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Indonesian farmers toil in their islands' rich limestone soils to grow their flavorful tobacco leaves. After harvesting and air drying the leaves the unique aging process begins. The villagers roll the leaves into 10 foot long sticks of pure tobacco which they then bind using hand made cord to protect from the outside air. They then put these sticks inside their primitive huts and store them for 5 years as the tobacco becomes richer by the day. After aging, this tobacco is cut into three or ten inch sticks for sale as pipe tobacco, as well as being used as a component in Indonesian made cigars, such as Tambo Cigars.

BrandTambolaka Natural Tobaccos
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsBurley, Cigar Leaf
FlavoringNone
CutRope
Packaging50g Pouch
CountryUnknown
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Very Strong, Extremely Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Full
Room Note
Tolerable to Strong

Favorite Of 1 Users

2.9
17 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
6
3 star:
5
2 star:
5
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Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (59)
★★★☆
Overwhelming None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

Industrial strength kick; probably the most potent "product" I've smoked since a Led Zeppelin concert back in '69!

Stronger than XX Black Rope--pure tobacco taste with no casing. Be seated at all times & wear a crash helmet. G-Force is about G4. An oxygen supply also recommended...

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (565)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

I got this as a gift and it was already fully rubbed out and fairly moist. I'm not sure whether to be pleased at this or to feel cheated of all the prep work! :) I've had this 3 oz for close to six months and it's been fun finding its strengths.

At any rate, this stuff took some experimentation with respect to the proper moisture for smoking. I found that I preferred it less dry than I predicted. With some moisture, I got a nice soft smoke with excellent body and a huge amount of strength. This is probably the strongest tobacco I've ever smoked. Stronger yet much smoother than the various black ropes I've tried, without their massive harshness. The flavor was exceedingly deep. I found no flavors aside from good honest tobacco. Some cigar notes but it didn't really taste like any cigar I've ever had. Smoked straight, this is a bit too much of a good thing. But blended with other tobaccos, particular OTC's, this shines. Kentucky Club Mild is a nice burley but mixed 80/20 with Tambolaka, it crosses into excellence. Needs a lot of time to meld, however. I enjoyed my time with this one and may pick up some more. A pound will probably last my lifetime!

4 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (127)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Strong

I wasn't too crazy about this one. It had that industrial feel to it not unlike Brown Rope No. 4 to my taster, but a little easier to maintain the light than the former. I was given quite a bit of this as my benefactor also did not like it. I smoked about 4 bowls of this and paid it forward by sending the rest to a forum buddy who I often trade with.

It is hard to explain, but if you like BRN4 or even 1792, then you will probably like this. Those blends leave a weird taste sensation to me. I use the term Industrial, because it hangs on my pallet the way the scents of diesel and grease do. I just don't like this kind of a smoke.

Of the positives, it does have a heck of a nicotine kick, but there are several blends that I can smoke to get this kick with a more enjoyable taste. In summary, somewhat recommended for those that like the aforementioned blends. Beginners stay away.

Similar Blends: SG Brown Rope Number 4.

2 people found this review helpful.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (106)
★★☆☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Extra Strong

This stuff is not for the faint of heart. When I first received a couple sticks of it my wife was curious and she wanted to know what is was. After I explained she looked at it like it was a loaded diaper and asked me to not steam it or smoke it in the house. During the steaming process it turned black and smelled like the forementioned loaded diaper. I wonder if the Indonesians soak it in monkey pi$$ before they wrap it with sisal. It is much stronger than anything I've ever smoked and the nic hit knocks me on my rump. I don't regret tryintg it but I definitely won't be buying any more of it.

2 people found this review helpful.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

_Some_ of the reviewers of this tobacco have only reviewed this one tobacco. They had a lot to say about Tambo, but NOTHING to say about any other tobacco. Hmmm....

Tambo is okay. A robust enough smoke. A little bit of hassle to prepare, but not much more effort than plug.

If it was widely available then I dare say it'd have a following, but it's not worth jumping through the hoops involved in ordering from Indonesia.

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I was gifted a generous size sample from a friend that enjoys strong tobacco, I am not sure of the age of the sample. I smoked Tambolaka very dry. I must admit that it took me a while to dig in as it has the worst pouch scent I have ever encountered and I have smoked a ton of different blends. As an avid, twenty year cigar smoker prior to my pipe life, I don't get the cigar comparison here as I find it tastes nothing like any cigar I have ever smoked. It may be just my body chemistry, but I found the first part of the bowl to have an underlying sweetness and no bite. It is very strong as others have noted. I find it much stronger than the Gawith Hoggarth ropes that I smoke on occasion. The flavors are deep and build throughout the bowl. Tambolaka is pure tobacco, plain and simple. It's not bad, and I enjoy stronger tobaccos, but there are just so many other blends on the market that are far more interesting. If you have very limited pipe tobacco options or your main reason for enjoying a pipe is Lady N, than this tobacco will fill the bill. At best, Tambolaka would be a once in a blue moon smoke for me.

2 people found this review helpful.

Wayang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wayang (1)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

This tobacco comes close to being my holy grail. I haven't tried as large a range of tobaccos as many pipe smokers, mainly because I haven't had much access: I live in Indonesia, where there are very few pipe smokers. Some of the OTC blends are available, such as Captain Black, but if that's all that's on offer, I'd rather smoke a straight non-premium Indonesian cigar. For a while I had supplies sent from C and D, but Customs have made that more and more difficult.

So, I was delighted to see this tobacco available locally. Not just available locally, but PRODUCED locally. The world's best pipe tobacco, and we never knew it! It's a strong, powerful, rich, complex tobacco that starts off very soft but builds up to a crescendo.

As some have noted, it might be too strong for all day use. The only English style tobacco I've seen in Jakarta is TG Fox and Hound, which I don't like by itself at all. But I mixed one part F and H with two parts Tambolaka, and it tastes great! The burley and virginia become condiment tobaccos to give the tambolaka more complexity. I really like it like this, and it's slightly milder in taste and nicotine content. If I had access to other light English tobaccos, I'd experiment with other blends with the Tambolaka, but this will do for now.

An earlier experiment blending Tambolaka with Borkum Riff Ultra Mild was a dismal failure. Yuck. I thought that the Tambolaka would overwhelm the BR and make it inoffensive, but it still managed to insinuate itself unpleasantly into the conversation. I chucked the mix out.

2 people found this review helpful.

Zfog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zfog (3)
★★★☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Tambo is a great tobacco IMO. I got it in stick form and steamed it, bringing it back to life. Kind of like Frankenstein, this stuff really is like a monster! After the steaming process I left it out to dry up a bit for about 6 hours. At that point I put most of it in a jar and kept some out to smoke. Upon lighting I feel like I am smoking toby in a far away Indonesian village, it is cool stuff. Figuring that most of the people in the world have never even heard of this stuff. It is very strong, but I like that. I love ropes and plugs and this is right up that alley. This could also be used as a condiment to spice up another tobacco. This is one that should be tried by everyone (except the faint of heart)!

2 people found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (70)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Well, after a couple of dozen bowls, in a half dozen different pipes...this one is certainly a welcome item. To me it comes off as being sweet, smokey, and with a kinda strange undertow of an 'anise-raisin-hemp' flavor/aroma. It smokes cool and very, very clean and is totally at the ideal mositure level as it came, in the pouch. Super easy to light and get going. Haven't played with the 'stick' thing as yet. The stuff looks like last year's leaf mulch that's been left in the compost pile for a year, then nicely dried, and dyed to a uniform dark reddish brown color...just taking part in the description contest here. Whatever...it's totally heaven in the bowl. Dy-No-Mite!

A few on other sites have mentioned it as a blender, though I think it stands very well on it's own. Blending might be interesting, though, as it has a distinct likeness to an Oriental already with that smokey background and the musty sweet hempish notes. But I'm not a blender and I digress. I think I'll just enjoy it as is. It's unique, quite potent and overall one of the most significant new finds I've come across in a long, long while. Like I said above...it's heaven in the bowl.

Short Story: This is an instant classic.

2 people found this review helpful.

iwanpc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
iwanpc (1)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I have tried only several times. 6 bowls total. It's a pipe tobacco, yes, but not so good pipe tobacco as its told.

Never tried to mix with other pipe tobacco. Just smoke it straight several times in local pipe smokers gathering. No door- slam, dog-bites, or even smack down effect, or any other story proven. I don't know, perhaps I have to inhale to get those effects? No thanks.

I've made order directly to TNT, and got a fast reply. But I have made mistake by adding extra letter. No rejection confirmation from my bank. Until tonight I realize there was a rejection. I sent again, and I asked for apology for this misunderstanding. I attached PDF file (bank prove) and an edited pic (to hide my balance, of course). The respond from seller was very unpleasant by accusing me as an online fraudsters, photoshop freak.

For just an ordinary pipe tobacco, just average, and this kind of service, i think this pipe tobacco is not worth to buy.

don't get caught by the hype.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
★★★☆
Strong Medium Full Tolerable

Have been fascinated reading here and elsewhere about this tobacco and I now have some sticks and ready-rubbed to try. At the moment, I am finding the ready-rubbed more user friendly as cutting and breaking up a stick produced a lot of snuff like dust. I've not steamed anything yet but I will try that on the next stick I unwrap. Am a little concerned about the problem of mould, as on the stick I cut up dry I noticed some white patches deep inside...which look a lot like dried mould to me.

The stick smells to me just like a cigar....and the tobacco smokes very much like a cigar. I don't notice any other flavours, not that that is a criticism...far from it; it's a pleasant strong smoke, perfect after a good meal and with a strong coffee.

I think, and this is for the first time in nearly 50 years of pipe smoking, that a couple of good sized bowls of Tambolanka nearly put me to sleep at the PC and gave me very vivid dreams when I staggered off to bed! It's certainly up there with the Ropes when it comes to vitamin N.

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (151)
★★★☆
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable to Strong

This was the rubbedout variety, and came pretty crisp. I only smoked 1/3 of a bowl of a traditional clay and it wasn't too much. From now on, I'll use my tiny-bowled Elizabethan-style clay for this (I'll need to get a small-headed screw or nail to use as a tamper). Need a N hit coupled with the taste of a v good strong cigar? This is for you. This is tasty in small doses. Smoke a large bowl of this and you either have a very high N tolerance, or you should not operate any complicated machinery, like a pencil.

But it IS very tasty!

1 person found this review helpful.

ttimothy.ll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ttimothy.ll (3)
★★☆☆
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

A solid tobacco, but I use it only in small quantities and mixed with a burley or an english... otherwise the taste and nicotine are just TOO much... not to mention the powerful tingling I get in my mouth and throat if I smoke it straight!!

As a condiment however, I enjoy it very much... it adds richness - somewhat cigar-like - to a smoke. However, even like this my wife can't stand being near it!

An aside: Preparation went a bit sour for me (make sure to let it dry FULLY)... all seemed well until spots of mold started forming in my largest jar of tambolaka! Needless to say I had to do some emergency surgery, amputating a decent bit of it, but the rest seems o.k. :s

1 person found this review helpful.

AmBaal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AmBaal (1)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

TL;DR: Get This. This is excellent. Might kill you though.

Indonesian tobacco growers managed to create something really close to a miracle, and if it would be any more common and easier to get, it put many many of tobacco producers to a great deal of shame

The combination of qualities in this tobacco is truly amazing: it is very soft, extremely complex in flavour and yet it is strong as hell.

I've received mine in its raw form: 3 inch long round stick about 1.5 inch in diameter, wrapped in very rough cord. The stuff was stiff as a brick and looked like it is made of dried-up clay, from outside there wasn't a single hint that this log has anything to do with tobacco leaves.

Some people asking whether they can simply rub it as you would do with a normal flake, and it is about as possible as rubbing a stone. It took me a very sharp and sturdy knife to chip a disk off the stick. Inside, it was as solid as outside, but very nice and oily. It is a tobacco in it's purest form: nothing added or taken away (however I did think that they might keep those logs a bit too close to compost heap when I was steaming and unraveling it)

It took good amount of steaming to get this thing to break apart, but once it started to do so, it definitely looked promising. I've separated it into very subtle and very oily, fermented tobacco leaves. Word of warning though, it expands A LOT: 160g stick probably will yield around 1-1.5 litre jar full of proper tobacco. Which then will need cutting and a bit of drying out. And you WOULD WANT to use rubber gloves while working with it, the amount of oilyness once it's steamed is astonishing.

And then I smoked it, a small bowl corn-cob pipe full of wide-cut ribbons. It took a bit of relights to get it started (probably could use a bit more drying), but once it was lit, it stayed this way, burning very evenly and cool.

The taste was amazing. Being a simple tobacco without any additives, the taste is so soft, rich and satisfying that I couldn't believe it. It does resemble a very, very good cigar (which is understandable since same tobacco is used for cigars). Despite the fact that smell during steaming was sometimes rather hideous, both flavour and room note are very nice. Prepared tobacco actually does smell like a tea somewhat.

It started with excellent earthly and somewhat fruity notes, and stayed excellent till the end of the bowl, with various smell nuances appearing along the way. It gives a hint of smokiness and pretty much every taste nuance that can come from tobacco during smoke, but stays unbelievably smooth and full-bodied all the way.

The smoke is thick and rich, very cigar-like but much softer and smoother. No matter what I did, be it sipping or puffing like a steam train, I wasn't able to overheat the pipe. There was no bite at all, no matter how hard I puff. It is cool all the way, and very little moisture was found on balsa filter, despite tobacco being very oily and rather moist when I packed it. It is unbelievable. I never smoked anything like it in my whole experience. God save you, by the way, if you decided to inhale it, unless you have lungs and throat of steel and generally you are a solidly-built robot. It probably would crumble lesser robots too.

It is also strong. No, it's STRONG. It is really surprising how something this smooth, soft and tasty can be that strong, it's almost if you are making love with Monica Bellucci, but in the end you realize it was Mike Tyson all the way and he actually was beating you pretty hard. I once made a mistake of taking it as a morning smoke on empty stomach and I was barely able to walk from a small bowl. Imagine having a really full-bodied churchill cigar, only in a small bowl and this probably would be it. Only stronger and tastier.

It probably would be nice in a blend with something (latakia?) to reduce it's strength, but frankly, I can't think of anything that might add something positive to the taste.

Get this tobacco. Smuggle it, steal it, buy it - if you are a tobacco aficionado, missing this one would be a disaster. Get it fast: there is no way something like this can exist long enough in modern world, it is bound to get worse, and if big tobacco brands realize full extent of this tobacco, they probably will bomb Indonesia to make sure no-one knows of it.

Commit war crimes in Indonesia and ask this as your last wish in front of a firing squad if you have to, but get it.

And don't smoke it on empty stomach, for god's sake. Also do not get the idea of smoking packaging rope too, i've tried it and it wasn't great at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bulldog Jeff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog Jeff (11)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable

Loose, pre-chopped. WOW! Looks and smells like Jagermeister barfed onto the floor and soaked up by pieces of a cigar that got slammed in a car door a few times, allowed to dry, and then chewed up by a dog. I tried to rub it out. Bruised the palms of my hands, which were by then tingly and slightly numb from the nicotine. Put it in the mortar & pestle to no avail - just left some skid-marks. I contemplated going down to the corner Mexi-Mart to obtain a Molcajete (South American mortar & pestle hand-carved from lava, available at every bodega in Los Angeles), but curiosity got the best of me and I dropped a few of these unprocessesed black rocks into an unsuspecting Featherweight. Lit, puffed once, put it down. Dang. I'm going to have to learn some manners if I want to smoke this stuff. God help me if I accidentally inhale. Oh well, the hospital is only two blocks away, and the cell phone is handy. Lit again, puffed a few times. My nose burned and my eyes watered, but the flavor was starting to come through. My tongue was starting to get that bitter taste around the edges like I had eaten too many sweets. Puffed again, very gently, snorking by using the "humming-bird" technique with my tongue. Never thought I would use that in pipe smoking. Wow that's good. Like a Virginia / Burley blend digested by a vegetarian dinosaur. Slightly sweet, barely spicey, robust and full flavored. Light notes of chocolate & natural licorice. Burned all the way down to black-speckled grey ash, fully blackening a pipe cleaner that was used for cleanup. This is now at the top of my list. I will be ordering a meter of this in stick form. Loading the Featherweight again...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

commonsenseman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
commonsenseman (4)
★★★★
Extremely Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Over the past few months I've smoked this stuff almost every day. Every time I smoke it I seem to notice something new. It's a very dark, natural tasting tobacco. When you're first processing it (it comes in very tightly compacted "sticks") it smells very earthy & quite strong. It's very fun to smoke since it comes completely unprepared. You get to decide whether to fully rub it out or smoke it as a flake, or even as a disc. The only downside I've noticed to this stuff is that it's not real easy to get lit, once it's going though maintaining a bowl is quite easy & it burns all the way down to ash with minimal re-lights. It seems to smoke best when it's on the dry side, otherwise it can be harsh. It's something that needs to be smoked very slowly to be fully enjoyed, if you try to rush things you may get bit & you are almost guaranteed to not enjoy yourself.

It's the strangest thing, but this is the only tobacco that I've noticed an aroma of Black Tea, that's the only way I can describe it & it's WONDERFUL.

This stuff is extremely satisfying & will give you quite a nicotine kick if that's what you're looking for. I would suggest smoking it on a full stomach & while sitting down.

To sum up:

-smoke it dry -smoke it slowly -smoke it often

If you follow those 3 important guidelines you will be rewarded hansomely with an amazing & unique smoking experience.

4 out of 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steel Talon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steel Talon (1)
★★★★
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a great tobacco is pleasant to smoke. But, it's not for the uninitiated though. Be advised it's "HEAVY" with vitamin N. Until you get use to it be ready to go sleep like a log after a full bowl. Goes very well with good scotch! MMmmmm Tastey.

If you choose the 3 inch sticks (over the pre cut offering.) Be prepared to spend a bit of time preparing the tobacco. One stick filled 2 pint Ball jars. This was my first taste of its Vitamin N through contact absorption with my hands as I steamed, seperated, and cut the leaves. In a word WOW!

Others I have spoken with, like to blend the Tambo with Sugar Barrel, or some Carter Hall etc etc. You do owe it to your self to try it. Have some in your cellar, remember to share some Tambo with your fellow pipe enthusiasts.

Peace and Good Karma~

Nobody has rated this review yet.