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BrandImperial Tobacco Group, PLC
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
Packaging50g Pouch
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
12 reviews
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SiChange Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SiChange (22)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a review of the tobacco produced by Imperial Tobacco under license from Van Nelle Tabac of the Netherlands. Mac Barens actually manufactures the Amphora line according to a 2007 profile of Mac Barens in Pipes & Tobaccos. My pouches were purchased from Italy where I understand it is quite popular. The pouch description includes the following: "Finest Virginia tobaccos are double fermented to produce a rich, dark tobacco which combines perfectly with the amber tones of the burley, oriental, and Kentucky leaf. The result is a finely balanced blend with a luxurious slow burn and full bodied and spicy bouquet."

The pouch note is sweet and redolent of licorice. The virginia-based black cavendish predominates. The flavoring is chiefly and without doubt licorice; maple sugar is also present and probably other flavorings. The room note is appealing but not to the extent of as well as in the room note. There is a spice note in the taste and bouquet as the pouch description indicates; this may reflect the Kentucky and oriental tobaccos. Tobacco flavors are not swamped by the flavorings. This tobacco is very close to the Douwe Egberts Amphora Black Cavendish that was sold in pouches and large tins in American markets at least though the 1980s. But the American offering had a more elegant spice note and was drier in the pouch, although this tobacco is not wet and can be smoked well without drying. As for the American product, J. Paul Kalman is given credit for the blend. This Imperial Tobacco is rates a solid three stars. It is more complex than most American and Danish aromatics; the comparison here is to aromatics not English mixtures. It is best smoked slowly. It rates a solid three stars where the predecessor American offering rated four in being among the best aromatics then available at any price, in my opinion.

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Italy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (1177)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I didn't get a vanilla taste from the black cavendish, so it must be unsweetened. The Virginia is a light citrus and grass. The burley is toasty, nutty sweet with a hint of cocoa. I'm not sure about the topping, but something gave me a sense of caramel, and there's another sweet note that I can't identify. Burns well as all Amphora products do with few relights, and no dottle. The tobacco is a little more noticeable near the finish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SimonCornwall Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SimonCornwall (1)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Having read the earlier contributions from reviewers on this site, I pick up a sense of disappointment from people seemingly unable to to source this wonderful Tobacco. To cut a very long research story short I buy this on line from target=categories&category_id=153 The owner is called Carlo and he is very helpful indeed. I've been buying Amphora Black Cavendish from this Northern Italian on line Tobacconist quite happily for some time now and I highly recommend both the Tobacco and the supplier. It's just a shame we have to go to so much trouble to get it. Please take note Imperial Tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pfeifengespenst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pfeifengespenst (8)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I smoked this tobacco in the last Italian holiday.

Smell after opening the pouch 50g: After opening the pouch, one rises a pretty intense aroma of sweet cocoa butter, vanilla and a bit of a hint of coconut in the nose. Is accompanied by the smell from the typical amphora flavor. Smells exciting once, but not extraordinary.

Consistency of tobacco: The tobacco picture is very dark and comes in a ribbon cut (shredded fine cut). The mix itself is a bit too dry for me personally, but could not be easily introduced into the pipe.

Smoke properties: The Glutkissen did ignite easily. The tobacco burns evenly itself but because of the drought, from fairly quickly. The quality of tobacco is average. For beginners, it is also suitable because it requires little attention. As the whistle I recommend a medium to larger filling volume, so that the flavor can develop better. The disadvantage, however, this is because fine cut and dry together bad qualities are the flavor of an unfolding.

Taste: What is it? I asked myself when I had smoked this tobacco for the first time. I really must admit, I had severe problems at the beginning, to classify this blend of tobacco. Something between interesting and disgusting. After a few more whistles, I could do better with him. So I realized that for me personally, the tobacco is more suitable for outdoors. In confined spaces, I like it, not easy. So I smoked him in Italy at the beach. Taste it tastes like it smells. Cocoa butter, vanilla and a bit of a hint of coconut. No real highlight for me. Sweet flavored tobaccos for friends he could be.

Conclusion: A tobacco, the smoke can be, but is more suited for lovers. To me it does not taste real, and more than a mean average, not the point. Well have smoked it once, but again I would buy him. The taste is nothing sensational.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (120)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

This is the only Amphpra blend I can't recommend. It smells and smokes like fermented socks.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The best Amphora blend that was out there. Very dark leaves with a dark caramel flavour. Burns well, decent taste and room aroma. Cannot find it anymore. A pitty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lbarraa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lbarraa (27)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a classic aromatic-cavendish blend. Rich and spicy, low nicotine and easy burning, sometimes heat the bowl or bites the tonge. This is a "social" tobacco, perfect for smoke in a friend`s meeting, the people around will love the aroma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1272)
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I recently was gifted several Amphora blends from a fellow TR member, including this black cavendish which sure tastes "different," than what I was expecting. It is not a typical cased black cav. Rather, it reminded me of burley based blends I've smoked.

Amphora Special Reserve is not really much of a smoke regards complexity, but is an easy smoke. It is not rough on the palate and burns very well. There's just not a lot of flavor here. I did detect the casing, but sure can't identify what it is. A little bit sweet, but not overpowering at all. I think aromatic fans will enjoy this if they can round up a pouch.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (277)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Due to the sudden impossibility to import my usual Virginia and Latakia blends from Cuppojoe's in NYC, I have to resort to those tobaccos readily available in Mexico City. The Amphora range is among those. I have already submitted a review of Amphora Regular, an old favourite when it was blended by D&E, but somewhat of a disappointment under Imperial Tobacco. Just to keep alive that endless search of a new blend, I recently opened a three-year-old pouch of Amphora Black I had stored somewhere in the upper shleves in my studio.

I must admit that even though this is obviously an aromatic, it does not resemble in any way a drug-store blend, nor does it taste like a Danish one. This is no vanilla-flavour concoction and it is not goopy or overridden with moisture. Dry black Cavndish, golden Virginia and some toasted Burley thrown in provide the base for a medium strength, floral like smoke, not at all bad, with enough tobacco flavour in the background to make you almost forget (and forgive) the fact that you are actually smoking an aromatic!

It burns rather cool and dry, and it does not infest the pipe with its floral-maple like aroma, provided you run a pipe cleaner through the stem and the shank once you've finished and the pipe is cool enough to be opened. I am not an aromatic fan, but this is not a bad change of pace if you suddenly crave a sweet taste.

Amphora black is a long lasting, not prone to bite, medium strength smoke. If you want a point of comparison, I believe this is slightly similar to Gawith's Grousemoor, but far less aggressive in terms of flavour and aroma, and with a more manly tobacco structure. All in all, a worthwhile experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

The winey smell in the pouch almost reminds of sweet Marsala: quite unusual! It's not a bad cavendish oriented aromatic, but as usual it can taste a bit "empty". Typically easy to pack and light like the other Amphoras, it may burn too fast and scorch your tongue. The taste is OK at the beginning, but vanishes as the bowl progresses. It used to be a fine tobacco several years ago (sweet, dark and spicy), but today it's very bland and uninteresting.

2009 Update: a few years ago, Amphora renewed its product line. This tobacco is now called Black Cavendish Special Reserve. It hasn't changed much: wonderful sweet but natural pouch aroma, full of plums, dried figs, and a slighty alcoholic topping (rum?). Now it smokes rather cool and even, a truly low maintenance tobacco. Too bad that, while not exactly flat in flavour, it delivers very little of what the nose promised. It tastes like a very generic oriental+burley+virginia blend, not particularly sweet. Rather nutty, on the other hand, and not without body. Unremarkable, but not unpleasant. At least it tastes of tobacco, and it's not goopy. If you savour it slowly, it might even be quite pleasant. Slightly ashy aftertaste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CapnStuby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CapnStuby (33)
Very Strong Medium to Strong Full Extra Strong

This is like smoking shredded tires and peppercorns. It will make your family disown you and your animals pray for your demise.

Avoid it, if possible, run quickly in the opposite direction, if not possible.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Magian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Magian (2)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The Amphora Black is really Dark and Spicy as the pouch says. It packs easily but you must be careful because it tends to tounge bite if you puff too quick. The taste is nice and full if you like black cavendish, you'll enjoy Amphora Black. Non smokers aren't quite happy with the strong room aroma. Otherwise I enjoy smoking it from time to time, usualy when I don't have my favorite tobaccos at hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.