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A blend of dark fired and sun cured tobaccos mixed with the finest Brazilian Lights to produce the unique flavor and mellow smoking characteristics for which Three Nuns is famous.

Notes: The Three Nuns coin tobacco was originally a creation of J & F Bell, dating back to the 19th century. A favorite of British authors (and friends) C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien.

In the formula from Imperial Tobacco, Three Nuns was a VaPer mixture.

Pipe Tobacco Hall of Fame Inductee.

Later this tobacco was made at the Orlik factory for BAT and Kentucky was substituted for Perique. The latest version, blended and manufactured by Mac Baren, follows the latter formula.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMac Baren
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBrazilian Leaf, Kentucky, Virginia
CutCurly Cut
Packaging50 grams tin
Where to Buy
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 20 Users

198 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This first paragraph is reviewing the Orlik Va/Kentucky version: The light Virginias give you exactly what they're supposed to: a light, semi-sweet fairly natural taste with a slight sour note. The Kentucky is not too strong and gives it what strength the blend has. The Brazilian lights are condiments. It's a near perfect blend of quality tobaccos and is an all day smoke. The coin cut is loose enough that you can easily rub it out or stack them without getting a tight draw. No bite, and burns cool, clean and slightly slow. It's very expensive for Americans to get, so you'd really have to like it to pay the high tin and shipping prices.

However, this version is still a pale reflection of the previous blend that had perique instead of Kentucky. That mixture had more strength and spice with raisin and figs notes for the perique, a little more earth, a sour note missing from the VaKen production, anise and rum (both versions have this in very light amounts), and possibly a touch of another spice. all of which were perfectly balanced to give the smoker great pleasure. Some people say it was not an all day smoke, but for me, it was. There have been several attempts by other companies to replicate this mixture, and all have fallen short of the mark. While I have quite a number of the older version tins stashed away, I sure wish the manufacturer would go back to the previous formula. I'd pay current prices without complaint to stock up if they did. Four stars for the older version. This current version only gets three. I'm just glad I have enough of the old tin version to last me for a few more years.

UPDATE: Oct. 3, 2013: This update is for the recently released MacBaren version. MacBaren licensed the rights to manufacture Three Nuns, and in the summer of 2013, began distributing it to the American market as well as for Europe. I was unhappy to discover they were using the Orlik formulation instead of the VaPer, though I now understand they have to make a VaKy version due to legal reasons. However, I have now been smoking this new variant, and will relate my thoughts on the subject. There are differences between the new production and Orlik's product. The cut coins are a little bigger and more loosely spun. The Kentucky is generally more spread out in the coin rather than centered. The tobacco was fairly dry out of the tin, unlike previous versions, which had a slight moisture to them. The sour taste that was present in the earlier incarnations is very similar, but toned down a bit. The sweetness is very slightly more prominent at times, which possibly comes from how the Kentucky is processed or perhaps there's a very light difference in the topping? This Kentucky is darker, fuller, a little more woodsy, and certainly spicier than what Orlik used, and is superior in every way. In fact, it's the same dark fired Kentucky MacBaren uses in several of their other blends. The Virginia is also darker than what was employed in previously made variants. Essentially, Three Nuns has gone from the original Bell's blend to being a MacBaren manufacture that uses the Orlik recipe with their own tobaccos. The flavor profile is similar, but in a blind taste test, anyone who has smoked any of the previous versions could tell which was which. This is now a full fledged MacBaren product.

How I feel about it now is the main point of this analysis, being that this is a review of the MacBaren Three Nuns. I like it. Very much. It's good fresh out of the tin, and I expect it to age very well if left in these exceptionally sealed tins over the course of time. But smoking it fresh out of the tin will provide you with lots of enticing, satisfying flavors. I spent a fair amount of time comparing this to earlier productions, but judging the MacBaren Three Nuns on own merits - which are considerable - it's most certainly worth your money and time. I'm going to smoke and cellar it. I'm also going to give this new version three stars, which is what I gave to the Orlik non-perique version. I'm keeping the four star rating for the VaPer version, which was made for a hundred years, and deserves that respect.

75 people found this review helpful.

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

For twenty years this (or ESCUDO) was my tobacco of preference before 6 pm. Lighting up a Charatan full of Three Nuns, right after luncheon, with its ineffable, strong, piquant sweetness, was one of those ritual pleasures that simply have no parallel in today's Cromwellian times. The sadness of time lost has only improved and idealised the memory.

Then Imperial Tobacco, the cigarette-churning octopus that had taken it over from its original manufacturer, Bell, decided that it was much too expensive to produce in Britain in exactly the same way that had made it world-famous for decades. It farmed the production out to a Danish--or was it German??--outfit. That version--still available in Germany from Dan Tobacco--was excellent, though not exactly the same as the original. (I admit that the evolving characteristics of a mixture long in production is a controversial subject.)

Eventually, the billion-dollar producer, after quitting the American market because of a fear of lawsuits, stopped manufacturing Three Nuns Original altogether--some dandruffy accountant who understands only Goldman-Sacks economics must have felt the old Curly Classic didn't bring in enough billions to justify its princely existence.

So the situation is similar to that which obtains with Gallaher's Balkan Sobranie: the people who own the rights will NOT make it available, but will NOT allow anyone else to do so. SICK.

Martin McGahey, "The Tobacconist", of Exeter, England, however, sells, in bulk, something that he gets "from Germany someplace", which he calls, tantalisingly, BUCKLAND CURLIES, and which he coyly insists is JUST like Three Nuns: "If you mourn...Three Nuns,...let us bring your pipe alive"!

My hunch is that he gets it from the person[s] who supply DAN Tobacco, and sells it in Britain as a pseudonymous, "propietary" bulk blend. It isn't as if "Navy rolls" were a feature of every corner blender...

Now, why aren't American tobacconists as resourceful? Why SHOULDN'T somebody get Three Nuns from its European supplier and sell it here under some dumbass name?Whiskey Rebellion Pennies, or whatever?

Or is WESSEX' Sovereign Curly Cut the answer to my prayers?

The "Three Nuns MIXTURE" (ready-rubbed) which might still be available in Europe and Canada in a POUCH is a disgusting abomination in which the Périque flavour is sprayed on as a liquid, chemical, AROMATIC EXTRACT??a casing!!!! Batman, my guns!

We need a pipe knight with some gumption to give us boys some Nuns!


Note 8/21/2013

Blue Nuns was never just a Virginia-Périque blend. It always had some dark-fired burley, i.e., Kentucky. The new Orlik version has the depth and general body of the old blend but, lacking Périque, is simply NOT the old blend. It's OK, it's just not Three Nuns.

32 people found this review helpful.

TWolf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TWolf (4)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is for the newly (re?)introduced Three Nuns from MacBarren. I am aware of the issue over the difference between the original versus the new versions of Three Nuns. Perique, no perique, etc. I have never had the opportunity to smoke the original version of this so I really can't comment on the differences. I received a tin of the new version recently. Upon opening it the first thing I noticed was a very strong and pleasant aroma of freshly mown hay. The appearance of the tobacco was a bit disappointing. The tin I received must have been jostled around quite a bit. I've seen photos of the beautiful coins as they are supposed to look. Mine was pretty well mashed together and it took some effort to separate them into (more or less) individual coins. This also resulted in a fair amount of loose tobacco which I suppose I could consider as pre-rubbed. I loaded a Savinelli Roma by placing some of the loose tobacco into the bottom of the bowl then stacking some intact coins on top of that. It did take a bit of work to get it lit but once it was it burned beautifully requiring no relights. I haven't been smoking a pipe for terribly long and I don't always detect some of the nuances I hear others talking about. In the case of Three Nuns I think I can honestly say I finally understand what people mean when they talk about the natural sweetness of Virginia. It came through beautifully throughout the entire smoke. There was a subtle smokiness (I assume from the Kentucky?), almost like what you find in Whiskey that gave it a nice depth of flavor that complimented the very subtle sweet. I liked this quite a lot and will enjoy playing around with packing it differently and maybe drying it just a tad.

20 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I had a suitemate in college who smoked the original Three Nuns. It was a little expensive for me, but from time to time I had some of his, and liked it a lot. This was a long time ago and I don't trust my memory to be able to recall much of the original except that I do remember the coins were smaller and more firmly pressed.

This is just a great smoke. There is a tasty sweetness from the Virginia and a spicy, slightly smoky flavor from the Kentucky. It all works together very well. I don't think I found either the strength or the flavor as strong as some of the other reviewers. I am not tasting any topping - just Virginia and Kentucky goodness in a well-balanced blend.

This is really a 3.5 for me. There are blends I like more. This one really is in a must try category though. I highly recommend it. I am smoking it in a GBD pot as I type this, and that brings out the flavors better than some of the smaller bowls I have tried it with.

17 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

The MacBaren version of Bell’s Three Nuns is another case of new wine in old skins, ie., same name, different tobacco blend than the name was made with. Still, IMO, they have managed to put together something good, despite the obvious differences from earlier, stronger iterations.

This new 3N shows a pile of small, “Navy Roll”-type coins packed in its round tin. Tin note is mild dates, figs and silage over well-melded, aged VAs and mild KY tobacco, along with the barest hint of citrus and something like the smell of a new pair of handmade leather shoes. I can easily pluck a couple of coins straight from the tin and spindle, stuff and light them in seconds. Once it’s lit, there is plenty of smoke, and it burns to a fine ash with regular tamping. It smells and tastes like a ramped-up version of the tin note, which is pretty nice. Forget the Perique, since there is none of that now (that I can detect). The smoke is “rich”, rather dry, and "creamy", like a mild cigar. There may be the smell of sweet bread baking, or it might be brats grilling, depending on who knows what(?), along with the base smell of the refined, aged VA/KY tobacco. There is a little white pepper, less cardamom, and still less anise added to the taste. It burns slowly, considering it is, defacto, a fine ribbon cut, and it seems to encourage me to take my time with it. Another reason to take it easy is that it can get rather hot as a bowl progresses. I like these VAs. They are well-balanced, rich/lite, and civilized; no barking dogs here. However, it is the Burly aspect of this mild KY that emerges for me, and the taste gets more tannic as it becomes nuttier; think, walnuts. The smoky and resin-y qualities of the KY are just present, and the usual KY pungency is restrained and condimental rather than primary, throughout the smoke. Flavors are varied, but the lot hardly varies, from beginning to end, with only a slight gain in “intensity” as the smoke progresses. It’s very well balanced, and it is rich if not deep or strong. It soothes and satisfies me, in a dreamy sort of way. Strength is more mild than medium, and tastes develop slowly from mild to medium, depending on how it’s smoked. If there is a “problem”, it’s that the whole thing is so balanced and pleasant that it might be over before one gets a bead on it. There is plenty enough going on for me, however, given even scant attention. Room note is pleasant. The aftertaste starts out as the best of the smoke and then gradually gets even better as the VA sugar builds; it is never strong, but it manages to hang on for some time, much to my delight.

No, this is not Grandfather’s Three Nuns. But I’m guessing Bell/MacBaren got much of what they were after, and the results speak for themselves. For one thing, this does come across like a “bygone” premium blend (albeit not Bell’s Three Nuns…). It might be a nice “All Day Smoke” for those who smoke all day, and I always want more when the best of the aftertaste kicks in. I recommend it first to Burly lovers, and then to VA/Bur smokers, as long as they are OK with significant tannin. Best for last: This is a VERY RELAXING smoke, if that’s something you’re after. Setting aside the price, rounded up to four stars.

Pipe Used: various briars; best kept cool...

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin to 2 months in a jar

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Hmmm... (watch this space).

12 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Three Nuns without Périque... Three Nuns with Kentucky instead. Well why not substitute the latakia in Nightcap with black cavendish - afterall it does have the same color to a degree.

Why on earth have Orlik done this? As far as I know, they do have Périque in stock - cf. Nightcap, Deluxe Navy Roll and so on and so forth.

Okay, so let me rename this blend to Nee Thruns and get on with my review here.

This comes a bit too wet out of the tin, so I let it dry for six hours. This did the trick.

I do tend to stick too smooth VAs; you know, flakes with that natural sweet cookie-like aroma. This is dry, stout and peppery, but also musty and heavy further down the bowl. Nee Thruns is not sweet at all, and the pungent dried fruit aroma, from Three Nuns by Bell's, is no more.

It has this leathery cigar-like touch to it and I really don't like it. Actually, there's nothing "niceness" (to use hip lingo) to this blend, except for the high nicotine level. It does handle, pack and burn like a dream though.

If you like Three Nuns, don't try Nee Thruns.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

11 people found this review helpful.

Warcross Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warcross (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This review is of the MacBaren version of Three Nuns. It is an immensely flavorful, deeply sweet blend. Upon opening the tin I found the tobacco visually disappointing (only in the sense that the coins were almost all rubbed out: I found only three quasi-intact in the top layer). I doubt that the coins were rattled loose during packing or shipping, as it is very densely packed in the tin. The disappointment was quickly replaced by fascination at the deep, rich, dark fruit aromas wafting off the opened tin. The overall reddish caramel color was also very appealing. Flavor-wise, Three Nuns was surprising in that it was as delicious as it was pleasant. What I mean is that unlike many Virginia based blends I have tried, the soft sweetness of Three Nuns is perfectly accentuated by its immense depth and richness. It is sweet but also very creamy, in fact almost buttery or caramel-like. There is the subtlest background spice tinge, almost a delicate green peppercorn tang. It hides behind the huge Virginia flavor and just sort of peaks out at you every so often. All this makes for an absolutely delicious, approachable smoke with round body and big character. Tons of flavor, and all good. For me this lasted throughout the even-burning bowl of mostly-broken, partly crumbled, stacked coins. And it was a big bowl.

Pipe Used: Chacom Jura Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

9 people found this review helpful.

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

I recently finished a 15 year old tin of Three Nuns, the tin looking like the picture attached to this thread.

Smooth, elegant and refined are three words that come to mind when smoking this wonderful creation. I don't know what the newer version tastes like as I can't find any in the U.S, and I don't recall how this stuff smoked back in the early 1990's, but this aged version exhibits no imperfections or aberrations of any kind. The perique marries perfectly with the virginias and the very slight topping melds harmoniously with the leaf. I found it somewhat less sweet than the current crop of Escudo - more along the lines of Dunhill Elizabethan, as another reviewer noted. A darker flavor but with wonderful high notes, just not a sweet virginia. On the basis of one tin, I have to say that I prefer this to Escudo.

Smooth, elegant and refined! If you can find an old tin, sit back and enjoy! If you have a batch of newer tins, age a few of them. Hopefully they age now as well as they did 15 years ago.

9 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Bell's - Three Nuns.

Until today, I'd only smoked the pouched version, so I had the pouch's ready rubbed appearance in my mind. I've now noticed it says Curly Cut on most sites, but what can I say, I'm too lazy to read before buying LOL; due to this, my wife never lets me loose on the internet shopping! Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised upon opening my tin: it wasn't a plain ready rubbed mixture, but a blend that's prominently made up of coins, there's a few ribbons, but I'd say they account for less than 20% of the contents. The moisture from this brand new tin is brilliant, so unless The Danish Pipe Shop have had it cellared for some time I'd say a fresh tin's good to go right away!

This is an exceptionally good smoke: the first good point is igniting it, that's an easy task and straight away the burn's even, level, and consistent. The temperature can't be faulted either, and nor can the speed (a regular issue with my way of piping). The nicotine's at a medium level, it only seems to be slightly more if I deliberately inhale some smoke, but not a by a great deal.

The flavour? Heavenly! Personally I find the Kentucky/Burley carries more weight than the Virginia: I get very little grass/citrus from the Virginia, but a lot from the Burley. The flavour lacks that fiery edge that often emanates from Kentucky, yet has more of the usual Burley me. I love it! I don't notice anything that I'd construe as a topping/casing/flavouring, it's a very pure smoke.

I absolutely adore Three Nuns, it's what I'd call a perfect smoke:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Big Ben Bora

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

8 people found this review helpful.

Hybrid12 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hybrid12 (26)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Unnoticeable

After reading a lot of positive reviews I thought I would purchase a tin of this tobacco. I opened the tin to a nicely packed coins of tobacco. I really didn't detect much of an aroma from the tin. After reading these reviews, I feel as though I smoked a different tobacco altogether. It was acrid from the start with a pepper flavored casing. I usually smoke a tobacco for the flavor or for the Vitamin N, and this tobacco doesn't fall into either one of those categories. If Dark fired is what you like I would recommend HH Macbaren Old Ready Rubbed Dark Fired tobacco any day over this! For all of the pompous pipe smokers burning this in a $300 pipe and trying to articulate a description of this in the most eloquent way, I laugh at you. Just because it comes in a tin doesn't make it good and this is clearly an example of that. I had heard of a pipe lasting all day and didn't understand that concept until I smoked this. The fact is everyone's palette is different and this tobacco was a very unpleasant experience for me. For those of you that actually enjoy this smoke up, but you can get a bag of bulk that is a lot better for a couple bucks....

Pipe Used: Italian Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin

Purchased From: 4 noggins

Similar Blends: Other overpriced horrible tobaccos I have unfortunately spent money on and smoked.....

8 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Well, it looks like I am going to be in the minority here. This blend was sampled at a recent pipe club meeting I attended, and the reviews were very mixed. It was deemed A VERY ACRID smoke by the veterans in the group, but many puffers do prefer a blend that leans toward more bitter than sweet. It seemed that the blend was enjoyed most by those who do not smoke aromatics of any kind, and maybe that's why they enjoyed the straight forward smoke of the Nuns. I personally found the blend to be a hot burner, the smoke was indeed a little bitter and the aftertaste was not pleasant to my palate.

If you enjoy this stuff, you will be one of the minions who do. It's certainly one of the all-time classics (but, not if I was voting!)

8 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (108)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The following review is based on a recently produced tin (a round tin. Purchased in 2014). I know the younger set dislikes us old farts reviewing blends we once loved; and how we complain about how different the new blends are from the old blends, but, you know, it can't be helped (wait until your favorite blends fall by the wayside and then reappear; you'll see).

The original Three Nuns was a blend I'd smoke from time to time back in the eighties—this current incarnation is not that blend. However, for me, all the attributes of the missing Perique remain; the tingling on my tongue (that real peppery smack), the strength of the blend; it all measures up to Perique. So, if there's no Perique in this, what's giving me all these signals? The Kentucky? The Virginia? It sure couldn't be the Burley. And, speaking of Burley, that's what I remember from the older blend—the Burley, then Perique. It was never a Perique bomb, like this new blend (or faux Perique, whichever might be the case). The nuttiness and body of the Burley used to come out more, not so with this new one.

Really, all this reminds me of the arguments running over Presbyterian Mixture; as to whether or not it really has Latakia in it. I guess the bottom line for me, is the new mixture is okay, but it's nothing to write home about. It certainly isn't in the same class the old blend was in. What a pity.

I'll give this current incarnation a high two stars (the old blend, a solid three). It so happens I own a much older tin of Three Nuns, and I'll pop it sometime in the future, when? I don't know. Check back for an update sometime.

Keep Piping!

Pipe Used: Boswell freehand

7 people found this review helpful.

Jose Ruiz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jose Ruiz (7)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Well today is my first of many pipe tobacco reviews, hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did in reviewing for you. My first review is on McBarens/Bell's Three Nuns: Blend: Virginia/Dark fired Kentucky blend Cut: Small loose cut coins Tin Note: Leathery/Smoke scent Tin size: 1.75 oz. Rating: 4 Strength: Medium/medium full Flavoring: Leathery/woodsy campfire notes Taste: Smooth, slight sweetness from the Virginia leaf, slight bite to it. Room note: Pleasant/smooth/inoffensive Notes: Out of the tin seems a little moist. Dried it for 30 minutes and much better smoke. Smoked it whole coins with fold and stuff method as well as rubbed it out. Both ways were very pleasant to smoke with some various results. Both ways ended up with a very smooth smoke. With whole coins I noticed a more of a hit of smokiness/leathery of the Kentucky leaf then at times you get the sweetness from the Virginia coming thru at different times. Very nice that way, also when I rubbed it out I noticed more of a constant complex robust taste from both leaves. Either way the pipe only needed a few lights thru out the smoke, didn't get too hot. I recommend this blend for a all day smoke I don't think you will be disappointed at all. Will be on my rotation of tobacco to have. Hope you all enjoy your day and as always keep on puffin !!!!

As a added review from a non pipe smoker I have my wife add her review as to the Room notes as I think most reviewers never actually add a opinion from a non pipe smoker. I personally think this is important:

As the wife of a pipe smoker I find certain tobacco's are more pleasing than others. The smells for the non-pipe smoker are important too. 3 Nuns for me is a pleasing smell. When my husband lit this blend I sat up and said, "honey, that is old man tobacco in all the right ways!" It had a rich subtle odor that made me visualize of an old library or office, rich with the smell of books and leather and intermingled with the fine elderly gentleman smoking a pipe as he read his paper or book. There was nothing musty or frumpy about it. It was a clean, crisp, rich smell that filled the room with comfort and warmth. I am definitely not going to complain when my husband lights this tobacco again. I will however, reserve the right to buy him a Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe to go with it!

~ The Pipe-smokers Wife

Pipe Used: Eric Berks hand made freestyle briar pipe

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Sutliff

7 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I hate to post a real downer of a review, but this is the worst tobacco I've had in ages. I mean, every hint that it's going to get sweeter, or spicier, or fuller, or... or anything at all.... just disappears as soon as you think "Ahh, here we go..." It doesn't go. It tastes flat, comparable to a cheap burley like Carter Hall but tastes worse. Expected good things from a good blender and a hallowed blend. Yuck. Flat and bitter. Cardboard would be as good.

EDIT: For the first time ever... I think I can say I had a "bad tin". I was gifted another tin of 3N last year and it bore no resemblance at all to the rotten-sock burley I had before. I find this tasty, pleasant and tobacco-y, like a diluted Scottish Cake maybe I'll give it another star.

Similar Blends: Rough and dirty like a cheap drugstore blend smoked hard..

6 people found this review helpful.

ElMog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ElMog (30)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I delayed reviewing this tobacco, and even after 2 years i'm still having a hard time finding the words to describe it. The easy part: i like it very, very much. I dont find myself craving for Three Nuns very often, but everytime i smoke it i'm impressed by how enjoyable it is. Ugly little greenish coins, easy to rub out. The smell from the tin reminds me of a mix of hay and seaweed. The burn characteristics are excellent, given some drying time. Now the hard part; how to describe the flavors ? Well, 3 Nuns is pretty sweet, very umami, has a hint of smokiness, it is not heavy or cloying but has more body than a straight Va. There are no flavour peaks, not a lot of evolution throughout the bowl, it is not terribly complex or nuanced but there is enough going on to keep my interest. No obvious flavours, but enough obviously good things going on that i dont feel the need to over-analyse. Never tried the previous versions, judging the latest incarnation by MacBaren on its own merit. 3 2/3 stars for me !

Pipe Used: Clays, cobs, orlick sandblasted canadian

Purchased From: 4noggins

5 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (153)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Unfortunatelly haven't tried any of the earlier versions.this blend is a must!when you crack the tin you get rich virginia flavours combined with nice flavours from kentucky.the coins are very easy to handle and at proper moisture.lights easy and might need some relights.while smoking the flavours are rich and deep combining dark fruits,citruses,nuts and some sweet notes.burns cool and slow.never bit me.the nicotine level is medium.the room note is my opinion this is an all day blend.totally recommended !!

Age When Smoked: When opened

5 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The Bell's Three Nuns as manufactured by MacBaren is a very fine tobacco, but it is not the Three Nuns of old. For me, the only real drawback to this version is the name, a name which suggests a tobacco different from this current offering, the predecessor being the one presumably prized by C.S, Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

As a pipe smoker for more than half a century I sometimes smoked the original Three Nuns in my earlier years of pipedom. In those days of yore in a metropolitan area you had the option of several dozen over the counter blends as well as the tinned blends in a bricks and mortar tobacco store. I have always been a pipe smoker who preferred to have great variety in what I smoked, and thus I didn't smoke a lot of Three Nuns because most of what went into my pipes was the much cheaper OTC's. But when I smoked the Three Nuns blend I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Over the years Three Nuns was dumbed down, and eventually it was offered as a blend without perique. That didn't necessarily make it a bad blend, but it wasn't Three Nuns. To the best of my memory I never smoked a no perique version until the current incarnation which is manufactured by MacBaren. MacBaren has been roundly criticized for their no perique blend, but unfairly so. MacBaren manufactures Three Nuns, but they do not own the brand, and thus they follow the recipe they are given. There is some speculation that there are legal issues involved which prevent reversion to the original recipe.

So what do we have with the MacBaren produced Three Nuns? You find darkish medallions of Virginia and Kentucky (fired burley). The medallions in my tin were a bit worse for wear, partially broken up, which is no problem so long as you plan to rub out the blend rather than stack the coins. The tin smell has nothing out of the ordinary. Like most MacBaren products it is a bit too moist and benefits from breaking the seal several days before the smoking.

At any rate, the tobacco lights without great problem and is not difficult to keep lit. The flavor is predominately a slightly sweet Virginia, but the dark overtones of the Kentucky are always there, and they seem to intensify as you work your way down the bowl. Overall you will find a medium to full flavor which is quite pleasant for those who enjoy darkened Virginia/burley blends.

The room note will offend only the tobacco Nazis, but there is nothing outstanding about it either.The nicotine level is fairly high for a Virginia forward offering.

My personal experience in smoking this was quite positive. Three Nuns it ain't, but it is a very pleasurable offering.

I used several different pipes in smoking the tin, primarily Sasienis and Petersons. I had good luck with all, although I did not find one that particularly married to the blend.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

I find many of the Danish made Virginia blends have their pH too alkaline and it's the same case here; tongue bite this one does not agree with me.

After smoking even a few puffs it leaves an awfully dry acrid cigarette taste in my throat . . . I despise cigarettes ! ! They have nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with addiction plus they taste awful and smell worse.

I cannot recommend it and no more purchases shall be made . . . sorry sister's you do great charitable work but this, this is the inquisition.

5 people found this review helpful.

Britannia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Britannia (10)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

I really wanted to like this blend. Kentucky - check, Virginia - check, should be right up my alley. Nope. Based on all the positive reviews maybe I got a bad tin, I'm more inclined to believe it just didn't agree with my body chemistry. I smoked this in a number of briar's and used a cob for this review. I know this new incarnation is blended by Mac Baren and in due diligence their blends really disagree with my palette so take that for what it's worth. This is one of the few blends I will relegate to the circular cellar.


Right off the bat I get an intense acrid taste, no indication of Kentucky that I can detect. What I do taste is an intense sour perique like pepper. No Virginia tanginess anywhere to be found. There is also a distinct burnt rubber smell when exhaling through the nose.

Middle: Overpowering acrid taste moves to the background, blend settles down to a boring smoke with no depth no body. Most of the smoke is like puffing hot air. My throat was really getting irritated by the middle of the bowl.

Finish: Acrid tastes moves forward again and remains for the rest of the smoke. I had the worst sour after taste on the pipe finish, took a while for my tongue to get back to normal.

Pipe Used: missouri meershaum

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (110)
Medium Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

The wee rolls are the best thing about this tobacco. They look beautiful in the tin. There is very little sweetness which is very noticable from the first puff and a slightly sour flavour develops as you smoke down the bowl as well as the pepperiness increasing. Its unusual and takes a bit of getting used to, but, i'm liking it more and more as time goes by.

Nicotine is reasonable. Give this one time as i was not greatly impressed at first but it does grow on you. Different.

Pipe Used: Dunhill '53 billiard

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: 4noggins

4 people found this review helpful.

mnadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mnadz (66)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Strong

There is a reason so many tobacco blends exist on the market. Not everyone gets the same experience. I was excited to smoke this tobacco because of its legacy, and regardless of its newer blend, enough positive reviews to try. This was another Backwoods for me. Alot of reviews I vehemently disagree with. This tobacco was tasteless (except for an aftertaste that reminded me of my cigarette days), did not burn well, and smelled horrible. My wife, who does enjoy the room note of most of my english blends, asked me not to smoke this around her. To explain my taste, I usually enjoy english blends with heavy amounts of Latakia, or aromatics that taste like aromatics. Only recently have I found some straight Virginias that I enjoy (Marble Kake for one). So I am not object to various blends...but this was HORRIBLE. My recommendation is to find someone in these reviews that has similar taste as you, and see what they say. Don't go by the volume of positive reviews.

4 people found this review helpful.

HPFlashman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HPFlashman (9)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is the same brand my Father and Grandfather used to smoke in the 70s, I have not tasted the old formula of this. But the new one is a very, very tasty option. Sweet and peppery at the same time. Round tin and not the square one I remember from back then.

I have bought a lot of different tobaccos this summer, but after three bowls of this, I went out and added another 5 tins of it to the storage and would probably have gotten this in more copious amounts if I had smoked it earlier.

The content of the tin was on opening a bit of broken and whole discs, which let me to experiment a bit with packing, as it is my first go at discs tobaccos, full discs in the bottom, with loose on top, full discs through the bowl, loose tobacco in the bottom... You get the drift, anyhow, my palate is not fine enough to detect any difference in taste regarding packing methode, nor did I experience any other hiccups with it, it is in my regards a cool and easy burning tobacco that burns all the way through the bowl with little moisture let-off. I could happily smokeThree Nuns and only Three Nuns for the rest of my days...

Purchased From: Fredrik Tranter Tobacconists, Oxford

4 people found this review helpful.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I'm amazed I haven't done this one on TR. 4 stars for the Three Nuns you buy today in the shops and smoke today in your for the the Three Nuns of yesteryear....tell it to my Grandfather who lies in a grave in Glendalough Co.Wicklow...he might be interested!

4 people found this review helpful.

3pipeproblem Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
3pipeproblem (13)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just finishing up my first tin so I thought I'd add some comments. This is for the current version, I have never had the chance to try any previous incarnation. I will say, however, that I think the substitution of Dark Fired mimics the taste of Perique fairly well, per my limited experience with the Louisiana leaf.

I found this to be a very enjoyable blend. It has a bold, no frills taste-- not for beginners. The moisture was perfect out of the tin and it smoked dry, burning well and never leaving a dottle. No bite, but it required an average number of relights. I will definitely be revisiting in the future.

A good old-fashioned, traditional mixture : 3.5

Pipe Used: Briars, corncob

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Smoking

3 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (66)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Sadly, I have no idea on what this famed blend used to be in the glory days of old. I've sampled just the newer, sans-Perique version. Reading ecstatic reviews left by those who knew the Original Three Nuns, I feel I missed a lot in my life. Even without sampling both versions, it's understandable that the recipe change was significant, as Perique and Kentucky are very different tobaccos, and replacing one with another must give a fully new blend, not a version of the original one.

Well, the Three Nuns (even despite its slightly blasphemous name) is a nice blend. Sourish Virginia well balanced with mild Kentucky. Slices are cute. Tin art is simple and brilliant. No complains. And no magic, so often mentioned by those who sampled the Original Three Nuns.

If it was a blend in its own right marketed under its own name, I'd see no reasons to rate it lower than 3.7. Cause it's nice. But since it's just an imitation of a seemingly far superior (or, in any case, very different) old product, I subtract two stars for the unfair use of the old trade mark.

Anyway, worth to try. Not outstanding, but still nice.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (112)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

One out the most distinctive tin aromas there is. . Plums, figs and other stewed fruits. . fig newtons and raisin bran come to mind. The flavor is a one of a kind, something worthy of the name and prestige if the 3 Nuns name. Nutty and sweet. Woody and subtly spicy. A cool dry smoke that has an incense like tone. The dark fire replaces the Perique beautifully. .although i never smoked the original... i the Burley is a central balances with the Virginia's in a way I have not seen in any other blend. Smoked to the heel with little moisture in the bowl.

Pipe Used: cobs and briars

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Mars Cigars

3 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is not Three Nuns. Nor was the Orlik version. The original Three Nuns was sublime. A ten star hall of fame blend. So why call this 3 Nuns???? WHY WHY WHY? Call it four nuns, call it drunk Nun, call it Forty Seven Nuns...I dont care. But do not put a classic label on a blend that bears scant resemblance to the original. That old blend was a piece of history. And i find it really problematic to make money off that legend. So ONE STAR.

3 people found this review helpful.

Lazarus77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazarus77 (87)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not bad tobacco, interesting full taste, but burning to fast and leaving moisture inside the pipe. It's a good tobacco, but for that price you can find better alternatives around in the market. Anyway is really worth to try it. Happy smoking for everybody;)

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local store

3 people found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Never have the previous famous version. Although wonderful cute little coin cuts as everybody says, it tastes musty and hot and it bites. I don't know if it could get better with some aging, but I definitely move the tin to the back of my cabinet. Maybe it's just not for me.

3 people found this review helpful.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Three Nuns is a tobacco for those who enjoy tobacco, pure, no fuzz. I absolutely like the current version. It is still very satisfying and goes well with almost anything, from coffee to rum, bourbon or whisky. If you didn’t have TN jet but you are familiar with MB Roll Cakes: Imagine you go from Club Blend over Dark Twist to Stockton with the blends becoming less sweet and more and more spicy, … TN would be the final implication.

Gets smoother when you let it breathe and then sit for a couple of weeks.

Pipe Used: Various with and without filter

Age When Smoked: fresh to 3 months

3 people found this review helpful.

fmjiii Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fmjiii (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is one that gets better and better as you puff!!!

Appearance is a spun coin of mixed brown. It does well in pipes of all sizes for me. You defiantly need to sit down and relax when you smoke it or you will miss the complexity of taste. It has a very subtle sweet cooked/buttery fruit finish. No bite at all.

It definitely has that classic sweet Virginia and if you sip it slowly it is quite mild on the tongue. The Burley in this is a perfect condiment, giving it that great buttery smoothness, but is not overwhelming in the slightest. I am going to cellar few tins of this, as it is truly a winner. Definitely the best Va/Burley I have smoked to date.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (33)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My backorder arrived after waiting months. It's good, but I won't be buying more unless there's an incredible sale. I noticed several reviews lamenting the absence of Perique. Those folks need to try GL Pease Triple Play. KY, VA & Perique. Cheaper & a vastly superior dose of Nicotine.

Pipe Used: MM Cob

Age When Smoked: New tin dated Feb 14

Purchased From: P&C

3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

New tinned version by Mac Baren.

These tobaccos go very well together. Although the dominant flavors come from the very nice Virginias (by just a little), the DFK is the star of this show for me. What a great flavor it has. Together they create a rich, deep, sweet and spicy smoke that I really enjoy. Fresh from the tin I give it 3+ stars. I'm willing to bet that with some aging it will easily reach the 4 star level. Will stash several tins and find out in a few years. Medium to full in body and flavor.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
Mild to Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Three nuns is a perfect example of what a Va/Pr blend should be. sweet, spicy, and complex. This blend comes in loose medallions perfect for stacking into a pipe for a nice long relaxing smoke. Three Nuns smoke cool and smooth. As for flavor, this blend is delightful. Perfect for a sunny afternoon. When people describe perique as plums and pepper it is because of this blend. The perfect example. Plums and pepper is the defining flavor of this blend. The viginias add a dark sweet base to this blend. Perfectly balance, tastes fantastic, smells like plums, i can see why three nuns is such an iconic blend. Definitely a tobacco i will keep on my shelf.

Pipe Used: Antique Meerschaum

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (49)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is about the new "Three Nuns", not the old one.

Since I've been hearing a lot about how Three Nuns used to be, I decided to try the new version of it. And I wasn't disappointed. It's a decent smoke, out of the tin comes in perfect moisture, no need for additional drying. There is some resemblance with good quality vapers, but it's different in a special way. Has some "cigarettish" note however. I usually smoke it in the morning with the coffee. If you want subtle yet complex smoke, probably this wouldn't be the number one choice, but if you are after a decent hit of nicotine, decent flavour all the way down and no nonsense to distract you this may be the perfect choice. VA is dark and plays with Kentucky nicely. Actually I have no idea what the distinctive flavour of Kentucky is like, I'm just guessing by comparing this with vapers.
There were some highly negative feedbacks for the new version, as mediocre smoke, nothing special, e.t.c. and I wouldn't agree with that. I don't know how the previous Three Nuns was like, but this one is good. I will buy some more of it, and being predominantly latakia smoker, this brings a good change of pace every now and then. Clean, nice, lovely smoke. Doesn't astonish, but it doesn't disappoint either.

Pipe Used: briars, meers, cobs and clay

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

ven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ven (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Lovely, adult tobacco. I was excited to try this out, since there was so much hype surrounding its resurgence - and I was not disappointed!! I thoroughly enjoyed this tobacco. Solid and spicy, but doesn't bite. Smoked evenly. Felt very mature to me, in a sense that this is probably something that is good to read or write to. Likely very good for college homework or any kind of studying or research. At the time I was smoking a couple of bowls, both great in two different meers, I was engaged in deep philosophical/religious discussions with some members of my pipe club - and Three Nuns was perfect for that. I don't want to say something like "This is a thinking man's tobacco," - but I kinda want to. It certainly seems very smart, that's for sure. I loved it. Nice and peppery without being too much so, spiritually arousing and rather timeless. I will definitely be buying some for those times I want to slip into that smoking-jacket-in-the-den-library-leather-chair type of mode. Very nice. Easy to see why this one is a Classic, and in the Hall of Fame. Of the Hall of Fame ones I've tried, I liked this best. Easily. A+++

Pipe Used: Laxey Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

3 people found this review helpful.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After two tins of this tobacco, I still havent understood what it is about. There will be not a third attempt, I give up. Two solid stars, and that's all about it, for me it is not a memorable experience, despite the good reviews.

3 people found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I have always wanted to review this blend as i have heard so much about it! Imagine my pleasure to acquire two tins of this wonderful mixture, one I bought from a pipe store and one I found in an antique store. I have now smoked theentire tin from the antique store. It was somewhat dry of course but still very smokable with a slight crumbling but still with the little disks mostly intact. I rehumidified this tin over the course of one month with distilled water so as not to change the taste and to bring it back like it was years ago when made. This tin is marked as made in Wcotland with US distributor James B Russel, Inc in Englewood New jersey. I see no date code but the tin is marked as selling for $2.45 so it obviously is quite old.

After bring this fine blend back to life the tin aroma is a little like shoe polish in aroma, very much like some of the black ropes made today. It is a dark broiwn mixture composed of mostly little round cut disks and one rehydrated they are full and fluffy in appearance. This blend loads easily into the pipe, and once lit, it emmits a very pleasant aroma and a soft full taste on the plate, very much like a dark fired VA with some spicyness, most likely the perique in it. It just tastes so wonderful that my taste buds watered and I savored the smoke all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. It burned well and clean leaving just a fine ash in the bottom of my bowl. I could smoke nothing else until I fisnished this entire tin. It is just a wonderful smoke, has a rich full spicy flavor that just works! Why this blend is no longer made is a real shame as it is one of the best i have ever smoked and I would most likely make this my blend of choice if that was an option. For sure it would be in my top five list. The brown tin with the golden lettering along with white says "None Nicer" and I have to agree. if someone could come even close to reproducing this blend, I would be a devout smoker of it and I am sure many others would agree! If you ever get a chance to try it, do so! No matter the price, it is worth every penney of it!

3 people found this review helpful.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Well, what can I say... This is some rotten stuff, and it's a crying shame really.

I had some of this about 7 years ago. I honestly cannot recall if it was the curly/coin cut back then, but it was a lot better than the current incarnation that I ordered, smoked and immediately binned yesterday was.

The stuff I had back in 2005 was from a 25gm packet and consisted of a much darker leaf than that of today's mixture, which is a very bright looking springy ribbon cut. Back then it smoked like St Bruno without the soap, and with a hint of musty spice.

What I tried yesterday was awful. In the packet it smelt promising, sweet raisins and figs. It came at a dryish consistency which packed and took to the flame very well. Unfortunately that's where the positives end.

In short Three Nuns 2012 in a 50gm plastic packet smokes like a cigarette. The smoke is very voluminous, but not in the nice thick/silky way pipe smoke should be. It's more like the consistency of cigarette smoke, and behaves in exactly the same way.

It's true that there is little to no bite, and it doesn't burn that hot. But neither does a cigarette. I had bought this from the memory of what I had smoked in 2005. Whilst that may too have been ready rubbed, it was certainly nicer and darker than the god awful stuff it is now.

I can only assume that there have been even more changes to this once hallowed blend since it was changed from curly/coin cut (whenever that was).

Don't waste your money.....

3 people found this review helpful.

Doctor Max Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doctor Max (23)
Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Strong

What is this? I can see why this tobacco was popular in the UK; it smells like malt loaf and taste like malt vinegar! Maybe the massive dose of nicotine it delivers has something to do with its popularity as well? Enough to tranquilize a donkey. Anyway, the nuns come in really pretty small curly discs. Works well both to stack or rub; I find it smokes a bit better rubbed out, slightly more flavour comes out. And about the flavour, surprisingly little sweetness for a Virginia blend. It reminds me a bit of ketchup. I found it rather thin and harsh. Room note is smoky, sour and harsh as well. Such a shame on such a pretty tobacco.

3 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (107)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I miss this blend .My uncle who just passed [ lived to 92 ]smoked this forever .I've smoked it and loved it and wish I could get it again . Damn .

3 people found this review helpful.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (100)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

An absolute all day gentle puffing tobacco. I remember well the old Three Nuns. It was good, very good. I’ll move on and not dwell on the past. My therapist says to do that ( lol ). This new tin of The Three Nuns is just right for me. Mild to medium and good nicotine hit. The blend is naturally sweet without any additives. Excellent Virginia tobacco and.. Kentucky? Kentucky? Ok, they say Kentucky is in there and I guess it is. It must be only a very small amount, because it takes any edges off the sour Virginia. I’m actually glad the perique is absent. Not sure what the perique farmer is doing down in Louisiana, but the last few various blends I’ve gotten that has perique, it’s been quite bitter. Maybe it’s the blender using to much. Anyway, this Three Nuns is scrumptious, delicious and I’ve been smoking one bowl after another!

Pipe Used: Ashton Canadian old church.

Age When Smoked: 2 years.

Purchased From: I’m over 50: I can’t remember.

2 people found this review helpful.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice gentle nod to the toasty roasty side of things... Mac Baren did a good one here... has an old fashioned simplicity about it, and yet has enough going on to be slightly complex if you really dig into it... subtle sweetness and spice... a little nuttiness from the burly... yet mostly Virginia with subtle hints of spice and sweetness. I'm normally more apt to go for a straight Virginia or a va/per but this satisfies me. It's not as dark and strong as Irish flake and yet it points gently that way.

Pipe Used: Butz choquin

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Similar Blends: Darker virginia blends , Escudo, Irish flake, Astley 44, Best brown.

2 people found this review helpful.

MarkTheLad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MarkTheLad (29)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I have never had the original Three Nuns, so I have no basis for comparison, however I can tell you this is a superb tobacco that has a lot going for it. Would it be better if it actually had Perique in it? Probably... but it is still very good. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with the smell of delicious, spicy Dark Fired Kentucky and stewed fruit. The tobacco was a little wet so I removed 4 coins to dry for about an hour. I then rubbed out 2 coins and left the other 2 coins whole. Then I stacked the 2 whole coins in the bottom of my pipe and sprinkled in the rubbed out coins on top and packed it all lightly. It smoked pretty well, with only 4 relights. The topping or casing or whatever, is expertly applied so that the delicious spicy, smoky and creamy DFK is allowed to shine. I enjoyed the first smoke so much that upon finishing it, I reloaded another pipe and smoked another bowl and it was just as delicious as the first. I put away a tin of this for about a year and it mellowed a little bit and got a little sweeter and a little more smooth. This blend is my new favorite and definitely worth your time. I like to smoke it slow and easy for more flavor, enjoy!

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal Rocky XL90

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Burn-A-Briar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Burn-A-Briar (2)
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

I'll start by stating that this is by far my favourite pipe tobacco blend. Many search for years looking for a tobacco that meets their tastes and preferences perfectly and I feel very fortunate that it took so little time for me to discover Bell's Three Nuns. This review concerns the current (Mac Baren) incarnation of the the blend.

Upon lighting the bowl, one is hit with an initial sweetness which augments and diminishes but stays present throughout the smoke. A little further down the bowl, the blend becomes more robust and the sweetness of the Virginias becomes more of a background note. A Perique-like spiciness, which I'm guessing is offered by the Kentucky, begins to compete with the aforementioned sweetness as the smoke develops more of a body. Overtime, however, the spiciness and the sweetness appear to blend together creating a complex flavour full of nuance.

My advice with Three Nuns would be to smoke it slowly so as to gain as much from the natural sweetness of the tobaccos as one can. The blend is full of flavour but not overpoweringly strong and whilst the nicotine is noticeable, it never threatens to have too much of a presence. This tobacco is an enjoyably complex and thought-provoking smoke.

Age When Smoked: Over a Year Old

2 people found this review helpful.

71Bronco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
71Bronco (2)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Tried Three Nuns (TN) a couple of years ago and it wasn't especially memorable. Now, in looking for a change from the various Balkan, English and "Scottish" blends that are my regular smokes, I tried the rendition of Three Nuns that is in a round tin labeled on back as "Made in Denmark by Mac Baren Tobacco and dated Mar 2013. It has been so good, such a great, consistent smoke that I smoke a bowl of Three Nuns in the afternoon as a set up for the evening bowl of HH Vintage Syrian or Balkan Sasieni (or other full English blend). Tin note is deep, aged and mature tobaccos with some cocoa hints. Not sweet. Not bright or hay-like. But like the old tobacco barn after my Dad had taken his Burley out to the auction (WNC in the1950s). I've been smoking those Nuns in Meerschaums and maybe that is part of the reason I'm finding TN to be Highly Recommended. I pack a few of the more complete coins by folding and stuffing in first and then completing the packing with the more broken up or rubbed out pieces. Moisture on this 2 year old tin was just right when first opened and has dried out some over the 3 weeks it took for me to finish it. Has anyone else tried adding a little moisture to your tobacco by using your breath into the bowl as you pack? Works for me; be careful not to over do it. TN burns evenly and it is easy to go slow. The flavors and aromas are great. I don't find them dull at all. Of course it is your opinion that will matter. If J.R.R. smoked a better tobacco than this he was most fortunate.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum Cutty... Meerschaum full bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: Tin dated Mar 2013

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

This is definitely a vintage blend, one of the Hall of Fame of pipe tobaccos. Origin: 19th century, J & F Bell, Glasgow, Scotland, which later founded the famous “Imperial Tobacco Group” together with six other tobacco companies in 1901 (now “Imperial Brands PLC”, Bristol, UK). TREE NUNS was produced until 1980 and was available until the late 80s. THREE NUNS is now blended and manufactured by MacBaren, and still sold under the old, original brand of BELL’S. I am sure there is a story or an explanation behind the weird name of this blend, since nuns do not normally smoke pipe-tobacco.

Loose spun curly cut discs in the size of small coins. Surprisingly, the moisture in tin is quite low and the tobacco therefore rather dry, but still ok to smoke right out of the tin to start with. Later you may keep it under a little moisture. Nice for a change, since pipe smokers nowadays usually struggle with too high moisture in tin and wet tobacco. Stuffing and lighting is easy. Occasionally hot but steady burning. Very skilfully selected Virginias; most is dark and robust. They release aromas of bread, yeast and a scrumptious natural tobacco flavour. The Dark Fired Kentucky donates tasteful spice, wood and earth flavours to the blend, no camp-fire smokiness, though.

In earlier times, I guess before 1980, THREE NUNS always contained Perique. What a nuisance that Perique has been taken out now! I am sure a touch of Perique would fit in perfectly. I may try to add some myself one day. Nevertheless, even without Perique, THREE NUNS is a fantastic and tasteful mixture, even if it must be fairly different from the original. The sweetness is on my limit. Slightly less would make it more vintage like. And there is this pleasant, hidden, kind of outmoded, dark, soury touch, typical to so many real vintage blends. I love this. Over all THREE NUNS is an outstanding blend with great character and taste that I highly recommend to all Virginia, Va/Per, Va/Ky and Va/Bur smokers.

Age When Smoked: New, out of the tin.

Purchased From: Local tobacconist.

2 people found this review helpful.

sjdugi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sjdugi (22)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

First Kentucky I've tried and I must say it's not as strong as I thought it would be, at least at first light. After 20 puffs or so you start to get a little more peppery umph. Three Nuns has a nice, full flavor or at least it felt that way for me since I was smoking some EMP before this. The smell is wonderful and I could see nonsmokers finding it pleasant as well. I really dig the cut of the tobacco, though it does take a little more time to prepare a bowl. Overall, a great smoke that will leave you craving more (in my case at least), especially if you happen to be Catholic!

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Tinderbox

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I was given a great sample of this. Nearly a whole tin minus a few bowls as my friend who gave it to me just did not like it. This was my first experience with three nuns in any form, so I was free of any bias.

I liked it. It is a flavorful VaBur that is somewhat light in comparison to some of my favorite vaburs (irish Flake, Silver Flake, Stonehaven PH DSF). There is quite a bit of nutty sweetness in the smoke and I think that if this is what you are looking for in a vabur you will find yourself quite pleased with this one. I am curious whether the sweetness is purely due to the burley and Virginia components or whether they may be aided slightly by a topping. It just seems a little too sweet to be solely composed of tobacco.

Made by Mac Baren, this one is substantially better than MB Navy Flake and BLB to my tastes, so if you enjoy those blends this could be right up your alley. Yes, I liked it, but I did not love it. And this, perhaps, the reason the sample lasted more than two years in my cellar. In this time I was fortunate enough to have a sample of the original VaPer three nuns sent to me by a forum friend. Now that was out of this world. Perhaps the 20 years of aging had something to do with this, but it was miles ahead of the current production of three nuns.

So I will be another voice claiming that this blend has declined from its former self, but yet it does remain a good tasting blend. If a mild yet flavorful vabur is what you like in a blend, you may very well go 4 stars on this blend, but I will leave it with three.

2 people found this review helpful.

pipedrum22 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipedrum22 (15)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was particularly excited to try this blend mainly because my two favorite authors were known for enjoying it. This combination of Kentucky/Virginia/Burley tobaccos is one that I will enjoy for years to come. It comes in small coin flakes and is very easy to fill your pipe with and light. The Kentucky gives the blend a nice added spice which compliments the natural sweetness of the Virginias and nuttiness of the burley. The room note is nothing to write home about, but the flavors are incredible. This is a blend that is great for any time of day. It is full in flavor, but in terms of nicotine it is on the medium side. I would highly recommend this blend to any pipe smoker who enjoys full flavored blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (102)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I haven't added a review in years, but my recent experience with the 'reformulated' 3 Nuns seems worth sharing.

Opening the tin, I was greeted with rough looking roundels, smallish in diameter, and ranging in colour from blonde to dark brown. The note from the tin is sharp and woody: the first waft is of a light viriginia, immediately followed by the much heavier, peaty presence of the dark Kentucky leaf. It smells delicious, to my nose, and the moisture level at opening was on the dry side.

I smoked three bowls in three different pipes over a few days, and then wrote down a few impressions. Words such as 'dark' and 'consistent' occur frequently, as does the phrase 'burley-dominated'. I smoked 4 more bowls over the next ten days or so, words and phrases similar to the above followed.

The flavour is the much the same as the tin note - dark, slightly rich, and musky, without much detectable change throughout the bowl - very 'tobacco-y'. There is some strength there, and the blend has a tendency to bite, so slow sipping is needed. This is not a tobacco that will change much with aging - it will taste practically the same 5 years from now, likely owing to the tentative virginia proportions.

My overall impression is one of a quality, but undimensional offering. I haven't much experience with 3 Nuns of yore, when it was THE va/perique blend of choice, but the current formula does little to excite my senses. A less judicious application of Kentucky could have served well here, or even the inclusion of a bit of perique to offset the dominating presence of the burley; either of these would hold my attention longer. As it is, I am about half-way through my tin, and will finish it, but with no plans to replenish or cellar. There are simply too many superior blends available currently to warrant struggling with this one.

To finish, I have tried mixing this with a few favourites, such as Dunhill Navy Rolls, in a 1:1 proportion, and Squadron Leader at 2:1. Neither of the aforementioned blends survived the experiment, such is the tenacity of the dark Kentucky. If you love the stuff, you will be in heaven here. I'm a bit ambivalent, thinking it better utilised as a condimental addition than relied on as a base, so bear that in mind as you consider whether it is a tobacco for you.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kyrob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kyrob (41)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Opening a 1 year old current production tin of Three Nuns I was greeted with a mix of light brown coins with some lighter flecks mixed in and dark centers. There were loose shreds of mostly brown with some black all mashed into the tin together. The moisture tended to the dry side, but not too dry, and was just about perfect for me. The smells were dark and sweet like molasses, there was a hint of sour cider, and it reminded me of the smell of Cup Plug Chew. An unlit sip was oily and nutty, and the initial light brought caramel and molasses along with a hint of spice. As the bowl progressed it tasted mostly of a smoky nuttiness with a light and quick sour finish. There were notes of sweet hay and molasses with the faintest hint of a peppery spice. This blend had a moderately rich combination of flavors. There was a short sour finish and it left a pleasant room note. I pretty much enjoy everything about this blend and recommend it to anyone who likes Dark Fired Kentucky as an accompaniment to Virginia.

Age When Smoked: 1 year

2 people found this review helpful.

Sveinn Kevinson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sveinn Kevinson (3)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This blend came a tiny bit moist in the tin, though over the 2 weeks it was in the original tin, it dried considerably, though not to unsmokable.

Good flavor, got lots of sweet Va, with bass notes from the DFK. The coins were easy to load though after the first few bowls it became mostly a form of ready rubbed.

Lit fairly easy, burned clean with nice white ash, all the way through on my Churchwarden. Not as great in the cobs... Taste was solid, consistent and good. The only flavor issue I had was clearly my pipe was a little funky.

A good blend I would recommend, and I wouldn't mind keeping on hand.

For those who are seeking a remake of the original, I can't help you there not having smoked it. To those of you who knock it because its not a remake, give it a try. It's a decent blend in its own right.

Pipe Used: Bjarne Viking Churchwarden, MM Cobs

Age When Smoked: Came 8 months old, smoked when acquired

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

nekeke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nekeke (19)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this blend because everywhere I read, it was recommended. I am almost done with the tin now. When lighting it has a nice aroma quite good. But through half of the bowl the smell goes away and it starts to taste like ash unfortunately. Also it burns too hot. Not for me. Maybe for very very slow smokers

Pipe Used: Nording freehand

Age When Smoked: new

2 people found this review helpful.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend comes in great medallions that pack nicely and make a a long cool smoke. They seem smaller then other medallions which I prefer. It gives more airflow it seems.

The taste is very good and also very different. I always love a blend that's different then the rest. I get a strong Perique taste, which is why I recommend this to others. You can really single out flavors, and learn to pick it out from other blends.

The wife enjoys the aroma. The strength is decent and could make it an all day smoke.

Pipe Used: H.I.S Egg

Purchased From: Local Shop, Pipes and Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a tobacco that seems to smoke harsh, unless you slow down and sip it. Not because of the nicotine, but because the flavors when sipped are some of the nicest I've tasted in a bowl. Pure tobacco goodness when sipped, where the distinctions between the tobaccos can be enjoyed. Leaves an enjoyable spicy tang on the tongue and palate in between gentle draws. If you are more prone to puffing without thinking, you'll have to concentrate on slowing down your cadence to truly enjoy what this has to offer. Burns all the way down on one light, leaving a clean bowl. 3+ stars.

Pipe Used: Kriswill, MM

Age When Smoked: Tin date MAR-2013

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Wow, this seems to be a love/hate blend and I think it's due to the different generations of this blend and pouch verses tin. This review is based on two tins, both from Denmark and both with the small coins. One tin, round, a new one just purchased weeks ago, and the other tin, square, with some age on it. The tobacco looked the same although the raisin like scent stronger as expected in the older tin. With all that said, I can see why the absence of perique makes this a different blend . Unlike comparing the same recipe of a blend from one blender to the next. (think Murray's Dunhill verses Orlik Dunhill) Tobaccos change over time, but the complete removal of the perique from the blend makes it a different blend so IMHO if should be called by a different name.

However, the name issue aside, this is really a good tasting tobacco and I love it, even with what seems to be a little manually added sweetness. "Three Nuns" quickly dries and I prefer it fully rubbed out and sipped in a small bowl. It's very good out of the tin, but the Virginia's age wonderfully and on that basis, it's Highly Recommended!

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I took a long time getting a tin of this fabled blend. The extreme price was the main deterrant for me. It will remain so in the future.

I bought my first and last tin at a tobacconist's whose main pipe man claimed that this blend were pretty close to the even more fabled Escudo. I already had doubts about that even while he was speaking, as Escudo contained generous amounts of Perique. But I did expect quite a bit from this blend.

What a disappointment I ran into after opening the tin!

The leaf is a classic roll cut, similar in size to MacBaren's offerings. The tin aroma is mellow, leathery, creamy -- nothing out of the ordinary.

The coins rub out easily, stuff easily, burn easily, still nothing out of the ordinary. The taste is smooth and creamy, sweet and leathery notes in there, all very average. I seem to detect a slight top-flavour that is not objectionable.

Were this blend priced any more reasonably, I would probably rate it with three stars; it is an easy-to-maintain, enjoyable smoke without being in any way exceptional. Except for the rather excessive price. I can't get over that, sorry. For the same unit price, I get 150 per cent the amount of Stockton, which is a purely great and outstanding tobacco IMHO. So, sorry to go against the grain here, I can't give more than 2 stars.

-- addition: I once swore that I would never down-rate any blend because of its price. But this one is so hugely over-priced for what it gives that I am taking a time-out for this one only.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh from new tin

Purchased From: DanPipe

2 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant

My first experience with Three Nuns was, believe it or not, in Disney World about 15 years ago. It was the only tobacco blend I recall being sold in the tobacco shop on Main Street. I purchased it along with a generic bent meerschaum and smoked it back at the Wilderness Lodge on my balcony. I can't say I was that impressed, and needless to say, this is not the newer version I am reviewing. As I was into aromatics and most of the popular Mac Barens blends at the time, I would have to say it reminded me most of Mac's Royal Twist (now called Roll Cake). I didn't care much for Royal Twist (still don't) and didn't care much for Three Nuns either. Based on my experience from quite a while ago, if TR was in existence then, Three Nuns would have only garnered 2 stars from me. I don't smoke aromatics much anymore and in spite of currently favoring good Burleys and Virginia flakes these days, I have no inclination to revisit Three Nuns. 2 stars.

UPDATE 1-2-18: I'm reviewing the Mac Baren version of Three Nuns and if memory serves me, I find it quite different from what I experienced so many years ago. My 50 gm tin arrived in today's mail with an outdoor temperature of 25 degrees. Cracking open the tin I find very neatly stacked coins ala Mac Baren and with the Dark Fired Kentucky more dispersed throughout the coins as opposed to centered as with most of the Mac coin offerings. Perhaps due to the cold, I found no tin note with sniffing the contents. Loading and lighting was easy, however, and the first thing I noticed was the lack of the typical Mac coin taste; especially the prominent, typical Mac Baren Virginia taste so prevalent in all of their other coin offerings. The next thing I noticed was the immediate spiciness in the taste which I quite enjoyed, and differnt from the spiciness found in the other Mac coins. I never was a huge fan of Perique so its absence in this current version was not upsetting to me. Overall a pleasant smoking experience and one that I would be inclined to revisit on occasion (although too pricey for 50gms), but not one that I would include in my regular rotation - enough however to raise my rating to 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Stanwell featherweight Dublin (1-2-18 update)

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin (1-2-18 update)

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Update: 20 June 2013. I just got hold of MacBaren's version of the Tree Nuns. It may not be just as good as the original (it seems there is no Périque in here), but man it's a superlative improvement on the ready-rubbed pouch version. Nice, smooth, luxurious smoke, basically based on Virginia leaf with some Burley and Kentucky in it. It comes in small coins, very easy to load as such or to rub out a little. A nice surprise indeed, recommended to all those who enjoy predominantly Virginian blends.

A few months before a trip that turned out to be a five-year stay in England, a late anthropology professor of mine, and visiting fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, couched me as to the peculiarities of life in the UK.

When in the midst of our conversation, and after obtaining his permission, I loaded up my pipe with some Prince Albert (one of the few available tobaccos in Mexico at the time), he grimaced, stopped me in my tracks, and produced from his desk drawer a square tin, with a bright orange rim and a dark brown cover that read: Bell?s Three Nuns Tobacco, with the legend ?none nicer?.

Not that he had any objections to the Prince, but, he explained, as I was going off to the Holly Land of pipe tobaccos, I should get acquainted with what he dubbed ?the real stuff?, lest a Cambridge don be aggravated by my Americana-Tobacciana insolence (?and don?t you dare smoke anything the likes of Captain Black at a formal dinner!? he added, with genuine concern).

I had never seen tobacco spun into small coins, nor had I any knowledge of Perique, and was only slightly acquainted with the smell, texture and flavour of straight Virginias. It took me some time to fill in the pipe, and still a longer time to get it going. My professor was patient enough to guide me through the whole process, very much like letting me in on an ancient druid ritual. But once I felt the first nuances from the blend, I was at once elated and transfixed! What an extraordinary encounter! Who needs hermeneutics with this kind of experience!

The same professor would later introduce me to quite an ample range of English tobaccos, from the also bygone Bengal Slices to Dunhills?, Sobranies? Rattrays?, and Presbyterian Mixture.

Three Nuns had, in my view, a pastry-kind of flavour: rich, slightly sugary, toasty and peppery-sweet. Because it was my first attempt at smoking this type of cut, I over puffed and burnt my tongue. Again, the professor came to my rescue and explained the need to smoke slowly, keeping the mouthpiece away from my lips, and drawing in gently.

Perhaps I?m wrong, but I remember the Three Nuns as a gentle, almost mild smoke. It produced a very amicable room aroma, and a soothing sensation to the smoker. Though the Perique was very much in evidence, I now realise that the main feature of the blend were the Virginian varieties: matured, flue cured, probably Old Belt (I don?t think there was any Burley).

Because it was so difficult to ?prepare? I never really smoked it that much. But whenever I did, I always felt the same excitement and contentment. It was a smooth and elegant, yet feisty and gentle pure smoke that, accompanied with a pint of Murphy?s, very much alleviated the harshness of English winters.

This all happened a long time ago. I?m speaking of an almost mythological era, when the Berlin Wall divided Germany and the threat of the Soviet Union was still, for many, very real. But it was also a time when you could smoke almost anywhere?indoors included, especially in pubs?and when Dunhills?, Sobranies? and Benson and Hedges? blends not only existed but also tasted the way they should. A time when you could find proper tobacconists, willing to provide advice and guidance to a humble?and foreign?newbie to the world of pipe smoking (like the late Colin Lunn, just across King?s College).

Alas, all that is gone, and with it the suave gallantry of those Three Nuns, from Scotland.

NB: What today stands for Three Nuns does not deserve a single rating-star

2 people found this review helpful.

gho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gho (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

These curlies are a treat. I would describe the taste as sweet, compact, spicy and well belanced with a hint of cinnamon. Three nuns is simply outstanding.

2 people found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the great classics of the pipe tobacco world that, since its departure, has never been duplicated. It still amazes me that this is not available, of course in the good old days if you had said Sobranie, Cotton & Three Nuns would cease production and Dunhill, Rattray and McConnell would be made on the Continent you would have been laughed out of the tobacconist. Anyway, this is a great VA/Perique flake, sweet and stewed fruit/pruny on the palate, with an earthy hint to the taste and aroma. I am never quite able to accurately describe the taste or smell, it is just something unique. Note: While it is decent tobacco, the product currently being offered as "Bell's Three Nuns" not. It's like taking a Mustang and slapping the Ferrari horse on it, naming it does not make it so. Nothing really similar to the Three Nuns I smoked.

2 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

About a year ago I took two tins of TN of unknown age which had been given to me in a dessicated condition and rehydrated them. I smoked a bowl (it was outstanding) and placed the remainder in a bail top jar where it has remained untouched ever since. When I opened the jar and took a whiff, the tobacco smelled exactly like a box of raisins, not raisiny, exactly like raisins. The tobacco had darkened considerably compared to a newly opened tin of TN. The smoke was a treat. I am a perique lover. It reminded me of Escudo far more than other bowls of TN I have recently smoked. If I could get hold of this TN on a regular basis, I would smoke it everyday. I have a stash of the newer version TN tins on hand, and I am hoping that age will create what is now in the jar. If not, I will dry it completely and rehyrate it to see if that works. It delivers a smooth, sweetened Va. flavor laced with mouth watering perique. I have heard that the newer version contains no perique. We will see. Meantime, I give this version four stars. Paddy.

2 people found this review helpful.

RickPiatt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RickPiatt (16)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Again at the recomendation of so many on ASP I purchased a tin of this weed and gave it a good try in a number of different pipes. I found nothing interesting in it at all. Please note I don't care for blends with Perique (I learned that after testing far too many tobaccos with perique ... process of elimination taught me that perique is yucky to me). The VA's do come through but not with that typical VA sweetness I would have expected leaving me wanting more true VAs. It does bite back! Ok, you've been warned ... smoke it if ya like it, but my recomendation is that you look elsewhere for a better tobac.

2 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (115)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Revision--Downgrading this finally for good.

Good body, lack of bite, good nicotine. Just not remarkable flavor or aroma.

Can't stop smoking this.. A superb, mid strength blend with a creamy smoothness and a musty, "aged," quality that is not unlike a more refined, toned down version of Irish Flake. Maybe like Irish Flake would be with 10 years of age and less overt strength.

It has a very subtle topping which must be anise like. It comes fairly dry in the tin and could be moistened a bit, but has the quality of creating moisture when burned, even out of dryish tobacco.

I am old enough to remember the original 3 Nuns, but at that time I did not have the appreciation for those kinds of pure tobaccos so I never liked it (the original), and I can't wax poetic about it.

I think the main reasons this is not rated 4 stars are 1) It is not the same as the original and 2) The premium price (possibly due, like St. Bruno, to a license fee for the name). Because I can't imagine anyone not liking this. I mean, if you don't like this, you don't like the taste of (relatively) unflavored tobacco. Pack, burn, strength, smoothness, aroma, it's all here with nothing sticking out.

This is a fairly subtle blend, actually, and like the classic Mac Barens it responds to slow smoking and relaxed technique. In the highest class of Va/Bur blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

PuffPuffLive Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PuffPuffLive (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Can’t speak for the older versions, I’ve only smoked the latest. The presentation is a somewhat broken coin, spirals of tobacco combined with curly ribbons. Moisture was pretty decent out of the tin. This is one of the best VaBur’s I’ve smoked. The red Virginia’s are the star of this blend, providing a yeast and sweet compost flavor. The burly adds volume to the smoke, and provides a lingering nutty finish. Not much else to say about this tobacco. It’s a solid smoke that always hits the spot. I just wish it was a little less expensive.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: 1-2 years

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

1 person found this review helpful.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Small thin coins (approx dime sized diameter, and dime sized thickness) squashed into the tin and mixed with some loose ribbon.

It's dry and loose enough, so I didn't feel the need to rub this one out. Just squashed some into a pipe until it felt right. The tin note had some interesting fruity notes, but that doesn't carry into the smoke, at least for me. The first thing I notice in this one is earthy tobacco - that's the dark fired Kentucky. There's a spice component that makes me think of perique, but supposedly there isn't any perique in this??? It seems a little busy at first, but starts to meld nicely past the halfway point of this smallish pipe - maybe it will perform better in a bigger bowl? Burn is very good with just a "stuff the pipe right out of the tin."

All in all, it's a pretty good smoke that I think will continue to improve with more cellar time (this sample is 1 year old).

Age When Smoked: 1 year

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Very disappointing, turned out to be a MacB Dark Roll twist without bite. Same flavor profile , Cavendish? Maybe? same coin cut. Never tried the original TN's but maybe we need the third Nun ( perique) back

Agree with reviewer "Hybrid 12" 2014-10-12

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: fresh tin

Similar Blends: MacB Dark Roll Twist.

1 person found this review helpful.

Padre603 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Padre603 (6)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

It's a nice change, a pleasant palate cleanser, from the heavier English blends I tend to smoke ore often.

The room note I am told is less than pleasant and really, I can't see smoking this more than once every few days, as I find it tasty but dull.

I am so disappointed that I wasn't able to try the original version.

1 person found this review helpful. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (120)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Summary: spicy dark fired Kentucky surrounded by sweet Virginia with the edge taken off, this is a nice easy smoke.

The navy flake in coin form with a center of something spicy and outer bright Virginia has formed a genre in which the original version of this tobacco was a pioneer. The blenders have dropped the Perique, added a plum/fig style topping like on "Royal Yacht," and replaced the center with dark fired Kentucky that is similar to the MacBaren "HH Dark Fired Kentucky" in that it is spicy with internal flavors emerging from behind the smokiness. This blend tones down the Virginias so that they offer more of a honey-grain taste than the sugary hay smell flavor, and the result is a smooth smoking blend which reveals nuances over time.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jevverrett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jevverrett (83)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I got this be I'm liking different cuts of tobacco lately. It sounds like it should be a pretty strong flavor too.

The cut is little thin coins that rub out very easily. Easily packed and lit after a few charring lights. The tin note is strong, but pleasant. Smells strongly of dark fired tobacco. The flavor is strong, the dark fired comes through fully. It has a spicy flavor to it that reminds me of perique, although there is none. Takes a few delights for me to get through the bowl.

All in all, I like this one. Really tasty blend that is easy to smoke, but you definitely notice your smoking it. It reminds me of the Acadian perique mixture from macbaren. The dark fired is the same flavor in it at least. Decent nic content to it. Good quality leaf used too. I would recommend this one to anybody who likes a bolder flavored tobacco, maybe with a good strong cup of coffee.

Pipe Used: Boulder and briar bent egg

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Macbaren Acadian perique.

1 person found this review helpful.

incendio Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
incendio (33)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I had tasted an "original" Three Nuns several years ago, and only once, thanks to the generosity of a collector friend. I was very eager to re-experience that vaguely appetizing, rich flavor from long ago. What I found with this new manifestation was, instead, another Mac Baren blend. If you did a blind taste test I can guarantee you would identify this as a Mac Baren product. The coins are spun loosely, and are much lighter in both color and flavor than the original, which were more flavorful, small, dark coins. This isn't a bad tobacco, mind you. It's just not to my taste, like many Mac Baren blends. There is something monotonous about the base of Virginias, with that consistent weakly raisiny and straw aroma--more assertive in the room note but ephemeral in the mouth, that subtends so many Mac Baren blends. I would have hoped for something a little different, maybe leaves sourced from different producers to create something distinct from the Mac Baren portfolio.

I'm surprised there isn't a second entry for this new "Three Nuns" under the Mac Baren section.

Edited 4/7/2016 - For something similar in taste and construction, try Dark Bird's Eye. The orignal Three Nuns was spun in coins, but the cut was finer, similar to DBE, and the flavor of DBE is much more reminiscent of the old Bell's.

Pipe Used: various billiards, bulldog, bent bulldog

Age When Smoked: fresh (Mac Baren)

Similar Blends: everything else from Mac Baren.

1 person found this review helpful.

Roger Xavierq Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Roger Xavierq (34)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recommend this blend because it's an important piece for the pipe smoking history and because it's not bad at all. for a round sliced flake with Dark Fired Kentucky and Virginias, it's one that you should at least try. You won't hate it, but it is good, especially if you are a cigar guy. Maybe it was better back in the old days, but it's pretty good now. There are better blends, but there are people who love this stuff as it is now. Some people really, really love it. That's how good it is.

Three nuns smells a bit sweet in the bag with a fruity note. Odd that - I really didn't expect it at all. I like VAs, but I've not had a lot of luck getting attached to Kentucky blends. But Three Nuns is an exception .

It packed and lit VERY easily - and set to it.

Oh my. Raisin, tobacco, a bit of pepper on the retrohale - even a slight sourness that I associate with Orientals - was all there for the taking. The smoke wasn't overly thick after the initial burn, but it burned easily and evenly through the bowl with no relights. Light flavors, easy smoking, even and cool burn. Three Nuns is nice companion - a good start and mid-day smoke

Purchased From: Danish Pipe Shop

1 person found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I can't speak to the different blends and all the other controversy, but I can give a review of the MacBaren version of this blend....and I digress.

The coins of this tobacco in the tin are a bit more loose and therefore not as finely spun together as escudo/bullseye flake. From the tin notes of hay and a bit of tangy fruit. I didn't smell perique in the blend, no pepper or plum.

Packs and lights easily. Tobacco seems a tad on the dry side from the tin and burned a bit hot and fast at times. Flavors of hayish sweetness with hints of pepper and spice are present throughout the smoke. It's not extremely flavorful, but it's a decent blend. I prefer my bullseye or escudo though to this blend and perhaps that's because I enjoy VaPers quite a bit.

Still, this blend is worth a try and some may find a favorite all day smoke.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn, Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-2 years

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Peter Stokkebye - Luxury Bullseye Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is about the latest version of Three Nuns, manufactured by Mac Baren.

When I first opened a tin of this re-released Three Nuns, its content reminded me strongly of Mac Barren's Roll Cake tobaccos. Compared to the older versions, the coins have gotten slightly larger. They look a little bit messy and frayed out, but the curly cut is clearly recognizable. The lighter Virginias are complemented by the dark fired Kentucky, which gives the tobacco a full bodied, spicy tin note, and some Burley.

I fill my pipe by stacking the coins on top of each other and by crumbling some broken bits on top. That way lighting becomes quite easy.

Right from the start, Three Nuns developes a strong tobacco flavor mixed with some sweet and grassy aftertaste. You should enjoy this one gently and tamp down the ash regularily. Then it'll burn down evenly and give you a smooth and relaxing smoking experience. The nicotine content seems quite high to me.

The room note is rich, but not unpleasant.

In my humble opinion, even though this blend does no longer contain any Perique, too, the taste of the Mac Baren re-release seems closer to the original Bell's blend than the former version.

Pipe Used: Rattray's 110th Anniversary

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is the new version I'm reviewing. Ouch! This blend bit me upon first light. Ok, so I slowed down a little bit to catch this on fire. Not too bad, not so hot. This is a nice VA and after I settled down to a light sipping it was fine, only problem was if I wanted a greater amount of smoke and more significant depth of flavor, this would bite me pretty sharply. I was thrilled that this was reintroduced and was anxious to try it, but I fear it doesn't work with my chemistry. I'm sorry Dear Bell, but we are not to be. Don't let this dissuade you from trying Three Nuns, as the flakes are well formed, tin aroma is wonderful, smoldering aroma is equally as nice and it has a rich flavor with medium body and strength. Hopefully this will work well for you. PCHELAS

1 person found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I never had the pleasure of smoking any earlier iteration of Three Nuns--this review is of the Mac Baren version now available in the U.S. Although purportedly Three Nuns does not contain Perique as any proper VaPer should, I think it smokes very much like a VaPer and I would put it in that category. The dark fired Kentucky and fine dark Virginia tobaccos blend to produce a rich, nutty, creamy flavor with a hint of citrus.

I smoked the dark coins pretty much intact, folded into an IMP meerschaum, a filling technique I've not had much success with in the past but that works fine with Three Nuns.

The "new" Three Nuns rates a permanent place in my cellar.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Pipes & Pleasures, Columbus, Ohio

1 person found this review helpful.

The Right Reverend Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Right Reverend (36)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have never tasted the original Three Nuns and picked this up for because I heard C.S. Lewis like the old stuff. I also wanted to make a foray into Virginia territory (I cannot smoke aromatics, they just do not agree with my palate and thus have been sticking to straight unflavored/light flavored burleys). I do not like perique, so this was a plus for me. Opening the tin was a raisin note with very loose coins. They crumbled up easily into the pipe, I did not rub out the coins just kinda scrunched and stuffed them into the chamber. I was surprised to find it burnt as easily as an OTC, very few relights, always down to ash without an ashy end taste. Very pleased with that! The taste is a mild sweetness with a wispy hint of citrus all undergirded by the fullness of the burley. The room note was lighter than a burley and not unpleasant. I will say the after room note was more toward cigarette though... So an outside sort of thing for my home. All in all it might not be true to Lewis' pipe, but it will have a home in mine. I believe it will become a favorite.

Pipe Used: Legend Corncob

Age When Smoked: Tinned

Purchased From: Jon's Pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Black Sheep Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Sheep (25)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant

All around, a good English style blend. Tin note is pleasant. After drying a little, this blend burned quite well, before drying it needed the occasional re-light. The taste is fuller and deeper than many. It offers complexity, obtained perhaps by a peppery quality that some may like. It smokes cool, a major plus. I had better luck with this blend in larger bowls; for me, it burned poorly in smaller pipes. Another reviewer remarked on loosely packing the tobacco; I agree, especially if the tin is newly opened. After drying, I got away with some more robustly packed Billiards style pipes.

Pipe Used: Britannia - Straight Billiard

Age When Smoked: Aged

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Smokeybear86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokeybear86 (14)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Note: There it is again, that Vinegar smell i dislike. However this time it has hints of Fig and dried fruit which i enjoy but i cannot stand the smell of vinegar.

Initial Light: This Blend lit extremely well. The flame took at first lite right after the false lite process and started off with a nice even burn. The taste however was very harsh and had a slight chemical like feel to it which was irritating my mouth. But this is about the burn and that took really well.

Mid-Smoke: Kentucky burley seems to be a lot stronger then other burleys i have tried and it drowns out the Virginia a lot more then i would like it to. You can taste the Virginia trying to fight its way to the top now and then but it always seems to fall back down under the immense pressure of this burley. Result is a mild yet earthy smoke which is enjoyable in the sense that its burning so good that you enjoy smoking it however for me the taste and flavor just wasn't there.

Bottom of the Bowl: The bowl was getting hot at this point also there was a little gurgle due to it smoking wet, Note to self always add more dry time then you think you need with this blend. i passed a pipe cleaner and dumped out the ash and proceeded with the smoke, still burning well. In terms of taste i believe at this point the blend has finally settled to a semi-sweet earthy flavor and decided to stay at this point for the remainder of the smoke. Therefore the bottom of the bowl is the best part of this blend for me.

Room Note: I swear i was able to smell this blend when i walked in to grab a bottle of water(Water!!,that's for sick people, as my uncle always says)it was a hot day and the heat was getting to me, but when i got back out it smelt like sweet grass outside and my wife also confirmed that.

Dottle: It burn very well and the ash was clearly there, however at the bottom of the bowl it was wet and made some semi-goop stuff in the draft hole of my pipe.

Smoking Duration: This smoke was about 45min.

Overall: This is one of the best blends i have smoked in terms of how well the tobacco burns and how evenly the smoke draws, however it did not delivery in flavor for me and was not in any form substantial. I have one sealed tin in my cellar and i plan on revisiting this blend in a year or two to see how much a few years of aging would change it.


1) 1-2hours Dry time 2) Rub out and three step method for packing worked really well

Pipe Used: A.David Ltd Dublin

Age When Smoked: 1-year 4-Months

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

A much milder smoke than I expected, not as sweet as I had hoped. I can see why some of the old guys would like a little Perique in it. The Dark Fired Kentucky does not overwhelm the flavor as it does in some other blends. If it grows on me, I might upgrade it to a 3rd star.

Pros: great look and ease of packing with the small coins; mild flavor without tongue bite; healthy dose of nicotine but not overwhelming.

Cons: really somewhat bland. Maybe it would be better as a morning pipe or first pipe of the day.

Pipe Used: Small acorn. (Briar)

Age When Smoked: 13 months. (Mac Baren)

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the new MacBaren version. Found it accidentally at Cigars Int'l in Hamburg, PA. Figured I'd give the new version of an old icon a go. (I've never had Bell's original VaPer version.)

The tin aroma is interesting but I didn't find it all that compelling; it didn't scream "smoke me now!" Besides nice mellow dried hay/grass (VAs?) and the earthy aroma of flu cured, there was a smell like burnt rubber. Not off putting, but different. I believe they source some or all of these tobaccos from producers in Africa, so they were probably new to my nose.

It sat on my shelf for a few months. After finally digging in, I'm sorry I waited. This is a terrific smoke. Very nice tobaccos in perfect proportions. The Kentucky smoked like an exceptionally smooth Latakia, with some buttery burley-like flavors, plus a healthy nicotine kick. The Virginas were just there to accompany. Burned well as long as it was tended to (no drying time). No bite at all, and I puffed pretty hard on it at times. No "mouth ghost" to speak of. A nearly perfect performance all in all.

Really, really nice blend and highly recommended. Probably a good intro to KY-driven blends (before attacking something heartier like Pease's New World) or a higher-nic alternative to rich, mellow Lat blends.

Pipe Used: briar

Purchased From: Cigars International

1 person found this review helpful.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

To my tastebuds a sweetened VA, on my radar in around the same area as Mac B's Navy mix, VA No.1, and Navy Flakes. Great presentation in a square 50g tin, easy to rub curlies. Has a tad too much sweetness and bite at the moment from the fresh tin, expect this might subside with time. Compared to FVF or DNR, the artificial sweetness in TN is apparent, despite tasting like good quality tobacco. I actually have this FVF, DNR, TN combo in my VA pouch to rotate today for fun. Significant N levels here. Not bad at all, but there is 'better' around.

1 person found this review helpful.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

I recently popped the lid on an old Three Nuns tin from 1995. The tin was a bit rusty around the rim but the seal remained uncompromised & the tobacco inside was still moist & fresh with tiny sugar crystals adorning the dark coins. I've sampled the old as well as the new Three Nuns from Orlik. The newer tins are pretty good but Three Nuns gets better with age...darker, sweeter & milder. The vintage tins are otherworldly.

The small coins rub out easily & burn cool & evenly. Drying them out a little works best. The initial tin aroma was a nice tobacco smell with an accompanying cider wine-like essence. One might notice a slight acrid taste initially but after a little is burned off, you will get a burst of sweet, natural tobacco flavors that meld into a tasty treat. Three Nuns has not earned legendary status for no reason. Three Nuns falls into my top ten category, desert island stuff, etc.!

I'm not sure if a flavoring was added...could be Perique in the mix? This stuff evolves as it ages and morphs into a truly unique & mystifying smoke. Strong enough to satisfy while delivering an exceedingly mild & sweet smoke. One of the finest pipe tobaccos I've ever smoked. Anyway, this is just a gentle, friendly, tasty tobacco with respectable strength that can be smoked right out of the tin. It ages superbly and is much better with a few years of age.

Smokes good all the way to the finish. No wonder the vintage tins command a premium. There's a lot of tobacco packed in a 50g tin and it is a great value as the leaf is not weighted down with excessive moisture...just right for smoking out of the tin if desired. Worth every penny & then some. "Nun Nicer" in this Genre. Another blending masterpiece, IMHO, of course. Truly remarkable!

Pipe Used: Peterson DeLuxe 11S

Age When Smoked: 10 Years

Purchased From: eBay

1 person found this review helpful.

pipealicious Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipealicious (21)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

A fantastic tobacco with a beautiful presentation in a classy tin and very small coins with a light brown rim and a chestnut brown core. The smell of the tin is very similar to maduro cigar leaf, in my opinion. To me also the taste has some similarities to sweet maduro cigars. The flavor is full as well as teh body of teh smoke. It packs quite some nicotine and is overall very satisfying. A keeper!

1 person found this review helpful.

Tazman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tazman (4)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

My 1st ever pipe tobacco, bought it back in 1996 in a pouch of 50gr. from Athens Greece while on holidays. Until now, after 14 years still remember it's divine aroma and taste, but unfortunately can't find it anymore, not even in a tin. Words can't describe that heavenly aroma but definitely THAT'S the best ever.

1 person found this review helpful.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (94)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

So this is the infamous three nuns!I have been looking forward to this day for a long time, anyone who enjoys smoking pipes as much as i do knows the feeling of opening the designated drawer or cupboard everyday and looking at those special tins and pouches that are sealed in waiting ready to get baptised by fire. How us "pipe nuts" play out the scenarios in our heads sometimes months or yearss before smoking vintage or special blends. What pipe we are to use, shall i employ a match or lighter...does this blend warant a special occasion with company or a solomn moment with deep thoughts and high expectaions. How lovely our imaginations can be, dreaming of flavours caressing our palates and gracing us with there soft company for that brief moment our pipes are steaming, it is truly one of lifes most deserved and overlooked pleasures.So I decided to open up the convent for business and see if the sisters could party.....all three nuns agreed as they are not getting any younger. The pouch aroma was overwhelming and intoxicating with a smell of well aged pungent tobacco(strong, very strong)matched with moist leather and chewed licorice. The long cuts of dark kentucky and bright leafed brazillians and virginias was most uniform and visually pleasing, while expertly blended it was a little dry for my tastes but i have a feeling that is how its supposed to be. It packed very well, and took the match with capital success. Flavours of good irish whiskey and light caramel notes came through instantly and sat on my tongue until mid bowl,both were welcome guests and i awaited their return. At this point all three of the nuns sternly told me to sit as the nicotine content was something im not quite used to. The soft light smoke tickled my senses and arrosed my soul,clearing my mind of the days hardships and quarrels, leaving me at peace and content with the paths i had chosen. Moments like this are a revelation, most welcome in todays busy world. The kentuckys made themselves known by mid-bowl, expressing their spicy personalities by blessing my palate with a controlled spicy flavour which was most favoured by my tastebuds. By the end, mass was finishing up inside my pipe, lighter flavours of good leaf dominated the last portion of my bowl, putting me at ease in the most relaxing pipe experience ive had in a long time. The room note was different, i think it may be a little offensive to non-smokers but to me this one is close to heaven and to my heart. A truly memorable experience.....stunning

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipedawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipedawg (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

It is indeed a good tobacco, yet I find it very neutral and sometmes anonymous in taste. Small curly cut coins, neatly packed. The tin aroma reminds me of horse stables (?)

I believe some dark Virginia dominates along with the Kentucky Burley - ultimately giving a reasonably good nicotine punch. The Perique tickles your nostrils, as it should, and is not too overwhelming.

All in all a very decent tobacco that smokes nicely, and is recommended for all lovers of neutral tasting baccy to the somewhat stronger/peppery side. I always keep one in rotation, but ultimately it's not a ringer for me. I think aging could be essential here though. Rating 6/10

Epic stuff? Well no one here have taste the original Bell's anyway, as they stopped producing it in 1910. Three Nuns has tasted the same way, at least for more than 30 years or so. This IS the real deal.

1 person found this review helpful.

colt25314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colt25314 (42)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

An epic blend. Perhaps the best ever. Alas it is no more. This was a daily companion for many years. There have been attempts to re-make and/or clone Three Nuns. Though noble and to applauded for their efforts all have fallen short. The so called new Three Nuns in the EU is a joke. Comparable to the worst of our drug store tabakey.

Alas, there was "none nicer" as was emboldend on the tins of yesteryear. Goodbye old friend. I shall ever remember the pleasure you brought to me as all my cares floated away in clouds of the finest smoke ever to grace a pipe.

1 person found this review helpful.

dk-piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dk-piper (25)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I'm smoking it right now as i'm writing my first impressions of three nuns. I bought the tin last month. not the stuff from 30years ago some people talk about here. For me this is just a straight forward clean tobacco. When u like pure tobacco flavour. this is it! After lighting the pipe it starts with a natural sweetness, i'm halfway through the bowl now and the taste becomes more and more earthy, malty & nutty. just delicious. Warm Chocolate is encasing my palate. Overall it's a very "deep" tobacco, smokes smoothly. Definitely worth a try, only big downside - the high price

=Update=(after smoking half of the tin) this tobacco made it on my Hall-of-Fame-List!!! Three Nuns set the Benchmark high, indeed...very high! This tobacco has character, name it, Three Nuns has it all! Enjoy it with a cup of coffee...I'm melting away in pure pleasure...Three nuns just heavenly...

..make sure u keep this tobacco moist! i smoked a bowl with very dry leftovers of my latest tin...and the coolness and richness of this wonderful blend just vanished. It will burn too hot and becomes very harsh. This is a sipper-blend!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Hmm...I can remember this stuff when it came in the tins years ago. It was always 'bitey' bitter and not very pleasant to smoke...kind of crude and cheap. Those who profess to like it; well I take off my hat to them, but in more than 40 years I have hated the stuff. But time being what it is, I thought I'd revisit Three Nuns, having read some of the reviews set out below....and respecting the massive amount of experience contained within these pages. So I filled up one of my Dunhills and cautiously lit up. Careful not to draw too hard, I gently puffed away....and do you know...its still as awful as it was all those years ago! Good to know that in this world of constant change, some things remain the same:-)

UPDATE. We have a savoury spread here in the UK, called Marmite, and it's one of the great 'love it' or 'hate it' things of life (I love it). I've just re-read the Three Nuns reviews again, from top to bottom and am amazed at the utterly opposing views about this tobacco. These can't just be explained away by the various changes to the Blend in the last few years as some have tried to do. I've smoked just about all of them from the old Bells 2 ounce tins to the modern 25 gram packets and as you know I completely detest the stuff...yet I adore VAPERS. I seem to remember, more than 2 decades ago, I did enjoy one tin of it and I wonder now if that was because it had maybe sat in the tobacconists store that I used to frequent from say the 1940's. But apart from that, I've always thought it a crude cheap offering. There must be within each of us, triggers that react to different tobaccos in a different way. Very subtle triggers though, because there are reviewers who love Nuns and also other VAPERS that I do like. I used to think that one could 'educate' one's palate to enjoy well almost any pipe tobacco...but I'm not so sure now. Perhaps, tolerate, but not truly 'enjoy'. The triggers must only have a certain ability to be educated...I don't know what you guys think? Three Nuns is from this point of view a highly interesting example of pipe tobacco but I do honestly regret that I can't derive the pleasure from it that others obviously do.

UPDATE Number 2 :-) You know, it's odd why some tobaccos stick at the back of your mind. I remember the old tin of Three Nuns that I really enjoyed donkeys years ago even though the later times I bought it weren't great at my somewhat caustic remarks above show. And it's occurred to me, more than once, if the one tin I really enjoyed was a true Bells tin and the later Imperial ones degraded my view from "amazingly nice" to "uninteresting£ to eventually "awful". Anyway I recently scored 2 tins off a 2 ounce Bells and the other a 50 gram tin Imperial. I was way lucky and only paid £30 or so for both. I've smoked pipes using each tin and the results are interesting. Both tins smelt very much the same..the raisiny tang of aged Virginia. Much the same as old Capstan and Players etc. Both tins also smoked the same, both have lost the Three Nuns taste and just smoke like very old Virginia, but the Bells tin does still contain hints of the Three Nuns I remember. The 50 gram tin could be any old Virginia. Bit of a shame really. It feels to me that the Three Nuns of fame has passed and any tins you might have from the glory days will have fermented into the same as any other very old tin. Unless someone blends Three Nuns from the original recipe, which being realistic is not going to happen, then the taste has gone forever.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I recently ran out of tobacco, and picked up a pouch of the ready rubbed at a tobacco kiosk at the local market. It's not the dissapointment I expected after reading the reviews here condemning the ready rubbed, I find it quite a pleasant smoke.

In the pouch, it's a long stringy ribbon, mostly pale brown, with a little bit of darker fragments of flake. I detect no smell of "fired" tobacco, just a neutral Virginia sort of sweetness, with that slightly raisiny scent some pale virginias have. No casings apparent.

It lights with absolute ease, and burns evenly, with a pleasant taste of unflavoured, natural tobacco. It can get a little warm if not smoked gently, but doesn't really "bite". The flavour is fairly constant, not changing an awful lot through the bowl, but occaisionally surprising me with a whiff of sweetness, a natural sweetness straight off the tobaccos, similar to that of St Bruno. The room note is nondescript, tobaccoey, but not at all unpleasant.

On the whole, I find it quite enjoyable, but nothing exciting at all. I think that this blend would be an ideal starting point for anyone changing from cigarettes to a pipe- smokes with ease, medium but not excessive strength, and a flavour that isn't wildly different to that of a good quality cigarette tobaccco. This is perhaps the only unflavoured pipe tobacco that is available at many off licences and such non specialist places of tobacco buying in the UK- compare to Clan (sweet aromatic) St Bruno (scented flake) and Condor (strong scented flake). As such it's a good choice for anyone who dislikes flavoured tobaccos who gets stuck without smokes.

I look forward to trying the famous coins.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I enjoy Esoterica`s Dunbar greatly, and Escudo and Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls only slightly less so. Somehow my tastebuds have never reacted very well to either Elizabethan or Three Nuns.

Three Nuns was one of the first tobaccos I tried - and that was more than forty years ago. Once every eight or ten years I try it again, but it never works. The latest trial has been no different. There is nothing wrong with the product: the craftsmanship is immaculate, and the nicotine levels satisfactory. It is just bland.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (62)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I unfortunately was not able to obtain any tins of this, so, after an extensive battle of conscience I relented & bought a pouch of the ready-rubbed variety now avaliable. I think that something was undoubtedly lost in transition from tin to pouch if the reviews here are to be believed. I found this blend to be a fairly pleasant & easy smoke that requires little to no maintenance to imbibe, but it does have a slight bite to it. The flavour (what there is of it) is quite pleasant, but is so mild as to take the tobacco dangerously close to bland territory. I do detect some of the nuttiness, but it is not consistent & fades after the first half of the bowl. The smoke can also quite easily become hot, but this can be cured by exercising more self-control! I am sad that I have not been able to smoke the original tinned tobacco as to try this tobacco without rubbing out would possibly have cured all the bad points listed above. In conclusion, I would say that this is a satisfactory smoke that caused no offence, but didn't really excite me either, so I must gve it only 2 stars. I read that this pouch version had 'the same smoking characteristics' of the tinned version. Looking at all the reviews below, I think that I may have been hoodwinked. I may keep some of this around, but I think that it will be kept for emergencies only, when nothing better is avaliable. Average.

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been told that in the past this was one of the best spun cut tobaccos available: unfortunately I never tasted some of the old version, but this recent tin (Danish made)was a nice smoke, though not exceptional. The coins are small and not very damp, easy to rub and pack: it's easy to smoke too, so much that I decided to break in a new pipe with it, and enough dry and cool if not rushed. The taste? Well...I've sampled many better VAPER blends but it isn't bad, it just loses flavour going down the bowl, ending with a messy burnt taste: had it kept the flavour till the end it would have deserved a superior rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

poupehan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
poupehan (23)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This tobacco was my first venture in the world of VA/Perique and in slices. It took some time before I got the hang of filling my pipe with it. It probably needed some time to dry out a bit too. But it is more than worth the effort of trying. This is a GREAT tobacco. One of my favorites. I particularly like the room note. This is one of the strongest tobacco?s I have in my cabinet. (Along with St. Bruno and Florina Old Semois). IMHO WAY stronger than nighcap! At last an alternative for heavy Latakia blends after a rich dinner. G R E A T!

1 person found this review helpful.

Baloo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Baloo (7)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Bell´s Three Nuns is a famous tobacco among experienced VA/Perique smokers. As I like Virginias very much I gave it a try and ordered a sample from SYNJECO in Switzerland, where the Nuns are a third cheaper than in Germany.

Three Nuns comes as a curly cut in a 50g tin and can be filled either straight from the tin in your pipe disc by disc or rubbed out. Packing is easy and the tobacco lights with the second match to an even burn and leaves only a small amount of grey-white ash in your bowl.

The room note is natural and rather acrid but tolerable to my wife and non-smokers (didn´t hear any complaints).

But it seems I cannot join into the hails, other reviewers gave to the "Nuns". For my palate and tongue, there´s way too much Perique in this blend and even if smoked carefully and slow it is a real hot burner.

Regarding the relatively high price in Germany this will never become an all-day smoke to me and I won´t keep it on stock in my tobacco bar. Among VA/Perique blends I´d always prefer Dunhill Deluxe Navy Rolls.

3 out of 10 in my personal rating.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This review comes immediately after I finished my first tin of Dunhill De Luxe Navy Rolls (the Escudo-clone), so I knew what to expect from another coin-cut Va/Perique blend. I guess that one of the reasons for what I am going to write is that I am not a fan of this kind of blends (and anyway Rattray's Virginias and Ashton Pebble Cut are still unbeatable, IMHO), but I also suspect that there might be some exaggeration in chanting the qualities of Three Nuns. Aesthetically, the difference is that Three Nuns has a smaller cut: the coins are very small and some of them are already half crumbled (not because dry - they were rather moist - but because very pressed in the tin and irregularly cut). The colour is a bit lighter, more on a light brown-orange tone with some occasional darker bits. The distribution of Perique seems rather irregular. The size of the coins makes it possible to stack them in any pipe, while I had to crumble Navy Rolls. Tin aroma is not as wonderfully pleasant, fruity and sour, as the one of Navy Rolls (which is one of my favorites among all VA/Perique blends): it is somewhat more "rotten" and fermented. This tobacco insures a slow and cool smoke, but I find nothing exceptional in it. As usual, I think that getting a nice full taste is a very hard task with this kind of blends... I find that the taste more or less equals the one offered by Navy Rolls, only much more acrid and with an unpleasant aftertaste. If you like this kind of blends you will surely enjoy it: myself, I keep thinking that I will never be a great fan of it (but I am not a fan of Haddo's Delight either, so you can blame it on me). I guess I'll stick to english mixtures from now on, with the occasional Marlin Flake or McClelland when I want a naturally sweet Virginia without having to get mad in search for some flavor... Ah, I tried the tinned version, not the pouched one which is said to be even worse!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Review made in 2002 on a 2002 production tin.

2009 Update: I have recently bought a fresh tin from Germany, and I confirm my impressions. While not bad at all and very very natural-tasting, not as sour or unpleasant as some are saying of the modern production, I find this tobacco a bit unexciting. It smokes well, cool and slow, and with a nice body... but the flavour is often monochromatic and dull. Ok, but I prefer some of the best coin cut offerings from Mac Baren.

1 person found this review helpful.

bumbum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bumbum (20)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Three Nuns was formerly one of my personal favorites, but reecently it has become too sharp and "biting" in the taste. I don't know why, the maturing process? Occasionally I buy a tin finding out that the last third of the contents is to dry. I know that Paul Olsen in Copenhagen makes exactly the same tobacco. It might be worth a try; their firm deserves far more reputation than it does now.

1 person found this review helpful.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is a "Class Act" I have loved this tobacco since I was 9 Year's old & took my Dad's pipe under the house to smoke it!!!(I DIDN'T GET CAUGHT EITHER) It smoke's & lights well & behave's like a true Lady. And leave's a nice light greyish ash.Plus the taste is delicious!! And never tire of it. I love every particle as it smoke's down to the bottom of the bowl. I have smoked the original tin mix with the little curly disc's & the rubbed out pouch pack's as well.I have many,many tin's that have been ageing for well over 22 Year's.And jar's filled with the pouch blend as well.And that has saved me a fortune! In Australia we now pay through the nose!! I'm giving these these Nun's 4 Halo's out of 4.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Strong Mild Very Full Strong

UPDATE: Below is my 2002 era review of a couple of versions of the original blend. I also tried tins of the newer Orlik version a couple of years ago, apparently shifting at some point from perique to dark fired kentucky over the years. It may not have been the same as the original (but what is), yet it was still nice.

Enters MacBaren newest Three Nuns, bless their hearts. They have expertise at coins. It feels dry enough to smoke right out of the tin, and is not hot if you take care. Doesn't seem to be scented either. The dark fired leaf tastes harsh to me if you rub out the coins at lot. At least if the coins are left mostly intact you get some sweetness from the Virginia leaf. But the taste from the dark leaf is on the bitter side or at least not very tasty to me. It also smokes stronger to me than the past versions.

The Virginia used in the mix seems straight or even raw. It has richness like the Virginia in Buter's Blended Flake or McCelland's Anniversary blend. But the mixture here has an intensity that makes me want to shy away at times. But the coins are captivating.

I smoked about 60% of my new tin. About 10 partial bowls in a new aero-billiard, and about 6-7 half to 2/3s bowls in a Wiley horn that I smoked only three nuns in over a decade ago. I sealed up the tin to let it sit or rest for a few months and then I will test it or finish it and see if I change my mind -- up or down a star.

Maybe some of you will like the extra body from the get-go. Let us know.

OLDER 2002 REVIEWS: I had the pleasure some years ago of buying an older, large tin (3 1/2 oz.) of Three Nuns and smoking it in a Ashton LX apple sovereign. When I first tried it, it was a bit too strong, but after about five-six more months of aging, it was creamy, soft, delicious, a tiny bit sweet, and just rich enough. It was as enjoyable a 6-8 weeks of puffing I every had. I'm sure the Ashton helped.

Then, I tried in vain in buying another tin, but everyplace was out. I had apparently bought one of the last tins available from a local cigar store. There were a couple of more tins at the time of my original purchase, but I didn't know what I was getting for sure. The proprietor told me of the reputation of Three Nuns, but I had to try it first. By the time I had finished the tin, some 8 months had past, and the unexpected Three Nuns treasure I had found was no more! Frantic, like losing a child or wife (well, kinda).

Then a couple of years ago I found a Canada shop that sold it in packs (not tins) on-line. It was shag cut, not curly. Nevertheless I bought two packs and smoked one in a natural Wiley horn. Not quite as smooth as I recall, but I didn't find it as horrible as some reviewers do. Just not as round or sweet, as the darker tobaccos are more detectable. (I didn't know it's not supposed to be real perique.) But after all, I was not a seasoned Three Nuns purist.

Then I recently got the real curly stuff in tins from Europe! The Original Three Nuns. I still don't find it as smooth as what I had experienced a few years ago from the large tin. It looks similar (but may have more perique in patches; it's not uniform in the disks at all), smells similar, but seems like stronger stuff.

I found if I rubbed it out or pushed or stopped a bunch of small curlies sideways in (like you can do with one or two large curls of Escudo), the smoke was much too strong with the perique having an edge. But by rubbing out one curl for the botton, and just stacking a bunch of flat curls straight down in the bowl (like a stack of coins on a table), and tamping it down just some to prevent any large air pockets, the smoke was a lot more tolerable.

It is still fairly strong to me (a 7 or 8 on a scale of 10) and is complex. I have smoked about 2 1/2 oz. now of original in a Upshall P apple. It drifts from some natural sweetness of the red virginia to the sourness of a va./perique blend. Sometimes the perique stands out more but mostly you have a full natural virginia smoke here. My guess is that the new original curly blend is quite similar to the older curly blend, but it probably has not been aged as much. So you may have to keep a tin for added months or a year or more to get a much rounder smoke, but I found I could smoke a new tin too.

You must pack carefully and tamp to avoid an edge. The room aroma is natural, very rich and strong indeed, but not bad to a smoker. My wife said it was too much (I'm sure the perique got to her). It is not an all day smoke but an evening treasure (or close to one if you puff slowly). It is mostly a dry smoke but a pipe cleaner should be run into the stem to the bowl in the last half of the smoke (it will have a black residue at the tip). But the smoke itself is not wet. The bowl is not gunky. The smoke is not hot (with care). But a very rich experience.

With age it may well be a king of va./perique blends. A milder va./perique blend is Germain's Royal Jersey Perique or Peterson's Irish Oak (as a step up in strength from Germain's). C&D's Three Friars pressed, with additional aging, is close to the rich three Nuns experience, even though it looks different.

Overall, original is recommended with care to a va./perique smoker, as a rich and complex blend. It probably is not identical to the good old "Three Nuns' days, but what is.

1 person found this review helpful.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

When I first started smoking a pipe in the 70's, this was my father's "good" blend. This was his Saturday Night, Recliner, "Take It Easy," smoke.

After all week long smoking his burley blends, this was Nirvana to him.

As for myself, this is an all-time favorite. Although primarily an "oriental/english" smoker, I find this blend deeply satisfying.

I usually pack the discs whole and rub out one or two for the lighting process. After the false light and tamping I can sit back and really enjoy this blend.

Sometimes I can start to puff too fast wanting to get more and more of the deeply satisfying flavor.

No problem though, if I build up the moisture to the point where I get some juice coming into my mouth, I find it to be one of the few blends that does not taste acrid.

As a matter-of-fact, it has just the tinge of sweetness. I just use a pipe-cleaner and slow my smoking down.

Definitely the benchmark blend for VA/Perique.

1 person found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Appearance: Small variegated coins, sizes vary from ½ inch to ¾ inch. About 50% medium color, with some ligher and darker leaf in each disk The disks are not uniform in color distribution.

Aroma: A lovely sweet, matured Virginia smell with some Perique tang in the background.

Packing: Packing in a smaller or narrower bowls required some rubout of the disks, while larger pipes allowed a drop in method with some broken up pieces on top.

Lighting: Because of the density, (and possibly the moisture content), I sometimes needed two charring lights before I got a proper burn.

Initial flavor: The sweet richness of the Virginia jumps right out. My first thought was ?Who needs Perique? This is perfect as is?. Then the Perique joined the party, just the right amount.

Mid-bowl: The Perique presence seemed to vary somewhat, probably owing to the non-uniform distribution of the blend. This is NOT a flaw, it serves to keep me inerested. The smoke was always cool and dry, but with a really dense feeling on the tongue.

Finish: I seem to get a few fragments left in the botom of the bowl, along with clean gray ash. Maybe rubbing out the first pinch more will allow all of to burn better. There was no noticeable increase in harshness at the bottom.

Summary: In the right pipe, (for me a Prince, or small Pot), this gets right in the zone and stays there. A marvelous smoke when you have the time to concentrate on it, but a shame to waste it if you treat it too casually.

1 person found this review helpful.

jedibastard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jedibastard (24)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

Man do i want to like this.

I have smoked this a few times over the years, The last time i had a bowl was a little over 3yrs ago. I couldnt remeber if i liked it or not, couldnt remember a thing about it! So i decided to try it this morning.

The leaf became MUCH darker, and the smell was even better.

I wish i could say i enjoy this. But i dont. It has a great spice to it. A softer, less agressive 'pepper' note. The aroma is pretty great. Almost like a creamy sweetgrass.

Flavor? Cant detect a thing. Hot, spicy air.....thats about it.

Quality is perfect. Rubs out easy. Packs great too!

I never really enjoyed many straight forward Virginia/Virginia dominate blends. Theres so many out there, maybe i havent found "the one" where i can put away English blends for a bit. Oh well! Maybe a few more years on this tin and my unopened tin will do it some good.

Pipe Used: Wally Frank

Age When Smoked: 5yrs

Purchased From: P&C

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (265)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is about the MacBaren produced version of this tobacco. The tin reveals it was produced in Spring 2016.

I never got to taste the original VA/PER version of this and also not the Orlik. This is the first Three Nuns I got to taste. So I can't compare it to these versions.

Mac Barens Three Nuns is a very delicious and natural smoke. The tin note gives tobacco-ish scents and a hint of Raisins and maybe dried-fruits. My Girlfriend, who doesnt smoke the pipe, smelled the tin and said " smells like pure tobacco!" It's very mild tin note and doesn't reveal that much of whats expecting you. ElMog's description of "hay and seaweed" is also very apt!

The Coins are adorable and I was lucky to get a tin with almost all Coins being complete and not fallen apart. I just take 3-4 coins for a medium sized bowl, fold them in a ball-like shape and stuff it into my pipe. I love Curly-Cuts! The whole ritual of handling and preparing Curlies, Flakes and Plugs is highly enjoyable to me and adds a lot of joy to my "pipe smoking ceremony".

Once lit you get rewarded a rich tasting smoke. Just a subtle sweetness and dried-fruit, moreso raisin-ish-note lurks through a lot of spicy, hay-ish, and earthy Virginia + Kentucky taste in there. Pure tobacco aroma. I don't know which ingridient does it - but I definetly get a little fruity-aroma in there. Not much, but it reminds me of the fruityness Perique is known for. I know theres none, but theres a fruit taste, reminding me of it.

This tobacco really isn't complex in its ingridients, nor in its taste - but it just works DAMN GOOD! Some may call it "flat" or "dull" - but maybe they were expecting something else? To me the taste is very rich and has a good aroma. Not complex at all, but delicious tho it's easy.

And this is how I imagine how tobacco tasted like decades ago, when I wasnt even born. Straight up spicy and a bit earthy tobacco taste. A gentle sweetness mellows the taste and makes this taste so balanced and good.

Room note described by my Girlfriend: "It smells like spicy tobacco - in a pleasant way!" I guess a non-smoker wouldnt love the smell, but surely tolerate it.

Clearly a 4/4 Stars Blend to me. The price is almost insane! 16,50€ for 50gramm tin. Is it worth it? Yes, To me it is! Are there cheaper alternatives to this? Probably, yea, but a tin every 2-3 month won't kill my budget, so i stick to that delicious, solid smoke.

It's a smoke I can grab anyday - all day. Just good, honest tobacco, that is natural in taste and inviting in appereance.

EDIT: Damn it...I was saying myself "don't let this get a all-day-smoke, it costs 16 bucks dude!" is me smoking a bowl or two every morning due to it's outstanding and natural taste! :-P The next tin is already ordered, because I went through the first tin like a BUSHFIRE!

Perique or not - this is as fine as a weed can be!

Pipe Used: Various Briars / Clay Pipe

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin & Jarred

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Apart from the fact that it burns well and a medium strength that satisfies nicotine-wise without being too strong or too feeble, I do not find many things to commend Three Nuns.

The tobacco from the tin looks messy among broken flakes and ribbons. It somehow looks stale to me and smokes like being stale. It seems to have a mild licorice/molasses topping. I guess the succulent fruitiness is not only from the … I was going to say Perique, forgetting there’s none here. Well, it seems obvious that the casing is there to substitute the more expensive St. James leaf. For me Three Nuns tastes like a second rate Vaper.

The smoke is a little bit bitter with some underlying dark fruity (fig/plum) sweetness which may be from the casing. It also has a discernible taste of (stale) black pepper. A dry cigar-ish (stale) taste is also evident.

To avoid misunderstandings, I do not find Three Nuns horrid, I would surely smoke it if there was no other tobacco available, I just do not like it given the choices I currently have. Another drawback is its inflated price. I can only recommend it for its history as a tobacco one has to try at least once even if it’s not what it used to be.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (60)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A light smoke that suits smokers that prefer medium bodied tobacco. Pleasant yet ordinary, not offering anything past the average VaBur, Three Nuns is a fine tobacco but not quite to the extent that I consider it to fully cover what I'm looking for.

Taste: This blend had me wondering quite a bit at first - I know that this is a Macbaren tobacco but it reminds me a lot of Orlik virginias. After coming to this site for enlightenment things got clearer, as reviews tell me that Macbaren bought the recipe from Orlik. Grassy and sweet, light and slightly herbal this really does remind me of Golden Sliced, and that is not a bad thing. Indeed that VaPer is really tasty, if a bit too weak for my personal preference. But! This also tastes of Macbaren's kentucky, wich is simply amazing, HH Old Dark Fired is one of my absolute favorite tobaccos, hands down. Now this is a different animal as it is much lighter and carries notes of hay, honey and grass. Actually, the first half of a bowl is so light it's almost like the ghost of a tobacco, hints of what used to be a VaBur. It grows and the kentucky comes through more in the second half with a bit of pepper and earth, but the body is never past medium, and as far as medium is concerned this is on the lighter end of the spectrum. It is pleasant and tasty and beggs for the smoker's attention for all the nuances to unfold. Therefore I would say that this works well for either the smoker who wants something light to smoke all day or the smoker who enjoys playfully light and soft tobacco to sit and tug the flavours out of.

Mechanics: A rough coin cut, easy to rub out. Actually comes a bit on the dry side in the tin, not a big problem but it needs to sit in a jar tight away or it will grow too dry to smoke in my opinion. On the other hand it is in no way a moist smoke. Can burn a bit hot and will bite if one is not careful. Medium in nicotine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheMadPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheMadPiper (5)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have to say that Three Nuns is a truly intriguing, yet absolutely delicious blend that I must admit has captured my heart from the moment I cracked the tin and took a deep sniff of the smell.

Right off the bat you get an excellent aroma from the tin with the Virginia providing the nice sweet aroma to it and the Perique soon following in suit with the spiciness. The aromas that I could describe on the nose for this would have to be along the lines of a sweet sort of fruit cake or plum cake on the backnotes, with very prominent woody aromas like that of hickory on the front. Now when I say fruit cake/plum cake, it is not something that is topped or cased. This is a 100% natural aroma coming from this tobacco that is absolutely enamoring for me. Just the aroma of the blend makes it a perfect blend to enjoy on a winter's day. Time for the flavour profile. The moment after I finished lighting up the tobacco, my mouth was awake with a plethora of delectable tastes. The natural sweetness of Virginia immediately washes over your palate before the taste of subtle floral notes similar to that of fruit blossoms soon crosses over your tongue. The bouquet of flavours soon develop into that fruit/plum cake that is on the nose of the blend soon comes around on the finish of the puff.

Now, for the remains. What remains for an aroma in the bowl after the pipe is a robust tobacco aroma with very subtle notes of flowers and some spice. Don't ask why I do that leg of the review, I just do.

When I got this tin the moisture for it was just fine, and since the tobacco is in a coin cut you'll have to rub it out. For me the coins/curls were a bit dense, so it took a good few minutes to rub out enough for a pipeful of this goodness.

Now there is one topic I have to touch on with Three Nuns. This review is mostly catered towards that of the newer blend produced by Mac Baren, thus I do not know any of the former blends of Three Nuns. Don't get all harsh on me!

One last word of advice, (ESPECIALLY MY CANADIAN FRIENDS) do try your best to get it online. If you find it in your B&M and you're in a dire rush to try it (like I was) then go ahead, but you might have to deal with a hefty cost. I advise buying it online if you can.

For a pairing on this I would suggest a nice cup of hot apple cider to go with this, or perhaps a glass of eggnog. Call it obscure, but it will go well with this unique taste! Trust me!

Now go forth, and enjoy!

Pipe Used: Brigham Voyageur Shape #84

Age When Smoked: 1 Year Old (Oct. 2015)

Purchased From: Local B&M (Epicure Pipe & Cigar)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alper.e Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alper.e (12)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Before writing this review, I waited 'till one whole tin to be finished. Unfortunately it has finished. It is diffucult to find it in my country. because of this, I expect longingly the new one.

when I opened the tin. baccy seems to me little dry. But as I read reviews it is normal also the baccy is highly smokable. Nic level was OK for me. the taste is rounded and well balanced. I smoked this delicious blend with only one meerschaum pipe. And no gurgling or tongue bit was occured.

when I smoked at home while watching TV with my wife, she never bothered so the room note was OK.

I recommend this baccy for all never smoked it yet. hate it or love it, it deserves a try. I hope you will love it.

Pipe Used: F. Baki Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: new to three months

Purchased From: Tabac Sommer Munich

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Dark Twist Roll Cake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (300)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I found a tin that's dated 2014, never having had the other versions but reading a lot about this blend I figured I would try this new Macbaren offering. Opening the tin, the appearance and aroma is of Macbarens Dark Twist (which is a hot burning but delicious blend) but lighter in color and the moisture level was amazingly low so it was ready to pack right from the tin!!! The taste is also similar to Dark Twist but much cooler smoking and lighter with less body and nicotine. I really enjoyed it and loved the fact that I could get a Dark Twist like smoke without the incendiary effect that blend has on my tongue. Relights are delightful being sweet and toasty!! Subsequent bowls I placed a layer of two intact coins on the bottom of the pipe to keep dust and crumbs out of the draft hole and then crumbled the rest on top of these, this was the best result. Some of the sweetest Virginias I have had yet and I can only imagine what 5 years of age would result in! Don't think of this as another 3 Nun's recreation but as a lighter Dark Twist with no bite and I think you'll be happier...

Age When Smoked: One Year (dated 2014)

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Dark Twist Roll Cake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like the taste of Kentucky, smoothed out with some mild VAs, this is well worth trying. Despite being in small coins, easily folded and stuffed, this does burn fairly quickly, but not too hot.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: 11 months

Purchased From: JR Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

oldorder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldorder (22)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Mac version: a good all day smoke, buttery sipper, steady burn, smokey, mid-nic, I smoke some 50% Perique blends but this is a good change of pace, my only negative is that it is slightly cigaretty for the little lady. For me it is somewhat similar to Old Gowrie.

Pipe Used: Small Briar

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Old Gowrie, Mild Virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (58)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What a pleasent surprise. After reading all the "shrieks of no perique" I was determined to pick up a few tins and see what gives. Being a lover of Va/pers, and just comming of a straight virginia binge, I was interested in trying Three Nuns. The only other blend I've smoked lately with decent amounts of dark fired was Mac Barens Dark Twist. Three Nuns was another great spun coin tobacco from MB. I'm not going to bore you with flavors and burn rates and such. One hell of a satisfying smoke. I've never smoked any other incarnation of this blend so I can't speak for it. I say only this Three Nuns is a great smoke and I would recommend it.

Pipe Used: Petersons Canadian Kapet

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

boc777 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
boc777 (18)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

While not my favorite Virginia blend, this is in the top 5 for me for certain. I am reviewing the new version, not the original. I belive there is a touch of perique in this. Not enough for my taste, just a bit. I prefer Dunhil Va/Pers over this, but it is a good solid smoke. The presentation of the small coins in the tin is perfect, and the tin aroma is very plummy and inviting. It seems to take on very different characteristics depending on which pipe I choose. I love to rub out the coins and pack a bowl of this. Usually 2 to 3 times a week I really enjoy this. Not a 4 star smoke for me, but very good!

Age When Smoked: <1 yr

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This review is for the MacBaren made version that recently made its return, er, debut? in the U.S. As most folks are aware there is no perique and we all certainly wonder why? That said I smoked very little of the perique version when I could have and even then I'm sure it had changes from its origin.

It is a traditonal small coin cut Danish style tightly packed in it's round tin. It's appearance is mostly medium brown in color with minor black flecks. It smells great upon opening but it's over all appearance is nothing exceptional. Less hay smell for a Danish virginia, which is good for me, but definitely looks like a Mac Baren product. It may not be the original recipe or even close but it is delicious in it's own right. I did not buy a tin immediately upon it's arrival in the U.S. nor could I since it sold out quickly, but then I even ignored the e-mail alerts that it was back in stock. I had decided not to bother trying it and then caved and got a tin of this and Capstan Flake.

Bottom line is it's very good and I would smoke it periodically but... it's a tad expensive (I feel bad saying that considering what my fellow Pipers pay around the world) but there it is.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Notwithstanding the magnificent House of Balkan Sobrainie, Bell's Three Nuns, in every likelihood, remains etched in the memories of those of us so fortunate to have experienced its' greatness. I promised myself I would not subject my fellow reviewers to a lamenting preamble of a tobacco that is no more but I find it necessary, at least in short, to protect the integrity of arguably the best Virginia/Perique blend ever created. In saying that I ask for the forgiveness and indulgence of my fellow pipe smokers, I'll be brief. Bell's Three Nuns was a blend that would simply tranquilize the smoker with it thick creamy Virginia sweetness and pungently spicy Christmas pudding like aromas. It was in all accounts a medium to strong blend ever so satisfying as an early morning offering or a nightcap choice. I would catch myself opening the tin throughout the day and smelling the tobacco between smokes just to make sure it hadn't lost any of its flavorings, absolutely silly I know, but when you find something so special in a blend you subconsciously want to protect its greatness from ever going away. I would pray, upon return visits to my tobacconist that the next tin would contain the exact same tobacco as before and it always did right up until it finally disappeared from Canadian Tobacconists' shelves sometime in late 2002. No other Virginia/Perique blend ever came close to taking its place and I tried many. MacBaren's Three Nuns 2013 recipe has no perique and I knew that going into it. What I was hoping though, was that everything else might be the same or at least very similar. Same or similar Virginias, same Brazilian leaf, same casings etc. The presentation does bring back great memories as the discs remain quite similar and equally attractive. Of course it smells nothing like the original due in large, I suggest, by the absence of perique and in sampling a bowl it tastes nothing like the original but I had no illusions it would. It is a well balanced blend but does carry a hefty tin price compared to many other blends in the same genre which are equally good or in many cases much better. MacBaren's Three Nuns does not meet my needs in its current state and knowing the original contained 22% perique, a working maximum for this condiment, I rubbed out the discs of a full tin and added 22% long cut blending perique. I've been sampling small bowls of this mixture, off and on, for a couple of days and by God it's coming around to something quite special. I don't expect this effort will yield the old Three Nuns by any stretch of the imagination but I must say it's turning out to be a very pleasant experience and it does have some moments of greatness during the smoke but they are fleeting moments at least for now.

Update: I must tell you this experiment is quickly proving to be extremely worthwhile. I would say, with subjective confidence of course, that this hybrid mixture is, in my opinion, exceedingly close to the old Bell's from Imperial prior to the removal of perique. If you should try this, please keep in mind that a 50 gram tin is only 78% of the total. You'll need to add 22% perique which equals 14.1 grams to give you 100% total mixture. Let it sit pressed tightly for about 48 hours prior to sampling. For me, I'm one happy feller today, I hope you eventually arrive with similar results.

Final Update: I recently opened another tin to blend in perique to find this tin had a distinct perique-like aroma. This was not present in my first tin and I have no idea why. In any event I will be adjusting the blending in of the perique in efforts to achieve a similar result. I also smoked a bowl of the second tin and it did have a perique-like taste as well.

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cgar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cgar (37)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very Solid replacement. I too was concerned when I saw that the perique had been replaced, but the new formula is well balanced and delivers a solid smoke. I find the little coins very user friendly and they seem to have the propper moisture level. Taste for me has been fantastic, if you take your time with this one it can really dance around your taste buds delivering different experiences with every puff. Since acquiring I have made Three Nuns my all day smoke and have been very pleased and have experienced 0 tongue bite. Well done and glad to see this one make it back!!

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Philosopher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philosopher (27)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought a 50g pack from my local newsagent, nice to see something other than the usual suspects on the shelf. Easy to pack and smoke - very enjoyable, and a nice and possibly more subtle alternative to St Bruno. A pity that you can't but a 25g pack, though. One I'd buy again for sure, and I'm going to search out the tinned version when I've got through my pack.

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donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (22)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

as I'm writing this, I'm only on my 4th bowl since opening the tin. yes, it's a 50g tin of curly cuts (now made in denmark by orlik). here in germany, where I live, these tins cost about 20 dollars, which is pretty much on the high side. it's definitely my most expensive tobacco yet.

so, like I said, 4th bowl, so I might have to come back and re-do this in a month or so...

I don't care if this is still the three nuns that everyone is claiming it isn't. it's good. I usually smoke almost nothing but english/balkan blends a a few kentucky flake things. and this is a change of pace. I find it to be real mellow on the tongue, no bite at all, and I'm trying my best to "sip", but it's not that easy all the time. my first smoke of this was in a field, a walk with the dog and it was windy as hell. it still didn't get too hot and the flavor was still great.

the tin aroma is somewhat grassy and woody and a little TINY bit ketchup like, in a good way. maybe it's the perique?

it has a nice subtle sweetness from the virginias and it's spicy, in a good, not overwhelming way. I really like it. taste is great throughout. gets a little more spicy toward the end of the bowl, but still not too overpowering for my taste.

the coins are easy to pack, just stack them in my cherrywood shape stanwell (no filter), put some loose tobacco from the couple of broken coins in the tin on top and I'm ready to go. a couple of relights, but nothing I care about. it might also take a few matches to get lit, but it's worth it.

it smokes extremely well, slow, cool, tasty, down to a grey to dark grey ash. there's no dottle whatsoever. it can get a little moist at times, but I just go through the pipe with pipe cleaners every 20 minutes or so, to get some moisture out of the pipe and it works just fine. when I pack that stanwell, I get 2+ hours of pleasure from this tobacco. usually I feel like I need more, but not with this here.


sorry for anyone in the states and elsewhere, where the tins aren't available. it's worth it.

bit pricey, still.

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Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Coin cut version, square tin. Slightly sweet, herbal flavor. The Perique is used as a spice that rounds up this tobacco. The strength and taste grow with time. The flavors are subtle, velvety and you tend to forget that there is strength in this tobacco. Good morning smoke with an espresso or at any time of the day. To be enjoyed slowly.

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Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I?m used to examine the reviews before mine with the most attention, and found some confusion. Some fellows review the TN Original (tinned, VaPer, curly cut, for the ?discriminating? smoker); others seem to review TN Mixture (pouched, mainly Va with traces of Per, ready rubbed; it was told to be the ?scraps? deriving from the spun process, very much cheaper than TN Original, or the ?common? people).

TN (both Original/tinned, which was maybe the more expensive tobacco sold in Italy, and the Mixture/pouched, half the price of the Original) disappeared from the Italian tobacconist before the advent of the EURO, i.e. in 2001. I guess nobody cried loud? VaPer?s have never been considered on the top list of preferences of the Italian smokers, who rather prefer English Mixtures.

My review is for TN Original (tinned version).

I?ve got a couple of tins coming from Haejenius in Amsterdam, alongwith a small number of other tobaccos which I have commissioned to a friend in his yearly visit to the grandmother in the Netherlands.

The tin is quite the same of old, just the colours have bit changed, and obviously half of the lid?s surface consists of the usual compulsory warning label. At the opening I smelled blind and rack hard my brain to do the comparison: no, the current TN is not the same of old. As Hagen observed: Kentucky has replaced Perique. The tones are much darker and woody. I smell a liqueurish note (liquorice?) suggesting a topping. Also, seems to me that TN places itself in some way between McB?s Burley London Blend and Peterson?s Irish Flake, stronger than the former and milder than the latter. Since I appreciate both, this is a good point of depart. After unfolding the inner packing, I can notice that the size of the coins is quite the same of old, but the colour is darker. TN is soft and moist, not wet; needs some airing.

I?ve worked through a small number of pipes, and found the best ?smoking tool? for TN is a straight Mastro de Paja bought in 1990, medium bowl, apple, which I got back from restoring. Always filled the pipes like this: a couple of coins rubbed for the bottom, four or so unrubbed at the middle, then a rubbed couple for the top. Let the pipe sitting half an hour or more, then light/tamp/relight/retamp. It goes its way for one hour or even more.

The smoke reflects the tin aroma: moderately sweet, woody, non-spicy, liqueurish. Starts medium and goes to the strong side. Needs the usual careful sipping just to avoid it turns bitter, but no risk of bite at all, the smoke is always cool. Pleasant but nothing to go really crazy. Not for the morning and not an all-day smoke. Think like as You would enjoy a brandy. Again, I think it may be placed between the BLL and IF, but it also brings to my mind TOI?s Limerick, completely lacking the vinegarish note this latter has but keeping the same woody tone. Since Limerick is declared to contain 5% Perique, should I think TN is still a VaPer ? Bah, who knows ? Oh, yes Hagen, from mid bowl onward it gurgles, I also think it?s due to the topping (Perique syrup?)

At the end: three stars because it?s a hystorical tobacco, of the same league of Escudo and basically a good an honest tobacco. But anymore the TN of old? I will review the TN Mixture soon or late.

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Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Three Nuns is a fine Vaper with high quality leaf and a must-try for lovers of this class. It starts as a sweet mellow smoke and developes into a full Vaper throughout the bowl, sometimes a bit too strong on Perique for my taste.

Not a regular in my rotation (this is second to Escudo, Anniversary Kake and a few other masterpieces in my list) but a pretty good smoke nevertheless.

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Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Like Cyclebum, I too never bothered to try Three Nuns in it's previous life, and I haven't seen it in a tin for may years. Once a standard OTC found in just about any supermarket, papershop, tobacconist, it is now harder and harder to find. Seing on the shelf of a tobacconist in Preston, I thought I would give it a try. Came in a pouch, a dark brown shag cut, easy to pack and light, Pleasant but not astonishing, just simply pleasant. The Perique comes through to keep the interest without being overpowering or peppery. This is probably the best of the OTC blends available here, which accounts for it slowly dissapearing.

Sadly, I do not get the tastes and flavours that our other esteemed colleagues experienced, and in it's present form, poor offering it may be, compared with it's former self, it is a reasonable smoke. A pouch that will be finished and may be bought again, should I see a pouch on a shelf. Certainly not one that I would cellar or put into rotation, but by the same token, the best of the OTC's of which, unfortunately I have a low opinion.

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UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I found a round J. B. Russell- stickered tin of this at a state-line cigarette outlet in the closeout discount box (advice for the lovers of this: keep looking). 100g for $3 in Oct. '04. I was leery of the high nicotine reported, so I smoked small bowls at first. Not that bad, but I do get a numb tongue and it ends my smoking for the day. After a dozen tries with this, I agree it's a good benchmark for Va/perique blends. Big and bold, yet civilized. But from this, I deduced that I preferred tobaccos without perique. Occasionally I enjoy it and I'm glad for my opportunity to smoke this classic.

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Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

This was a nice discovery that I got to experience recently with an order I got from Synjeco in Switzerland. When I opened up the tin I swear that I could smell a Latakia presence. I know there isn't any in the blend, so I have to assume that the orientals are a big presence here. To tell the truth though, they didn't come through in the smoke very much at all. I did get a blast of very good Virginia and Perique with a smidgeon of Cavendish? I'm not sure, but I know what I like, and this is very nice. Fuller in strength than alot of the other VA/P's that I smoke, I enjoy this in the evening with a good cup of black coffee. It'll never replace Escudo, but it sure is a nice change up. It can nip so be warned. The smoke is sweet and the Perique is nicely tamed here. Everyone should try this classic.

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tslots Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tslots (8)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This review is of some aged Three Nuns ( approx 3 yrs old ) that I received as a gift from a fellow pipe smoker. He also sent me some recent vintage to compare. The aged sample is almost uniformly a dark brown color, while the new is mottle of different brown hues. The pre-smoke aroma is also very different ... with the aged sample having a very full nose of raisins and spices, while the new one is subdued and sharp.

I chose my small GBD bent bulldog to smoke as I've read of the strength of this blend. It was a good choice, but the strength of the smoke was more in the fullness of the tobacco flavor vs. the nicotine content. I think that the additional age might have mellowed that characteristic. In any event it was a good smoke. Full tobacco flavor with some spiciness and a slight sweetness. Not complex, but very consistent. The stregth increased somewhat the second half of the bowl. It was also very dry with nary a gurgle or bite.

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