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Semois leaf is a rich, pure leaf burley tobacco that is grown and processed in Belgium in the Ardennes Valley (Val Ardennais) - think Battle of the Bulge. Highly reminiscent of smoking a cigar, but in a pipe, it is a fascinating tobacco that has been highly regarded in Europe for well over 100 years. From start to finish, the flavor becomes more and more pronounced, giving a reliable and enjoyable smoke. There are no casings or flavorings added to this tobacco. This is the medium-cut version (coupe moyenne).

Notes: Semois is a Burley varietal that has been developed over hundreds of years in Belgium's Semois River region, in ground that is soggy and fog-shrouded.

BrandTabac Manil
Blended ByVincent Manil
Manufactured ByVincent Manil
Blend TypeBurley Based
Packaging100 or 250 gr pack
ProductionCurrently available
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Medium to Strong, Very Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full, Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable, Tolerable to Strong, Strong
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Mister Moo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mister Moo (12)
Very Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Wow. The 100g compressed block of Belgium's finest cut shag arrived wrapped in gold foil paper, ribbon-tied. It had a smell like no other tobacco; it didn't seem like it would go well for me at first glance. The smell was weird, the color was weird - dark, almost to gray. Not pretty. It smelled weird and wasn't pretty. What would you expect?

Easy fill and an easy light; doesn't call for relights. Even with plenty of moisture this springy fine cut tobacco wants to burn quickly if you don't uber-compress it and sip. Taste? It tastes great if you like, say, perique +5. Until I learned that there is one small area in Belgium where tobacco has been grown for over 100-years I guessed this leaf was from Africa or Asia or St. James Parish, Louisiana.

Semois river tobacco from the Ardennes region of Belgium is unique and, to my palate, very enjoyable. Spice-like with a serious nic-kick I smoked this happily from a smallish group-2 briar. Not too hot and not too much.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (298)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Dry (and I mean dry), almost brittle, dark-brown Burley leaf. Like other offerings in the region (Scaferlati Caporal comes to mind, though the latter is or was produced in France and Semois in Belgium) this is a sun-cured leaf with no casings, added flavours or humectants. None the less you can smoke it as it is. It won't bite nor will it taste sour or produce an abrasive effect on the palate. More than smoking a cigar my impression is that of smoking the Spanish cigarrillos Jaén or Ducados Rubios. It's has a strong (but not overwhelmingly so), sharp, very natural tobacco taste. One might say "manly" and vigorous. It goes, as it were, straight to the point. This is not a contemplative tobacco (in the sense a Latakia mixture is), nor does it have the languid allure of Virginias, and it definitely lacks the piquant sweet-sour malice of Pèrique. One could say this is a farmer's tobacco, to be smoked (and indeed enjoyed) whilst working in the fields, under the sun, in a dry, hot summer. Pure, strong and straightforward natural tobacco flavour. In my view, a must.

Pipe Used: Mastro de Paja

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Izmir Tobacco.

Similar Blends: Scaferlati Caporal and most sun-cured French tobaccos..

1 person found this review helpful.

PebbleBrainGet'nAshtonite Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PebbleBrainGet'nAshtonite (3)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Most pipe tobaccos on the contemporary market tend to lose their complexity if you let them completely dry out to a brittle state. This is not the case with Vincent Manil's offerings. Something about this varietal and the cool climate it is grown in, makes it one of the deepest and most naturally mysterious smokes I've ever found. You will open the foil brick to find a dry solid cake that smells like an old musty barn full of timothy, clover, fescue, and alfalfa... aka HAY. There is almost a bit of mealy/earthy funk, like you'd smell off a cuban cigar wrapper. The thick cut of the Patron will load and light seamlessly in the pipe, don't be afraid to pack tightly for a stronger creamier smoke. I will not go into detail about the flavor journey you will experience when you smoke it. Like anything, try it in a few different pipes before you knock it, start small. Be careful, extremely high nicotine content that will put hair on your chest (if it's not already there.) Something tells me that this cut was intended to make it a cigarette tobacco; (for a little extra surprise, shove this stuff in your tube injector, -rolls an excellent cigarette)

Pipe Used: Dunhill Shell Gp.1

Age When Smoked: Recently Purchased

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Raines Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Raines (48)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Basically, it's the same tobacco than "La Brumeuse" from the same producer (Vincent Manil). The only difference is the cut : "La Réserve du Patron" have a smaller cut than "La Brumeuse". The shortness makes this tobacco less strong. So, the taste is rather the same but not overwhelming. That's why I prefer this one. It's rather strong and sweet in the same time. I know it's personnal, so maybe it's not the opinion of everyone. I recommend this tobacco for whom like strong tobaccos but not too much either.

Similar Blends: Tabac Manil - La Brumeuse.

1 person found this review helpful.