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In the tradition of the mysterious Mississippi riverboat gamblin' men, a flavorful blend of the South's tobaccos. Burleys, Virginias, and Perique with the exotic taste of Turkish leaf. The odds are with you when you smoke this blend.

BrandCornell & Diehl
Blended ByRunowski / Tarler
Blend TypeAmerican
ContentsBurley, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Tin
CountryUS
ProductionCurrently available
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

3.0
22 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
11
3 star:
4
2 star:
4
1 star:
3
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Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Overwhelming Tolerable

I took a gamble on this blend. (I actually doubled-down by cellaring two tins three years ago.) I lost.

I believe my first bowl may have been the most vile bowl of 'baccy I've ever had, a vomit of flavors that had nothing in common, no harmony, no balance, just a harsh melange of dry, sour, and bitter notes, like smoking stale dessicant in a deadmall vitamin store. I know the use of the word vomit is highly charged, but it was carefully chosen: I think this blend succeeds quite admirably as a smoky homage to gastric regurgitant. But I will say, in its defense, and with all sincerity, that it was quality vomit, having the piquancy of a five-star dinner churned with too much libation. To enhance my experience, after-effects included a sore throat, a mild headache, a sour stomach, and restless leg syndrome... Not due to the strength of the blend, which isn't nearly as strong as some of my favorites, it's that this blend doesn't seem to agree with me (like how certain liquors may disagree with someone). Later, adding insult to injury, I discovered that my briar was thoroughly ghosted with this stuff. The best thing about this blend is that it burns unbelievably fast, so that I didn't have to suffer for long.

Yes, I really hated it, like no other tobacco I've ever tried. But I wasn't about to give up. I didn't want to write a review after just one bowl — it takes time to get to know a tobacco (even though, in this case, the phrase “you don't get a second chance to make a first impression” comes to mind). I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment, like Steve-O snorting more wasabi. This blend is obviously prized by some reviewers I esteem, so I felt I owed it to them to try to see what they enjoy about it.

I smoked my second bowl in a cob. The cob seemed to suit it better. But the experience was largely a repeat of the first bowl, including the after-effects. I did a get a sense of the flavor profile that others may appreciate about it — the smoothness and strength of the burley, the sour plums of the perique, the hint of oriental spiciness, the complete absence of anything sweet -- but the way they're put together in this blend seems to me terrifically unbalanced, and even repellent. After my second bowl I decided I just couldn't do any more.

RG reminds me in some ways of SG's Westmoreland, which is also a very strange flavor and just as dry. But Westmoreland works because the condiments function as condiments, and the elements work harmoniously to produce a strange flavor that works. RG is just a cacophony of dry, savory, sour and bitter flavors, the Merzbow of tobacco blends (not to dis Merzbow, whose music I like). Basically, what RG has done is to make the condiments into a main course, which doesn't suit my taste buds at all. I may love capers, horseradish, and dijon mustard, but I wouldn't mix them together and call it dinner.

I definitely do not recommend this. However, these condiment leaves are of very high quality, and some excellent reviewers here attest this blend a winner. This could be a winner for you. My advice: read all the reviews before you put your money down on a tin. I would say the odds are against a win, but it seems that for some of us RG hits the jackpot. Your odds are improved if you adore burley and perique (and maybe oriental) moreso than virginia and latakia. Good luck!

UPDATE 12/03/13: I mentioned that the leafs used in this blend were of a very high quality, and that this blend really is more of a condiment than a main course. So I decided it might be worth a try to mix RG with a quality pure virginia and see what happens: I mixed some with (very well rubbed out) Solani's Silver Flake. It was promising, but the proportions were off -- RG has a very strong flavor profile that easily overwhelmed the delicate purity of the virginia. So I tried it again, with really only a pinch of RG... and what do you know? It worked beautifully!

So though I would definitely not recommend a bowlful of RG on its own, it functions very nicely as an excellent burley/perique condiment to give a pure virginia some spice. I think I'm going to keep it around after all. RG gets 4 stars as a condiment.

UPDATE 12/18/13: I've mixed it with a couple of other blends. RG definitely makes a most delicious condiment. However this stuff leaves a truly supernatural ghost that I pray can be exorcised from my poor, possessed Chacom Monza billiard via the sacred salting ritual... :{

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (529)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

C&D continues to impress when they take burley leaf in hand and begin to blend. Not that they don't do a great job with other tobaccos but burley seems to be their main strength. They have more classic burley blends than any other blender I've encountered. This is a strong case for the defense.

This is a fairly powerful smoke and demands respect. Yet, I look at it as OJK's more refined and gentlemanly sibling. The burley is at the forefront, the perique merely teases and the VA seems to be almost missing in action. I don't find any sweetness in this blend, and the orientals seem more piquant than sugary. This is robust tobacco at its finest... no nuances, no complexity, just a wonderful mouth-filling robust tobacco taste with a little additional spice from the perique. Those who enjoy the Burley Flakes with perique will probably love this offering. I didn't find it too strong to smoke all day but it did seem to behave itself better after a meal. Nice cigar notes in this one. Interesting how some C&D burleys do the "cigar thing" better than other blends that actually contain cigar leaf.

If you like OJK but find it occasionally too brutal, try this calmer but still somewhat "in your face" version. It sure worked for me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I prefer sweeter tasting tobacco than this... and, tobacco with less Perique. Still, it was an interesting smoke and not altogether unpleasant. Recommended for folks who enjoy plain old tobacco taste with strength and Perique.

My tin showd more of a coarse cut than broken flake although there were sizeable chunks in the tin. It arrived at a perfect moisture level and burned dry.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

keisel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
keisel (12)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I must say that i prefer the non aromatic blends, in the english side i can say, i smoke pipe regulary. I think this is the worst tobacco i ever smoked. It's dry in the mouth, burns quickly, even burns my nose. I didn't find any undertaste,burley is the king in that tobacco but in the same time,hardness don't let you feel this blend. But i must say that reading the other reviews, maybe had a bad tin??

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cubert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cubert (3)
★★☆☆
Strong Mild Full Tolerable

I love old time burley,virginia and perique blends and nobody does these better than C&D. Somehow, the bitter flavor mentioned by some of the other reviewers also got the best me. It has to be the turkish. OJK is one of my all time favorites and the contents are almost identical with the exception of the turkish leaf in Riverboat. They smell very similar in the tin as well. In my mind I was thinking that the addition of the turkish would add another dimension to this blend, but it just didn't work for me. On a more positive note, the quality of this tobacco is superb, just not to my taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sir Walter Smiley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sir Walter Smiley (24)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This tobacco has a harshness and non-sweetness to it that I like. I suspect these qualities hark back to the increasing number of cigars I consume daily. Not that this blend tastes like a cigar, it is just a far cry from the Capt. Black Vanilla this hobby (addiction) started out with twenty-five years ago. It comes in the tin with a humidity level I like for immediate packing. There are some big pieces of tobacco in the tin that may need some trimming. Minimal preparation needed. I have had no problem with tongue bit and love the turkish/perique play on this rich burley flavor.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (127)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm surprised that this blend pleased me so much. The other burley blends mentioned in the reviews below were not favorites of mine. This is definitely cased with rum and it is delicious to the bottom of the bowl. The burley is smooth and the virginia is far in the background. The perique is lightly applied and the turkish is prominent from start to finish. I find the strength to be less than most of the reviewers and the nicotine is vey acceptable. An excellent blend that does burn faster then most, but one that I will definitely be ordering more of. My tin had only had 4 months on it, so this beauty can only get better. An excellent creation. The best Runowski yet.

Update: This blend is stronger than I originally thought. I have to lower my rating to 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (53)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

If you like Burley , this is an excellent blend with medium Perique content and very light Orientals (The Virginias goes almost unnoticed), good nicotine and with a dry taste, this a very flavorful smoke.

Update: This blend deserves more attention from Burley Smokers in my opinion, its Outstanding Stuff!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well I couldn't decide easily if this blend fits for a three or four star rating. It has a fantastic combination of flavors. But is it too robust for my tastes? It also has a straight, real tobacco taste which is similar to cigar smoking. I think just the lack of some more sweetness was the problem for my rating decision. I can easily detect the different and enjoyable flavors of the tobaccos in this blend. It offers a nice quantity of nicotine. Packs well and burns even.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

karnevil9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
karnevil9 (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Excellent stuff! Similar to OJK, but much more refined and complex. Wish it came in bulk as I see myself buying pounds of this. Nicotine content is good. Burns as well as any tobacco I have ever have. The Turkish really gives it a nice taste. Along with 3 Friars, this is my favorite. I can't say enough good things about C&D. They are the best tobacco people on the planet hands down.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ugo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ugo (9)
★☆☆☆
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Great tin smell, sugary, rhum like. But while smokin, bitterness does not allow me to enjoy. Burley is probably dominant, since I do not find the VAPER flavour, that is usually pleasant for me. It burns hot. Sorry, not my choice!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★★
Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Top strong burley, with the other leaves just making it all work. If you like burley and you like it with a good does of nicotine, look no further, close to perfection, albeit a robust perfection...lovely stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

uncle dave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
uncle dave (1)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A definitive cousin of OJK, but with much more power. Tin aroma has a cinnamon spice smell quite similar to that of the cigar line Triple Ligero from La Flor Dominicana. Appearance is mostly dark brown ribbon cuts with some larger rough cut leaf and a smattering of perique.

Initial light was quite strong in both flavor and aroma. Similar to OJK, maybe a bit more well rounded. You will be notified that this bowl means business. Spicy, hearty burley comes to the forefront, followed by the perique playing around in the background.

Not sweet, just a hearty tobacco flavor that lends a big dose of vitamin N as you progress. DGT works wonders with this blend. Save it for an evening of reflection. Use caution if this will be your breakfast smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

periqueguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
periqueguy (41)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Another "10" for Craig. I enjoy this but would probably like it better with a little latakia added. Therefore, I added some and this has become MY nightcap and partner at the BJ tables.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (161)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Strong

We are all familiar with VAPERS but I call Riverboat Gambler a TURPER, i.e., a Turkish Perique blend. My palate did not like the dominance of these two tobaccos. The first third of the bowl was pleasant and even welcoming but as I progressed down the bowl it became increasingly strong, bitter and harsh.

There is nothing sweet about this blend. It even presented cigar-like undertones if not overtones. I was never able to finish the last third of the bowl in three smokes in different pipes on different days. It became overwhelming and, quite frankly, intolerable. C&D has many other blends that I enjoy much more.

For informational purposes and in fairness to C&D, my unfavorable experience with RG may be a bad blending run. My can was tinned in 9/08. I have cellared the remainder of the tin in the hope that it will improve with additional aging when I reluctantly revisit it.

UPDATE 3/19/2014 - Although burley blends don’t require the aging that VA blends do to improve them, six years in a Mason jar changed my mind about RG. But I suspect it has more to do with my tastes now: I like solid, no nonsense tobaccos that taste like tobacco and that are medium to strong in strength. And this is what RG is, and this is why I am now giving it four stars.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 9.0 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I hate to say it, but I was a bit disappointed in this one. I really enjoy many of C&D's other blends in this vein (Old Joe Krantz is my favorite), but I found this to be bitter and a little harsh. Otherwise, the taste was fairly nondescript -- a lot of smoke, with a hint of burley or perique making its way through every now and then. In fact, it reminds me a little bit of Haunted Bookshop, which also didn't ring my bell. The presentation and smoking characteristics are top-notch, however.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Yep, this seems like an old time blend, like in the days when Edwards Vintage Cube was fuller or Smokers Haven Pedigree was more potent.

I agree this blend seems on the "milder" side of Old Joe Kranz (very strong) and Haunted Bookshop (moderately strong to medium) in that order of strength. Maybe more Virginia is in it. Maybe even more elegant! But it does have taste and natural body. Neverhtless I have had puffers tell me they felt woozy after a bowl. I don't think it has that that much perique for such an effect, but beware.

It does have a dry (non sweet) taste but it is very tasty nonetheless. It has more of a white burley taste than OJK or HB which have more of a Kentucky side I feel. Maybe that is the turkish reacting with the blend (but I don't detect that leaf too much otherwise).

The perique seems much less that OJK (20%!), and it doesn't kick in until the bottom half, making the taste more spicy.

It is a dry smoking blend too that burns quicker than most. No gurgles here.

Recommended for the white burley fancier who likes some extra body.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sprangalang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sprangalang (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

I'm a big fan of Old Joe Kranz and Bayou Morning. This blend is right there with them, with the added kick of the oriental. I just love the flavor, and as soon as the bowl's finished, I want another (really!). It's got a dry flavor, not sweet. It's serious, like a high stakes poker game. Room note, I've gotten scolded at times (in the car), but got away with in front of the fireplace. I love the aroma and while smoking, I frequently sniff both bit and bowl. Only thing I don't like is it burns kind of fast. Suddenly there's half a bowl of ash to tamp, and then, sadly, it's gone. I'll definitely be getting more of this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (259)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

My tin was more of a coarse cut that a broken flake and this was just the 1st disappointment. The moisture content was fine but the cut resulted in a faster burning rate than my preferred flakes. A cool smoke without condensation resulted in multiple sized bowls. I normally smoke straight VAs or Va/Pers and missed their sweetness. To me, the Turkish influence was dominating right from the start and caused me to give most of the tin to a fellow puffer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (110)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I hate to add a note of discord, but while this blend is of high quality, I find it to be somewhat bitter. Six months of aging has lessened that bitterness, but it still remains and is an obstacle to my enjoyment.

I like other C & D blends better...because they're not bitter!

Govern Yourself Accordingly,

SmokeKing David

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Matches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matches (19)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

After smoking Old Joe Krantz and Haunted Bookshop, I have become a real fan of C&D. Riverboat Gambler has proven to be another alternative blend for me which highlights what I enjoy from the other two. All components are perfectly blended to give a very flavorful and satisfying smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain bob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain bob (38)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Bob Runowski and Craig Tarler have created another very special and unique blend. It could be an all day smoke. It is smooth. Aroma and taste rates right up there with the best of the non-aro's I have ever smoked in my 42 years of puffing.

My wife took one sniff of the tin and said "I like it". She liked it when I smoked it, too. She is a non-smoker. That says a lot for a non-aro.

It has an exciting taste brought out by the condimental leafs of Turkish and Perique while at the same time forming a perfect marriage in flavor with the Virginia and Burley. I prefer traditional loose-cut tobacco such as this. They pack beautifully and easily in any pipe. It lights well and burns slowly and evenly to the last puff and the wonderful tobacco flavor of each leaf is absolutely present all the way to the last puff. A truly "Premium" tobacco. Another "winner" from these guys.

I am truly thankful for their efforts. It will give me great joy to smoke the entire pound I ordered. And then, I'll order it again.

=UPDATED 4/4/09=

Been smoking this in regular rotation for quite a while now. I have also smoked Old Joe Krantz and Haunted Bookshop. In my personal experience, I believe that Riverboat is all that OJK and HB have to offer and then some. For me, this is the winner of the three.

*UPDATED 7/24/09 This tobacco has been in my daily rotation for more than a year. I have smoked four pounds, have two pounds on hand and am ordering two more pounds. It satisfies me very much. I would not want to be without it.

*UPDATED 04/16/10 I Can't say enough for this tobacco blend. It is still my go-to Burley based tobacco. Exceptional in every way that I judge tobacco. It is honest and true while being exceptional in its class. I can't recall how many pounds I have enjoyed. But it is a keeper in my daily rotation, that is for sure!

Nobody has rated this review yet.