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A fine composition of choice Virginias with a fully ripe Cavendish and Syrian Latakia, giving this classical mixture its satisfying taste. Solent is specially manufactured from quality selected tobaccos.

Notes: aka "English Mixture".

From the tin: Solent Mixture was first produced in 1950, making it the oldest brand in the Mac Baren range today. The actual mixture is particularly interesting. Essentially the tobacco consists of sweet Virginia tobaccos mixed with a full-bodied Burley, to which is added the original Mac Baren Cavendish and - making this mixture very special - Syrian Latakia tobacco. Solent Mixture is a full- bodied tobacco with highly distinctive spicy flavour and aroma. A tobacco that harks back to the age of full-rigged ships with the air on board pungent with the smell of salt water, wharfs and tar. An authentic English mixture.

BrandMac Baren
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Latakia, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate, Rum, Vanilla
CutRibbon
Packaging100g Tin
CountryDK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 7 Users

3.3
35 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
18
3 star:
11
2 star:
5
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odinbaal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
odinbaal (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant

I had been staying away from Mac Baren tobaccos for no other reason than they were, paradoxically, easily available and, also paradoxically, cheaper than the competition. Equating availability and non-expensiveness with reduced quality, I was stocking up and smoking the more expensive and rarer blends (I had tried some Mac Barens before, but never for long).

This is quite silly, of course, and I realised my mistake very recently, when I ran out of my "favourite" tobaccos, and had to look into the local Mac Baren offerings. What a pleasant surprise!

In the Solent I found a buried treasure. On opening the tin, I was transported to another world, a world of rich, heavy, almost velvety textures. Like some of the reviewers before me, it is difficult to actually define whether this is an English or an aromatic, or both, or neither. I would personally favour the English label, though, since the Solent reminded me of Esoterica's Penzance in the way an English can be "cooked" in a way to bring out its more sugary contents. It also reminded me of Davidoff's English Mixture but in a stronger incarnation, and also of a crossing between Dunhill's Nightcap and 965.

The aroma and taste are surprisingly the same as what you expect after sniffing the tin's contents, and remain consistent almost to the very end of the bowl; the tobacco is easy to pack, easy to smoke, needing very few relights; the notorious Mac Baren tongue bite was totally absent, even on strong puffing, and the room aroma was very acceptable. No goo, and the ashes were, in English fashion, dry-white with little sticking content.

This is a tobacco which is very multi-dimensional, with intriguingly-rich undertones. Very satiating but at the same time so "tasty" you find yourself disappointed when it is over and run screaming for more!

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (553)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A well blended aromatic/English blend that burns well, cool, and even. There's a taste of rum, and a cocoa note or two from the burley. Overall, the Virginias are earthy and modestly sweet. The black cavendish adds enough of a vanilla hit that well enjoins the other sweet flavors without controlling them. The mild addition of Syrian latakia pushes a smokey and slightly woodsy flavor, adding complimentary strength to the other ingredients. The multiplicity of flavors are lightly amplified by a mild spice that I've tasted in other MacBaren blends. Best smoked in a wide bowl for full effect, and while it may not be an all day smoke for some, it's certainly a mixture you can reach for more than once a day. One of the better crossover blends on the market with enough strength to satisfy non-lat bomb aficionados without disappointing those who crave a stronger latakia presence.

4 people found this review helpful.

Loboatomy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Loboatomy (36)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I consider myself a bit of a MacBarens fancier, having trod through the world of tongue bite and learned how to deal with the strict method and discipline that one needs to maintain if one is to enjoy these excellent tobaccos. Peering over at my "tobacco nook", at this moment I can spy a can of Club B;end, One of Dark Twist,Symphony, Roll Cake, Latakia blend and, of course, Plumcake. If I dig around I'm sure I have a couple of there sweeter aromatics laying around which arent a part of my rotation, as are all of the rest.

So I picked up my father the other day and took the old man for a ride to a newly opened tobacco shop a few towns over which I had spied, closed, on a nightime search for an elusive Sushi Buffet which my girlfriend had heard about. We arrived at the storefront and walked in, and were immediately impressed; large store, quite a few nice pipes in glass cases, a couple of baskets and a nice selection of Kaywoodie and Medico pipes on cards (I know, I know...but I like smoking cheap pipes- Yes I have a couple of "good" pipes including a massive antique meershaum that I couldn't replace for under $300, and I tend not to smoke them). They had a decent selection of tinned tobacco, but all were horribly overpriced (like almost $20 for a 100g tin of Virginia No.1) Their other offerings were similarly priced, and honestly, although they had the usual Gawith and Hoggard, Mcclelland, Petersen and Dunhill stuff, that was about it. Not even a can of Dark Twist, which is what I was hoping to pick up, having gotten slightly low over the past few weeks. My father ruminated through the tobaccos, later making his way to the humidor, I perused through the cheap pipes, eventually finding a nice natural finish Medico Varsity in a Prince shape. I bought it for less than $20, he picked up a fistful of Romeo and Julieta Reserva Reals and we departed...off to our favorite tobacconist which was only about ten miles fown the road.

These guys do it right. They have a modest collection of cigars ensconsed in wall mounted humidors, but the whole back of the narrow shop is dedicated to pipe tobacco. They don't even have a great selection of pipes, and thats fine by me, but their tobacco stock is amazing. Amazing for the fact that they have almost everything that anyone would want to smoke from all of the respective "good brands" and their inventory is constantly ecpanding. I never leave there without at least finding two tind of stuff that I have heard/read about but have never seen before.

So, I walked over to find my Dark Twist and was confronted with a MacBarens tin that caught my eye- "The Solent Mixture". Hmmm...haven't I seen this name on tobaccoreviews.com? Possibly, but I can't quite remember what it is supposed to be like. "English Mixture", Interesting...Cavendish, Virginia and Latakia...sounds a little like Plumkcake (which I love). Ok then...

So I brought it home...along with a packet of "Brindleys Mixture" (which I haven't tried). Had to work overnight the next day and wound up letting the tin sit unopened on my dining room table. Returned from an rough overnight and popped the tin open while sitting at the table.

Wow! What an aroma! Similar to the wonderful aroma one gets from a tin of plumcake but better...citrus and spice mixed with the assertive yet mellow smokiness of latakia. Yellow flaked of tobacco mixed with farker flecks in a compacted ribbon cut lay compressed in the can. I take another a deep draught of the aroma. It smells great, and I am tempted to pack up a bowl and smoke some of it right then and there, but I tink twice about it, and I trundle off to bed to sleep off my previous 30 hour shift. Awakening later in the evening that day, I eat my meal and sit down and ponder the can.

Surely I would have bought this if I had seen it, indeed, I have plowed through most of the macbarens lineup over the years and have honestly enjoyed them al (except for the disgusting ones). The can opens again, once again, that fantastic aroma. The yellow tobacco that was so noticable when I first broke the seal had oxidized slightly during the preceeding twelve hours, and was now more of an ochre color. I loaded up a nicely broken in Half bent and lit up.

Hmmm, a bit like plumcake but much more Latakia. A bit of citrus and a noticable lack of burleyish nuttiness.Some rummy,figgy, honeyish casing, again like Plumcake, but stonger and somehow deeper. Cavendish, but that nice discreet danish cavendish, almost like a Sail Green with its slight licorice and freshly cut oak notes.As the bowl gets goingm I start tasting the grassy, lemony virginias coming through and my tongue tingles slightly, but then again, I'm puffing away. I slow down (not much) and the whole bown shifts gears like clunking a car into fifth gear on the highway. The players come together like singers in a choir in shrieking harmony, like a great chord has been struck. The three tobaccos hit different parts of your mouth simultaneously and the casing wafts softly through the nose in a wonderful way. For about 20 minutes I;m in heaven, keeping up a good puffing cadence, almost completely ignoring the television program I was watching, instead concentrating on this hitherto neverbefore experienced sensation of experienceing an ultimate blend. Slowly, the cavendish and lataka burnt out, leaving only the virginia, now somewhat stoved and peculiarly winey in character for another ten minutes before it ended. I tapped the pipe out leaving a black flecked grey ash and the tiniest bit of blackened dottle in the ahstray. I pondered the can once again, marvelling.

This is by far the best of the MacBaren blends, in my opinion. I love their roll cake tobaccos, but this is better due to it's totality, this is what I always imagine Plumcake is when I haven't smoked it for a while. Hell, this is what Plumcake should be. I can't believe I haven't tried this sooner.

I happen to be one who doesn't believe in the concept of limiting ones self to having one tobacco as an "all day smoke', but over the past few days I have had no urge to smoke anything else.

This is wonderful...I just can't wait until the tine I just ordered arrive.

Highest recommendation.

UPDATE 1/15/09: Still real good, but to be honest, it loses quite a bit of it's charm after being opened for a few weeks once all of the flavor sublimates out into the air. I smoked through almost two tins of this almost exclusively and then switched over to something else...when I returned to the partial tin a month or so later it was a different thing altogether (or maybe I had changed?)

Still is more flavorful than plumcake even after the dry out. Probably best to open a tin and share generously to smoke quickly so that you will always have a fresh tin around. I wonder if the bulk stuff packed into small sealed jars would work to preserve it. Still enjoyable,and definately one of my top three or four MacBarens, but definately not a daily smoke for me at the moment. Probably will not downgrade based on the experience of the fresh tin, but subtract a star if older than 6-8 weeks.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

I am not sure whether The Solent Mixture is still being produced. I have not seen it on any websites that sell MacBaren's blends in quite some time.

I recently opened and smoked my only tin of this mixture. It was quite aged (at least 7 years), and had that wonderful mellowness that can only be brought about by Virginia weed that is a bit long in the tooth.

This is unique in that it has some sort of topping along with the Latakia, Virginia and Cavendish. Unlike many MacBaren's blends, this one did not smoke at all hot. It had no bite and the flavor, while tasty, was just too subdued for me.

If you like Latakia in small doses and want to experience a light Virginia as well, then punch this ticket.

2 people found this review helpful.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (106)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I don't taste the toppings and/or casings that are listed in its description but I do get a very rich and full flavor. It is sweet but not in the cloying way that obliterates the natural taste of the tobacco. It smokes dry and cool without bite or aftertaste. The more I smoke it the better I like it. It might even replace Plumcake and/or Latakia Mixture as my favorite MacBaren blend. Good stuff.

1 person found this review helpful.

Houndstooth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Houndstooth (14)
★★★★
Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I opened my first tin of this a couple months ago, and the only thing I can offer that's not been said already is that it compares with HH Vintage Syrian, but has some topping along with Burley. It makes for a magic that works. Like the HH Syrian, the Latakia is subtle. Complex, with just the right amount of sweetness, and I too think of it as an aromatic crossover. Compliments red wine as well as liquor. My only problem is that its damp out of the tin. It can be smoked that way without sustaining tongue bite, but it won't stay lit. In my part of the Pacific Northwest, its very dry in the summer, while winters are very moist, and when you try to dry tobacco out in the winter, it just doesn't work if you don't have central heat. I was able to dry The Solent for an afternoon at a place with central heat, but I swear I've lost some of the flavor in the process, and I did not overdry. Four stars.

Pipe Used: Butz-Choquin, Bacarra, Petersons

Age When Smoked: July, 2011

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: HH Vintage Syrian.

1 person found this review helpful.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is what Plumcake always wanted to be. It is so much more balanced, smoother, and tastier. I have found my all day English style blend. I agree this is similar to Escotericas And So To Bed, but only halfway there. ASTB has more body, and more topping such as Anise. Excellent blend, but can leave the typical Latakia ashtray taste in the mouth after a while. Not so Solent Mixture. The MB original cavendish goes incredibly well with the Latakia in this blend adding to the smokiness lending the perfect supporting role. The Virginias are quality and are just the right sweetness and the whole leaves a nice lightly sweet aftertaste once a bowl is finished. The rum gives a nice light perfumey note to the taste. It helps meld the tobaccos together. Nice moisture in the tin. More on the dry side than wet. Really perfect. Nice ribbon cut easy to fill a bowl. Lights once and burns even all the way down to a powder. First rate. No tongue bite here. I don't know why it took me so long to try this. Maybe I didn't trust Mac B to produce a good light English. I was wrong. Their full blown HH Vintage Syrian is excellent.

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (555)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Picked up 2 oz in trade with a pipe forum brother. This is one I'd never tried before, even back in the "good old days", so I was anxious to give it a spin.

Not sure if this comes in roll cake form in the tin but it was mostly rubbed out in my sample bag. The bag aroma was of latakia with a mild sweet scent. The flavor was one of superb balance, with each constituent tobacco contributing to the whole without calling attention to themselves. There was a smoky-sweet undertone, with the Syrian latakia lending its kind of winey flavor. The virginia tasted citrusy with the rum cavendish rounding everything out. This is a nice crossover blend and could be enjoyed by latakiaphiles as well as aromatic lovers, not to mention those who love a good virginia. Balanced and harmonious, this is a fine representation of Mac Barens art. In my opinion, Mac Baren produces one classic blend (symphony) and a few other good blends, with a lot of non-distinguished, so-so blends in between. This one definitely falls into the "good" category and is not far from classic. If you like some spicy smokiness with your sweetness, give this one a spin. Makes my occasional rotation for now and may make regular rotation once I spend more time with it.

1 person found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (231)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I could sum this one up in one word really...delicious! I think I have found my favorite English blend in this one. I recieved a tin of this in a trade as i had never smoked it and i tend to like Mac Baren tobaccos. When I got it and opened it, I knew this one was going to be special. It has a spicy sweet sour pungant but wonderful aroma. It is a ribbon cut with mostly a light VA base mottled with some medium colored cavendish and the dark flakes of Latakia. It seemed the perfect moisture content to go ahead and light up a bowl witout letting it sit and dry out, and I was right. Upon lighting my pipe, I was rewarded with a sweet, woodsy, toasty flavor unlike I have ever had before. The mixture of the three tobaccos is perfect and one can even smell the aroma and room note in the air. I find the room note to be fantastic. The Latakia is the main player but not an overwhelming one, the sweet Va comes through well and the cavendish gives it some body and it's own sweet flavor that compliments the Latakia very well. This blend also does not bite, much more gentle than a lot of MB blends. It produces a creamy, medium full tasting smoke and one lit, it practically smokes itself, my pipe never has gone out until the bottom of the pipe stops it. It produces a light grey ash that is powder like when dumped. No moisture in my pipe at all and almost no dottle. Once in awhile we get lucky in finding such a blend that becomes a regular smoke, this will for sure be one for me. I am on my seventh bowl in less than two days and Ican't get enough of it. I highly recommend this blend for both Engliah and aro crossovers.

1 person found this review helpful.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (114)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

The Solent Mixture is an outstanding hybrid/crossover blend of aromatic and english characteristics.

Visually, this blend is comprised of golden ribbons and tan and light brown pieces of Virginia, with a sprinkling of black cavendish and latakia. The tin aroma seems aromatic; vanilla and rum, but with a smoky undertone.

The initial light is in conformity with this blend's appearance and aroma. That is, it has a navy-blend taste with smoke and spice. Throughout the bowl, smoke and spice interplay with rum and a subtle yet somewhat sweet vanilla. But it is not a goopy aromatic. On the contrary, the latakia balances the sweetness out quite nicely.

Unlike many MacBaren blends, there is little tongue bite here.

This is a complex blend that is truly luxurious and a real joy to smoke. It does flavor the bowl, but that just serves to increase and enhance the smoky latakia and rum. I have dedicated a Dunhill Cumberland and a Saseini 5-Dot to this wonderful blend.

I smoke many different types of tobacco, from mild aromatics (a la Affordable Pipes, which makes some real winners) , to Old Gowrie, various other MacBarens, and English and Balkan blends. But I always seem to come back to this tobacco.

The Solent Mixture gets my highest (subjective, naturally) rating. If you are seeking a "hybrid" or are an aromatic smoker looking for a tobacco that will introduce you to english tobaccos, here it is. This blend has earned a solid four out of four stars!

1 person found this review helpful.

InTheBiz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
InTheBiz (4)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren The Solent Mixture dates back to 1950 and is one of the company's original blends. It is English in overall character but, because of the addition of Jamaican Rum, sweeter than a traditional English mixture. 15% Syrian Latakia is used instead of the more common Cyprian variety, and adds it's own aromatic quality, therefore, the roomnote is not as heavy and smokey. The base Virginia tobacco is of high quality, similar to the leaf used in Dark Twist. No bite is experienced if smoked slowly. It is a very attractive tobacco in the tin, with light and dark ribbon cut Virginia and flecks of black Latakia. It packs and burns easily. Flavor is an intriguing mix that I find highly enjoyable and harkens back to a time when most pipe blends used Latakia as an aromatic flavoring, unlike today's vanilla laden blends. Moisture content is just about perfect. The Solent Mixture has none of the Honey topnote common in many Mac Baren tobaccos. "Old Fashioned" is a word that best describes this excellent pipe mixture. Personally, I'm very glad Mac Baren decided to import this blend once again. Overall - Four stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Excellent blending shines through!

Smooth all the way - no negatives - delivers as advertised.

Unique flavor profile for me, which changes somewhat through the bowl. Spice, with latakia smokiness, with the hints of nuts and fruit shifting throughout.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik, Bjarne, Peterson

Age When Smoked: Tin date May 2011

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

firecaptmd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
firecaptmd (4)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Another Mac Baren classic. It reminded me of Esoterica's "And so to Bed." Since that great blend's production has been suspended, this is a worthy substitute. Give it a try!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CubanPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CubanPiper (6)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is an excellent tobacco. It smells good, It burns good, It taste good, It does not bite. You have to dry it, I normally let it dry for about 8 hours, but its smokable just out of the tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Nice citrusy notes, but burns hot if puffed too hard.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cedeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cedeks (8)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As soon as I opened the tin, the smell was really good and very nutty. It was very similar to Dunhill 965 mixture. The tobacco is of high quality (as usually expected with all MC blends) and smoking it is a pleasure. Strangely no tongue bite, and smoking is very dry. I recommend this tobacco for every one in favour of English blends with high vitamin N :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (15)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

That is a 4 star!!! Other MC BITES may destroy your whole mouth,and this has the tendency also. But the ballance of sweet and smoky is almost perfekt to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A Northern Breed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A Northern Breed (16)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a good, solid, typical Mac Baren mixture. I like it, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good English (but not TOO English) mixture.

I really like the tin design on this one. It's a dark label, and the colors contrast nicely, and they seem to suggest and hint at what you're about to smoke. I highly appreciate the fact that Mac Baren packages their stuff in 100 gram tins. As with pretty much everything with the Mac Baren name on it, this stuff has a nice aroma in the tin, packs easily, and takes a light very nicely. The first bowl I smoked of it, I lit it once it the beginning, tamped it, fully expected to have to relight (because I intended to false start it), and yet no, it didn't need it. It just stayed lit, and it stayed that way the whole bowl. No relights required.

The taste of this is pure and clean. Each tobacco shines through individually, but all at once. Other reviewers have mentioned this fact. It is a good mixture to smoke any time of the day, other than perhaps in the morning, but I would even smoke it then. To me, the nicotine punch is not overly strong, although some might disagree. I am a cigarette smoker (when I want a quick smoke on the go), and I smoke Dunhill cigarettes, and I don't know, to me the nicotine level is totally under control. The taste, aroma, and smoking experience are all together harmoniously, and the Solent Mixture is an absolute pleasure to smoke.

I would recommend this to anyone. The only reason I give it three stars instead of four is that I reserve the four star rating for my absolute favorites, and this is not quite in that group. Still, I will be likely to keep this one on hand at all times.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I think I don't need to add anything to what the fellow reviewers Strongirish and The German have very much accurately put in words, very much better than I could do.

The Solent is the most perfect crossover blend for EM and Danish natural aromatics, and perfect for the summer season.

The citrusy-smoky flavour, complemented by the perfect touch of rhum is something very inviting and refreshing. I can recognize the particular quality of the Latakia Mac Baren, the same of the HH Vintage Syrian. It smokes absolutely cool and unbiting, no matter how enthusiasticly you draw, but reveals all the best of its range by the slowest sipping.

Something one-of-a-kind, and to me a perfect masterpiece.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

grumpyoldprofessor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
grumpyoldprofessor (11)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

The Solent Mixture , sounds intriguing doesn't it? The name alone harkens images of solitude. A man sitting in his high back leather chair facing the fireplace, watching each and every lick of flame as it dances over the log. It invites a pensive state of mind, relaxed yet awakened.

The word Solent sounds an awful lot like solitude doesn't it? Though it means nothing of the sort. "The Solent is a stretch of sea separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England." A stretch of sea that seperates one from England. I can imagine (correctly or not I do not know) that Mac Baren chose the name The Solent Mixture because this blend is almost English, yet there is something separating it from being so. It's a wonderful blend of Virginia, Cavendish and Latakia. The tin aroma is delightfully smokey, yet not overwhelmingly so. There is a hint of that wonderful smell, yet it's hidden or perhaps interwoven with the sweet telling smell of Virginia's which play off of the cavendish oh so well. Everything comes together into one mouthwatering scent which begs to be packed in a pipe and enjoyed in a state of relaxation.

It's not a complex blend. Not one that leaves you guessing which leaf takes the lead and who takes a seat in the back. It's a blend in which everything comes together as one, yet each making it's own merit known. To me this is the perfect after work smoke. After a stressful day when it seems nothing came together for one common good, this blend shines through. The smoke brings memories of the old wood burning stove in my grandfathers shop, the smell of a sweet liqour and oddly enough every so often the faint taste of lavender. Not in a Lakeland blend sort of way, but in a nice calming sense.

While this is a Mac Baren blend, I have yet to get the slightest hint of tongue bite. If you're looking for a light Virginia with a touch of latakia that won't offend your better half, yet you can smoke for your own manly enjoyment this is it. I've smoked three tins of this so far and each pipeful sends me to the same relaxed mindset and somehow hits each spot that need's a hitting.

As I said, no tongue bite and burns to a nice dry gray ash. As a plus it's available in 16oz. bulk for a good price. Check it out, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

This is from my review on SF and CPS.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Boston Bill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Boston Bill (11)
★★★★
Strong Very Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

I just fell in love with this blend from the start. Something in the aroma just pulls me in and makes me want to drown in it. It might have been my first tobacco with Latakia, and that's why I like it so much. When I'm in a the mood for a kickin' smoke, this is the tobacco I reach for.\

This blend is much stronger than MB "Mixture," and certainly stronger than and drug store brands. I get more of a nicotine kick out of it than a lot of other brands, but not too much- its just more, not bad. But it is delicious. Dark, full bodied, smokey, tingly, touch of spiciness, but not bitter, or overpowering. Its also a dry smoke- not a lot of burbling or moisture in my bowl. I really like this stuff. The flavor is pleasing, engages my whole palate, fills my mouth (and the room!) with billows of intoxicating, exotic-smelling smoke.

I usually smoke 3 different bowls in a row: I start out with something mild, then step up to medium (a virginia or a Vanilla-flavored?), then end with something stronger (usually MB Mixture), once my palate is more involved. This is often the last thing I smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (202)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

After a bit of a (non-serious) fight and a slight misunderstanding with my local tobacconist, he got me a 100 g tin of The Solent Mixture.

Going by the tin description, I had expected more Latakia. On the other hand, what I got is beautiful in its own right: Not a straight English, but I'd say a crossover English and Schottish blend that somehow happens to work out just fine.

The tin aroma is very much English, with Latakia in the foreground. The blend contains mostly bright yellow tobacco that I identify as VA, with some BC and Latakia in there, and maybe a gentle topping of rum adding some sweetness. The taste is actually very much that of a traditional English blend, though not as strong: VA sweetness meets Latakia toast, with some pepper being supplied by (Kentucky- based) Cavendish.

My tobacconist told me that he could not sell this blend if he gave it away. If he ever stocks it again, he will have at least one customer: this is a very nice crossover English/VA/Kentucky blend that I do appreciate. I would compare it to the likes of Rattray's Accountant's Blend or Ilsted's No. 88, though those have their own characteristics -- but it's just as good. Let me put it this way: if I were short of tobacco and had this blend as a buying option, I would not hesitate to buy it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (43)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm on an English/Balkan kick and love the endless possibilities out there for a good smoke. MB being easy for me to obtained and rather affordable, I thought to give Solent a try. I really enjoy this smoke. It's nice and easy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipedawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipedawg (16)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Definitely one of my favourite tobaccos. Had been going through several Mac Baren's and no one would really stand out, in any good way that is. Well their Stockton is fine but very unnuanced.

Well when I opened the tin of The Solent I was blown away! Also sceptical, because more often than not, the tin aroma and taste just don't match. This one did.

The Solent is extremely easy to smoke. Don't even have to think about how...just puff away! It will leave a very small and dry dottle at the bottom. So not only is it an amazingly tasting smoke, it is also by far the best smoking tabac in the whole Mac Baren range.

The taste? How does gold taste like? Well because of the Syrian Latakia, the amount of 15% is just right. It is a little fuller than it's Cyprian counterpart, but not as dry tasting. Apparently 9 diferent Virginias make up 75% of the mix, and leaves the rest to Cavendish and Burley. The interesting thing here is the Burley used, which I believe must be the Godfather of Burleys - very full and dry! Again, amazing!

To end it all, tobacco is presumeably sprayed with some kind of rum after blending. And that's what's gonna satisfy the sweet tooth of all sailors. Note: Not sweet as in aromatic baccy sweet - this IS a tobacco for the manly man of men.

Ohoy! There's not a downside to this tobacco, although ones mouth and palate must be trained for Syrian and heavy Burley, before this can be enjoyed. Or else it will dehydrate you within the first twenty minutes of smoking.

I smoke one bowl of The Solent a day, and I always crave it at bedtime. This is my nightcap, for sure.

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

If there has to be Latakia, let it be in huge quantities. I love strong Balkans and English Mixtures, and at the same time I love the biscuity refined taste of many Mac Baren tobaccos.

But, this Solent Mixture doesn't know what it wants to be. It tastes like a classic Mac Baren with a hint of English... and it disappoints slightly as both.

Latakia content is very noticeable and enough to tease your appetite, but not enough to sarisfy it. And where are the Orientals?

It is sweet, nutty, slightly smoky. But also slightly ashy, and undistiguished. Granted, the leaf quality is great as usual, and it burns wonderfully, cool and slow.

So, it is a pleasant tobacco, without specific faults or unpleasant traits. If I were given tins of it for free, I'd be glad to smoke them. Not having the advantage of smoking for free, and having to pay for my tobacco, I prefer to keep two separate kinds of tobaccos: some great Mac Barens without Latakia (Navy Mixture, Mixture Flake, Stockton... and even some of their great aromatics like Cube) AND some other more distinctive English-style tobaccos (like many of GLPease's wonderful offerings, or Butera's Pelican). Personally I enjoy the variations much more, rather than smoking only a single tobacco like Solent which tries to encompass all styles.

But, I'll repeat it again, it's far from a bad blend: actually, if you like only a touch of Latakia, it's hard to find something better than this.

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Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (196)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend has that great Mac Baren honey/toasty/molasses flavoring style along with a slight Syrian Latakia added (15%). it is similar to Plumcake, however, it is more sweet, more flavorful and smoother on the tongue.

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Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (72)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is very similar to Plumcake. Like Plumcake it has a tin aroma to die for. Pungant, sweet, smokey and spicey. Not as bold as Plumcake IMHO. It is a little bitey but its not the blowtorch that Plumcake is (read my Plumcake review). This is Plumcakes little sister, a little better behaved and a little milder. If Mac Baren could ever produce a blend like The Solent Mixture or Plumcake and eliminate the tongue bite it would be heaven on earth.

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PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
★★★☆
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

To me this tastes exactly like Plumcake minus the plum-flavor. I prefer the former, but this isn't bad. It has all the typical MB qualities (bites if pushed; low nicotine; has that ubiquitous MB "rum" casing).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is very good tobacco. Smooth, deep and rich nuances in perfect balance. My only objection would be that the rum topping sometimes feel slightly over the top. Other than that, this is excellent. I agree with the others saying one really shouldn't expect an English in the literal sense of the word, I guess it's more appealing for the aromatic and/or VA smoker. The latakia in it is mainly a paranthesis. It's the VA and cavendish that really stand out from the crowd.

Not an every day blend for me, but it has a well deserved spot in the tin department.

3/4

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Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is a nice hybrid blend (aromatized English, if you excuse the oxymoron). The rum/plum topping is light enough not to mask the underlying tobaccos, and it slowly fades through the first third of the bowl (much like Presbyterian Mixture, but there are no noticeable Orientals here).

Upon opening the tin and aproaching my nose, I have a dejà vu: it smells like Haddo's Delight! In fact, it smells like Haddo's would with a pinch of Latakia. Once lit the comparison is over, since the base tobaccos have nothing in common, but the toppings are definitely similar.

As with most MacBarens, tongue bite is an issue for the careless puffer. This, along with the low Latakia content, will probably make TSM more appealing to the Virginia lover than to the English fan.

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Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my favorite Mac Baren blends. The VA tobacco is typical Mac Baren sweet and smooth, almost a velvety texture. I like the black Cavendish and its rum casing it adds just enough zing to the blend to help it stand out from the rest. The tobacco burns very cleanly for a cased blend, and is mild enough for me to still consider it an English. The cut is of typical Mac Baren standards, and the tin note was very pleasant. Overall this blend is very nice, and burns all the way to the bottom with no residual in your pipe. Great smoke.

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Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This stuff is great !!!! Like most MacBaren mixs, the virginias have a very dominent flavor, which is great. The Syrian gives an exotic condimental addition to a very well put together blend. From Char to Heel, the flavor is consistant- Virginia sweet, exotic and spicey. The real treat is the rum casing. It is the best rum in a mix I have had. Exotic and tasty- Think this should have been the Navy mixture... Highly recomended. Experience it.

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emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong Mild Extra Full Tolerable

I tried a sample of this one & was overwhelmed by the strength & how it burned my tongue. It's typical MacBaren in the pack: honey atop strands of rubbed out golden Virginia. It was all too powerful to taste any latakia. Hot, hot, hot! I spilled it out. Nothing else to say except pass.

1/2 of five stars

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

I have about a dozen tins of this tobacco in my basement that I bought over a dozen years ago when I learned that it was no longer going to be sold in the U.S. It looks to be dark red Virginias and cavendish with darker bits of what I take to be latakia. The tobacco is rather finely chopped and packs easily. The smoke tastes of red Virginias and a sweetened cavendish reminiscent of Dark Twist but also includes an unusual treatment of latakia in that the latakia does not taste like latakia. There is a somewhat resiny element to the flavor of the smoke which is strange and unique and which I attribute to the latakia in this mixture. This is a pleasant smoke, smoooth with no bite, and I keep it on hand because it has a distinctive tobacco flavor that draws me back from time to time. I expect my remaining tins will last for a good many years. It would be shame never to be able to smoke it again. Well recommended. Paddy.

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Studentowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Studentowl (8)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a wonderful introduction to Latakia mixtures. It has a wonderful colour with contrasting deep orange virginia and black cavendish. It smell on opening the packet is a wonderful sweet wood smoke Latakia with just a hint of aromatic topping. It packs very well and burns very easily (but be careful that it doesn?t get too hot!). The smoke is both mild yet very satisfying with solid woody tones and a delicate sweetness which does no not over whelm the inexperienced smoker wile still providing an interesting smoke for the confirmed Latakia fan! It does however have a slight tendency to smoke wet and so it probably best smoked in a filter or Peterson system pipe.

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