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BrandSullivan & Powell
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsOriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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8 reviews
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1826)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I was shocked to learn from a friend earlier today that this old classic has never been reviewed. I recently received several tins of Sullivan Powell Gentleman's Mixture to sell on consignment on my website. My mouth started watering when I opened the box to get out my client's tobacco tins and I saw several tins of this wonderful weed. I kept looking at the old 70s paper label and am still fighting the urge to buy it for myself. The tobacco, as I recall, was really ripe Virginia with some Oriental top notes and just the barest hint of a Latakia bottom. Better, IMO, than 90% of the tobacco I have ever smoked. Even better than Dunhill's Ye Olde Signe, which was similar, but didn't have any Latakia in it. In fact, as I think back, I'm not sure the Sullivan Powell actually had Latakia in it either, but something like it was deep in the background. It's been at least 5-6 years since I last smoked a tin, so, forgive my vague recollections. Heck, at my age even yesterday is a fading memory. )-:

* Long story short: The gentleman I was selling that Gentleman's Mixture for is quite a gentleman himself. Gregory Pease coveted the blend and the owner of the tins just flat gave them to Greg. Also wonderful was the fact that the gentleman told me to pop a tin and smoke a bowl or two before sending it on to Mr. Pease (I smoked three bowls, but whose counting, right?) I had a near religeous experience. It was better than I remembered it being. I have now sent all the tins to Greg. You ever seen a grown man cry?

8 people found this review helpful.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (71)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I picked up a 2oz. tin of this dated 1976 and paid more for it than most of my pipes. Was it worth it? For a splurge, yes. I enjoyed every bowl of Gentleman's Mixture. It's hard to describe every nuance that age brings a blend this old, but let me tell you, this had to have been one of the best I've ever smoked. The first whiff smelled like you could eat it. Literally. Fruitcake or fruity pastries describe both the smell and the taste of this delicious blend. It had a mixture of shades of brown and black in a fine ribbonish cut that was then trimmed to small flecks of leaf. A very fine cut. I didn't detect any latakia, not like I have known latakia anyway. Possibly it offered some supporting role but I just couldn't detect it. The sweet, distinguished and complex taste of GM is very attractive and will be held in high regard by me as time goes on. It leaves me pining for a worthwhile reenactment. I've read Ashbury by GL Pease has some similarities.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28472)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

I hesitated opening this tin, knowing that I would be breaking into a rare & expensive acquisition as I've seen these 50g tins sell for over $100.00 on ebay. It was very well sealed in a snap-top tin. Finally, with the help of a flat screwdriver, this tobacco was exposed to the elements for the first time in 25 years. Tiny sugar crystals sparkled like wee diamonds upon some of the ribbon cut leaf.

This tobacco is mostly light & medium brown, sprinkled with trace amounts of black leaf. Tin aroma was dominant with the pungent essense of aged Oriental leaf...a sweet & sour fermented like aroma. I aired it out for an hour. You might want to sift through it during preperation and pick out a few little sticks. This blend is the finest tasting natural leaf combination I've smoked thus far...

At the charring light, I sensed that I was going to be blessed with something...memorable. After a few puffs, I started getting a sweet, herbaceous, floral-like flavor that was just awesome. I really can't describe the flavor. It is so unique. I think the Oriental components outweigh the Virginia allotment...but due to my lack of experience with Oriental Blends, can't be sure about's just my impression after sampling a few bowls.

This tin sample smoked extremely mild & smooth with rich, creamy smoke that didn't bite or get harsh toward the end. The smoke produced a unique, sweet flavor as the bowl progressed. The quality tobaccos in this blend compliment each other as they begin to interact. The exotic flavor diminishes somewhat during the last third of the bowl but still intrigues & pacifies the palate. It's like being able to smoke your dessert!

I can't imagine tobaccos alone producing such awesome flavor. I guess these Orientals create their own distinctive herbal, nutty & sweet floral essense. Orientals aren't overly potent in nicotine but combined with top shelf Virginia leaf it obtains a medium strength. Gentleman's Mixture Original is a classic VA/Oriental blend. I suspect quality leaf from various growing regions were combined to form this enticing mixture...another example of applied skill in the tobacco procurement & blending craft. Therefore, IMHO, Sullivan & Powell merits four stars for this Gentleman's Mixture Original blend. Superb!!!

Sampled in a Dunhill, 2S Shell Briar. I will update if any notable changes occur after this tin airs out a while.

Pipe Used: Dunhill #2 Shell Briar

Age When Smoked: 25 Years

Purchased From: eBay

Similar Blends: Can't think of anything that compares..

4 people found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (73)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I bought two tins of this some years ago from the Magazine Shop in Preston, my local tobacconists while I was studying there.

One had lost its vacuum, so I rehydrated it and smoked it. A pleasant blend of Orientals and Virginia, but much of the subtleties must have been lost. The other tin I opened last winter for a treat, and it delivered. Wonderful stuff, spicy but velvet smooth, with a sweetness from the Virginias.

Funny story though. I had smoked most of it on a break in Devon. It had snowed, and I stayed another night hoping for better weather. I left early in the morning on my motorbike, wrapped up in every layer of clothes I had. The snow started again, and I dropped my bike on the way over Exmoor. My luggage fell off, and was hit by the car behind (which didn't bother to stop) and dragged off down the road. We recovered the remains of my bag, my pipe, my precious pipe tool. My fountain pen has survived being run over, and was embedded in snow under a tyre mark! Alas the tin of Gentleman's Mixture had been flattened, and the last of the tobacco met a very ungentlemanly end...

Pipe Used: Peterson briars

Age When Smoked: Ancient!

Purchased From: Magazine Shop, Preston in 2005

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28472)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Many thanks to Pipestud and Tantric: they brought back poignent, but wonderful memories. I have just completed my first two reviews on the site and I must admit that I didn't expect to see this one reviewed.

I grew-up with the aroma of this tobacco filtering through every room in the house: this was my Father's favourite oriental for as long as I can remember - he passed away in 1976, and went with him, Sullivan Powell. Sadly, at about the same time, we saw Astley's and Charatan's in Jermyn Street close; followed quickly by Friebourg's in the Haymarket.

Having visited Sullivan Powell's shop with my Father on more ocassions than I care to remember, I can absolutely confirm that there was no latakia in this mixture - he was not particularly fond of latakia, nor am I - it must be in the genes. It was as you confirm - predominently virginian with a top-grade oriental (not Latakia) topping.

All Sullivan Powell's tobaccos were generally more up-market and more expensive then their competitors including Dunhill's hand blends.

Incidentally, I was in J.J. Fox's shop in St James's today and there was a customer looking for Sullivan Powell Turkish cigarettes - a clear indication of their renowned reputation as blenders.

Thank's for the memories!

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (303)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Let me join the esteemed Pipestud in his accolades for this most extraordinary mixture (and in so doing, let me wish you all a very happy new year, if such thing is possible in the current state of affairs).

I had previously made references to it, and to its siblings (Special Mixture, Finest Smoking Mixture, Original Virginia Flake--an all time favorite of mine, and one I suggested should be included in the Tobacco Hall of Fame--and Cut Plug) when reviewing other brands, for they belong to a bygone era when English blends were at their best, such as the original Three Nuns or Sobranie's Virginias and Balkans.

Alas, they are all gone now, or else rendered unrecognizable. I had the opportunity of smoking a number of tins of this and its aforementioned siblings in the late eighties and early nineties, when living in Britain. It was not a very well known brand even then, and only a few mature professors would smoke it.

I agree with Pipestud: Gentleman's Mixture Original did not have Latakia. It was "a blend of rarest Oriental and Virginia tobaccos". Special Mixture and Finest Smoking Mixture did include Latakia in different degrees.

If anything Mixture Original would be closer to Presbyterian. But where Presbyterian is kind of harsh and raw, MO was exceedingly smooth, almost velvet like, yet with quite enough nicotine and strength to deliver some punch. The closest brand I can pair it with--also recently disappeared as such, and transformed into something completely different--would be Fox's Campanile. Again: Campanile used to be a tad lighter and less robust than Mixture Original.

The aromas and the taste of Mixture Original were really extraordinary, and truly belong to a different era, when the word Gentleman actually meant something. It was a rather expensive smoke, as I recall, and best reserved for a quiet evening when reading and having a glass of scotch were in order.

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

This tin that this is based on is at least twenty years old as this blend, very sadly is no longer made. It is very expensive on ebay if the rare tin can be found. So now the review, and it is a simple one. Hands down, the best Virginia/Oriental blend I have ever put in my pipe. Not one of the best, but the very best. Find it, buy it, love it! Highly Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (854)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I did not taste any latakia in this blend, and I have to go with the other reviewers rather than the description on this site and say this contains hugely matured virginias and naturally sweet orientals. The comparison to Presbyterian is obvious but I do taste latakia in that one, and as Tantric said, the blend is more harsh than this one. I find the two compare in theory only.

I bought this tin in 1991 - three, actually - but I smoked the other two many years ago. I remember it being a very nice tobacco but nothing I could call a "desert island" blend. With an additional 18 years of aging, this is truly ambrosial. And the good news is that any of this you find is going to be very old. I recommend you either open your pocketbooks and buy whatever you can find of this or contact me immediately so I can do so! This is an absolutely wonderful tobacco blend, and it's one of many that I wish were still around. This is what every VA/oriental I've ever smoked is trying to be but misses. Truly one of the finest blends of any genre.

1 person found this review helpful.