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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 VaPr mixture.

Pipe Tobacco Hall of Fame Inductee.

Blended ByMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsKentucky, Virginia
CutCurly Cut
Packaging50 or 100g Tin
Where to Buy
Product Image
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 16 Users

154 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (801)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The current tin version is good. 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. It's a near perfect blend of quality tobaccos and for me, 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. 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. Why in the world this reformulation was made, I have no idea. Until the change, this was my all time favorite tobacco and as many know, a very legendary blend. That mixture had more strength and spice, all 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. 4 stars for the older version? That's an understatement for me. This current version only gets 3. I'm just glad I have enough of the old tin version to last me for a few more years.

Btw, stay far away from the rubbed out pouch version. It's awful in darn near every way. Burns too fast, has a flat taste, and just doesn't taste good.

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 product 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 four stars, so I changed the rating from the three I gave to the Orlik version.

12 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.

9 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.

8 people found this review helpful.

fred1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fred1 (4)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I´ve read and heard so much about this tobacco so i had to try it. This isn´t the original one but still i had to try it. I will make this review in two halfs, first off is "the good side".

In the tin the tobacco is cut in very very nice little "coins" and it gives a very nice first meeting with it. And when you pack and lit it up,the cut of the tobacco gives you always a cool smoke. I like to puff hard and it never ever bites. It´s perfect. The taste is mild until you reach down half the bowl. That was the good side.

Here is "the bader side".

When you have reached down half the bowl the kentucky comes kicking in. And i don´t seem to get a long with the kentucky so well. It turns the mild virginia into a "dry-harsh-smoke-thing" with irregular nicotin kicks. And the pipe tends to get hot (but it´s probably just me for puffing like a train).

I have tried this in different pipes and i discovered that in a longer pipe (14-15cm)it tasted best.

After a the first three bowls i had plans to let this one go. But i tried a little more and now with the tin almost empty i can master it.

Pack it loose in a longer pipe and it might work for you. The best of this tobacco is the nice "coins" and always a cool smoke.

For me this were the first and last time i dated Three nuns.

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (166)
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.

4 people found this review helpful.

Hybrid12 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hybrid12 (25)
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.....

3 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (43)
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).

3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
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.

rekamepip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rekamepip (78)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Could not find the NEW VERSION to post review there* Three Nuns Made in Denmark by Mac Baren Tobacco Imported by Sutliff Tobacco Company

Dark Fired Kentucky and Virginian

Tin Notes: Beautiful Little Coins of Cut Spun Tobacco Wonderful Smokey Aroma Good Moisture Content

Smoking: What is not to Love ! Dark Fired Kentucky and Virginian Tobacco . A Very Well Blended tobacco that is easy to burn in any pipe...... Whether you fold and stuff or fully rub out the tobacco - it has a wonderful flavor that continues throughout the bowl from start to finish. I found it tasted really good in a pipestone pipe or a clay

While there is great discussion of how this tobacco was previously blended by other companies and some say well is is missing this or that. I have not had opportunity to smoke the old school nuns but can say that this is a good blend and should age rather well !

Room Note: Who cares - it is that good !

Overall My 5 Star Rating = 4+

Pipe Used: Pipestone Rock Cob, Corn Cob, Clay and Briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: sutliff

3 people found this review helpful.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (139)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Without the perique, this mixture is not Three Nuns. It shouldn't be called Three Nuns. Maybe Two Nuns would be more appropriate. I found the taste to be very bland and the mixture as a whole without merit. Why try to reinvent the wheel. (This is the MacBaren version).

3 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
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

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (607)
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.

3 people found this review helpful.

Warcross Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warcross (2)
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:

2 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

2 people found this review helpful.

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

About the Reviewer:

Primarily a cigarette smoker until switching totally to pipes in 2006. Due to this I primarily smoke and enjoy stronger blends. I have recently reset all my reviews because I feel that only now I really know what blends I enjoy and now have the experience to accurately give an honest review based on my personal tastes.

Blend Preferences: Straight Virginia - Sometimes (Spring/Summer) VA/BUR - Primarily VA/PER - Rarely (I believe Perique should be used as a condiment) English Mixtures (Oriental/Balkan/Latakia) - Sometimes (Fall/Winter) American - Sometimes Aromatics - Never

Smoking Frequency: Weekdays - 3 to 4 pipes per day. Weekends - 6 to 8 pipes per day.

Desert Island Blend - Samuel Gawith Bracken Flake

Review Details: Blend Reviewed - Bell's Three Nuns Blend Strength - Mild Blend Recommendation - Not Recommended Blend Pipe - Missouri Meerschaum Room Note - Who smokes inside nowadays? Presentation - Small brown speckled spun coins

General Comments:

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:

2 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (128)
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.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (578)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant

Very hard to find here

I am looking under Imperial, Mac Baren and thought at least on Bells.

Its onother stuff now at under original Bells.

But about one point i am happy.

in the recent formulation its a too good stuff. One reason therfore are the good african and brazil tobaccos

Thats not the case by most other oldies

One pont is the same as by the old perique-stuff:

frech stuff in summer aged stuff always recommanded


Its not Orlik -> its Mac Baren. You could it taste on the very good Kentucky used. The best Kentucky availible are the Mac Baren

Age When Smoked: 1 - 12

Similar Blends: Ambleside Curly.

2 people found this review helpful.

balkan_boy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
balkan_boy (36)
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:

2 people found this review helpful.

ven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ven (13)
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

2 people found this review helpful.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (67)
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

Doctor Max Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doctor Max (11)
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.

2 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (89)
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 .

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Open the tin and the aroma is beautiful, spicy, nutty, and tells you this is going to be great. The current version of the nuns is cut of small coin shaped discs and long ribbons. The moisture level is too high and drying out is needed. So packing requires a bit of caution and pipe cleaners to open up clogs. Once lit this is one of the great treats of pipe smoking. The blend of Virginias and Perique is unlike the competition, and I think I have tried them all. Flavor is tasty with a zing. Often it is described as peppery, but I don't think so. It is spicy in the way that Perique usually is. So on the posative side this is my favorite Va Perique blend, but the negative side is that it is expensive and can only be obtained from Synjaco in Switzerland making shipping expensive. Everyone deserves the oppertunity to try Three Nuns to know what this blend is like.

2 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (78)
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

LZ639 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LZ639 (19)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The current incarnation of this blend lacks the perique and is a dismal failure. Harsh upon light up and basically a monochrome smoke lacking in any character. Another great blend destroyed. It's the Mixture 79 of non-aromatics.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Less than a year

Purchased From: Just For Him

1 person 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:

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.

fmjiii Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fmjiii (13)
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

1 person found this review helpful.

The Right Reverend Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Right Reverend (35)
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 (13)
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.

beercritic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beercritic (28)
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

1 person 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

1 person found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (44)
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.

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:

1 person found this review helpful.

Perique Freak Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique Freak (3)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Seeing that the new formulation had replaced the perique with dark- fired, I expected to hate this. After all, Three Nuns and Escudo were the two standard Va-pers in the good old days. But I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. It's a decent tobacco, but not great, smooth and even-burning. I'll probably buy it again, but it won't go in my regular rotation. These days, my favorite Va-per is Samuel Gawith's St.James Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (578)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have finally had the opportunity to taste this famous classic, and in the coin version this time.

I have never tried the original with PER, only the Ready Rubbed version still available in the UK, but that was years ago, so i do not know if it was with PER or DFK.

One thing is certain. This is one solid offering. I am wondering if that is why Orlik has replaced the PER with DFK. To make Three Nuns even better than it was.

Golden Va coins with some darker core, the smell is sweet with barely a touch of smokiness.

I was a bit concerned when I saw the light coloured tobacco, but this barely bites and, when it does, it is because I have puffed too hard.

The flavour, and its increase in richness, builds as I smoke down the bowl with great pleasure and satisfaction.

This is good tobacco, mates.

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (520)
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!

1 person found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (206)
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

1 person found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (197)
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

Scots Jim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scots Jim (8)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I used to smoke this back in the day when I could buy it in a tin, cut and packed in nice wee rings it was too. Alas! Here in the UK those days have long gone.

Bought some recently. It came in a pouch, not a tin. I was horrified to find it was no longer cut in the nice wee rings but appeared ready rubbed.

After removing my rose-coloured spectacles, I found the flavour was still there ( this used to be a tobacco I smoked back in the 80's on a regular basis ) but it didn't seem as fine as I remember it to be!

Call it nostalgia if you will, but I'd still recommend this tobacco. Not as good as "back in the day" but still an excellent smoke.

I'd recommend it.

1 person 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!

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

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.

BigChairPuffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigChairPuffer (11)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

For the virginia connoisseur. A solid smoke with a good amount of nicotine. Smells of quality from can to pipe. Easy to pack and should be fairly pleasant to anyone within range to smell it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Villevissen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Villevissen (1)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tried this last night and this was my first time ever trying pipe tobacco out. At first i was a bit disappointed because i couldn't really feel any particular taste at all, after about 1/4 of the bowl i realized that i was just drawing small puffs so I then tried to really dig into it and really fill my mouth and make sure that the pipe outlet was directed at my tongue and i must say, this was rewarding!

Ignoring the powerful tingle on my tongue i started to feel a definite strong sweet, nutty/butter-nutty(though the smell of butternut but as a flavor) flavor with definite hints of a tar licorice. This was really surprising to me because i've smoked some cigars in the past such as Trinidads and this tobacco was completely void of the grassy peppery taste of cigars.

I had no idea tobacco could be so different!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
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.

Flying Tea Pot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flying Tea Pot (3)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

No, it doesn't have perique and it should have had. But, it is a full bodied somewhat "dark" flavored Virginia with natural sweetness. It has a rich smokiness which I suppose is from the dark Kentucky. It's probably too expensive, but it is good and worth a try.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

So here is my experience with Bell's Three Nun's..... I have enjoyed it most of the tins I have had (around 5 or six with one in the cellar)... BUT, (and yes it is a big 'BUT'), I had a couple tins that I questioned if it really was Three Nuns. Those that were good tins were Great!!!! Almost creamy smooth and so different than any other tobaccos (I have tried) I questioned why it wasn't being produced and carried by another blender. (I am sure that blend recipe is out there somewhere LOL) But then, the tins that weren't great were so off-putting that I could understood why this is soon to be a blend of the past. My overall take on it? I still buy tins when I see them and keep my fingers crossed it contains the savory creamy delicious smoke I know it should be. It's that great when it is the right stuff in the tin!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheJayBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheJayBee (59)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought this tobacco because it was included in the hall of fame of the website and even my doctor, yes my doctor (bad bad doctor) recommended it.

I had never tasted a tobacco with Kentucky in it. I have to say that I felt much more the presence of the Virginia as I still don't know how Kentucky should taste like. However, the "other" taste was absolutely fabulous blended with high quality Virginia. I really would not know how to describe the taste, but it is very pleasant. This tobacco is really top quality and I just loved it.

The smell from the tin is fruity, and I thought, hmm, is it going to be aromatic? Thank goodness it wasn't. Just a nice dry and cool tobacco. My pipe and my taste buds are happy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (240)
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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JerseySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JerseySmoker (11)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Keep in mind that I was the proud owner of a 20 year old tin of Three Nuns, until I smoked it all during the last week after reviving it in a humidor for a month. I have read about the change in ownership and possible change in blend, and I hope the talk isn't true. I don't want to wait another 20 years for another Great Tin.

This is Christmas pudding in a pipe. It is very raisiny and very mellow. This is a "Hall of Fame" tobacco. It is slow burning like a yule log, as contrasted against Carter Hall, which is like burning dried bamboo in a chiminea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I always felt guilty, as I haven't smoked this famed round cut tobacco. Sooooo, it wasn't much of a loss all these years. A very strong tobacco, heavy. A single bowl per day is more than enough for me. It's VaPer, with high density of Perique. The room note is amazing. Once you open the tin, the scent resembles to something like chocolate or raisins?? Not sure. It also has a bitterness that others like. But not me. Without being fond, in general, of VaPers, I'll say that this one is not something exceptional for me. And to think that I smoked the tin and not the pouch, which everyone says is dreadful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FT (3)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I had my first bowl of Three Nuns - and was very pleased with it indeed - I did not experience any tongue bit – I found it very Pleasant in my MM corncob pipe – while I was out walking the dog on a cold December afternoon – I will have it again – and I have no doubt that it will soon become one of my favourite smokes... give it a try – you will be surprised how you will like it....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Antihero Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Antihero (8)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Three Nuns is, by far, one of the best English blends out right now. It saddens me to see a few?reviews on this fine blend that see it lacking or unfavorable. However, to each their own and I can only give my personal rating.

Where to begin? It is very traditional in its construction and very bold with its taste. This is not a blend for Aromatic-only pipe smokers and perhaps not for beginning pipe smokers. To paint a more allegorical picture: it is like asking a person, who only drinks his/her tea with lots of sugar and milk, to drink straight tea.

In Japan, the price is around 2,000 yen which is about the same as 20 US dollars. It does sound expensive, but you are paying for quality and it does not fail in this area. Here in Japan it is available in the 50g tins and by Odin's eye I am thankful for that.

On opening the tin there is indeed a unique sight that hits you; that all of the tobacco is sliced into coins. These are wonderful for people like me who enjoy the ritual of picking out our tobacco and rubbing it into the consistancy we desire.

On smelling the tin, the strong smell of something akin to Jagdwurst of my native Germany or for others - dried deer sausage. A "gamey" smell, if you will allow the term. This smell continues with the tobacco even as it is dried out further or even aged.

Smoking is a wonderful experience, but be careful! Too fast and too strongly of a puffer, if you are one, will result in a nicotine over-drive. It is to be smoked gently and calmly, just as a good clergyman would do while reading some sacred text.

The taste is full and natural and I, personally, highly recommend it for those of you with a taste for the English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

risle-lariviere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
risle-lariviere (33)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The taste is hayish with a nice aftertaste.

I just rub the curlies and stuff it for a small pipe and fill them on top of each other in bigger bowl.

In my rotation for long enough and i'll just keep it that way.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spencer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spencer (5)
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Like many reviewers I had seen Three nuns around since I was kid and gave it a go with out thinking it would amount to much. However, I loaded up one of my pipes and what a suprise. I like to take big mouthfuls of smoke and blow it out of my nose to get the flavours and the three nuns never bit me and the tast of quality tobacco only increased as one smoked further down the bowl. A great all round smoke. Only wished I could have tried the tinned version before it disappered from the baccy shops of England.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
Medium to Strong Extremely 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 new as well as the old 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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePirateSalento Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePirateSalento (1)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The first time I bumped into a tin of Three Nuns it was more than ten years ago. My tobacconist suggested me to try this expensive tobacco as the most experienced pipe smokers of my home town considered this to be the freshest, fullest in taste and most satisfying pipe tobacco. At that time I was not still a discerned pipe smoker. I only sake a balanced tobacco that would not burn my tongue anymore, and did not contain casings or flavorings akin to Troost Black Cavendish or Captain Black. Once in my home, I opened the tin and I can not describe my great surprise. Curlies? May pipe tobacco be cut in..curlies? I could not believe it! Nonetheless, the curlies were sufficiently humid, the smell was excellent with natural tobacco tones, light nuances of roasted almonds and a delicate scent of matured figs. Past the astonishment, I packed and lit up my bent pipe. Since the first puffs the tobacco taste was unique, sweet and natural at the same time, full at mid bowl, round, with flavours of wood and mature figs, and the typical english roasted aroma whirling into my nose and around the room. It was quite satisfying and relaxing. Alas! It was...! In 2009 I rediscovered smoking the pipe. And many things had changed so far. I then knew that Three Nuns tins had long disappeared in Italy. I had to search all over the outskirts of Europe to find one again in Germany. I then bought two tins of Three Nuns, and once I had twisted up the coin..I was happy again to find the curlies...but sadly I suddenly discovered that the smell and the taste of this tobacco had been watered down. Therefore, the smoke is actually unsatisfying and the scent of mature figs has definitively disappeared along with the wooden and roasted aroma whirling in my nose and in my room. It looked as if somebody had suddenly decided to dry off this tobacco and to tear up all of its qualities. What a pity! I than give only two stars. I may look unfair, probably because it all depends on tobacco global market which forces tobacco producers to purchase bad quality tobacco to control the price of their products. If so, it is frankly a rise to the bottom which one may appreciate with other old famous brands (Benson and Hedges Mellow Mixture?). Hey you of the community, what's you opinion?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sparky hughes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sparky hughes (3)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

im not good at reveiw's at the moment so this what i'm going to say about it. i brought a packet of three nuns today tuesday. when i opened it's a bit dry and no smell to it aswell but on the plus side it smoke's well and there is a nice smell when you light it up.if i enjoy the packet i'm going to buy some more off it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (19)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I tried the pouch version that was, according to my tobacconist, made in England and more affordable than the tin version made in Denmark.

But then the pouch variety was a loose cut, not curlies.

The pouch aroma was rather intriguing, displaying spicy notes.

The taste was kind of full but smooth at the same time.

It was certainly a different experience...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Picked up a 50g tin of this at my local Barbarino's this weekend. Although the price tag of 14 Euro raised my eyebrows a bit, I am thoroughly glad I spent some extra on this blend.

My first impression after opening the tin was nasally 'so what?' There was very little odor that piqued my interest, and I began to get a bit of the ol' "buyer's remorse". However, after folding back the two flaps, I immediately fell in love with this blend. The coincut medallions in it are, for lack of better words, 'endearing'. Has your wife or girlfriend ever packed a lunch for you? Recall the little things she does, for example including a love note or folding the waxpaper on a sandwich in a unique way. Now imagine if she packed your tobacco. THAT is the impression I was struck with, and knew I found one of my new favorites, just on the visual image of the tobacco pack alone.....

On lighting, I noted immediately the perique. However, it is not obnoxiously there, as in some other blends. It truly showcases the glory of perique, and I can now see why it is considered the 'truffle' analog in the tobacco world. Bowls go down velvety smooth. The petrichor-like aromas arouse my imagination and tease me. I spent my first bowl imagining the Louisiana swamps and going frog gigging. Simply one of my new favorites. Definitely one that tests my restraint, as I always want another bowl with this blend.....

My only issue is, even after a nice pack, it has a tendency to go out and needs relit. I fail to see this a flaw though, as it gives me more time to reflect on the sublime aftertastes. This is a blend that is meant to be explored with all your senses. I HIGHLY recommend it, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Poppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poppy (23)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Overwhelming Overwhelming

You like or note the taste, but you have to try this magic blend. It's not a complex tobacco, with different taste during the bowl. But if you like the taste like me, this tobacco makes you relaxed, happy and satisfied.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (135)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daggers62 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daggers62 (18)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Opening the pouch you get hit with a lovely sweet tobacco smell that really makes you look forward to your first bowl.

Ho Hum! That is where the beauty ends. It is not a bad smoke it is just a tasteless smoke, there is no real taste or flavour either during or after which is a great shame considering the packet smell.

Not one for my future collection unfortunatley

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (71)
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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesrevisited Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesrevisited (45)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Perique? Did not find any...

Coin cut not any more? In Holland it still comes coin cut in a square tin.

Taste: Nice pure tobacco taste, but for 14 euro a 50 gr tin,Silver Flake at 22,70 for 100gr is a much better deal IMHO.

Use: Stacks nice and easy, burns easily.

In short: Nice but pricey, I'm aging a few tins to find out if it will become something special.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

supersmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
supersmoke (12)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Unnoticeable

I will just clarify what I am reviewing here. This is the current Three Nuns which is the ready rubbed version not the curly cut or round cut that is talked about.

Is this is a tobacco that is thought to be good due to its heritage? In the 10 years I have been pipe smoking this is the third time I have tried this and i dont think it is anything special,it may have been once. I have seen perique mentioned in one of the revews, probobly correctly, but I am unable to taste any perique in it. Now I have read that I will give it another try, I could be wrong.

It found my tounge a bit, got a bit hot and burnt very quickly and I am not a fast smoker. There was not a lot of flavour in it and the pouch smell though okay smells a little of rolling tobacco. All this adds up to cheap base mixture tobaccos in my mind.

If you are looking for a play it safe British made or made in the British style standard virginia mixture which is what Three Nuns is there are better supermarket brands out there. I am talking in the Condor Blended, St Bruno, Mellow Virginia vein here. ( Me and MrDyson are singing from the same hymn sheet here I think)I wont be buying it again, unless I can find some of the earlier stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Historic blend that is difficult to get in the states. I polished off my last tin on IPSD. Already many fine reviews & give it 4 stars after a year of aging.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Toney (44)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin note & flavor is delectable & IMO, Bell's Three Nuns lives up to the hype. It is smooth, mellow & flavorful...tobacco flavor, that is; not a peach cobbler or jelly donut. It produces plenty of smoke & Vitamin N content is about a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Definately one of the finest pipe tobaccos I've ever smoked. I recognized quality tobaccos upon first light. The tin is crammed full & the presentation facilitates loading & firing. Everything about this pipe tobacco is just perfect.

The mottled, dime-sized, thinly sliced twist flakes are almost at a perfect moisture content & rub out into a long, thin ribbon, shag-like consistency. I dried a bowl-sized amount for a few minutes to obtain a perfect moisture content, but is OK right out of the tin. A quality tobacco aroma rises above the slight topping note which I cannot describe or taste while smoking. I was skeptical due to some of the negative reviews on the "new" Three Nuns, but can now accept them with a grain of salt. It burns perfectly to a light ash, leaves no ghost in the bowl & flavor remains throughout.

It's not unusual that a quality blend such as Three Nuns gets a few negative reviews. However, if we all had the same tastes, there would only be one blend of pipe tobacco & supply could never meet the demand. For me, this is the Holy Grail of VA/Pers & very agreeable with "my palate." If you're a VA/Per connoisseur, there's no way you cannot like 3Ns. This & Royal Yacht are my two favorite pipe tobaccos thus far, but there are many other blends in my cellar that I have not as yet sampled. I also like Escudo & Sunday Picnic. Based only on the quality of a VA/Per blend, Bell's Three Nuns receives my highest recommendation. Therefore, IMHO, Bell's Three Nuns, without reservation, rates four **s+!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

colt25314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
colt25314 (41)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

boyenne Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
boyenne (6)
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Bought a 50G tin of this legendary tobacco.

- Smell: strong, pleasant. A comfortable tobacco smell without much flavoring.

- Packing: great packing. The smoker can either pack the "coins" or rib it and then pack it. It burns well and when packed well, it doesn't need to be relit every time.

- Taste: full taste with a mild flavoring. The room note is very tolerable.

- Recommendation: Highly recommended. This tobacco is my favorite. It costs €12,80 here in Europe, Netherlands which is not cheap, but it's totally worth it.

Recommended for every pipe smoker out there. Tip: Hot coffee prefered with this one!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (113)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

(NOTE: this review was of the pouched version of Three Nuns that is available in the UK. It has been in some respects superseded by the introduction of the new, tinned, version; but this is unfortunately not available 'over here'. Who can tell why?)

The problem here, in a nutshell, is that this Three Nuns Original isn't original. Like most smokers of a certain antiquity, I deplore the difference between this and the ‘old' Three Nuns. Is this just the usual kind of Old Fogey talk (‘things wuz different in my day, son')? To some extent, maybe; but:

(a) TN used to come in little discs cut off a rope (like G & H's Curly Cut). It doesn't any more, and this has affected its smoking quality. Now it tends to dry out quicker, or dry out in the shop, and thus burn faster and hotter.

(b) As is so often true of old faves, it doesn't come in tins any more; so, again, it gets drier (and thus faster and hotter) quicker; it's also harder to store, of course.

(c) Most significant of all, the Perique that gave the ‘old' TN it's distinctive spicy, saffrony flavour is left out of the ‘new' TN. Back in the day there used to be a slightly cheaper ‘empire blend' version of TN, without the Perique. That, in effect, is what the ‘new' TN is. (By experimenting with Perique and G & H's Curly Cut, you could probably clone the old TN, or come quite close to it.)

The above remarks are made from a UK point of view; my impression from earlier reviews is that some of them (e.g. you can't get it in a tin) are not true in the USA.

Having had the predictable good-old-days grouch, I have to say that even in its debased modern form, TN is a good tobacco for someone who likes an unscented and straightforward smoke without an eye-watering nicotine content. Yes, a lot of the old magic has gone, and TN has joined Gold Block and Mellow Virginia on the supermarket shelves. In one sense, it's a disgrace to market this TN as if it were the same as it was back in the day, because it just isn't. On the other hand, it still has a very full, satisfying and natural flavour. There's some topping, I think, but it's not too intrusive or ‘unnatural.' It enhances rather than overpowers the natural qualities of the tobacco. The room note is pleasant also, and won't distress the wife or upset the servants. One major word of warning: don't for Pete's sake let it dry out, or smoke it dry; it'll fry your tongue if you do, and not taste of anything. In good condition, though, TN is still a fine tobacco for a long smoke in a large bowl. I like it in a big Oom Paul with a cuppa tea. Fings ain't what they used to be, but they're still pretty good. Warmly recommended, though not in the front rank any longer; I'd give it three and a half stars if that were possible.

Update, 7/7/13: TN and Mellow Virginia have now disappeared from my local Tesco. Now there's only Gold Block, St Bruno and Condor Ready Rubbed (even the ghastly Clan has vanished). I wonder how long it will be before they go also.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
Strong Very Mild Extra Full Tolerable

After reading the reviews with much stars, I think I had big expectations from this blend. Sorry for saying this, the taste and strength of this blend are not well proportioned for my taste.

Yes I do like strong blends with nice proportions of perique, but I also look after for a gentle, somehow bitter-sweet, nonacrid taste. Three Nuns left me with a dry and sour mouth.

I will buy some tobacco tasty products at cheaper prices.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have only been able to get the mixture - pouched version of thats what i wil review. This tobacco is very natural and quite surprisingly extremely well blended providing a rich and satisfying taste and a good aroma. I cannot find it anymore and I must say it is abit on the expensive side. I can compare this to Dunhills Elizabethan Mixture. Similar type of tobacco. If you find it, it is definitely worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wosbald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wosbald (111)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The tin aroma is distinctly perique with very woody VA notes. The cut is primarily a thin roll cake admixed with a bit of ribbon. This is best packed in a narrow chamber with small clump of ribbon at the heel upon which are stacked the coins.

The flavor is primarily a subdued and woody bright VA with a pleasant perique presence. Another leaf, perhaps burley, adds a nutty breadth. There seems to be a slight topping which subtly adds to the enjoyment. There is an overall autumnal impression to this blend: moderately sweet, richly woody, and slightly fermented. Due to the cut, the flavor is homogenous throughout the bowl.

Ignoring the fruitless debate of "new vs. old", Three Nuns is rich, smooth, and unique. Though not so iconic as to justify ignoring other VA/Pers whilst on the road to Nuns, this is well worth the trip. For the stacking method, the coins seem ideally matched to narrow, 18 or 19 mm chamber gauges.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is based on a small sample, roughly three bowls, from a tin imported from Switzerland that a friend shared with me.

The flavor is somewhat sweet, and malty, for lack of a better term.

The strength isn't overpowering, but it's there.

The perique is obvious, but it doesn't beat you over the head, either.

I really enjoyed smoking this blend, but it doesn't strike me as the kind of tobacco I'd like to smoke every day, so I'm giving it three stars. I could see where for some folks it would really hit the spot, though.

Definitely quality in the manufacture, no stems, no twigs, very cute little mini coins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scottish Steve Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scottish Steve (14)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Addendum:- Please ignore the following review, as I've just learned the UK. pouched 3N is nothing to do with this blend!

Yet another supermarket blend with nothing to offer. I thought there might've been something subtle I've been missing after reading some of the reviews so I bought another pouch to no avail. There's just nothing there! It's not like McBaren's Old Navy, which is laid back but complex and tasty, despite being mild. Three Nuns just tastes of nothing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Invigilator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Invigilator (14)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

I used to smoke the "real" Three Nuns, starting when I took up the pipe way back in the 60's, and a very fine smoke it was too, a regular of mine.

Imagine then my horror when I bought a pouch of the current product. This is a drab, insipid creation totally unworthy of the name under which it masquerades. My one star is for the current product: the original deserved the full four.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cyclebum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cyclebum (6)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I have no clue how the "old" Three Nuns tasted like, according to many reviews it must have been awesome. What I don't get is that many of those nostalgic "old" Three Nuns lovers review the "new" Three nuns as rubbish. I tried this tobacco over and over in different shapes of pipes and every time it came through amazingly well. I just love this tobacco, it's smooth, velvety and strong and peppery at the same time. I'm not a newbie, I smoked dozens of different tobacco's and Three Nuns is definitely one of the best and one I always come back to. I know it's hard to obtain in the USA, so if any of you out there are in desperate need of some tins just send me an e-mail at I live in Europe and I would be happy to help you out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

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

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

update: apparently, orlik has dropped the perique and added some kentucky. this must mean that the fruity flavour is not from the perique but from some flavouring. makes sense, as it gurgles through the last third...

04/20/2007. okay, so this is the danish version, tinned. i remember smoking TN 20 years ago, and finding it sharp, bitter, biting and very strong. this version is rather sharp, slightly bitter, fruity (casing as well as some perique), sweet, medium strength. it wasn't my favourite then, and it isn't now. not bad tobacco, though.

for va-pers, i very much prefer escudo/de luxe navy rolls or st. james flake, with their much more clear and clean taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I smoked this stuff and loved it years ago, before putting the pipe down in favour of cigarettes. I have come back to the pipe and thought I would revisit. I am convinced this is not the same tobacco. It is a 'high street' brand in the UK - available at newsagents.

Pouch aroma is of plain, mature, spicy tobacco. The cut discs have gone and it is a plain ready rubbed. Lights easily, lots of smoke and a good first impression of a balanced Virginia with a hint of perique. Some of the 'nuttiness' I remember coming though. But then it falls apart. I found it smoking very wet and gurgly, the bite getting strong and the flavour getting monochrome. Quite possibly me going at it too hard, but I have not had the experience with other blends.

Quite a disappointment for me, but for an easily available medium-strength tobacco it is not all bad. There are better blends out there though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I smoked the pouch version, still made in the U.K. and cheaper - in price only-than the Danish tin version .

A very long cut of brown leaf, king of shaggy cut, with a 1/3 proportion of black leaf. Aroma of pure tobacco, on the spicey but not peppery, side.

Easy to fill, quite fun to smoke, smokes dry and becomes a bit stronger past mid-bowl.

And a nice compact pouch to conveniently put in one's pocket.

Simple, no messing around, traditional bakkie like they made them in the good old days.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Holy Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Holy Smoke (26)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

If this was once one of the great blends, it certainly isn't now.

After reading the reviews of the ready rubbed form of TN I wasn't expecting anything profound, and in this respect I wasn't let down. In most respects TN RR is similar to St. Bruno RR, albeit with the addition of a touch of perique, some chalky lime thrown in and most of the richness removed.

This is an enjoyable blend and one that I will revisit again but, it is nought in comparison Dunhill?s De Luxe and many other VaPers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

IMHO,the tobak is "THE" benchmark for all Va/Per blends! With only 2 tins remaining it will be brought out only for special flights to destinations only known to you in search of more "coins". Enjoy the journey!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is a good simple smoke. One up from St Bruno ready rubbed in my book. You can buy it in 25g pouches here in the UK.

Made by the same people as St Bruno (even though it is marketed as "Bells") I believe and packaging very similar - simple plastic pouch. It is lighter in taste and appearance than St Bruno RR however but burns just as well. More stringy to pack but no way a chore. Not as rich a smoke but more nutty and interesting in taste.

A good virginia tobacco to have in your rotation as it does little wrong.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Casper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Casper (22)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Have a few tins from trips and gifts. I dedicated a Savinelli to this blend as it is sooooo mild I couldn't taste anything. In trying to get some flavour I was stung by the virginias - save your money and try something else. If the old version was something, ( I never tried the old version), this is not what it was. Tin aroma is nice if nothing else.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Semois Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Semois (18)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Nice smoke. Could be a bit stronger. Not that much of perique in it. Doesn't bite at all. A bit to moist in the beginning and therefore not burning that well, but after some drying out it's ok. The taste is a bit stronger too when dried out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After much searching, I acquired 2 tins of Three Nuns on Ebay. Both tins are at least ten years old. I have never smoked Three Nuns before, and having missed the opportunity when it was readily available back in the early 1990's, I was looking forward to the experience. Now, I lucked out and bought these tins for $25 a piece,(the same tin as the picture above) and seeing how much some are paying for the same, I thought it a very good deal. Upon opening the tin I was greeted by the many small spun discs of tobacco that I have heard so many good things about...and seeing the sugar crystals that have formed on the discs, I knew I was in for a treat! I rubbed the discs out and filled a old Peterson "K Briar" and sat back and lit up. Ladies and Gentleman, this has to be the finest Va/Per I have ever smoked! The flavor remained consistent all the way down the bowl and required few relights. It burned to a fine white ash and left me wanting more! Now I love Escudo, but this is a whole two flights of stairs up, IMHO! I am just sorry this fine blend is no longer readily available! Highly Recommended!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Maimonides Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Maimonides (70)
Very Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

If you are dying to try a discontinued in US famed legend, you will have to go through a few hoops and pay fantastic shipping rates. 'SYNJECO' will ship european tobaccos right out of their swiss mailbox. Look up 'Three Nuns Tobacco at Yahoo, It comes right up. This is a good Va/mild per blend. Its unusual charecteristic to me is that it carries a good bit of 'power' yet remains smooth as if it weren't. I am not likely to spend so much to obtain when hundreds of VA/per blends are readily availible, but if you must- as of this writing, it is 9.92 US to a 50g tin. Shipping varies by location on the globe. Good Luck!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gho (8)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (24)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (75)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If the current incarnation of Three Nuns isn't up to snuff, as many of the old hands on here suggest, than the original must have truely been heavenly stuff. I've smoked my fair share of vapers over the last couple years and Three Nuns stands up to the best of them. Its strong, slighty sweet and full of flavor. Everything I look for in a vaper. Perhaps its not the most subtle blend out there but dammit it's tasty! Maybe I'm just a sucker for brisk baccies but this stuff is just plain good in my book. Highly recommended for the vaper lover, if you can get your hands on it (I had to get some from a friend in Belgium).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipey (17)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

I had seen the Three Nuns around for years when I was a youngster, and like all things that were everywhere years ago, they are nowhere when you finally want them!

Luckily a good friend and unnamed online pipe dealer and pressed tobacco expert sent me a tin from his own "Private Stash" as it is readily available in Europe (Which is where I am not.) Needless to say, I was eager to pop the seal.

Upon opening, the tin has an interesting sort of warm leathery smell, with a little zingyness from the perique (Which is not the dominating aspect of this blend IMO).

I would call this a VA with a hint of Perique to be honest, but its excellent nun the less (Sorry, couldnt resist :))...

The tobacco is very strong, but this isnt imtimidating, its a cool and flavour filled mixture that could be a nightcap or an all dayer, and seems to satisfy my needs whenever I decide to imbibe. I do find the rounds are best in a think walled group 3, packed whole and with rubbed out bits between the rounds sortof in layers, and its a little wet in the tin. I usually take a few rounds in a leather tobacco pouch with me and let them sit in the pouch overnight prior to smoking.

Definately not for the faint hearted, this tobacco can get quite strong in the deeper regions of the bowl, hence my smaller pipe size recommendation, but you owe it to your self to try this.

To be around this long The Three Nuns have to be doing something right!

Delicious - cellar lots.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Some tobaccos have attained legendary status for good or ill. I have been considering a shot at Three Nuns and was recently gifted with some (Thanks, J.) :).

The details of this tobacco have been discussed at length. I can only expand upon them.

This is elegant. It has a bit of the sweet refinement of Esoterica's Dunbar and Dorchester - but a slightly earthier taste. The topping - which is in fact very mild - is an enhancement. It does not detract from the subtle yet flavorful taste.

The perique lends a sweetness without too much zing; the cut and texture is lovely and dense.

I recommend this tobacco highly. Do I recommend spending huge amounts on tins of it? I am not sure I am going to go out and bankrupt myself to stock up - but I know I would never turn it down. Some of the C+D attempts at homage to this blend (Three Friars) are good, but not quite at the unique aged taste. Dunbar may be a favorable substitute... but there is something unique about this blend that makes at least trying it worthwhile.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Ah, how does one review such a classic? Well, for me it started by blowing quite a wad of cash on some 10 year old tins, all with perfect seals. Then there was a sunny, yet cool, Sunday afternoon with a good book, dogs under foot, and my porch. I smoked two bowls of this fine blend: The first in a straight Checkmate Jacono dublin that I have dedicated to only Va/P blends and the second in a giant straight Cherrywood Ardor ? a great pipe for anything that contains Va.

Tin aroma: Sweet, musty, figgy, dark, dried or rotting fruit.

Tin appearance: Small to medium sized ?coins? ? These remind me of those in Escudo, though these are smaller and much, much darker.

First Bowl: I fully rubbed out this weed for the first bowl, loaded it and fired it up. Wow, I must say that this is indeed a classic worthy of its reputation. I notice instantly that the back of my throat is starting to tingle, which indicated that there is something powerful in the bowl. The flavor is somewhat more muted than what I had expected, though there was plenty of smoke and a great aroma in the air. The perique is evident and the Va takes the backseat. The bowl smoked all the way down to the heel only during the last five minutes or so becoming bitter and hot.

Second Bowl: In the Ardor, I decided not to rub out the coins, but rather pack them into the bowl and topping off with some crumbs in order to make lighting easier. Once lit, tamped and relit, this weed really starts to sing. Not rubbing out the flakes it the way to go: The flavor is much richer, deeper and the volume of smoke just doesn?t want to quit. I must admit that about half way through this bowl, I noticed that I wasn?t starting to feel well ? I can only attribute this to the strength of this blend.

Conclusions: I feel that to have had such an excellent well aged classic, I am lucky. However, I also feel that there are some modern blends that can hold a flame to this, but only time will tell. Most notably, Solani 633 has very similar burning properties and I suspect will age in a similar way. Aged (3 years plus) Escudo follows this line as well.

I?m glad I bought these tins, and I want to finish the one tin I?ve opened. But as to ?missing? this blend, I don?t. I will get to the other tins, in time, but there is a good chance that 2 or 3 may end up on a reputable auction site.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FiveRings Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiveRings (21)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Extraordinary. IMO Three Nuns is one of the very best blends -regardless of components, one can smoke. Sweet, tasty, complex, slow burning with magnificent flavor that stays with you to the very end. A top favorite blend, that I will cellar as much as I can.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Addendum: Much of the disparity in these reviews is due to two very different tobaccos using the same name. The tinned version is coin-cut, and is simply magnificent. The pouch version is rubbed out and is one of the worst tobaccos ever blended. Many of the poor reviews are of the pouch version, so adjust as needed.

------------- I won't mince words here. This is probably the best tobacco in current production, the best tobacco that I have ever had. Tobaccos will come and go on "Top 10" lists, but Three Nuns never fails to be at or near the top, year after year. A "coin" form Virginia/Perique mixture, it is smooth and strong, naturally sweet and spicy, complex and straightforward,intensely satisfying. It is not inexpensive, because it can only be purchased from European tobacconists, but I have more of this tobacco in stock than any other. If you haven't tried Three Nuns (the TIN version), you haven't really smoked a VA/P. (2001)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puf (10)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Recently boughht a tin of this after browsing through reviews, and was both pleasantly surprised and reminded of my sometimes less than perfect smoking technique....

Tin aroms is absolutely wonderful; not in a way that makes you want to eat the stuff, but in a delicious smoky fermented way. Normally I like tobacco to be fairly moist out of the box, but this was a bit too much. The tobacco comes in small coins which I don't bother to rub out before packing.

Smoking: the wonderful tin aroma translates very well into the smoke itself, but at the time of writing I have yet to master this blend; either it burns my tongue, or knocks me out with its high nicotine content. Also, I find the taste turns quite bitter halfway through the bowl, a problem I recognize from other VA/P blends like Larsen Navy Flake.

I recommend this to everyone with a taste for blends with little or no casing, but it evidently takes some experience and technique to get the most out of it

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (109)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pocket Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pocket (27)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This is a strong tabacco. At first I taste the virgina, but when the tabacco is really burning the perique comes in with a delightfull strongness. It does not bite at all. Only grey and white ashes is what is left. A great tobacco. I love English blends. However not every tobacco-shop here in Holland has it the better shops sell it! Wife rating: "hmm, smells good"!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

There are several versions of Three Nuns floating around, so I?ll make it easy on myself and say that the tin I had looked just like the one at the top of this page. On the edge of the lid it says : Made in Denmark under license of Imperial Tobacco Limited England. The tin was describe to me as being ?several years old?.

When I first opened the tin, I knew I was in for a treat. A nice clean semi-fermented smell and here and there were a few sugar crystals. ?I can?t wait!? But I had to? it was a bit damp for my taste.

Initial bowls were smoked fully rubbed out, and finally I settled into switching back and forth between rubbing it and stacking it. The taste was fairly mild when rubbed, more pronounced when stacked. The Perique is quite subdued when you rub this stuff out. When stacked, this is a very slow burning tobacco. For reference: smoking steadily, a Stanwell Legend shape #63 lasted almost two hours. And that isn?t what I would call a big bowl!

I don?t have much left in this tin, and I haven?t run across any more of it, but I will keep looking. When I am in the mood for something lighter than Escudo, yet still retains depth and complexity, the Nuns will get my vote. This blend is subtle and complex, and the Perique is there in perfect measure. Highly recommended. Of course, my rating is a pipe-dream.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeltaSnake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeltaSnake (31)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to smoke this one, along with another flake that Dunhill doesn't sell anymore (their dark flake). The flake shape to me didn't add anything one way or another to the flavor or burning qualities, but I do agree with many of the other reviewers, it was a prime slice in it's older days. I liked the Dunhill a bit better, but you couldn't beat that dark, deep flavor. My recommendation is only based on it being rare in my neck of the woods. I'd keep a tin on hand if I could find it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

J M Hines Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J M Hines (5)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Although I smoke english mostly. I recently purchased two tins of this Great tobacco.A great change of pace.This tobacco smokes cooler if you stack the discs.Use a little loose on top to light up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dwise (25)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

As you probably know, there is a controversy among Nun lovers (I can't believe I just typed that) regarding the original English-made blend and the current one manufactured by Imperial. Many of those familiar with the English original believe it to be far superior to the current production. Others say there is no difference. In case you missed the four stars at the top of this review, I fall into the latter category. To me the Imperial version tastes just as good as the original -- with one very important caveat, which will become clear shortly.

I came to Three Nuns late in the game, having ignored it when it was readily available here. But once I started hearing about its reputation on the Internet, and my curiosity was piqued. I was able to find a tin of the original English version, James B. Russell import sticker and all. Upon opening it, I was greeted by a mass of delightful little discs, reminiscent of Escudo but smaller, with an enticing russet color. I lightly rubbed some out (sorry, folks -- I think stacking discs is more about playing with your food than properly packing a pipe), and eagerly lit up.

Everything I'd heard about this blend was true. It has some of the richest flavor of any English blend, redolent of cinnamon cookies and a smoky hint of good Scottish whiskey! I'd swear this stuff has some kind of cased burley or cavendish in it, but there was no odor at all other than that of pure tobacco. Good lord, but this was great stuff.

When at last the tin disappeared, I discovered a European supplier -- and promptly ordered a case of the stuff. I had heard about the dreadful pouch version, but since these were tins I assumed I was getting old stock. When the package arrived I eagerly opened one, saw the discs, and filled my pipe...

In the words of Fred Willard in "A Mighty Wind": Wha' hoppen'??

The basic flavor components were there, but the experience was boring and flat. It was like smoking a Xerox of a carbon of the original. I finished the tin, but each bowl was a hollow experience. Soon thereafter, I learned about the change in manufacture, and about those who felt disappointed by the European version. Oh, well, maybe I can sell all these tins on Ebay someday. And off into my attic the box of tins went. And there they stayed, for almost two years.

Until a few months ago, when I happened to encounter the box again. I pulled out a tin. What the hell, I thought -- this stuff isn't getting any more valuable. But inside, I was desperate to re-experience the pleasure that 100-gram tin had given me 30 months earlier.

I popped the tin -- and immediately noticed that crystal had appears on the discs, the classic sign of aging. The discs in my original James B. Russell tin also had crystals. Would this mean the Imperial blend had improved with age?

Long story short: that's exactly what it meant.

Now, I am no great believer in aging tobaccos. I don't always feel the fermentation process improves the flavor -- let's face it, basically we're talking about smoking rotted vegetable matter. But in the case of Imperial Three Nuns, it makes a HUGE difference.

And so I say the Imperial version of the Nuns is quite possibly the equal of the original Bell's -- provided you let it sit for a year or two. Is the current version equal to the original's heaven-parting revelatory powers? Almost. Maybe ninety-five percent. But sometimes ninety-five percent is enough.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is special tobacco. First, it takes some effort to get it in the USA. Second, the packaging presentation is classic, as is the tobacco preparation. Third, it is just downright delicious. Whatever the previous manifestations of Three Nuns were, this is worthy on its own.

Upon opening the tin, it smells like sugar-cured bacon. The rollcake coins are moist and, for me, require a bit of drying intentionally. If you wait for the moisture to reduce in the tin over time, you have a long wait ahead of you.

I seem to get the most performance from this blend by slightly separating it with my finger tips, having tried practically every other suggestion (stacking, rolling, chopping).

I recommend small to medium sized pipes here. This would be a hammer blow in a group 5+ due to the Perique and difficulty packing it properly. Do not pack this too tight, for it does compress easily to ruin.

If you want complexity and a migration of flavor throughout the smoke, try Three Nuns. It migrates from bright, sweet flavors, to caramel-toasted effects, then spicy-something from the Perique. The latter is here in no small measure, but not overdone for my preferences (as opposed to Haddo's Delight).

If you behave puffing, it will behave. Stoke this tobacco to your tongue's regret.

Lay some tins down lest it disappear again and reappear in another interpretation less respectable. A benchmark blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Alot of people have already described the glory of this wonderful blend so I will not as the other reviews have mentioned it. I have only had 1 tin of this and I sorely regret that it is gone. As many people there are who want this you would think that it would be made available in the U.S. I would have to say that this is somewhere on my top ten of all time list and probably pretty high up!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Cool,dry,and tasty. A nice shift from traditional english blends. Quite mild too. Not confectioned at all. Has a natural tobacco taste. Two thumbs up!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

2ley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
2ley (11)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I, unfortunately, came to Three Nuns late in the game, as it were. I understand that the tins are no longer available, which is sad.

That said, let me tell you about the first "exquisite" smoke I've ever had. I chose a 1/4 bent BBB, with a big bowl, thinking that it would give me time to appreciate the mix. Putting a little in the bottom of the bowl that I had roughly rubbed out, I then placed the discs directly in the bowl, stacking them as I had heard of from a friend. I took the last disc, rubbed it out a bit, tamped gently and lit.

It took me about three tries, including the charring light, to get the bowl going. My first thought was that it didn't seem to be as full a mouthful of smoke as I was used to from C&D's Irish Blessing, but it still was a nice presence.

The taste was pleasant, less "in your face" than I was used to. As the smoke continued, I started noticing a real smoky flavor, which stayed, but wasn't overwhelming. This taste continued throughout the bowl.

Here's the joy - I didn't relight. Not once. The bowl smoked cleanly to the bottom, with no gurgling, no heat, just flavor which seemed to grow. Above all, after I finished I noticed no strong aftertaste, no sense of ash in my mouth, no burn.

I did get quite a bit of nicotine hit, but not so much as to make the room spin.

If there was a chance to get more, I'd jump on it, and I encourage you to do so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

generalpatton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
generalpatton (5)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Another believer here..........this one is also on my Top 5 favorites list. It's also a blend that noone's ever really come close to duplicating, which an impressive statement in its' own right. If you like Virgina/Perique blends.....this one's a must experience.

I've tried but never been successful with the "stacking the coins" technique. Perhaps it just takes patience and practice but I always end up with something that doesn't draw very well and is tough to keep lit toward the middle of the bowl. I prefer to take a pinch of coins between my fingers and roll them into a loose ball, dropping it into my pipe, tamping lightly and then repeating until the bowl is filled. Some may say I'm not getting the full experience but it works for me.......

It's not available in the States anymore, but once or twice a year I order some from one of the online shops in the UK. With the internet, it's pretty easy to connect with a supply of this wonderful blend......

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Ubiquity Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Ubiquity (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Well, I really tried to like the Nuns, but every time I smoke 'em, I feel like my fingertips have been whacked with a big ruler! I find the Nuns to be bitter, without any developing sweetness. The cut is neat looking, and the tin aroma is nice, but that isn't enough to counter the acrid taste. I'll give it this though, it is CONSISTENTLY acrid all the way down. If you want a good perique smoke, I would venture elswhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a SUPERB smoke. I love the way this stuff smells. I had the privvy to smoke a 3-year aged tin of this stuff. It is truly remarkable. Nutty, sweet, and slightly spicy on the finish. Very full-bodied. This is a VERY hearty smoke, and if I were to give it a personality, I'd say it was noble, assertive, and stout.

The primary flavors (and I'll emphasize) are a nuttiness, and a sweet, almost burnt-sugar taste.

This is an excellent blend. It's too bad it's not available here in the states.

If you want something SLIGHTLY similar, try Escudo Navy Deluxe, but it's not nearly as good.

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BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

You guys hoarding pre-ITG/PLC/Bell's tins of this stuff should count yourselves among the lucky because the leaf in my briars right now is not cutting the mustard as far as I'm concerned and I'm working on a three-year-old tin. I've talked to many an old-timer who gets misty about this leaf, but I fail to see what the fuss is about. Opening the tin, my excitement level is high for the tobacco has all the characteristics of a high quality grass right off the hop. Much to my dismay and disappointment, the flavor never really shows up--I'm puffing away wondering if I'm missing something...and I am: tobacco taste! The virginia here is very sedate, never really developing that toasty sweetness that makes your mouth sing, while the perique makes an even more unremarkable showing--a hint of bitter tang, maybe, but not spicy-zesty-peppery for a minute! I find nothing offensive here, but nothing to write love poems about either. I guess they don't make em like they used to...I for one won't be in a hurry to buy this again soon.

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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.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (141)
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.

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1006)
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!)

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howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked Three Nuns years ago and was happy to come across a tin at a recent pipe show. While the tobacco was similar to what I remembered, I did not find it to exceptional and was not sad to see it go. It is certainly unique, but somewhat bland. Smoking characteristics were good and the disk cut is fun to stack as a change of pace. Nice but not exceptional. 7/2002.

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mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Made by imperial tobacco group PLC. No less an organistion devoted to the production of 2 things ,cigarettes and money. It must irk them having to make pipe tobacco because they really go some trouble to make it as unpleasent as possible . This soggy mess may look like it always did but is not a patch on the orignal stuff. Another example of big is not always best.

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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.

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TDE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TDE (10)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Bell?s Three Nuns is a famous old tobacco once made in England but now manufactured in Denmark by Imperial Tobacco. The once familiar brown and orange tins containing the original recipe are no longer seen in Canada; even the newer 50g pouch mixture is rare. This mix contains fire-cured and sun-cured tobaccos, Black Cavendish, Brazilian Virginia and small amounts of Perique. Sight, Touch & Aroma The pouched version of Three Nuns is light brown in colour with the odd shred of black. It is a moderately fine-cut shag with an open-pouch aroma that emits the pungency of Perique ? and though its not stated to be in the mix ? I sense a trace of Latakia in the background.

Preparation & Smoking: Three Nuns can be packed into ones pipe straight from the pouch or rubbed to suit. Easy to light and smoke, a few tamps during the burn keeps things smouldering nicely. It burns at a moderate speed with easy draws.

Flavour: Three Nuns flavour starts out rather slow but quickly builds to a faintly sweet-and-sour taste with an undercurrent of piquancy I associate with stewed plums. Because it takes a while for the Perique to establish, the last half of the bowl is better than the first. Three Nuns can be a mellow, cool smoke but this spicy mixture can bite if not drawn on slowly and with respect.

Room Note: The room note is woodsy, almost acrid, and the overall weight of the fragrance is somewhat heavy and unappealing for many wives and tolerant non-smokers.

Economics: Three Nuns is a mid-priced tobacco that can burn relatively slow with correct packing. As such I feel this mixture represents a moderately economic smoke.

Last Words: One of the classic tobaccos of the 20th century, however I cannot quite agree with its motto of 'None Finer'. You may want to try Escudo Navy Deluxe, Germain?s Royal Jersey Perique Mix or Solani Blend 633 if you want to continue the search for a definitive Perique mix you can call your own. I rate the pouched version of Three Nuns at 3 of 5 stars.

©Copyright, Rivendel Books 2001 ®

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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.

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The benchmark for perique tobacco in my book . My search for similar tobaccos is only so that I don't smoke all the Nuns out of my cellar too quickly .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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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pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable to Strong

This Jew has never loved any Three Nuns more than this Three Nuns.... OK, so I am not a comedian... Sue me. I AM a big fan of this tobacco, however. This is a wonderful blend which comes in little attractive coins (much more manageable than Escudo) which I prefer to stack in my pipes. It can be smoked rubbed out, of course, but I find the flavor to be enhanced by the stacking method- it aslo burns much slower which is important with this tobacco. The tin aroma is sublime, a rich musky/sweet/spicy aroma which demands to be smoked immediately. It lights fairly easily (especially with some rubbed out on top of the stacked coins) and it burns well. The interplay wiht the virginia and perique is fantastic. The smoke starts out a bit sweet with the virginias high suger making the first puff deliciously sweet, the perique starts out slow but soon announces it's presence, and there is some perique in this VA/Perique. The perique continues to rear it's head as the bowl progresses, sometimes subtly sometimes rather in your face. I find Three nuns to be a wonderful after dinner smoke as it's strength (which can be rather stong towards the bottom) suits my post-dinner palate very well indeed. This is the kind of blend that makes me wish I still drank- I imagine it would go very well with either wine or Scotch (single malt, of course). I am a fan of the VA/perique blends and of them all I would have to say 3 Nuns is probably one of my favorites, it is delicious, rather strong compared to it's competition, and quite simply delicious. I have never gotten bored smoking a bowl of the three Nuns. I prefer it in tall but thin (about the diameter of one fo tnhe coins or slightly larger) bowls. The three ladeis also age very well. Do NOT confuse this with the pouch version. I have never smoked the pouch, but I have been warned several times that it sucks; and is not even the same tobacco. As for the Ladies in a tin, well them I can vouch for.

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farndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
farndog (22)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Three Nuns is probably my all time favourite tobacco. Its reputation proceeds it and is well-deserved. Three Nuns is cut into sprials or coins much like Escudo, except a little smaller. Three Nuns smells almost alcoholic in the tin, with a tinge of a spice. I always stack the Three Nuns coins like quarters with some loose tobacco on top to ease lighting. Really is easier than it sounds. Puffing on the unlit pipe is a treat that can be savored for 20 minutes in itself. Once lit the Nuns come alive with smoothness and spiciness all at once. The taste is out of this world, and unmatched by nothing else I have tried. The only draw back to Three Nuns is that it can whallop you with its strength, so that limits me to a small pipe. Too bad this tobacco is not widely available anymore - this is a great tobacco.

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trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

My newest favorite. This is a Virginia/Perique blend pressed and cut into small slices, making it a very different smoking experience. It can be smoked crumbled or in pressed form - the latter by simply stacking the little discs into the bowl. I prefer it stacked, as the burn is very controlled and cool, and the flavor is beyond yummy. It's very strong and sweet, with the Perique wafting in and out all through the smoke like some ethereal spirit. This is another blend that's vanished from the US due to litigation fears, and this is an incredible crime.

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