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A very harmonious ready rubbed tobacco dominated by the selected burley tobaccos and with a minor part of Virginia and the original Mac Baren Cavendish. In this blend the tobaccos are adjusted to bring out the slight natural sweetness and with the tender note of chocolate - which is found in all excellent burley tobaccos.

Notes: Known as "Harmony" in Europe.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMacBaren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100 grams tin, one pound bag
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

60 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

The chocolate from the burley is mild, and I do get a light molasses with a very light nuttiness. The citrusy, grassy, hay-like Virginia is a supporting player. The sugary sweet black cavendish underscores the experience. There's a little spice, honey and earth from the dark gold cavendish, which also provides a sparse hint of honey lurking in the background. The nic-hit is mild. It burns at a slightly more than moderate rate for a broken flake with a very consistent flavor. Needs few relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. The spice from this Dutch-style blend may tingle the tongue of a fast puffer, so I recommend a slow cadence. Has a pleasant after taste and room note. Can be an all day smoke.

I've smoked both a fresh sample, and a 1978 sample. The aging effect is interesting. It's much more spicier and sweeter with a deeper taste, like the fresh version on steroids.

17 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Oh, my! Mac Baren scores BIG with this one! As someone who struggles to find a Mac Baren blend that is better than "ok", this is a real find!

Mostly burley but with a bit of virginia and cavendish, this smokes like a classic straight burley... robust, flavorful, interesting. But it develops like a virginia blend, starting out with a mild sweetness that becomes bolder down the bowl. As the description states, there is a hint of darker chocolate sweetness as well as a beautiful burley nuttiness that is absolutely irresistable! This is one excellent tobacco!

Smoked slowly, this one sings! As I smoke all tobaccos I intend to rate at varying degrees of vigor, I should say that this one will bite if smoked at anything beyond a moderate level. Even slowly, there was a slight hint of sting. But sit back and puff slowly and methodically and this blend is one of the best I've ever smoked. From a guy who was about to write off Mac Baren tobaccos, this one is a keeper!

15 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A Burley and Virginia combination that has a casing that simply puts the contents in a class by itself.

Symphony is a broken flake that loads easily and burns evenly. It is a cool blend if smoked on the slow side. A revved up puffing cadence will attract the heat. I also detected a smidgen of added flavoring in the natural, Mac Baren's sort of way.

This is not a bad smoke at all!

6 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Pipe smoking never ceases to amaze me. I was expecting a Burley forward VaBur and was surprised to get a Virginia forward VaBur. Thinking on it I realized that most, if not all, were smoking this in briars. As some of you may know, I use only cobs unless I'm using a briar in an experiment.

I unretired a briar, loaded it up and, sure enough, got a nice Burley forward VaBur. Rich nutty flavor with the Virginias providing a sweet backdrop. In my well used cobs I get a sweet, citrusy Virginia forward VaBur with the Burley providing a nutty background. In both cases I only get the chocolate topping in the aftertaste.

It really does matter what you smoke this in. It's not only very tasty, it's versatile providing two blends in one depending on the pipe. It needs to be smoked slowly and gently to get the most out of it. Pushing this one is a really bad idea. It will lose it's flavor and become a blowtorch. A very interesting smoke.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. Flavoring is extremely mild. Burns very well.

EDIT: In my excitement I forgot to mention the Cavendish. In the cob it's barely noticed. In the briar it sits between the Burley and the Virginias providing a smooth, toasty note.

Pipe Used: Jobey Lovat, various MM cobs

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Mac Baren - Symphony.

When I opened this I was of the mind it was an aromatic ribbon, never mind, it's a good blend, I'm happy I messed up, lol!

It's quite a coarse broken flake, which has a good moisture amount when fresh, is medium brown in colour, with a tin-note not too suggestive of an added flavouring; in this case chocolate. Due to the size of the broken flakes I give a pinch a final rub before smoking any.

I enjoy the flavour of Symphony a great deal: it's mainly the tobaccos, with a tiny proportion of added flavouring. The Burley, to me, seems heavier in weight compared to the others. The chocolate is light; it seems more like a slight sweetness, rather than a definite chocolate addition. I don't get any tongue bite and it burns even and steady, but I have a problem with the heat; it's not the hottest I've had, but it does require a bit of a gentle technique.

I find the nicotine medium, and the room-note pleasant.

Although this isn't totally perfect, I'll happily highly recommend it!

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

PC Plod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PC Plod (63)
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

After years and years of pipe smoking, Symphony is settling down to be my favourite burley-based Mac Baren offering.

The flavour and aroma are deep and satisfying, more so than in the excellent Golden Extra. And that spice note contributed by the smidgeon of dark-fired cavendish is perfect. Very subtle. It gives an extra bit of heft to Symphony without actually being noticeable on its own. A master stroke of blending.

Does aging make a difference? I think it does in this case. Symphony gets deeper, darker, richer and more mellow after it's opened. There are times when Golden Extra is too mild and refined for my taste buds. Symphony doesn't have that problem. It's always flavourful and satisfying.

And the aroma is 100% pipe goodness. To me that's the magic of fine burley. Nothing like it in the world.

Pipe Used: Chacom Pot

Age When Smoked: Vintage March 2010

Purchased From: Online Vendor

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Amphora Original Blend.

4 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

MacBaren Symphony is a burley/Virginia/cavendish mixture which is marketed outside of the United States as Harmony. There seems to be some sort of copyright issue with the Harmony moniker in the U.S.

Pop the tin and you discover a ruddy brown broken flake with a distinct fermented raisin or fig smell characteristic of many MacBaren tobaccos. The MacBaren broken flake presents a fairly rough cut, and I usually rub it out some more, With a bit of the tobacco rubbed out at the top pf the bowl it will light easily enough in its natural state, but you will probably need several relights during the smoke. Rubbed out you have a good chance of smoking the entire bowl without relighting.

The aroma presents a quite pleasant natural tobacco smell that by and large most will find pleasant. As with other MacBaren offerings, I personally do not encounter bite problems when I smoke Symphony with a well modulated puffing rate. Nevertheless I must note that a fairly significant number of pipe smokers encounter bite problems with the MacBaren blends, either because of extreme tongue sensitivity or due to the state of their personal body chemistry.

Symphony is a burley forward blend. The burley component presents some note of chocolate and a bit of cashew nuttiness. As with the entire MacBaren line the quality of the leaf used is high.

The Virginia portion of the mixture is present in a more than negligible amount and offers a mildly sweet haylike contribution to the smoke.

The cavendish is the MacBaren Original Cavendish, which is burley that has been pressed and fermented down to a blackened state and then cased with a honey-like flavoring which is in fact (at least primarily) maple sugar water. The sweetened cavendish creates what I would term a semi-aromatic smoke, although it is at least as strong as that used in Scottish Mixture, which MacBaren rates as a light aromatic.

The Harmony moniker fits this blend more appropriately than Symphony. The constituent tobaccos offer their contributions in a mellow in and out harmonious fashion. Symphony suggests great variations ranging from restrained to bombastic, and that is not the case here. It burns to a light grayish ash with little moisture.

I find it difficult to rate Symphony. For me personally it is a solid three on a four star rating for I do enjoy burley forward blends. I suspect most pipe smokers who include and enjoy burley frequently in their puffing experience would also rate Symphony as a three star. But for those who have little affinity for burley based blends, I suspect the conclusion would be that this is a somewhat blah offering. Although the taste approaches the medium range, and it demonstrates a bit of underlying sweetness, it is nevertheless a somewhat restrained flavor. So I give only a two star rating, although I do think burley lovers will be more appreciative than that.

I use numerous pipes when I smoke Symphony. As many reviewers note, burley often shines most brilliantly in a cob.

4 people found this review helpful.

UncleSquinty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleSquinty (26)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The negative reviews about this blend are unumerous and most contain fair criticism, but I feel they don't do this blend justice.

Here's how to avoid a hot, biting, monochromatic smoke with this blend: (By the way, I bought this in bulk; tin qualities may be different for this tobacco)

1. Let it dry for at least 10 minutes 2. Rub it out a little. It's called ready rubbed, but there are some big pieces and long strands. Rub it out a little. 3. Pack it lightly and loosely. 4. In a corncob pipe 5. Light and take long, slow, gentle draws.

I am very sensitive to tongue bite, but I didn't have any problems with this. An initial nip at the start of the bowl reminded me to back off, and I did with great results.

Is it"flat?" Only if one's taste buds are dead. There is a subtle interplay between the grassy sweet-tart Virginias and the solid, malty and chocolatey burleys.

Is it topped? Contrary to the description here, I don't think so. MacBarren says it is not cased, and I believe them. (The cavendish component however has been treated with sugar water/honey as part of the process). But no cocoa topping is present. You can take a small bit of leaf and actually taste it with your tongue (don't swallow the saliva...spit it out or risk nausea). You won't get any cocoa on your tongue. I'm very sure the chocolate notes are natural to the burleys. I rate this as 3 stars with caveats. Rub it, dry it, baby it a little, and smoke it in a cobb. You'll enjoy it. Recommended.

Pipe Used: M.M. Country Gent, other cobbs

Age When Smoked: Fresh bulk

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Many O.T.C. burleys.

3 people found this review helpful.

Old Shrink Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Shrink (4)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I’ve been smoking MB Symphony for 40+ yrs & highly applaud it.. the tin presentation is lovely; aroma is nutty, sweet & spicy with overtones of molasses. It packs well in a medium fashion, smokes nearly an entire pipe w/o relighting & room note is sumptuous & enjoyed by others —- even non-smokers. It burns to a nice clean white ash. This is to be savored like anything of quality—-so drawing excessively will B I T E has been well received by friends & easily becomes a go-to tobac. I rate it a 3.5.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Ashton

Age When Smoked: New to aged: Tin & Bulk

Purchased From: SmokingPipes. Etc.

3 people found this review helpful.

Corncob3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Corncob3 (72)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Smoking this while writing this review. Nice blend overall , but one of those blends that you keep around for the sake of. I often refer to MacBaren as the poor man's pipe tobacco. They offer great quality at at an affordable price. That being said Symphony reminds me of Carter Hall, Navy Mixture and Wessex Brown Virginia. Another reviewer mentioned finding a rythm with this blend, and that's the key to enjoying it. I would also recommend wiping out the shank chamber inbetween smokes with a q-tip. Moisture build up does not mix well with MB's spicy cavendish, which might be the culprit that gives the dreaded bite. Best way to describe Symphony: a malty ginger snap with a selztery overtone. Give the pipe a good scrubbing before smoking. Dark brown mixture that's reminscent of shredded wheat with similiar texture. Symphony will keep you guessing as the ginger and burley element rise and fall and dance with each other at times. Virginias add a mellow sweetness. Nice and toasty room note. UPDATE 12-23-14: I did notice a bite, more so when I smoked fresh out out of bulk bag it came in and rubbed out. When I jarred for a few days the flavor softened a bit. A pleasant smoke at any rate that requires the ocassional tamper. I wish MB would bring back Navy Mixture. This is the closest thing to it. Not to overdo a pun but this is more of a rhapsody than a symphony.

Pipe Used: Corncob

Purchased From: Pipes and

Similar Blends: MacBaren Navy Mixture and Carter Hall.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Very Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A broken flake of mid brown tobacco. It shares a tin note with Norwood, and both reminded me of Royal Yacht in that regard. Sweet, vanilla, perhaps honey, and a maltiness suggestive of biscuits.

Takes a light easily and smokes to the proverbial white ash without any drama. Tends towards the hot side, uncomplicated and a bit harsh. Straight out of the tin it will give off moisture, so drying is recommended.

This is one of the few tobaccos that will reliably give me niccups and I would rate this just a shade lower in nicotine than Royal Yacht. I consider Symphony to be a poor man's version of RY.

3 people found this review helpful.

musicman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
musicman (88)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this tobacco. I like it so much I bought a pound and put it down to rest.

The mixed reviews seen here do not surprise me at all. As with all Mac Baren pipe tobacco this stuff can really sizzle your taster. A gentle approach of this blend fully rubbed out and smoked in the right pipe can be a real pleasure.

There is a flavor there but I do not get chocolate, I would call it just sweet. I like this blend because it does not taste like vanilla or cherry or honeydew like other aromatics, it just has a sweet tobacco taste. Kind of like the old school american OTC blends in a tuxedo. I really do like it.

If you smoke it fast you are wasting your time, and I am beginning to think that there is a way Mac Baren cures their tobaccos that does not agree with some people. Some cannot smoke any Mac Baren blends, others never have a problem.

Give it a shot, you never know. This one fits me quite nicely. Highly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

It's been twenty years since I smoked MB Symphony and after severals bowls it reminded me how much I enjoyed this blend in years past. I know taste is a very personal thing, but I am somewhat surprised Symphony doesn't get higher marks here. I find it delightful. It has an excellent harmony, or if you will "symphony" between the Burley, Cavendish and Virginia leaf in this blend. To me it has a nice nutty sweet taste. Contrary to many of the reviews here, it did not bite and was not one dimensional. Nor did it heat up on me, although it important not to puff too hard. I smoked it in large bowl pipes. It was easy to light, and burned nicely to a grey white ash. In the tin it had a perfect moisture content. The broken flake was easy to pack. Symphony is back in my rotation and I highly recommend it for those who enjoy a Burley/Cavendish/Virginia. The price is right too.

March 2015 update I can't believe it's been 5 years since I reviewed this blend. I fired-up a bowl this past week, first time in awhile. Right out of the tin it does have a tendency to heat-up and have found it cooler if left to sit and dry a day before lighting. I would not change my review. This is a nice blend of Burley and Virginia leaf. Some are saying this blend has Black Cavendish in it. Not that I can see. It's a non-blackened Cavendish for sure.

Pipe Used: Charatan and Savinelli

Age When Smoked: 5 year old tin

2 people found this review helpful.

pylet2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pylet2000 (33)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Delightful blend: round nutty flavor, faint hint of chocolate, and just enough of the MacBaren cavendish to be present without taking a nip at the tongue.

In the tin, this has a slight fermented aroma which comes across nicely in the smoke, particularly halfway through the bowl. In bulk, that fermented note is absent but it's still a fine smoke. In either tin or bulk form, it's a chunky broken flake that I find best to crumble before smoking. Generally a full brown color with just a little tan here and there.

This can smoke a bit warm, and the MacBaren spicy cavendish has a tendency to nip in every blend I've had it in. It is much less pronounced than in the roll cake style blends, so it's a little easier to live with Symphony than say Dark Twist. And like all the blends with this MacBaren style cavendish, the tingle is strongest on initial light then blends in after a few draws. But still, it requires a little discipline to not over-puff.

I can see how the burley base used here turns into dark fired Kentucky for MacBaren Old Dark Fired / Bold Kentucky, there's a familiarity - without all the punch of the dark fired varieties. Just an interesting observation I suppose.

All in all, a great blend that I enjoy almost daily.

Pipe Used: Briars

1 person found this review helpful.

BigNick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigNick (58)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I think I might review this further, as I only have had six bowlfuls, and these are more initial impressions. I'm really falling for this blend. The color in the tine is a brown ruddy-red color. Thick to thin broken flakes, and it smells spicy and wine like. It almost reminded me of Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe, ever so slightly. It doesn't smell as sweet as it does sour. I found it to be the perfect moisture and it packed well. Took to a flame very easy as well. Initially, a butter toast like flavor is dominant, followed by nutty-cashew like-flavors. Some sweet honey flashes in every once in a while. I have yet to find the chocolate note in the blend. Maybe it is to subtle for me. The Virginias do make their little citrusy presence known sparringly. I found this blend to be very mellow, light but flavorful. I was also surprised at how long this stuff burned, it goes on for quite some time. Burns evenly and down to a white-grey ash. It definitely has the the qualities of a classic blend. All in all, I highly recommend.

Pipe Used: MM Legend, Andreas Bauer Calabash

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: David's Gifts and Tobaccos, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Similar Blends: John Middleton, Inc - Carter Hall.

1 person found this review helpful.

blindmansleeps Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
blindmansleeps (4)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

My first try with Symphony ended in a wicked tongue bite. I haven't smoked a lot of Mac Baren blends, but I understand that these tobaccos can pack a big bite if you aren't careful. The first smoke pretty much turned me off to the blend.

But something brought me back for another taste, especially after reading reviews of this tobacco that suggest rubbing it out creates an entirely different experience and taste. So, I rubbed out a pinch, and man oh man, it's an entirely differently experience, indeed. The chance of bite decreased dramatically, and I could taste a symphony (ha) of subtle, dark, sweet flavors from the Burley, the bright sweets from the Cavendish, and the subtle yet complimenting Virginias. It's wild how something initially so bland and biting turned into a pleasurable tobacco by merely rubbing it out.

Warning: even after rubbing it out fully, take the blow slow. Find a rhythm, and hang in it. The tobacco can get way too hot very fast, and leave you with a burn. This blend requires patience. At first, it seems taxing, but the flavors are quite rewarding. I'll probably finish of this tin in the next two weeks.

Purchased From: Libation Station; Johnson City, TN

1 person found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (30)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

Someone was nice enough to send me an lb of this delightful tobacco. I'm certainly grateful and if I can determine who this came from I will be happy to send them my thanks.

I found this tobacco to be very much what it Mac claims it to be. First light and a puff yields a very distinct Virginia aroma and flavor: Mild, grassy, and naturally semi-sweet. After a few puffs (and yes I tend to pull on the fast and heavy side) you begin to notice the burly which gets stronger as you move through the bowl. Cavendish peeks through after the first 3rd and dances in and out throughout the rest of the smoke. Symphony is a good name for this tobacco as it does yield a myriad of flavors at different times. As you smoke it .. you find yourself settling on a predominant flavor but then find that it waxes and wanes throughout the experience. My first thought at the beginning was "this is a VA ... not a Burly"; then, "ahh there is the burly"; followed by, "wow this is all burly .. with perhaps a bit of cavendish flavor"; and finally, "hmmm, the burly doesn't dominate after all". Terrific smoke!

What a treat to be surprised. I'll bet it would be even better if smoked with a bit less enthusiasm; also I'm betting a bit of aging would add to the delicacy. I'll be getting a few more lbs (guess I'll have to buy it this time) and adding to my cellar. Thanks again (whoever you are).

Well worth a try. Oh, and as for the nicotine, it does tend to develop more toward the last 3rd... even more than you might expect. Not sure why.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I am smoking this as a change of pace since many years now, this is a balanced mixture of many tobaccos mixed at equal proportion where it is hard to taste or to recognize any of them, the balance is strict and well calculated, the flavor is particularly neutral and monochromatic (in the good sense) and the only remaining element in the flavor is a taste of "chocolate" with the Mac Baren honey flavoring.

This blend is particularly enjoyed by Mac Baren fans (and I am one of them) who are very familiar with the famous Mac honey casing.

I like to smoke this blend when I am in mood for nothing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (80)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I was so excited to purchase a 16 oz bag of this blend though I had never tried it before. The tin (bag) note is a wonderful pure tobacco nose and no flavoring comes across in the smoking, an unflavored burley to be sure. I presume this tobacco will require some drying and I certainly hope this helps. My bag was an original 16 oz Mac Baren bag,, not a shop bag, so I suppose it was particularly fresh,,,,, and hence damp in the bag. This resulted in one of the hottest wettest smokes I have had in almost 30 years of pipe smoking.. Now the flavor was nice and a classic burley note,, a testament to how high the quality is since after the incredible hot wet experience, I didn't toss the entire bag. I have hope.. and a lot of drying to do,, and thence will add to and update the review. I sincerely hope it helps and expect it will. All overly damp tobaccos smoke hot and wet and seem to improve greatly with age and drying - a great tip to any newbies here,,, don't toss an unpleasant blend, try some drying and aging, sealed and unsealed containers,, occasionally you can work magic on a seemingly difficult blend.

Cheers,,, Glorfindel

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New Bag

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Unknown.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Der Pfeifenraucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Der Pfeifenraucher (63)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

Great burley blend. Well behaved and a little sweet. Mild chemistry and just a little heat. You can smoke Symphony all day as is or sweeten it up with a pinch of your favorite gooper for a sweeter treat.

Pipe Used: grabow briars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cakeanddottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cakeanddottle (68)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I liked BLB as an occasional alternative to my normal burleys. This is not a substitute. Don't get me wrong, Symphony is good in its own right. It's a bit thin compared to BLB. It doesn't have the round, nutty body that one had. There is more sweetness here, but it demands your attention as it wants to burn hot and run sour if you don't take a relaxed pace with it. Not bad, but life is too short to waste on tobaccos that are only "not bad".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (152)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

much like Golden Extra, this is the quintessential MacBaren burly blend. It is what it is. And on occasion I quite enjoy a pipe full. There is not a lot to separate this from Golden Extra. I think I prefer GE because i love the room note but mostly this is much the same sort of smoke. Different flavors, but not THAT different to be honest. Must be smoked slowly or it can heat up. But its high quality as is always the case with the often maligned Macbaren product. Im glad they still produce this because as I say, its of very high quality. 2 and a half stars.

Purchased From: 4noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bud_Harold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bud_Harold (22)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is an above average blend of Burley, Virginias and some Cavendish. The Burley is the star here, bringing on some nuttiness and some earthiness. Sweetness from the Virginia helps to balance everything out. I love the spice element that the blend possesses too.

Burns well, easy to prepare and leaves very lil moisture or dottle in the bowl. Pleasant room note.

Solid blend. Worth the coin.

Pipe Used: GBD New Standard

Age When Smoked: 6 mos

Purchased From: Gifted

Similar Blends: MacBaren Golden Extra.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mnadz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mnadz (66)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Decent smoke overall. Burley comes through on this one with the sweetness of the virginia in the background. For me, this is extremely similar to Carter Hall. Packs and smokes well. No tongue bite. Wife likes the room note. Nothing great...nothing horrible. My only thing - Why not buy Carter Hall for less money?

Pipe Used: Ben Wades

Similar Blends: Carter Hall.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ArmedOctopus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArmedOctopus (20)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

I just got through reviewing Golden Extra and I have to say, these blends are incredibly similar. If I had to choose....well....come to think of it, If I had to choose, I have no idea which I'd prefer.

The tin smells strong of fermented raisins. I don't know why, but this smell is not my cup of tea. I find it offputting, but always enjoy the blend smoked. Weird. Anyways, the flavor is pretty solid in the medium category with the nuttiness of the burley shining through. As the tin suggests, the nuttiness has a certain dark chocolate characteristic. Perhaps only noticeable when you see that the tin suggests it. Suddenly you think, By George! It DOES taste like chocolate! Not heavily or aromatic in the least, but naturally done.

This blend is definitely in the same family as Golden Extra, so if you liked that blend, you will enjoy this one, and vice-versa.

This is a solid blend. Again, nothing spectacular, but smokable, enjoyable, and repeatable.

Similar Blends: Golden Extra.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

unfound Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
unfound (3)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I really enjoy this blend. It's very natural and 'woodsy' to me. It tastes fantastic in my custom briar pipe. The wood/tobacco flavor is very enjoyable.

The aftertaste is also enjoyable and it has gone well with whatever I have after smoking. (Gummies, chocolate, coffee)

Enjoyed this blend so much I've stocked up. Look forward to trying it out after aging.

Pipe Used: Churchwarden, Volcano, Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: 1 Month

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Excellent burley aroma/flavor predominates, as would be anticipated. Semi-sweet chocolate background flavor noted, particularly when sipped. Slight pepper/spice on retrohale. Quality product alone, makes a great blending tobacco. Stays lit and burns well. 3+.

Pipe Used: Peterson, MM

Age When Smoked: Tin date MAY-2011

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hiplainsdrifter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiplainsdrifter (9)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This review is for a 7 oz tin of Symphony from the late 1970's that I just opened. My tin had a few little dents and dings, but fortunately Macbaren packaged these large tins with the tobacco in a plastic bag, so the contents were in fabulous shape with no drying or damage. Very dark brown broken flake makes this a beautiful tobacco. Tin note is very sweet, mostly a honey smell. After 30 years, the flavors of the toasty burley, the dark cavendish, and the sweet virginias truely do combine to make a symphony on your taste buds. The burley is at the forefront, but I like this blend a lot better then other burley dominants that I have tried, e.g. London Burley. Flavor is sweet as expected, but you taste more natural sweetness from the virginias aging so long, rather than any syrupy sweetness. Flavoring is mostly drowned out by the fabulously mellow combination of tobaccos. Hearty smoke and good ashing. It seems that most of the neutral reviews of this tobacco hinge on tongue bite. Well, nothing like 30 years to eliminate that! I found that tongue bite was minimal even when pushing my pipe hard. A truely fabulous treat and an excellent every day smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustOneforMe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustOneforMe (28)
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I have now smoked several Mac Baren offerings and will not review them any further since they are extremely not to my liking. If interested in my thoughts about their line of tobaccos then just see my review on Burley London, it pretty much sums up this vapid weed give or take a slight aromatic difference (vanilla, cherry etc...).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (21)
Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Tongue burn in a can. What flavor? Over the years I have smoked several tins of this stuff and it always comes up the same way ... pain. I find this to be true with most (but not all) MacBaren blends. Pass on this especially if you are a beginner. I don't know how this company says in business .... unless I a girlie man.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MrPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MrPiper (30)
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

Straight forward pipe tobacco. It has nothing memorable. Seems to be a little heavy on the burley to me which adds to the the very very mild taste. Any pipe smoker should enjoy Symphony. A pleasant, sweet danish tobacco. If you are looking for a mild relaxing smoke with no surprises, this is nice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McB Symphony; I found this tobacco's taste too thin, and is very slow in its flavor development when smoked straight from the tin, I was ready to put this one down as another Mc dud. So as a last try before giving up I fully rubbed out a bowl, what a difference, it now had a nice rich flavor from light-up to ashes. And that ever present tongue irritation this stuff IMO is plagued with, now seemed less annoying. The tin says “ready rubbed” it should say “ready to be rubbed”. In the fully rubbed state I found no real tongue bite, plenty smoke, instant flavor development and naturally a faster burn, but not so fast as to cause any serious heat problems. Still not my first choice, but IMHO this simple change now made Symphony worth smoking. 2 1/2 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (115)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to like this, maybe 12 years ago, but either the blend or I have changed. Burley, honey, and cardboard. Can burn hot and the taste is as elusive as a bobcat.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

caddad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
caddad (53)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I bought this from my local tobacco shop this fall while shopping for some Dunhill blends they were out of at the time. I recognized this and had always wanted to try it. I now have finished the tin after several months of rotating it with other blends. Upon opening the tin I found it needed to be rubbed before smoking and this is fine with me. After rubbing it packs very nicely. It appears to have more than a little Virgina in it and has a nice aroma and flavor. I was worried about tongue bite as I have that problem with Danish blends however this smoked very well with great flavor. What can I say, its all gone and if I had more I would surley smoke it. Very good. Many more blends to try however this is one I would retrun to given the oppertunity.

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RyeWhiskey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RyeWhiskey (43)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased this in bulk from JR's and then read the reviews. I was expecting some tongue bite, but honestly it didn't get me. I sipped it a bit slower than I usually do and with some even tamping it rewarded me with a pleasant aroma and a nice scottish blend taste. It has this nice middle to it, I can't really put a name on it as this is my 1st review and I am new to the pipe. I liked it, and have smoked it 4 or 5 times now and each time it is just as pleasant as the last. I picked up three oz. so I have plenty for now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

This is the most bland mixture I've ever tried. Smoking it is like drawing hot air through a tube. It has a slight bite so it isn't worth smoking just to get a nicotine fix. Generally, Mac Barens is my favorite blending house and I love their other mixtures but Symphony is a dud.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lowland Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lowland Piper (12)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a very nice, chocolate and nut Burley, a touch of spice from the MacB Cavendish with a drop of honey sweetness from the Virginia in it.

These flavors ONLY came out when I tried this blend again in a pipe with a wide, deep bowl. I packed it loose and slightly more rubbed out than it comes from the tin (not too much though). That and gentle, slow sips produced great flavors. This is a fantastic blend!

My first tin of this I smoked in small-bowl pipes, probably packed too tight for the mix. To be honest, I really didn't like it much the first time, and it burned too hot. My first tin wasn't that tasty, until I got the hang of it like I mentioned above.

Edit/Update: Sept 15, 2016 I threw the remainder of that 2nd tin into a mason jar and basically forgot about it the last 6 years. WOW! Age did wonders to this tobacco. It's so mellow, creamy and smooth. I'm buying some more and cellaring it to have around later.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The first time I tried it I kinda liked it but bowl after bowl (through the half of the tin) this tobacco became flat and boring. That's it. Flat and boring.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Hottest+Flattest Tobacco in MacBaren's Quiver...The"Nock"has fallen-off this Arrow...I'm Sorry...Too Bad 'cause I'm a HUGE MacBaren Fan :-{

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The two stars are just my opinion-seems like a quality tobacco. But this one bit me worse than I have ever been bitten before. I have never tried a tobacco other than this one that I quite simply can not smoke, but the 7 ounce can, vintage early to mid 80s, now sits on a shelf in my garage, and there it will remain. I liked the slightly honeyed taste and the balance of Burley with Virginia to sweeten it up; that is, I would like it if I could smoke more than 3 puffs of it. To my tastes, it is a symphony which seems sweet at first, but becomes very harsh and dissonant.

Update 4-6-10: I got this into a mason jar about six weeks ago, but have not yet worked up the courage to try another bowl. One day, when I am feeling very brave, I will load up a small pipe, and, tube of Orajel at the ready, give it another whirl.

Update 8-26-12: Maybe the jar helped, but it's not biting so much now. Mainly burley, and my sample is from the 80s. 2 1/2 stars, then. Taste is not knocking me out, but not bad at all.

Update 12-6-12: I now think the entire problem is that what I first tried came from one of those 7 ounce cans, which I now suspect had some kind of additional humectants added that cause the bite problems. I recently tried this blend from a 3.5 ounce tin from the same time period, most likely early to mid 80s, and have smoked several bowls with no bite whatsoever! It's changed my whole opinion of Symphony, and though I still don't like it as much as aged MB roll cakes, I will be able to enjoy the four well-aged 3.5 ouncers I recently aquired. I'm bumping my rating up to three stars.

The stuff from the 7 ounce tin still sitting in a jar? I suppose it will just have to continue sitting there for a while...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fofo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fofo (81)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

An ok blend but a bit too neutral. Now and then I could taste a bit of honey and some tobacco. Not really complex and sometimes it tasted a little bit "vinegary."

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wintermute Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wintermute (59)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

This is a review of a reasonably fresh tin. Upon opening, the aroma is of good burley with a light casing. I am a burley lover and this really appealed to me. The moisture level and cut were perfect for lighting. At this point, one might believe that the smoke is going to be great. It wasn't. The smoke begins with a Virginia taste that is not too unpleasant, but remains unremarkable throughout the bowl. The burley tobacco, of which Mac Baren is so proud, never really comes forward. The tobacco attempts to be all things and, therefore, becomes none. There is not enough Virginia to please the Virginia smokers and there is not enough burley to please smokers like me. The smoke is not bad, but for the price of tins now-a-days, a little more should be expected. The flavor does not change throughout the bowl. The ash is a bit clumpy, but acceptable. It only bites when pushed. The nicotine level is moderate, but not until you're almost finished with the bowl. This tobacco seems to smoke the same in many different size pipes. And, the aroma is not bad for a burley based smoke. In my opinion, the casing does little more than to heat up the smoke unnecessarily. The smoke might be improved if the casing were left off. In truth, some may appreciate the "balance," I did not.

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Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (117)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is a good VA Cavnedish a lite casing flavor. Definetly not chocolate unless they hae changed it since I last picked up a tin. A good nicotine level for Macbaren. SYMPHONY CAN Smoke hot must puff slow easy to lite and stays lit. Becomes a little flat about half way then reappears stronger at the end of the bowl. An all day smoke. Redd's Tip: Scottish Ribbon by Connoisseur is the same as Symphony but less the filler burley and Scottish Ribbon is a much better blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.