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Selected dark and golden Virginias are hot pressed until black, with added licorice essence and a pleasant aroma enhancement. A savory, slow burning, non-biting tobacco with lasting fragrance.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeAromatic
FlavoringLicorice, Other / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging8 ounce bag
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

24 reviews
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DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (202)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Lo and behold, for this piper the perfect aromatic. Ramsgate is exceedingly mellow and amazingly delicious. I absolutely love this blend.

I remember reading a while ago about the use of licorice as a flavor enhancer for tobacco and how it noticeably sweetens tobacco without imparting much flavor in the finished product. Germain uses licorice in quite a few of their aromatics. For example Plumcake, Blackpool, Woodbridge and Ramsgate are all laced with it to a certain degree.

Compared to its cousin blend Blackpool, Ramsgate seems to have a bit more licorice in its topping. When lit, I do get a very slight licorice flavor but more prominent is a sweetness that's redolent of dark fruit with a subtle honey flavor that lingers on the tongue as well as in the side-stream.

This is a delightful smoke that gives a wonderful spicy retrohale sensation and a midbowl flavor that I find reminiscent of spice cake. It burns nicely but remains cool in the bowl and is quite forgiving of heavy puffing. The flavors strengthen nicely as the bowl progresses but it still remains sweet and spicy with delicious stoved Virginia flavor.

Fragrant, smooth, and spicy with zero bite. Excellent room note. Strangely, this fine tobacco reminds me a tiny bit of McClelland's Dark Star only without McClelland's signature fermented Virginia flavor and the fuss in preparation.


14 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have been meaning to review Ramsgate for some time now. It was quite unique yet seems similar to some of the other Esoterica offerings that are similar in added flavoring and stoving (Blackpool comes immediately to mind.)

I smoked a nice sized sample sent by a friend over the course of a week and enjoyed it mostly in the evenings when a lighter, sweet smoke was in order. It is quite nicely stoved and certainly Licorice like in taste.

For some reason, this tobacco does not stay lit well and produces a whale of a lot of smoke. But, if semi-sweet Virginia leaf that is heavily stoved meets your requirements, then Ramsgate may be your ticket to paradise.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2144)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

The licorice topping sublimates the tobaccos without totally drowning them out. The Virginias have a dried fruity sweetness: figs, plum, and dates with a little earth and a hint of grass here and there. It's kind of stewed fruit-like, too. I also perceive an occasional slight honey note that could come from a topping or from how the Virginias were processed. The nic-hit is very mild, and both strength and taste is mild to medium. No bite. May need a slight dry time, but I smoked it as it is, and though it did require a few relights, I was able to smoke it to the finish with just a little moisture in the bowl. If you like a mild licorice taste, you'll like this. Has a nice after taste. Though it isn't a strong tobacco, I don't classify it as an all day smoke as the topping is filling enough to the senses that you'll need a break after a bowl or two.

8 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (833)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Jet black ribbon with traces of white - kind of a dusty grayish color, with a fairly heavy bag aroma of licorice. I was not expecting much of this. Quite honestly, Esoterica's line doesn't excite me much, with the notable exception of Stonehaven.

In the bowl this turned out to be better than I anticipated. The licorice smell became more of a moderate sweetener rather than actual licorice flavored. This stayed lit easily and burned well. I did find that smoking two bowls back to back was problematic and wore me out, which is common with flavored tobaccos. The sweetness was more plummy than sugary confection, dark but not heavy, mellow but not boring. The room note was very pleasant and inviting. I'd call this an aromatic but it's a long way from a gooper, as it smoked very dry without a trace of excess moisture. I'm sure I'll never buy this again and it'll probably take me a good long while to finish the 8 oz (review is based on 2) but it's a very decent smoke and will satisfy me when I'm in the mood. Recommended for those who like a sweet aromatic that doesn't require filters or multiple pipecleaners.

8 people found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
Medium Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I've smoked this for a number of years and seem to be appreciating it more and more. Perhaps the perfect tobacco flavor...a deft balance of molasses, raisin, fig and mild licorice. In addition, the tobacco flavor is allowed to shine through. Easy to work, easy to pack & light, burns well and clean with no bite or harshness. Very, very high quality. This is a UK scented flavor bomb gift to smokers everywhere. And if you try some of this right next to Stonehaven, you'll notice a very close flavor similarity. Interesting, that.

Pipe Used: Various briars, middle size do well.

Age When Smoked: Fresh to well aged, all good.

Purchased From: Various e-tailers.

Similar Blends: Blackpool, Stonehaven..

7 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (481)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Well, Germain has yet to let me down and this Esoterica offering is no exception. I was given a pretty good sample of this from a friend and enjoyed it very much. It is kind of an oddball offering that is good for the changeup, but I think may get a little old if smoked too often.

The blend is very black as the description would lead one to assume. The licorice flavor, to my tastes, was kind of light. I also picked up a citrus taste, but am not sure whether this is from a topping or part of the natural sweetness of the Virginias. It was really quite pleasant. I received and smoked this in the winter, but imagine this would be a fantastic hat weather smoke.

So impressed with this was I that I immediately bought an 8 ounce bag while making one of my frequent calls annoying B&Ms while looking for Stonehaven, Penzance, Dorchester, Dunbar & Tilbury. At the rate the latter three have become nearly impossible to find, it is only a matter of time before this and a few others join them. I say stock up now.

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (322)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a Virginia that has been stoved within an inch of its life. Think Dark Star. It looks a little similar and shares the quality of being damper than might appear and being tougher to keep lit than you might expect. The tin note is a heavy, sweet licorice. I smoked this fairly dry, and I crumbled it as best I could with my fingers.

This is interesting and good. There is a heavy full quality to the aromatic that is not cloying or overpowering. The stoved Virginias are sweet and slightly tart when puffed. The fruit taste had no citrus, and maybe the best flavot to describe it is a ripe plum. For my palate the licorice in the topping barely appears in the smoked flavor, but it is part of the heavy. sweet profile.

It burned clean and smoked well in a variety of pipes.

I enjoyed this, but I am not going to have my name put on a list to be notified when someone gets a few sacks.

5 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Wierd cousin to Blackpool, but stronger topping. I'm not a big fan of this cut as it reminds me of the bottom of a tin when all you have is that last 1/2 a bowl of flake scraps left. The initial light gives off a licorice/Lakeland/Juicy Fruit flavor and room note, I found this not unpleasent but somewhat over the top. After about a quarter of the pipe, the topping is almost 90% gone and a sweeter caramel flavor develops. This is very nice, if you like very sweet Virginas, again I found this over the top. The bottom 1/3 of the bowl turns bitter with a bite, I only wanted the pipe to be over. This tobacco was only cellared for about two months and smoked in a cob. Better than a drug store brand or it would have got one star. I will not buy again and I might not buy Blackpool again as it now reminds me of this.

Updated 1/28/12 After almost a year of cellaring I found that the bitterness has gone away. You get a very sweet smoke after the Wierd topping burns away, quality Virginias. Maybe I can bump this to 2 1/2 stars

4 people found this review helpful.

Big Nick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Nick (74)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Dark, heavily stoved, juicy broken flake. Fragrance of licorice???, I don't know about that. It is something sweet and tasty but I wouldn't call it licorice. I really don't know how to describe it, but it is pleasant. Definitely required the full three light method, but once it got started it was on for the duration. It provided a sweet, mild and pleasant smoke. No bite. For me it worked best in a smaller bowl, maybe a #3 or #4. I will finish the rest of the 4oz in my Peterson Dublin, 999, with a Savinelli 9mm balsa filter. That worked best for me. I will probably buy more.

3 people found this review helpful.

jackhackett Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jackhackett (76)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have no frame of reference by which to judge this blend; this style of preparation is entirely new to me: Well-cased but not at all syrupy, stoved to hell and back, musty and dark, Ramsgate has a phenomenal flavor with a tempered sweetness somewhat like anise, but by no means is it full-on licorice intensity. More like a sweet, leathery flavor with slightly fruit-like notes here and there.

A very fine cut helps keep moisture in balance and bowls evenly packed. Moisture level was a bit high out of the bag, but not unreasonably so, and dries quickly enough left out or under a lamp.

Everything about this blend is exceptional, but the tin note is really something else---an addictive, leathery-heathery sweetness like a Speyside Scotch.

3 people found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is a really good aromatic. I find English made aromatics are quite different from American made blends. This has a natural licorice essence added to it,along with a very good natural tobacco taste.It is slightly sweet with no goop,gunk,or gurgle.It is slightly dry and quite pleasant on the palate.As a point of reference think Gawith tobaccos and you will get a pretty good idea of the flavor.3 of 4 stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I've smoked many of the tobaccos by Esoterica for quite some time now and Ramsgate remains one of my favorites along w/Kingsbridge. For what it's worth, I gave it the highest recommendation mark because I've noticed that I seem to be coming back to the Eso's more and more often, and to Ramsgate in particular. The many pro's such as cleanness of burning, the quality tobaccos used and the tastes and aromas most assuredly outweigh any con's there may be. The mostly black tobacco rubs out easily, although I see no need to rub it out too much more, and packs well enough in any size bowl. Even "chimneys" would work well as long as you don't get too heavy fingered, but I find the smoke can get somewhat "stout" (but not overly unpleasant) nearing the last part of the bowl. I enjoy the lightly sour taste mixing w/ the mildly sweet, raisiny sort of taste that lingers through most of the bowl becoming less noticeable after the 2/3's down mark where a rich, dark smoky flavor seems to take over. Virtually no bite at any time, and just a slight gurgle near 1/2way point which was eliminated w/a quick swab of a cleaner. There were a few extra re-lights near the end, but since I wasn't in a pipe-smoking contest, who cares? The tobacco burned down to a pure, fluffy white ash w/maybe a tiny bit of dottle. When it comes to lightly flavored VA's this is one blend well worth trying, and any flavoring there is in no way masks the tangy taste of the quality VA tobaccos in this blend, so if you like hot-pressed, well matured, "savory, slow-burning, non-biting VA tobaccos", you may enjoy this.

3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

The Virginias are figgy/plummy with a little tart note. The finer nuances are hidden by the topping which is a little more licorice than I prefer. I think there may be a little honey in the topping as well. It's a fairly sweet smoke and as smooth as glass. If you like licorice more than I you will probably appreciate this. As for my taste, it's a two star smoke.

Mild to medium in body and flavoring. Medium in taste. Burns pretty well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Cup O' Joes

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipeologist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeologist (22)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Each to his own! All of the Esoterica tobaccos I have tried do no disappoint.Their blending tequnique is superb and they obviously test their products before release,which is a must. I love Penzance, but, I fear,due to supply and demand,I will never taste again. Margate,I really like.It asks nothing of you .It just gives what it is...a great tobacco. I managed to get hold of some of Ramsgate from the States. If an Esoterica tobacco is easy to get hold of,then you worry slightly. It's a very dark ribbony tobacco,which has a pleasant fruity aroma from the packet. It lights easily and is quite tasty all the way down,except that I find it burns a little hot for my liking. That,I do not like,so will not resupply...sorry. Interesting tobacco to try out,but would not recommend as a regular smoke,due to the vast amount out there,at a much cheaper price,I may add.

Pipe Used: Dunhilll

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cupojoes

2 people found this review helpful.

Young Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Young Piper (300)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have two 8 ounce packages of Ramsgate that I have had since 2004 or so when Esoterica tobacco's were available everywhere. I just opened one of the packs last week and it was in great condition although I should have transferred the contents to a ball jar years ago. Stoved until it is jet black and cut very thin with a licorice aroma. Lighting was easy and required two relights down the bowl which was clean and needed just a quick dump of the ashes. I enjoyed Ramsgate and will finish the 8ozs but will not go out of my way to locate more. Those who enjoy stoved Virginia might appreciate the light topping which IMO enhances the smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

puss n' pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puss n' pipes (27)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Think of Ramsgate as an aproximation to the blending ways and style of Samuel Gawith and Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. If you are expecting an experience of licorice -in your face- this wouldnt be. This is pure straight virginia with delicate and sublimated undertones of licorice, rich soursweet grassy flavour and mid strength virginia body with a very subtle addition of the character of an aromatic.

It comes in beautiful stoven broken flake, a bit oily and demanding rubbing exercises, the smell is pungent and piquant while on pack. A bit of ferment and mildly vinnegar note circumvented by a little licorice note. In its first ignition presents a dense white smoke that comes to the palate as a very mild virginia, the licorice is very distant yet distinguishable, astringent smoke with a dry mild sweetness properly associated with pure virginias.

As it advances its character defines more the body of a robust and fermented virginia, aproximately to the league of "Lakelands" yet, never as floral, a lot less subtle in aroma but with all the strong body of a typical aged and stoved flake from that house, it is to notice its mid strength in the nicotine department and electric blue smoke. The virginias will denote its more characteristic grassy and soursweet qualities by the mid of the bowl and decreasing onwards when it will become more a mild virginia with a vague licorice aroma.

This is a very potent and exciting blend, it gets better by aging, softening its smokey and robust temper. Apt for a day of intellectual endeavours or a large lunting by the nature.

Pipe Used: Vauen 1889

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Similar Blends: Brown flake licorice.

1 person found this review helpful.

lesliesrussell Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lesliesrussell (7)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Ramsgate is one of three similar blends (Blackpool, Kingsbridge). Mild, cool smoking, sweet, with a pleasant room note. Properly stored,these blends will age well, and I am anxious to experience the result.

Pipe Used: Preben Holmes freehand

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

Similar Blends: Esoterica Kingsbridge, Esoterica Blackpool.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Esoterica tobaccos continue to please. Every time I try a new one, I find something else I like about them. Ramsgate is another example of a viginia based tobacco from Esoterica that has a wonderful flavor, burning characteristics and aroma. It is cased with a licorice essence that is not entirely clear on smelling the tobacco from a bag. I don't normally smoke cased tobaccos but find this one most pleasing and enjoyable. It is a very dark tobacco without any lighter colored strands. It comes rubbed out and is easy to fill any sized pipe. I have not tried Blackpool yet but that is another virginia tobacco cased with licorice essence, so I cannot compare them. Three and 1/2 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

This tobacco is very similar to Blackpool. Both are flavored with anise, and both are very dark Virginias, smooth and with no bite. I prefer this one, however, as it is darker and more tasty at the end of the bowl. The tobacco is very high quality and the smoking properties are excellent. The sample bag's smell is mild, an obvious sweetness mixed with the underlying tobacco aroma. The leaf itself is very dark black with no variation, similar to Blackpool. The cut varies from long strands to small fragments of tobacco, and my sample is on the dry side. It packs easily and lights very well, requiring less than the average number of relights during a bowl, burning to a bright white ash. In the first third of the bowl, the smoke is very mild. There is sweetness and a slight anise taste from the casing, and this flavor is strongest at the start. It does not overwhelm the tobacco taste, however, and I notice a very mild, soft Virginia taste as well. I can also sense a "sour" note in the background. There is no bite so far, and the smoke is very nice exhaled through the nose. In the second third, the sweet anise note decreases somewhat, and the dark Virginia falvor becomes more obvious. It isn't overly full or complex, but the combination is still very tasty. The smoke is smooth and mellow, bite-free and still carying a hint of that sour note. There is a bit of a gurgle, but a single pipe cleaner takes care of it nicely. The overall taste is dark and rich and well-balanced, a high-quality taste. In the last third of the bowl, the sweetness and sourness both lessen, giving way to the dark Virginia flavor. The taste is rich and very good, with some complexity and fullness as well. The smoke is still very smooth and missing all bite; I would say that it is as smooth as Blackpool, though darker. There have also been no moisture problems since that mid-bowl gurgle, and the bottom of the bowl smokes dry and clean. Overall, this is a very enjoyable smoke. The initial casing and sweetness merges and develops into a very dark yet mild Virginia flavor. If you are looking for a bite-free, darker Virginia tobacco, I highly recommend this one. This is probably my favorite flavored Esoterica blend, and I plan to purchase more of this when my sample runs out.

1 person found this review helpful.

Legionnaire Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Legionnaire (26)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend basically comes off as a very stoved Virginia with a liberal amount of licorice flavoring added. The result is a very pleasant and flavorful smoke, especially if you enjoy licorice. The blend has no discernible bite and is not cloying. Very high quality.

Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Local B&M

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lombard65 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lombard65 (48)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I do not know what there are many people in this tobacco is so special. You may recognize some characteristic of the early morning if you smoke. However there are few, but some slight hint of licorice taste is rather flat. From mid-smoked on its minor features are accentuated.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

arpie55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
arpie55 (59)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

i found this to be too much of a good thing, i enjoyed blackpool a lot and so i had thought that ramsgate must be even better (i enjoy licorice)but found that it was too hot and sweet and somewhat difficult to keep a good burn going. i finished the entire 8oz but will not buy again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Hard to rate this is. The licorice casing just doesnt work for me. While not a bad smoke, I just can't deal with the flavor of the casing used.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Mild Medium Very Mild Unnoticeable

I tried and I tried. I just can't find anything good about this tobacco. I smoked an entire ounce before giving up. All I taste is some sweetened steam. Because I puff harder trying to get some flavor, I then get steam blisters on my tongue. I love Esoterica, Virginia, and licorice casing, but this stuff failed the test. I have to give kudos too Esoterica however, this is the only blend of theirs I have tried that I won't smoke again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.