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A fine, well-balanced blend of naturally aromatic Turkish, smoked Latakia and mellow, aged Virginia tobaccos, rich in flavor, smooth, cool-burning.

BrandIwan Ries
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia, Latakia
Packaging50g Tin
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Favorite Of 5 Users

18 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

IRC Gourmet English may have just a wee bit of some sort of flavoring added because it sure tasted sweet to me. Sweet and Latakia don't normally go together, but in this instance the rare combination was delightful.

Gourmet English packs easily as the cut is not too stringy. And, while the above descriptive does not include Oriental leaf, I'll take a gamble and tell you there is some because I sure tasted it. The Latakia is not overpowering and the Virginia leaf was well aged and refined.

My pipes took a real liking to this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

Having just recently returned to pipe smoking after a 15-year hiatus, I made a point to order my old favorites from Iwan Ries - Dr. Bradley and 3-Star Blue. Based on the reviews I read here, I also decided to purchase some Gourmet English. I am very glad that I did!

I fully concur with all the positive comments made here by the reviewers. This is a marvelous blend that I could smoke all day long. Between Dr. Bradley and Gourmet English (with an occasional bowl of the very aromatic 3-Star Blue), I'm in pipe heaven again.

Thank you to all the reviewers on this site that have recommended Gourmet English. I'm a believer. As a matter of fact, I'm going to order some more right away before the April 1st price increase.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

BriarBurner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarBurner (29)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This classic english blend is true to its' name "Gourmet English". The taste is rich and full with the sweetness of the virginia's/ oriental well mingled into the mild latakia presence. The cut packs easily and burns a cool white ash throughout the briar. A real pleasure to smoke whether I'm kicked back or on the go.

Iwan Ries is the oldest operating tobacconists in the U.S.A. I well remember visits in the 50's-70's with my father and the variety of blends they produce. What still impresses me is the quality of the tobaccos they use and their affordability. With the high cost of boutique blends today, IRC delivers GE for 1/2 their cost. I stongly support my local tobacconist but this blend has no competition in my briar,so order I must.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

porshcigar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
porshcigar (27)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This is what all "English" tobacco blends wants to be. This is as near perfection as tobacco can be. This blend lights easily. It stays lit, and it burns cool and dry. The taste is dark and rich. The latakia does not over-power the other components, but it is there in full strength. This is an everyday, any time of the day, tobacco. If you like "English" blends, you will love this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Tumbaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tumbaki (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Ne Plus Ultra. The search is over. Intriguing, beguiling. Discovered thanks to this site last October.Will never be without. Have a pound in a humidor. 2 Dunhill #4's dedicated to this blend. Merci, Ivan Reis for this treasure

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Appearance is a dark brown rough ribbon. Tin smells lightly sweet and very slightly smoky. Tastes light, airy, nondescript.

I can only recommend this as a beginner's English, and not a good one at that. Intriguing in the tin, but dusty and dry flavours while smoking. Some sourness, and not a pleasant sourness. There is simply nothing here to justify another tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rattdogg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rattdogg (33)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

WOW! I wish I had tried this mixture years ago! I was unaware that anyone was still blending an English this good. This is the Iwan Ries English blend of the 1970's. I have not tasted anything this good since an old blend called Lamplighter disappered from the market around 1980. I had mentioned in a different review that Penzance was the only English I still smoked. Well move over Penzance! You have been replaced. I'm not going to try and describe the taste as other reviewers have done a far better job then I can. I will say that this is IMHO a perfectly balanced blend. English style does not equal Lat bomb!The English blends of yesteryear were a harmonious mix of several premium tobaccos working together to create a smoke that was as smooth as silk and as soft as an angles breath. I believe Ries has set the bar with Gourmet English. I urge the younger smokers to try GE as this is what an English was intended to be.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HokieGeek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HokieGeek (23)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Well, I did like it. It was sweet and smoky. I experienced no tongue bite and it burned consistently and cleanly. Due to my limited experience, I am thinking of this as an aromatic latakia. I probably will stick primarily to Larry's Blend or Butera's #2, but this is nice to have to change things up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I've just finished a tin from 2008. Gourmet English is a well-constructed medium English that emphasizes the Orientals over the Latakia, although the Latakia smokiness was present to my taste. Similar to the McCelland Frog Morton series, it doesn't bite and can be smoked all day. I found the moisture content a bit too much for my taste (as with FM) and it doesn't dry out much with time. While not a favorite to my Latakia tolerant wife, the room note is tolerable to those around. In all, a fine tobbaco by Iwan Ries.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Judge Adams Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Judge Adams (16)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is truly an English blend for the gourmet and not the gourmand. There are so many fine English blends out there, and the differences among them are often subtle. There are the giant latakia blasters (Nightcap, Abington, Old Ironsides, Westminster), the more oriental and virginia forward variety (My Mixture 965, Old Dublin, Frog Morton) and the crossovers (Bald Headed Teacher, Dr. Bradley's Mixture, Britt's Balkan). This blend is best described as balanced: solid, satisfying, plenty of taste,just a little spicy, and a unique overall smoothness rarely found in a full English. Every English devotee will enjoy it. It deserves all four stars in my galaxy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (496)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

This fine English offering from Iwan Ries is truely gourmet. Upon opening the tin, I was greeted with a deep, rich and lush looking blend of weed. Another reviewer described this as a buttery smoke and I must agree. The smoke is smooth and full and burns cooly with no bite. The Orientals and Virginia's play a large role here, yet they don't totally dominate. There's more than a hint of Latakia that serves to round out the blend very nicely. This blend does arrive on the damp side and I would suggest letting it dry out for at least a half hour or more. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeadMensPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeadMensPipes (38)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Another reviewer recommended letting this blend age for a year or more. The sealed tin I received from Iwan Ries last week was dated 1/2008, more than 1.5 years old. The scent of the unsmoked tobacco in the tin is wonderful, but very light. The leaf is a thicker, visually pleasing, coarse ribbon cut and packs quite nicely. It seems very moist right out of the tin, and I was concerned that it would burn hot and not stay lit - I was mistaken. One charring light, and then another match, and the entire bowlful burned and smoked smoothly, with billows of smoke, right down to the bottom - leaving nothing but a fine light gray ash. No goop. No dottle. No bite. No foul taste at the end. The word that comes to mind for the flavor of the smoke: "smoothe." This tobacco certainly lives up to its name. It is definitely one of the finest English blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Winter pipe fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Winter pipe fan (11)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

If you're like me - a big fan of the McClelland English blends, you'll enjoy Iwan Ries's Gourmet English. It doesn't bite, smokes very cool and seems to taste best just a tad drier than my usual blends. For an interesting treat, try aging this tobacco upwards of a year to taste it at its best. The feeling comes across that the tobacco is very agreeable for the smoker and doesn't seem to offend others in the room that are used to being around pipe smokers. One big thing with this blend is that the tobacco burns well, stays lit and holds a steady taste that doesn't inch towards picking up strength until late in the bowl - and it isn't a big change at that. A definite tobacco to try if English blends are your steady fare. Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirGawain Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirGawain (5)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

(NOTE: The tin I smoked before this review was from 2008.) One of the earlier reviews said, "This is what all other English tobacco blends want to be." I have to agree. This is the most delicious English blend I have smoked to date (and having smoked a pipe for twenty years, I've tried many). This one is truly worthy of the name "Gourmet English." Having been disappointed with many of the now-outsourced "English" offerings of many blenders, I was VERY pleasantly surprised by this Iwan Ries blend. Packs well and burns cool and smooth, right down to a fluffy, powdery grey dottle at all. The thing that impresses me most about this one is the sublime BALANCE in the taste. So many English blends on the market today have to add "mild," "medium," or "heavy" to their names, and sadly, this is still no indicator of the balance of flavors. One can be overwhelmed by Latakia in one blend, and underwhelmed by too much Turkish spice or Oriental in another. Not so with Gourmet English. The Latakia is there, and provides the nice, deep, smoky bass note. Quality leaf. Just enough Oriental there to make everything interesting. And in this blend, the Virginia shines. I also smoke many blended/straight Virginias (being a good Virginia boy myself) from McClelland and the like, and the Virginia in Iwan Ries' Gourmet English is reminiscent of these. It reminds me of one of my favorite pressed Virginias, Pipeworks & Wilke's "Dummerston": rich and buttery, it holds the blend together superbly. The flavor of this tobacco blend is very rich and well-rounded. There are no sharp edges anywhere, and no bite, either, no matter what my smoking cadence may be at the moment--although this definitely is one to be savored, not rushed. I imagine this being very close to the famous "Arcadia" mixture, so favored by the great writers and statesmen of the 19th century. Delicious and complex, and conducive to those contemplative moments. I prefer to smoke this in a blasted meer, but the blasted meer is my preferred pipe, anyway. If I had been introduced to this in my younger days, I would have been an English devotee much earlier in my exploration of our hobby. Smoke this one and you'll see why Iwan Ries has been around for a century and a half. A sublimely genteel English, and a true "gourmet" one at that. A solid four-stars! Hats off to Iwan Ries for this one, with fervent hopes that they don't mess with a good thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RxMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RxMan (17)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This is what one would expect from a highly regarded company that has been in business for 150 years EXCELLENCE! Iwan Ries and Co., from which I recently purchased two pipes (excellent prices), accessories and a tin of Gourmet English-the latter of which is remarkable, is the epitome of tobacconists today. Gourmet English Blend is a standard to judge other English blends IMHO. Forget outsourced Dunhill, and upstart manufactures', this has it all. Cool, smooth, recognizable tastes of some of the finest tobaccos available are contained in this wonderful blend. I really don't know who the blender is, probably C&D or McClellands, but they are right on with the recipe. One outstanding blend to relax and read with, or enjoy a walk.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Irishlefty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Irishlefty (18)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is what one one expect from one of the premier Pipe shops in the USA - a simply superior blend!

This smells good when opened, packs easy, stays lit and just tastes great. This fits right in with some of my other favorites - Frog Morton, Royal Yacht, Odyssey. It's a bit 'earthier' and a touch stronger then Frog Morton - tastes as good in a corn cob as in a Savinelli or Sasieni.

After years of sticking with a couple of good old standby's I've been trying loads of different blends. Given that I tend toward English and Balkan blends, it isn't a shock to find that I like this one enough to add it to my favorites list.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (127)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a very good english-aromatic. The casing is delicious and as addictive as opium (I've never smoked opium). It is the same flavoring as that used in IRC Slices (virginia cavendish) but with a heavier hand. This is a very cool smoking blend which burns to a fine white ash. The latakia and turkish are very tasty but do not overpower the virginia base. My only complaint is the excessive use of the casing, which I feel should be toned down in order to allow for more tobacco taste.

Sept.25th Update:

I decided to add 8% cigar leaf and 4% perique to this blend, in order to add more flavor and cut down on the casing. Because of these improvements(my opinion), I'm raising my rating to 4 stars. I'll never forget Sailorman Jack for imparting his knowledge on the addition of cigar leaf to pipe mixtures.

October 16, 2007:

Here's another favorite that's lost it's luster. I think it's the latakia that finally did me in. It's still a good blend, but not quite as good as I used to think.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

If you liked Frog Morton,you may now meet his older brother Gourmet English from Iwan Ries. This is the most" McClellandy" of the Iwan Ries house mixtures.This is very much in the same vein as FMOT but without the heavy casing and heavier on the Orientals and Virginias.Latakia does take a back seat in this blend. I believe somewhere in the trunk actually. This is a magnificent sweet Virginia/Oriental blend with just a smidgen of Latakia added. It has a most unique flavor and burns quite cool. I must, however, warn that this is a very McClelland Virginia based blend and is rather spicy.It does not bite but has the effect of a teaspoon of vinegar on the tongue . I like vinegar, so for me it was great. The best description is a hybrid between "Arcadia Mixture" and "FMOT". Get the Idea? A super Crossover blend without a lot of casing. McClelland lovers will enjoy this to the fullest. The rest of will admire it and enjoy it for what it is- Uniquely flavorful. 3 Crossover Stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.