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Aromatic smoking mixture.

BrandJohn Middleton, Inc
Blended ByJohn Middleton
Manufactured ByJohn Middleton
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringSweet / Sugar
CutRibbon
Packaging1.5oz Pouch
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 8 Users

3.0
52 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
18
3 star:
18
2 star:
12
1 star:
4
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Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (77)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the better OTCs, but that's not saying much. Superior to PA, but far inferior to Angler's Dream or other burley blends in this price range. That chemical taste is always in the background. My 2oz sample was well aged and on the pleasantly dry side, so can't speak to the moisture level in the tub.

The Virginias are muted, and the sugar casing is light. Nice, sweet flavoring that lasts from the charring light through about half way through the bowl. Burley is predominant, with that unfortunate chemical OTC taste lurking in the background.

An uninspiring though not completely unpleasant tobacco.

Similar Blends: John Middleton, Inc - Carter Hall.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Clarkus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Clarkus (26)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

After reading all the reviews of this one in my search for OTC burleys that I would find most satisfying, I ordered a tub. I guess I just trust you people and your opinions of fine smoking material. It turns out my trust was well founded. This is a really good smoke.

I've been a pipe smoker since the late 60's and have just now begun turning my attention seriously to OTC'S (Drug Store Tobaccos, American Classics or American Legacy Tobaccos whatever you choose to call them) because after all these years I was unable to find a tobacco store bulk blend that I felt like sticking with. Well, those old codgers (I'm an old codger now I suppose) had something going for them after all. There are some damn fine smokes hidden among these OTC blends after all and Sugar Barrel is right there with the best of them, at least the ones I've tried.

Someone close behind this review mentioned "mouth feel". I consider mouth feel a very important characteristic of tobacco. I hate thin feeling tobacco. Same thing in beer. I think of it as being "round" - just feeling like you've got a mouth full of something that tastes good and I agree - Sugar Barrel is a mouth full of goodness.

A lot of other reviewers have said good things about this tobacco and I agree with all the good things mentioned. There are some, of course, that had more negative impressions and I didn't agree so much with those. I do appreciate that people have vastly varying tastes, likes and dislikes and I also suspect there is a good deal of tobacco bigotry too. I don't like to give bad reviews though because a bad review might just keep someone from trying something that they would have really enjoyed. That's just me though - mileage may vary.

The tub aroma is pretty good but I believe that goes more to room note than flavor. The flavor has a touch of sweetness to it and as far as the room note goes, you can't smoke around anybody any more so who gives crap about room note any longer anyway?

I perceive it a mostly a burley blend and a simple blend and I look for simplicity in a blend above all. Life is complex enough without adding to it on purpose don't you think? Another word for simple is "elegant", for complex, the alternate word is "sophisticated". So if you want to sound sophisticated, say "elegant" when describing something simple. People will think you are really cool even though they have no idea what you just meant when you said it.

There is little, if any, bite. Burley generally bites but some blends get the Ph balanced where the bite is negligible which I think is the case here.

It doesn't burn too hot or too fast. I hate getting into a smoke where I'm really relaxed and mellowed out on the smoking event and all of a sudden, it is over and I'm no where near ready for it to be over. Sugar Barrel gives you the time you need for a decent smoke. Granger does too, by the way. I'm not picking up on these plastic or chemical tastes people are mentioning either. Where are they getting this - overactive imaginations or can't think of anything else to say to show off their sophisticated taste buds?

Now, there just aren't enough reviews on this tobacco - Half & Half has three times as many. People must not be aware of this tobacco; I wasn't until I ran across these reviews so if you haven't tried it, try it and then write a review (unless you are one of those tobacco snobs we don't need to hear from) and if you have tried it and haven't written a review, write a damn review (unless you are one of those tobacco snobs we don't need to hear from anyway).

Seriously though, this really is a good smoke and if you haven't tried it, do so.

Since I'm not far enough into the tub to give four stars yet, I'll give it a provisional three when I suspect it may rate four. I'll come back later to state my final opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

IMA_Redneck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
IMA_Redneck (7)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This tobacco is slightly sweet yet not over the top. The flavor in the tub is like oatmeal cookies and the smoke is somewhat like a sugar cookie however not quite that sweet. The wife likes the room note alot but not on the same level as Smokers Pride Black Cavendish.

Update after a few weeks. I no longer think of sugar cookie when smoking this, its more of a brown sugar taste which i quite like. I belive there may be some Perique in this mix as I can detect a slightly spice like flavor in the smoke. With wonderful blends like this available OTC why go shopping for the pricy stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Granger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granger (4)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I have been smoking for about 10 years and I have gone through all the phases. I have, until recently been a heavy Latakia Blend smoker with Frog Morton On the Town and On the Bayou being my daily smoke with occasional dips into some aromatics.

I started smoking a pipe as a member of a pipe smoking family. But, the men of my family were Mad Scientists of Tobacco, mostly smoking OTC blends they mixed together or played with.

Uncle Bill smoked Cap. Black White and sliced apples into his humidor. Uncle Charlie mixed SWR, Middleton Apple, and something else into a blend. Uncle Frank smoked Captain Black Blue and White mixed and bought some brand of Cigar that he ground up and put in there too! Uncle Ernie smoked Half and Half that had a peeled orange and put in the humidor that he would shake around every few hours on his desk. Uncle Bill smoked, as far as I can tell, a mishmash of whatever he happened to buy in a pouch and then dropped into a large humidor. He never bough more than 2 ounces of anything, and never took tobacco with him anywhere, he just bought a bag (I mean almost daily) and smoked some and put the remainder in a large jar. When at home he just dipped into that jar and packed his pipe. Dad smoked SWR when "doing things" but his sitting down to enjoy smoke came from where he and the tobacconist created, over a 10 year period, "Bob's Blend" that the store still sells, a mix full of perique and latakia with something aromatic because the smell is mild for something that should smell like a burning cat (it tastes pretty good, but is STRONG! Neither the tobacconist nor Dad will tell anyone what is in it!)

Well,when I started, I started at the tobacco store and I went through a lot. I finally found I loved Frog Morton On the Town as a regular smoke, but was always buying a little of this and a little of that.

About two months ago I was on vacation and had left my tobacco at home (I brought my pipe bag, but left the tobacco bag on the table). We were far from civilization in the mountains and I happened into a gas station/grocery store/post office. The man behind the counter was smoking a Cob in defiance of a state law against smoking in a business (Hooray!), so I asked him if they had Pipe Tobacco. He had large tubs of Prince Albert, Carter Hall, Middleton Cherry, Walnut, and Sugar Barrel. All of these were the tubs, so whatever I got I was gonna be smoking a while. As I thought he offered me his pouch (without telling me the brand) and I loaded my pipe with it and lit... One word...HEAVEN!

Maybe it was withdrawl (I had been 48 hours without), but I liked it. I liked it so much I bought the tub.

Over the course of my week vacation I kept a bowl of this lit almost every waking moment. I couldn't get enough. And it PASSED the wife test. She kept saying it was so pleasing to smell.

After the trip I ran out. I did not find it in the stores, so I ordered several tubs worth.

I am slowly becoming a one tobacco smoker.

And it is an OTC.

I am addicted to John Middleton's Sugar Barrel.

Whew! It feels good to get that off my chest! The room note is pleasing and it smells wonderful in the barrel (Buy the 12 oz. plastic barrel, not the smaller bags). What my wife notes is that it smells "Like you think a pipe should." I've been lighting this up in public and getting compliments on the aroma. The Barrel says "Mildly Aromatic" but it seems to be a "Pleasant Aromatic" for those around!

The taste is mild and I get no bite, even though I am a hard puffer. I've been smoking this in a Meerschaum it they seem to be coloring better than before! But it smokes great in a briar as well. Long ago when I was experimenting I was a heavy aromatic smoker and, because I am such a heavy puffer, I assembled a 7 day set of Savinelli Dry System with the Balsa. This tobacco is not wet or gloppy, but the balsa insert really makes it smoke sweeter. I also smoked it in a Cob (The Filtered "General") and found that the cob adds some sweetness to it as well. Not every puff, but I often find a pleasing note of brown sugar.

The thing I like most about these OTC's ESPECIALLY this one...I never relight. I gravity fill, tamp it down, light and puff. I smoke 3-4 bowls per day and if I have one relight during these bowls it is a shocker! I don't know why, but these OTCs stay lit and this one best of all. The only hard part? This smokes clean and tasty all the way down, so you sometimes are shocked to find yourself at the bottom of a bowl.

When finished I walk over to the toilet (The wife insists I flush old tobacco), turn my pipe upside down, and out falls all the ash. No dottle, no scraping, just an empty Meer ready for the next smoke!

One piece of advice...open your tin and let it breath a little. This tobacco tastes better and better as it gets some air.

I am going to try to convert three cigarette smoking friends to pipes and I am presenting each one with a Meerschaum Pipe (I bought two boxes of lovely CAO and SMS Meers when the Tobacco Shop in town went out of business 4 years ago...Luckily my Dad and his blend are in another city!), a Zippo Pipe Lighter, and a 12oz of Sugar Barrel!

UPDATE: After more time with this blend I am moving it up to 4 Stars. I know that some might think that too much for an OTC, but dang it...I love it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (103)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium Medium Tolerable

This stuff tastes like Granger with an extra dose of propylene glycol. The only leaf I can detect is burley, which is ok, but it has a monochromatic taste from first light to the last dregs. The taste is a weird mix of sour from the burley and slightly sweet from the topping & PG. It isn't bad tasting but definitely not good enough to become part of my regular rotation.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (448)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I never thought I'd ever like this tobacco. Just goes to show you can't always judge a tobacco by it's name. It's not sugary as the name implies, though it is sweet in a Carter Hall way. It's not so sweet as to cause diabetes. The nuttiness of the burley comes through and works well with the Virginia component. It's less cased than some other OTCs like PA and Half and Half. It burns well and as long as you don't puff hard, will taste the same through the smoke; no bite. It's not complex, but then again, few OTCs are. It's a pleasant all day or after dinner dessert smoke. I give it three stars because it's a good OTC.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I smoked 1/2 bowl and dumped the entire tub into the trash. It's that bad.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (101)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A friend sent me a generous sample of this, and I have enjoyed it. It is in the same class as Carter Hall for me. The name suggests it might be heavily topped or unusually sweet. I am finding it to be a good, slightly sweet, basic burley blend. It has been an easy smoke, and there is a good earthy nuttiness to it (and not much more). I am not getting much Virginia in the flavor profile, but I can believe there is some there.

Smoking this on the way home from work today, it struck me that this reminds me of an OTC version of Classic Burley Kake. I'll have to smoke them both the same day to see if this is true or my imagination...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Todd H. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Todd H. (2)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a quality pipe tobacco; in my opinion it is the best of the Middleton Brands. It has just enough Virginia to give it the complexity that is missing in straight burley. Burn cool and has a pleasant taste and aroma with plenty of smoke. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ColonelStJames Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColonelStJames (14)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

What a delightful find! It gives the satisfaction of a burley and the great smell of an aromatic. I never would have thought about ordering this, until I read some of the reviews here. It's sweet in the tub, but unlike the name would suggest, it's not a sugary sweet in the smoke. Great room note, and a very easy smoke. It does seem to be a little dry in the tub though. No bite for me at all, but it is better if it's sipped slowly. I'll certainly be buying this again!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Robdlouisville Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Robdlouisville (5)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I tend to agree with most of the previous reviews of this blend. It is very enjoyable to smoke. It lights easily, stays lit, doesn't burn, has just the right amount of nutty burley, sweetness and taste. It is a great evening smoke. Smells nice at arrival. Not much to say negative. The price is right, too. Not a sticky aro.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (51)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Although I have never met a Burley I didnt like, the fact is that most OTC's lack in a key aspect. It is mouth feel, whereby the smoke lacks a fullness or density found in more complex smokes. Sometimes this lightness is refreshing, other times it becomes boring.

I find Sugar Barrel to be more than the sum of its parts. The flavoring is lightly added but adds a wholeness to this blend not found in other OTC's. It is hard to put a finger on. For me it is like cinnamon and brown sugar. Not overly sweet. Like an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. This sounds odd but this cookie like essence just jives perfectly with Burley. While smoking, it tastes as if this subtle flavoring props up and enhances the tobacco, rather than overtaking it. Overall, this is a mild experience and perfect for warmer weather, the car, and outdoors. It's not an everyday for me, but have been enjoying a few bowls a week.

Moisture content is perfect. There is no stickiness one would associate with an aromatic. Burns without fuss. No bite unless pushed and it gets bitter. Serviceable in a briar, but heaven in a cob. If your tastes lean to stuff like PipesandCigars Burley Cake, Boswell Premium Burley, etc. - you may like this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Shoog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shoog (13)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

My sample came to me at a good moisture level. The smell of the bag put me off a bit smelling strongly of brown sugar??? After loading up my pipe and lighting it I was pleasantly surprised. The strong sweet bag smell translated into a mild sweet tobacco forward flavor. It burned good like most OTC's with minimal relights and would only bite if pushed. It held its flavor all the way to the bottom. The only real negative I can think of is it did give me a very ashy feel / aftertaste on my tongue.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Elwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Elwin (10)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Sweet, but still letting the mainly burley tobacco come through. Not a stellar blend by any means, but still better than so many others out there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingthebriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingthebriar (17)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Well what a great OTC blend this is, could be a all day smoker, jumped straight in at the deep end and bought a 12oz tin, no regrets well worth the money,but dont think it will be in my regular rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wriggles Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wriggles (44)
★★☆☆
Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Sugar Barrel is another tobacco I never tried when it was available everywhere. I ordered a tub online recently. Objectively, I find this tobacco having very little flavor or taste. I cannot taste the sugar cookie type flavor others have described. This also has to be one of the mildest tobaccos I've ever smoked. I've smoked it in cobs, Kaywoodies, a Dunhill, and a Nording freehand. Not an offensive tobacco, just no flavor.

I slightly recommend it as it is smokeable. Not a tobacco to throw away. Good quality. I think I'll try mixing it with Five Brothers to jazz it up. I won't buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (64)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

Ah Sugar Barrel. This blend is so simple and yet so enjoyable when the summer temps keep me from smoking heavier blends. I am not sure who to believe regarding the ingredients as a 1949 advertisement states: "Bourbon Burley was accidentally stored in sugar barrels which had damp sugar in them." So has the blend changed to a mostly virginia blend as one reviewer states? Well whatever the ingredients are, Sugar Barrel creates lots of Brown Sugar aromatic smoke without being overbearing or too heavy. Think Carter Hall with a Brown Sugar/Maple-ish dressing. Burns clean with no goop. Fine ash and no dottle in my cobs. Inexpensive and delightful room note which everyone will love.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Sugar Barrel … Don't let the name fool you, it is not (IMHO) an aromatic as most would define an aromatic. Its dominate taste is very much tobacco, with a slight sweetness that waifs in and out, really quite good. Very easy to control, mild, stays lit and from my experience, bite free. Most of Sugar Barrels attributes have already been covered in the many earlier reviews, but I found this tobacco so pleasant I just had to add my two cents. Wonderful straight, and really shines as a blender, it seems to blend nicely with just about anything, adding another dimension of taste (and mildness) to many of my favorites. This stuff is fun. I would recommend this blend to just about anyone. My personal rating, 4/5

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (134)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Easy pack, easy light (one match), lots of smoke. However, to me, not a lot of taste and just a hint of tongue burn. A somewhat boring smoke, but it's mild enough you could use it to cut any blends of similar cut that might strike you as too strong. Still, to me, meh.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Raffles Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Raffles (11)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Strong

What anyone sees in this beats me. It's poor-quality stuff and smells like a nasty cigarette if you happen to get close. In this class Prince Albert and Carter Hall are streets ahead.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Normally, when I want a simple OTC burley, Carter Hall is my choice...tasty, cheap and available, I have umpteen pouches put back just for these times. Well, a fellow forumite gifted me six or so ounces of Sugar Barrel recently, and in so doing has put a total monkey wrench in my plans.

Sugar Barrel is good. Real good.

Sweeter and more pleasant smelling than CH, my normal thought would be it would suck. I don't think much of aromatics, in particular the way the tobacco loses its' identity drowned in them. SB doesn't come off like an aromatic though, but a 'sugared' burley that's still burley. (I know, duh!) May be a subjective thing, I realize, but it is the best American style OTC I've pleasure to burn so far.

Actually, the only complaints I can attribute to it are it's ability to bite if pushed (but in a mild form even then), and the usual 'bitters' at the end of the bowl. However, smoking at even a moderate pace eliminates both.

I'm pleasantly surprised by SB, so much so, that I think most of my CH money will start being spent on SB tubs shortly. (Luckily for me, it is available locally too.)

As someone who usually gravitates towards Virginias, I admit I could name quite a few blends that I prefer over Sugar Barrel, but when you factor cost, availability and taste, I think it fair to rate it highly...and especially so if comparing it to other store brands.

Four (slightly conditional) stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taylor3006 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taylor3006 (47)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Received my canister today and am enjoying this tobacco. Mine was a bit on the dry side and the odor in the tin was very very mild. Smells very much like "Half & Half" for obvious reasons. This smokes better than "Half & Half" though, I suppose the "sugar" makes the difference. The casing is slight, you can really enjoy the tobacco taste so I agree, aromatic smokers will be a tad disappointed. I look forward to using this as a blender with some of the stronger aromatics though but on its own, it smokes very nicely. Definitely recommend this for novice smokers for sure. A bit of a tongue bite if quickly smoked though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

apipeareyouserious? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
apipeareyouserious? (21)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm in love with this stuff...just got 2 oz. from 4Noggins & will probably order a can, it's amazing! Everything I expected from Carter Hall but without the chemical flavoring, everything I love about Prince Albert but just that extra bit more that makes it totally satisfying to me.

First light, it's nice & simple but still has a nice "full" taste, a tad sweet with a nutty flavor. About half-way through the bowl the nutty flavor becomes more pronounced. Burned down to white ash with very little at the bottom of the bowl.

This will be my go-to smoke, no doubt about it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Room Note Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Room Note Professor (39)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

To me, this is Rum & Maple Light. My taste buds definitely pick up the same kind of topping (as do my nose, when catching the side stream), just less of it. The taste is quite mild. I much prefer Rum & Maple with its fuller taste. I was surprised at the scalding my gums took with this blend! I ordered a tub on the strength of the recommendations here. It will last me a long, long time. I'd recommend that burley lovers give this blend a try; I doubt if other smokers will find much to rave about.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

What can I say, I love Burley! And on top of that, I love Sugar Barrel! Sweet, goopy, and/or bitter aromatics arent my bag. I prefer a more natural blend. That being said, when I want an occasional "sweet" smoke, I reach for Sugar Barrel. Pouch smell reminds me of oatmeal cookies. It tastes of burley, with a hint of sweetnes like brown sugar. It iskind of like a rich, brown sugary prince albert. It is great for after dinner, and AWESOME in a cob. Don't let the name fool you, it isn't a really sweet tobacco like you might think, so you aromatic smokers might be disappointed. The price is good, It is a classic, and if you are a Prince Albert/Carter Hall lover like me, you will like Sugar Barrel if you get a sweet tooth. If you are an aromatic/ or black cavendish lover, this is good if you want more of a straight tobacco taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Commoner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Commoner (30)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am as of late a latakia head and but have found myself mixing in some plain Jane burley blends here and there sort of as a reset button to break a slump when nothing seems to taste or smoke quite right.

A good bowl of PA or Carter Hall in a cob seems to make everything good again.

So, like Chet below I've seen a few good reviews of Sugar Barrel lately and decided to give it a whirl.

In short I love it.

It's sort of like PA, with pinch of sugar. It's interesting that it really does translate to me just as sweet and not flavored. It doesn't taste like vanilla or cherry it's just got a sweetness to it that I find exceptionally enjoyable.

For the last couple weeks I'm finding it's what I grab as a first smoke of the day. I pass up a whole shelf full of decent briars and drawers full of high end English blends and fill a cob Diplomat with some Sugar Barrel and just catch a good smoke.

No fuss no muss. You light it and pretty much forget it. I absent mindedly puff it when checking email and stuff like that and have yet to be bitten.

For my tastes this is the best OTC codger burley type blend out there. With all due respect to the Prince, Carter Hall, Walnut, et al. This one just tastes best to me. A joy to smoke.

4 stars in its category and 3 against the field. I can recommend this to just about anyone who smokes a pipe. I can't imagine you would despise it. Maybe find it a bit too pedestrian. But not offensive.

It certainly has found a pretty secure place among my regular smoking stock.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chetking Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chetking (54)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I go with the reviewers' tide on Sugar Barrel and add that this is apparently an under rated and mostly overlooked and unappreciated drug store blend that appears to be making a comeback. Justifiably so. A healthy, sweet aroma emerges from the cube cut leaf when you open the tub, packs well to the bowl, stays lit and smokes consistently well. But I wouldn't puff too hard as it can kick back and become a bit nippy.

A mild and tasty smoke that won't become elusive or lost outdoors. I pack it into one of my large "General" style Missouri corn cobs and I also reserved it for an old briar pipe I rehabilitated after years of inactivity. The result is just a very pleasant and pleasing smoke that goes the distance when you want a sweet burley and steady aromatic companion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (61)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Of all of the "old codger" burley's that I've tried this is, for me, up near the top. For a lot of us who like burley tobacco, we're not looking for a nirvana experience necessarily. This has what I'm looking for. It looks and smells nice in the tub (though describing the smell is difficult for me.....). Loads very well with simple gravity feed and some tamping. I like the cut, not quite a cube cut but not the fine granular cut of, say, the Prince. Lights easily and tends to stay lit easily with only a few relights. Very mild, smooth and a hint of sweetness. Just a hint, but enough. Decent burley that tends to stay pretty nice all the way down. No bitters at the end. If I was going to have one all day smoke, this would be it. Very consistent. If you like burley you have to try this at least once.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (226)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

There has been a lot of interest in this old Codger OTC blend of late so I decided to revisit it after over 30 years of not smoking it. I had a forum meber send me a nice sized sample of it and I have to say right off this is a very smooth, creamy non biting blend. I don't taste the Virginia in this but it is a very nice burley with a flaked cube cut that is very easy to light and keep lit, unlike a lot of cube cuts. It really reminds me of Kentucky Club Blue Mild with a brown sugar casing on it. It is a pretty tobacco, ranging from very light almost tan in color up to a dark brown, and it smells and tastes a lot like a good old burley mix. It comes with a good moisture content, just right for smoking right out of the tub and it is very easy to light and stays lit well. It is very light on body and for me is a little too mild, but it is a cool smoking blend without any bite at all and the room note is pleasant. It does leave a cigarette aroma on you after smoking it which I don't like but it disappears fast. This could be an all day blend for most people and would be a great blend for new pipe smokers. It burns pretty dry and leaves a lite gray ash with little dottle in the bottom of the bowl. The brown sugar taste mixed with the nutty flavor of burley stays consistant from first light all the way to the bottom of the bowl. If puffed too fast it can get a little ashy tasting at the very end but not enough to prevent me from smoking it all the way down. I think this one would be a good mixer, a good one to cut down a blend that smokes hot or too strong. All in all, this is a nice old time blend that I recommend trying, but it did not wow me into a four star rating.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

proc2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
proc2000 (7)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a nice, solid old school pipe tobacco. It has a slightly nutty taste, ala Carter Hall, but finishes with an ever-so-slightly amount of sweentness, much like a Captain Black, but no where near as sweet. Someone mentioned brown sugar and I'd have to concur. The sweetness though, is subdued and not in anyway cloying or overwhelming.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Shawn_M Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Shawn_M (43)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Similar to Blenders Gold Golden Burley. The same almost buttery taste and mild burley, but of slightly better quality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (531)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

When my 1 oz sample of this arrived, I took a big sniff of the pouch aroma and rolled my eyes, thinking "Oh boy - this is going to be a gooey and sticky mess!". Happily, I was wrong.

This is a sweet tobacco, to be sure, but not sugary sweet. Definitely more buttery, as the previous poster noted. It absolutely didn't taste as it smelled in the pouch. This is a good old fashioned OTC burley with a bit of casing to sweeten it, rather than a goopy aromatic. It tastes like tobacco rather than an artificial flavor, and it's mild and tasty enough to be smoked all day without tongue problems. This would be a good start into OTC burleys for anyone, particularly those who smoke sweetened black cavendish and other aromatic mixtures.

Sugar Barrel is going into my rotation. 2 more tubs on the way!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stoked Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stoked (6)
★★★★
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

My 12oz tub arrived friday and I've been smoking this stuff for 4 days straight. Smoooooth and sweet. Excellent cube cut burley with just enough "sugar" to enhance the buttery sweet burleys. This is barely an aromatic - more of a codger burley with a slight tweak to bring out the flavour. At times it tastes like carmelized sugar (duh), but mostly just good tobacco taste like PA.

Burns perfect right out of the tub. Only needs a single tamp and relight mid-bowl. No bite. Does NOT taste like vanilla (as someone suggested).

Definate candidate for an all dayer. I gave this one "highly recommended" because it is one of the nicest in its class - and a great value at that! If you like PA but found it needed a little something then try this tobacco.

Edit: Found an old add that states Sugar Barrel was created accidentally when well aged bourbon burleys were stored in old sugar barrels containing damp sugar. There you go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pkloop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pkloop (41)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This review is based on the 12oz tub..I've never had or even seen the pouch version of this.

Upon opening the tin I see an all brown, cube cut (not ribbon) mix of what looks to me like all burley. I can't tell what the topping is..It does indeed smell like an Oatmeal cookie..yet I can also detect some kind of liquor topping as well. Smells pretty good to me.

Packing: Old school gravity fill works just fine here.

Smoking: Light, quick tamp/relight and your good to go. This can easily be smoked all the way down w/out relighting. I can't figure out what the taste is. I don't taste vanilla or any of the other usual tastes..well..maybe rum? It is indeed sweet, but not overpoweringly so to me. Just a nice sweet taste with a background of what seems to be decent quality tobacco. Whatever the casing is seems to stick around the whole smoke which is nice.. Don't overheat it, as it will get bitter/nasty tasting. Watch your puffing cadence or she'll bite ya. Wife says room note is pretty good..

Finish: Don't bother going all the way to the bottom..gets the burley bitters. As soon as I get the ashy taste I dump it.

At the end of the day this one is a decent, sweet & nutty burley. Some may be offended by the sweetness but it works for me. A reasonable price helps here as well. This one is a keeper for me and I see myself always having a bucket of Sugar Barrel laying around for those times when my sweet tooth calls out. I much prefer this blend over the jar crap I find at the local B&M. If I had one complaint it would be the burn rate is fast..but that seems par for the course with these old drugstore blends..

3 outta 4..give it a shot..perfect for the times you want something sweet

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OLDTIMER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OLDTIMER (39)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

I love the taste of this stuff, it is like smoking an oatmeal cookie. The moisture level is about right, and burns to a clean ash and leaves a nice room note. The only bad thing about this old blend is that it does indeed have tongue bite. Try blending this with Carter Hall, fifty fifty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pop-pop's pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop-pop's pipe (96)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

A sugar cased virginia and burley blend thats heavy on the sugar. A sweet delightful smoke that is like many natural sugar cased danish blends with a bit more kick. It tends to smoke hot if you don't take your time with it. I like it once in a while but I couldn't make this my everyday tobac because of the scalding my tongue and gums take from its heat. If it were cooler I would give it 4 stars because I do like the taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (256)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Another old time "drug store" type of tobacco that you cannot find in the drug stores these days. In the can it smells of walnuts, raisins and brown sugar. It is a bit moist, but not terribly. It packs very well. Once lit, it tastes of warm brown sugar, and raisins, with a nutty aftertaste. The tobacco taste is VERY subdued, almost overwhelmed by the sweetness of the blend. The room note is quite sweet. I puffed like there was no tomorrow, without any tongue bite. Fortunately, I used a small pipe. This stuff is pretty tasty, but is not something I want to spend a lot of time with.

It is very inexpensive,and if you like sweet aromatics, it might be worth your while. I probably won't buy any more, as I find it a bit too sweet. It is particularly tasty with a cup of black coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Looking on the Blends list there are all kinds of "sweet" something or others and only one with the word "sugar" in it. This is primarily Burley and some Virginia with a light topping that is sweet and vanilla. Fear not! The topping is quite subtle with plenty of tobacco taste. Now that summer has arrived, I have set aside most of the heavier tobacs in favor of this other light, tasty Aromatics. This is one of my favorites in that category. I just wish I could have bought this in a pouch instead of a 12oz. can. Ah well, summer has just started and this does burn fairly quickly. This smells even better than it tastes which is quite good. Enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

If fresh this is a real treat for me. I lov the simple no frills burleys and this aeromatic was a great change of pace when I want a change. This has a wonderful flavor and aroma of a raiseny brown sugar and the nutty aftertaste of a good burley. No matter how hard I puffed away it just refused to bite. I liked that! This is however, a very "sweet" tobacco and the only real tobacco flavor I can detect is the burley. All in all a great aeromatic for burley lovers!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I recently won an old, sealed pouch of this blend in an eBay auction. It was included with some other boxed and tinned tobaccos from the 1970s, so I believe this was pretty aged stuff.

It burned hot. It was sweet and cloying. Moderate true tobacco taste.

If aging did indeed improve the flavor of the weed in this particular pouch, I'd sure hate to try it fresh. To be fair, the 'baccy in the pouch was probably overly dry and maybe lost a lot of its original "enhanced" flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Since House of Windsor has made such a strong comeback in the "drugstore" blends, I finally decided to order a bucket of this stuff from Middleton from JR Cigar. I've smoked the drugstore brands for years but have never been able to find this stuff locally. It's a mix of burley/bright just like Cherry Blend and Carter Hall and in a crimp cut. It's a little bit moist right out of the can and is flavored with something that smells good but I can't figure out what it might be. On the packaging, it shows an old barrel with XXX so it might be some sort of liquor topping. I've hated all the whiskey/rum blends I've ever tried, but this is different. It loads easily and lights with one match. The taste and room aroma are pretty light but enjoyable. It burns a little bit fast (as do the other blends in the line) do to the cut but doesn't heat up the bowl at all. There's a little bit of bite if puffed fast but it stays relatively cool. It's also one of the few blends where you can smell the aroma while smoking. If it was available near me, it would probably be smoked more often, but I don't see myself ordrring this over and over again on-line. It's priced reasonable though and is pretty enjoyable for what it is. There's just not enough aroma and taste for me. I'll stick to Granger or Velvet with the drugstore blends...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mac (19)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

A great American Drug Store Blend.Right up there with PA,CH ,SWR and Walnut.I wish we had these blends readily available here.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Thwarp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thwarp (16)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I see a few people boistering this is a burley when in fact it just aint so. Its a burely virginia blend and it tastes nothing like a burely. It doesn't even come close.

Sir walter Raleigh and Prince Albert come alot closer to the flavor of a burley. Prince Albert being the more accurate representation.

Not even Carter Hall is a burely. Its a Virginia Burely blend with dominance of virginia in flavor. Its quite good too.

This resembles C&D Crooner (w/deer tongue) very dry and stale flavor not at all pleasing. SB is quite stale indeed. Sugar barrel is by far the worst of the more popular OTC blends.

Yes there is a mild sweetness to it but the poor quality of the tobacco simply ruins any chance of enjoyment. Especially when you're able to buy other OTC's and compare all of them. You will most certainly note that Sugar barrel is a royal let down.

If this were the last tobacco on the the planet I would throw away my pipes and simply quit.

I cannot recommend SB at this time when there are much better tobaccos on the shelf right next to it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

AcworthAl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AcworthAl (20)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I smoke primarily non-aromatics (Virginians, Burleys, English, etc.) therefore, I was surprised by Sugar Barrel. It tasted sweet, but not overly sweet. The room note was nice. It was cool and did not bite or gum up the pipe. It is also inexpensive. If one is looking for a delightful change of pace, try it. I would give it two and 3/4 stars. It certainly will stay in my rotation.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (63)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I sincerely enjoy this blend very much, its become my morning/afternoon burley smoke and it behaves itself all day. I think this is the best cased burley out there.It never bites, the topping is not overpowering, it is amazingly complex for a drugstore blend and the flvour and room note are pleasant from both ends. Call me a drug store cowboy, but i love it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DakotaPeacePipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DakotaPeacePipe (33)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

A sweetened burley. I enjoy a number of sweet blends, but could just not get into this blend. This is not an aromatic, by my definition, as room note is reminiscent of cigarettes. The sweetness is almost of a ?fermented? nature - reminded me of the aroma of steeping barley in a malt plant (OK, I know not many of the readers here are into grain milling). In its defense, not in the least sticky or goopy smokes cool with nary any bite.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Benton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Benton (13)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It's too bad that Sugar Barrel is not more widely available, because it is tasty and a great value. The moisture level is perfect, so you can just scoop it up, mash it down, and light up. The flavor is straight burley with some brown sugar sweetness. The nutty/sweet combination suggests cookies, but there doesn't seem to be much flavoring added. My only complaint is that Sugar Barrel seems to have the cigarette ash flavor that is common to all JR Middleton blends. Often it is faint, but when it pops up it's annoying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Sailorjack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sailorjack (55)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I was actually craving something sweet and I love Burley. So after reading the reviews I purchased a cannister from JR. I love the appearance of it. It's cube cut with colors ranging from dark brown to almost yellow. The moisture level seems just about perfect for my tastes.The aroma in the tub just smells like a good sweet Burley.YUM!! To my surprise there is only a little sweetness noticeable in the taste of the batch I have. It just tastes and smells like a very good quality Burley blend.You can puff like a Sumo running a marathon without any hint of bite.Sugar Barrel is a good smoke on it's own but I find it a little lacking in the body department that leaves me a bit unsatisfied.I think I will try mixing it with something like Pipeandcigars Old Red to give it a bit more strength and interest.All in all it is a very good Burley blend that,while pleasing on it's own, will probably make a great blender.

4/5/08 update

This has simply gotten better since I have opened it. The sweetening agent seems to have subsided a bit . The burleys have really opened up displaying a creamy butter taste and mouth feel. I have not smoked a burley blend that I like better.I will always keep some on hand. I am upgrading my rating from 3= to 4==

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered a tub of this age old Middleton drug store blend from JR Cigar as it is virtually impossible to find nowadays in the drug store or supermarket. I read a number of reviews that ranged from good to tongue bite hell, so I wasn't too sure what to expect.

Upon opening the tub, I found a mixture of light and dark brown tobaccos which were rough cut and seemed to be neither too wet or too dry. It smelled like Prince Albert with a sweet casing.

It loaded easily enough, as most Middleton blends do. I didn't expect much from this tobacco given the inexpensive price tag but found myself pleasantly surprised. It smoked cool, burned slow and possessed real tobacco flavor combined with a lighty applied, sweet casing which reminded me of brown sugar. Now, it may just be that my body chemistry agrees with this blend, but I experienced no tongue bite. I also experienced no bitterness toward the bottom of the bowl as is common with many blends containing Burley . Overall, it was a great smoke.

I recommend that you give it a try and if it doesn't agree with you, send it to me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

I just recieved my can of sugar barrel today. I havent smoked this in over 20 years, mainley due to the fact I can't find it on shelves anymore. It tastes as good as I remembered it !! It doesn't get gloppy in the pipe and it's a "fufilling " smoke. It also retained it's 'sugar" taste all the way through. I'd say it's the best of both worlds, aromatic and satisfies the plain tobacco fans. Highley recommended

Tommyboy

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

WeeWillie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WeeWillie (3)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked up a 12 oz. tin of this at a local tobacco outlet because the price was right and I wanted to try it. My initial impression upon opening the tin was that this stuff was going to be great if it tasted anything like it smelled. It smelled moderately sweet and reminded me of a pastry kitchen with a hint of liquor mixed in. Unfortunately after trying the blend I was let down. My first several experiences with this stuff were HORRIBLE! It bit like a cottonmouth and the resulting pain was almost as bad. I was truly disappointed with it - since it was relatively dry when I got it, the bite was unexpected. In an attempt to remedy the bite I opened the tin and let it sit for a week (house humidity is kept around 30% year round for my reptiles). After this drying period I tried it again and found that it was a bit better with less bite and hints of a sweet taste. Another 2 weeks of sitting open and daily turning of the contents and I was ready for another try. This time I was pleasantly surprised - the bite was gone, even under my two extreme puffing conditions (driving and application coding). The taste was still quite bland for me, but not completely tasteless. Due to my drying regiment this tobacco burns fast and I can whip through a bowl or two inside an hour in a Grabow Savoy. I have been told that the room note is similar to that produced by cigarettes and prefer to smoke this blend outside because of it. All in all I find myself reaching for this blend quite regularly - usually after dinner and before switching to my late night English blends. I have about 2 oz. left and will probably try some other blends in search of a replacement once it is all gone, but I wouldn't be opposed to picking up some more in the future to have it around.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

kempoka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kempoka (8)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

This review is based on the 12oz tub.

Tin opening: cube cut burley. A little drier than I would prefer. To me, it doesn't smell like an oatmeal cookie, but mike many of the burley blends. Of course, it does smell quite a bit smoother than other blends like Velvet, Half & Half, etc.

Packing: I used the three-fingered clumpp with air space, as described in Pipes. I packed it into my Quiet Comrade pipe.

Smoking: Lighted easy, not as sweet as I thought it would be, but yet smooth and slightly sweet. Tamp and rest at mid-bowl, and relight once to the end of the bowl.

Finish: Smooth all the way to the end, without the ashy taste following tamp/rest/relight experienced with some burley blends.

Summary: I bought this online, and while I do indeed like it, the blend isn't as flavorful as I like. I did mix it with some black cav mixture, and it complemented it well. I'll keep this tub on hand, and will even buy more! I can't wait till my tobacco is ready to harvest this year, so I can mix some of this stuff with it!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.