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A very harmonious Ready rubbed tobacco of Burley, Virginia and Cavendish. All specially palatable tobaccos with a light and sweet taste.

Notes: Introduced in 1951. Sold in the US as Symphony

BrandMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging100g Tin
CountryDK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild, Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.3
52 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
2
3 star:
26
2 star:
11
1 star:
13
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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (294)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

No big surprises here, if you have already smoked other Burley-based Mac Baren blends.

After having smoked Mixture, Navy Mixture, Golden Blend and Norwood, I can say that this offering is more on the style of the last two of them. The honey/chocolate flavoring is very subtle, and sweetness is moderate. It tastes natural, with good honest tobacco flavours. Quite mild, soft and well-mannered, extremely well balanced. Of course, to my taste it lacks some punch or extra sparkle: Mixture is sweeter, more fragrant and complex; Navy Mixture has much more body and some more sweetness; Golden Blend is nuttier, more intense and Burley-oriented. Probably the one it comes closer to is Norwood, the only difference here is the Cavendish and I don't much feel its contribution as the taste alternates between nutty, grassy, slightly sweet and smoky.

As usual with Mac Baren tobaccos, it packs easily and burns great. If smoked sensibly, it doesn't bite at all (contrarily to what some say).

Overall good, but I prefer Mixture and Navy Mixture.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Jeremy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jeremy (19)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I found this blend to be fairly bland in taste, but what makes this a 1-star blend for my tastes is that I am unable to smoke it without getting what is probably the worst tongue bite of any blend I've tried so far. MacB blends are known for their bite in general, but with this particular blend I could draw once or twice and then had to let it go out for a while before continuing, to avoid getting bitten.

Drying it out considerably and rubbing it out to almost powder helped significantly, but it was still too full of bite for me to really enjoy it, particularly given the flat taste it offered.

EDIT MAY 2010: Tried a tin from my cellar. Had to dry it for a long, long time to keep the bite from killing my tongue, but was still severe. Once dried out to almost brittle, the taste was much more appreciated than the last time I tried a tin. I still don't know how people can say this doesn't bite, but with a well aged tin left open for a long time, the flavor comes out and can be appreciated. Smoke with a cold drink nearby.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

I'm not a MacBaren fan; so many of their blends burn quite hot for me, while delivering little flavor. But my initial bowls of Symphony nearly 25 years ago made a great impression on me at the time (I called it "rich" and "marvelous"), and I decided to revisit it as a much more-experienced pipe smoker.

The tin aroma immediately triggered pleasant memories. But, alas, it's no longer a "marvelous" blend to me. While the aroma is rich and enjoyable -- both in the tin and in the smoke -- and this smokes very cool (especially for a MacBaren blend), there was virtually no flavor here. To my palate, it was so light as to be nearly tasteless. And, unfortunately, that's not what I'm looking for in a tobacco.

But, oh, did that aroma bring back memories!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

cell biologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cell biologist (21)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Strong Very Mild Very Pleasant

I agree with other reviewers who say that Symphony burns hot and doesn?t taste like much. I have gotten it to taste good in a very large bowl (3/4 x 2 1/4?). If you make it to the bottom quarter of the bowl, it can taste nice, the smoke has the sweet honey tin smell coupled with black tea, with notes reminiscent of that good smell when someone nearby has just lit a cigarette. The problem with this tobacco is that its very difficult to get the burn rate just right, almost impossible the first three-quarters of the bowl; mostly it?s too hot and somewhat bitter and sharp in the nose. Some tobaccos are finicky but will reward the smoker with a burst of intense flavor once you get the rhythm just right. Symphony is Very finicky and the reward for getting the rhythm just right is only mildly interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

supersmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
supersmoke (12)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

Soooo ! this one needs to be smoked really slowly I thought as my every day Peterson went into meltdown along with my tounge.later on that evening at home I had another go with it in an old Falcon and percevered. I took an hour to gently smoke one bowel full and it was one of the most blandest and tasteless tobaccos i have ever had.

i could not taste any Virginia and I cannot see how this could be be described as a Cavandish.Though the pouch aroma was not unpleasant. Even with very gentle smoking it left a slight soapy taste in my mouth.

i enjoy a lot of MacBaren's tobacco and they probobly sell a lot of this stuff or they would not make it.Perhaps it is one for the real experts to ponder over but if a tase is that difficult to detect is it worth it.

Because it is so tastless it is easy to mix in with any flavoured tobacco which is what I am going to do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

smoke'n joe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoke'n joe (6)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

So I got this new Savinelli pipe and decided to give it a go. I loaded it with MB symphony and started puffing. Somethings wrong... I don't taste anything. I guess I forgot to light the pipe! Wait... then why is my mouth on fire? Oh God! I did light it, but there is almost no taste. But what it lacks in taste it makes up for in heat. Fair trade I guess...

This smoke is OK if you like something very mild and natural tasting, but be careful, it burns very hot. The only way to smoke it is by packing the bowl very lightly and smoking very slowly. GOOD LUCK!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is not a heavy tobacco, the flavors can be best described as delicate. Nothing jumps up and grabs your attention.

The flavor is pleasant, kind of nutty with a sweetness. The description says it has tender notes of chocolate. Well, I guess it could be chocolate.

You have to pay attention to this one. If you look for it, the flavors are there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Black Seamus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black Seamus (56)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

My favorite tobacconist got some tins of Symphony in, and since I really enjoy Burley London Blend, I thought I'd give it a try. I have learned to really enjoy high quality Burley blends via BLB and several of the C&D offerings. I also enjoy a bowl of Prince Albert on a regular basis.

Symphony is not a terrible tobacco, but I found it to be bland and rather tasteless. It burns hot and has a tendency to bite.

I won't be buying this one again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Maybe I just don't like burley-predominate blends, but this tobacco left a sense of something missing or out of place.

In the tin a light smell of stewed figs seems to promise something more substantial, but the smoked tobac somehow has even less character. It is smooth and even-burning, but those factors seem to have been gained by sacrificing any notable qualities.

I've tried using this as a base for blending, but amazingly it somehow still competes rather than harmonizes with other tobaccos even though it is such bland stuff by itself.

It's not that this is poor quality leaf or even unpleasant; it's just a very background-wallpaper-elevator-music kind of blend. And daddy's not here to stand against the wall. He's here to juke, baby.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

donk93953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donk93953 (18)
★☆☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

After 5 bowls of this I wondered why I wasted my time. Oh yes, I remember..in scientific experiment, even if you fail, or are wrong, it is a success, because you know no to go down that road again. Ok, wait, wait...no in this case it doesnt make any difference....Tasteless, flat...are there people that actually smoke this?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

More a lean, transparent ?quartet? than a sonorous symphony, MacBaren?s ?Symphony? describes itself as a rubbed out Virginia cake with hints of burley and Cavendish. If my memory serves me, the cut reminds me of something along the lines of Amphora Red In the tin it has that distinctive Douwe Egberts topping, though this is made in Denmark, not Holland. And yes, there is a slightly ?tender? note of chocolate in the taste, but especially in the nose. This is the kind of blend to keep around for those times when English mixtures may be a bit heavy and you?re not in the mood for an aromatic. A subtle morning or early afternoon tobacco that offers a pure and pleasant smoking experience.

Three of five stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (73)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This burley blend along with Mac Baren's others (except Navy Flake) are just horrorably flat and bland. Despite the listed ingrediants and the casing this is the most bland and unnotable of them all. Its' ingredients seemed to have rendered themselves into irrelevancy. It is comprised of burley with a smidgen of black cavendish and an undetectable amount of virginia. The tin aroma is suggestive of molasses. The taste is just nothing there. I can't figure out why all these years I have been smoking it is still there, still being made, smoked by whom? Somebody must like this but not I!

- Not Recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Bland tobacco that should be,by the ingredients used,better than this. Mac Baren sure has a way of screwing up good tobacco with all that honey.

Anyway, here we have Virginia (so they say) and Burley,(so they say) mixed together. It's suppose to be such a great tobacco,but be warned brother of the briar,you will get third degree burns on your tounge. Mac Baren how do you stay in buisness?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Ian Weeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian Weeks (36)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I wonder, is it me or do almost all MacBaren blends smoke on the hot side. When I ease off to the point of a soft occasional pull this blend is excellent and offers a great smoke otherwise it smokes awfully wet. I subscribe to the school of thought that the whole secret to a great smoke is the pack and the draft and this blend defies this law. I smoke this blend but not every day, and when I do I am careful, I recommend this weed but carefully. Smoked within its own realm of rules it provides an enjoyable taste. Update: I have not purchased another tin of this weed for the same reason I have not purchased Rollcake. MacBaren blends smoke too wet for me, and thus require far too much maintanance. This blend tastes wonderful, but not that wonderful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (49)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

This is a very mild, low in flavor blend to my taste anyway. I know there are those who like this tobacco, and it's not bad, but why would you smoke it unless you don't have anyother blend on hand. It is ready rubbed, and easy to pack, burns smoothly, but on the hot side. The flavor is a bit acidic, a hint of what Virginia can be like in terms of sweetness. The Cavendish does not seem to do much, and the burley makes it economical to produce and to buy. Do yourself a favor and go for some one else's Virginia blend. Mac Baron makes some blends that I like a lot , but this is not one of them. Somebody pass the plumcake please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Ubiquity Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Ubiquity (16)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I believe this is now called Harmony. This tobacco smells pretty good in the can, but the taste is pretty uninteresting. On first light the Burley and Cavendish give you a little toasty sweetness that is not unpleasant. On down the bowl, the Virginias never really come out to play, and the Burley gets a bit strong and harsh. This is a fairly inexpensive tobacco, and I suppose that for the price it is fine, but frankly it is a bit boring. I can't imagine it being an all day smoke, because there is nothing to catch ones interest in the flavor department.

After drying some out I did find a hidden bonus: it is a great tobacco for blending with Mature Virginias and also overly sweet aromatics that you may like but find overbearing. I plan on using the remainder of my tin as a blending tobacco with some other flakes that need a little taming.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Overall not too bad. It has some nice light nuttiness from the burley and a little tang from the virginia. The cavendish just seems to add a dull, bland, background to the blend. Didn't get any tongue bite from it which surprises me. Overall, its a very light, very mild, plain smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bobz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bobz (3)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Mild sweetness, easy to light & cool burn, nice flavor & good aroma

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cheffy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cheffy (1)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I've tried three of the Mac Baren blends so far - Club Blend, Golden Extra, and now Symphony. Of the three I like this one the least. It seems fairly one dimensional in taste and has a bit of a bite, though the tobacco was a bit dry when I recieved it, so that may be a factor. It burns well right down to the bottom, but the taste starts out just OK and gets worse toward the end. There are other blends that that I have found that I think are more satisfying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sirveaux Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sirveaux (3)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I enjoy this tobacco, especially, as other reviews have noted, when I'm not in the mood for anything in particular. There is a pleasant nuttiness to it, while the advertised chocolate comes through every one in a while. It is easy to smoke, with enough nicotine to let you know that I am smoking, but not enough to make my head spin, and it has a pleasant room note (I'm told).

The overall effect is mild, and it is well suited to a morning smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

To my supprise, this is a vey enjoyable smoke. But reading all the negative review and having two 100g tin in my position, I decided to open it and give it a try myself.

When openig the tin there is a nice sweet small to it. After lighting it in the pipe, the honey flavor jumps right out. I started salivating. I really love honey and this is quite delicious to me. Interestigly, I started crave for sweet snack after smoking my pipe.

Best result "i think" is having it after a heavy denner, or to unwind.

Burns evenly and cool. Little or soft draw to bring up the flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

caddad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
caddad (53)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I purchased this I was looking forward to the burley aspect of this blend and had not expected to find what appeared to be more of a virgina blend. That was ok as I like virgina blends also. However, I found once again, that these blends burn very hot for my taste. There is something about these Danish or German blends that always set my mouth on fire! I have tried smoking slower to no avail. I wish it were not so, alas, I once again have a tin I probably will not finish!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (110)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

For some reason which neither scientists nor theologians can explain, this MacBaren blend smokes very cool to me. Nice and light, yet with sweetness that never covers up the quality tobacco.

I experienced the best of all three main components (Burley, VA, Cav). This tobacco is aptly called "Symphony" as the components complemented each other quite harmoniously. It wasn't a mish-mash of different tobaccos fighting for dominance. And it also had a subtly simple aspect to it. The very light top-coat was expertly applied in the right amount, as it never distracted but instead added a little something extra.

It required only a charring light, then one more touch of Colibri...and it required no more maintenance after that. This really allowed me to settle back with a good book and relax with my pipe, which really fit the bill.

As you can tell, I really enjoyed this smoke.

I smoke a lot of MacBaren blends, and this one ranks up there with the best of them.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nick O'Teen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick O'Teen (90)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Yet another blend from Mac Biten that couldn't decide what it wanted to be, so it ended up being boring and hot. Molten lava in a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I am unable to find a single redeeming quality in this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (465)
★☆☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Don't know what else to say about the MB offerings, and I have tried many....this is a mild, nice smelling, hot burning, boring flavored tobacco. Its burley base tries to offset the heat produced by the extra sugars added...at least not propylene glycol...I think they opt for natural sugars....but if you are into the cased tobaccos at a reasonable price then try this one out...just puff slowly or it will bare its fangs.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (140)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I do not generally like Burley based blends; however this tobacco has caught my attention. My local tobacconist carries this in bulk and I thought I would give it a try. Symphony is a sweet nutty blend, that smokes easy and had no tendency to bite. I think this is the first tinned Burley I will purchase again.

On the downside, the drugstore Burleys will no longer be considered for my "simple" tobacco fix. The room aroma was pleasing and I generally have nothing but good things to say about this smooth and tasty blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

One of the more user-friendly MacB blends. Kind of a Golden Extra-light. Very simple and tasty if you are searching for a satisfying smoke with a subtle flavor. Can bite if pushed so go slow for best results. I like it a lot. Bought from a one pound (16 ounces) container at the local B&M. Burley component very high in quality.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

If memory serves me correctly (and the older I get the less I depend on memory) this tobacco blend has some very similar taste sensations to Mac Baren's Virginia #1. It has a honey like odor in the tin and on the tongue, yet not so much as to demand butter and bread along with it. I actually noted I was smoking tobacco, and that of course, is a good thing!

A sweet, light Burley/Virginia with little power but satisfying in small doses.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Another beautiful baccy from Macbaren. I can't tell if this is indeed Symphony or not as the Symphony I bought was in bulk and I bought this in the tin. However, it is very close. This is a rich burley blend with a honey casing that gets richer and better the further down you smoke it. It is relatively cool for a Macbaren blend and I rcommend it as a great light aromatic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

From Mac Baren, not too bad on the tongue bite. This blend stayed quite mellow throughout.

The taste wasn't too horrible. That average Mac Baren taste. The room note was pleasant from both wife point of view and pipe smoker point of view.

I give this a solid two, more than I usually expect from a Mac blend.

Pipe Used: AKB Freehand Meerschaum, H.I.S Egg Bent

Age When Smoked: New

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

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Delicious blend. Honey is defintely here. It packs greately, burns steadily and delivers a honey / caramel flavour with nutty tobacco undertones. A nice rotation to Mixture Original. It is not heavily cased or aromatic, but still it is very fulfiling.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (195)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I am smoking this as a change of pace since many years now, this is a balanced mixture of many tobaccos mixed at equal proportion where it is hard to taste or to recognize any of them, the balance is strict and well calculated, the flavor is particularly neutral and monochromatic (in the good sense) and the only remaining element in the flavor is a taste of "chocolate" with the Mac Baren honey flavoring.

This blend is particularly enjoyed by Mac Baren fans (and I am one of them) who are very familiar with the famous Mac honey casing.

I like to smoke this blend when I am in mood for nothing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

smoking-rob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoking-rob (68)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Even though I have an unopened 30 year old tin of this tobacco on my shelf beckoning me all the time to open it, I bought a new tin yesterday. Now, I have smoked my share of Harmony in the seventies and eighties but what is offered today is not quite as "palatable" as then. But maybe I should stop comparing Mac Baren of 25-30 years ago to that which they offer nowadays. This morning, after an airing of the tin overnight, I noticed the smokey smell of their Original Cavendish, a dark fired tobacco that they use in most of their blends. Together with their usual high quality burley and the minor part of virginia, this is still a harmonious, slightly sweet ready rubbed. I do wonder, however, how long I will be able to resist opening that 30 year old tin...!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (110)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Why the name chnge? Next time I'll try a tin just to re review this Blend.

One of the best tinned Virgina & burley blends. This is simple and dose not smoke hot unles puffed fast. This is a Slow and Soft mellow with honey note to it. A little tricky packing this is actually a german cut tobacco blends like this. You will get more on the floor then in the bowl.Somkes dry and will need to relight it from time to time. Definetly more Virgina then Burley but the burley is definetly there. A good blend to keep around from time to time. You can get away with smoking it in doors with out to much bother to others. Slow puff is best.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Well, I don't usually buy my tobacco in tins, but I found myself in a small tobacco shop over the weekend, and came across some tins of Symphony. On a whim I decided to buy one tin. I only wish that one could light up a sample bowl of an untried product, before getting stuck with an entire tin of something one doesn't like. First of all I thought the tin note was rather bland. It was OK in preparation for smoking. I was disappointed in both the taste and the room note. It starts out quite mild, but after a few minutes it starts to gain a lot of heat, and I don't draw hard on my pipes. The one thing I can say about this product, is that it burns quite well, though I am quite disappointed in the $9.00 I paid for this bland boring tobacco. I'd rather fire up a bowl of Carter Hall. At least I can smell and taste my drugstore pouch of the Carter, and it's a lot cheaper than $9.00

2/3/08 I've changed my mind about this Mac Baren Symphony. After giving it some time to dry out a bit, I have to say that this has turned into a very pleasant smoke. I find it hard to believe that a wee bit of aging, once the tin was opened, would result in so different a tobacco flavor, but indeed this is the result. A nice flavor and a nice room note will have me buying another tin of Symphony for sure!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoke predominately va. flakes, and va. mixtures. I love Navy Flake and Plumcake, even though they have a heavy burley component to them. Symphony has much more burley; it is burley with a smidgen of va. and a dottle of cavendish. But, it works.

This ready rubbed tobacco is very pleasantly cased with the standard MacBaren honey-like flavoring, but it is applied with a light touch. The tobacco smells sweet, but not syrupy, in the tin. The medium brown pieces rub out very easily for the pipe, and the moisture level was perfect upon opening the tin. It lit right away, and after a couple tamps and a relight, it burned all the way down with no trouble. It wasn't 100% bite free, but it required far less attention than other MacBaren blends.

The flavor has been described as 'nutty'. I'm not sure that is how I would describe it, but I see what others are talking about. I found the flavor to be straightforward and simple, but at the same time, not completely one dimensional. The surface layers of flavor are earthy and 'toasty'. The va. plays a minor role in lending natural seetness, while the cavendish kind of holds everything together.

Symphony would never become my favorite smoke. But it's very smokable and very affordable at two bucks an ounce, and for that alone it earns at least one star. I do smoke a couple bowls of it every few days or so. It's not the kind of tobacco that is going to bowl you over, but there is nothing to not like about it. It's simple, fairly tasty, inexpensive, and you can probably get it anywhere (in the world). I guess if it was the only tobacco I could get hold of, I wouldn't be unhappy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

aarok Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aarok (3)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A very nice tobacco from Mac Baren.I did not find the tin aroma very pleasing, but when smoked it was pure satisfaction. Pleasant sweetnes with honey, chocolate and nuts that lasts long and smokes cool. Although not perfect it is an extremely nice everyday smoke.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (50)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

For a long time I had a sort of love/hate relationship with this tobacco, it began with it being the only pouch left at my local tobacconist, so I figured I'd get it for the lack of something better.

Each bowl I had, up until quite recently actually, left me frustrated and unsatisfied, and in the beginning - with a sore tongue. Which I now have drawn the conclusion that it must've been a combination of bad packing, a new pipe and sloppy smoking technique. This is not the kind of tobacco you want to puff carelessly on.

At the time I got my first pouch of Harmony, I was pretty much a rookie (more so than now, anyway), and made many mistakes with it, but inbetween the vicious tonguebite I managed to find hints of what it had to offer, so I kept on smoking it, hoping to reveal its secrets. Then something happened, out of the blue after I packed the final bowl from my first pouch, threw the empty pouch away and wished it good riddance; suddenly that cool, sweet (honey), nutty (reminecent of almonds) and chocolately flavors that the pouch had promised hit me to full extent. What a wonderful surprise it was to finally discover that it wasn't a waste of money after all.

I'll rate it 3 out of 4. Can't give it 4, because it's simply not perfect. It has a tendency of smoking a little wet towards the end of the bowl, and it doesn't handle re-lights too well. After a re-light it's not uncommon for it to get quite harsh in taste, and sometimes a little "soapy". Though, it does help if you don't empty out any ashes, just move it aside, re-light, cover the burning tobacco with the remaining ash, tamp gently and resume smoking.

If it had stayed consistent and as wonderful as the first two thirds of the bowl it would have been close to perfect for me. But who knows, maybe there's some part of my technique that needs to be refined in order for me to fully understand what Harmony is truly about.

I always try to have a pouch handy. I find it to be a good evening tobacco, as it has a little more punch in it than the other Mac Baren's I've smoked thus far.

I agree with it being described as semi-aromatic, and for an experienced pipe smoker with a sweet tooth, it is quite accessible. If you're a newbie, you might want to choose something different and return to this when you've got the hang of packing and smoking technique. All in all, I really like this tobacco.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
★★★☆
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I received a 4 oz tin of this as a gift. I have smoked several bowls in a couple of different pipes. It works best for me when I barely pack it into a GBD prehistoric pot with a rather small bowl.

I tend to forget how much I enjoy this tobacco. I seem to always reach for something with a little more oomph. However, each time I do enjoy a bowl of this I remember how much I like it. It tends to run to the lighter side as far as flavor goes.

I seem to get the best results when I puff it slowly and exhale through the nose. It has a very nice sweetness from the Virginias and the topping. The burley contributes to the overall nice flavor, but does not stand out to me but rather plays second violin to the Virginias.

This smokes down to a nice, dry, fluffy grey ash. Also, somewhat rarely for me, it never seems to get harsh or bitter on the relights.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

I like this tobacco. A lot. When it comes to smoking, I'm definitely a minimalist and this fulfills my needs. I've always enjoyed MacB's London Burley and for me this is very similar to that blend, with some Va and a little cav thrown in for good measure. This is an easy burning blend and should be smoked very slowly, a good idea with any of MacB's weed. It has that nutty and somewhat sweet taste that the burley lovers go for and the Va definitely adds a "little something". The topping is mild and melds into the natural taste of the tobacco. It burns down to a dry ash, with no bitter taste at the end.

If you require complexity or just don't like burley blends, look elsewhere. For those who enjoy a simple, uncomplicated predominantly burley blend, this is worth a try.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Nke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nke (6)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Previous previewers have said pretty much everything. Although I find the taste somewhat stronger without being even nearly too much. Somehow the smoke has a lot more body than strenght. I especially liked the intensifying of the taste towards the bottom. Kept lit extremely well,and burnt quite hot. I would give this three-and-a-half stars,but with these options it`s closer to three.

Update 10/10/05; Now that it has dried up some more,the honey becomes to come through much stronger, almost too much. So now it`s certainly only three stars, or three minus.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (161)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Symphony is a pleasant, light, mild and sweet burley / honey smoke. Like a few others, I found it similar to Amphora Brown I smoked decades ago. For whatever reason, MacB blends don?t bite me like they do to many others nor do they burn particularly hot. In short, I agree with what Paddy?s eloquent description and review below.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 9.0 out of 10.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

This reminds me of Symphony. This is a rich blend with honey casing that gets richer and better in flavor and aroma as you smoke it down. A very high quality semi-aromatic that burns cool and dry making it a pleasent all day smoke.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (79)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This has to be savored slowly, like most MB. Somewhere in the MB literature they advise that tobacco tastes its best when just barely lit. Well, MB tobacco at least.

It can burn hot, especially in the first part of the bowl.

However, the aroma and interplay of the casings with the Burley and VA are quite mysterious and harmonious, just like it says on the tin. So subtle it is difficult to pin down exactly what is going on. Reminds me of pine trees and baked bread on a cold morning, perhaps. Or maybe I'm just imagining things. Anyway, I find this is a good smoke to relax with when I'm listening to music or watching TV, or walking the dog. If I really need a SMOKE, I look elsewhere.

**Update. I still smoke this every now and then. It is my favorite MB blend, though I'll admit there are other similar ones. It seems to actually be better in bulk form, where it represents very good value.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I should preface this review with the fact that this was my all day smoking tobacco for twenty years until I grew to appreciate the Virginias and Virginia flakes and gravitated away from burley. The manufacturer's description is dead accurate: burley, virginia, and cavendish with a mild, neutral sweetener. The tin aroma reminds me of the smell of fresh cut sweet clover and it was the smell of the tin that captured my interest initially. It is a rubbed out pressed tobacco rather than a flake, mostly medium brown with a few darker and lighter components mixed in. The main element of flavor is good quality burley, light, pronounced but not overdone. The burley does not dominate as it does in Edgeworth Sliced or Barbary Coast. The cavendish adds a light sweetness to the blend, but the sweetness is restrained. There are no identifiable flavor additives such as boysenberry, cherry, or extracts to interfere with the tobacco flavor and aroma. And the Virginias balance and mute the burley. The smoke provides the taste of straight tobaccos that have been lightly sweetened. Although I do not consider Symphony to be a highly aromatic tobacco, many have remarked on how much they liked the smell. This tobacco does not bite me. Perhaps I have modulated my puffing rate to accommodate the blend over the years. I think of it as Mac Baren Plumcake lite because the cavendish in Symphony is not nearly as heavily cased and has more tobacco flavor and less sweetener. I consider it to be a great burley/Virginia tobacco. I still keep it on hand as a morning smoke to start the day. I recommend Symphony, especially to the smoker who likes a little burley flavor from time to time. Paddy. ________________________________________________________ 3-30-05 The Symphony I am smoking right now has quite a bit of age on it. Although it can nip if pushed, it is scrumptious, a beautiful blend of Virginia and burley flavors. It is nice to know the old favorites can still deliver, but must take it slow.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Symphony was a very pleasant surprise. To date of the MacBaren line I have tried Plumcake,London Burley and Symphony. This and London Burley are both excellent Burley blends. I must say that I prefer Symphony. Both could easily be all day smokes. Symphony is a bit bolder and has a characteristic chocolate like flavor. It reminds me of Amphora Regular but I definitely prefer Symphony. It packs easily, lights up easily and stays lit. With easy puffing my tongue has remained in good shape. 4 stars.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This has a nice natural sweetness to it, without a whole ton of casing. It's a little milder than I generally like, but on the other hand you don't get as much tongue bite as with some other MB blends, even when you don't baby it. Recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This joins BLB and NF as another burley winner from Macbaren. The casing is a little sweeter and more pronounced than in the other blends, but is still quite discreet. I love the nutty burley and honey sweetness this blend offers during the hot months. A corn cob is the only way to go with a blend like this. I could go on and on. Instead- go get some and try it now!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Another good blend from Mac B. This isn't cased as much as others and there's plenty of true tobacco flavor in there. Typical of other blends in the MB line, it seems to be cased with sugar or honey and this makes it burn a little fast, but it's no real problem. I think it's one of the coolest smoking blends from MB and the pipe doesn't get hot at all. Just a slight tingle of tongue bite after a bowl,too. It's not good enough to replace Virginia #1 or Mixture in my daily rotation, but it's something I'll keep on hand and smoke occasionally.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this tobacco as a change from time to time and have heard called Sym-Phony by others who do not enjoy this tobacco.

Symphony needs to be smoke very slow in a small to medium bowl as it will nip your tongue. this is not really a bad tobacco as I have smoked worse tobaccos than Symphony.

Although this is a Ready Rubbed tobacco, I had to rub a little more to my liking. When first lighting the bowl it was a little harsh, but as the tobacco slowly burned it's way to the bottom it seemed to me that it was not as harsh and presented itself a delightful smoke.

I did notice that Symphony left my mouth drier than usual, but found it burned quite nicely without gurgling or wheezing. The ash was a grayish color and I detected a hint of sweetness as the tobacco neared the bottom of the bowl.

This will be stored on my occasional shelf of tobaccos

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

William Serad dissed this blend in a P&T mag Trial by Fire column. He thinks it burns too hot. He didn't like the flavor either.

Well, it can burn hot if you do not relax and smoke slowly, but the flavor is simply marvelous and you must try it once in your lifetime. It is not MacBaren's top seller for nothing.

The ready rubbed tobacco burns easily and emits enough thick, rich smoke to make a pipester happy. Just remember, smoke it slowly for best results. Yes, a fast burn rate will blister your waggle!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.