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A luxury English blend (Margate) is married with fine French Cognac. This outstanding mixture is a "match made in heaven." Rich taste with character to match. A symphony of delicate aromas and elegant flavors.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringAlcohol / Liquor
CutShag
Packaging2oz Tin, 8oz Bag
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium
Flavoring
Mild to Medium
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 7 Users

2.8
76 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
26
3 star:
22
2 star:
17
1 star:
11
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Ehrling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ehrling (63)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I consider myself basically a Virginia smoker (and Virginias in combination with Perique and/or Turkish) and I have always held a rather ambivalent attitude toward blends containing Latakia--sometimes I enjoy them, but sometimes I do not (especially the heavier Latakia blends). I have been smoking Pembroke for well over a decade and this is one of the very few English/Balkan blends that I have consistently enjoyed. I do not smoke this with any great frequency--perhaps 1-3 times in a week--but there are those times when I truly crave it. Without a doubt this is my absolute favorite Latakia blend!

It is the COGNAC in this blend that makes all the difference. I've smoked MARGATE (the same blend of tobaccos without cognac) and I don't enjoy it nearly as much.

After breaking the seal on the old-fashioned vacuum sealed tin with a coin and unscrewing the top, inside you will find a very fine ribbon cut mix of different colored tobaccos that vary from black to light brown. This tobacco is very moist requiring a fair amount of air time before smoking and even after airing it remains somewhat damp.

In my opinion this tobacco begs to be smoked with a slightly higher moisture content to allow the cognac character to shine. But because of the fine cut and higher moisture content, additional care is required in packing the pipe. Too tight and it will go out too often; too loose and it will display a tendency to bite.

Light it, tamp it, and then light it again. The first couple of puffs are dominated by the Latakia and cognac, but draw smoothly and evenly and these distinct flavors will be replaced by a flavor that is creamy, somewhat smoky, and almost completely homogenous and this flavor remains consistent through to the end of the bowl. I often reach the end of the bowl and I'm surprised that there's nothing more to smoke.

(Though this blend credits only Latakia and Oriental tobaccos, it certainly tastes to me like there is a Virginia component as well.)

This is a unique tobacco and a pleasurable novelty for me. I always manage to keep some on hand.

NOTE: Once the seal on these old-fashioned screw top tins has been compromised, moisture loss can be fairly significant and it can happen pretty quickly. Because this tobacco needs a bit more moisture in order to smoke as it should, some extra care may be required to maintain that moisture content. Though it's possible to rehydrate this blend, it just does not seem to get back to its original form.

4 people found this review helpful.

JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

When I purchased this blend I was a little reluctant to even try it. The idea of adding Cognac to an already fabulous english blend just didn't sit well with me. Nevertheless, after reading several wonderful reviews I decided to give it a go. The Cognac adds a subtle sweetness to the blend that at times I find pleasant, and at other times just plain gets in the way. I find myself using several pipe cleaners during the smoke due to the wet smoke that pembroke provides. It burns down to a light grey ash and leaves a slight presence in the pipe. I should have trusted my instincts on this one and just purchased Margate, which should have been left alone, it's a fabulous blend. I would however recommend this to an aromatic smoker who is trying to cross over into the english realm of tobaccos.

3 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (703)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The cognac topping, along with the anise detracts too much from the Orientals and Turkish components. I don't like the fragrance of it either. Though there's no mention of Virginia in here, I suspect just a little is lurking around. It's a shag cut and needs to be sipped, even if it's moist. It'll also ghost a pipe rather quickly, so you might consider using a meer, or dedicating a briar to it. More for an aromatic smoker wanting to branch out, but it's not a light weight smoke. I'd suggest another English blend for those who want to move into this territory. The tobaccos are of high quality, as expected from Esoterica, but this one just doesn't work for me. Margate has this beat by quite some distance.

2 people found this review helpful.

tslots Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tslots (8)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Some shy away from blends topped with spirits, but I find it makes a wonderful combination in many cases ... and this is one of my favorites. This blend really shines when allowed to age for a couple of years. The Cognac just seems to marry all the different tobaccos together, the result being something much better than the sum of the parts.

2 people found this review helpful.

Rocketman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rocketman (6)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I have tried many blend topped with various types of liquors...Rum, Whiskey, Bourbon, etc. To me they seemed like aromatic tobaccos using bar fodder rather than fruit smelling chemicals. But here I find quite a difference. Esoterica marries Margate ( a nicely complex english blend in its own right ) with French Cogniac. And while I only drink Cogniac on rare, special occasions ( and enjoy the effect of it as well as the aroma ) I don't particularly care for the taste. However, in this instance, the Cogniac appears to enhance the natural flavors of the Virginias and Latakia to the extent of turning a typical ( albeit tastey )English blend into a very refreshing smoke. While the liquor flavor is quite pronounced, it enhances rather than overwhelms the flavors of the components. And as the smoker tastes the Virginias and Latakia whafting in and out, so too does the taste of the liquor change, thus enhancing the complexity. My supply has been ageing for a bit over 5 years and I unfortunately don't know if the excellent flavor, the almost creamy feel of the smoke and the somewhat pleasing aroma of this blend can be attributed to the quality of the base tobaccos or the graceful ageing of the Cogniac. I can but partake of its pleasures and leave the conclusions to reviewers more knowledgeable than myself. A fair trade-off in my opinion!!!

2 people found this review helpful.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (44)
★☆☆☆
Mild Medium to Strong Mild Tolerable

I really wanted to like this tobacco. First of all, it has one of the best tin aromas. Second, I love cross-overs. I often blend strong burley tobacco into aromatics and make my own cross-overs.

This tobacco just had a awful taste. On top of that, it burned hot and did not pack well. It's probably that cognac just does not make a good addition to tobacco.

1 person found this review helpful.

SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (29)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My first thought of Pembroke was that the strong tin scent of Cognac was more than I expected. Once lit, the flavor of the Cognac was there, but not overwhelming compared to the way it smelled. It married nicely with the smokiness of the Latakia. There is a sweetness from the Cognac and the Virginias that was very nice. There is also a slight sourness that I think comes from the Orientals. For me, the Latakia is the most dominate flavor. There is somewhat of a harshness toward the end of each bowl that I don’t care for. I think that there are lots of pipe smokers that could like this blend, but for me, it isn’t a blend for my rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a really good light English with a fantastic topping of cognac not an everyday smoke even if it was available but great change of pace tobacco

1 person found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (94)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Altogether I am not entirely convinced that this Esoterica offering is actually just Margate with a topping. Okay, the topping is there but it's strange to think that a mixture like Margate could be softened this much by a simple additive. I do often wonder if some VA has been snuck in for added sweetness. Nonetheless, the shag cut commonality is there and as far as color goes, the two mixtures do look practically identical. Moreover, when smoked Pembroke does have Margate's unique alluring evergreen fragrance & incense-like quality.

In contrast, Margate is bolder tasting and speaks with more bravado, where Pembroke is sweeter, more delicate, and more soft- spoken throughout the bowl. Pembroke comes fairly moist yet still burns steady with minimal relights. It stays cool although it does get a bit warmer than Margate. With the addition of the topping, moisture problems do arise around the mid-bowl point but I typically only have to run a pipe cleaner down the stem one time per bowl and the problem is circumvented. Alternatively you could also choose to dry this tobacco a bit, but I prefer not to.

While smoother, sweeter and softer than Margate, Pembroke still has a delightful upfront spiciness, as well as the wonderful pungent aroma inherent to Germain's Latakia leaf. The cognac flavoring is palpable but mostly on exhale. It does add a round fruity sweetness that helps to create a smooth, silken pipe smoke. Nasal exhales are pure pleasure while smoky flavors pop and scintillate on the palate. Like Margate, Pembroke is a beautiful tobacco for pipers seeking a compound olfactory experience. And if you enjoy Orientals and Latakia but like a sweeter overall tone, this is one example of how good it can get.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bob Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bob Smith (8)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I usually don't like anything but tobacco in my tobacco. Pembroke is the only exception I make. The rich, sweet, fruity taste of the cognac somehow seems to belong with the other flavors. You can taste the cognac, but it doesn't overwhelm the latakia, orientals and virginias. It just adds one more layer of flavor to this well balanced English blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

BrittPark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrittPark (41)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a very interesting smoke in that it is the most mutable tobacco I've smoked. In the first third of a bowl, the cognac and Latakia team up to produce a powerful smoky, almost soapy taste. By the middle of the bowl the taste becomes much more rounded and the sweet taste of Virginias plays a much greater role. By the end of the bowl you'll swear you're smoking a Virginia blend in a pipe that's been used for smoking English blends. Now to me each of these flavor phases (with the exception of the soapiness) is very attractive. I love following the flavor changes as I smoke a bowl down. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Grumpynuts Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grumpynuts (5)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I found this in bulk at a B&M here in Omaha. I knew nothing about it ahead of just now lighting it up and reading the reviews (in that order). I wouldn't have known there was congac in it if I hadn't read it. Nice English blend, not an everyday smoke, not my "go to" smoke, but it will do.

Pipe Used: Ardro Urano

Age When Smoked: Of me or the tobacco?

Purchased From: B & M in Omaha, NE

Nobody has rated this review yet.

beano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beano (7)
★☆☆☆
Mild Strong Full Tolerable

I love esoterica, I don't love latakia, but I figured I would give this a try because esoterica makes some the higest quality tobies around. Well, this stuff reminds me of southern comfort. That might be good for you, but not for me. I smoked the whole tin but only to get rid of it.

Pipe Used: cobs

Age When Smoked: fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stutter818 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stutter818 (45)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable to Strong

Sweet cognac notes, orientals in the forefront, slightly spicy. Not much to say - it's an ok blend. Nothing spectacular jumps out. Burned easily with just a few minutes of drying. Fine white ash.

Pipe Used: Missouri meerschaum eaton cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Strauss tobacconist

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (126)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Light yet complex overall flavor profile. Light to medium in strength and taste. Cognac flavor complements the base tobaccos well. Lit and burned well. A marked contrast, for example, to Mac B's HH Syrian, which offers offers a smoother, stronger and tastier blend of somewhat similar tobacco components. Solid 2 stars.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik Semi-Churchwarden, MM

Age When Smoked: undated; bought 2 months ago

Purchased From: The Briary, Homewood, AL

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Wu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Wu (2)
★★★☆
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong

Ever notice how some blends sing out when the rain is falling? I live in northern California, in the wooded hills. It doesn't get too cold here but it does rain, and when it rains this is a wonderful blend to sit with out under the eaves while listening to the rain tapping a tattoo on the metal roof and watch those drops drip from the trees. The smoke is creamier then. It just is. An earthy flavor is there with that slight brandy topnote. (They say it's cognac but to me it hints at Spanish brandy.) Pembroke, in the rain, in a bulldog. You, under the eaves, in a turtleneck. Three stars. But when the sun is out this is a two star blend, and no bulldog or turtleneck will change it for me. The creaminess is gone and the topnote lapses to a slightly harse finish. Save it for a rainy day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bence Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bence (25)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Nice english with that delicious cognac flavor. Not an every day baccy for me, but sometimes good to smoke a bowl of it. Mostly prefer to light it up late afternoon or evening. (non filtered pipe recommended to get a lot more flavor...in my opinion)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipelovingcalvinist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipelovingcalvinist (68)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Strong

I liked this one a little better than Margate. Even though the Cognac wore off quickly the tobacco just seemed more interesting to me than Margate was. I don't know if this was due to age or what. Though I liked it better than Margate, it was still somewhat boring to me. I give this 2 1/2 stars out of four.

Soli Deo gloria!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pip (36)
★★☆☆
Strong Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

A ribbon cut version of Penzance with a cognac topping. Classic latakia in all regards. I found to be a bit strong though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The score I give this blend depends on how I choose to review it; as a cross over or as an English. Let me clarify, before going any further, that I enjoy English, aromatics, and cross over blends.

Someone recommended this blend as a cross over and, as that, it fails miserably. To me a cross over blend has a good presence of both the English flavor and the aromatic flavor, a good example that comes to mind is Samuel Gawith Chocolate flake. Pembroke has no aromatic flavor; the brandy is not even noticeable. As a cross over, it gets an F.

Judged as an English blend it's pretty good, but for the price there is much, MUCH better out there. Not much complexity and a bit on the mild side, bur really not bad. I'd say it gets a B- to a B.

The cut is also a pain in the butt to pack. Comes in very long and thin strings that tangle up and take some time to pack. I've had a much easier time preparing a plug or a rope than this.

Try it if you like English blends, don't waste your time with it if you want a cross over.

2 star rating to be generous.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
★★☆☆
Very Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

I chose this blend over Margate because it says "French Cognac" in its description. However, as a fan for French cognac, I am a little disappointed. The alcohol is not as noticable as Stonehaven, or as Cross-eyed Cricket.

It is a ribbon cut and is with balanced moisture upon opening the tin, nice tobacco anyway. I have already fed my meerschaum with one 2oz tin and a 8oz bag, but the characteristic did not change over the 2 years. I would rate this blend as a 2-star blend since there are much better alternatives out there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darth Vader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth Vader (87)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

It's ok but not really my cup of tea. Well made and i'm sure some will love it. The smell of the French plonk is very nice but doesnt smoke as nicely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (227)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This just doesn't work for me with the "Cognac" topping. It gives the mixture a sour/bitter taste, little to no sweetness. The Cognac acts like McC's Ketchup/Vinegar, only not as pleasant. The tobacco is similar to Margate in cut and flavor but with a heavier Latikia and less Oriental component, I don't believe it is straight Margate. No bite, burns easy, just an "off"taste. It will take me a long time to finish this tin, but I will finish it. I'll take Margate over this anyday.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Well, this sounded more appealing in theory than it actually is. I didn't know what to expect, and I was underwhelmed. But it's actually not bad.

The tobacco has that fermented, musty taste and aroma common among Esoterica blends. The Cognac is added lightly and, while detectable, I had to look for it. The Cognac lends an agreeable sweetness if lightly sipped at a lesurely cadence. If puffed vigorously, it disappears.

Three stars for the effort, but I won't buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Pembroke, the little brother of Smoker's Haven Cognac Mixture, is a solid choice for those that like some spirits added to their tobacco. There seems to be less cognac in Pembroke than Smoker's Haven's Cognac Mixture, but lovers of that blend (also made by Germain) will find enjoyment with Pembroke. The thin ribbon cut has somewhat of a stranger tin aroma to Cognac, and the tobacco isn't as dominated by the spirits as it is with its big brother blend. Pembroke arrives too moist to smoke so some dry time is needed. The high quality Virginia's should really add to the sweetness of this blend over time. If you enjoy a solid English blend with some added spirits, then Pembroke is a good choice. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

teniscat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
teniscat (11)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

To me this is like a aromatic english blend that fails on both ends. Don't get much smoke from it and it is hard to pack and leaves dottle in bottom of bowl. Don't like the ribbon cut. Might get better with age and drying out. I doubt it though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

babysinister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
babysinister (46)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This mixture is basically Margate well blended with cognac, so it needs some airing out before smoking. Mine needed that even though it came from a 2005 tin and had been jarred for a good long while. Smokes smooth and full-bodied as long as you don't overpuff, then it tends to get harsh and pick up some hot/bitter accents. Smoke it slow and relaxedly and it's enjoyable. It fills easily and does not require much tending to keep lit and flowing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

McAdder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
McAdder (10)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I bought this tin from my local tobacconist and was not sure what to expect. It said that it had a topping of cognac, and I thought: "why not?" I popped the tin open and was dazzled. It smelled superb with its blueberry scent wafting through my nostrils. This is Margate with some cognac help. Anyway, it has the same body and basic temperament as Margate, but that wonderful wild, blueberry taste is present. That is what must happen when one takes a white grape booze and laces it to Latakia. It's fabulous. Smoke this stuff until you have a permanent blue afro.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fountainhead Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fountainhead (16)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a very full-bodied blend. It has a very warm toasty-velvet sort of taste and aroma to match; the cognac is very well married and is the overall tone of the blend. Some other spicy oriental flavors come through as well. Very highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (48)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is a nice solid medium strength / medium complexity English with just a little something 'extra' from the cognac, which seems to be in just the right proportion - not overpowering, but delightfully present and lending a dry sweetness to the taste and the room note. Mine came out of the tin just a wee bit moist - easily solved with a few minutes spread out to air before packing. In a large Wellington it burned almost completely to a fine gray ash and required exactly two matches for the whole adventure.

If this were a car I would call it a 'classy ride'. A keeper for sure.

Update 6/23/2011: Still a decent blend, but going a little flat on me with time. Dropping to 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (107)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I'll admit at the outset I do not have a sophisticated palate. I'm not a big fan of English blends (anticipating having to dodge incoming flak as I type those words) because latakia generally overwhelms all the other flavors. Aromatic blends have great room note but they usually taste as though a wad of cheap incense has been crammed into a pipe. I like cavendish if the casing isn't overpowering. I've been searching for somethng like Pembroke for decades. The cognac topping is subtle. The blend is balanced such that not any one type of tobacco in the blend is dominant. It is a bit moist right out of the tin as some have said but (no offense intended) I can't understand the uproar. If a tobacco is too wet, fluff it and let it set for a while. If it is too dry, throw it into a jar and toss a humidifying ceramic plug or even a moistened piece of chalk in with it.

This might be a good blend for someone wanting to transition from aros to English blends. It is an excellent English blend that is very subtly enhanced by the cognac. I recommend this blend as a late night treat along with a tumbler of excellent bourbon or snifter of brandy. It's one of my favorites. Great stuff!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hiram Briar 23 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hiram Briar 23 (12)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

puff puff yum puff puff yummy repeat.

for those obsessed like me about penzance and the like this is a reasonable substitute while they're out of stock!

the cognac casing is not noticeable immediately, but be patient and relax and it folds into the palette nicely. It tastes a little like margate mixed with penzance with a top flavor of cognac(ish)

a little mottled flake mixed with broken ribbons packs a little haphazard but a womans tamp is all you need and then top it off with another pinch and give it a mans tamp and light.

i expected a false light with this one but one light is all it took.

i got nice creamy smoke. a little light feeling in the mouth but the way it filled the room proved nice and thick. this one passes the smoke ring test. not the thickest smoke but still pleasant.

nice aroma and flavor for the latakia lover.

i tend to smoke good tobacco like a fish gasping for water on a boat deck, and thats how i went after this blend from start to finish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Susanna Hoffs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Susanna Hoffs (74)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable to Strong

I haven't got a bloody clue about this one.. Seriously!

Initially it tasted to me like a ribbon cut version of Penzance. Orientals definately present, I'd say over the Latakia. The flavouring is there, but done subtly. I just don't know. What it DOES lack is a creaminess which I have also failed to discover in other Esoterica blends.

Presbyterian mixture is creamy, and this isn't. I like PM more if I'm honest but this is a decent enough tobacco to give it a whirl. As someone has previously commented, if this is the 'Slutty' sister to Margate (which I've not tried to date), then I can only say that Margate must be a pretty unexciting date.

I was expecting a hair cascading, full on bright red lipstick, sultry goddess. What I actually got was a tightly pony tailed, thinned lipped, civil servant worker who'd donned a bit of 'lippy' for the day.

Damn you Esoterica with your catchy arty labelling. Blatant Terry Pratchett plagiarism if ever there was!!!!!!!!

6/10 overall rating from me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I'm having this in a churchwarden right now (no, this is not my first bowl!) with a beverage that complements the tobacco beautifully, and even seems to be a pretty good analogy to this blend. This tobacco is a well-known English blend, doused in cognac. My potable accompaniment is Earl Grey tea, with rose petals added. Hey, it was cheap! So that is not a perfect analogy, but just as the familiar Earl Grey scent is changed or even overtaken by roses, the cognac treatment in this tobacco for me tends to overtake the Latakia. I am also smoking a twelve year old tin, so what I get is a very sweet aged cognac taste that is very nice. Not much body or depth, just the same mellow but unusual flavor throughout the bowl. That's really all I can say. I waited a while to write this review for "new depths of expression" to make themselves known, but it is no go. No problem, this blend's one dimension is a pleasant one. Remember, this is an old tin. That cognac has been sinking in and aging for 12 years. (I don't know how old it was when they poured it on the tobacco, but they probably wouldn't waste Hennessy Paradis!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Baggins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Baggins (7)
★★☆☆
Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

Too strong for my liking. Don't get me wrong, I love the original Margate, but I find that even Margate alone is too strong. I've had to add more latakia to cool it done some (namely, Syrian Full Balkan from McClelland; that did the trick!)...it turned out to be a great blend.

Pembroke has all the complexity I look for in an English blend but the depth is too much towards the middle of the bowl. The nicotine tends to overwhelm. My tongue feels like it stops feeling altogether; not pleasing. Tin aroma is lovely. Pembroke also smokes well. I decided to blend Perique to my 2 ounces of Pembroke which adds a dimension that, interesting enough, has cooled it down a bit. It's easier to handle in small doses...

I'll stick to Penzance & And so to Bed the superiors from Esoterica.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mike__P Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike__P (87)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Pembroke = Margate + Cognac. What's not to like, especially if you like Margate? Well, the Cognac.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fencing_Phoenix Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fencing_Phoenix (9)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Man oh man. I love cognac, I love english tobacco, I love Pembroke.

Smelling like it does right out of the tin, I personally was reminded of a strong cheese or alcohol. I personally lean towards bleu cheese when talking about this blend, as that is the kind of decadence that I'm trying alluding to.

Right out of the tin, it comes a bit wet. Whether you dry it or not doesn't really matter, it is a fantastic smoke either way. If you leave it wet, it tends to be a bit hard to light, but once lit it effortlessly stays lit. If you choose to dry it out, you will be rewarded with a very pleasant smoke as well. Either way, it is a tasty dry smoke. I prefer it a bit moist, as the flavor really shines through.

Although the description classifies this one as a broken flake, it really is a fine ribbon. Despite this, it burns slowly and evenly.

The cognac casing isn't overpowering at all, but rather accents the latakia and virginia, which in turn complement each other well. At the beginning, the cognac is right at the forefront, then takes the backseat to the tobacco. If smoked in a large-bowl pipe, the lucky smoker may have the cognac come back to greet him towards the end of his bowl. Needless to say, there is a lot of flavor development going on here.

I never had to relight this one because it went out, I only re-lit once for some thicker smoke, but that really wasn't necessary. I smoked this blend first in my big calabash, but I'm slowly sampling it in other pipes. If you really want to treat yourself, try this one in a large-bowl pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A year or so ago a gentleman at the tobacco shop turned me on to a sample of this. I liked it pretty well at the time but didn't buy a tin at the time. Well I finally got around to buying some and forgot about it in the cabinet. Late this summer I found it and have been enjoying it very much. I do not know what cognac taste like but the Pembroke like others have mentioned is much like Margate only sweeter. Normally I am not a huge fan of sweet tobaccos but this one I like very much. It is not overpowering and you still have a fine tobacco taste unlike some which leave you thinking you just ate too much candy. I will keep some of this around for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (74)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This is essentially like its elegant twin sister Margate, but tarted up with cognac to seduce you with its intoxicating flavor. You suspect it's wrong to despoil such a dignified blend with the casing, but it is so deftly applied that it adds something special and unique to the flavor that complements it rather than overpowers. This is Margate with its hair down and corset on, a classy, alluring aromatic you can take out any time without fear of embarrassment.

This little number really puts out and leaves you satisfied without making you feel dirty or like you're cheating on your beloved english/balkans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Korndog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Korndog (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I know people either love this stuff or hate it. Many years ago this was my main smoke. I took to blending it with Margate for a while too(marries great). I decided to get away from any topping at all for a long time, and smoked Balkans mostly. I just cracked a tin after many years of not smoking this fine tobacco. It's very luxurious in the tin, and smokes beautifully most of the way down the bowl. One thing I like about this blend is the room note. I don't get any hassle whatsoever, and my golfing buddies use to crave the aroma. I'm glad to rekindle this old friendship. It's best to have dedicated pipes for this stuff though. It does leave its presence known.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Harpua0077 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Harpua0077 (31)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant

Pembroke in the can smells like a nice Merlot Wine. It has a terrificly strong smell which almost makes it seem un-smokable. Quite the contrary this tobacco is excellent. The smell from the can comes out in the room note. It smokes well indoors and out. However I most enjoy it in the evening just after sundown. I like to smoke this one while out for a walk given that passers by seem to approve of the smell.

I would keep some of this on hand most of the time. Either this or Margate or Tilbury. I am excited about trying Penzance since it is highly recommended. As for staying lit no problem here, it is a slow burning tobacco to take your time on. Rushing it seems to cause me hiccups and quite a bit of tongue bite. Smoking to fast tends to cause problems with pipe juice.

Slow and steady. My personal note rating was about 9.4 I can't say it is a perfect 10 but worth having around.

I have also done a video review of this tobacco. view it at

http://www.myspace.com/elemental_pipes

or at

http://www.youtube.com

just search esoterica tobacciana Pembroke

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (69)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

I like trying new things either to find something special or to reaffirm my existing favourites. It is very well balanced and fairly complex, I really enjoyed this one a lot. This has one of the best tin aromas that my schnoz has ever encountered.

I am a confirmed Latakia nut, and I do not care for aromatics all that much. That being said, this tobacco is very mild on the aromatic side, if at all and leans strongly towards the English, with the Latakia gently combusting in the background. Very good for folks who want to stroll along with Latakia for awhile without completely going off the deep end.

The sister blend Margate is no slouch either. In my opinion Pembroke is a tad deeper and more dynamic. If you really want to get the party going I would invite over Penzance. Peaceable puffing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

joseph Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joseph (46)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The description says this tobacco is cased with French cognoc. This may be true, however I don't recognise the casing as cognac (but more important is that I like it, whatever it may be). This stuff is great imo. Especially on a hot summer night, together with a sweet drink. But careful sipping is needed! (there is a tendency to burn hot).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Full Tolerable

It has to be a little dried so that you can smoke it pleasantly and to improve its flavors. This is also due to aging. A thin gold, brown and black ribbon. Aroma: fruity flavor of prunes and autumn fruit, French cognac and honey compose a very good tobacco, which in my opinion is very heavy. After the necessary drying it burns leaving a white ash without muddying at all. Very soft and fine taste. The more experienced say I should have smoked Margate first.

General observation: I was disappointed because I expected it to be much better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PfeifenRaucher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PfeifenRaucher (53)
★☆☆☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is the first tobacco I have reviewed on this site that I had to give a one star rating. Keep in mind I have not tried Margate yet.

It smells foul in the tin - a sour smell that does NOT remind me of cognac at all (a spirit which I like BTW). The taste is equally gross - think sour latakia. I would rather spend my money on a pack of premium cigarettes (like Nat Shermans) than Pembroke. Heck, there are drugstore aromatics that I think taste better than this blend. Now I know why this was "on sale" at the B&M tobacconists I purchased it at - YUCK!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (57)
★☆☆☆
Medium Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was able to sample this blend for free thanks to a generous friend of mine. 2 bowls was all I could manage. So lets begin.

The sample was aged and a tad dry having an almost ideal moisture content. It burned well and evenly with no relights after the first 2 matches, that's a plus anytime.

However, that's about all the plus points I can force upon this mix - simply put, I did not like it at all.

The orientals dominated (for what little tobacco taste that got by the casing), with rare glimpses of latakia taste after purposeful searching on my part. The casing was strong with a taste I found sickening, not pleasant for me. The closest description I can come up with for this is an artificial cherry taste that gave me a rich, sickening/sour effect. eeek!

Cognac it was not - in my opinion.

Maybe the awful casing was dissolved in Cognac as a delivery solvent? I'd buy that at least.

I enjoy and appreciate blends across the pipe tobacco spectrum from cased aromatics to latakia heavy blends to VA flakes, to English/Balkans - and thus I tried to find some redeeming qualities that suited my palate - I just couldn't do it.

Sorry Esoterica and Pembroke fans, not for me.

Not recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

imago Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
imago (63)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An interesting blend, Pembroke marries a great English blend with cognac; the result is surprisingly quite impressive. Allowed to dry (as Pembroke is simply too moist straight from the tin for my tastes), the latakia is barely noticeable yet is nevertheless complemented by the slight tang of the cognac.

Margate is a better blend overall (and Penzance is my favourite of Esoterica's offerings), but there are times that seem to call for Pembroke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, I just love this stuff. Not a huge fan of boozey tobacco in general, I don't mind the occassional navy cav with rum. This however, is such a lovely marriage of a premium English with a delicate cognac, that it's in a class all by itself. Not going to be for everyone, and it certainly taints pipes.

Not quite as heavy in flavour as I was expecting - this could be a summer smoke for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jake696 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jake696 (10)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

If you a smoker of non-aromatic English blends, you most likely won't like this. If you are an aromatic smoker, you still may not like this! It's somewhere in the middle and definately an acquired taste. I have tried it new from a tin and purchased some in bulk - cellared and aged nicely. It mellows nicely with 5+ years of age and I prefer it this way.

It was a little moist in the tin and needed some drying out. I found this blend to be tempermental, it smoked differently in different pipes and can certainly bite. Be careful not to smoke it too moist. I use a high intensity light for a few minutes to dry out wet blends and flakes.

I thouroughly enjoy the cognac and although it's strong, not too strong on the nicotine ~ no jitters. For me it's comparable to Stonehaven in the nicotine strength, yet stronger than most aromatics I normally smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Though I have been smoking Penzance and Margate with a great deal of pleasure for years, I had not got down to trying Pembroke until recently.

It does come a bit more moist than usual for English mixtures and some drying out helps, but is not essential. The tin aroma is awesome: rich, opulent, luxurious. The cognac is skilfully married to the base tobaccos.

In the pipe, the promise of the tin aroma is not belied. The taste is rich, almost incredibly rich. In more than forty years of pipe smoking I have never come across a mixture so full in taste and aroma. That having been said, Pembroke for me is party food - enjoyable on occasion, but a daily diet would probably lead to high levels of cholestrol.

If alcohol has to be put into tobacco at all, this is the way to do it. Whether or not you like Pembroke in the end, it is absolutely worth trying once.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (574)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is another fine blend from Esoterica, one I enjoy occasionally. Pembroke is a pleasant English style (aromatic) blend, as others have stated this is Margate with Cognac; same cut same mixture. The Cognac is not overpowering but only adds some extra sweetness, depth of flavor and a room note which my wife finds pleasant. A worthy smoke: 8 stars out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyboy (39)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Pembroke, along with Margate are 2 tobaccos that I have in both bulk and tinned as they`re both in my rotation for early evening smokes though, can be puffed all day if one chooses. This works well for me when dry and does DGT very well! It is 1 tobak that can take you above the clouds as the cognac-taste will settle down once in cruise. Always an extremely dry smoke and provides a nice ride for the trip! Grey ash at the bottom lets you know your journey has ended much too quickly! This tobacco will always be in my hanger!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I've been smoking this a long time and decided to enter this review. Yup, Esoterica has another great one for me! Yes, as the description says, Margate w/ Cognac. The Cognac adds a slight perfume/sweet taste and scent that is relaxing for me. I can easily drift off into pleasant thoughts with this one. It's great with a cup of coffee that's been brewed over a fire. Ribbon cut and packs, lights and smokes the same as Margate. That is, a dark and rich English blend. The moisture may be too much for some, and drying just a bit would improve burn. But, either way I dig it. Straight away it burns fine for me. I love smoking this sitting around a campfire. Great stuff when you want just an added bit of flavor and aroma to that great weed called Margate. Four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★☆☆☆
Medium Very Strong Medium to Full Strong

I prefer my Cognac in a glass, thank you very much.

Nothing I can really say about this one. Not my cup of tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

January 2006. This is pretty good stuff!And I like it,but I definitely would not smoke it all the time,as we can't get it in Australia anyway. The flavour's were great for a change,as I prefer V-perique,Straight-V's,and latalika blend's. After airing out a portion of this tobacco on paper for 20 min's,I filled my Peterson bent & it only required 2 to 3 light's to get going with a few tamp's along the way to bowl's end. This blend is very tasty & most pleasant all the way through,leaving a nice clean grey ash at the bootom of the bowl. I'm not a fast puffer,& did not suffer any tongue bite at all. Recommended,to those who enjoy a splash of alcohol in their baccy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

prinakis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
prinakis (13)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my best, after drying it out a bit, this tobacco is made for drinking, coffee, wine and of course a good french cognac... Very high quality...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Notes: This needs to dry out a bit before you smoke it to allow it to burn well and optimize the flavors. It also benefits quite a bit from aging, and gets much better with a few months in the tin. I have smoked a few ounces of various vintages of this and have found it best in a Dunhill Group 3-4 briar.

Appearance: A thin-cut golden and brown to black ribbon, fully rubbed out. It comes quite wet in the tin, almost sticky, and benefits enormously from allowing it to dry out substantially. Without this, you will likely not fully appreciate the flavor.

Aroma: Fruitcake, frankincense, stewed plums and autumn fruit. French cognac, honey, Brie.

Taste: Can nip the tongue a bit if one is not careful. After allowing it to dry out to a proper moisture level, it burns quite well to a fine grey-white ash, leaving no dottle at all. Plum pudding, Christmas cake, myrrh, frankincense, cognac, honey, raisins, stewed fruits, citron. Very soft, very subtle flavors. Rather subdued and very quiet on the palate, demanding attention to obtain full enjoyment.

Comparisons: Similar to Esoterica's Margate, but with added complexity and sharper cognac notes, which make it a markedly different blend. Much darker (but not heavier) in overall complexion than, say, Dunhill My Mixture No. 965.

Bottom Line: For those who enjoy tobacco blends imbued with spirits, a must-try. Those seeking a mild, subdued English blend with the added complexity of cognac will be pleased.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Let me preface this review by saying that I've yet to try Margate, which is supposed to be the untopped/cased version of this blend.

The cognac casing is in the forefront but isn't overpowering; seems to mix well with and even amplify the latakia in the blend. I only smoke aromatics a couple of times each week, and this is one of the three I've been keeping stocked. The musty orientals, the cremey latakia, and the light cognac do play well together and never seem to run with scissors towards the tongue.

Drying out a bit will help decrease the typical aromatic gurggle and need for relighting. I usually take a bowl's worth out of the tin to dry for about 30 minutes before packing the pipe, usually a 4/5 billiard. And often this only needs a single relight during the smoke, mostly out of neglect on my part.

I have yet to try an Esoterica blend that I didn't care for. Like everything they do, Pembroke is good material, handled well, reaching for something unique.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

smokey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokey (120)
★★★☆
Strong Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

some tobaccos seem to take a while to make an impression, and so it was with this one. i had very high expectations, because of all the good reviews i had read about it. after the first pipeful, i had to admit i was very let down. it seemed overly moist, was hard to light and required constant re-lighting, and seemed to have a bite to it. i left the can open, fluffed up the tobacco, and let it set for an afternoon. with each pipeful after that, things seemed to get better. the burn definitely improved, and i started appreciating the suttle and very different flavor, probably coming from the cognac topping over the latakia. this tobacco seems to have a pretty high nicotine content, which i enjoy also. i like to have a bowl of this after smoking a strong latakia blend, like old ironsides. they seem to compliment each other. the cognac flavor dominates the first half of the bowl, then the latakia seems to take over. kind of like an appetizer before the main course. i would recommend anyone who enjoys english blends give this one a try. just don't rush to judgement after the first pipeful. 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I love the Esoterica series and most Germain and sons blends,but this one is not really as good as I have been told.The blend is a heavy English with cognac, which in theory ,should be outstanding, but alas, it falls a little short.This is a high quality tobacco that yields a good pleasurable smoke but I will stick with "And So To Bed". The blend is good. The aroma is nice.I will offer you the counsel that if you do not like Anise, do not try this.The other Esoterica offerings combine the Anise with the tobacco and they yield pure pleasure.Pembroke has the cognac and anise quarreling with each other. I would try it ,but there are others that are better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Great tin, elegant calligraphy and mostly stunning reviews. Unfortunately, this tobacco does nothing for me. It?s characteristically Esoterica/Germain with its sour, briny, licorice/anise tin aroma. And So to Bed is a milder, tangier version of Pembroke. It?s a stringy ribbon cut of stoved tobaccos with latakia and laced with cognac. This is Margate drunk on brandy. Though I love cognac, I?m discovering that that venerable spirit is best left to breathe in a snifter. It may go well with a good smoke, but they should remain good friends in separate dwellings and never marry or move in together. Whatever Latakia is in this mixture is completely overpowered by the booze, and it?s a distraction, not a compliment. If you?re going to smoke this stuff be sure to devote a single pipe to it, because it will permeate the bowl with that distinctive Esoterica casing. This is a quality tobacco for those who might appreciate this style, but it?s just not my particular taste. At least I am pleased to have a pipe smoking buddy eager to take it off my hands so that the tin didn?t go completely to waste. Overrated!

One and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mythdoc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mythdoc (5)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Strong

Pembroke is such a luxurious tasty tobacco! Before writing this review, I had occasion to smoke a tin of unaged Pembroke, followed by a tin with 4.5 years of aging. The new tin was very good, the aged wonderful. The sharper edges had softened, and the latakia had mellowed to a supple smoothness. I love the way Pembroke produces clouds of chewy, smoke-ring-ready smoke. On the other hand, you will not win much goodwill smoking this in the presence of, shall we say, certain significant others who barely tolerate your smoking habit! BTW, I like the cognac topping, which is never obtrusive, just a hint of elegance underlying the full English taste. About the only thing I could say against Pembroke is that it has a certain drying effect upon the mouth and palate. If you are a latakia lover with a place to smoke this far away from the wife and kiddies, you will not go wrong with this blend.

mythdoc

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hauser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hauser (16)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I have both a new tin and a 5 year old tin and I've found agin it changes it though not for the better or worse, just different. Aging mellows out the blend a bit but I enjoy the new batch version just as much as I enjoy the aged version.

Tin Opening - Opening the tin reveals a mottled string cut blend, that over time has merged the colors slightly. With the 5 year old tin, the familiar Pembroke aroma is still there though mellowed.

Packing - Packs well in all pipes I?ve tried it in.

Lighting - Two matches and a tamp.

First Impression - The first few puffs release a pleasing English/cognac aroma and the taste is complex without being confusing. It?s rich without being heavy and full without being overwhelming.

Mid Bowl - Down through the bowl, the flavor remains and though its complexity fades, for me into something comfortable. Each puff makes me want the next for the simple pleasure of this blend. I find no tendency to smoke wet or hot. At five years, it?s mellower then a new batch. It is neither better nor worse, just different.

Finish-Finishes stronger with the cognac having been burned away though the quality of the blend shows through, keeping you going for the pure tobacco taste of the blend. It smokes very cleanly with a grey ash.

Over all-My favorite English blend. It is Margate plus and unlike most blends with a topping, this topping actually enhances and improves the blend rather then masking it or detracting from it. I don't know what Cognac they use to top it but I wouldn't be surprized if it was specifically developed for this blend rather than for drinking. I am normally not a fan of liquor top tobacco but this one hits the mark better then anything else I've ever tried. A true pleasure!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (300)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Evidently my tin was aged, as the tobacco had several sugar crystals and the paper was stained brown: good!

The cognac casing can be felt, but it is not intrusive: its presence simply adds a "darker" and sweeter tone, both to the tin aroma and the taste. Actually, the empty bowl after smoking this has a faint alcoholic smell...

The taste is dark, deep, musty: similar to Margate, of course, but darkly sweet and richer. The overall effect is a bit cloying in its dark sweetness, although it is not a very full tobacco.

As usual with this brand the moisture level is excessive, resulting in a wet and difficult smoke and in the formation of rust inside the tin after a few days you open it. Bad!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bobbior5907 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bobbior5907 (24)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

As I have never gotten to like Latakia, I do not usually gravitate toward traditional English-type blends except those attenuated by the addition of some type of topping in the form of rum or, in the case of Pembroke, cognac. I prefer high quality aromatics, VA flakes, burley & Perique blends, etc. However, the reviews from Wm. Serad on down are almost universal in their praise of the Esoterica Tobacciana line of blends and, in particular, Margate. Pembroke is described as Margate with the addition of cognac. I haven't tried Margate, so I approached Pembroke uninfluenced by any prior experience with either Esoterica Tobacciana in general or Margate in particular. I smoked several bowls of Pembroke one night in a recently acquired 50 year old estate Kaywoodie that I had "opened up" by Jim Benjamin down in San Diego, CA (see Rick Newcombe's articles about proper air flow for pipes collected in his book, "In Search of Pipe Dreams"). Sufficient air circulation is absolutely critical, especially when smoking moist dense blends. A hot, wet, bitter, and generally unpleasant smoking experience is frequently the result in the absence of adequate air flow, which most pipes lack. Anyway, as to Pembroke, it has a Latakia-spicy, fermented aroma in the tin. Upon ignition, the flavor is also spicy with a tangy semi-sweet undertaste. The cognac is evident and, to to my way of thinking, nicely circumscribes the Latakia element. The flavor and aroma are rich, thick, and nicely rounded, with the edges softened by the cognac. I think this a great after-dinner or late night blend. It burns well for me and resolves to a fluffy mottled ash. I give Pembroke a grade of B+.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipper (11)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Upon opening the tin, I was hit with a very strong vinegar smell, from the cognac. The tobac also presents very wet. I tried a bowl, and the cognac was just too strong overpowering any tobacco taste. I left the tin open for a couple of days, then came back to it. The first day that the tin was open, the aroma/vinegar permeated the room, and I found this unpleasant, thinking that I would never enjoy this tobac. Upon the second day of air drying the tin, I was now presented with something much more tolerable. This is a very fine smoke, once dried, and the cognac offers its own smooth flavor upon the Margate blend. I find that it mutes the orientals that were so tasty in Margate, but causes its own unique addition, which I find quite nice. I enjoy this taste from time to time, perhaps late afternoon, before dinner. Just make sure you air dry the tin for a couple of days before use.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MissouriFisherman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MissouriFisherman (4)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I frequently smoke this in a Sansieni 4-dot apple which I feel controls the right balance of aroma and strength. I find myself rotating this mixture with "And so to Bed", but I prefer this one a little more, probably because I will often drink a brandy while smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pmonroeb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pmonroeb (92)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

Pembroke is supposed to be Margate with a cognac casing. Margate is in my rotation, so I gave this a try. There are few English tobaccos available with a liquor casing, Pease's Mephisto is the only other that comes to mind.

Pembroke comes almost wet, far too damp to smoke well. The aroma is dominated by the casing. After letting it dry out some, I gave it a try. My impressions are that this is a very good tobacco, but that the cognac is just too much. I have had good success by mixing this down about 50% with some other English mixtures I had open. I did not have an open tin of Margate to mix this with, but I'll bet that mixed 50/50 or even less with Margate, that this would be a very good change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

youdaman10 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
youdaman10 (12)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Unnoticeable

Pembroke is one of the more unusual smokes I've tried. I smoked my first bowl right from the tin "as is". It was hard to light and resulted in a fairly bad gurgle. Using the advice of previous reviewers, I fluffed the blend and left off the lid for a few days. The result was near perfect. The tobacco lit quite well and burned to completion with no relights or gurgle. The first half of the bowl has light smoke with a strong cognac flavor. I pick up on a certain musty flavor as well. The tobacco really comes into its own in the second half. The smoke volume increases. The full tobacco flavor starts to stand out. The blends finish is fairly strong. This blend is different, not the same song different verse. I plan to keep a tin around for something different. May try Margate (uncased version) in the future. UPDATE: I have downgraded my original opinion of this smoke to make room for a much better version by GL Pease. If you like this smoke, you'll love Barbary Coast.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is supposed to be Margate with a fine French cognac added. Well, it does not resemble Margate in the least to me. Margate is a whale of a fine English blend. Pembroke may have started out that way, the the added flavoring really put me off and makes the blend burn a little warm for those who dive into their pipes with reckless abandon.

I have never had a French cognac before, and after sampling Pembroke, you can bet your keester I'll never try one either!

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Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

It's a good smoke , but in my mind the congnac only detracts from an already stellar tobacco . I'd rather buy Margate , just MHO.

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lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★☆☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Like other Esoterica blends I have tried, it's tough to get this blend just dry enough to smoke well without ruining the flavor. Sometimes it smokes well with a good taste, other times it smokes hot with a thin flavor. It always smokes on the sweet side, always has a good room aroma, and always smokes clean to a fine black ash. With the world full of outstanding tobacco blends, I got tired of messing with this one, and didn't restock my supply once it ran out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is, without a doubt, the best of the Esoterica tobaccos I have yet tried. While not as full and dark as some of my favorite English blends, this is still satisfying and smooth enough to be an all-day smoke; I actually prefer it to Margate, the uncased version. In the bag, the aroma is subtle, a bit sweet with a musty note; I can also smell Latakia. The tobacco is dark, with dark browns and black making up the majority of the blend, contrasted by a few lighter strands. The cut is medium to long, and it is on the dry side. It packs fairly well and lights easily, needing an average number of relights. In the first third, the main flavor I immediately taste is Latakia: a nice, rich, leathery taste. The other flavors are also making themselves known, primarily as a sweet, mellow note that softens the impact of the Latakia. I assume that this is the casing, though I couldn't tell you what it is specifically (Cognac). No one flavor is overwhelming, though Latakia is the most obvious at this point. In the second 1/3, the Latakia/English taste has merged with the sweetness of the casing. When in the mouth, the Latakia is dominant and supported by the casing; when blown out through the nose, the casing is strongest. A nice combination! The tobacco, apart from the casing, is very high quality and semi-complex, the overall sensation being that of a fairly rich, full smoke. There is thus far no moisture or tongue bite from this tobacco. In the final part of the bowl, the sweetness becomes more intense, varying in bursts of strength, at times almost reaching the level of the Latakia taste. The English flavor is still very obvious, however, and the casing (for me) doesn't detract from the excellent tobacco itself. It smokes clean, good, and moisture free right to the bottom; I was sorry to see the bowl end. Overall, this is one of the best English blends I've tried, even apart from the casing added. With the casing, there is a skillful merger of flavors and balance that makes this a pleasure to smoke. While not as full and dark as some English blends, this is nevertheless a very satisfying smoke for any time of day. This has moved into one of the top five or six blends for me, and I will most certainly be buying one or more tins of this in the near future.

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pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Pembroke is one of my favorite tobaccos when I am in the mood for an English, but with a twist. This is margate topped with Cognac (please see review for Margate). The main difference is that the cognac adds substantially to the aroma (both tina nd room) and the nuance it adds to the flavor while smoking is rather interesting. It doesn't dominate the blend, rather enhances the already wonderful interaction between the Virginias and latakia (primarily). Pembroke seems to be a bit moist out of the tin,so I recommend letting it air dry slightly before packing. This will help it smoke better. It burns cool, but can smoke wet. Slow puffing, as always, is recommended. A wonderful smoking experience.

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Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Pouch Aroma: This reminds me of mixture 'A', but with a mild, sweet top-dressing, less grassiness and what smells like a nice quantity of Perique.

Appearance: This is quite similar to 'A', but upon closer inspection I can see more stringy cuts and a slightly higher proportion of lighter tobaccos (Perique and Burley, I think).

Packing and Lighting: This also packs quite easily - this in a Savinelli Punto Oro Canadian. Upon lightup, this gives off a very sharp flavor for a few puffs - it stung my nose just a little - which settles into a tangy sweet flavor. There is a casing of some kind - rum, perhaps? (Nope - Cognac!)

Exposition: This is a medium-full tobacco with a decent smoke volume and a rich room aroma. The flavoring in it tends to mask the tobacco flavor a bit, but it's still early in the bowl. I like the sharp spiciness, and the smoke from the bowl promises wonderful tobacco flavor to come if the flavoring ever goes away. I must apologize, for 'crossover' English blends (Latakia and flavorings) just don't do it for me.

The Story: While this is a fuller, heavier smoke I don't seem to be getting as much natural tobacco flavor as I would like. It seems a bit one-dimensional to me - it's tasty but not complex. I also had more trouble keeping this lit as compared to selection 'A', and it seems a tiny bit wetter in the pipe.

As the bowl burns on down, the casing fades just a touch and is joined by some nice but rather bland tobacco flavors. I think there is a hint of Burley in here as it does funny things to my throat, but I could be wrong. Between that and the incipient tongue-bite, I'm not favoring this tobacco much anymore. It's not enough to make me dump it, but I wouldn't smoke this if I had anything better. All IMHO, of course.

Denoument: Between the frequent relights, biting, sourness in my throat and the casing, I find myself quite happy that I used a very small-bowled pipe for this. It's only the thick smoke that is saving my morning as I can blow dense rings that float forever before dissipating. The Perique sharpness stays through the whole bowl, making my nose tingle everytime I blow smoke out.

It does burn down to a nice, fluffy grey ash and leaves a pleasant smell in my pipe.

Pros: Nice thick smoke, dense flavor and a pleasant room aroma are the hallmarks of this mixture. If you like tobaccos that are cased without being candied, this is a good one. The tobacco is of good quality, seems to completely lack PG, and is so well-balanced that no single element of /the tobacco itself/ really stands out.

Cons: If I seem to be nattering about the casing, it's only because I have been smoking natural tobacco for so long that I just don't care for anything else unless the base tobacco can hold its own (ie St. Bruno Flake). The lack of an easy burn and my battle with bite also marred the experience. Overall, I've had worse - but also lots that were better. Perhaps a different pipe is called for - something wide and shallow rather than tall and narrow like this Savinelli Canadian.

Note: I tried a second bowl of this in my other Punto Oro - a shape #316 with a wide, flattened bowl. The sharpness was less evident, the burn was better and the casing less concentrated. I still can't REALLY get into this, but it definately works better in this type of pipe for me.

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trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is probably the one that will have Esoterica fans at the door with pitchforks and torches, but I simply don't like the burn of this blend. Its flavor is very nice, but it wants to burn hot and wet for me, and despite various different levels of humidification and the smoothest smoking techniques I can muddle forth, it remains a tongue-blistering experience. It's on the sweet side, presumably from the rum(?) flavoring added, and perhaps this is the cause of my smoking problems. I smoke it every so often for a change of pace, but don't plan on replacing it once my current supply runs out.

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