago ? or more, needless to say, the tobacco was a little dry, but by leaving a damp tissue in the tin for about four days, I actualy ventured to try it, surprise suprise, not bad at all, there seems to be something in this cellaring.

Still only giving poor old Gold Block three stars, change that, I'll give it four. Why? well it served well it's original purpose, and I've found an aged Gold Block to be even better. But I am not sure about ageing pouches as that of couse is what it's served up in these days.

Updated 7th August 2010 For old times sake, I tried a 25g pouch of this and it's nothing like what I remember, the basic taste is still there, but it just burned hot and peppery so I tried the trick of mixing it with 25g of St Bruno RR. And that did nothing to save the day either.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

"Hi Mr. Gold Block, I know that you're not very popular, but don't worry, I think you're a quite nice fellow"

A weird outsider this tobacco is.. Almost cigarette-cut, bright VA with a strange topping that i find very interesting. I smoked this when it was still made by Imperial, so this review may not be up to date.

Upon opening the tin I was greeted with the smell of freshly mown hay and that special topping which you either love or hate. I have difficulties describing it, but it smells and tastes like tarragon/woodruff/coumarine.

The nicotine level is, unfortunately not very high, but it doesn't matter, because the strange taste tickles my senses and makes me forget it.

All I can say is: Try it for yourself - It's 50/50 if it's gonna ring your bell I guess.

Note: The newer version from Orlik is totally void of the original topping. It's now a bright virginia - very close to RYO tobacco like Cutter's Choice of Amber Leaf. But a different cut of course

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: Several

Age When Smoked: Old and New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: None.

1 person found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Appearance: Mostly yellow and orange , medium width ribbon cut.

Aroma: Sort of grassy, as in not well matured Viginias.

Packing: Packs easily in most pipes.

Lighting: Lights easily, someimes with one match.

Initial flavor: I wish I could describe it, but I can?t find it. There is hardly any flavor to speak of. Maybe this is why so many Virginias are pressed.

Mid-bowl: Exceedingly mild flavor, reasonably cool and dry. The room aroma was similar to English cigarettes (Players, not Sobranie).

Finish: A bit stronger at the end, but still not much taste.

Summary: Way too mild and uninteresting for me, but YMMV. If you like very light Virginias, this might be the one

1 person found this review helpful.

TDE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TDE (10)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

A blend of Virginia and Burley that is somewhat reminiscent of cigarette tobacco posing as a pipe mixture.

On the positive side; 1) it is very easy to light and keep lit (almost regardless of how you pack it) 2) the possibility of 'bite' to the tongue or roof-of-the-mouth for new pipe smokers is very low 3) it's room note is not super-heavy but neither is it memorably pleasent.

For pipesmokers who inhale the odd puff, Gold Block's strength will not knock you over.

On the negative side; 1) the initial room note is not unpleasant but fades to a stale cigarette-like smell in an hour or so. 2) it burns rather rapidly (even when puffed slowly) and is rather uneconomical over the long haul.

I think there are much better pipe tobaccos out there and am saddened to see the famous name of Ogden's associated with this rather unremarkable and insipid blend. Bring back Ogden's Special NutGone Celebrated Flake Tobacco!

1 person found this review helpful.

Geir Danielsen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geir Danielsen (5)
Extremely Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

This one was given to me as a gift(Mac B.version) well...a hay like some citrus,very mild...but smoked slowly it gives me some great tones on the palate, real tobacco taste shine thru. A ok blend for those who prefer bright virginias(and burley) Its very mild as mensioned,i prefer moore lady N.

Pipe Used: Jakobsen Pipe little squat tomato.

Age When Smoked: new

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thesmoggypipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thesmoggypipester (51)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

It's not a normal thing for me to do a review of a tobacco after not even one bowl, but this is an exception to the rule, as I am very pleasantly surprised by this tobacco.

Opening the pouch, it's basically a shag cut, familiar virginia tang and the familiar nuttiness/cocoa note of the burley and a subtle sweet top note added.

Packing is extremely easy and lighting is as well.

Sip this slowly as you would a good whiskey and this tobacco will reward you with a nice easy going subtle flavoured smoke, towards the middle of the bowl the flavours up the antenna slightly and I get a lovely caramelised sugar note, but again it isn't strong it's subtle.

As a side note though a couple of points.

Do not at your peril rush this tobacco, it will bite and bite big time, it used to be known as the "aristocrat of pipe tobaccos" as in life you do not rush an aristocrat.

The flavours are never strong on this, it's very subtle, and if you take it slow the flavours will come to you. Alas with its strength so if you are looking for a strong smoke you won't find it here.

All in a very pleasant tobacco, that's suitable for any time of day,especially as a first pipe of the day with a cup of coffee. (Has a vague resemblance to Carter hall)

Oh and one last thing, the room note is one that wouldn't even offend the most ardent of non smokers.

Pipe Used: Alco with bulldog bowl

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Carter hall in a sense..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (93)
Extremely Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I actually was pleasantly surprised with this one when I finally got around to smoking it. I haven't had the original so I can't compare it to that but it is my understanding that this was an OTC baccy at one time and for that it is a perdy darn good tobacco. The prices we are seeing on this tobacco in the States would suggest it's a top shelf, high end tobacco so it seems Mac Baren is trying to force this blend in a market where it does not belong. I would happily pay OTC prices for Gold Block but unfortunately this blend does not warrant the current asking price. This is not a high end, fancy tobacco and if that is what you are expecting you will be disappointed. It is a good, bland smoke that I wouldn't mind putting into my pipe from time to time. It doesn't have any real flavor that I can speak of, it's like a sugar cookie in that it's sweet but doesn't really taste like anything but is still quite enjoyable. If pushed this will definitely give you tongue bite so go slow with this one. Air dry this one 15-20 minutes before loading up and you'll be good to go. Nicotine is nothing special so if your require large doses of nicotine than I suggest ya snuff and puff with this one. A fun thing you can try out with this blend is mixing it 50/50 with St. Bruno for a whole different taste experience. Apparently this method was very popular for a time, they call it Ogden's Mixture.

They should have kept this one where it belongs... over the counter.

Pipe Used: Stanwell

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (102)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It seems like Gold Block was an iconic blend back in the day and it may well have merited all the hype and sales in days gone by. Never smoked the original. With that being said, this tobacco as it is no great shakes with me. Very seldom if ever do I dislike a blend because I believe each stands on its own merit. I find Gold Block to be a monotone blend. While you do get components of both Virginia and Burley they just don't seem to marry very well. To each his own I guess. I think I may add this to some others and try it. I am sure it will marry with something.

Pipe Used: Various briars and cobs

Age When Smoked: New and 2 + months

Purchased From: Smoking pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.Blandings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.Blandings (4)
Very Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Reading all these reviews reminds me of the BB King song, “the thrill is gone”. Perhaps however, a bit of Burt Bacharach’s “love sweet love” is in order! I understand from friends and other sources that the new stuff is, to put it politely, rubbish! I can’t speak to that as I have never tried it but I can tell you as a lover of all that is vintage, this stuff ages wonderfully! Most if not all of the Gold Block tins I have are from the late 80’s to early 90’s. Therefore, I have only had the Ogdens produced GB. I’m not a chemical engineer but something wonderful is happening in that tin over time. A pure Virginia taste with a touch of honey is prominent. When you first light up, you get a musky aroma as well, like a cork from an old bottle of wine. It’s truly an enjoyable experience. Perhaps I’m swimming upstream, but I would simply encourage anyone so motivated or curious to find an old tin and give it another try. I never have trouble finding it at pipe shows, by the way.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie

Age When Smoked: 20+

Purchased From: Pipe Shows

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Granny Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granny Smith (25)
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

This ain't nowhere near as bad as people are making out but it's not as full flavoured as other easily available blends in UK supermarkets. It's OK though and superb when mixed 50/50 with St Bruno, both of which are made by Ogdens. Mixing these two is so well known that people then call it Ogden's Blend but let's talk about straighforward Gold Blend - it's got a sweet taste, almost like honey and I certainly don't agree that it tastes like cigarettes. Nor does it give tongue bite...well, not unless you puff away like crazy. Kick back, put on some cool music and enjoy the mix of virginia and burley. It's Okay. Put it that way.

Pipe Used: Rothman's Gerrad and Hall and Fitzgerald

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Pissing Tescos

Nobody has rated this review yet.

captain duff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
captain duff (9)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can understand why many are negative to this blend. I used to find it overly harsh, with a tendency to bite due to the sweetness of the casing and having a rather artificial chemical flavouring.

But you know, I actually quite like the stuff these days. Yes, you need to smoke it slowly to avoid the bite, and yes there are better sweet virginia/burley mixtures out there with more natural flavours, but for a widely available supermaket UK blend it is for me definately smokeable. And for a foil packet rather than a tin the packaging is really rather attractive.

I think if you come from other still available Ogden's blends - St Bruno and Walnut flake and expect similar you will be disapointed, but they are completely different styles of tobacco. And although sadly none of the Ogdens tobaccos are now made in Liverpool (the factory is long shut), or even so far as I'm aware in the UK, this old blend (originally produced in 1901) when treated with care will reward a pipe smoker with a relaxing smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philosopher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philosopher (27)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I think the most charitable thing to be said about GB is that it is pointless. I remember buying some in the 80s during my first pipe smoking phase, and at that time it had a distinctive and pungent fruity aroma. The current version seems a pale shadow of what I remember it being, and overall it is a thin and insipid smoke. If I was stuck on a desert island with nothing else to smoke, I'd smoke it, but short of that I can't see myself buying another packet.

To other readers who smoked GB 25 years ago: has it really changed or is it my imagination and memory that is at fault?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jazzenator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jazzenator (2)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am surprised that this tobacco has faired rather poorly in most of the reviews on this website. I am a relatively new pipe puffer and have found that I am extremely vulnerable to tongue bit and the effects of strong tobacco. Although Gold Block, like any other pipe tobacco can and has caused me tongue bite, I find that if I pace myself on the pipe and don't smoke it to quickly, it is just great. The room note is quite agreeable although it can leave a light tobacco scent in fabric and clothing on not so well ventilated areas. I am not saying that this is the best of all tobaccos and certainly is not the 'Aristocrat of Pipe Tobaccos' as it is described. I am merely saying that it is not bad and quite acceptable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (263)
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I wonder what I had expected from a supermarket blend -- in some UK supermarkets this is actually the only pipe tobacco available.

Finely cut VA and Burley, pouch scent somewhat perfume-ish, not very promising. Stuffing is easy enough, so is lighting.

The room note is sweetish and a bit nondescript for me; not a real winner. The taste is somewhat nutty and rather sour, this stuff burns hot and produces a lot of condensation -- I'm throwing away the rest of my pouch; wouldn't wish this blend on anybody.

Can't recommend at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (61)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Packet:50g gold foil pouch.

Reasons for purchase: - call it delayed nostalgia -This i had to try because its one of the few brands I remember seeing often as a kid since 70s. Holding the packet alone evokes images of my youth by association.

I don't think any baccy has taught me more about the sublime art of pipe smoking and the necessity of 'getting it right'' than Gold Block: Gold block was for me the most volatile tobacco i had ever attempted to get any pleasure from. Gold block is absolutely pipe sensitive :depending what you are smoking it in you will either get a burnt mouth or a golden delight of a smoke.

I have tried every pipe size , shape and material. Experiments with different pipes has paid off in a kind of apprenticeship with this. I wanted to like this baccy first time round because you see it everywhere in the UK , and even for its sensitive bastard nature it had in good moments a unique sweet and sour citrusy simplicity which no other pipe baccy i have tried come close.

I am not sure i totally understand its popularity given its traits , but it must have something golden within which other pipesters agree is worth perseverence for. When its good its perfect.

Pouch Aroma: sweet honey virginia - like when you take your watch off on a hot summers day and sniff your wrist,,,slightly honeycombish.

Tobacco type:Aromatic maybe- it has a sweet and sour lemon juice /lemon grass taste meets barley sugar sweets.

Pedestrian comments:None really ,,,except from others i know in the pub who had smoked it in the past and i will mention their oppinions as well..

Bailey's irish creme liqueur on hand ,as this has a neutraliser effect on tobacco acids or whatever that causes tongue bite..

This goes well with a shot of gordons dry london gin i might add,it seems to have a neutraliser effect.But its really working well in this pipe and so i am not sure i want to mess with it.

It has a fizzy sherbert citric acid sourness with a slight sucrose sweet limey or white grape essence and the mouth feel is like a lighter weight Dunhill Royal Yacht. A consistant mild grassy sweet and sour,slightly bitter hayish honeysweet fruitiness

On lighting up i get a dryish burning wine cork,after tamping an oaky burning/smouldering green grass,followed by a lemon grass as it settles dow; ,beansprouts ,lychee, Hillman Superminx pvc car seats,and the sweetish honeysuckle and limey grape aromatic overtones.

what you get out of it depends entireley on what pipe you smoke it in and how well broken in your pipe is. It may not be what it once was,but i never smoked the original incarnation,but i can get it to taste how i wanted it to taste which is good enough.

It really goes to show how pipe sensitive some baccies are and how an at first seemingly horrible smoke can turn into a 4star smoke in the right pipe. Experiments with different pipes has paid off . It burned cool and tasted like a can of pineapple and grapefruit lilt .

Pipe Used: peterson 303, Falcon bent,Park lane.The Pipe.

Age When Smoked: New and couple of years

Purchased From: Anywhere

Similar Blends: Dunhill Royal Yacht..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dangousb6 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dangousb6 (2)
Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I am new to pipe smoking and my tobacconist recommended this to me and wot a horrible experiance that was. I have tried many other tobacco's since and I went back to this one to give it another go, It reminds me of a fag. Begginers take a wide birth.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I guess this would be a nice tobacco for a beginner.

But for an experienced smoker as myself, this did not ring any bell and did not represent an interesting smoking experience at all.

It is definitively good quality leaf, with a nice long cut, golden and medium brown shades. Fills easy and smokes easy but was kind of bland.

Maybe with a bit of perique added?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (102)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

Bought a pouch of this from Sainsbury's out of sheer interest.

That was 2 months ago. I've still got it.

I like the pouch aroma. Really enticing. As a pipe tobacco it's pretty pointless. I mean it's just tasteless.

It's not nasty like St Bruno. It doesn't stink the place out either.

It makes great cigarettes.....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I walked into a shop in Gran Canaria (Spain) where I found some Dunhills at a good price and while I paid for my tobaccos the shopkeeper insisted that I should buy this one as well. Now I enjoy his persistence. I read that it has nothing to do with the old tin, as it is now manufactured in Spain, as I was told by the shopkeeper. But for me it makes no difference, since I really liked this Virginia. Moderate nicotine strength, fills the bowl easily and it is also easily lit. It leaves a very discrete scent in the room, has no aroma and has very good moisture level, even immediately after opening the tin. I do not know how to describe since it does not give something extra, but then again it can smoked and very easily, perhaps in some nervous and hurriedly smoking. It has a sweetness because of the Cavendish, but nothing more than that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is all about the current pouched version of GB, which I got back from Barcelona. Never smoked the tinned GB of old.

One does not need to smoke pounds of GB for understanding its qualities (and limits). It's not bad, and I may understand why there are pipsters devoting to discrete blends like this. I think GB belongs to the cathegory of the English traditionals, just like St. Bruno, having a wide (?!?) platea of estimators, smokers who are not looking for stunning sensations. Just a mild and easy smoke delivering some sweet notes, unoffensive to others. A bit non-sense, nowadays that smoking a pipe in public is as rare as white elephants...

Well, let me say first that GB is not golden. Upon opening the sealed pouch the weed shows as a mixture of pale yellow and light brown. Virginia and Burley. My pouch was definitely fresh, the tobacco a bit wet, not too much. Fine ribbon, not shag, but then: yes, it strongly recalls some RYO, mainly because of the pouch aroma.

Loaded a bit loose in some straight Castello's. Lights very easy and stays lit. I would not write all the story of the bowl in thirds... let me just say that during the first third the smoke was a bit stingy, maybe due to some deep puffing in search of more flavour; then the smoke settles down to peace. Sweet tongue, nice! Vitamin N satisfaction: nope. Partial pleasure, maybe that's why they said it leaves you wanting more...

Since GB came in good company with St. Bruno RR, sure I will try the famous mix 50/50 nicely told herebelow. I will tell You further.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (18)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

=Note, the rating is based on the old version Gold Block=

Last year, I was lucky to purchase a dozen pouches of the last incarnation of the old GB, before it disappeared from the shelves in the early 2000's. The old GB was indeed a mild-mannered, mild-tasting Va.-Burley-Cavendish blend with a casing that reminded me of figs, dates and fruit cake and that was applied not so heavy as to overpower the taste of the tobacco.

A pleasant tobacco which I smoked any time of the day and which never caused a negative reaction from bystanders.

What's sold as Gold Block today in the UK and e.g. tax-free in Spain has nothing in common with the old GB. Which is a crying shame.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DEN-C1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DEN-C1956 (32)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

having tried most of the over the counter newsagent tobacco's..i got around to GOLD BLOCK,wow....what a waste of time...its not for me,i was glad when i finished the tin,i wont be buying this ever again,to me the best over the counter pipe tobacco is condor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1281)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Only recently have I begun my pipesmoking hobby. I moved from cigars earlier in 2009, after having avidly read the many interesting reviews on this site. So readers, take note that this review is a basic insight from someone new to pipesmoking.

I bought GB after searching around for an easy introduction to pipe tobacco. I had read it was easy burning, if a little hot, and easy lighting.

I purchased the 25g pouch - a nondescript packaging that only hints at its 'Ogdens of Liverpool' heritage. The tobacco is thin cut, almost akin to rolling tobacco. The colour is medium brown, actually a bit monochrome.

In the pouch, GB smells 'golden'. A little toasted, a little sweet. Packing the bowl is easy, and the moisture content is minimal.

This makes the first light quite a success. GB lights very easily, and stays lit most of the way down the bowl. It indeed tends to burn hot, as has been noted. Initially, the flavouring was as golden as the aroma. It is not at all heavy or spicy, and is not overly sweet either.

Halfway down the bowl, the burn warms up. I noticed that GB produces a fair amount of smoke, and it tends to taste sweeter as the burn progresses. Nearing the end of the pipe, a plain tobacco flavour is complemented with a honeyed note.

The room note is pleasant, also somewhat honeyed, but not characteristic of an aromatic tobacco. Friends have told me it smells quite like shag tobacco, just a little more pipelike.

GB burns down to a fine white dottle. It has been my first proper pipe experience - I once dabbled with Borkum Riff, and was put off for some years - and has eased me into pipesmoking peacefully. Somewhat recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThomK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThomK (3)
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

When mads by Ogdens of Liverpool in a tin box it was tasteful and good, but today 2009 09 if found in a plastic punch it´s far from the orginal taste, Why ? / ThomK in Sweden.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Part Time Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Part Time Piper (4)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Gold block is a quick burning, hot smoking little bale of hay, low on flavour and strength. Maybe there's a few crushed B&H fags mixed in to give it some sort of taste. Try it once so you know what to avoid in future. Don't leave the tin open, it could be a fire hazard.

I still recall the TV ad for this stuff. A professor is talking to a student in an Oxbridge college grounds and says "Gold Block Eh! I remember your father, he was a pipe man too." Hopefully the professor introduced the young man and his father to other tobaccos!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lez0n Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lez0n (2)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It sounds as if the previous reviews can be divided between those reviewing the current version of Gold Block in the bag and a cellared tin from days past. I am currently working on my second tin of Gold Block with an estimated age of 8+ years.

Both tins were well preserved. The tobacco was tightly packed into an almost solid "block" and was not too moist nor too dry and was cradled by thick, waxy paper stained by years of waiting to share it's contents. It had the slightly crispy texture and unmisteakable aroma of well-aged tobacco with a spicy note almost reminiscent of cinnamon and cedar. The aroma seemed to be more attributable to the blend and aging rather than any casing/topping.

Others have criticized it for burning too hot and too fast. I found it to be a cool smoke that burns relatively fast. It has been my experience that aged ribbon cuts tend to burn fast due to the extra decomposition of the leaf.

In comparison to other virginia blends I found this to be complex and flavorful with subtle nuances. I tasted elements of spice, pure tobacco, a bit of leather, and woodiness. I'm a to-the-bottom-of-the-bowl kind of guy and I found this blend to gain in strength during the last 1/3 of the bowl taking on a strong taste of charcoal like many English blends seem to do.

I'm glad someone mentioned getting a sore throat from this as I had noticed the same experience and was quite perplexed given the overall smoothness of this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kenneth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kenneth (15)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking Condor `Long Cut for about a month or so having recently had quite a long spell smoking Walnut Flake also from Ogden's of Liverpool. So this morning I bought 2 50 grams of GB. I must say it is very pleasant, slow burning with a homely friendly aroma. I am smoking it in the same pipe I was smoking Condor in and there is no Condor after taste in my Dunhill shell No 4 briar with an amber stem.I definitely prefer simple tobaccos and GB fits that category. It is also readily available which is important to me.


I have been smoking Gold Block for a couple of month now and find it quite pleasant and agreeable but this morning I called into my specialist tobacconists (Green's of Leeds) and bought some Grousemoor which I have duly mixed with the Gold Block and do you know, it is really very very nice with one aromatic perfectly complementing the other. Well worth a try for the all day smoker.

Smokers unfamiliar with either brand should smoke them gently in a reserved manner so as to avoid tongue bite but with a little practice one will not fall victim to this and should be able to smoke a bowl full without any problems. Contrary to some advise here. This is not a beginners tobacco and should only be smoked by those who have achieved a certain amount of finesse with thier technique

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Iron Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Iron Pipe (6)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Being a newbie to this, I was bound to come across Gold Block at some point, and boy, I wish I hadn't.

It burns far too hot, no matter how you smoke it, and I have been bitten each time I have smoked it. I have tried various packing/pipe/smoking combinations yet the relentlessness of the tongue bite is truly impressive.

It also has given me a sore throat each time, even though it seems mild on the mouth. Don't be fooled! I am sure Mr Ogden is turning in his nicotine stained grave at this most recent version of his 'Aristocrat of Pipe Tobaccos'.

Steer clear of this, if what you want is a good all-day tobacco that is easily available the stick with the St Bruno's

Nobody has rated this review yet.

paulwfromtheden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
paulwfromtheden (14)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Having returned to pipe smoking for the first time in 20 years (and indeed any sort of tobacco use), I have found Gold Block to be a very pleasant 'starter' to get back into this marvellous pasttime. I chose it as this was one of my choices when I stopped. It is unpretentious, easy on the tounge and palatte and does not induce nausia! It feels like I have been reintroduced to an old friend. For people starting out smoking a pipe, I would find it hard (with my relatively inexperienced view) to recommend anything else. That said, I do not expect to stay loyal to Gold Block for too long, and even after my first couple of pipes, I am already looking at alternatives.

30/10/08 - Decided to downgrade to two stars after comparison with other tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ROMMER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I have recently reviewed my reviews and changed my views on certain tobaccos, Gold Block is one. This tobacco is certainly not at the bottom of my list but it is nowhere near the top. A very light and slow burning tobacco,with very little kick, and a certain lack of clarity. Like drinking a non alcholic beer, everythings seems to be present but the 5 percent. Would suit those who smoke a lot and need an all day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

I can?t think why I hadn?t reviewed this one before. Haven?t smoked it in a decade or so. A very popular blend in Britain, as I recall. It was easy to come by, not particularly expensive, and good to smoke in public. No one seemed to mind. In fact, publicans would encourage you to light up in order to produce a cosy, customer-friendly atmosphere.

Very mild, but without tongue bite, the blend?s almost natural sweetness (a topping, I presume) was redolent of cocoa beans and hazelnuts. It could become somewhat monochromatic and dull; then again I believe this tobacco was never meant to incite wondrous deeds, nor deep-contemplative inner experiences in the Balkanic/Latakian sense of the term. Rather, Gold Block seems to have been conceived as that perfect silent companion for those who enjoy a peaceful evening by the fire or sitting at a desk, surrounded by books, pen and paper.

Odgens? refer to Gold Block as the ?aristocrat of pipe tobaccos?. Personally, I wouldn?t find it an insult (to the breed or the manufacturer) to hail it as the Bassett Hound of Pipe Tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

garydobbs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
garydobbs (20)
Extremely Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mild is the operative word with this one but that's not a bad thing and I too have found that it makes a wonderful smoke if mixed 50/50 with St. Bruno. But on it's own it is a pleasing enough smoke in its own right. I find that it does tend to burn hot if one's not careful but then you can say the same about most supermarket/drug store blends. A good dependable smoke then with a medium nicotine hit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

onepuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
onepuff (6)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

A very mild tasting but definitely not unpleasant tobacco which burns well and evenly even if it is a little too fine cut for my taste. The room aroma such as it is turns fragrant and doesn't linger making this an ideal tobacco to enjoy indoors in company. There is a reasonable nicotine kick to Gold Block.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Holy Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Holy Smoke (26)
Very Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

I couldn't stand this blend, so I won't waste much time in reviewing it.

When you open the pouch you will find yourself greeted by a selection of unusual odours, ones that are reminiscent of dried seaweed and carrot.

The taste, well it's a lot like wotsits mixed with B&H - This is not the sort of thing I want in my mouth and drew my mind toward 1970s dinner parties. On the plus side it burns very quickly, so you won't have to put up with it for too long.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I first discovered Gold Block on a visit to the UK in 1972. It was a very pleasant, very light mixture which in today`s idiom could have been described as `easy smoking`. It retained its quality upto the late seventies, when it suffered a perceptible decline. The latest version, in a plastic pouch, has few of the virtues of the tinned version and tastes of chemicals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jimh76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jimh76 (3)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Like smoking a cheap cigarette - looking at the reviews - and casting my memory back to my first boss who smoked it like it was going out of fashion - I think that this was once a nicer easier smoke. I won't be buying it again - and I can't understand it's popularity here in the UK.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kevin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kevin (7)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I found this to be reminicent of 'Cutters Choice' hand rolling tobacco, although slightly stronger and heavier. It lights and burns easily, but the bowl does tend to heat up quickly if you are not careful. The tobacco itself also seems to burn quickly. I may use this to blend with other tobaccos - although as an occasional smoke I found it quite enjoyable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin I purchased has Ogdens' name on it. The cut looks like it was run through my garden shredder. The stuff is wet and sticky in the tin. Smells good, sort of honey flavored. I am unimpressed at the two-bowl stage and will try again when the moisture level is reduced.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

preppypipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
preppypipe (57)
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Happily this stuff's no longer being imported to the U.S. A friend gave me sample baggie of it that a relative brought back for him when visiting Iceland.If you did'nt know it was'nt,you'd swear this stuff's cigarette tobacco as it's the same colour,cut and has the same smell.The flavor starts out o.k. but almost immediately turns sour and moist and it's flavor dissapears never to be heard from again.In essence, it's a misbehaving,expensive, nasty little blend that I can recommend to no one. pass this one on by, prep 10-14-05

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lancelot Gobbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lancelot Gobbo (23)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This old standby deserves more than two stars. It has the most characteristic aroma on opening the pouch (I did like those square tins I used to buy it in) of well-dried hay. Not new hay, nor mouldy, but that of an old bale almost ready to be used for bedding when the new crop comes in. Its taste is mild, some would say weak, and admittedly one dimensional. Why is it that the mildest tasting tobaccos are often the hottest/most likely to burn the tongue? My father always told me he smoked St Bruno because Gold Block was too expensive, so when I started experimenting with this in the early eighties I felt I was dipping into a luxury. I smoked enough of it to send in the coupons in one offer and get a free pipe lighter which I still have. The ingredients listed above say Virginia and Cavendish, but I had always thought this was a simple Burley (perhaps cavendish processed?) I defy anyone to dislike the room aroma, which is purely hay.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (164)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Stan to the rescue. An oldie but goodie if you get your hands on the tinned version. Have not tried newer pouch.

Bright virginia spiked with some burley in a sting cut but pressed into a near solid block in the tin. Not a crumble cake but a cavendish cut when you break some out and rub it a little.

Buttery sweet but light in taste. Room note more noticeable.

Burns ok to me; not wet. A little hot first couple of bowls but settles down into your pipe afterwards.

A true light virginia with a little added sweetness. Delightful, but sip don't slurp.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big-Chris-UK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big-Chris-UK (1)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Being English , and GB being readily available from almost anywhere in the country, I have tried this tobacco on several occasions throughout my pipesmoking years and always came to the same conclusion "...what on earth do people see in this tobacco?". It's bland, it's tasteless, it's hot, it's too expensive. A friend of mine loves it as a 'roll up' (cigarette), but then again he also smokes Clan the same way.

BUT! My father used to smoke a pipe (he's still alive by the way) and GB was his favourite tobacco. He used to be a pub landlord (bear with me guys' I'm getting there!) and had B+B (bed and breakfast) facility. One of his regular clients was a sales representative for Ogden's tobacco who claimed that one of the finest smoking mixture was a 50-50 mixture of Gold Block and St. Bruno flake mixed together. My father never tried it himself he didn't like St. Bruno - but I do, and I have tried it! It has now become a staple smoke for me 50g of GB and 50g of St. Bruno. I sit and cut up the flakes into a decent size zip-lock bag with a pair of scissors (who's a philistine?) to get the pieces fine enough - no rubbing out by the way, then throw in the GB tease it out, then finish up giving the bag a really good shake. I?ve also found the flavour improves if you let the mixture ?marinade? for a couple of days in the air tight bag before smoking.

The end result is very pleasant, the St. Bruno, being in little ?lumps? tames down the tongue bite associated with GB, and that the GB lightens up the ?heaviness? that can be experienced with pure ST. Bruno. Nicotine strength increases and the 'room note' is very pleasant. For those of you who may rate the two brands why not give it a try?

My father said to me ??if this mixture is so good then why don?t they market it?? I suppose if they did that then they would only be selling one product instead of two, who knows?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Air Commodore Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Air Commodore (8)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable

This stuff always used to be reveered and was slightly more expensive. However I didn't like it back in 1978 and having recently tried it again I think my youthfull opinion was correct. It has no taste, no flavour, poor aroma. I suppose it might be usefull to mix with something that is a bit too strong in order to dilute its properties.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Very Mild Medium Medium Very Strong

A friend of mine used to smoke this blend exclusively before it was manufactured by Imperial. He had a nearly full pouch of the new blend sitting around, so I asked if I could give it a go. Pouch aroma is stale, not grassy as in potentially good virginia, but stale as in poor cigarette filler tobacco. Burns hot(and quick), tastes bland(and stale) and really engulfs my car in noxious(stale) aroma. Here buddy, have this one back.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Le'Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Le'Pipe (11)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I would have to agree with TDE's above review. To me it actually looks like a long-cut,shaggy cigarette tobacco. A combination of new mown hay and honey are the aromas I noticed when I opened the tin. I must say that the only other time I've encountered this particular flavor and fragrance was smoking Lane Limiteds " HONEY HEATHER ". Another CRAPTACULAR blend. This tobacco burns ,smells and tastes like you're "huffin a butt". If you normally smoke MARLBOROS but light a pipe on ocassion this might be the one for you!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mattjoycey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mattjoycey (1)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Ive noticed many people have said this is ok for young smokers. I purchased my first pipe today and i am only at the young tender age of 17. not having a clue what tobacco to buy i chose this one. Having only just learnt to smoke a pipe and keep it lit more than just a few seconds i would say that this was a pretty good starter for me, no harshness, and quite pleasurable. I have enjoyed it but i will definantly like to try many others. As a closing note, no doubt many of you are very experienced and would say im too young to enjoy the benifits of pipe smoking, others however may be pleased that someone so young has taken a rather keen interest. Please email me with any tobacco suggestions or comments regarding my age.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

omegapd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
omegapd (81)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

If I can remember right, Gold Block was my first taste of a tobacco not from the States, so maybe that influences my review a little bit. Right now, I'm puffing on a bowl from a tin that got lost in my cellar for a few years. I can say that ageing improved this blend because the funny tasting casing that I vaguely remember from when the tin was new, is gone. The blend was a little dry but packed well and lit with no problems. I can't taste any Cavendish, but the Burleys really assert themselves and there's just a whisper of the Virginias to add a touch of sweetness. I like it a lot more now than I did a few years ago, actually. It does smoke a little warm, but overall I can see myself finishing the tin with no problems...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

C. S. Lewis' favourite blend.

Not a bad choice for old-fashioned Anglicans: this was a mild, smooth, tenderly contemplative composition, as moderate in temperament as it was sedate in your pipe. Elegant, with "a demeanour nobly bland". A much more liberal Anglican, I always found Gold Block a blend for grand dads with pocket repeaters and rimless spectacles. (Like mine!)

I describe this in the past because what Imperial Tobacco, a soulless, heartless octopus dedicated to buying up everything and then turning it into cheap, wet-paper-flavoured ersatz Lumpendreck now sells as Gold Block is NOT what C. S. and bonpapa used to love back when. (Then again, I. T. is the company that bought up THREE NUNS in order to sell it with the "périque" flavour applied as A SYNTHETIC CASING AGENT!!!)

If you love the Screw-Tape Letters and the Chronicles of Narnia, and can get your hands on an old tin of GOLD BLOCK, bon appétit! Otherwise, you're out of luck.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SlowDraw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SlowDraw (23)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In the pouch it smells like cigarette tobacco without the cheap & nastiness of cigarette tobacco (& sweetened a bit). This blend has been recommended by the council of puffer's to new pipesmokers & I see the wisdom in that , it is very easy to smoke with no tongue- bite & minimal relights needed- also smokes very cool. On the down side I found it a little bit rough in the throat though & being used to smoking a Virginia- flake blend evryday- I found this .......a lil' boring. As an interesting sidenote I have heard that this was one of the blends that tested positive to polyglycogen (some synthetic moisture retainer) So if you keep wondering why your left testicle doubles in size every time you smoke this stuff- it's probably just the artificial additive.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If I had to guess, I'd say that the "other choice premium tobaccos" is mostly burley. Either that, or the Virginias are awfully tame. Not a bad blend, but not a particularly distinguished one either.

Nobody has rated this review yet.