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The return of an old favorite, Spilman Mixture is a classically complex English blend of Virginia, Latakia, Turkish and cubed Burley that hasn't been available for 70 years! The reinvention of this classic tobacco took years of research and development. Presented in a detailed recreation of the original can, right down to the replica tax stamp, Spilman Mixture features the coarse cut favored by pipe smokers in the last century, and an honest, straight forward tobacco flavor. As the can says, "Discriminating Smokers smoke and recommend Spilman Mixture on account of its purity. Spilman Mixture is of incomparable Quality. The combination contains the choicest tobaccos. Its rich aroma is guaranteed to be Nature's own." Spilman Mixture is irresistible for anyone interested in trying what their great-great grandfather smoked.

BrandE. Hoffman Company
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsBurley, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia, Latakia
FlavoringNone
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging1.5oz tin
CountryUS
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 3 Users

3.0
58 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
21
3 star:
21
2 star:
10
1 star:
6
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August Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
August (4)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Spilman is my 'go to' tobacco. I have to admit my first puchase was influenced by its pleasent retro-lable but, I have kept a tin or two around ever since. I find it well balanced (not too much latakia). I always enjoy a virginia/burley base and this one is just the right mix, kind of elegant, kind of homey. Sometimes I want a big nicotine hit. Spiman is not where I turn for that. It's just a nice, dependable smoke and that's a good thing. I don't want every bowlful to be a show-stopper, but I do want consistant, quality tobacco. Spilman just suites me that way.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin.

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

3 people found this review helpful.

bem77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bem77 (2)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I got to chance to try E. Hoffman Company's Spilman Mixture at our last meeting thanks to the generosity of our members. It was described as a mild English blend. Mild English blends are my favorites so I had to dive right in and try a bowl. The tin is described as "complex English blend of Virginia, Latakia, Turkish and cubed Burley" by the manufacturer. I don't smoke a lot of blends with burley in it. I think I may be missing out and may need to expand my horizons. Mild English is a very appropriate description of this tobacco. More accurate would be a pleasantly mild English tobacco. The Latakia, Virginia, and Burley tobaccos are very well balanced to create a tasty smoke that reminded of toasted nuts and summer campfires. The Turkish is the one component that was almost lost in the background. This might be a good thing, as too much Turkish would upset the balance already achieved in this tobacco. This may not be a smoke that completely knocks your socks off but it makes for a great all day, anytime smoke. I can't wait to try it first thing in the morning with a nice cup of coffee. Overall 4 our 5 stars. I will be ordering a pound or two to add to my cellar.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (580)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The awesome-looking tin won me over! Tin aroma is of a sweetened, kind of OTC-ish mustiness with some latakia present. Cut is a user friendly squarish chop - easy to load. Well, it would be easy to load if it didn't have so many stems in it. But so it goes.

This is something to smoke, I suppose. It's basically inoffensive and does nothing horribly wrong. The casing used could be toned down a bit for my taste, but the overall effect was "dirty", to use a strange word in the context of tobacco. It tasted old, and not old as in aged... old as in stale, but it wasn't stale. Hard to explain. The main flavor was very light latakia with some sort of sweetener and a good burley body. Orientals didn't come out much and the VA was just sort of a base without asserting itself, either. This reminded me of C&D's Americana but C&D did it so much better, IMHO. I made it through about 2 oz of this and gave the rest away. Probably the best thing I can say about this is that I gave it away to a pipesmoking couple. How cool is that?

It's something to try but it fails to distinguish itself. It just sort of "is" - nothing to get too excited over. As always, YMMV.

2 people found this review helpful.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (46)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Spilman is a retro/nostalgia blend. I Finally decided to pop the tub that sat in my cellar for more than a year and smoked four or five bowls of it in the next two days.

You can smell the Latakia and the Turkish reeking off the open tin, but taste more of the Turkish when smoking. Funny, because it supposedly has more burley and virginia than latakia or Turkish. It must be the Turkish that gives it a cigarettish quality, I think, but the burley and virginia help to balance things. Or not, depending on your own opinion. And few smokers will receive a completely similar impression of this blend.

Comes wet. Had to dry it out on a paper towel for about an hour. Surprisingly mild nicotine component, considering all those ingredients. Consequently, nic lovers find it too mild for their taste, but is perfect for me. YMMV. It does seem to be something of an acquired taste, but what can I say? I still can't make heads or tails of this blend, but I'm liking it. Easy to fill, to keep lit, smokes smooth, yadda yadda yadda. As long as you take the trouble to dry it out a bit prior to smoking.

I think the danger with this blend is that its milder, non-bitey smoothness can tempt you to make it an all-day smoke of it, which it isn't. It doesn't smoke enough under the radar and conceivably could tire tastebuds even to its best qualities, at least the ones I've perceived, if smoked too often and continuously. That may be one of the reasons the blend fell out of fashion in the U.S. after being all the rage for many years. But it hasn't bored me yet.

My initial impression from just two bowls is very positive. Delectable flavor and a sidestream aroma that waltzes you in and out and around again. The first bowl recommended itself uniquely to my palate, with an unprecedented (to me) citrusy/sweet tang. Can't fully wrap my head around this blend yet; I have trouble finding any points of comparison, reference or similarity. Almost indescribable. Simply irresistible. (With apologies here to the late Robert Palmer.) Has a pungent, savory quality that blows through the leathery latakia and settles on the tastebuds, especially those on each side of the tongue. Yummers. Mommy.

Am I exaggerating here, reduced to spouting immature hyperbolic dithyrambs? Exaggerating, no. Reduced to spouting, yes. Ah initial impressions. The shock of recognition; or rather the surprise of non-recognition. I'm not compos mentis enough for balanced views or for sage and sedate evaluations. After all, this baccy has put me in The Zone in two and a half seconds flat.

Surprising, considering that it's just tobacco... And I don't drink...

Somehow it gives me a subtle memory of having smoked it once.... But I never smoked it before....!!!

Different from any tobacco I've smoked. And yet... and yet... at the same time... it is strangely familiar. But arcanely so... a contradiction in terms! A puzzlement, this tantalizing cognitive lacuna in my grasp. But gee willikers, this be some good baccy!

I want to repeat the experience over and over again. Let it haunt me and pursue me, but may it never turn on me.

And, oh yes, again: YMMV.

I smoked it in a large bowl, as someone recommended. That person was right.

2 people found this review helpful.

bob323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bob323 (44)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sturdy little all day English...Puzzles my as to why it went away in the first place...if the original was anything like this, somebody must have been asleep at the switch to allow it to be discontinued...If your looking for something less expensive and tastier than Squadron Leader, this is it.

Pipe Used: various for testing

Age When Smoked: Newly bought

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

flakey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flakey (43)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

One of the coolest burning, if not the coolest burning tobacco I've ever smoked.

A pretty well balanced blend, no one component really dominates... the burley is an ever-present base and latakia is in the middle to back, never out front, but definitely there. Flavor does shift some throughout the bowl. Has a good finish that for me didn't really seem to linger.

This blend does have a little different taste that pokes it's head out from time to time, and it took me quite a few bowls to put my finger on it, because just when I almost had it pegged, it would subside back into the profile, or disappear altogether. At first I thought it was vanilla. Then I thought maybe the particular turkish / oriental they were using created that taste. Figuring out this flavor became an obsession (I even actually ate a little bit of this tobacco...gosh) over the course of several bowls, and then it dawned on me... licorice! I think this blend, or at least some of the leaf in it, may be lightly cased with licorice. Or maybe I'm nuts?? YMMV.

Overall a decent and flavorful blend. Don't expect it to be a typical english. Not quite as much nicotine as I usually like but a good change of pace.

1 person found this review helpful.

rattdogg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rattdogg (33)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I know this blend will not affect everyone the way it does me and I don't want to trash it for what is likely just my personal taste but.......Spilman mixture smells or taste or both like a wet dog to me. I don't know about you but that flavor is not one I crave in a smoking tobacco. I am aware that others like this blend and as I stated it's just me with doggie thing but I can't handle it. Spilman gags me!

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Step right up and get your Barking Dog with a little different added flavoring right here, folks.

This is a delightful and very good blend in that it offers a somewhat unique smoking experience and is an easy tobacco to like. You'll not get exotic flavor sensations but you will receive a tobacco blend where you can taste Latakia, Burley and a mild added flavoring that combines to make this blend easy on the palate and won't give you "Latakia overload." For some reason, a few pipe smokers believe a Latakia blend means the blender has to pour on the Latakia and then stick in a pinch of a couple of other things. A light Latakia can be appreciated too, and here's a perfect example

Barking Dog (another American light Latakia/Burley mix) seems somewhat similar to Spilman, but the added flavorings are as different as night and day. Also, Spilman comes a little bit too moist in the tin for my liking and is a little more flavorful when dried out a bit.

A "delicate" Latakia blend... The long-ago creators of Spillman appear to have been simple folks. God bless 'em!

1 person found this review helpful.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (57)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Very nice.

Sweet and light English mixture with little to no fuss or drama.

Perfect all day English, maybe even a summer English should you want one.

The star of the show is the sweetened Lat, the back-ups are there but nudge gently.

Can find nothing wrong with it, nice for a bit of old-fashioned piping.

Not special or loud enough to enter the 4-star region.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

I'm not even going to try and figure out if I got a bad tin or not. The aftertaste I have in my mouth right now is something I don't ever want to risk tasting again. This blend has a mustiness that is akin to mildew. I could barely taste any real tobacco flavor because of it. I'm done with this one.

Pipe Used: MM General

Age When Smoked: Fresh???

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KINGCOLE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KINGCOLE (10)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

The retro packaging is attractive; however, Spillman stings the tongue a bit and the flavor does not get any more complex than toasted marshmallow with a mild hickory smoke chaser. There is not a lot of nicotine here and the smoke is a bit thin of body. Overall, Spillman Mixture is not unpleasant, but if you want a better retro smoke, take a stroll over to Carter Hall.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fiorano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fiorano (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked this up as a sample when I stopped by the Iwan Reis & co. store in Chicago. Great Town, Great folks and Great shop, what can i say. This mix was offered to me by Kevin himself on the basis of me mentioning Ruins of Isengard, and what a great match. Spilman mixture being a much more complex take on a non-aromatic, i hesitate to call this an English blend, but it certainly doesn't have any flavoring. It begins sweet, and has a familiar sweetness through out like Erinmore flake, hearty tasting but mild. the Latakia begins to show through midway in a more pronounced fashion, and finishes the bowl with the incense tones mixing with the sweetness creating a caramel swirl in the more mature flavors. it doesn't bite in is crisp and clean smoke with a lingering taste. this is a good one, like many tobies i try which i am not convinced i like I kept thinking of this later wonder why i wasn't smoking it. It is quite good- all day and all night really.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

R.M. Schultz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
R.M. Schultz (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I would smoke it every day, but I can't afford it. I usually make it my first bowl after dinner and then smoke straight burley for the rest of the evening. Very flavorful and interesting. Nice cut, burns well. If you like Connecticut wrapper cigars then this is the blend for you!

BTW, E. Hoffman Company is the predecessor to Iwan Ries & Co. and is now just their pseudonymn for reviving old brands for their hundredth anniversary.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mickey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mickey (7)
★★★☆
Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

Ok I know some of you will think I am off my rocker but I found

that mixing half Spilman Mixture with half Old Gowrie makes a great all day pipe, just love it. If I want to smoke it as is

I do but really like the 50/50 blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (51)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Purchased the larger can from an online retailer and cracked open over a year ago. It came very moist. Coarsely cut with an hearty tobacco aroma. Does best with some drying time and in the largest of pipes. This blend is extremely well balanced and made of quality components. Very medium and middle of the road in flavor and strength. Not a powerhouse if that is what one is looking for. Just consistent flavors that meld well. Believe a smoker of C&D's Old Hollywood would like this very much. Smokes cool, but will sting if puffed to hard. Good to have in the rotation when one wants something a bit lighter than a med heavy English, but isnt inclined towards aromatics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Received a generous sample of this from Iwan Ries with a recent order. I really liked the flavor of this mixture. It is a perfect tobacco in every way but I would like it to be just a tad stronger. The smooth smoking qualities of this blend might have fooled me though. Great burning properties and lots of mild, creamy smoke, however.

The Latakia apportionment in this blend was to my liking...staying in the background but just enough to provide depth & facilitate the melding of the tobacco flavors. Will I purchase more of this? You betcha! Therefore, IMHO, Spillman's Mixture deserves four stars for a very professionally & expertly blended mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BigSwede Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigSwede (61)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An interesting blend, one worth a look if you like the old american blends from way back that combined burley and VA with latakia and various "other stuff", in this case turkish.

The quality of the leaf seems very good. My initial impression, that the moisture level was "about right", was actually off: it was hard to light and that first bowl smoked hot, steamy and bland. Proper drying (about an hour) of future bowls took care of that. For the first third of a bowl the turkish and latakia seemed to be a little more front and center. After that the rest of the bowl mellows into a smooth, somewhat complex all tobacco taste with a good burley base playing against the rest. I know a lot of my colleagues will call this "american english" and I'm not one to quibble, but this blend is as wholly american as mother and apple pie. If you enjoyed some of the old HOW blends (i.e. Revelation) you might want to try this, though this is smoother, milder and seems to have no casing/topping. I will definitely keep this around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (37)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A little smokey and a little tangy from the virginia/latakia and the burley adds a smidge of body to this blend. A tasty and mild english blend and a decent change if you want to give yourself a break from the heavier blends, which I almost never want to do, at least not during the cold months here in Chicago. But I could see reaching for this sometimes during the summer to give myself a change from the straight virginias and burleys. Just a little too mild for me right now...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Merven the Great Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Merven the Great (18)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A bit too sweet for me. Tastes somewhere between aromatic and English probably nice transition bakky for someone wishing to convert to English without going all the way and visa versa for English smokers wanting aromatics.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Smoking air gives you more nicotine.

Another waste of my money, along with GL Pease tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (22)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I must say this is an interesting blend. Nutty with Burley, a dash of Latakia enough to be noticeable, Turkish and Virginias to bring up the rear. My one problem was bite. I really wanted this as my all day smoke, but alas it bit me. Very disappointed in that regard as I really like the mild flavor of this old blend. Maybe I'll give it another try. I sure went through the 7 oz's pretty quick so that says something!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kashmir Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kashmir (19)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Spilman Mixture by the E. Hoffman Co. brings back, after 70 years, a heirloom tobacco that perhaps your great great grandfather may have smoked in an early sandblasted Dunhill (my fantasy). It comes complete with a can that captures the original to the last detail, including the tax stamp. It is an Air Cured blend of Burley, Virginia, Latakia and Turkish, and is presented in the can as a rough Broken Flake. This latter point means that flavors are occasionally released in the bowl explosively as one component presides over the other. Spilman Mixture in my book represents an American English blend. Although I am no great fan of Burley this is somewhat compensated by some fine Virginia and Latakia leaf. The Turkish provides an additional overtone. I would have preferred however less Burley and more Latakia and Virginia, but I guess then it wold not have conformed to the original recipe. I give it three stars because of the Burley, but it should be sampled as it may suit some more than others. Cheers,

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (57)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice to pack and smoke. This is a genuine all day blend. The first 10 to 15 min's are tilted towards latakia, but after that, it is a very smooth blend with balance and satisfaction. Notes of its flavour include smokey, sweet and nutty. It is very, very cool, and requires no attention to smoke to full ash.

This tobacco is not pretentious and is truly a good cross-over blend. I liked the fact that the texture was very coarse- chunky and dense, yet requires no rubbing or work to keep burning with full flavour.

Using the pocket-hole method allows for a full smoke, with zero relights in a medium size bowl. I have ordered more.

I gravitate towards straight VA, but this blends reminds me of life after VA.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Traderbob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Traderbob (24)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I tried this blend while visiting my local pipe shop and bought a 2.5 oz tin.

Nice smell when opening the tin, a little different than what I ususally smoke. The scent from the tin is hard to describe - not really a particular smell that I can relate to. A little larger flakes than typical and a few of the VA or Burley pieces were stiff and required a little rubbing out to pack properly. The moisture level was good, a little dryer than my other tobaccos. I am comfortable in packing this into my pipe directly from the tin with no drying.

This tobacco packed and lit easily. Soft, light taste at light up that seems to mature as you get further down the bowl. I would describe the taste and room note as that of a classic simple tobacco. Very light taste and easy to smoke especially in the morning.

Burns evenly and smoothly with few re-lights required. It developed a little more character about 1/2 the way down the bowl. Smoked to a fine ash and left little residue in my pipe. One tin will last me a long time as it is not one I will go to often - but do enjoy it when I smoke it.

This would be a good tobacco for the new pipe smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheBriarSire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheBriarSire (11)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My search for an all-day blend continues, but for now, I have a contender: Spilman's Mixture. Spilman manages to deliver in both complexity and simplicity. In other words, if I choose to be contemplative, I have a mixture that has enough to dazzle me in my armchair. If I want to surf the web, talk on Skype, or wash dishes (well, I never want to do that), I have a blend that doesn't require much attachment or respect. Of course, a blend that's been around for a hundred years or so deserves all the respect in the world, but considering it was created just for these purposes is why I love it. To reiterate, it is the perfect all-day, go-to, always satisfying mixture I have sought after for so long (all of two months since I've gotten into non-aromatics). Why is this only a contender for me and not my definitive all-day? Well, Spilman is twenty dollars for 7 oz., which on my budget is a bit much for an all-day. I would hate to sacrifice quality for price, but these are one of the criteria for my perfect all-day. As Einstein had Revelation (which I believe was something of a higher quality drugstore tobacco), I have my Spilman -- for now. The only other downside is I was hoping for a more pleasant room note. Don't get me wrong, it isn't atrocious, but it's no apple orchard like HoW's Revelation (I think Einstein smoked the Philip Morris version, but whatever). As you could probably tell, I am looking for that Revelation blend, and if it is ever to return, Spilman would truly be put to the test (any suggestions?). A current contender in my all-day category, this blend is recommended to all serious smokers and something I frequently find myself craving. I really enjoy these "eclectic" blends, and this is one that has come the closest to fulfilling my "any-time" standards until the next one comes along.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

josephus65 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
josephus65 (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

An all day smoke for me. I like the natural taste of the mixture with the very nice room note. Natural sweetness with no after taste. I find this very much the mixture I smoked years ago when I was a student at The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago. Then the shop was on the ground floor on Wabash and you could smell this mixture in the entryway of the shop as you approached the door. There were sample jars of many offering and many smokers were packing the shop everyday. This mixture brings back those old-days of the best of what I know of the Iwanries & company. Then came along Three Star but not the same now, too bad. I have a stock pile of this mixture. This is a wounderful smoke. Try it once you will buy again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt. Cavendish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt. Cavendish (21)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend was an overall pleasant surprise. I'm not sure I need 7 oz. of it, but it's a no-nonsense, get-the-job done kind of blend for when you're busy with tasks and whatnot. This is a tobacco that needs no thought and little care. Take 'er outside and rough it up a little bit while you chop wood or change the oil on the car. Put this in your pipe when you are painting the house or trimming back the hedges. It's your pipesmoking workhorse tobacco. Spilman mixture is by and large a pretty decent blend--but of course, my great-grandfather already knew that.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

This product has already been entered into the database. This is a duplicate entry.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

htduck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
htduck (23)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

What a great and pleasant surprise this was. I read the reviews and when choosing to order a small travel style pipe I had a large tin thrown onto the order. In for a penny in for a pound I guess. I just had an urge and went with it. What a nice smoking tobacco. I enjoy the occasional aromatic and like rich English blends also. I lean toward burleys but also relish the Grand Oriental line. In short, my tastes run the gambit but a relaxing pleasant pipefull is what I really enjoy and that is what Spilman is to me. Nothing fancy here, just a smoke to be enjoyed as the rest of the world spins around me. Smooth, no bite, great tobacco after-taste. I dislike the light oily film that some tobaccos impart and IMHO I find that quite to be the opposite with Spilman. If you are looking for the machine gun assult of Squadron Leader (which I sometimes enjoy a lot) you will be dissappointed. Since taste is subjective in degrees some might not judge Spilman as an English but if you are an aromatic smoker looking to dip your feet into the the English pool you could do much worse. I took up the pipe to relax and experiment with different flavors, that makes Spilman a four star blend for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Introibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Introibo (45)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I recently cracked one of the three cans of Spilman in my stash. Now I realise that this is a classic blend, and many reviewers have given it top marks. I usually rate blends at 4 stars, once I have found the right pipe for them. However, I have to say that Spilman Mixture is something of a let down -- at least so far.

Why? It looks good in the tin -- black to light brown pieces -- rough cut as I like it, and it smells fine -- slightly fruity, with a back drop of Latakia. Tried it out in a couple of pipes, and found that Spilman is Count Pulaski's brother, and fairly close to a twin brother.

The appearance of the leaf is a little neater than that of the Count, which consists of partly broken flakes. However, once lit, Spilman, like the Count, is hard to keep lit, burns very slowly and leaves that slightly gummy coating on the mouth. In addition, there is a fruity, raisiny sort of taste to Spilman that reminds me of the Count. I like the Count, but only when I expect him. Imagine putting what you thought was Duke Ellington onto the turntable, only to get Glen Miller. Nothing wrong with Miller, but he is not the Duke, plain and simple. Just so, I thought I was getting what was described as an American English. Nothing terribly American about Spilman: not much burley, that I can taste, no visible cubes, if there is any Virginia it is lying there moribund behind the fruity casing, and the Latakia has run away and hidden somewhere. Not much English about this either.

Spilman tastes to me like a rather dark aromatic -- though not in the same class as obviously flavoured blends. If this is really what our grandfathers smoked back in the day, I am not surprised they started buying Prince Albert and the other OTCs to the point that Spilman was taken off the market.

One good thing, though: Spilman gets better after the halfway mark; rather unusual, but it starts to taste more like what you would expect towards the end of the bowl. The trouble is that you have to smoke it down to that point first.

Someone wrote in one of the forums that Spilman is blended by Altadis; not surprising, therefore, that it resembles the Count in so many ways.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (135)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently purchased a 2.5 ounce tin from the fine folks at Iwan Ries. Great customer service. Upon cracking open the tin, you find a very nice aroma. I find this blend produces lots of smoke, lights well and stays lit easily. The taste is great with the various components nicely proportioned. I find this blend to be just right on the amount of nicotine and there is absolutely no sign of tongue bite here. It burns nice and slow, which is always a good thing. I recommend this fine weed to anyone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

langston302 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
langston302 (14)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This blend for me was one of those blends that grabs you and makes itself at home. I was pleased from the beginning with this blend. The smell from the tin is welcoming and warm. The flavors are clean and crisp. I get hints of cashew, rootbeer barrel candy, and sweet smoke. I noticed that the blend does smoke a bit wet. As is stated there is NO TONGUE bite at all and I tend to rocket puff. This by no means is a strong blend that is going to just hit you upside the head like Squadron Leader or Foxhunt. Its a light and clean tasting English that I will enjoy everyday all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I usually do not care for burleys but this is an enjoyable,cool smoking english/american blend brought to you by one of america's leading tobacconists.I have been smoking I.W. blends for 45 years and this one does not disappoint. I found it to have a nutty slighty sweet taste that stays constant throughout the bowl.No casings, toppings, nonsense, etc..etc...If you like a burley/virginia without a huge latakia blast this might be to your likeing.Even if you don't this one is worth a try if you feel like something different. It is cut rough, packs well,but needs major drying to really enjoy its clean taste.

update: Need to kick it up a star. Find myself enjoying more bowls of Spillmans regularly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

While ordering a pipe from Iwan Ries (great people/service by the way) I had to order a can of Spilman Mixture, if for no other reason than the memorable canister the blend comes in. On opening, the aroma is of any english blend, except for a notable leathery or port wine smell. The cut is great for large bowl pipes (smaller also, but more work getting the correct draw), and maybe could use a little drying out. I loaded my newly acquired Neerup Selection and puffed (really sipped) away. Latakia is definitely a major player, especially at first, but the recedes to reveal the nutty/sweet Burley and Virginias contained within. All in all, a very nice blend each component complimenting the other at different levels of the bowl, none overpowering the other. Bite free and a very cool smoke if done properly. It might not be a steady goto quite yet, but as we all know, tomorrow is a different day. Recommended as a "have on hand" blend, especially if Penzance is a favorite, to take that Latakia overdose off the palate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipeProfessor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeProfessor (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow, what a great mixture! Leather, rootbeer, and cigarish aroma. No topping detected, just quality tobacco. Never leaves a bitter aftertaste, even when I smoke it fast. I've always enjoyed the smell of a "seasoned" cigar & pipe smoking room and Spilman leaves that type of room note. There's very little bite and leaves a rich tobacco, almost rootbeer flavor in my mouth. This one is a keeper.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rocket_man77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rocket_man77 (10)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

So I wandered into the shop today to lay hands on something in a Virginia Louisiana blend. Well mission accomplished but I also left the shop with a bowl of Spilman Mix in toe and enjoyed that upon my return home. Tell you what, and this is me personally, this stuff is awesome. Instantly memories of my Uncle Ed came back to me. He was my grandmothers brother in law and of the vintage who used to fly mail in a biplane back when air mail was a new invention! When I knew him he was an old man who would come to visit in his VW camper van with Aunt Peg from Florida every year and tell us stories. Always his pipe in mouth. The next time I m in town I m making a B-line to procure a can of Spilman. It was just exactly what I thought I was looking for. Something that every tobacco that claims be a regular pipe tobacco should be. Some complex flavors in there, a little sweet, and as pleasant as a sunny afternoon working on the boat. Nothing exotic, just the real deal.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big bad Jon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big bad Jon (232)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a fairly light Latakia blend, and seems to have atleast twice the amount of burly and VA to the latakia. I am not complaining. I have a few Latakia powerhouses that I love and am certainly not looking to add any more to my rotation. I feel this blend must be dried considerably to be smokeable, and does take better to a large pipe. I have read associations to barking dog, but think that it is very different with the addition of Oriental tobacco. This blend is a good morning smoke but I would not smoke it all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Maybe I'm spoiled by PW&W Magic #13 - I'm just not a fan of this blend, Upon opening the tin I didn't like the aroma at all but that has improved with time. I've had 6 bowls so far, the further I get down the bowl the less I like it.

Not a bad blend, just not for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

What a classic English Blend. This is only, to my shargin the second English blend I have tried to date...It smells great, tastes even better and is mild and smooth...Great tobacco..just Masterful

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wildebeest Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wildebeest (6)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Upon opening this tin, I knew immediately that I was in for a treat unlike any I'd had before. I typically only reach for combinations of Latakia and Burley every once in a great while, but this one has had me captivated from the start. There's an overtone to the scent in the tin that leads me to suspect that there may be some sort of topping in here. But if there is, the blend isn't soaked in it. I suspect that it's only been applied to one or two of the constituent tobaccos, at most.

The first third of the bowl confirms my suspicions about the topping, or at least confirms that I've never had anything else quite like this. There's a taste in there that I've never encountered before. And yet, the topping doesn't add any nasty sweet flavors or aromas, but only melds the multiple constituent tobaccos together. The result is remarkably smooth, especially for a burley blend. (For all I know, there's no topping at all, and that extra taste that's strongest at the beginning of the bowl may be nothing more than the result of expertly blended tobaccos. The variety of tobaccos here is quite wide, though I don't taste any perique.) The bowl is pleasant from start to finish, and it even remains so when relit after sitting for a little while! (Many English blends do not pass this test.) What's more, the variety of ingredients and cuts make every puff a little different from the last.

I recommend smoking this pipe in a large bowl (especially, diameter-wise). I have smoked it in many different pipes so far, and it always tastes best in the pipes with the largest bowls. I suspect this is mostly due to the wide variation in the cuts of different tobaccos. Spillman also seems not to agree very well with pipes that often see cigar leaf (from Key Largo or Robusto). In fact, this blend is good enough that I'd recommend devoting a pipe to it. It comes in large enough packages that you'll have plenty of it around, and I can say from experience that the Spilman Mixture tastes best in the pipe I've devoted to it. The pipe was oil-cured and also brand new before I packed it full of Spillman. My suspicion is that the fact that the pipe has never seen any other blend has had no small effect on my appreciation of Spillman's charm. And yet, I maintain that this baccy is tasty in other bowls as well. In fact, it seems particularly well-suited to bowls that shine with Maltese Falcon (another blend I smoke primarily out of large pipes).

In all, this is easily my favorite latakia-burley mixture, and it has entered my regular rotation. In the larger scheme of things, it doesn't rock my world like Bohemian Scandal, but then again, not much does. Those who smoke nothing but Penzance may find the Spillman Mixture to be a nice change of pace; at least every once in a while.

UPDATE 2/24/2009: I've subtracted a star from my recommendation after getting to know this blend a little better. The complexity apparent at the top third of the bowl can sometimes become quite monochromatic towards the bottom, where the taste of latakia and other condiments are largely absent and the burley takes over. This would be fine if the burley had more flavor, but it's some of the mildest burley I've ever come across. Also, the topping can be obnoxious at times, at least by my standards. I prefer blends without any kind of apparent topping, and I can be quite sensitive to them. If you, like me, tend to smoke mostly "natural" blends, you'll want to try this in a corncob. Then, if you like it, it might still be wise to dedicate a single pipe to the blend so as not to wind up with disagreeable ghosts in your favorite pipes. This being said, I still pick up this blend from time to time. Most of the blends I smoke have much higher quantities of vitamin N. In contrast, Spilman Mixture can be smoked aggressively and in massive bowls without even the threat of a hiccup. It also tastes like nothing else out there, in my experience, and I find myself craving its particular flavor every once in a while.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just the fact that Altadis blends this should raise a warning flag. Unfortunately, the best thing about this tobacco is the tin. Actually, this could quite possibly be the best thing that Altadis has produced. On the other hand it smokes well below it's price, which is why I wouldn't recommend it's purchase. It's just another classic American blend which may be better than what you'll find at a drug store, but is clearly outclassed by numerous available bulks at a fraction of the price of a tin of this stuff. All things considered, price included, this is just another disappointing Altadis product.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (138)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I'm sticking my neck out here. Those who remember my infatuation with Count Pulaski, may know what I'm talking about. Those that havn't, may want to take a look. In any event, this could be deja vue all over again, as these two blends are somewhat similar. Spilman is an American-English with a very light casing. It is cross-cut, which makes for a very cool smoke. The taste is smooth and biteless. Nothing sophisticated here, just an excellent blend of quality tobaccos. The other reviewers have said all that needs to be said about this one. It's sold only in 7oz tins, so I'm hesitant to recommend it for purchase. The tin costs about $23, which could make it an expensive mistake for some. Update: I feel that a little spice is needed, so I recommend adding 3 to 4% Perique or Maduro cigar leaf to an already excellent blend.

Feb.20/09 update: I've lost my appetite for this kind of blend. American/English aromatics just don't appeal to me like they used to. 2 stars. I think Count Pulaski is a 3 star blend but very similar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Zorg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Zorg (34)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I love this tobacco, and it is, in my opinion, like no other. However, I am not sure that there is no flavoring. Upon opening the tin, I noticed some kind of old port smell (some folks think of a leather smell as well), and you can find it as well when smoking this blend. It is a slow burning, but quite moist tobacco, and the cut is also original. I recommend it anyway, although I would not smoke it every evening, but once in a while (and maybe it will get better while drying slowly). Since my first review, and mayber after a few days of little drying, I am really fond of this mixture. I smoke it every night before I go to bed in a good dedicated pipe (deep and not too large). It is really a great pleasure to smoke it all along the bowl, leaving a fine white ash. It is highly recommended reading a good book near the fire. Second update: In a Peterson 312, during the cold winter evening, it is at the same fresh and very tasty, great indeed. It is climbing into the highest ranks for me. 5 stars !!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

donk93953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donk93953 (18)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Yes! If you are a burley smoker and want that touch of Latakia. I love the cubed burley...burns nice and slow...I smoke this when I'm fly-fishing, when I'm home, heck anywhere. True tobacco taste and aroma....This is part of my usual rotation....

Nobody has rated this review yet.

birdseye Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
birdseye (15)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I ordered a 7oz tin of Spilman Mixture more for the sake of nostalgia and its replica of the original, old label. I wasn't sure I would like it, though, because I knew it contained some Burley - and I'm not a Burley fan. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. SM is a very smooth, bite free smoke in which the Burley is only noticeable to the extent that it adds a nice nutty/smokey flavor which complements the Latakia and Virginia. This is not a very complex mixture, remaining consistent in taste throughout the smoke. What you get from the first few puffs you continue to get until the bottom of the bowl. I found the moisture level fresh from the can to be pretty much perfect to smoke right away. It seems to me to be the kind of mixture that one could smoke comfortably and happily all day, although I am not a one- tobacco-a-day smoker. One reviewer noted that it reminded him very much of the venerable, old Barking Dog mixture. Perhaps...yet I remember Barking Dog as being more distinctly Burley tasting. This tin will last me a while for the occasional pipeful of it, and I'm likely to get another once it's gone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

In every occasion this superb blend is an excellent choice!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Tin aroma is a little weak; not much stands out. First light; latakia that quickly fades, a little sweetness, and ocassional burley-ness. Mid bowl; tastes like a standard codger burley with a ghost of latakia flitting in and out.

This really is not a very good blend. It's not bad, there's nothing to not like. It just doesn't have much going for it. The plus side; it stays lit well, and it won't overburden you with complexity. So, it's a good "driving tobacco" for those times when you don't want to fiddle with something, and want something other than Carter Hall. Of course, a can of this will set you back considerably more than CH.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

"Anglo-American," perhaps: a tasty light English that's been sweetened with one of IRC's distinctive toppings; or a fine American with latakia for backbone. On first light the latakia stands out, but it recedes quickly and the sweets come forward. For much of the bowl it smokes like a crossover blend. Smooth sailing ... . At first I was reminded a bit of Pipeworks & Wilke #193, although I prefer this one because it's a bit fuller. Later I was reminded strongly of Iwan Reis' own Dr. Bradley'. (What is the flavor? There's certainly vanilla, but also something else).

The tin is a winner, Iwan Reis is the best tobacco shop in America, and I wish this blend well. If you want a sweet light English, this one's for you. Also worth a try if you're a fan of English blends but want something you can smoke around family without getting complaints.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'll re write my review now. After having tasted subsequent bowls of this I can say it is actually quite pleasant. A nice aromatic English with a little twist of something. I cannot identify it, but regardless it makes for a very nice smoke. I find it very suited for the summer months when I want Latakia, just not Penzance. A solid 3 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GarageLocked Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GarageLocked (8)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Great Baccy with an old time feel, something that everyone should try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Learnin to puff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Learnin to puff (1)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Update: 04/15/10: I still find this the Latekia blend that I always go to, nice smooth flavorful smoke, no bite, nice room note (in my opinion) just a very plesant smoke after 2-1/2 years still great.

Updated: 5/02/09 I guess that I should have included my update here instead of a new post, sorry about that. After 1-1/2 years of smoking this blend it is still my favorite above and beyond many others that I have smoked I always go back to this, it does change in the summer though as most tobacco's do. I have a tub of this in the celler since Feb. 1st 08 can't wait until 2010 to see how it has changed. I recommend that you give yourself the opportunity to try it. Not for everyone but it is for me.

Previous update 2/28/08: I really can't say any more positives than have already been said ageeing with all of them a very fine smoking tobacco indeed one like I have been searching for for 40 years. However I became alarmed reading students update as I had just purchased two more tubs Feb. 4th. I went right to it and opened a new tub, smelled perfect but as pudding it is in the taste, so I smoked a bowl full and it smoked every bit as good as the first tub that I bought. I hope that Iwan Ries was contacted on the poor quality tobacco as I am sure that the fine people there would make sure that bad tobacco was replaced by a smokable one. My thanks to Iwan Ries Co. for Spilman Mixture four stars for sure.

Updated: 5/02/09 I guess that I should have included my update here instead of a new post, sorry about that. After 1-1/2 years of smoking this blend it is still my favorite above and beyond many others that I have smoked I always go back to this, it does change in the summer though as most tobacco's do. I have a tub of this in the celler since Feb. 1st 08 can't wait until 2010 to see how it has changed. I recommend that you give yourself the opportunity to try it. Not for everyone but it is for me.

Update: 04/15/10: I still find this the Latekia blend that I always go to, nice smooth flavorful smoke, no bite, nice room note (in my opinion) just a very plesant smoke after 2-1/2 years still great. I still have my tub in the cellar and plenty on hand so it'll have more time to age yet.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Than Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Than (14)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I liked this blend for the first few bowls, but it just got tiresome and boring. It is good high-quality leaf, but it is just missing something that would make it great.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (138)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sort of Frog Morton floats to Tennessee!

Rough and a bit wild cut. Lots of burley, some stoved Virginia I'm sure, and some Latakia. Could not spot the other Turkish. Smoked about half a tin (in three pipes for comparison) with a friend sharing some.

Medium, with Latakia but not real heavy. Heavier and more favorful than other burley types of this sort. Smokes cool with no bite.

A hint of sweetness to compliment the Latakia (why I compare it a little to Frog).

A little moist but not a problem. Sometimes hard to light but most of the time, once it gets going, it keeps going.

Reminds me a little of DPE too, and other old fashioned burley- latakia types. But as stated, a little more flavor and hint of sweetness too. That's why it becomes a bit intoxicating -- that is you want another bowl after the last.

An all day burley with some sweetness and extra body. Highly recommended for burley fans. (Can't comment on the QC issue yet.)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

student Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
student (21)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I confess, I bought my first 7oz tin of this because of the tin design. It just looks old-timey. The tobacco within more than lives up to the motto on the tin. "Without a bite or a regret." A wonderful mixture that I immediately knew would be in my rotation. Just a trifle damp from the tin, five minutes cures that and then its smooth sailing the rest of the bowl.A smokey blending of burley, VA, latakia and some turkish results in a very enjoyable experience for the novice and the experienced pipe smoker. The tobaccos compliment each other throughout the bowl with no particular one overpowering the others. I can't wait to see what a year or so in the cellar will do for it. Five stars for all around enjoyment. Maybe its an English but if it is, then its a very American-English. UPDATE 01 FEB 08: I liked the first tin of this blend so much that I bought two tins this time expecting to smoke one and cellar the other. I received them yesterday put one in the cellar and opened up the other. Disaster. Foul, chemical, YUCK. I don't know if its a quality control problem or this tin(dammit) probably both of them got contaminated but I do know that this tobacco is off my buy list. I cannot recommend anyone spend the money for what may turn out to be seven ozs of totally unsmokable tobacco. I am so disappointed. If there were categories of Taste: Chemical. Flavoring: Clorox I would immediately append them to this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

leathertongue Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
leathertongue (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A TRIUMPH OF THE TOBACCO BLENDER'S ART! The newest addition to the THREE STAR line-up gets FOUR STARS from me. Don't put Grandpa Spilman in your cellar--rip open a can and smoke it right now! Velvety and sumptuous, Spilman Mixture is predominately latakia and burley, and more--I am not an expert (them what thinks they is usually aint). This barely Americanized English blend achieves a harmony between these two disparate leafs that is rare; other L/B blends on the market, as good as they are, don't quite seems to mesh on the tastebuds as well as Spilman. The latakia is not the least bit sooty and afterwards there is only the most pleasant iodized finish, like a light Islay malt (Laphroig?). A clean palate blend with no Morning-After latakia hangover. The VA and Turk is minimal, but add interest deep down in the bowl. If I were to describe the taste as a shape I'd call it incredibly "rounded", i.e., no sharp edges, no spikiness, a virtual absence of nicotine bite. And yet the burley steps in with enough earthiness to keep this otherwise ethereal mix grounded. More than anything I am reminded of the old Brindley Mixture of twenty years ago (in the key-lid can) (not the Aromartic}, which was the most autumnal of blends: sweetly smokey, ripely pungent, with an elusive, pensive character that I can't find the right words for.

The large, wildcut flecks of Spilman Mixture require a slow burn and slow puffing in a medium or large bowl for these complex flavors to develop.

The fact of the matter is that I only occasionally use English blends, to tune-up my tastebuds, Presbyterian and Dorisco Mixture being my faves, but no more--Spilman has thrown them out of contention.

I have to admit that is is difficult for me to remain entirely objective about any product of the the Iwan Ries company. Mrs. Leathertongue and I visit the store whenever we're in the Windy City and its the highlight of our trips there. The Levi family are the nicest folks in the business.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I too bought this mixture for it's "retro" label back in October or November right after it came out. When I openned the tin, I was disappointed to find an American or English blend. I am discovering after putting my pipes away for 15 years that Latakia doesn't agree with me like it once did, and that is coming from one who smoked Black Mallory, Balkin Sobrannie, Dunhill's 965, often. I have found my taste buds now prefer flakes, especially those with Perique. So the can of Spilman's has been sitting in my humidor virtually untouched.

Then for Christmas I was given Gary Schrier's book, The History of the Calabash Pipe, a great read and collector item. After reading it I dusted off several of my 'Bashes' (in which I used to smoke English blends) and gave Spilman's Mixture another try.

It is all of the things the reviewers before me have written. After smoking it in my Bash all afternoon I found it did not bite, but left my palate tasting of Latakia which was not completely unpleasant. The Burley added a nutty flavor as the blend got going, and Virginia/Turkish played their roles. I agree with the reviewer who suggests that this is a "big bowl blend", and the Calabash handled it beautifully giving it time and space to develop its rounded flavors.

This is a typical American/English blend that is made from high quality tobacco that looks great and is in a nice presentation tin. It is a chopped tobacco rather than a ribbon cut, which I liked too. Although I will not smoke it as regularly as I do my flakes, it will be in my rotation and I will smoke it in my Bash.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After smoking about 10 oz. of Spilman, it's virtues are coming home to me--while it's kind of a "kitchen sink" blend, it works for me. The burley softens and sweetens the English-style blend. It burns evenly and dryly to a light gray ash. SM is a fine all day mixture, with a refreshing richness without being over-powering on the palate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Counselor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Counselor (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This review is based on a generous sample of Spilman given to me by the fine folks at Iwan Ries; however, in the meantime I've already purchased a tin of this fine mixture. This is an excellent example of the American-English style: Virginia, Oriental, Latakia, with the addition of a goodly amount of cubed Burley. I can sometimes pick out the component leaves, but most of the time I just pick up on a good old-timey tobacco taste, with a "toasty" overtone, for lack of a better description. I will say that in narrower gauge pipes I'll notice the Latakia (good and smoky) more, while a wide chambered pipe will bring out more of the the earthy note of the Burley. Spilman reminds me a lot of the old Ehrlich DPE mixture I used to smoke a few years ago as a law student in Cambridge. I think there is some kind of a light top dressing--probably a neutral sweetener, maybe a hint of vanilla (I haven't noticed the latter flavor enough to be sure). I detect no PG. There is a bit less nicotine than I normally prefer, but surely this mixture is the epitome of an all day blend in terms of strength. If only I could smoke all day at work! Three and a half stars--four stars as an exemplar of the genre.

Nobody has rated this review yet.