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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
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate
CutBroken Flake
Packaging100g Tin, Bulk
CountryDK
ProductionUnknown
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 2 Users

2.5
45 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
9
3 star:
13
2 star:
14
1 star:
9
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (436)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

It's mainly burley and black cavendish with a little Virginia. I taste almost no chocolate from the burley, but I do get some of its natural sweetness, and very light nuttiness. The Virginia is a minor player in the drama, unlike the cavendish which makes its presence constantly known, and amplifies the other sweet notes. The light hay notes come from the Virginia. There's a little spice note, too, and the barest hint of honey lurking in the back ground on occasion. It burns well and even for a broken flake, and doesn't need much relighting. No goop or bitterness either. It's a good sipping blend, which I recommend doing considering the amount of burley and cavendish in the mix.

I've smoked both a fresh sample and a thirty-five year old sample. The aging effect is simply amazing. It's much more spicier and sweeter, like the fresh version on steroids. If you can be patient and give this blend some aging time (you don't have to wait 35 years), you'll be rewarded with an even better smoke.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

rekamepip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rekamepip (59)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

Mac Baren Symphony Made in Denmark Imported by Sutliff Tobacco Co.

2013

Burley, Virginian and Original Mac Baren Black Cavendish

Tin Notes: A good looking, rough cut, ready rubbed tobacco Smells Great with a slight sweetness to the aroma may require further breaking up if you smoke a small pipe

Smoking: This is one of my favorite Mac Baren Blends ! The tobacco smokes great in all types of pipes but may be best suited for a large deep well briar Smoke Slowly and you get some good burley flavors. I think this blend as with most of the Mac Baren blends may have a light topping / either that or it could be the "Original" Mac Baren Cavendish that provides that extra bit of something special

What i like about this blend and i think is very important is that you can smoke it straight out of a fresh tin and be treated with a good smoking experience.

This tobacco does age well too and i will be happy in a few years with what i have bought recently

My 5 star rating =4

Pipe Used: ebony, pipestone, briar, meerschaum, olive wood

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: sutliff, jrs, pipesandcigars, 4noggins

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (195)
★★★☆
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.

2 of 2 people 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 of 1 people found this review helpful.

KinnScience Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KinnScience (28)
★★★☆
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 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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: PipesandCigars.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★☆
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.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

The first time I had this blend was many years ago and I hated it. I then bought a tin that was 30 years old and thought I would do a comparison . The first tin I tried I hated because I got a lot of tongue bite. The 30 year old ton can still be pushed to bite but was definitely better. Will I ever order more of this - no. If you are able to get your hands on an old tin it might be worth a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hiplainsdrifter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiplainsdrifter (5)
★★★★
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.

Trippwire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Trippwire (58)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this to be similar to Burley london, and Golden extra, but significantly sweeter. It goes ok in a cob, but seems a bit sweet for my liking. If you prefer softer blends, get into it,it's very cheap and not a bad smoke, just not for me.

Everyone complains about toungue bite from these MacB blends. I am 6 tins into their selections, and have not been bitten once. Must be a body chem thing. Take it all with a graain of salt and see what works for you.

I won't get more of this, I'm gonna stock up on its brother, London burley.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

musicman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
musicman (81)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MrPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MrPiper (20)
★★★☆
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.

kongsdad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kongsdad (5)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased this in bulk about 5onths ago . At the time I had only ben piping about 5 months. It torched my tongue and I left it in a mason jar until I got up the nerve to try it again. I tried it in a peterson 307 that I had recently cleaned and sweetened.I got this nice flavor play when I first lit up and about 1/4 down the bowl this horrible chemical taste took over. I couldn't go on and dumped it. I blamed the alcohol that I used to clean it although I swabed the bowl and stem after the cleaning with 151 Rum and never had a problem before. So I packed a mer lined hilson. lit up same nice start and then halfway down tha bowl a terrible soap taste took over to the point that I dumped that bowl. I don't know maybe I got a bad batch or a contaminated mason jar but I won't be smoking it again unless someone gives me some maybe from a tin. It smells fine in the jar. I Don't have a clue but I don't like it

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.

kalob cayton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kalob cayton (8)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

could taste the burley and the virginas balance it out but didnt detect and cavendish..............could get some unsweet chocolate notes out of this blend if its smoked slowly this blend can bite so it is ideal to smoke it rather slow

Nobody has rated this review yet.

florissantti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
florissantti (3)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

I was initially disappointed with this tobacco. It was my first tin and I felt I had made a bit of a mistake. It was too mild and burned really hot. It seemed like I always had to set the pipe down to let it cool.

After a long while, though, and going through other tobaccos, I kept coming back to the Symphony.

Now that I am through with the tin my feelings have changed. It's a nice blend, nothing fancy, and it requires care when smoking. But once you get the hang of it it's a nice, cheap, go-to smoke. I'm not going to be buying another tin anytime soon, but I'd smoke it if I had it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (79)
★★☆☆
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.

skychasernyc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
skychasernyc (1)
★★★★
Strong Strong Full Strong

I bought this tobacco with my first pipe from Barclay and Rex in NYC, along with a tin of Dunbar from Esoterica Tobacciana. The description underneath the tin said that this was the "aria" of aromatics. Upon opening the tin, I was very pleasantly surprised by the wonderful odor. It is nothing like what I'm used to as a cigarette and occasional cigar smoker. That being said, I didn't enjoy it at first. It seemed very strong and harsh. Later that day, I smoked some of the Dunbar and thought it was more mild and pleasant. My girlfriend agreed that the smoke from Dunbar smelled "smoother". However, I must say... it's been about 3 weeks since my purchase, and I've come to love this blend. You have to smoke it slowly and patiently, plain and simple, and it gives off the most delightful flavors and aromas. When I'm finished smoking it, I like to have a good wiff of the empty pipe bowl. It's really nice, and I now prefer it to Dunbar, so please give this one another try! It really deserves a better rating. I did notice it was pretty moist on the first opening, but I assume it's the same with all tobaccos and you can either dry it a little or fluff up the tin and let it sit for a bit. Eventually the tin dries out a little, and it's easier to smoke. I love this stuff and I will definitely be buying more Mac-Barren blends.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

19volks71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
19volks71 (9)
★☆☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

There's a tin of this under the seat of my car. I keep it there always. I know it's there. Should I ever find myself away from home and having forgotten one of my preferred blends, Symphony is there under my seat. This 'reserve' Symphony never gets smoked because I never forget my preferred blends. Should some strange chain of events cause me to leave my rotationals (sic) at home, I still wouldn't smoke Symphony. It burns too damn hot and really doesn't carry a lot of flavor. This can be said for the majority of Mac Baren's blends, or at least every one I have tried. At half the price per gram compared to quality English and Balkans, you can be assured, you get what you pay for. The one thing I do enjoy about Mac Baren is that they still paint their tins- this being their only redeeming factor. These Mac Baren offerings never really develop. In fact, they never really offer a thing. I hate to be this negative about anything in pipe culture, considering our dwindling clout. I am always more than willing to band with anything pipe-wise in the name of carrying on our ancient tradition. As long it isn't Mac Baren.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cubert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cubert (3)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I truly love the tin aroma, but it smokes hot. Reminds me of a Moravian bakery, baking spice cakes in a wood fired oven. Did I mention it smokes hot? Also, it had a similar aroma to Ogdens "Gold Block" but not nearly as flavorful or enjoyable because....... It smokes hot!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xuivonae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xuivonae (4)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This tobacco marriage is a best !!! What a perfect, gorgeous, delightful, stimulating, refreshing, and delicious blend. The texture, color, and appearance of these tobaccos is astonishing: love at first sight. I feel as if I am gazing at a delectable forest in the midst of autumn with all the pleasant red and orange tobacco staring at me. The smell is sweet, handsome, invigorating, and very warmly inviting. "I really want to get to smoking!" is what this tobacco does to me. This is o.c.d. tobacco, it may just get you all enveloped with it all. It is so good that you will rub the rest while smoking while continually sniffing and inhaling in ecstasy from the gorgeous tin. The taste is very pleasing, and interesting, or even intriguing. It builds up and gets better in an infinite number of ways, that is how supreme and complex this blend is! I am a single man safe to say that this tin makes a good wife ;) LOL! Lighting is easy, yet halfway down the bowl, as with most MacBaren blends, the tobacco suddenly whimpers down into mere smoke...(giggles), usually a symptom of fresh out of the can I guess; I will just easily solve this little pesk by setting the tin out for a bit so it may dry out in the room for the moisture to adjust itself, no biggie. I just remembered too that with most MacBaren blends, I get a significantly better smoke and a fuller better light with literally just dumping the tobacco in the bowl whether I rub it more or not and just pressing down just enough so there are not too big of a gap between the slices/flakes, because this premium tobacco likes space and mega airflow. Now that my tongue reminds me (way after the fact, showing you how great and delicious this stuff was for me to remember!) there was a general distinctive taste and smell of some kind of delicious sweet pancakes with maple/brown sugar, fruit and nut chocolate (think Raisin and Almond Cadbury's) and the slightest most pleasing sweetness of mild apricot preserves type flavor. Something like that! There is also a lot more more going on though too, too many great flavors to describe !?! This is a must try blend. Enjoy the Symphony !!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vinnie799 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vinnie799 (33)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I only somewhat recommend this blend just for the sake of having a smoke, nothing special here. I will choose to buy Prince Albert in the future instead of this one. PA is more cost effective and works just as well. Symphony fills easily and lights easily. A SYMPHOHONIC revolution it is not. This one is TWO stars at best.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dave'sRave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dave'sRave (1)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased an aged tin (allegedly 10 yrs) at the Newark pipe show on 3/13/10. I have to say that while this baby bites a little, you can easily tame that beast by taking long and very slow sips to avoid the dreaded numb-tongue. This blend has character, a pleasant citrus flavor and a creamy feel to the smoke. I relit only once and it smoked nicely right down to the bottom of the bowl. I'm a new piper, enjoying the craft only about 6 weeks now and I'm having a ball experimenting with as many different tobaccos as I can get my hands on. Perhaps the aging helped to neuter this tin's bite. If so, and you've recently added Symphony to your collection, put it away and forget about it until you have grandkids. I think you'll be happy you did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (45)
★★☆☆
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 (35)
★☆☆☆
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.

Nurse_Maduro Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nurse_Maduro (27)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Smoking Mac Baren Symphony is a bit like coming upon a stray dog: treat it gently or you'll likely get bitten. This is actually the first 'baccy I tried during my recent foray from cigars into pipes, and I had to wonder (once I could no longer feel my tongue or taste anything at all) why anyone would subject themselves to this. One week and a few bowls later, I realized that you need to draw this one as if you're smoking a cigar: once every 45 seconds to a minute is plenty. Once you get the rhythm down, you're in for a complex, nutty treat. This one smells great, tastes great, and smokes great. The burn is even with no hot spots and, also like a good cigar, changes characteristics as you progress down into the bowl (which very much surprised me). It's not something I'll want everyday, but it will definitely go into my rotation.

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.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (529)
★★★★
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!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Britannia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Britannia (34)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

Very neutral taste. I love flake tobacco and this had promise, but after smoking through half the tin it became mediocre. Plus you deal with the famous Mac Baren Tongue bite on some bowls

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fofo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fofo (78)
★★☆☆
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.

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

Like fellow reviewers Wintermute and Redd, I found that Symphony kind of "dies on the vine," about halfway into the smoke. It starts out with a pleasant and somewhat deep Virginia flavor but that soon fades into a basic burley taste.

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 but didn't excite me either.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Frosty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Frosty (37)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Original review - I was at an antique shop browsing for pipes, when I spied a tin of this blend. I have the habit of picking up every cigar box and tobacco tin to shake it or peek inside. I was suprised to find this 3 1/2 oz round tin had never been opened! I normally shy away from MacBaren products due to the dreaded tongue bite, but for the humble price of $2.00 I took a chance. Now, this tin is very old indeed, as the weight is marked in ounces, not grams, and the lid is faded and scratched. I held it for a few months, then decided to give it a try. I am impressed. The cut is of course a ready rub, the tobacco was still perfect humidity level and smells quite like tea. The paper wrapping is old and yellowed. I find this blend to have a nice, smooth nutty flavor, with what reminds me of a "Navy Flake" rum hint to it. This blend has a rich, creamy mouthfeel to it, it's not thin or papery like some Burley can be. The flavors did not seem to really evolve through the stages of smoking as one might find with a Virginia, but it is pure rich Burley goodness all the way. It is so old that there was not hint of a bite to be found, and I smoked two bowls back to back in my customary runaway train cadance. This stuff will really fill the bill for Burley lovers, all else need not apply. I need a wonderful Burley blend to replace my beloved Edgeworth Slices, and if the fresh version of this is the same as the long aged sample I have, all is well. But if the fresh version has the dreaded bite, then my poor heart will be broken. What to do? I guess I'll just have to try the fresh version. I give this 4 stars on the aged version, I may downgrade when I try the fresh version.

Update review 11/25/08 - The fresh version has just the tiniest hint of tongue tingle, but I smoke like a house on fire, and I still give it four stars! I love it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wintermute Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wintermute (35)
★★☆☆
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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (110)
★★★☆
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.

Bluefox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluefox (11)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This sounds like a nice blend but unfortunately the bite is to much to enjoy. I could not distinguish any of the flavors in this because the bite was so bad. Also had a bit of a chemical taste to it. I tried this and scottish mixture at the same time and it seems as though they are basically the same blends with the same tobaccos. They tasted exactly the same to me with the same bite and chemical taste. Do not think I will be buying any more Mac Baren products.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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...).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (18)
★☆☆☆
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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (103)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

It is as though someone repackaged some PA into a tin and tripled the price. It is flat, hot burning, biting, overpriced and disappointing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

rramstad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rramstad (115)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tongue bite, not much flavor. I don't get MacBaren blends, and certainly didn't get this one. It burned hot, and frankly, there are many OTC burley blends that put this to shame... so what's the point of smoking this?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

ArmedOctopus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArmedOctopus (17)
★★☆☆
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.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (465)
★☆☆☆
Very Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Many tins in the MB line seem to taste similar to me, and they smoke in the same fashion as well. They taste bland...are HOT/Tongue-Biters...and smell like potpourri. I cannot recommend this product.

Smoke in peace, brothers and sisters of the leaf.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful.