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Iwan Ries


An equal measure of dark and bright traditional American granulated tobacco from Denmark.

BrandHalf & Half
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringAnisette, Cherry, Licorice
PackagingFoil pouch
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
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Mild, Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

30 reviews
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Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (104)
Very Mild Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I must agree with some previous reviewers that the recipe for this tobacco must have changed recently. I seem to remember smoking this and it being hot, ashy, uninteresting. My pouch says Lane LTD, Tucker, GA. This is certainly not a cigarette tobacco, nor does it taste anything like cigarette tobacco. This is a pipe tobacco -- the question is whether it's a good pipe tobacco. In that regard, I must still answer no, not really.

Presentation is somewhere between ribbon and cube cut. Call it broken ribbon. Or, better, call it "OTC cut". Comes very damp, soaked in PG. Pouch note is largely of pleasant Christmas scents and something else.... aniseed?

Like most OTCs, the charring light is all it needs and it's off to the races. Burns fast, but not particularly hot. There must be some propellant agent OTC companies use to get these PG-soaked tobaccos to burn so fast. Initial flavors are a burst of maraschino cherry and other glazed, candied fruits. Akin to Christmas fruitcake. That hint of aniseed in the background. Overall, a pleasant casing on some poor quality, chemically drenched tobacco. I would enjoy tasting this topping on a high quality burley/Virginia Christmas blend. As it stands, there is little to no tobacco taste and after mid-bowl the topping wears thin as a more ashy and nondescript chemical taste asserts.

I have to admit to liking this topping. Just not a big fan of the overall blend. But far from awful. May appeal to those who enjoy very mild, OTC aromatics with bold toppings. Were I in a pinch, on the road, and out of tobacco, I would probably opt for this right after Sir Walter Raleigh, Carter Hall or the more difficult to find Sugar Barrel.

16 people found this review helpful.

Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (68)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Back in the 80's I worked for a tobacconist who offered this Lane Limited tobacco in bulk. It was a very popular tobacco and we sold it often by the pound. I smoked it occasionally and often used it as a blender with heavily cased cavendishes.

In an emergency I bought a pouch of this from a tobacco shop hoping for the same honest no nonsense blend that was so cherished by my customers at the cigar shop in the 80's. I was so very wrong.

Upon opening the pouch I was surprised at the unsavory sickeningly sweet citrus apple aroma. It was a very random appearing tobacco with crumbled ribbon and broken flake cocoa brown in color. I let it dry out 15 or so minutes before packing it into an old YB billiard. It lit fairly easily after the char. The room note of this tobacco was not unpleasant at all but the flavor was lacking in an extreme sense. I was hoping for a straight tobacco smoke flavor as I remembered instead I got a mouthful of a flat tasting smoke that seemed dry and indescript if not a tad sour. I might have to try it in a cob or something I haven't smoked too many stout VA's or English blends in.

This is one I will hopefully pass on to another smoker who has a taste for this blend.

7 people found this review helpful.

tommyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tommyboy (5)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant

half and half is one plain tobacco that I find myself going back to for over 20+ years. I usually smoke lanes 1Q (aka captain black royal!!)When I grow tired of the sweet stuff and want some good plain tobacco I smoke this. I also found that this tobacco is one of my favorites for building a nice cake in a new pipe!! Its got a 'spicey" falvor and the only words I can think of to describe it is a fresh, crisp autumn day! It also is great in a corncob. I'd recommend it to a seasoned smoker of a couple months. It does have to be smoked slow, -and enjoy it!


7 people found this review helpful.

McNulty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McNulty (6)
Medium Extra Strong Overwhelming Very Strong

Funny thing. I once bought a box of this wonderfully soft, easy burning, chocolatey type of burley....but someone poured the nastiest cough medicine all over it!

This stuff would be pretty good if not for the topping. I almost can't believe some people like this. It is so horrible that it left a bad taste in my mouth for DAYS. And I do NOT have a sensitive palate. Tried unsuccessfully to make it through a bowl in hopes I would discover something good. When I first discovered Latakia it took a few bowls to get it, and now I love and crave it. I thought I might have the same experience with this stuff. But I couldn't even make it through a half bowl. Dumped the rest and tossed the package. I wouldn't even give this garbage away.

6 people found this review helpful.

Appalachian Scholar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Appalachian Scholar (32)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I tried this in 2010. It tastes and smells ten time better when smoked than it looks and smell in the pouch. Best thing in a corn cob. Overall nutty flavor, I don't like the anise flavoring because it is too similar to cinnamon which I despise. It is true that it looks like a one tobacco blend that smells like medicine, but its a pretty decent smoke.

Pipe Used: Corncob, Basket Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Ingles

Similar Blends: Carter Hall.

5 people found this review helpful.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Very Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

As far as OTC blends go, not too shabby. I'd actually recommend it to somebody just starting, and only had access to a drug store, or cruddy tobacco shop. It's not a bad place to get to know your burley. The virginia didn't come out to me very much and almost non-existent.

A lot of OTC blends are over cased but this is pretty tasteful. I have my complaints, and I wouldn't buy it again, because of the chemical burning and some bad after taste. It does smoke cool, however. A decent mild aromatic.

As far as price goes, you can get a million times better aromatic burley over at mcclelland or almost any where else. For any beginners, I would start there.

Pipe Used: H.I.S Egg, Cob

Purchased From: Local Shop (J & R Fielding Co.)

4 people found this review helpful.

Ixtlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ixtlan (18)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Strong

Picked a box up at the local smoke shop to give a try. Not to my liking at all. Reminds me of passing the local refinery in taste. Chemical taste was very strong and unpleasant. If there were a tobacco taste I did not notice it. I do not recommend this at all.

4 people found this review helpful.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Disgraceful! I would not tell anyone to bother with it.It's neither this or that,except VERY FOUL!

4 people found this review helpful.

incognitopoet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incognitopoet (30)
Medium Extra Strong Overwhelming Tolerable

I tried this years ago because my dad used to smoke it. He wasn't very good at tobacco selection. It was hot, steamy, and filled with foul, dangerous chemicals. Avoid at all costs.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jevverrett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jevverrett (50)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This was the first pipe tobacco I ever smoked. My great uncle smoked, and still does smoke this blend pretty much exclusively. I'm not going to bash it, I did enjoy it at the time. It's really just that I have moved on in my range of taste. I can still remember my aunt complaining about the smell of it when I smoked it in the house. She said it had always been rotgut, and tried to tell me about aromatic blends lol.

It has an excellent burn quality and a unique flavor. Think of a heavily cased version of Prince Albert. Same kind of cut too. It is also pretty inexpensive.

I'm not going to recommend this to others, chances are they will encounter this whether they want to or not. It everywhere, usually on the shelf next to Prince albert, carter hall and captain black.

Pipe Used: Cobs and chacom dee gee

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Prince Albert.

3 people found this review helpful.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (45)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

this tobacco is nor good or bad. For what it cost it give you what you want. Is pleasant, doesn't bite and havens good flavour. But the casting doesn't remain constant and after 2 weeks it become a so and so tobacco

3 people found this review helpful.

JerseySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JerseySmoker (11)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not a bad smoke. Far superior to CH among the OTC's.

3 people found this review helpful.

blitzer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
blitzer (1)
Medium to Strong Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

This is not the same Half & Half as once was desired by many back in the day. After stopping by the Tobacco Store & picking up a few things I made the bad decision of getting a flap of this stuff. After arriving home & fixed a glass of ice tea I went to my smoking spot, my porch and packed a bowl. 3 puffs later I was trying to figure out what to do with it. It was awful! My dog gave me this go to hell look before he limped off & the neighbors gathered trying to figure out how to call in a fire retardant drop from the forest service air wing. Took 20 minutes of brushing my tongue before finally getting that sweet burnt tar flavor out of mouth. Maybe I had a bad batch, but roofing tar with molasses was the smell. Good luck..

Pipe Used: not any longer, had to throw it out.

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1183)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

I tried this blend in the 1970s and hated it. I wasn't ready for burleys and certainly not this one. Very recently, I decided to give it a try when I learned Lane took over production from Pinkerton, and a number of people said this was better now. I had to wait until I finished a pouch before deciding what to think of this blend. I didn't like the first few bowls. I was put off by the strong chemical taste and smell. I had thought about not finishing the pouch, but I soldiered on. I'm glad I did. The taste grew on me a bit. The chemical taste became less noticeable after I dried it out, and started smoking it slowly in a cob and one dedicated briar. The alcohol/liquor and anise taste really overpowers the Virginia (which is lightly grassy), and halfway does the same to the burley, though I do get a nutty taste from it. There is a slight cigarette taste, too. It burns well, and gives you a decent amount of smoke. Didn't bite, but left some moisture in the bowl, more than a blend like SWR.

This blend will do if you are needy, but if you really want an OTC where you can enjoy the burley as it's meant to be (along with the Virginia), buy something else, like SWR or Carter Hall. There's more topping here than I want in this genre, so I won't buy it again. I am glad I gave it a fair chance, because it does get a little better if you handle it as I did.

2 people found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Half and Half produced a consistent anise topped smoke. It was pleasantly easy to smoke, at first, and had a hint of nuttiness which came through the added flavorings. This was stronger than some other Burley blends, like PA, but I found myself feeling inundated by the aroma...the flavoring was just too overdone and left a chemical taste which lingered. Additionally, this was harsh for most of the bowl and left my mouth feeling a little "burned" and irritated. Some may like this, good amount of smoke, packed and burned just fine, so at least the basics were met. In the end I have to say that the tin is half empty rather than half full. :) PTLOGJ

2 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (92)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Lane recently took over this brand , thank goodness . Imo , the Pinkerton version had a Listerine flavoring added and I could not tolerate it . It was really just plain ole bad . Todays is such an improvement ! I jokingly say it has a flavoring of Rolling Rock beer , but I don't really know what the topnote Is , other than a bonus to the blend . This blend might be one of the easiest blends to light and keep lit on the market , as an OTC should be . I assume it's half Burley and half Virginia but I get more Virginia up front than any kind of solid burley flavor . I smoked a number of pouches of this blend this past summer . It is mild+ in nicotine . It's mild in body and will produce a full mouth of smoke . I rather like it and think it's a vast improvement to the last version . For the three bucks it cost ... it's very much worth a try

Pipe Used: Smoked it in everything imaginable

Age When Smoked: I buy fresh pouches

Purchased From: OTC

2 people found this review helpful.

RJ Beattie Jr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RJ Beattie Jr (4)
Mild Medium to Strong Medium Unnoticeable

This is the absolute worst thing I've every smoked. I used to work in a chemical plant, and this tastes like what happens, if ya get smoke in your mouth, during a fire in the plant. Personally I wouldn't even give this as a joke. It may work as an execution product though, in a word HORRIBLE !!!

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Washington

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: local store

Similar Blends: Hot chemical waste.

2 people found this review helpful.

NHPro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NHPro (4)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I enjoyed my first bowl of this tobacco in a corn cob. My initial reaction to this "old codger" favorite was OK. It was smooth with no bite and a pleasant note without being overly done. H&H will not be my go to blend by any means, but it was enjoyable enough and left a good overall impression. I would recommend it.

Pipe Used: Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Local Shop

2 people found this review helpful.

JtotheCtotheL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JtotheCtotheL (3)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tobacco does everything a tobacco should. "Drug Store" or not, I like it better than 90% of the expensive tobaccos I've tried. Good thing I don't always listen to people on the internet.

Half & Half won't take you to a far away land with elves and fairies and giant stags. But it hits the spot when you come home from work and it smells good enough that your non-pipe friends won't think it's cheap. I can see myself smoking quite a lot of it.

Edit: So far, l like it packed very loose in a cob. Better taste, no tongue burn to speak of and stays lit.

Pipe Used: stanwell poker, balsa filter. Cobs.

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

pop pops pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop pops pipe (28)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

When Pinkerton and American tobacco co. Made this it was good, more like Granger with some va added. Now that lane took it over they ruined it ! You can still find 14 oz Pinkerton tins though and those are the ones I'd try to get if you like this.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
Very Mild Medium Very Mild Pleasant

As OTC burley blends go half and half is one of the better ones. Granted, thats not saying much. It burns well, smokes cool and has a nice nutty flavor to it. However the nice nutty flavor that it starts with quickly disappears and is replaced by a chemical flavor. The aroma is also chemical laden. Over cased, low quality. Yet somehow better than most OTC burleys. To any new pipe smokers considering this blend I'd say its a good starting place. Readily available and inexpensive. However I'd recommend new pipe smokers to go to or and order some tobacco samplers. A much better place to start.

2 people found this review helpful.

wintermute Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wintermute (50)
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

I am going to review that latest version of this stuff put out by Scandinavian Tobacco Group. I have tried this in the past and found it to have a perfume type smell and taste that I did not care for. But with the new version being put out by STG, this blend is just wonderful. The first thing you will notice is that the pouch is not a foil pack inside a cardboard box like the old days. It is a quality roll-up pouch and does a good job of keep the product fresh. The pouch aroma is what you would expect and will still smell of perfume, but do not be discouraged. It packs nicely and lights easily. I do recommend a charring light on this one. The smoke is white are pretty thick. The taste is pure Burley, but with the brights over-shadowing the darks. The perfume is just lightly there and only adds to the smoothness of the smoke. It disappears about halfway down the bowl. The Burley taste is consistent down to the bottom of the bowl and you hardly know you are done when the smoke just fades out. The ash is fine and white and jumps out of the bowl with a knock. The nicotine level seems pretty tame to me. And, the room note is closer to a cigarette than most of the tobaccos in this genre. In other words, it won't win friends and influence people, but it goes away rather quickly. This is my 50th tobacco review and I cannot believe that I did not review this OTC standard years ago. I am glad I waited to review that latest incarnation of this find old blend. I think all Burley lovers should try this again and see the improvements STG has made.

Pipe Used: MM Legend

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Carter Hall.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sweet Leaf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sweet Leaf (8)
Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

I like half of it and hate the other half. If you like smoking cough syrup this is for you. I would not waste your money.

Pipe Used: Cob

Purchased From: B &M

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Personally I love Half and Half. It's been my go-to, everyday pipe tobacco for years. It's simple, cool, dry and clean, making it easy to smoke all day long. There are those who dislike this tobacco and I'm not really out to change anyone's opinion here. I think that too often pipe smokers become like craft beer enthusiasts, unwilling to try or enjoy tobacco's that aren't "trendy" or "hip" and they turn their noses up at OTC brands like H&H or Captain Black. While I enjoy a good tin of more expensive "craft" tobaccos as much as anyone else I look at tobacco like Half and Half as the "workhorse" of pipe tobaccos. It's the Genesee Cream Ale of pipe tobacco and while it isn't fancy and doesn't have the "mystique" of other tobaccos it's still a solid product and it gives you exactly what you are paying for.

OTC tobaccos for me are what I like to call a "baseline" tobacco. You can't truly enjoy good tobacco unless you have a point of reference. Half and Half is simple and sweet. It's a classic old school flavor that you probably remember your Grandfather smoking. It's not going to blow your socks off but at the same time for those of us who enjoy smoking a pipe all day long you would be hard pressed to find a more reasonably priced tobacco with the same quality and flavor as Half and Half.

Give it a shot and even if it isn't the most incredible tobacco you ever smoked you are only out a few bucks. I think I picked up my pouch for less than $4.00 so it's not exactly breaking the bank.

Pipe Used: Mastercraft

Age When Smoked: Pouch

Purchased From: B&M

Similar Blends: Prince Albert - Prince Albert, John Middleton, Inc - Carter Hall.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (50)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This is probably one of the cheapest convenience store blends there is, but I think it is wrong to judge a tobacco by its price tag. Some reviewers seem to be saying this tobacco has changed over the years, but so far as the tin note is concerned, it has the same aroma so characteristic I remember from years ago, that is, sort of fermented oranges or citrusy with a tangy note to it. The moist content is about right and its ribbon cut is very loose, so you will find it easy to pack in your bowl. The strength of this blend is rather medium, and I think I'd say the same about its taste, though it can build up the more you progress every quarter of your bowl. I cannot detect any tongue bite or, at list, it is not apparent to me due to its mellow character. Despite this, this blend has failed to impress, but as an everyday's smoke, I think it is good enough for what it is. I am giving it 3 starts though, not so more because I might think it deserves it, but just to balance it against the bad reviews (I don't think this tobacco is as bad as many claim it to be). Just give it a go and find for yourself whether it might suit your smoking needs. If you take into account its price tag, you won't be loosing that much in case you get it wrong after all.

1 person found this review helpful.

atomicbuster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
atomicbuster (38)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I have smoked only a handful of bowls of this tobacco. The pouch smell is OK, as are the moisture and burn qualities. I like the initial puffs, as they still give off that "crisp" sensation. But it goes away about 10 minutes later. What's left is the closest I've experienced of smoking a cigarette in my pipe. If you don't know what that means, good for you. For those of you that do know, you might consider it unpleasant. It's just not what I want when I smoke a pipe, so I can't recommend it... Period.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (699)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not as bad as some of the reviews lead you to believe. It's straightforward and relatively mild. Burns hot if you push it but smoke slow and it's really an ok smoke. Been around for a loooong time so it has some redeeming qualities. Good to have around for the occasional "reset" smoke after you smoke a lot of the fancy sophisticated blends out there. Don't notice a ton of cherry aroma or flavor but there is a fruity casing applied.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumSmoke (1)
Mild Medium Medium Tolerable

I purchased this tobacco today for the first time from my local smoke shop. The notes form the pouch give off a chemical cherry cough syrup smell with a hint of fake chocolate. I smoked this from a cob it lit well smoked cool but the overall flavor was of artificial flavoring. I blended this with some my mixture 925 and the flavor was still unpleasant.

Pipe Used: Corn cob

Age When Smoked: New from pouch

Purchased From: Smoke shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The good Rev. Rizzo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The good Rev. Rizzo (36)
Extremely Mild Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first OTC blend. As I'm admittedly not a fan of aros usually, I've decided to give this a try just to see what the history has been about. My tin is of the Lane Limited production for those who have seen this blend change hands. What I found upon opening the twelve ounce tin was a decent enough ribbon cut. Kind of unusual tin note. I still can't name that smell. But it's kind of sweet yet a tiny hint of almost vinegar. The tobacco is sufficiently dry enough to smoke with little to no preparation. Lights very easily. Decent white pleasing smoke billows. Maybe a touch on the light side of that compared to what I normally gravitate to. But for what it is, I'll accept it. The taste is of the average aromatic to me. Sweeter than I prefer. But not bad in any way. I did not find the cherry taste at all. I did find a little anisette and perhaps I kept thinking I got a mild honey taste. End result being pleased for what it is. I'll keep it around just to flirt with from time to time when I need a break.

Pipe Used: Tony Warner poker

Age When Smoked: Less than six months on store shelf?

Purchased From: Smoke shop in Massena New York.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (104)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Half and half is still a weekly staple in my home. It costs a dollar a pouch and Lane is more than happy to send coupons monthly. It smokes clean and has little bite. I tend to blend it with whatever I feel like at the moment as filler. It is a clean, good room note and burns like a freight train. If you need to thin something strong use this.

Pipe Used: GBD. Dr. Grabow. Kaywoodie Yellow Bole

Age When Smoked: pouch

Purchased From: TRO

Nobody has rated this review yet.