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A mature recipe of seven types of Virginia tobaccos blended with Louisiana Perique, lightly pressed for several days to mellow the mixture, then cut into flakes and rubbed up. A high quality blend with a savory taste and a fine bouquet. An outstanding tobacco with a rich depth of flavor.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia/Perique
Contents Perique, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Bag
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 7 Users

3.3
69 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
41
3 star:
10
2 star:
15
1 star:
3
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (721)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The sweet smell of this blend out of the bag or tin will hook you. The taste is a little sweet, but not overly, and less so than their Dorchester mixture. I get a light hay taste that helps tame the wonderful apricot, raisin, and fig notes a little. There's more perique here than there is in Dorchester, but the perique is a light addition, and you won't get it in every bowl you smoke. What you do get in every puff is a well crafted, tasty smoke that packs well, burns well, and leaves no dottle. A fairly gentle blend that can be smoked all day and contrasts well with stronger VaPers that are less sweet. In my opinion, it's a step up from Orlik's Golden Slices, which I also like. If you are a fan of OGS, and want a little more strength and complexity, this is the blend you should smoke.

5 people found this review helpful.

Bishop_Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bishop_Pipe (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

I have been an occasional pipe smoker for three years, but in the last year i have got into smoking more and more. This is the first VaPer that i tried. I will say that i was not disappointed!

The tin aroma has a mild fruity smell to me, which is loads into a pipe and lights very easily.

The taste from the smoke is very evident of what it contains, virginias and perique. It is a very balanced taste, there is a bit of spiciness coming from the perique but this blends very well with the sweetness of virginias making this tobacco very well rounded and very smooth and lovely tasting.

Would recommend this to any pipe smoker regardless of experience, and even to those not fond of perique because of the well balanced nature.

3 people found this review helpful.

A Northern Breed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A Northern Breed (16)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Esoterica is really something. Everything they put out is top notch, and this is no exception. I cannot say whether this or Dorchester is my favorite VaPer, but it's one of the two as far as pure VaPer taste goes. Everyone says Escudo is it when it comes to VaPers, but I disagree, as Escudo - although it is very good - does not have the brightness of Virginias like the VaPers from Esoterica.

The tin is Esoterica's standard tin, and I like the fact that they measure it out to two ounces (56 grams) rather than the typical 50 grams. Upon opening the tin, the scent is of raisins and wood, with the Virginia brightness notably shining through. The cut makes it a little difficult to remove from the tin and pack, but no big deal. Takes a light nicely, although it may require a relight or two, which is also no big deal. Overall, well done on the presentation.

The stuff tastes fantastic and clean, and the Virginia and Perique are blended so well that they harmonize, rather than singing separately. The taste is very much of a VaPer, but it's odd because I find it very different from Escudo. Escudo is a bit darker and a bit too heavy on the Perique for me, whereas this Dunbar (I'm smoking it as I type) is brighter and cleaner tasting, with obviously top-notch Virginia's. As compared to Dorchester, I like Dunbar because it has so many Virginias (seven, to be exact), which increases complexity.

Overall, highly recommended. I think that if I were trying to get a friend into pipe smoking, I would give them a VaPer, and Dunbar might just be it. In my opinion, a much better example of the genre than Escudo, albeit quite different.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (97)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Germain's descriptor of “savory” pretty much sums up the flavor of Dunbar for me. A counterpart to the brighter and sweeter Dorchester, Dunbar's flavor is quite a bit darker with plenty of wood, earth and spice. I'd say that this is one of the darkest tasting Virginia perique blends of any that I have had the pleasure of smoking.

Once it gets going, the smoke takes on a rich chocolatey fig-like flavor which is nicely enhanced by the piquant zip of the perique. There is some good strength here, but it never overwhelms. Dunbar is a well matured tobacco mixture, evidenced by its deep mellow flavor which is delivered with zero bite and no harshness.

Truth be told, as good as this blend is, I have always prefered a sweeter, tangier VaPer with a bit less bottom-end complexity. When it comes to Vapers, I am more about the high-notes than the low. Nonetheless, Dunbar is still an extremely enjoyable blend and one that I will continue to smoke on occasion for a change of pace.

Pipe Used: Briar

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (159)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Just finished a tin of this that I had bought a while ago. I really liked this one. I also really like Dorcester. It is funny when reading comparisons between the two blends how very differently people view the two. For Instance, I find Dunbar to be sweeter than Dorcester and lighter on the perique. There are some who agree with me and some who find the exact opposite to be true. All I can really add to this is they are both delicious and you will be happy doing your own comparison.

Purchased From: P & C

Similar Blends: Dorcester.

2 people found this review helpful.

bubbleonce Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bubbleonce (6)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Sometimes i open the bag just smell it and drool. Then I begin to eat it. Just choose the most thick pieces and put them in a mouth one by one. When I begin feel dizzy back, I'm taking the rest tobacco and fill my favorite bowl. I smoke it and think what it was tasty ... The most delicious.

2 people found this review helpful.

DaddyWarbucks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DaddyWarbucks (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is one of my favorites. I sometimes open the jar just to smell it and drool. It's difficult for me to describe, as I usually am simply absorbing pleasure and not paying attention to subtleties when I smoke it, but...

Dunbar smokes beautifully. Very cool, very even burn, even when seriously abused. The perique makes it spicy and complex, while the top-quality virginias give it a rich, subtly sweet backing. Packs easily, and seems to suit every pipe I've packed with it. In a small pipe, one could smoke it while driving; it is light, gentile, and easy to manage while still giving nicotine satisfaction. In a big, cavernous bowl, one can sit and prepare oneself for a long and utterly satisfying experience as its rich and changing flavor takes you for a ride. My usual, recently, is honestly a medium-large cob, and I find that the two match quite well.

I think the tobaccos Esoterica uses in this blend are of such quality that they could be utterly ham-fisted with the blending and still produce an almost perfect tobacco. This is absolutely tip-top quality leaf.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (230)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Move over Escudo, Dunbar is my new favorite VaPer. Upon opening a tin you notice a wonderful "Raisin Bran" smell with just the right moisture content and a fully packed tin ( that I will talk about later). The tobacco packs and lights easily and stays lit without any moisture buildup. Initially there is a sweet Virginia flavor and ample Perique mustiness. These continue to play throughout the bowl and depending on how hard you puff, you can bring each of these out in perfect balance( slow sip, it's sweet Virginia, faster it's Perique). I find the room note wonderful but unfortunately the " wife test" always says no to Perique. I enjoy smoking VaPers in a cob as I think it brings out the Perique. I don't know how they blended these Virginias, but there is absolutely no bite or even a sensation of pepper on the tongue that I find even in a fine blend like Escudo. The tobacco is smooth, flavorful, complex and satisfying with ample N . It is also economical as I will explain. If you just take the tin weight, at 56.7 gms. not 50 gms. and doing our math, that's 13.4% more tobacco by weight than most others. In addition, I prefer to look at tin volume and how many pipe full's I can get. Dunbar is tightly packed to the brim whereas Escudo is only half full of its pretty wheels. I estimate I'll get 30% more pipe-full's when it's all said and done. Dunbar is my clear choice

Updated 8/18/2011 -A back to back comparison between " Dorchester" and "Dunbar" revealed the following:

Cut/ Moisture/ lighting: Same, very acceptable

Tin aroma/ Appearance: Similar but Dorchester had a hint of snuff sent and was a lighter color

Flavor: Similar, Dunbar was more mellow and matured where as Dorchester was brighter and slightly more flavor

Tongue bite: Dorchester had a very slight nip at the tongue where as Dunbar had no nip and was an all day smoke

Overall: Both are excellent Vapers , I favor Dunbar only because I am very sensitive to Tongue bite.

2 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Nicotiana tabacum is the Linæan classification of our favourite weed, and nicotiana would indeed be the most correct Latin term for things about tobacco. Less correctly, but still possible, one could derive tabaciana from tabacum. But tobacciana is an absurd macaronic barbarism. And so, I have always looked at these blends with a jaundiced eye.

Still, Virginia-cum-Périque is like cat-nip to me, so I decided to swallow my monocled disdain and try this lamely labeled mélange.

Yum, yum!

The Périque element in this blend is dramatic and deliriously overpowering: it tastes like some fiery single-malt liqueur, sweet, rich and peppery?do you know Drambuie??a dream come true! The virginia wherein this Créole beauty is mounted is like sweet gold: it never gives up. I was such a pig that, after sucking several bowlfuls of this in a row, I nearly blistered my tongue! Aye, the laddie can bite, alright.

I got this tin from a neighbourhood shelf, where it probably had been sitting for a long time: the paper sleeve inside was drenched through, and the "pouch" aroma had a semi-putribond redolence proclaiming "Périque orgy". So, Périque-haters, beware: this could kill you. If you are like me, though, you will be hooked immediately.

Now, if they could only straighten out their Latinity! I might even condescend to try Penzance.

2 people found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I had a tin of this blend about 6 months ago and I put it on my desk without touch it and found a favorite taste on favorite pipe. I'm really enjoying this Sunday smokes with Esoterica T Dunbar at BB&s D3. The smell on the tin is so hooked me out, a fresh fruity scent follows with chinese green tea flavor. Easy to pack it into my straight billiard shaped pipe and not difficult to keep the light on, the draw is smooth and the smoke is wonderful with medium strength. No over-power, not too spice, and the sweetness is just at the right portion. Now I know why lot of pipesmokers admire and love this stuff, I'm also in love with this stuff. At my BB&S D3 pipe, I really enjoying cool, dry, and pleasant smokes.

Pipe Used: BB&s D3

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Indonesia Local Tobacconist

Similar Blends: Escudo Navy Deluxe.

1 person found this review helpful.

rogermugs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rogermugs (14)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Full Pleasant

I'm smoking a bowl given to a friend of mine and stored for five years. The maturity of the leaf is obvious and I can't speak to how it smokes new. But compared to a Briar Fox which was also aged 5 years I notice a lot of similarity. The Virginias in this override the perique (hence my comparison to BF) substantially but the perique is not hidden.

Bite free (which should be able to go unsaid but unfortunately doesn't always). Full of depth of flavor.

In my opinion a great smoke. But for my money, and for availability reasons I would probably be equally happy with other VaPers. I do not agree with the comparison to Orlik. But again, maybe because mine was not new (though I have smoked very old Orlik and it ages very differently). I would say for a vaper it's more comparable to Capstan blue. But the perique is much more muted (probably due to the time stored).

Pipe Used: MM Pony Express

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: Friend

Similar Blends: Cornell & Diehl - Briar Fox.

1 person found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (236)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am a VaPer fan smoking Escudo a lot so when I got a tin of this I was excited to try it. Upon opening the tin, the smell of musty and spicy. It is a ribbon cut mostly light colored tobacco and come pretty moist in the tin so I dry it out some before smoking it. It does pack easy in the pipe and lights easy, one to raise the crown and one after tamping it level with the bowl. It burns well and stays lit and does burn all the way down to a fine whitish grey ash with some dark areas. The taste is of a nice virginia but not sweet or hay like and the perique is right there from the start. It picks up it's presence as one smokes the bowl down and I like the perique used, it is nice an spicy and gives the blend a kick. However, without the stweetness of the VA coming through like a lot of good vapors, I grow bored with it before finishing the bowl. I have tried it right out of the tin, somewhat dried and very dry and get the same result. Also have smoked it in numerous pipes. I do like the final third of the bowl, then it has a lot of taste and flavor, and I like the room note it leaves. But I think there are many VaPors that are much better than this one. I do recommend trying it but I think it will drive one back to the better Vapers.

1/8/2013

I was gifted another tin of this blend that the sender had left it out to dry out and it appears to be aged. I have been smoking it this week and it does age well, it is very mellow and the VA in it is a little sweeter now. I do enjoy this blend, but I still find it to be a little too mild for my tastes. I much prefer aged Escudo if I am smoking VA/Pers. It is a good blend that I will smokke if gifted but would not buy it myself.

1 person found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Appearance: A mixture of coarse ribbon and broken flake. Color runs the gamut of medium light through dark.

Aroma: Typical Esoterica aroma, quite musty, almost unpleasant. I assume it has something to due with the maturing process, as Tilbury has a similar aroma. It does not ever go away, only becomes less noticeable.

Packing: Must be packed with some care, owing to the coarseness of the cut. Never packs easily into a small bowl.

Lighting: Somewhat slower than average to catch fire. Sometimes needs two matches for a good charring light.

Initial flavor: Very full bodied Virginia flavor. Sweet with a trace of sour, peppery tang. Lacking in complexity or layering.

Mid-bowl: Still somewhat monochromatic in flavor. Tends to be boring in a tall bowl, but not well suited to a small pipe. (See note on packing).

Finish: Ends not with a bang, but a whimper. No significant change at the end. Leaves a clean ash.

Summary: For me, there are much more rewarding Va/Per blends out there. Worth a try, but I won?t be back.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (57)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Here is another good one from Esoterica. This is a meaty VA, with chewy smoke and salty disposition. It burns well in all pipes, produces a good deal of smoke to play with and is one of my favorite VAPERs...when I'm in the mood. The perique used here is done sparingly so and it works really well for this blend...very good balance since I wanted to taste more of the different VAs working together. A winner in my book. KJCIYHA

Pipe Used: Sav.

Age When Smoked: 6 mos old from purchase date.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (64)
★★☆☆
Strong Mild Medium to Full Strong

What an odd one this was!

I had high expectations, as I had found a stash of this and some of the rare ones at a B&M that I claimed without delay.

This needed to be dried out for quite a while. I loaded it from the freshly opened tin and nearly used a book of matches trying to keep the thing going, whilst giving myself dry-mouth in the process (rookie at the time), but then took some out and dried it and lit up for round 2.

Tangy, sour, grassy, almost slimey texture from it. I liked it, the smoke was very interesting in the aroma with a lot going on and clearly high quality, but there was something in that taste that made my face pucker up like man eating a whole lemon.

I admit, the nuances are beyond my palate's limitations so I don't want to talk down something due to not understanding, but for my taste, I couldn't get into it, and traded it on to someone who might appreciate.

Good quality, complicated, but not for me.

Pipe Used: Brebbia Bent Apple

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mdnyc71 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mdnyc71 (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

My absolute favorite. Bright Virginias and just enough Perique to add a little spiciness. I prefer Dunbar in a large bowl for a "just right" taste and nicotine experience.

I'd love to be able to say "if you like tobacco X, then you'll like Dunbar". But sadly, I haven't found anything similar to Dunbar. Any suggestions?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (577)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I got quite lucky and found 5 tins of Dunbar at my local tobacconist and bought them all. Now I had never tried this blend before, so I was going out on a limb, it paid off wonderfully.

The tin presentation is classic, the moisture level was just a little wet, no big deal. This packed very well and burned oh so sweetly. Even burn all the way down, no bite whatsoever, even when puffed zealously. The perique is perfectly applied, its a friend who does not jump in the spotlight, but sings backup oh so well. The VAs are a wonderful mélange and this salty/sweet blend is just what I have been looking for. I used to compare all VAPERs to HOTW, but now this is king of the hill...and I'm not truly a dedicated VA fan, Dunbar has made me think twice on that supposition. KEEPER!!

Smoke in peace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Howie23 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Howie23 (1)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Excellent in bulk and tin. This is a goto blend for me.

November 3, 2012

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cgar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cgar (37)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Great tin presentation and perfect moisture! Top quality leaf that delivers on point. As I take in the smell I get a fig, apple, hay smell that just has me beside myself. Perfect balance of spice and sweet for me with propper burn qualities. If I can ever put my hands on it I will certainly stock up on Dunbar!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (577)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been attempting to compare and contrast Dunbar and Dorchester for a few months now and they are very similar. They are both excellent quality with about the same amount perique that is contained in our benchmark Orlik Golden. Dunbar and Dorchester are natural and smoke wonderfully. These blends definitely provide a unique experience worth trying. the difference in taste between the two is small, but dorchester is lighter, sweeter, and fruitier while dunbar is spicier and has more of a rich plum taste. If you could only choose to try one, I would personally recommend Dorchester.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

THB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
THB (6)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Dunbar is one of the best blends I have smoked. It almost smokes itself. Sometimes, at first, it may takes some re-lights, but once you get it going, it goes to the bottom of the bowl evenly. I don't find, as some reviewers have that it smokes fast, and I'm a fast smoker. The aroma that I detect is of honey and a woodsy fragrance, with a sweetness, but it's not an unnatural sweetness, like some aromatics. I also smoke Escudo, but this is better to me. I think Escudo is stronger. I'm new to Va/Pers, but so far this is my favorite. I just got 8 oz. of Hearth & Home Rolando's Own, and it is a great smoke, too. It has the woodsy flavor and smokes pretty much evenly, as Dunbar, but to me, Dunbar is a little sweeter and more to my liking. I plan to buy more of both.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

oregonpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oregonpipe (13)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Ah, Dunbar! This is currently my favorite Vaper. As far as I'm concerned up there with the best. And I've tried a bunch! Great out of a 2oz tin and an 8oz bag. Tin note is fantastic...malty, raisiny. Both the tin and bag are well packed with ribbons of rather moist virginias so its best to stretch this stuff out on a cookie sheet for some air and dry time. Very hard to unpack since some of the strands are several inches long and tend to stick together at the ends. As far as packing in a bowl, I like to grab a bowl's worth and tear these long strands into something that will pack more efficiently. Initial lighting can be a bit challenging. Can take a couple o'three matches to get her going but once up it's pure pleasure. Nice spicy perique overtones with the VAs bubbling up all during the bowl and really intensifying near the end. Probably the best burning blend I've ever had. Volumes of smoke that preclude the temptation to over-puff. Burns down to a fine gray ash that sometimes just pours out of the bowl. I believe this would be a flavorful and efficient blend with which to break in a new pipe. This blend operates on the threshold of my perique tolerance. I toyed with the idea of giving it 3 stars due to a possible over-abundance of the LA weed for my tastes. But judging how fast the jar is emptying, can it really be that much of a problem? I guess not. If you like VAs(hell, there's 7 of 'em in here) and Vapers, and have an affinity for perique, you really owe it to yourself to give this a whirl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ROBERT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ROBERT (16)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

smokes good taste good the only problem I have with it burn down to fast.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fireball Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fireball (36)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The pleasure starts before opening the nice ET tin. On opening, I was taken aback by the aroma. Fresh, natural, wood, honey - can VaPers really smell this good? The cut is rough, shaggy, thick strips, broken flake a bit of ribbon - packs very easily despite being relatively moist. Within seconds of first getting Dunbar going I realised I was in for a treat. A light, naturally sweet Va with a fresh chilli Perique edge, velvety yet spicy, sweet but not artificially so. Lighter, fresher than FVF, fuller, smoother than DNR, cleaner, more natural than Three Nuns or Navy Flake, this is an outstanding VaPer that I have started to crave. Excellent!

Update: I have been smoking this almost exclusively over the summer, it's a great warm weather tobacco: its citrus cleanness and light tobacco touch is just great when other darker tobacco would be like Guiness in the desert. This, along with Tilbury, are my standard mixes now, I no longer feel the need to experiment with other VAs - more than happy with these all day every day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

xy1981ca Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
xy1981ca (2)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

Wow, I've heard about tobaccos that smoke to a fine white ash, but this is the first time I've had one that actually does. I am kinda new to the hobby, and I've only tried MacBaren Mixture, Erinmore Flake, SG FVF and a few samples from local shops. None of the other tobaccos ever smoked to a fine white ash like this Esoterica did. Why is that a big deal? Because I am finally on my way to being able to smoke to the bottom of a bowl and building some much needed cake at the bottom. This is a pretty moist tin, drying helps a bit, but I may need to try overnight even. I find the tobacco very hard to keep lit, although it stays pretty well lit around mid bowl, I had to relight for every puff when nearing the bottom.

Upon opening the tin, Dunbar gave a strange sour smell that I don't find pleasant. When smoked, it reminds me of something I had years ago but can't really recall. This is a smooth and creamy smoke with absolutely no bite. The taste is very mild, almost flavorless for the first 3rd of the bowl. But by mid bowl it will start to leave a nice aftertaste. It's a hint of sweetness and oatmeal like flavors that just peaks around the corner but never really jumps out to announce itself. Even though the flavor is somewhat fleeting, I enjoy the mild & relaxing smoke. I find that it smokes so clean, that it leaves none of the stale tobacco taste when finished. As opposed to all my other tobacco experiences, where I get a bit of harshness & stinky flavors lingering until the next morning. I enjoy this clean smoking experience very much and cannot go back. I would love to find other blends/brands that smoke this clean.

The ribbons are perfectly cut, great for packing and when it stays lit, smokes just right. Again, I love the way it burns clean and gives a very relaxing smoke with delicate flavors. To be honest, I keep hearing how great SG FVF is and how sweet Va's are, but FVF was completely disappointing for me. Harsh, flavorless, not sweet and leaves a stinky tobacco aftertaste that I can't get rid of. Not to mention the heavy nic punch (I am sure I was doing something wrong, but I found what works for me). Dunbar is just right for me, I wish it was sweeter and easier to keep lit, but so far it has provided me the best smoking experience ever. Definitely going to look into other Esoterica tins next. (Smoked with a Stanwell 64)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Can't get enough of the va/pers lately! If a piquant experience is what you want.. well here it is. Esoterica dunbar has a great old-fashioned aroma and taste (all of the esotericas I have tried have tasted delightfully old world).. tin aroma of prunes, vinegar, maybe a dash of virginia figs.. This smokes smooth maybe not as strong in nic as escudo.. but it makes up for it with a healthy perique presence.. Not for everyone, but boy does it work for me. Buying more to age..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AgentSmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AgentSmith (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An excellent everyday VaPer. The quality is very high and when purchased in the 8oz bags the price is quite modest. This offering from Esoterica is hitting on all cylinders, imho.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Maiser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Maiser (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Tin note is great, sort of fruity, or maybe like hay.

Smoked in a medium bowled E. Andrews dedicated to Va/Per blends. Ribbon cut is long and easy to pack. Found this tobacco to light well and evenly throughout, without bite or getting too hot.

The taste is great. VA sweetness shines and Louisiana perique gives it a spicy push, sometimes reaching out and giving some surprise in a puff, usually playing the middleground.

A straightforward tobacco that does intensify after a while, which is great.

Easy preparation, easy mechanics (lighting, burning, packing, etc) and awesome taste. 4 stars and one of my main blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Red Rapparee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Red Rapparee (8)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Hey fellers, Red here. Esoterica's Dunbar is an interesting Va/Per that is pressed and aged in a way that creates an interesting blur of flavors. In most well executed Va/Pers the Virginia and Perique come at you one at a time, each rising then falling in their turn, until building to a crescendo in a symphony of sweet and spice. In some blends the Virginias stand out, and in some it's the Perique. Not so with Dunbar. This Va/Per resonates consistently throughout the bowl with a harmonic balance of sweet/spice an octave or two above one dimentional. Don't get me wrong, I don't find this Va/Per boring. What's more, I think it was well done keeping a blend this flavorful marching in such well drilled cadence. However, where in most good Va/Pers the Virginias are there in all their naturally sweet glory, Dunbar seems to use less than prime Virginias and compensate by adding a smidge of sugar. Tastes slightly fraudulent. Like a good knock-off, it works when you realize what it is and accept it for itself without trying to compare it to Escudo or some of the other 4 star Va/Pers. Worth a smoke if you are out of the great stuff. Borderline 3 star but I can't get over the sugar, which should not be necessary.

Two Stars.

PS: Don't be alarmed, the tin note that is a witches brew of prunes and vinegar doesn't carry over into the smoke. Thank god, or else this would be one radical aromatic.......

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the old man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the old man (14)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

When I opeaned the tin the aroma was a bit "stinky" but after I smoked a pipe full I was amazed. This is a wonderful tobacco. I highlly reccomend this tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

josef lukac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
josef lukac (1)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

Hi, I like esoterica tobacco very much.If I have a chance,I would smoke it all time.Certainly Dunbar fit me the best for the natural ,and pleasant aroma.Luisiana and Virginia is a very good mixture.I would like to taste all of your brands ,but especially dunbar(multiply marriage works great),I hope I will get some to enjoy it. to

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is the second blend by Esoterica I have tried, Stonehaven being an enjoyable first. I picked-up a tin of Dunbar while in Denver on business at Edward's Pipe Shop on S. Broadway, a nice shop with a large selction of tinned tobaccos. Upon openning the tin I was a little worried because of the mositure content and the ribbon cut, albeit a wider one; I like flakes that I can rub out to my liking. Ribbons tend to burn more quickly, but that was not the case here. The presentation in the tin is very nice, with lemon and bright VA predominating, mixed with some softer brown VA leaf and the unmistakable black of Perique. The aroma in the tin is of bread, a familiar smell of unadulterated VA blends. I could not detect any top dressing or flavoring. I let the tin dry out overnight, then filled an old Comoy and stoked-up. This is a wonderful VA/PER blend, complex with developing flavors. It did not bite or overheat. However, it needs to be puffed slowly to realize the VA sweetness. About mid-bowl the Perique seems to kick-in adding a nice spicy note. The key to this blend is balance between the Virginia and the Perique elements, and it is one of the nicer VA/PER blends I have smoked. This is a "top shelf" blend and I highly recommend it to VA/PER lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is the third Esoterica blend I have tried, the first two being Stonehaven and Dorchester, and based on my experiences, I will be trying more. When I first tried Dorchester, I turned around and bought three more tins of it, but two of the tins were originally supposed to be Dunbar, only it was out of stock. That was probably a good thing, now that I have tried this, since I don't like it as much! The previous reviewer described it as "austere and bitter," and that is pretty much how it struck me. I think it would improve with age. Dorchester has a lovely Virginia sweetness that is lacking in Dunbar. I can't find any major problems with it, though, and it's quality stuff. It seemed to burn slightly faster than most Virginias, yet did not overheat my pipe at all. Go figure. I got no bite from it, and that is always a good thing. The perique is there, but does not assert itself-perhaps I will try adding more? And since I think it will take me longer to finish this tin than it took me to finish four tins of Dorchester, perhaps I will find that it does indeed improve with age.

1-18-10 A couple of months opened has improved the "bouquet." The Virginia sweetness is there all right, this is just one that needs to be smoked slowly to bring it out. It will not become "austere and bitter" that way.

4-12-10 I'm smoking a bowl of this right now that is almost good enough to make me upgrade to four stars, and if I get another bowl like this, just may do so. Slow sipping really brings out the flavor on this one.

5-9-11 Yes, it improved with age! Just finishing it up now, and might buy it again to cellar. Really improved in the jar-not "austere and bitter" now! I'll give it the last star, why not?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Couldn't resist any longer. This tin has been sitting in the cabinet patiently for months, and I just cracked it open. I knew this was a very familiar aroma, but what was it? Oh, yeah! V8 Juice! And I don't mean kind of like, I mean exactly like V8. I was surprised by this, because the only tomato-ketchup smell I've experienced is from McClelland tobaccos.

The leaf is very brightly colored, beautiful actually, and cut into long ribbons. They're packed together tightly in the tin. I didn't give it time to dry, and maybe that was its downfall, since I was very underwhelmed with this weed.

I love Esoterica's Penzance and Stonehaven, but this stuff just did not do it for me. Way too austere and bitter. Maybe it was an off day, maybe the wrong pipe. I'll keep trying and will update if things change with a few months of aging. I'll stick with Escudo and St. James Woods for my current Vaper rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

KINGCOLE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KINGCOLE (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

For many of the past several years, VaPer blends have been my usual pipe stuffings. My most frequent filler was Dunhill Elizabethan. I find that Dunbar surpasses Dunhill in terms of balance, depth of flavor, and easiness on the tounge. The latter quality seems to be a house character for Esoterica, as I find the same is true of their magnificent Penzance. In my experience, VaPers seem to be difficult to get exactly right. Some have too much zing and sting from the VA, others are a bit too neutral, a few others are just a bit too bitter. Dunbar strikes a perfect balance. It is not a heavy, brooding smoke. It is subtle but complex and very easy going. The tin aroma is suggestive of dried appricots and figs and I found the leaf to be in perfect condition for smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Gentleman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Gentleman (28)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This came very moist, which makes it hard to keep lit. The appearance seems more like a tan/olive green ribbon cut than a rubbed flake. Pouch aroma is reminiscent of fresh cut vegetation - think lawn clippings.

I would not say this has a savory taste as described. This blend is hard to pin down. It's a VaPer, but I don't get any tangy Virginia and very little Perique pepper.

edit: I bought this in bulk, so I am not sure if it is Esoterica's fault or the shop owners but I have come to the conclusion that this is way too moist. I can't make it through a bowl because it won't stay lit - very frustrating. I believe this excessive moisture is also affecting the flavor, causing it to seem bland.

I feel like this blend has something to offer. I am going to let it dry out and sit for awhile. I will update.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ColumbusKid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColumbusKid (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My first VAPER (and my first review). Tried it about 2 years ago, and it's been in my rotation ever since. Although I don't smoke it everyday, it always hits the spot and I always wish that I had reached for it sooner, and more often. It smells great in the tin, or jar (kind of a citrusy "fresh" scent that makes you want to take a handful and just gobble it up, although I'm sure it tastes way better out of a pipe). The taste is somewhat similar to the tin aroma starting off, and it gains a nice depth and strength toward the bottom of the bowl without being too complex at all (no need to search for hidden flavors or nuances, the tastes you're immediately concious of throughout the bowl are amazing enough). I've never really detected a "creaminess" to this blend, nor is it needed in my opinion. This is just a really sweet and tangy mix for those who don't mind a good dose of sugariness and prefer an uncased tobacco; but I can see aromatic lovers enjoying this too (although hopefully in a pipe that hasn't been devoted to aromatics). The only other VAPER that I've tried that tops this is McClelland 2015, which is a completely different level in the tobacco experience. To sum it up, this one smokes like a champ and turns any smoke session into an hour or so of pure pleasure from charring light to the very bottom. SO, for those reasons and many more (lights easily, stays lit, doesn't burn too hot, no tounge bite, gets better with age, reasonably priced in most instances) I give this 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

parker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
parker (12)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable

i like esoterica,s products generally and the tin description made it appear to be 'right up my street'. however, i find this blend to be almost tasteless,worse,a hint of the taste that i love. i smoke this in a large bowl with added perique and puff hard to get something out of it. i generally like strong tobacco and smoked (occasionally still do) cuban cigars for years,so maybe it is simply too mild for me,although there are some mild blends out there that i really like. if you like mild and bland blends,this maybe for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I won't bother adding too much to the already voluminous reviews. This VAPER is smokable and I can see it appealing to certain tastebuds, but it is way too grassy in flavor for my taste. It is the closest thing I think I have had to tasting a completely and totally uncased tobacco - I imagine this must taste a lot like what Native Americans smoked. Come to think of it, I could see this stuff being passed around in a peace pipe.

The room note was described by others as being reminiscent of something that was NOT tobacco (if you know what I mean). Not a good thing in my book.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Matches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Matches (19)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I bought my tin eight months ago and upon opening not only was the tobacco odor overwhelming, but the paper liner was stained brown and somewhat sticky. I jarred the tobacco and let it air a few hours as someone else suggested. When I lit the first bowl, I knew I'd be looking for more of this. Of the six or so Virginias I've had recently, I rate this number one!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a good one. Like most Esoterica mixtures in an 8 ounce bag, this comes pressed down into the the bottom of the foil sack. Slice open the top and a tasty odor jumps out. Hay and horse feed. Omaline. Long golden ribbons, some darker ones, a few perique pieces and chunks of yummy broken flake. My wife and I just sat and sniffed the tobacco for a while. What's not to love here?

This is long stranded, but still packs pretty well. Can be hard to get lit. After a few weeks in my bail top glass jar, lots of oxidation is going on; Dunbar is becoming much darker. There is substantial bite at light up, but, it's worth it. The bite fades and this tobacco pulls a lot of tricks as the bowl burns. Starts out light and hay like, turns rich and spicey. Hints of caramel. Nice. The perique is there, but just.

This is a good one, but I prefer Dorchester. It's got all the complexity and none of the bite, with a slightly better cut, just doesn't look so pretty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fatherDougal Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fatherDougal (28)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My first foray into the the much lauded world of Esoterica...nothing to add except that the rich golden, sunsoaked Virginia is fresh tasting, (not the dense choco-brown of a Marlin Flake) which shifts and melds around a gentle cloud of Perique. The latter is not as pronounced and peppery as it is in McC's 2015 flake. It also has a fine, grassy aftertaste, that doesn't get ashen-acidic. I do hope this ages well, like a good Pinot Noir.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kleophrades Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kleophrades (39)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Esoterica strikes again. Dunbar is to VA/Per what Margate is to English: an astonishing combination of purity and complexity. The broken flake packs easily and burns well, with no biting. The Perique leaps out on first light, a fine, dried-fruit tang with a hint of fermentation. As you go down the bowl, the Virginias add heft and variety. Emphasis shifts constantly -- the VA's by turns sweet, full, lemony and woodsy. Each flavor is clear as a bell, clean and simple, but they all combine and recombine such that every bowl is something new. Always delicious, never dull: in short, an absolutely superb blend, one of my standbys.

Honestly, I go and try other brands, some good and some not so good, but Esoterica never fails.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (36)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This was the tobacco that started my love for Virginia/Perique blends. If pipe smoking was like being in college, then English/Balkans would be my major and VA/Periques my minor, but I digress...

Like the other two Esoterica blends I adore -- Margate & Penzance-- Dunbar possesses the correct level of moisture. Oddly enough, this tobacco, though I'd been warned otherwise with VA heavy blends, seemed virtually bite free, unless you count that nice peppery tongue sting from the perique (very different sensation -- it's pleasant).

This blend smokes down to a fluffy white ash. I have broken in three pipes with this blend: a Tsuge Mizki, a Peterson Aran 306 and a Stanwell Vario. The blend did a good job breaking each in, and left a nice, well formed cake quite quickly, even in the dip stained Peterson.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (22)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

You couldn't convince me of VA blends until this. I like it. As always, it posseses Esoterica moisture. This is not all bad, but as with most VA's it can bite just 'o wee bit if too wet. Dry it out a tad and no bite. A miracle for sugary Virginia's. In the tin it has a great date like aroma. Just a nice quatity of Perique to add body and spice. The peppery taste shows through nicely. This burns evenly with small puffs bringing out that great date like, rich VA flavor. It's nice blown out the nose. This is one of my favorite spring/summer blends and is very good as a morning smoke. Smokes great in a medium to large bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

NOT SO GOOD THE SECOND TIME AROUND. Be wary of all current Butera blends currently being produced. They really became sub standard.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Dunbar came to me serendepitously. A non-smoking friend having kindly offered to run an errand, I asked him to pick up some Durbar for me. What I got was a substantial amount of Dunbar. Never having taken to Three Nuns or Elizabethan Mixture, and turning to Escudo and Dunhill's Navy Rolls only occasionally, I was not particularly enthused by the tin description, and put the tins away. A few weeks later curiosity won. Dunbar turned out to be quite unlike any other virginia-perique mixture known to me.The tin aroma is delicious in a dried fruit kind of way,and the taste does not betray the promise of the aroma.A day or two after opening the tin the mixture has had time to breathe and practically demands to be smoked - a demand that one all too happily concedes. In fact, until the entire tin was gone there was no temptation to turn to any other tobacco. Sterling stuff!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★☆☆☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a big fan of Esoterica Tobaccos, especiall Stonhaven and Penzance. This one just doesn't distinguish itself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Adding to what has been covered well in the reviews of Dunbar, I'll only say:

*Tinned and bulk versions are identical (not always true), but the pressing to fill a tin does marry the tobaccos nicely. Try pressing some of the bulk Dunbar at home and save some money.

*This has more Perique than Dorchester, and like Dorchester, Dunbar is a blend for those who enjoy the mystery of Perique without being overwhelmed or constantly aware of its presence. Go Stokkebye if you want lighter uses of Perique and most everywhere else if you like a bigger helping.

*Think of this as a brown flake w/Perique (with a bit of bright and dark VA) mostly rubbed-out, though not to be confused with Germain's Brown Flake which has cigar, musty and heavy flavors. The room note is not pleasing to most non-smokers in my experience.

This will bite you if you do not bring the moisture down quite a bit, pack firmly into a small to medium bowl and puff gently. Lightly sweet, sometimes darkly rich, always a quality, interesting, plentious smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Notes: I have smoked this in bulk and from the tin. I prefer it tinned and with several months of age on it. It seems to do well in most pipes, being, while not insensate, somewhat less sensitive than most blends to the selection of pipe.

Appearance: A pressed brown flake, rubbed out partially.

Aroma: Quite mild, sugary, fresh-cut hay, sour prunes, musty books, smoke.

Taste: Grassy, smoky, mild, yet pungent with a propensity to burn the tongue if care is not taken. Sour prunes, raisins, button mushrooms, hay, autumn leaves.

Comparisons: Very much in line with other Virginia-perique blends, such as Revelation, but a bit more sugary perhaps.

Bottom Line: Those who fancy Virginia-Perique blends should give this one a try at least once. For those who fancy a smoky, sweeter, slightly salty-sour Virginia blend, here you go.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This tobacco isn't bad, and the quality is good...it just doesn't make me go WOW! If one were to add a dash of perique to Germain's Medium Flake, one gets Dunbar. It's smooth and sweet, but the casing just doesn't do it for me. I think that I'll try adding some more perique to the mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Bright yellow strings of lemon and other Virginias greet you as you open the tin. Chunks of not fully rubbed out flake are present as well in this all Virginia and Perique blend. I agree with thedistinguishedgentleman; this is much nicer than Elizabethan not for what it does but for what it doesn't do: burn the tongue and cause the head to spin. Room note is pleasant but the taste is lackluster for me. For some reason, I always have trouble detecting Perique, and Dunbar is no exception. The Perique taste bud must be missing from my DNA. Once again, that characteristic Germain briny, peaty quality is ever present. I'm glad I tried this, though I prefer the sweeter matured Virginias ala McClelland or the dark stoved variety with Macedonian ala Presbyterian. I'll probably not try Hastings or St. Ives, as I am told those are similar in their all Virginia makeup. Nevertheless, for those who prefer British Virginia mixtures to the sweeter, more fermented American variety, Dunbar might be just what you're looking for.

Two of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Update: just two weeks of airing and this has gone from being quite nice to simply fantastic VA/P. Tangy, light yet a bit woodsy - as sweet as the McClelland VA and less processed tasting IMO. Good, Good Good...

Again for me, Esoterica is a home run. While I enjoyed the autumnal sweet and grassy notes of Dorchester, I longed for that blend to have a bit more "oomph" in the high end. Well Dunbar succeeds in that department.

It has the similar aged sweetness from other Esoterica VA blends I've tried. It is almost sugary at points in a very natural and delicate kind of way. The perique here adds fruity spice. It does not simply simmer in plumb like murk but instead occasionally kicks up a few sparks of Louisiana fire. It never becomes harsh or strong - but does get spicey as you move through the bowl. I would rank this as an excellent intro to the VA/P genre before getting into the "tough stuff" like Haddo's, Bayou Morning Flake, or Irish Oak. While certainly not underpowered, this blend does not leave me feeling like I've french kissed a dragon.

This review is based on a freshly popped tin so with age and airing, I am sure this review will be updated.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Dunbar, a tobacco delight. If you like Va/Perique blends, then I cannot see you not liking this. The flavors are excellent, it burns cleanly and can really add spice to your day. Although I would have to say I prefer Astleys No. 2 to this on most days. But there are days where I prefer this one. Smokes cool. 4 stars.

=============================================================UPDATE

1/17/2005 I have just come back to Dunbar. I haven't had this in along time and I don't understand why! I find this blend utterly enjoyable. I detect some licorice flavor but the true tobacco flavors come through very nicely. The perique is there but is not overbearing but adds a nice bit of spicey side. Excellent blend and I find this blend much more interesting than Dorchester-the other esoterica Va/Perique blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

If you took the raw materials that McClellands 2015 has in it, added some sweeter Virginias, and ended up with a more moist blend, aged it for 6 months before shipping...voila! Dunbar! This is the best Virg.-Perique tobacco I have experienced. The only negative is comments on the odor due to the Perique content. Smells bad (to others), tastes great!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stogie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stogie (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Talk about a tobacco that changes drastically once the tin has been opened! I was completely bowled over with Dunbar from the first bowl. Even going so far as to think: ?I?ve found my desert island tobacco!? But then after about two weeks, something happened. The superb flavor wasn?t as intense, and the taste became a bit ashy mid-bowl. As a matter of fact, I sent the remainder of the tin to a new pipe smoker, hoping he would have better luck. So, I know when I open the next tin from the cellar, that I had better huff through it quickly, which shouldn?t be a problem when it?s fresh.

Aroma: Definitely Honey & Hay upon opening the tin, with a background of stewed pears.

Visual: A very bland looking tobacco. Lots of midrange tans and browns ? with the occasional chestnut streak. A fairly well broken up flake, with just a few chunks remaining.

Texture: Just a bit sticky to the touch when first opened ? Not wet sticky, but as in natural sugars sticky.

Pack/Pipe: A fairly long stringy ribbon, I just kept pushing it in the pipe until it was filled, then tucked in the remaining strands and lit. This tobacco did not seem to favor any particular pipe, but I enjoyed it best in larger pots.

Light: One match to char, one to send it down the bowl. Usually required one relight to finish off.

1st 3rd: Fantastic ?warm hay? flavor with a hint of fruit, (not tangy ? just sweet in the nose). Burns through this portion quickly.

2nd 3rd: A nice, long, flavorful portion of the bowl, this was nirvana when fresh. Just a bit fuller bodied, and no heat problems.

Final 3rd: Usually lost some flavor here, and after having been open for a while, was ashy to the point of unpleasantness. No problem burning to the bottom though.

Notes: As mentioned above, when fresh, this is in my top ten easily. I may try sealing it differently next time I open a tin.

Stogie Rating of: 9 Magnificent Montecristos

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigblends Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigblends (46)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I love this stuff. Popping the tin reveals a very attractive mixture of colors and scents. I rarely smoke tobacco straight from the tin right after I pop the seal, but Dunbar forced my hand. It smoked cool and evenly all the way down with no bite.

The Perique is there in good measure, and the entire mixture is made of obviously high-grade and well-aged leaf. The smoke lacks some of the overt zest you might find in an American VA/P blend, but there's a nice crispness to Dunbar's smoke that is interesting. This is British-style tobacco blending all the way, and the balance exhibited in Dunbar is phenomenal. You taste everything so well that it's tough not to smoke bowl after bowl.

Dunbar opens up quickly and stays open wide for the duration. Its rich and savory character are kept in harmony by a moderate mouthfeel. Nicotine is not an issue.

I can't say enough good things about Dunbar. It's a favorite of mine and is in good company with other Esoterica classics, such as Tilbury and Stonehaven.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (301)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Not very sweet, at times even sour... At the beginning of the bowl it may remind of Cairo, then it becomes tastier, fuller. At the bottom of the bowl, it has become VERY tasty. Think of Tribute, but more on the sour side and not toasted at all. A nice tobacco, but I find it a bit too heavy for my taste. Not nicotine-heavy (though not light at all!), just heavy as impact on the palate and on the senses: probably due to the high amount of Perique, which I don't consider myself a fan of.

As usual with Esoterica, the moisture level when fresh is too high, and when you open the tin you have to beware for rust and internal corrosion because it will happen soon.

A good tobacco if you like this kind of thick and heavy stuff, but not elegant enough for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Esoxhunter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Esoxhunter (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

September 2004

I found this to be a very unique Virginia/Perique blend. It has a nice sweetness from the Virginias at the beginning of the bowl--much sweeter to my palate than any of the other V/P blends I've tried. About a third of the way down the bowl the Perique finally starts to come through, producing a very nice sweet-tangy-creamy smoke. Still, it isn't quite as complex or interesting as some of its counterparts (Haddo's Delight and Escudo come to mind), and for that reason I don't anticipate this will be a regular smoke for me. I'm looking forward to trying Esoterica's Dorchester, which may be a little more heavy hitting on the Perique.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mainspring Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mainspring (27)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Dunbar has a very nice sweetness with a perique edge. It is very light in body and has no bad aftertaste. One must be careful not to smoke it too fast as it can smoke a tad hot. I put a few 8oz bags of this away 3 years ago. The color of the tobacco has darkened slightly and now it's just a fantastic smoke! It smokes much cooler after aging and the flavor is more complex (as one would suspect). The room note is greatly appreciated by all. I have not tasted any other tobacco quite like this one. Highly Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Another fine offering from the folks at Esoterica. I feel this is a bit more spicey and zesty than Dorchester, but still a very tasty tobac. A leaflet I have about Eso tobaccos states that Dunbar has a bit more (?) Perique than Dorchester which could possibly confirm the figgy, raisiny taste being, I feel, heightened, as well as the spicey notes being more apparent. Plus there could be different (though some may be the same) VAs of some kind thrown in for good measure. The pressing could have been altered as well. Love that tin aroma. Packs & lights easily enough. Nice VA sweetness here & there, more rich & tangy as you smoke down the bowl. Nary a gurgle at all. Burns down to fluffy gray ash as do most, if not all, of the Esoterica blends. Leaves the pipe clean & dry. Though I had no trouble with tongue bite, this does seem to be capable of being a wee bit bitey if one puffs TOO hard & fast (well, it is VA tobak). I really like this and plan to keep some around. Ageing mellows the sharpness to some extent and the smoke seems a bit more creamy. Good stuff, works for me.

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Nojoqui Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nojoqui (28)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Montague's review says just about all that I could possibly say. The charring light takes a slight bit of effort unless it's rubbed out a bit, or dried out for a few minutes prior to smoking. I don't get a lot of difference from top to bottom with Dunbar. Going through eight ounces of the bulk stuff was a little bit of an effort. Especially when there are other Virginia/Perique blends that beat this hands down. Three I can think of are Haddo's Delight, Dunhill's Elizabethan Mixture, and Astley's Virginia No. 2 Mixture. So, with these in my stable, the choices lead me to the others. Dunbar does pick up a little toward the end, but alas, it is just a slightly stronger version of mediocrity. If it's offered as a gift, I'll give it another whirl. Otherwise, I'll stick to the three above, and continue my search for other Virginia/Perique blends.

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Montague Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Montague (32)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Dunbar is a Virginia/Perique blend of the Esoterica Tobacciana brand and is blended by J.F. Germain & Son for the Butera Pipe Company.

The Dunbar mixture has a musty and slightly sweet fig-like tin aroma and is perhaps similar in respects to the fragrance of dampened hay. This is an exclusively Virginia and Perique blend with no topping or casing applied. This mixture of tobaccos is predominately medium brown interspersed with strands of black.

Dunbar is matured in flake form and rubbed out roughly leaving the tobacco in a long partial flake state. The claim that Dunbar is a well-matured tobacco is validated by the great quantity of sparkling sugar crystals present. The blend can be packed as is or rubbed apart further to facilitate indoor smoking. Slight caution should be taken when packing since this tobacco seems to have the tendency to become over packed easily. Dunbar?s initial moisture is good and requires little drying if any.

The initial charring and eventual lighting of this tobacco takes longer than average, but is of no real hindrance. Dunbar has a great fluffy, fine ash burn that leaves very little dottle in the pipe bowl at the smoke?s end. The room note is a bit pungent and overall is decent.

Dunbar has a spicy peppery tanginess for a taste with a slight underlining sweetness compliments to the matured Virginias. Though with this stated, Dunbar lacks any great distinctive flavor. A somewhat bland, dry, and medium strength smoke is produced by this tobacco. The blend is not overly hot though its tendency to bite increases slightly as the smoke progresses.

In the end, the Dunbar Virginia and Perique tobacco mixture is a balanced, well-matured tobacco with some admirable smoking qualities. Yet this blend lacks any great flavor and is simply too monotone and thus not enticing enough to become a favorite smoke.

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Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I got a half-full tin of Dunbar in a tobacco pass. A tobacco pass is a box that is mailed between a circle of pipe smokers. Each smoker takes some stuff and gives some stuff, then mails the box to the next person.

The tobacco is a partially rubbed flake of various Virginias and perique. My sample had sugar crystals everywhere. It smells sweet and musty in the tin.

Dunbar is one of the best blends I've ever smoked; it's sweet with a fantastic citrusy tartness. I have been a VA/perique lover for years, so I don't know how I missed out on this wonderful blend. After a little drying, it burns much like a flake in the bowl. In fact, I stuffed it in the pipe like I would a broken flake and away I went to tobacco heaven.

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Dwise Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dwise (25)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

You probably have your own "WTF?" blends -- tobaccos that others seem to love but which for some reason do nothing for you -- and this is one of mine. Sure, the telltale crystals indicate it's nicely aged ("in the British Isles," the label says -- what, does tobacco age better over there?), and sure, it tastes vaguely like a pipe-tobacco when you smoke it, but it's so bland and undistinguished that in bowl after bowl, I kept asking myself "What is the point?" There is a thin line between "subtle" and "boring," and for me Dunbar crosses it. Even the Perique doesn't add much spice. The best thing I can say about this stuff is that it's smooth. Dull, but smooth. Dorcester, Esoterica's other VA/Perique blend, is a hundred times tastier and more interesting.

In one of the reviews above, someone complains about Latin problems with the phrase "Esoterica Tobacciana" on the label. Far more troublesome to me is the fact that they misspelled Virginia! Maybe that's the problem with this stuff.

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Broken flakes is the description listed for the preparation of this tobacco, rubbed out, well they are, and nice flakes too. The tin aroma is natural, kind of like a summer day, in the field, well I won't get poetic. There are flakes, but mostly hidden among shreds of Va's. and Perique. The tobacco is well prepared, slightly moist, and with some air, it dries very well. Packing is a breeze, as to the texture, kind of sticy, but with no residue. Caution is to be heeded, when packing. Charring light connects, and the initail few puffs are tasty, earthy, really. Tamping proceeds, and with it a great, long lasting smoke, one hour at least, slow and easy. This tobacco is a calm, and easy tobacco, not as spicy, as it's relation, Dorchester, but in a league by itself. Not to confuse this with a Dorchester review, but I just finished a tin, of it, and jumped into Dunbar, my Esoteric expeience, if you will. Great tobacco, smokes to the bottom, with no dottle and no disapointment.

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lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is one of my favorite Virginia/Perique flakes. It has a wonderful tangy taste that I really love and offers up flashes of a nice Virginia sweetness and depth. The cut is great, the burning qualities are great, and it doesn't bite (much). This is one of those tobaccos I want smoke again as soon as I'm done with a bowl. It reminds me of a young GL Pease Cairo, although not nearly so complex. A very nice smoke, though, and one that I plan on buying and holding for the cellar.

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Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Here we have another Virginia/Perique blend with wonderful smoking properties. I don't find this as flavorful as Dorchester; it's more on a par with Escudo for me, though it doesn't taste exactly the same. The sample bag smell is close to Dorchester: a mild, medium tobacco smell with little or no sweetness. It appears to be a mostly rubbed out flake, with about 10% still unrubbed. The color of the leaf is mainly medium brown, with some darker browns thrown in as well. It is on the dry side, has a medium to long cut, packs well and lights easily, puffing up as the flame hits it. It also burns well, requiring less than the average number of mid-bowl relights. In the first third, the flavor is very ordinary, just an average, medium Virginia flavor without the normal Virginia sweetness. There are several layers of this medium flavor, though, and I notice a bare hint of spice in the background. In the second third, I'm noticing an element of sweetness, and a slightly stronger spice note. The Virginia flavor has also changed, becoming more mature and complex. The multilayered effect is nice, and the tobacco is thus far free of tongue bite. The taste is somewhat delicate, not exactly full but flavorful nonetheless. In the final third of the bowl, the flavors mature and merge, though the spice remains a fairly minor part of the blend compared to its role in Dorchester. This part is especially good if you leave the pipe overnight and go back to it (DGT-style). It is by no means full or highly complex, but it is a nice, tasty smoke that has only minor bite problems and no moisture build-up at all. Overall, a very nice but not overly special blend. I much prefer Dorchester to this one, even though it bites more for me. For best effect, use a deep bowl and smoke slowly. Virginia/Perique fans should enjoy this one, and I should have no problems finishing my sample.

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Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In the pouch, this smells sweet and somewhat grassy, like a warm breeze over a field full of hay. It's both sweet and musty, with the undernote of perique very noticeable with its aroma of figs and raisins.

The flakes are broken, and it can be packed as-is or rubbed out for indoor smoking. It lights and burns quite well, with a nice subtle sweetness and pleasant woodsy undertones. The flavors start out rather mild but quickly wax in fullness to a solid light-medium body. The room aroma is sweet and "tobacco-tasty", but some may find it too cigarette-ish for their taste. I love the stuff and have several pounds stashed :)

While it starts out mild, by the end of the bowl it takes on a very full, musty character as the perique comes to the fore. It also responds well to a DGT and is GREAT with an IPA or Belgian ale.

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