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Rich and powerfully masculine with an elegance and seriousness that entirely befits its status as a premium quality tobacco, Borkum Riff Black Cavendish is an intensely aromatic mix of dark Kentucky and burley tobacco with a touch of choice bright Virginia leaves. The blend is heavily fermented to give a full-flavoured, cool smoke with an intense, gratifying aroma enhanced with hints of truffle, nougat and nuts.

BrandBorkum Riff
Blended ByScandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured BySkandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky
FlavoringNougat, Nuts / Beans, Other / Misc
Packaging50 grams pouch, 250 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

55 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Very Mild Very Strong Very Mild Very Pleasant

I went to the grocery store to pick up some flints for my Old Boy. I probably have six or seven flint packages lying around the house but I couldn't find a single stinkin' one of them.

I got to the store and asked one of the employees to please unlock the glass case where all the tobacco products are kept. I looked around to make sure no one was looking and grabbed a pouch of this Borkum Riff Black Cavendish as well as some flints.

I got home and decided to try this stuff. Half a bowl later I decided that I should have loaded my pipe with the flints.

10 people found this review helpful.

Fofo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fofo (81)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This stuff is good, really good, the kind of good that can be packaged in a fancy tin, sold at twice the price, and people would rave about it. Instead, it comes in a pouch and sold locally, so most people bash it while they smoke it in the middle of the woods so high society won't find out.

The pouch aroma is delicious; smells like chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of ripe fruit. Not chemical at all. The cut is another big plus for me, which is a very thin ribbon, not exactly a shag cut (in the proper term) but very close. While I indiscriminately smoke plugs, ropes, flakes, etc. I tend to favor a fine ribbon cut because it is easier to pack and light.

The cut of this blend, as well as the moisture content (being on the dry side) lights easily. The flavor is sweet, chocolatey and nutty, and yes, the tobacco comes thru. Some have said it tastes cigarish, I don't think so. While this stuff is not super full bodied, it isn't ultra mild either, and if you are used to smoking very mild tobacco then I can see how the actual tobacco flavor might surprise you, but it does not taste like a cigar.

The aroma is quite nice too, a dark kind of nougat and tobacco, and a sweetness hard to pin point, could be the hint of ripe fruit I get from the pouch smell. The blend burns a little fast due to the very fine cut, but not hot and does not bite.

Being locally available is a big plus for me, and the quality is there. I will definitely keep this stuff handy and only wish it came in tubs.

Definitely worth a try, you might be surprised.

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

The flavors of chocolate and caramel were mostly what was obvious to me. I did get a little burley taste, and because I was looking hard for it, a hint of Kentucky. I also got some vanilla from the black cavendish. But, I had the usual bite problem that I almost always encounter with Borkum Riff products. I smoke at a very moderate rate, so the problem lies not with my technique, but in the product itself. Sipped very slowly, you'll avoid much of the bite, but it's really not worth the work. There's much better and easier smoking blends in this genre. Burns moderately well. Has little nicotine.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jjgerv Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jjgerv (20)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I really wish I would like this tobacco, but it was not like that.

Some mention that this is the best of the brand, or at least the least worse. But it does not seem to be the case.

The problem is simple, tongue bite no matter how I smoke it, it always bites.

2 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (66)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I don't want to offend this otherwise tolerable tobacco, the former long (though not always faithful) companion of my youth. But I think that the wording like "masculinity" and "seriousness" in the official description is an offence of masculinity and seriousness. What masculine and serious can I find in a highly aromatic pack of sweet-sour Cavendishes?

Saying that, I don't wanna be unfair to this blend. It's the least awful of all Borkum Riff mixtures. Maybe even the best of them. And when you are invariably limited in your choice just to Borkum Riffs (as I have been far away and long ago) then definitely choose this one, not another.

Not that I recommend this. But since it's slightly better than the rest of Borkum Riff horrors, I put not one but two stars here.

Pipe Used: Molina Dublin, MM General & many other

Age When Smoked: 7

2 people found this review helpful.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (184)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Good quality Burley with Kentuck Tobacco and some Dark, Black Cavendish. Sweet and strong.

In the Pouch, small flavour, but when burn, very good flavour and taste. Therefore, the claimed Nut-Nougat flavour taste seems to me, more proximal to Cocoa-Chocolate.

Seems to me , too strong for the begginner. Only some defective issues: It is very hard to light, and when done, s other Borkum Riffs, this burns easy and so hot and can be smoked slownly, or may burn the tongue and destroy the pipe.

Observation: In the past, all the Borkum Riffs were made in Sweden, by Swedish Match, but nowdays, then are manufactured in Demmark

2 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Hellish; ghastly; bad beyond badness - it'll leave your tongue a palpitating blackened stump. Another truly revolting offering from Borkum Riff, How DO they do it? It tastes all right, in a sense, but it burns so hot and so quickly that it seems almost to have been devised as an instrument of torture. '[A] premium quality tobacco'? I don't think so. Avoid this, and live out the remainder of your days with functioning taste buds.

1 person found this review helpful.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (60)
Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Moisture level is spot on. Cut is short ribbon, packs easily, burns great. Completely and utterly devoid of nicotine

Flavor? It's black cavendish with no perceptable added top flavoring. Not much to say about it. Slightly sweet, a hint of creaminess, quite mild. If you're a fan of plain black cav - hey, this might be worth a shot! I, for one, am not. Plain black cav just tastes bland to me. For what it is, I think it's just fine. For my tastes...I'm not impressed. I do get a bit of tongue bite, but it's not too bad, and it goes away quickly if I control my smoking pace. It's probably my fault - the lack of flavor and lack of nicotine probably has me puffing harder than usual.

Not too bad for what it is. Someone into plain black cav might dig this. Might be useful for diluting overly strong blends.

I won't be buying more

originally reviewed 12/1/2012

1 person found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (60)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Conclusion: Nothing spectacular but actually not bad. I have hated every Borkum Riff I've tried before, but not this one. A mild aromatic of medium strength. I would not buy it, but I can actually understand that some people will.

Taste: There is something synthetic about it, typical to aromatics, at first. Also a slight bitterness reminiscent of chewing on paper. Yet it is sweet without being overly so, muted, I taste basically no natural tobacco at first but after a while virginia comes through. Very homogeneous, perhaps that is the result of aging? The finish lingers, a bit perfumish but not all unpleasant (though not all good). Turns rough and bitter if rushed.

Mechanics: Burns fine, needs a few relights but leaves no goo in the pipe and burns to a dark grey ash. Does not bite, at least not me. Medium strength.

Pipe Used: MM Diplomat

Age When Smoked: 2 years

1 person found this review helpful.

wintermute Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wintermute (59)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When you see Black Cavendish you probably think of Smoker's Pride, BCA, Super Value, or something like that. This is NOT anything like those blends. A better name would have been Dark Cavendish. The pouch aroma is darak and has a wood type smell. There is also a small amount of vanilla and nuts. The tobacco is a bit dry for my taste, but it is ready to smoke and it packs nicely in a medium pipe. Smaller pipes seem to crowd it and you might have problems keeping it lit. There is lots of smoke and the taste is of true dark tobacco. I do not have a lot of experience with Dark Kentucky Leaf, but I can tell that the nicotine level is a lot higher with such a leaf in the blend. The room note is nice, but it won't win any friends who enjoy the smell of Smoker's Pride or BCA. By the way, the vanilla that was in the pouch aroma is in the smoke too, but not in the taste of the tobacco as far as I can tell. However, the nuts are in both taste and smell, albeit very light. Images when smoked are that of leather and sweetness in a wooden bowl. This goes well with coffee. There is no tongue bite. There is spiciness at the back of the throat. The smoke is dry and the flavor stays the same all the way to the bottom of the bowl. Again, if you are not used to higher nicotine levels, this one will surprise you, but not blow you away. The ash is fine, but a little dark. At the end the ash jumps out of the bowl with a good knock. After the first bowl, this shot up into my all-time top 5! If this ever comes out in a large tin, I am ready to stock up. At around $5.00 a pouch online, one might think this a little pricy for a "drugstore" blend, but one smoke and you will know that it is worth every penny.

Pipe Used: corn cob, Dr. Grabow Omega

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

pipeclubsi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipeclubsi (10)
Very Mild Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I'd say it does bring the taste of truffle, sweet nougat and woodland nuts, as it claims and it smokes well, it's a fine aromatic tobacco which you can fully enjoy.

Many have troubles with aromatics, forgetting they simply have to be smoked in a slightly different way than dry latakia or orientals. Simply dry well the tobacco, pack it lightly, draw easily... Aromatics take some skills, but bring the reward ;-)

Pipe Used: Lorenzo Spitfire

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Dreier, Graz, Austria

1 person found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (153)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After almost 2 years of pipe smoking i look the past and i was i able to smoke this blend???maybe because i wasn't experienced enough and the smell of the tin when opened was something good between chocolate ,vanilla and nuts..the blend moisture is high.packs ok and needs effort to light..several relights are needed while smoking.while burning the only tobacco flavour is some nuts from the burley..i didn't get any Kentucky flavours..i got only a bad mix of the topping flavours wich bites a lot...the nicoltine level is low.the room note is somehow pleasant compared to other B.riff blends.the moisture while burning is high ,accompanied by lots of dumbness.another disappointment..not recommended for consumption.

Age When Smoked: When opened

Nobody has rated this review yet.

szucsa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
szucsa (1)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Strong

Well, this tobacco has quite a low rating from the past. By reading the reviews of this product, I would never give a chance to try. Don't know whatever has changed during the last few years, but it is not that bad at all. And i am not a fan of BR tobaccos, especially not fan of creamy stuff. I dried for 30 mins or so, lighted up, and smoked slowly without relighting. It seems it doesn't tolerate being fast; it gets saucy, and the taste turns to unidentifiable. My family wasn't happy with the smell, they say it really smells. I'm not sure if I'm gonna buy a new pack BC, but it always a great experience how different we are. If you get bored with your daily tobaccos, it is nice to have a different taste.

Pipe Used: Oldenkott Nicofrey MS

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: gift

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

Borkum Riff - Black Cavendish (Mixture Recipe Black Cavendish).

I bought this whilst on holiday in Portugal and I'm not sure whether or not they've changed it from the original recipe or something as I can't for the life of me fathom out all the one/two star ratings; clicking the 'where to buy' link on here brings up a picture that's identical to my pouch. Granted, it's not in the league of some blends, but it's a decent enough smoke.

The pouch smells quite aromatic, but not too pungent. The burn generates a large quantity of thick smoke. To me, the added flavouring has a little more life for the first five minutes; it's a lot sweeter, and slightly fruity, while the burn's settling. After that period it mellows and I'm sure I can taste chocolate. Although this has a medium to strong casing it's not too heavy or sugary; it can be smoked without that yuckiness that strong aromatics can sometimes implore.

The room-note's very nice, albeit a bit full-on, and the nicotine's mild.

As I pointed out, it may be a different blend now, I'm not sure. But whether it's different or not, I like it.


Pipe Used: Dr Plumb Quintex

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Portugal

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bent Dublin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bent Dublin (3)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Really wanted to like this as it was my brand back in the 70's but it just comes up short on flavor and has a bite that I don't remember it having back then. So many better smokes out there today. Tried rum as well as original and all left me unhappy.

Pipe Used: meer and briar

Purchased From: cant remember

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Raines Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Raines (52)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

The taste is rather good. It's not too strong. The room note is good too. Of course, it's not the best aromatic tobacco but I've tried worst. I recommand it (Borkum Riff is a good brand for aromatic I think)

Pipe Used: Butz-Choquin Formula 1601

Nobody has rated this review yet.

22yrsonthepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
22yrsonthepipe (22)
Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

The first puff of the first bowl tasted ever so slightly of nougat with a slight nuttiness. I have now been through two pouches but ever since the first puff from the first bowl I have been unable to taste anything but extremely poor quality slightly bitter prison scrag.

(Prison scrag is the tobacco New Zealand prisoners used to get years ago which consisted of the dust swept off the cigarette factory floor).

Like most of the Borkum line, it probably would have been ok for drug store tobacco if Borkum actually put some flavor in it - putting an unopened bottle of flavoring in the same room as the tobacco does not count.

Also, like other Borkum blends, it has a lot of sticks in it.

If like me you have a limited choice of pipe tobacco other than Borkum, get the Vanilla cavendish or the Cherry cavendish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is the worst of the BR blends. The pouch fragrance smells like a compost heap fermenting. It tastes as though sweaty gym socks were used in lieu of tobacco. It's horrible stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I last smoked this over 20 years ago, and I am assuming it was being blended by the original blender for the Borkum Riff line. What I remember was a dark brown to black, coarse cut tobacco that was very mild in taste but had a fantastic room note. After a while it became too boring to continue with as I went on to more tastier and satisfying blends. If I happen to come across the newer incarnation of this one, I'll try it again for sure, but I won't be going out of my way to find it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

FALCON Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

nutty,rich if you not find something else this can do,its not bad but not great can smoke sometimes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I have made reference to this tobacco before. I have not yet tried the new Danish version. I did smoke it a number of times when blended and manufactured in Germany.

Since this is a Black Cavendish mainly prepared from Burley leaf (including the fire-cured Kentucky), and perhaps some Virginia, I think it is fair enough to compare it to other similar blends.

This is a heavily cased aromatic, with a rounded and deep bitter-sweet flavor, the aroma of which, in my experience, engulfs the senses and will permeate any briar.

As such, it is of a better quality and smoking characteristics than Danske Club's Black Luxury (less sweet and chemical in nature), and similar to Sail's Noir. Both are heavy tasting (somewhere in between truffles, nuts, berries, vanilla and dark chocolate), goopy, moist, and, again, in my experience, need continuous re-lighting. But both are much better than Black Luxury.

Now, to my palate BF's Black Cavendish (or Sail Noir) are not half as a good as Mac Baren's Black Ambrosia (i.e., a black cavendish blend). The difference, of course, is that Mac Baren's is made form Virginias rather than Burley, and so the flavor in Mac Barne's is more "tobaccoey", the sweetness less pungent and artificial, and the aroma far more refined and tempered.

On the other hand, if you want to try a better dark fired Kentucky, without the chemical sauces and flavorings, I strongly suggest you go for Orlik's Dark Strong Kentucky. Dark it is, strong it isn't. Yet it delivers a better punch and tobacco flavor--without losing that smokey bitterness from the Kentucky--than Borkum Riff's Black Cavendish.

All in all, BR's Black Cavendish is not a bad heavy-tasting and sweet black cavendish. If you like strong aromatic smokes, even if the smoke strength in itsefl is rather mild, this may be a good choice. Better than some, yes, but not as good as Mac Baren's or Orlik.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This tobacco was extremely dry in the pouch and this is a good thing for me because this is how I prefer aromatics, the flavor is indeed masculine and elegant, not sweet or syrupy, the tobacco tastes mainly burley, also the tobacco leaf was not black similar to some American black Cavendish, but there is some golden and yellow Virginia in the mix, the burning is a little harsh in the beginning of the bowl but this can easily be adjusted with slow puffing, the fruity aroma is something like red fruits with dark caramel but it is not too sweet like other heavy aromatics, it is just well balanced, the nicotine delivery is fair and satisfying.

Overall, this tobacco did not disappointed me at all as I was expecting it to do, but I was rather pleased with the good quality of tobacco and the low sugar casing, I did not try all blends from this manufacturer but I found this one was good enough to make me finish my pouch and I would buy another pouch in the future without any reserve.

If you ever buy a pouch of this tobacco try to enjoy it for what it is before reading the negative reviews below, or at least try to forget what you have read and make your own judgment.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I mixed this with a somewhat bland but strong tobacco, and the resultant half-and-half mixture was not too bad. On its own, few would like it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
Mild Medium Very Mild Pleasant

black cavendish and thats the end of the story,,would be a lie if i said more,,burn well with few dottles left overs, constant lighting is required,,cheep tobacco yet there are better black cavendish offerings for a lower price!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I can't define the flavor of this tobacco, it doesn't taste like anything I know, but I don't like it. Too much tongue bite, moist, and chemicals.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (180)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Rather plain and boring, not awful but it turned bitter halfway through the bowl, as some cheap aromatics sometimes do. There are so many good and decent aromatics out there do not limit yourself to this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.