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Deep flavored, heat cured, naturally fermented and matured Black Cavendish.

Notes: Originally blended in England.

BrandAstley's
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
None Detected, Extremely Mild
Taste
Mild
Room Note
Pleasant
2.0
14 reviews
Reviews
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0
3 star:
2
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10
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (466)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A dark stoved Virginia with some cavendish that needs to smoked slowly. It does have a nice sweetness with some hay taste. There's not much of a nic hit, and though the quality of the tobaccos is good, this just isn't anything special. I can smoke it, and accept it for what it is, but it leaves me unfulfilled as a smoker.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Sykes Wilford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sykes Wilford (35)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very similar to other blends of its ilk, especially Robert McConnell's Rich Dark Virginia. Given that they come from the same factory in Germany now, it is not particularly surprising that such similarly intended blends ended up, well, so similar. If anything, this may smoke slightly cooler than McConnell's Rich Dark Virginia.

Comprising of exclusively of very dark stoved and aged Virginias, the color of the blend (if it indeed can be called that) is decidedly uniform.

The tin aroma is superb-- gently sweet and rich in the way only dark cured Virginias can be. It could use a little drying right out of the tin, but its not incredibly wet-- certainly smokable.

The smoke is good, but unexceptional. Some of the sweetness from the tin aroma shines through, but it's more bland than I would have expected given the delightful tin nose. This would probably make for a decent morning smoke for me and might be very much enjoyed by the lover of dark Virginia blends, but it definitely isn't exciting enough to become one of my favorites. I'll probably finish this tin, but I doubt I'll purchase another.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

i'm smoking a 17 years opened tin which has been humified several times. it still tastes just about the same as i remember back then, but of course there's a lot less tin aroma.

it is, as others have noticed, rather bland in an aromatic way, but not sweet in the typical german/danish sense. it's a classical old fashioned english cavendish (can't say, of course if it still is, but judging from the other reviews i'd say it is).

as such, it is not that interesting to smoke on its own (and it isn't, really, supposed to), but try mixing it with a light virginia like fribourg & treyers golden mixture - it's quite surprising what it does to a blend.

astley's #44 isn't available in denmark anymore, but in the old days it contained a bit of the same sort of cavendish as #88. don't know if it still does.

(edited to correct the number of years i've had this tin: not 10 - 17!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

It has been quite awhile since I have delved into black canendish blends...and it appears that it will be quite awhile before I do so again. The appearance in the tin is dark brown/black and the smell is appealing. However the taste is, well, ordinary. This is the kind of blend that I would mindlessly fill a pipe with to putter around the house or rake leaves with. It does smoke cool and dry but it is not one of those blends that I would "Sit-Back" to experience. Overall, it is a nice smoke, it lacks the character and depth that I normally look for in a good blend. Monochrome, consistent taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Horse Bodotes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Horse Bodotes (19)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Astley's No. 88 is a good example of a matured Virginia tobacco that proves to be maybe a little too much of a good thing.

Contrary to other reviewers, I found my sample tin to be much dryer than I was expecting. The tin aroma is a pleasant smell of raisins that is common to fermented Virginia tobaccos. The ribbons are a bit on the long side, and might benefit from a bit of breaking up for a smaller bowl.

Upon lighting, the sweet taste and smooth aroma that is unique to mature Virginias is evident. That is both the good and the bad: the taste was sweet and smooth and creamy, but there was virtually no change as one smokes down the bowl. By the end of the pipe, I find that the entire experience is a bit boring and monotonous. I am going to try adding a pinch of Perique to my next bowl of No. 88 and see if that spices things up a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable

English-style Cavendish-processed leaf, just like RATTRAY's Dark Fragrant. Very good quality, highly recommended to cavendish lovers. Too light for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Snob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Snob (10)
★★☆☆
Very Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

I have steadily been making my way through the entire line of Astley's tobaccos and have found several winners such as #109. But, this is not one of them.

This is a good, dark, tobacco, but one that is lacking in depth and character. It's taste runs to a tangy flavor, which can be tasted a day later.

As some of the other reviewers mentioned, this is one difficult tobacco to keep lit. Even with drying prior to smoking, it was still a chore to keep lit. Perhaps it is the fire retardant in the flavoring.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I have been meandering my way through the entire Astley's range of tinned tobaccos over the past few months. #109 was too light. #44 was quite tasty and should be terrific with some age to it. #66 just plain sucks. #88 is average.

Dark, mellow Virginia with a smidgen of some kind of exotic, unobtrusive topping describes #88. The stoving keeps the burn cool even with the added flavoring.

Tantric's comparison of this blend to Rattray's Dark Virginia and Dark Fragrant is right on. In fact, I think by combining those two, you could get Astley's 88. Frankly, I think this stuff is a little better. Oh, and the spousal unit, without prodding, said she enjoyed the room note.

Finally, to sum up #88, I think it is an average blend that probably will not offend you or those around you. Just not enough strength to hold on to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

Astley's 88 is certainly a light, harmless tobacco blend. There is nothing wrong with it and indeed, it would be a great starter tobacco for a new pipe smoker if it stayed lit a bit better.

The only problem with 88 from a mature smoker's viewpoint is that it is monochromatic and approaching bland.

I like my matured virginia blends to have some tang and some sparkle to them. If you do too, then 88 isn't for you.

I will probably use the balance of the tin to blend in with some of my other tobaccos

I tried this blend in the first place because it has gotten so much positive mention on ASP. Well, lesson learned...!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★☆☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Unnoticeable

Another tobacco for worm meal. After opening the tin the tobacco the color was a dark brown to black, it was very dry and there was no aroma.

I shoulld have stopped right there but proceeded on in attempt to pack a Larsen the size of a #4 Dunhill. I was really expecting the tobacco to go up in smoke, but it was just the opposite, I could not keep the tobacco lit I finally just gave up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (259)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I normally wouldn't even try black cavendish but have had good prior success with the German blender K&K under other of the Astleys' labels. Although I have much more experience with Va flakes, this is one of the better cavendish blends that I've recently smoked. I would not classify it as a ribbon cut as indicated above but rather a ready rubbed flake comprised of mostly deep brown to black stoved VAs. The tin aroma had only a hint of sweetness in contrast to many of the heavily cased cavendish blends. Once I improved my packing technique, although the initial lights were difficult, relights were not needed. Overall a cool, smooth smoke for a cavendish that I may select in the hot weather. However, it lacks the strength and flavor to become one of my steadies.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

If you like dark matured virginias, and I admit they are an acquired taste, then you can do no wrong with this fine smoking blend. The weed is dark as night and smells like a loaf of black Russian rye bread. Beautiful! To me, the flavour was very well-balanced, with no one feature that hits you over the head--just smooth, mildly sweet, with a touch of mulled spice. This would be a perfect introduction to matured Vas, as it smoked clean and cool in several shapes/sizes of pipe.

UPDATE: seeing Paddy's review reminded me of what I forgot to mention when I reviewed this blend halfway through my tin--it was bloody hard to keep lit. This was a pain in the butt, despite the flavour being good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco is a chunky black cavendish with occasional bits of very dark brown. It smells faintly of the Astley sweetener used in several of their tobaccos. The flavor is matured, dark Virginia, but very much on the light side. There is absolutely nothing remarkable about this tobacco; it is extraordinarily bland. Its most significant deficiency is that it is extremely difficult to keep lit. The constant fiddling required to keep it going plus a complete lack of uniqueness convinces me it is not worth the trouble. It does not even have enough nicotine to recommend it. Ersatz tobacco. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It is inevitable to compare some of Astley's blends with Rattray?s. Both are high quality tobaccos, prepared with absolute care for detail and flavour, and both are now blended by the same German house (Cohlhacs & Kopp, that also blends Robert McConnell's).

Astley?s 88 is a very similar tobacco, in aroma and appearance, to Rattray?s Black Virginia and, to a lesser extent, to Dark Fragrant. Astely's is suppler in texture, smoother in flavour, and IMO, easier to smoke than its close relatives. It is a dark brown, almost black tobacco, short crimp cut. Though it is easy to pack it takes some time before it lights properly. It smokes very smoothly and cool.

I find this is not as tangy as Black Virginia, nor as sweet as Dark Fragrant. Rather it is somewhere in the middle. It is very savoury and palatable, and an excellent choice to sit by and read a book or listen to music. The quality is superb and the smoking experience is amiable and very pleasant. If you like dark stoved Virginias, with a hint of tangy sweetness, try this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.