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A legendary Wilke mixture of Tennessee Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia and Royal Scot mixture. Smooth smoking and a beautiful aroma. No wonder it's nickname is Wilke's Magic 13! A great choice for a light to medium English.

BrandPipeworks & Wilke
Blended ByCarole Burns
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBurley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
PackagingBulk
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium, Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Tolerable
2.8
15 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
3
3 star:
7
2 star:
4
1 star:
1
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Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

It was old Herr Jäger, former aide-de-camp to prince Cajetan de Bourbon-Parma, Austro-Hungarian anecdotist extraordinaire, passionate dog-lover, habitué of the Austin Book Shop at Kew Gardens, NYC, that first introduced me to this tobacco, so many, many years ago. Seeing me smoke some anodyne popular blend out of a paper pouch, he suggested I try his: Wilke No 13.

I was still a teen and I had never encountered Latakia before. I had no idea that a pipe tobacco could taste so...magically good! I was suddenly transported to the Manègeplatz at Schloss Schönbrunn, a young guardsman smoking his pipe next to his Carinthian charger, waiting for the Old Kaiser to go out for the Corpus Christi procession. Felix Austria!

Latakia is the tobacco of day-dreams.

Looking like Fred Astaire going to his First Communion, I hot-tailed it to Wilke's Smoke Shop, a small, dapper tobaccy temple in Madison Ave near 47 Street??RIP!??and encountered, for the first time, BULK tobaccos measured out on old brass scales, Wilsonian-era vitrines laden with imported briars, and the most unforgettably delicious smell I have ever smelt: tobacco, oak floor, carnauba wax...

Wilke No 13 is an old American-type English blend, with a bit of Burley to buffer it and a smidgeon of scented cavendish to frou-frou out the Syro-Macedonian stench. It is remarkably pleasant, though slightly generic to my jaded palate, after all these years. I can't taste the Périque at all.

New York and Boston gentry smoked blends like these in the 20's, and the high-quality tobaccos used in these compositions are a far cry from the general-store Lumpen that most men smoked back then. Before the avalanche of tinned blends reached us from Northern Europe, this was a good smoke. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip in nostalgia, and I certaily wish Wilke's was still there in Mad Ave, en lieu of the Yuppitorium that has taken its place. You might prefer to spend your money in Lake-District foofaraw. But for me, nothing can take away the memories.

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I have yet to find a poorly made blend from P&W and Magic 13 is another winner. It was a very unique flavor that seems to be a signature in some of Carol's blends. Maybe the Royal Scot?? Like all the P&W blends I have tried the tobacco is of high quality. It does arrive a little moist and needs a little dry time. The Latakia is a supporting role here and for me the burley leads. Magic 13 falls in the light English category for me, but due to the added flavor it's not a typical one. Recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dunc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dunc (9)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Overwhelming Pleasant to Tolerable

I believe this is one of the finest tobacco's I have ever had the pleasure to smoke! The room note is very good.

2 people found this review helpful.

Cantorman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cantorman (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Can't lose with magic #13, seriously. Just incredibly pleasant smoke, a little too moist when carole sends it out, it's otherwise such a good tobacco! It's got a pleasant touch of sweetness for an English wihtout being annoying.

2 people found this review helpful.

traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
traveler (40)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

For someone who finds most latakia blends to be monotone in taste and socially handicapping in use, Wilke #13 is pleasant surprise. Though the latakia still dominates, the many other tobaccos present makes this a rich, interesting smoke. If this is truly Syrian Latakia, it is more refined and a lot less rough than the Cyprian weed that seems to be in more common use in blends. For a Virginia smoker, this is a good, occasional compliment to an after dinner brandy or espresso. Tolerable aroma in the presence of company, though not one likely to draw compliments.

This is a latakia blend for for those who do not love latakia. Whether it appeals to those who crave the smoky side, is for others to say.

2 people found this review helpful.

aadelma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aadelma (55)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

This is an unusual english blend which I received as a free sample with my last Wilke order. I smoked several bowls before I even realized there is an aromatic component to it. It is a light, floral aroma, a lot like the flavoring in Saint Bruno. The various ingredients are in perfect proportion to each other so that no single component outweighs the others. The flavor varies a bit throughout the bowl to keep things interesting. I consider this a medium english blend and despite the presence of both perique and burley, the nicotine level isn't at all overwhelming. It's flavor is somewhat remenicent of a mild Dominican cigar. It is one of the few English blends of which I can smoke multiple bowls in an evening.

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (666)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

The very smokey, woodsy latakia is an ever present supporting player. The Virginia is grassy and lightly sweet, acting as a base for the other components like the nutty, toasty burley. The perique is a lightly spicy addition. The cavendish provides a few sweet notes. The Royal Scot is mildly sweet. Hints of vanilla and caramel push this cool smoking blend toward the American English category without going over the line into aro-English territory. Slow burning, needs a little dry time, but the flavors are fairly consistent throughout the smoke. I gave it two stars because, while this is a good blend, there are several other blends of this stripe that are more worthwhile. I'd give it two and a half stars, but I just can't quite get to the three star level due to the noted comparisons.

1 person found this review helpful.

Ismokeadapipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ismokeadapipe (21)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

This is a blend that was gifted to me in a bulk sample. After smoking several bowls in corn cobs and high grade pipes, here is my review:

Strength: Mild nicotine strength if any. The blend is mild to medium as a tobacco.

Flavoring: The flavoring is very good. It needed for me, to be dried out for a bit before smoking as it comes a bit too moist.

Room Note: The room note is to be tolerable. My wife asks me to smoke this outside as it is a little harsh for her. ( she likes Frog Morton as a room note ) This one isn't a social tobacco.

Taste: The taste is quite good, if you can calm the moisture down. Not a " write home to your mom " taste but decent.

Recommendation: I would recommend this blend to all fans of plain Frog Morton and Spilman Mixture.

I plan on keeping this in my occasional rotation...once the gifted sample is gone, I will likely not buy it as I can find tobaccos that I enjoy more to spend my money on.

1 person found this review helpful.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've tried about a dozen of the PW&W blends & this is one I always keep on hand.

22 May 2009 Update: I'm tightening up on my ratings and only give 4 stars to my top 5 blends that are in my core rotation of tobaccos. Those at this date are Escudo, Penzance, University Flake, Churchill & still deciding what the 5th will be.

I now rate this as a 3.5

1 person found this review helpful.

Classical Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Classical (13)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I can fully understand why this blend has been beloved for so many decades: The taste is rich and moderately complex, the burn is even and without excess moisture and the tobacco is of the highest quality.

There is no bite in this blend and I find that I can cheerfully smoke it anytime and in any weather, no matter my mood. And I'm not really an English blend aficionado. The latakia is a wonderful part of the flavor--it doesn't dominate the room, it contributes and completes the blend. I don't know that I get much of a sense of the perique, but the blend has such a refinement that as the bowlful is smoked...it gets better!

It leaves a clean, dry ash and if you let it really dry out you are left with a really easy to smoke, delicious experience.

Accompaniment: Beethoven piano sonatas or piano trios.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tom Bruce Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bruce (19)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

What a difference a Cavendish can make. Elsewhere on this site I reviewed Wilke's #78 and commented about the very strong taste and the very strong Perique and nicotine reaction. The only difference between that tobacco and #13 is the addition of Cavendish between the Burley and Virginia, and let me tell you that addition has tamed this blend. At first I thought too far, as the taste was almost negligible, plus I had a difficult time keeping the pipe lit. However, after switching from a large bowl to a medium size, I now find this tobacco to be delightful. No lighting problems and it burns slowly and all the way to the bottom. And the taste is exquisite. The only reason I didn't give this blend the highest recommendation is because of the room note. However, after a dozen pipefulls, this is now my English of choice. I'll still return to #78 on that rare ocassion I want to set off an explosion in my mouth, but it looks like #13 is a winner in my book. Thanks, Carol, for including this in my sampler package.

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This wasn't as good as the other P&W I've tried. It has an aromatic agent I couldn't identify. It gave some good sensation from the beginning to about half of the bowl, then it lost all the flavour and became dull.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pagercat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pagercat (41)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium to Strong Very Mild Tolerable

I bought four ounces of this on a recommendation. Out of the four ounces I'd say I smoked about one ounce of it. The rest I will give away.

The appearance is very diverse with a little bit of everything in here. The smell from the tin is a cinnamon-like scent, almost like insense. The cut is shag/ribbon so packing is easy. The burn rate is slow and even.

Once lit, this tobacco has a very light English taste yet the casing starts to overpower everything else and it turns a bit sour after the first third of the bowl. As it gets down the howl it becomes quite unfriendly as it starts smoking hot and wet. The taste/smell starts to resemble a cheap after shave I've smelled before. It reminds me of that "old man smell" I remember from visiting my uncle in a nursing home. For the rest of the smoke it is strictly burning casing, tasting sour, hot and wet. The last few bowls of this I was not able to get past the first half of the bowl because it was so bad.

1 person found this review helpful.

worldtraveller Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
worldtraveller (1)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I appreciate the history in the above review, and that in part tempted me to try #13, since I, and many other pipe smokers are a bit anachronistic. I filled my decades-old Wilke Club, lit the tobacco (two matches) and walked outside with my dog. #13 has a sweet, natural tobacco pouch smell, and is an attractive mix of dark brown to blond flakes and strips. It began rather strong with a hint of tongue bite, but quickly smoothed into a delicious natural creamy mix of burley and virginia/cavendish - when I remembered to puff less vigorously. Next the latakia/perique came forward adding a pleasant spicy taste. A hint of sweetness peeked out now and then, but overall this a good, medium strength blend of pure tobacco. Late in the evening it hit me - this was the taste I was looking for a year ago in cigars, a Nicaraguan/Dominican blend that was out of my price range. I finally found it in this less costly Wilke blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

Perique Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perique (84)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Presentation is the usual P&W fine ribbon. Damp. Latakia in the jar note, enveloped by the subtle sweetness of the Royal Scot. I assumed this blend would be like No. 5 with the addition of Perique but found that not to be the case. I experimented with a number of different bowl shapes to bring this blend out while struggling to find the perique and found this smoked best in a tall, somewhat narrow billiard. The Latakia is more muted here than in No. 5, retreating to a whisper by the second third of the bowl. The Perique barely registers until that second third where it overtakes the Latakia as the primary background flavor. The flavors begin to harmonize by mid-bowl, presenting an interesting contrast of sweet and savory. Burns clean and cool despite the moisture content and really comes into its own in the second half of the bowl. In the final third of the bowl, the Perique finally takes center stage, overwhelming both the Latakia and the Royal Scot (the Latakia, in fact, fades into obscurity).

Aromatic English blends are notoriously difficult to pull off, the challenge being one of creating harmony from seemingly disparate tobaccos. In that regard, the blender took on a tough challenge with this one. Overall a fine blend, but it could be that aromatic English blends and Perique simply don't mix (or at least not optimally.)

Recommended for lovers of this style, though I found No. 5 to be a better blend.

I will come back to this after a year in the jar to see what some age does to the marriage of contrasting flavors.

PS: Eulenburg's 2003 review, below, is my favorite review ever. A classic.

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