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A marriage of air-cured leaf and Burley with selected dark Virginia. Hard pressed and aged to produce brown flakes with dark undertones. A traditional English flake favored by experienced pipe smokers.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutFlake
Packaging8oz Bag
CountryUK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 23 Users

3.6
165 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
113
3 star:
37
2 star:
10
1 star:
5
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A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (72)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

The Esoterica line are some of the most well-regarded tobaccos to be found today. This is not unjustified as J. F. Germain, the historic company of the Isle of Jersey which blend and tin all of the tobacco under this label, are known for using the absolute finest leaf and employing the most exacting of processes. One need look no further than their price to determine this. I will say that, as regards the mixtures Germain puts out under their own name, I have always been impressed. It is when they produce for a private label, when they are asked to do something a little different, that I find I am never fully satisfied. Bear in mind, though, I can never fully decry these blends out of consideration for the obvious quality of the leaf. That, and I have yet to try any of the blends they produce for the Smoker?s Haven, which I understand are very good.

Stonehaven would initially appear to be a classic flake, all dark red and sweet-smelling as it is. The addition of Kentucky Burley here makes it something a bit more off from the beaten path, perhaps even an Americanized British flake. Sadly, an as much as I like Burley, this is Stonehaven?s one downfall. There is something about the addition of Kentucky leaf to red Virginia that destroys the sweet tang of the Virginia and makes the flavor of the Burley unnoticeable. When I am smoking a flake this dark or when I am smoking a flake containing Burley, I expect a big flavor. The flavor of Stonehaven is most often mild to the point of being a vapid nonentity. Sometimes it is as though the mouth is full of nothing but hot smoke, and while, I suppose, this is always true when smoking a pipe, it should never seem like only that. There is a middling amount of strength, but this is hardly any compensation.

Once again, the ingredients are of the finest. The flake is thin and flawless with a texture of silk and leather. Still, I would as soon exchange this for a foil pouch containing something with an appearance like unto dog hair if I were to get some true taste from it. Like that paper tiger Penzance from the same line, Stonehaven has many superfluities and very little of what counts.

Regards, A. Morley Jaques

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.

Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Professor (67)
★☆☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Strong

It seemed, based on other reviews, that I would enjoy Esoterica Tobacciana's Stonehaven immensely. I was sadly mistaken. The stuff (bulk) burns rather well, to address the positive qualities, and creates clouds that one could substitute for a bee smoker. Forget creating smoke rings--with practice I would wager that I could create smoke castles with this stuff. It is unfortunate, then, that the flavour of Stonehaven is nearly non-existent (and I find it difficult to rate this properly). While there is a bit of a cigar-like aftertaste, mostly what I get from this weed is a bit of a sting (bees take note). Admittedly, I am not such a fan of Burley. That taste does hint as does the Virginia but the bite overwhelms both. Indeed, this tobacco is a bit nauseating. If you like Burley, you will probably like this. If you like Virginia/Perique blends, you will probably like this (even if the peppery stuff is not present). If your bees are producing iso-pentyl acetate, you will find the smoke useful to douse that pheromonious alarm. For me, I would rather leave the hive to those more sensitive to the sting and enjoy the honey of different blend.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.

A.E. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A.E. (22)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Esotericas Stonehaven tobacco is a good English tobacco - no more and no less. The approach to its marketing has apparently created a "mystique" based demand founded on its 'unavailability'. People are well known to want more of (and pay more for) what they purportedly 'can't have'. I'm no different - I paid a ridiculous premium for my first, and only, sampling of Stonehaven. Why so 'unavailable'? Is the tobacco harvested from the dark side of the moon? or from some mysterious tropical island that only appears once a year in the remote Pacific? C'mon....clearly it's a ploy to create demand and price point where the quality of the actual product doesn't truly justify such. Good tobacco in a fine blend? Yes, but there are many as good or better. Pipes and Cigars.com has a better English blend in their Marquee Magnum Opus, in my opinion. Compton's of Galashiels blends are far more rich, luxurious in taste, and rewarding to smoke than any of the Esoterica blends that I've tried, including Stonehaven and the equally 'unavailable' Penzance. Try Esotericas Stonehaven if the opportunity arises and you are a fan of good English pipe tobacco. However, if you never get your hands on it, don't fret. You haven't missed out on anything spectacular. Certainly, don't pay more for it than your local tobacco shops own good English blend. In all honesty, I'm a bit put off by the way it's qualities and desirability have been falsely inflated by the manufacturing of a supposed perpetual 'unavailability'. That seems greasy to me....After all, it's only tobacco for goodness sake.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

Smoking Sam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking Sam (20)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered an 8 oz. bag of Esoterica Stonehaven back in January 2013 from a local tobacconist. One bag is all that the owner would allocate me. I received a phone call today to advise that the tobacco was in stock "IF I WAS INTERESTED!" Having never tried this highly touted tobacco, yes, I was interested. I traveled to the tobacco shop on my way to lunch, and the employee manning the register couldn't locate the bag. Bummer! After we both made a thorough search, and contacted the store owner by telephone, we located the Stonehaven in a bulk glass display jar on the shelf. No one had put my name on the bag, but the entire 8 oz. content was there, fresh, and only a few hours out of the bag. I was asked if I wanted the opened tobacco, to which I replied, "yes, I'll take all of it." The owner was embarrassed that this had not been set aside for me, so she volunteered to get me another, unopened bag, from a sister store in another city. She asked, "would you like one bag or two?" I said that I would take a couple bags if she had it available. She promised that she would have it available tomorrow. BTW, there was an unopened bag of Penzance in the store that was being held for me. I bought that as well. The Penzance costs $40, and they only charged me $33 for the opened quantity of Stonehaven. In short, today has been a very good pipe tobacco acquisition day for me.

Enough with the logistics, how does it smell, smoke and taste?

Smell? The other reviewers were not wrong on the smell. There is a pronounced, delicious smelling aroma of figs, plums, and chocolate. The flakes are quite beautiful, moist, and a rich dark color. There is no question that this is premium quality tobacco.

Lighting? Fully rubbed out, and fresh and moist out of the bag, one flake fit my jet black rusticated Ser Jacopo Dublin perfectly. It took a couple of false lights to get the tobacco going, and then the burn was perfect - even though the Stonehaven was moist.

Taste and smoke? Mild. Satisfying. Subtle. A very nuanced taste of aged straight burley and Virginia tobaccos. The taste is slightly sweet. The tobacco smokes VERY coolly. Plentiful bluish gray smoke. There is zero tongue bite. Nose exhale is excellent. The ash is salt and pepper colored.

This is not a tobacco that reaches out and grabs ones taste buds, say, like a full Balkan or strong English blend; however, it DOES provide a nice, relaxing, smoking experience. My strong coffee with cream and sugar, frankly, overpowers the taste. The nicotine level seems to be about medium strength. I rate this tobacco - three stars. I will amend my rating, if my opinion changes, but I think that is a fair evaluation.

Esoterica Stonehave (and Penzance) are worth having at the retail price, but I refuse to pay the eBay scalper's exorbitant usury prices. I don't think an 8 oz. bag is worth $100, at least not to me. Stonehaven is very comparable to FVF, Full Virginia Flake, which I find is easily obtainable here in North Carolina.

Obtaining? How does one get it at the "regular" price, you may ask? Patronize and support your local tobacconist, put in an order request, and WAIT patiently. You will be rewarded for your loyalty. Esoterica releases this tobacco, and Penzance, twice yearly, about every six months. I placed my order in January of 2013, and I took delivery today, which is spot on for retail deliveries.

I plan on smoking the jarred 8 oz. flakes of Stonehaven in my regular rotation, and I will cellar the other two bags, if my tobacconist comes through on their promise. At one flake per bowl, it should last a long time....

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (96)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Strong

Woof! and Again! The VA/B answer to 85% latakia balkans. I was intrigued by the above reviews and, being of virginia mind and burley body, gave this a whirl. It whirled me instead. All the previous reviewers nailed it collectively. Really: a sensory blitz that saturates the palate. Monochromatic it definitely isn't nor is it delicate. Plan on 2 hours for an average bowl during which you'll find every taste above plus a dozen more that don't have words. I can only add a couple I didn't see: maduro and red cameroon. I'd recommend this to smokers of the richest cigars. They may never go back.

Unlike other high nicotine blends, this doesn't numb or bite my tongue. It may not please bystanders. To hell with them: they wouldn't understand.

Definitely not an all-day smoke. One bowl is enough for a long while. My half pound will last me until there is world peace. In case of another eggs-in-one-basket warehouse fire or nuclear holocaust, I may lay in another half pound.

My highest recommendations. In a class by itself.

Update: one of the reasons I like this so much is due to its cigar character. A downside is that it craps up a pipe, especially if you leave ash or especially dottle in it. I now have two pipes dedicated to this as a result. Another aspect: as with cigars, I despise relights. No DGT for me with this. No complaining, just a heads up. Still love it. Ex-cigar smokers: manna here.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

As a Brit, I have long looked at reviews on here and comments on various forums with a degree of envy, this stuff is unobtainable in my neck of the woods and seemingly rare as hens' teeth even in the US. So imagine my delight when a friend across the pond gifted me a sample and aged for 4 years to boot.

The flake is dark and mottled. A little unwieldy, cube cutting seemed the best option and I took it on advisement to let it air and dry for a while before packing.

Light it up and oh my, what an underwhelming disappointment. There is a pleasant sort of fruity/cake smell from the pack, but this does not seem to carry over at all into the smoking. It is impossible not to be influenced by reputation and, although I wasn't quite expecting angels dancing on my tongue, I did at least hope for something distinctive and striking. Instead, it is rather bland to my taste if truth be told and remains consistently rather monochromatic throughout the bowl. There is a kind of burnt tar taste beneath it all, which is not particularly to my liking.

I returned to the prepared batch a little later to try again, by this stage the consistency was almost dry and crunchy. It remained still far too dark and woody for me, I honestly wouldn't realise that Va was a part of this blend if I didn't otherwise know. To cap it all, it left an unpleasantly musty aftertaste which I haven't tasted since the last time I had a Marlboro cigarette many years ago.

All in all a huge disappointment and it left me scratching my head at all the positivity and hyperbole which surrounds this blend. Truly, when it comes to tobacco, everybody's taste clearly varies.

Sadly, not recommended.

Pipe Used: Alco

Age When Smoked: 4 years

2 of 5 people found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

It's good - much of the flavor complexity can be missed if the baccy isn't slowly sipped, to pull out the flavors. Has a medium nic hit, which is plenty for me. I really like the way the burley in this balances out the VAs for flavor delivery. Complexity develops the further you go in the bowl. Very pleasant. 3+*.

Pipe Used: Italian Basket 35+ years old.

Age When Smoked: Unknown; gift from BOTL

Purchased From: Unknown; gift from BOTL

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on a one ounce sample. This is an interesting if contradictory blend. The leaf aroma does have dark cocoa overtones, which doesn't come through in the smoke. The flavor is mild, yet deep, dark, and somewhat complex. For me, this cool smoke doesn't taste of either burley or Virginia, just slightly malty tobacco, just barely on the sweetish side. While excellent, it's not so great I would pay a premium price on the secondary market, but on the off chance I ever see it listed other than as ‘out of stock,' I would snap up a bag to cellar without a second thought.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

ERader Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ERader (4)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Just a super tobacco, I found it very relaxing with just the right amount of Nicotine. High quality!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Although I can tell that this tobacco is of high quality, I will not be returning to this style due to the high nicotine. Too strong for this Baggins! I'll stick to my Penzance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Boy am I glad I waited until I rubbed this out and dried before reviewing. First bowl out of package was good, but not great. Dried out a little, the tobacco transforms into one of the best smokes ever. This stuff is strong, sweet, and delicious.

At this point I cannot say there is a finer tobacco that I have tried. The entire experience is without equal; the look of the slices, the leathery texture in hand, luxurious billows of smoke, the complex layering of flavors and aromas. This is the gold standard of what a tobacco should be in my opinion. Flawless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

VAman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
VAman (26)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant

I have discovered this is perfectly siuted to smoking in a large meerschaum. it smokes a bit on the wet side but a quick run with a pipe cleaner fixed that.

it was a beeeautiful smoke and is now an undying member of my rotation. my wife said "mmm that's a lot better smelling then the shit you usually puff." ah, my dainty princess. this is a must try for all who call them selves pipe smokers, love or hate it but please do your self a favor and try stone haven

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant

Update April 2005: This is very good when it works for me, but it is really a chore to keep lit. I have also "maxed out" for now on my need for tonquin. I have lots of this aging, so it will be smoked for years to come. It is special, but not for my weekly diet. ________________________

Not much to add except to confirm that whatever the fermentation method, the "tin" aroma is something alcoholic. Possibly, it is Port and a tiny amount of tonquin.

Once in a while tonquin flavor comes through during a bowlful, just a wisp and not disagreeable. It is nothing close to 1792 Flake (what is?).

It is really hard to categorize this as an aromatic, since natural, rich flavors positively dominate. IF any alcohol (or other concoctions) was used to process this, there is not a smidge of it showing in the smoking experience minus my tonquin reference.

Unique and worth a spot in a flake smoker's rotation, especially if you like Virginia/Burley blends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Update 12/2004 A year later and my store of stonehaven is quite mature. It is purely luxurious. The burley adds just enough body without ever becoming dominant. The comparision to Darkstar is obvious. However I feel this weed has considerably more flavor variation than Dark Star (which none the less, is still quite excellent). With age the smoke of this leaf becomes juicy and sweet. And a small amount DOES go a LONG way. -----

I concur with most of the reviews of this blend. The descriptions of richness and texture attracted me to it from early in my pipe smoking experimentation (about a year ago now) but I held off until I was more experienced. It was worth the wait. And after receiving one of MacQueen's lovely hand made briars as a gift, I decided I would dedicate it with a trial of Stonehaven. Smokey, spicey and "wine" scent in the bag. It is strong but very attractive, matching the black threads of leaf perfectly. The dense cut and earthy consistency matches the flavor and smell; handling this weed is a very pleasurable textural experience. Through out the smoke the sweetness and tanginess of the VA predominates in deep, rich tones. This is the baritone range of this leaf, rivaling Lakatia in richness. The burley adds just a touch of mustiness without becoming overly strong or sour. Towards the end of the bowl I seem to catch a dose of peppery spice. I've smoked it in the MacQueen "Wizard" Churchwarden and dedicated stoved VA free hand briar. Little or no bite or overheating with either pipe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Cellarmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Cellarmaster (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

When I opened this package the heavy sweet aroma almost knocked me out of my chair. Barley wine is what this heavy hitter reminded me of. I cut two flakes into thirds let it dry some and rubed into half inch strands. I then reached for the triple k greatline and packed it loosely. The charing lite really got me excited about what was to come, I found it difficult to keep from jumping right in. Yahoo, time to fire this baby up! Flavor in abundance, fig, spice, annise, leather all woven together with an underlying sweetness. As I smoked this bowl the flavor devloped into a rich full bodied banquet of tobacco love, bringing so many flavors to the table I would look forward to every draw with excitment. I enjoy big fat billowing clouds of smoke and stonehaven was very coopertive in this respect, the bite of this gentle giant is nonexsistent. My love of Dark Star will always be true but Stonehaven has provided me with the most satisfying, elegant, relaxing smoke of my life. Available in eight ounce packaging I suggest buying two. Put some age on this and who knows where it will take you, heaven I figure. Overall one of the best dark flakes I've ever smoked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (161)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

Stonehaven looks very similar to Dark Star in its flake form but I like it much better than DS. It has no bite but it is probably not an all-day smoke for most. Previous reviewers have noted the fine qualities of this great tobacco before me. No need to restate them.

I rate this tobacco 9.8 out of 10

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (76)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

All things considered this has to be one of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked. Plenty of flavor, medium strength, acceptable room note and doesn't bite. It comes a little damp but smokes well even in this state once it's lit. A very forgiving pleasure in a somewhat unforgiving world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

For such a heady, heavy blend, Stonehaven is remarkably easy to smoke and digest. There are a number of full flavored, heavily stoved Virginias on the market, and this just may be the best of the bunch.

The long, thin flakes are jet black, streaked with dark brown, and rubbery enough to patch a driveway or a shoe. Sold only in bulk (damn you, Esoterica!), the smallest amount provides a long, soothing smoke. Once going, it burns quite well, and seems to go on forever.

Stonehaven lacks the tang and bite of Dark Star, and is more interesting than Dark Stoved, two fine blends themselves. It's not an all day smoke- Marlin Flake would be a better choice- but it's perfect for after dinner or late evenings, its rich smoke coating the mouth like an espresso. It's surpisingly complex on the palate for such a heavily stoved blend, and exhibits the bittersweet coffee and cocoa tones of a fine Imperial Stout.

I normally prefer a rich, heavy latakia blend for the evening hours, but this is one of the best desert smokes I've ever come across. Perfect with a glass of Vintage Port.

Addendum, 9/04: My love of this wonder continues unabated. It may be the single finest tobacco extant. Moreover, it's a cheapskate's delight! I purchased a 1/2 lb. a full year ago, and despite smoking the living shit out of it, have half a jar left. The best things in life are always expensive, but not always the most expensive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Stonehaven is a blend that may take more time to understand than most mixtures. It's huge. Gigantic. A titan, even. And that's just the cut of the leaf!

When you pick up a package of Stonehaven, you get slab after slab of dark, luscious, inviting tobacco. I wanted to eat the stuff. It smells of fine wine, premium dark chocolate, and well-fermented cigar-wrapper leaf. And it's an all-natural (no topping, casing, etc.) tobacco. With Stonehaven, a little goes a long way.

I prefer smoking flake tobacs on the dry side, and either fully rubbed out or sliced into a cube cut of varying sizes -- the smallest of which ends up on top of the bowl as kindling. I never apply any pressure when packing this stuff. It's just too meaty to cram into a pipe.

Lighting this weed -- and maintaining a good ember -- is no sweat if you puff it on the dry side. I found that different bowl sizes or shapes can either highlight a particular taste or host a flurry of flavors. I love this stuff in all of my pipes, regardless of the outcome. You get richness and roundness from the get-go, and you end your bowl in a similar fashion. Stonehaven is a consistent performer.

The robust, wine-like bouquet is a perfect complement to the dark cholocate. The taste of cigar-wrapper leaf, which evokes sense memories of the way good cigars smell in the box or a well-kept walk-in humidor, really ties everything together. What you smell in the leaf before you smoke it tends to also be what you taste. Keep in mind again that this blend contains no flavorings -- nor does it make use of any cigar leaf. It's just this amazing on its own. I'm able to savor Stonehaven at any time of the day; however, it can be especially rewarding after a big meal. The stuff is bold, yet so refined. No bite.

Dedicating one pipe to one tobacco isn't my thing, but if it were, I'd have to get a seven-day set for Stonehaven. This is remarkable stuff. Give it a try, but save some for me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I am thinking about throwing everything out I have previously smoked that I have left over. Because...I have found that in which we all seek. THE PERFECT TOBACCO. It is Stonehaven, by Esoterica. I have honestly never smoked a tobacco like this. IT HAS NO BITE. Hard as you may try to get it to bite, it will not. This is the prettiest, most handsome flake I've EVER seen. The flakes are about five inches long and thin. The flakes stay together well which makes me think this tobacco was pressed by more force than one might think, as in a few tons.

Rub it out all the way,pack it on the light side, apply match and the flavour pours slowly at first. Then after about three minutes after you've lit it once more...it comes to another stage of life. Chocolate Burleys with the white sweetness, or laciness of the most wonderful Virginias. It will take a few re-lights, but it's worth it. This is perfection. The highest Quality. My search is over.This is Briarabbitt signing out, maybe forever. Call me dumb if you like but what the hell does "DGT" stand for?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This flake is a dream come true. Visually it looks like a piece of old rubber tread that was left out for years, but the aroma is sweet, tangy, and rich. The flakes are oily to the touch and I recommend that you rub them out thoroughly before packing. Once rubbed-out, it packs easily. Warning, start with half a bowl first, because this blend lasts a very long time. 1/2 a bowl lasted 1hr 15 mins. Initial flavor is sweet and tangy like a glass of fine cognac. As you progress down the bowl the tanginess goes into the backround and you get a rich, rich full bodied flavor of stoved VA with the burley flavor adding a nice background nuttiness. This blend smokes very cool and because of its richness you never find yourself puffing strongly. Toward the bottom of the bowl, the blend intensifies and you are finally done. You are left with dry, fine mottled grey ash. This blend leaves you very satiated and relaxed. I have never encountered a smoke like this before. This is the best flake I have ever smoked and has displaced Marlin Flake as my favorite. The nicotine is there but never kicks you like escudo or any of the Dunhill offerrings, it left me like a wet noodle albeit a very satisfied one. I am not sure there is a casing in it, the aroma may just be the fermentation process. Regardless, try this stuff, you may be pleasantly surprised. Rating: 5 out of 5 points, a true tulip blend, Enjoy....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (135)
★★★☆
Strong Mild Full Strong

The black beauty of pipe tobacco. Burley, stoved virginia, pressing, and some essence perhaps. It smells wine like in the pack, and leaves a very "thick" room aroma.

Dark, delightful, cool, a sweet charcoal taste, good body, no bite, and almost meal-like.

Smoother than Dark Star and Dark Stoved, far less potent that Gawith 's 1792, and the burley content makes it less perilous than other dark flakes (Marlin Flake, etc.). So if you want to take a bold move to dark virginia flakes, here's a place to aim for.

Not the easiest to pack and keep lite, still it can be tamed most of the time. The burley content may be a bit much for those sensitive to it.

Woof!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

BriarNorth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarNorth (49)
★★★★
Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to say here...just another GORGEOUS tobacco from Esoterica! The presentation is beautiful, long, smooth, densely pressed jet black flakes whose smell reminded me of a pouch chaw (of all things) like Levi-Garrett or Red Man...but don't let that put you off, because the flavour is nothing like chew! The weed needed a serious rub, but I like rubbing flakes big time. I'm sure those who prefer the roll method will find this stuff to be fairly co-operative. The taste leaps right out at the match, very rich and spicy and chocolatey and the flavour development characteristic of dark matured virginias is here too, and then some. As you move down the bowl, a deep fruitiness underlies the flavour of juniper berries and pine tar accompanied by a heady, boozy nose--an unusual taste that knocked my socks off, but may not appeal to everyone. The burley is no where in evidence, and some sort of mysterious topping may have been applied...? In any case, the tobacco stayed lit very well and burned to a fine ash. My only complaint is that I really only like to cellar weed in factory sealed tins, but this one only comes in bulk. OTOH, this isn't bad news either, because it will be in the rotation for some time! Beautiful complex flavour and nicotine aplenty, this is a winner in my book for sure!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

Pros: doesn't bite, has a nice dark & leathery flavor.

Cons: very strong, wears out your taste buds after 10 minutes.

This would be a great tobacco for a lover of strong, dark Virginia blends who wants more flavor than a rope can provide. Too much for me, though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Aesman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aesman (3)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I agree with previous reviews I think this blend is a little over hyped ,I used to smoke this daily tell I found suitable others , I hadn't smoked this in years I stumbled across a jar I had put away 6 Yrs ago and figured I would give it a shot even after 6yrs the flake was still pretty moist and required some air drying time after drying, 2 chars and it stayed lit one of thing I like about this blend is it produces a fair amount of smoke but right away I noticed some bitter under tones that stayed tell about mid bowl , the burley came thru in a harsh bitter fashion which I liked but this blend will bite even after 6yrs age if you get aggressive I would say this is a decent english burley but there far better burleys for less on the market Solini aged burley has this beat hands down in al departments in my opinion as far as nicotine it was a little on the light side for me but satisfactory the availability seems to be thin on this blend but my guess is after people try it from the hype 1 time and don't reorder there will be plenty not putting it down I kinda liked it in a ruff way.

Pipe Used: London Guard Tall

Age When Smoked: 6 yrs

Purchased From: smokigpipes.com

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (466)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Okay, so it can be a pain to prepare and smoke as some flakes tend to, but it's worth it. It needs to dry a bit, but dry or moist, you'll get a long lasting smoke as it burns cool, smooth and slow. Fold and stuff, cube cut, rubbed out... no matter how you prepare it, Stonehaven delivers a consistent taste with dark chocolate, deep fruit, and tasty Virginia/burley notes. An experienced smoker will be more sensitive to what complexity is here. The nic hit is medium at best. It completely deserves its reputation and is worth the effort to find it when you can. Yeah, that can be a pain, too. But, no pain, no gain when it comes to smoking Stonehaven. It's one of the real treasures in pipe smoking.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

cigrmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigrmaster (3)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

This is a very unique world class blend that is deserving of every 4 star review. The flavors are a sweet and dried fruit like with a smokey back bone. The flakes are thin and long and perfect for cube cutting. It needs to be dried usually for at least an hour before smoking to get the humidity out. If smoked too wet, the flavors do not shine. Age does this blend wonders with 3 years being the minimum for me. If you are a flake lover, this is a must for your cellar. It is worth the chase.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (101)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Thanks to a pipe smoking friend, I have had some six year-old Stovehaven calling to me from my desk. This is one of those things where if you waited for the occasion that was worthy, you would soon have some seven year-old Stonehaven. I decided not to wait for a special event. Maybe I decided to create one.

It is hard for me to describe because I am not the poet. There is a depth to it, and it is smooth and full of VaBur flavor. There is a smoky thing going on in the flavor profile and I found it slightly sweet and a little heavy. It smoked very cool for me, and it was a longer smoke than I expected. Those flakes are dense. I have a theory that when there is not enough taste in a tobacco, I puff it too fast trying to extract some. Stonehaven does not have the "not enough taste" problem, and I am finding this to be a tobacco that suits me every well. I have about an ounce total, and I will enjoy it.

I know I am not adding much to the body of knowledge about this legendary tobacco, but I do want to cast my vote with four star folks. FWIW, I rubbed mine out.

Pipe Used: National billiard

Age When Smoked: six years

Purchased From: gift from friend

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

I second, rather heartily, the very spot on review of Vytis. It is high quality leaf, about that there cannot be any doubt, but the magic is just not there. I bought a pound of this and smoked probably 5 ounces, in pipes of many styles, shapes and material (briar, meer,cob and cherrywood) before coming to the conclusion that the blend just was not worth the hype. It was rather like smoking hot air regardless of how I went at it. Even when sipped slowly, it failed to release any flavor. Luckily, I purchased it at retail thus saving the aforementioned second mortgage. I ended up trading the rest for an equal amount of Samuel Gawith's "1792 Flake"-- Wise decision. If you are gifted some or find it at retail, do give it a try but do not expect pipe smoking Nirvana. The two best in the Esoterica line are Dunbar and Margate. I would look there first.

As a side note, while my sample did not have the age on it that the previous reviewer's had, I did hang on to this for about two years and kept it sealed in two bell jars. I would visit it from time to time, hoping that age would be kind to it. Alas, it was not to be....

(Up next... Penzance and that's not looking too good either!)

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.

430pat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
430pat (39)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I enjoyed the smoke just not my cup of tea prefer S G tobaccos.If it were readily available I might some to keep around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vytis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vytis (2)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

After many years of on and off pipe smoking I finally have the financial means to enter into the world of luxury tobaccos properly. I believe there are probably others such as myself who also are coming back into pipe smoking after a hiatus or perhaps are just starting out and this review, my first, is with them and those like myself in mind.

Upon returning to the pipe smoking world I immediately happened upon this site and in browsing this and other sites the Esoterica name is continually mentioned as an exquisite and hard to find tobacco commanding a steep premium price...if you are lucky enough to even find some to purchase.

I was recently and most graciously gifted quite a few flakes of Stonehaven 1997 which had been very well preserved and offered to me by fellow reviewer Pipestud in the course of our discussions about tobaccos. The following is based off those gifted flakes which after 15 years of proper cellaring should represent the pinnacle of what this flake has to offer.

I have now smoked three of those flakes which equate to about a bowl per flake and nearly an hour and a half tasting this well made and finely pressed tobacco. I used three different pipes to ensure the best possible result finding that Stonehaven is best fully rubbed out with a medium size chambered pipe. I myself had the best results using a Dunhill 4108 bulldog ensuring a slow and steady burn requiring only minimal tamping and no relights. This tobacco does burn very well when rubbed out properly.

The fantastic burning characteristics aside I find this tobacco to be a psychological one definitely worthy of the name Esoterica since the near mythic status it enjoys seems more a function of its unavailability rather than its substance.

The "tin" note does have the qualities suggested by others of chocolate, fruit and figs but I find all of these notes can be described by what I believe to be the (light) topping of molasses or perhaps brown cane sugar which can give hints of all the flavors listed above depending on the individuals own personal tastes and associations.

The tang of the Virginia and the subtleness of the Burley is there, the flake is very well pressed and obviously this is a good quality tobacco. However, it is not the stuff of legends nor is it worth the exorbitant prices which is a function of supply and demand more than of quality and taste.

Stonehaven is a 3 star tobacco, very good but not life altering. It has a mild taste and is a very smooth flake but its price and unavailability detract from an otherwise solid performance which is why I find it overall to be worthy of 2 stars. Should Stonehaven ever be supplied adequately and the price return to reason then I would most definitely add a star and could recommend this tobacco, but until then the hype is too great for all but those who have the finances or time to hunt for this most elusive weed.

Perhaps some will say that you cannot judge a tobacco based on such criteria but for those who are limited in finances Stonehaven is not worth ignoring other blends which are just as good but less revered. If you ever find some at a retail price or offered the great privilege of being gifted some to try I highly recommend doing so provided you don't mortgage the house to buy a bag. Stonehaven is most definitely a good, high quality tobacco, but its legend is driven by the psychology of the unattainable rather than the substance of the reality we taste when lighting up.

Update: While speculating that the topping was molasses I have since been informed that the topping is In fact Treacle which is an uncrystallized syrup similar to molasses (but not as dark) which confirms for me at least the base of the flavors so many have remarked upon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

albfneto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
albfneto (152)
★★★☆
Strong Strong Full Strong

Well, seems to be made with good quality tobacco, but the blend taste is pure smoke... Yes, in it, all is strong... Strong ammonia content, strong nicotine, strong bitter taste, room note also strong... Difficult to pack, difficult to light, difficult to burn,the pipe fades easily, but interesting flavour and taste,remember the ancient England tobaccos, the antique Dunhills etc... Clearly is a good quality stuff: 3 stars, but is not for novice or all day smoking, each day. Their taste is all strong that easy saturates all the perceptions, becoming boring to the smoker. 3 stars for their quality, but only if you enjoy strong tobaccos,

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wekers Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wekers (14)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant

After see a greats reviews about, i try get. Very difficult to find it. well i can say that i am not enjoy, is not my favorite style tobacco. Denote a large virginia blend, bite a tongue on begin of smoke, after a some minutes not feel more on your tongue. A one observation that is a very very dry on taste. Maybe a good virginia, you may not realize, but a bit strong, give 3* stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arko (8)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Dry in the same way a good whisky can be and dark like a piece of 70% chocolate. Without doubt a fine smoke that I've been enjoying a lot lately, but not something that can make me forget about my beloved straight Virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GSTQ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GSTQ (31)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Appearance is a dark brown ragged flake. Smells of chocolate and fruits, in the main dried cherry. Tastes lightly sweet and dry.

Revisiting Stonehaven as I had smoked it years ago and did not see much reason to order more at that time. With the recent reviews praising it highly, I decided to give it another go. It's not terribly strong in strength nor in flavour. I would not rate it less than three stars, but it's just not very exciting, and therefore as in the past, Stonehaven will not make my rotation. There's just very little "there there".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

derlict311 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
derlict311 (65)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an good blend. It's been alluding me for years now - just never have been able to find it. Burleys front and center but there is much more to be discovered. A "rich" blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Had several bowls of this the past week or two, and it's really growing on me. As others have said, there is a chocolatey aroma from the leaf, but for me it was more like chocolate covered cherries. Though I actually hate chocolate covered cherries, THIS actually smells wonderful. Some of that aroma carries over into the flavor, but don't be scared off by reading "cherries" -- it's not cherry-like in the smoke at all.

The flakes themselves are, so far, the thinnest sliced flakes I've seen, and they hold together quite well. I haven't smoked them in flake form yet.

Good, sweet blend, not as rich as FVF to me, but I actually find this a great blend for a morning VA. As for the nicotine content, not sure why everyone rates this on the high side. After a full bowl I feel almost nothing, whereas something like JackKnife Plug I can only smoke half a bowl and even that almost destroys me. This stuff seems to have the least nicotine to me than all the VAs I've had.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I've been smoking a fair amount of this recently having got hold of two bags and jarring them. It's a very dark flake that smells like dark chocolate in the jar, with little or no sweetness apparent. This pretty much transfers over to the smoke, with packing requiring breaking up the quite irregularly cut flakes, and to my tastes, it needs to be a bit dry, otherwise taste drops off. It's quite hard to keep this rich, dark smoke alight for me, regardless of pipe, but well broken up and dried out a bit helps. It's complex certainly, and not the sort of tobacco I could smoke all day. I usually smoke this in the evening to finish off the day, and if you get it right it is very good - chocolate, very slightly bitter-sweet, room note is excellent according to the missus. Stonehaven's cousin, Tilbury, is much more of a daily goto smoke for me; sweeter, easier to handle and just as satisfying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The flake cousin to Tilbury. Tastes a a bit more cased than its counterpart. A bit strong but worth seeking out. Best after a very large meal with an alcoholic beverage - this is only an occasional smoke for me. Make sure it is dried out before smoking for best results.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davie Jones Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davie Jones (61)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

After years of trying to get my hands on Stonehaven, I managed to try it, thanks to a friend that generously supplied me with 50 gr.

It seems like there is a topping that is similar to anisette or licorice. It does transfer slightly in the smoke, but nothing major.

As the flake had minimum moisture, it rubs, packs and smokes very well. The taste is deeply earthly with a tiny spicy note and the dose of Vitamin N is excellent. This is not a tobacco for inexperienced smokers or for those whom a good boost of nicotine makes them sweaty and dizzy.

Curiously, Irish Flake comes to mind for comparison even though they have their respective distinctiveness.

I have absolutely enjoyed this batch. I have started to monitor the websites on a daily basis in the hope to get my hands on a couple of 8 oz bags.

A must for the experienced smoker that is seeking total satisfaction.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I've been dipping into a jar of Stonehaven for about a year now, and have concluded that this is a true GEM of a tobacco. I've tried preparing it several different ways. My best results have been rubbing a flake out, letting it dry for a couple of hours or more on a sheet of paper, and then loading it inverted using the 'air gap' method. Smoked gently it is soft and slightly sweet with some nice complexity - it reminds me of nibbling on graham crackers with a slightly sweet, nutty, rich molasses flavor that is a delight from the top to the to bottom of the bowl. I have not experienced tongue-bite from this blend when I have allowed it to dry adequately. If I find myself lighting it over and over again I know it was too wet.

This blend definitely belongs up at the top of the list, and as my German-speaking friends would say, it is "Ausgezeichnet!"

UPDATE 9/25/2011: Pairing recommendation. 50/50 orange brandy (Grand Marnier or similar) and good brandy over a couple of ice cubes and swirled around. This nicely compliments the sweet flavors of the VA, brings out the citrus, and cools the palate on a warm summer day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeliner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeliner (12)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I rubbt the tobacco, causing the burning and the lighting offered no difficulties.

Immediately after lighting dominates the sweet-spicy flavor that addresses the significant Burleynote a palatable name, however, dominates the tobacco flavor. This dominance is lost after the first third of the pipe and the Burley now enters significantly in the foreground. The taste can now be best with malty-sweet and describe woody, light and sweet and in every case.

From half of the Stonehaven Pipe improved markedly in strength, but without being uncomfortable. I have the taste to be very complex, scary and exciting always regarded as a filling. The burning is, as already mentioned, very well and without noticeable condensation.

For me, the Stonehaven has got hold immediately a place in my hit list. A great Burley Flake with skillful English flavor to the tobacco taste is suppressed but not excellent addition. The Stone Haven is not a tobacco for me to early morning hours, but he simply lacks the sparkle, but a great tobacco taste when addressing to the dark side. I smoked him as always without a filter and can, therefore, to recommend only pretending.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyMcPiperson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyMcPiperson (89)
★★☆☆
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend took me some time, we still have a love hate relationship. Upon opening a jar of this blend one is always greeted by the beckoning smell of chocolate, it is almost seductive. When I first tried this blend that was where the pleasures ended for me, when I would smoke it, it just never tasted right. I now believe this was due to the fact that my first sample had been heavily dried out and I had to bring it back to life over a time. I think I lost some flavor in the process, however even when I first got a new sample, I tried it in various pipes to no avail, I just couldn't stand the stuff, I couldn't even finish a bowl. Then I finally bought my first meerschaum, I decided to give Stonehaven a go before I put any other tobacco into it. Lo and behold, it was infinitely better in the meer. Since then that is the only pipe I smoke it in. My latest impressions are that this flake matches up nicely with it's tin note, it had a nice dark VA sweetness to it almost like FVF, but then when you are done smoking your mouth is left with a chocolaty aftertaste, subtle but marvelous tasting. It is quite the interesting blend even though we got off to a rocky start. I hope to continue developing my taste for this blend in the future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sounds7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sounds7 (16)
★★★★
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I've been smoking Stonehaven off and on for about 4 years now and have landed a grand total of 4 8oz bags over that time frame. I am smoking from the original purchase made 4 years ago. As good as Stoney is straight from the bag the real nuances and spectrum of flavors become more full and varied with time. One of the best smelling bags of tobacco out there with the odor of Chocolate mixed with Cherry and some kind of alcohol maybe a fine red wine of some sort.

The flakes are long, dark and dense like the appearance of beef jerky. It is a very easy flake to rub out as well and thats the manner in which i choose to smoke it although it smokes just as well folded in. I find it smokes best for me in a relatively small-bowled pipe, say a group 3 or large group 2. My pipe of choice is a small African meer with an amber stem but I have smoked it well in a cob and a briar to good affects. Let this tobacco dry out a bit before you load up if you want the best results. Its not a strong tasting flake and IMO this one is more Burley than Virginia in its smoking attributes. It makes a nice mellow change of pace tobacco when I crave something lighter that a virginia flake. To me it is to Flake tobacco what Balkan is to English. More subtle and less in your face with more subtle flavors for the pallet to enjoy.It does increase in richness and flavor and nic as the bowl progresses and can satisfy in all those departments but it never gets bloated.

I like to sip it nice and slow and watch the rich white smoke curl about into the night although the few times I have smoked it at a quicker pace I have noticed no tongue bite. The burn is very good with a bit of age and dryness to the flake. The after taste is very soft on the pallet and even compliments an after smoke beverage of your choice. Many topped tobaccos leave you wanting to get the taste out of your mouth (Ennerdale for me) but not so here. I could go to bed and have sweet sweet dreams with the remnants of Stonehaven on my tongue.

IMO one of the best "over hyped" tobaccos on the planet. The hype on this one is deserved and so is the rarity of the the product. Stoney how I love thee, like wine to a wino, crack to the addict, this stuff is enticing me back again and again under its spell.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (53)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Sampled from a three year old Mylar bag. The large flakes are neatly arranged in a clear plastic tray inside the bag. It is very dark & thinly sliced...needs drying out for sure. They were very moist from this eight ounce pouch. An interesting flavor this one has...Chocolate Mint! Smells just like those chocolate covered mint patties that had a Polar Bear figure on the wrapping.

It's a tangy, zesty, sweet smoke with a mild topping that enhances the flavor and allows it to deliver a cool, sweet, chocolate mint flavor that doesn't detract so much from the tobacco taste. Whatever, the smoke tasted good & I felt a cool, tingly sensation on my palate that felt...soothing. It left a pleasent aftertaste in my mouth.

For me, the taste is indescribeably delicious. I like to fully rub out the flakes to remove the little sticks. It burns relatively slow & delivers soft, mild smoke, is totally biteless & forgiving. Good flavor, for me anyway & this should satisfy any demanding pipe smoker. Varying flavors & nuances derived therein will perk up your palate

Seems to take on a little sweeter note as the bowl progresses and Brother Burley's flavor becomes more dominant near the end. Can't see why anyone wouldn't like this. The nicotine content is fairly substantial...you'll be doing fine long before the bowl is finished.

I was fortunate enough to obtain a few bags just before it became unavailable on the open market. An excellent VA/Bur, this one. Therefore, IMHO & because I liked it so much, Stonehaven merits four stars! Sampled in a Dunhill & a Stanwell, both size 2 smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Merven the Great Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Merven the Great (18)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I agree with poppy, very tidy smoke indeed! I think the mix is as close to perfection as you would hope to get. I have, on occasion, grabbed another pipe and loaded and on my way again. Something this nice cannot be good for you, but it'll put you in sated state.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Poppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poppy (23)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant

My favorite VA tobacco, I don't think to find better... Highly recommended 5 stars if it's possible !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Red Rapparee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Red Rapparee (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

Hey all. Red here. Here's my two cents on this well reviewed and hard to find tobacco.

THE BACKSTORY:

Last week I finally caught up to an eight ounce bag of Stonehaven. I must say I was hesitant to pull the trigger based on the supposed topping. I am not a fan of cased burleys as they tend to go bitter on me just when they begin to get interesting. Kind of like those movies that end in mid-story, jerking you into their world with a good tale and then just as you're paying close attention, WHAM!, they roll credits. Aggravating. Anyway, needless to say I came home with Stonehaven in my bag of goodies from my local tobacconist. Exciting.

THE TOBACCO:

The weed is presented in beautiful fashion. Long dark flakes splayed across the tray like a deck of muddy playing cards. They smell dark and earthy. Like the smell of wet peat upon which was poured a pound of sugar, a cup and a third of maple syrup, and two tablespoons of molasses for some unknown heathen ceremony. Intriguing.

THE SMOKE:

I found rubbing out and allowing this weed to dry for an hour produced the best results. Fresh from the bag it's like trying to light an Irish bog. Ample smoke. Dark earthy undertones of an unusually high decibel, without being overpowering. Smooth. Sweet with a hint of blackstrap molasses and nuts. Medium/high Nicotine. The sharp Virginias are there but the action is with the burley and the topping. As a rule I dislike all but the most lightly applied essence on my tobacco. This is an exception. Very unique and extremely delicious. Leaves some dottle. This tobacco was excellent in my Peterson B10, loving the thick walls and ample chamber, however, this pipe is now as haunted as the Tower of London. Oh well, at least I know what pipe I'll be regularly smoking Esoterica's Stonehaven in.

THE AFTERMATH:

Post ten bowls of Stonehaven I have now settled the 'What am I going to smoke in my new Pete' question. I have a new 'now and again' smoke for when I am in the mood for something other that my regular Virginia flakes and VA/Pers. I also now possess an aftertaste not even original Listerine can knock the paint off of. All in all, I'd say I came out on top. Bravo Germain. Well blended.

Highly Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sonick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonick (2)
★★★★
Strong Mild Medium Pleasant

I was gifted a large bag of Stonehaven by a cigar smoker about 4 years ago, and I cellared it because health problems sidelined my ability to enjoy a pipe for some time.

I just removed the large ball jar from the cellar today and WOW, what a gorgeous presentation in these strips! There is definitely a casing involving a sugar of some sort, because sucrose has crystallized in small veins in the strips. It's not enough to be cloying, but it is present. The aesthetics in the strip form are beautiful, and after a moment of airing out, the jar note was heavenly.

I know my palate has basically reverted to newbie after 4 years, but this was some of the best smoke I have ever had. I regret that I didn't try this before cellaring it, as I cannot make any age comparisons. I do know that 4-5 year old Stonehaven is GREAT! It burned a bit hot, even after drying it a bit in the arid ARizona desert to a perfect cubed crumbled. Sipped a bowl over the glow of the ham radio, and was greatly rewarded. Definitely meant to be smoked vvvvvvverrrrrrry slowwwwly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

(Gregorian Chants here) I bought a slab of this tobacco about 7 years ago. I am now smoking it. I rub this completely out until it is fine. It is Deep,dark burley, with a spooky, haunting old Virginia leaf lacing through bringing a sweetness to the campfire mystique. I've never smoked a better tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (500)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow! After over 100 four star reviews, there's not much to add, but here goes. This has a great tin aroma, to me its a combo of figs, raisins and wine. It seems very moist and so I let it dry for a couple of hours. I think that this was a mistake and I now prefer to let is sit for just a few minutes and then rub it out. Stonehaven doesn't bite, but I still like to sip it slowly as I find a bowl lasts a long time and it really brings out all the taste. It doesn't suffer a case of the "bitters" that other burley's sometimes have. My only gripe is the inability of Esoterica to keep stores in stock as demand always out paces supply. Very highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

apvonkanel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
apvonkanel (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Being a dual smoker (pipe and cigar), I generally prefer fuller bodied and fuller flavored tobaccos. I was presented with a strip of this at my tobacconist's, and after smoking it quickly bought the remaining 4 oz.'s It resembles beef jerky, but (thankfully) feels nothing like it. It rubs out easily compared to other flakes, and required no moisture treatment one way or the other. It smokes rich and deep, with a fair amount of fruit and caramel when retro-haling. Burns wonderfully when fully rubbed out. I haven't braved folding it up and smoking as-is, because I enjoy it so much I would hate to be disappointed by a single bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Boomer-Z Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Boomer-Z (22)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought some of this to try because of all the positive reviews. Combine that with it seems to be difficult to find I thought it was worth a shot. I am half way through my 2oz sample and I have to say it is a a classic. I can see why so many enjoy it and why the reviews are so glowing.

Packs well, lights well, and burns even. The taste seems mild but I get a wonderful flavor with each puff that I find hard to describe....earthy, slightly sweet,....hard to say, but it is good.

If you can find it give it a try!

Enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gnarlly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gnarlly (6)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I just ordered and received a pouch of this tobacco after reading much about it. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised upon opening the bag. Thin strips of tobacco, much like thin strips of beef jerky, with a strong scent of Champagne.

The contents of my pouch were very moist, and I probably should have let a strip dry for awhile before packing, but I was impatient and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. So, I crumbled one strip, packed my favorite bowl, and not surprisingly, had a hard time getting it lit due to the moisture. Next time I will definitely allow it to dry some before packing.

Once lit however, I enjoyed the taste very much. A very pleasing, sweet aftertaste in the first half of the bowl, and a nice nutty, almost cigar-like taste in the second half. You can definitely taste the Champagne taste, especially so in the first half. I typically prefer pure Virginias (Full Virginia Flake is my current favorite), but this is definitely a nice alternative for when I am in the mood. A very nice blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (183)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

After almost a year of searching for Stonehaven as I am sure many of you have found it is always listed as "Out of Stock" at online tobacconists, I managed to find and purchase four ounces of a very elegant looking flake tobacco.

The flakes were not wet or sticky at all, but very, very supple and springy - the consistency of a Twizzler. They were also the thinnest cut flake tobacco I have ever experienced, each flake measuring 5 inches in length and a good 3/4 inch in width. They were not black as some others have described, but a beautiful, deep brown with some golden flecks (I'm assuming the Virginia) peppered within. The pouch aroma was very sweet smelling and agreeable - unlike anything else I have ever encountered in a blend. I can concur with the reviewer who likened it to a champagne. After inserting a folded flake into a 30 year old plus free-hand, Danish-styled Ben Wade chimney, I sucked on the stem. The taste I experienced was that of the peanut-shaped candies that are of the hard marshmallow variety - deliciously sweet. Considering how fresh the flakes were, they were not wet or damp to the touch (this, however, varies from batch to batch, some batches very damp to the touch). It took a bit to get it lit, however, and needed a frequency of re-lights along the way. Dark gray ash was present at its finish along with some crunchy residue - not goopy dottle, just tobacco that was hard to re-light. The tobacco taste starts off deliciously sweet, quickly yielding to the stoutness of the Burley. The Virginia was present, but definitely took a back seat to the Burley. If smoked fresh, it has the tendency to smoke hot and nibble at the tongue a bit. In too large a bowl pipe, it tends to lose its flavor. The nicotine effect was very evident and can creep up on you if you start puffing too fast, giving me a full feeling in the throat. The room note produced is very nice and sweet smelling. It is certainly "Burley forward" and its strength develops by mid-bowl and continues throughout. I have found its overall Burley taste and initial sweetness similar to Solani's Aged Burley Flake, but not as stout as ABF. It is also similar to Erinmore Flake with regard to its depth of flavor due to stoving. Stonehaven does have one of the best room notes I have ever enjoyed in a blend, pleasantly "pipey." A great DGT when re-entering a room where it is being smoked. However, the flavoring and sweetness is milder than I would prefer, resulting in puffing faster to get more flavor. This has a negative effect in negating any flavor whatsoever, but does not produce any bite. This one needs to be puffed slowly to retain its flavor profile and I can't smoke it in too large a bowl as it tends to lose its flavor. Therefore, smaller, narrow gauged bowls seem to work best. For me, it goes best in a 20 year old medium gage Barling. Really dry it out for the best smoking experience.

Overall, I did enjoy Stonehaven. While perhaps not the holy grail of Burley/Virginia flakes, it is a very well put together flake and I particularly enjoy the thinness of its cut, lending itself easily to a variety of packing methods (fold and stuff, rubbing out, or stripping). It has been very difficult to come by, not to mention pricey, and I am afraid this will remain so. I read on an online forum that the machinery used in the production of Stonehaven broke down a while ago, and as of the time reported (Fall '09), has remained in a state of non-repair. Not a 4 star for me and therefore not worth the high prices you see on ebay for the offering. Good for when the mood strikes, but not daily.

UPDATE 7-17-10: I recently read a post on an online forum where the poster contacted JF Germain and asked what, if any, flavoring was used on Stonehaven. The answer he received was treacle.

Here is what I found out about treacle: Treacle is the generic name for any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane and is defined as "uncrystallized syrup produced in refining sugar". Treacle is used chiefly in cooking as a form of sweetener or condiment.

The most common forms of treacle are the pale syrup that is also known as golden syrup and the darker syrup that is usually referred to as dark treacle or black treacle. Dark treacle has a distinctively strong flavor, slightly bitter, and a richer color than golden syrup, yet not as dark as molasses.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Yup, it's excellent stuff! I have dedicated a pipe to Stonehaven because of its unique flavor and what seems to be a light topping. I normally don't smoke aromatics, but this one doesn't have enough to matter. Perhaps its just the processing that gives it that sweetness and flavor...whatever it is, I like it a lot and I always keep some around.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I think there could well be a liquor topping here. I soaked Gawith FVF in Courvoisier and it turned the same color! Well, Stonehaven is the best tar-black hootch-soaked beef jerky I've ever smoked. Still have a bit left, and it just keeps improving. What others say is true-lots of smoke, forgives being smoked fast, no bite, etc. I like it blended with a Virginia flake as well.

1-22-10 More than a year on (I first reviewed this blend months after I bought it), and jar aging has done its work. Wonder how it would taste in five years? What a great burner: can be smoked fast or slow, or alternating fast and slow, with nary a bite or relight. Superb mellow taste.

12-19-11 Smoked some again recently, and very nice after yet more aging! I could see getting an 8 oz bag if I saw one. There's some been popping up recently from time to time, but of course more pricey than when I got mine!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A must have in stock always. If you haven't smoked it yet you don't know how a virginia-burley blend can be perfect.

For me there is no best tobacco. The best tobacco is the unsmoked one always. This was my motto till I met Stonehaven. Yes, it is the best tobacco I've ever smoked.

Dry it well. Rub (or not) how you wish. Puff it carefuly. It worths respect and attention. Flavors are hard to describe. But you'll find the sweetness and real tobacco taste here with a well balanced strength.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (66)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I purchased this tobacco last November 08 where upon I put it in a mason jar. I wasn't impressed when I first tried a bowl , especially given the reviews below. Now with nine months aging I find that either my taste buds have changed, or the tobacco has improved, and I would bet on the latter.

There are a lot of reviews that describe this tobacco well. It is an extremely fine VA/Burley flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Budman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Budman (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Not much to add,just read the reviews! Someone really did there homework on this! This is one great blend! Bravo!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

elelion Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
elelion (25)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It's amazing the Champagne-like take of this blend. I first smoked it with a new pipe and then I do not want this pipe to be served for other blends, for not letting other smell ruin the hint of the fine champagne. I do not smoke to fast however I never get more than 30 minutes to finish my bowl. It burns too fast -- not too much hot air but I just couldn't controll it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hillbillypalate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hillbillypalate (20)
★★★★
Medium Mild Full Pleasant

At first I was hesitant of smoking this due to my Bow Legged Bear incident. I like the way this tobacco looks sort of that jet black color. I loaded this into my pipe somewhat still moist so this review is somewhat not thorough. I am pleasantly suprise that the nicotine scale is tolerable. I think this has less of a punch compared to Tilbury due to its stoving. This blend definitely is not for fast puffers you must take your time to get its full flavor(not because of bite but Nicotine head rush). The burley and virginia goes very well together half way through your bowl it starts to get intense with nicotine but it mellows out. Only draw back is the tobacco is what I call smokes dirty and it has somewhat of a dirty socks smell and taste at first light. the Pipes really needs at least 10 pipe cleaners to get all the tobacco junk. Take all in consideration this tobacco smokes very robust/ full flavor with absolutely no bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (226)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I love the way this tobacco looks. Long very thin slices of very dark brown almost black tobacco. Looks like it would be a very strong, spicy smoke but in reality is is fairly tame. It has a sweet, musty aroma and just look delicious. I set mine out on a tray to dry overnight and loaded it into a Pete System to give it a go. It rubbed out to a nice thin ribbon flake, I left some pressed to allow a long smoke and lit it up. It took several lights to get it going, but once fired up, it stayed lit and burn nice and even all the way down. It was a lot milder than I thought it would be. It has a musty haylike VA flavor and a musky room note that I found pleasant. It does gather flavoe as it burns down but never bites nor does it coat my tongue. It left a dark grey dottle and no moisture in the bottom of my pipe. I don't give this a four star as I like my smoke to be a little richer and stronger, but I do have to say this would be a good into to this type of blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

langston302 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
langston302 (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

So I finally got a chance to smoke this stuff, and I must say that it was extremely pleasing to smoke.

From my limited understanding of flake tobacco and how to smoke it, Stonehaven was an experiment on multiple levels. I decided to use the rubbed method for my first bowl. I enjoyed the rubbing and the aroma coming from the tobacco was exquisite. The smell reminded me of fresh cut wet sweet hay with a sugary topping. I was going to enjoy this. I packed the tobacco in my Peterson Rocky Donegal Billiard and proceeded to char it and prep for smoking. The first real pull of smoke was sweet and smooth with a hint of spicyness and NO BITE. I did have some difficulty keeping the bowl lit and smoking properly, this was more me and my inexperience with flake tobacco than the tobacco itself. The flavor was consistent and full the entire time. This was a great way to explore the flake tobacco and VA's. I would recommend this tobacco with gusto.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Henry Mars Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Henry Mars (18)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I took some of this weed on a cruise a few weeks ago. I never smoked it before ... very stupid of me. This is the best Burley - Va. flake I have ever tried. This stuff must be dried out a lot. I left several slices out for a few days before lighting. After lighting settle in because you are going to have a long pleasant ride. It starts out kind of dark not too sweet like a nice nutty burley then every once in a while the sweet Va. peeks in for a visit. You don't have to think too much about it but puff slowly because it is the real deal. I have a few tins of Edgeworth Sliced put up for safe keeping. It kind of looks like they are going to be safe for a very long time, because Stonehaven blows it right away. This is the kind of smoke that makes me want Balkan Mixtures less and less.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (531)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As Korndog said, this HAS to be dried out to be appreciated for the near-perfect smoke it is. I sampled it fresh out of the bag and it was a bit hot as it got down the bowl. Dried to the point where it breaks off easily (not quite crumbly) is about perfect for me. If you're going to give this blend the time it deserves, I recommend you dry it thoroughly. Experiment with different degrees of moisture until you find the right one for you.

This blend has depth and complexity, the nuance of flavors coming through at different times. Sometimes the burley takes center stage and sometimes the stoved virginia rears its head. Throughout most of the smoke, this blend is a true "blend", with all the tobaccos melding harmoniously into what just may be my favorite mixture. I have about 20 "favorites" and I think this one may be the best of that group. I cannot recommend this blend highly enough. If you like natural tobacco taste with just a slight sweetness that can either be complex enough to sit and contemplate or easygoing enough to sit and forget, you have to try this one. If you don't like it, don't throw it out! I'll be happy to take it off your hands. :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Desperado Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Desperado (5)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Full Pleasant

If "God" is a pipe smoker, he would surely smoke Stonehaven. As you smoke this fantastic blend, you always discover something new. I have just received 16oz and I will surely be happy for the next two months. Being an aromatic fan for several years, Stonehaven has opened for me new dimensions and horizons to pipe smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NSPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NSPiper (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I can't think of much to add that hasn't been already said about this superb blend. Except that I detest aromatics, period, and am not fond of burley. So, how come I love this tobacco? No idea, but I do.

It comes wet in the plastic container wrapped in foil and stays that way if you don't open it. Doesn't dry quickly after opening either. So it needs a good 2 hours airing before loading your pipe.

I normally cut the flakes into thin strips, lengthwise and then cut them into cubes of 2 - 3 mm then load the pipe by way of gravity filling, only tapping the side to settle the baccy and no tamping whatsoever. It is a lot of preparation but worth every second of it. What a lovely, gentle, fulfilling smoke. Mine is from 2007. This should be even better (if that is possible at all) after 5 years.

An all time classic. 6 out of 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chgo.piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chgo.piper (36)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I smoke this out of a savinelli bing's favorite (smaller bowl and slightly longer stem than other billiards). Stonehaven smokes extremely cool and smooth. winey/virginia taste until mid-bowl and then takes on more earthy and grassy notes due to the very high quality burley. No bite at all, however, I would prefer it with a little less rum-like sensation on the palate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Country Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Country Piper (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant

I have been smoking Stonehaven for some time now. I smoke it in a Wilkes billiard and I really like this tobacco. It requires some drying time before lighting up but it is worth it. Somewhat hard to prepare but here again, well worth the effort. I like the room note as it is calming to me. I prefer to crumble this blend versus rolling it up and placing in the pipe. This tobacco should age well as I have several jars in the cellar. Buy this and give it a ride. The flavor is of chocolate and the VA melds well with the high quality burley.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plex Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plex (39)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

Fold a flake over, top to bottom. Roll it up end to end. Stuff it in the pipe. Flame it and puff.

Feel, smell, and taste the rush of Hershey's chocolate syrup pouring into your mouth and coating all surfaces.

Taste the rich true tobacco flavors.

Enjoy it, life is truly good when Stonehaven is handy. It has all been said, this a true master work of tobacco.

Get some, try it. Now!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin aroma is chocolate chip muffins, and alluring. This is a beautiful flake. About the stigma associated with suspending delayed gratification, at my age, and having worked with psychologists all my life...(yawn). I jelly rolled a flake because fresh out of the bag it lends itself to doing that. A perfect fit.

I admit the vast majority are in step, and this flake will be better dried a little and and aged some, probably rubbed out too. I enjoy folding or rolling flakes. My plan is to dry it a little and try folding it. If it doesn't reveal its 4 star qualities I will age it and rub. Or maybe I will cut it with scissors into small pieces. I like that suggestion.

Right off the bat I had to run a cleaner through to address a slight gurgle. After that it burned dry and even, a couple of relights.

Not much going on. A little VA tangy-sweetness. No bite. A well behaved rich tobacco smoke, this. The burley produced no real nuttiness, but the nicotine satisfied. A pleasant finish. Chocolate? It must have escaped out the top of the bowl. I look forward to enjoying this as a four star tobacco.

3/13/09 Update: Air dried for 45 minutes and rubbed out it is much improved. Woody, earthy, rich like baked acorn squash. The finish reminds me of 1792 with chocolate. 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Society of the Briar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Society of the Briar (13)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Bought this one, of course, based on the reviews here. While it's certainly not a life changing tobac for me, it is clearly a high quality blend that produces creamy billows of smoke. A bit cigar-ish at times and certainly not "English" in the sense that most would think. A darker, woodier flavored smoke, little to no sweetness that I could detect, fairly heady with the nicotine level. The aftertaste is stronger than most but tolerable and clean. Definitely something I'll smoke during the colder months.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BBlevins Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBlevins (102)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a decent smoke, although it leaves an aftertaste that really stays with you. My only problem that I have experienced with it is inconsistency in production. The last batch that was received by the local B&M was pretty substandard in terms of appearance and flavor. The tobacconist warned me of this prior to purchase, so I tried it myself and he was right. I won't be buying it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is a tobacco I always keep a good stock of. This blend always provided me with one heck of a unique smoking experience. The silky smooth, long dark strips (which look just like beef jerkey), always make my mouth water just by looking at them. They always are moist, so, rubbing to suit my taste is difficult (I like my flakes rubbed out to the hilt). Once rubbed out I let the tobacco sit in the open air for a couple of hours (minimum), because the flavor and strength is more pronounced when smoked dry.

The smell is deep and dark, just like the leaf, and the older Stonehaven (produced before the turn of the 21st century), is much more perfumed than current production with not quite as much of a nicotine hit. This is also one of the coolest smoking blends I've ever put in a pipe. The flavor comes on strong, and is almost like dark chocolate in its richness.

This may not be a morning smoke for some because of its strength on the palate. But, I can see where this can be puffed in the late afternoons and evenings non-stop. Puff as hard and fast as you like, there will be nary a nip! Again, I have never smoked anything quite like this. Although loaded with Burley, Stonehaven is smooth all the way down the bowl whereas many Burley blends will fan their gill plates near the bottom.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I just trashed my other review and am writing a new one. First tip: KEEP THIS STUFF DRY! If it's wet, it tastes like hot air. If it's dry, it provides a very nice taste. I don't like it as much as Full Virginia Flake, but it's like a lighter version of the forementioned. Smoke it very slow, and chill. Got out of a stressful day of college, got in my car, and simply folded it over and put it in my pipe. It was one of the most relaxing smokes I've ever had. This stuff can be finnicky, so treat it right and you'll get a great smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipenGuitar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipenGuitar (15)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

When dried out for about an hour, one can find this to be an enjoyable smoke. Puff with modesty, and it will return a subtle sweetness, as most Virginia's do. Wonderful hint of a coffee/chocolate, especially in first 1/3 of bowl. It slowly dissipates and the aroma becomes more of a natural tobacco smell...(for a lack of a better explanation)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cut-shot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cut-shot (10)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The smell of Stonehaven in the container is absolutely wonderful!

The flakes are beautiful in appearance and need a little rubbing out to get the right consistency for packing. Not the easiest tobacco to pack but with a little patience it is well worth the time it takes.

I find this a very sweet tobacco with great high notes that needs to be smoked very gently or it can bite. I smoke it primarily in a medium sized bowl maybe group 5 Dunhill and it burns slowly and very clean and reasonably dry.

This is not my "Holy Grail" smoke but I continue to smoke it to try and find the magic in this blend and it is nice but not my go-to Virginia.

I like it very much but must give it 3 stars for lack of complexity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lvpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lvpipe (13)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I agree with the previous review. I had some for 2 years and pretty much gave up on it. I decided to give it another try and found it delicious. I would rate it 4 stars except you have to age it for so long before it can be appreciated. I will not miss Orlik Dark Kentucty as long as this is available. Prior to ageing it has a strange taste that I cannot describe. Dark Kentucky has an Anise taste that pretty much goes away after a week of opening the tin. I like strong VA's the best and some of them need ageing or at least some dry time. My favorite Burley's are Solani's Aged Burley Flake and CD's Riverboat Gambler. Now I believe Stonehaven has taken the lead, and is among my top 10 favorites of all tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (195)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

It took me two year to discover the glory of this blend, In fact, when I purchased the 8oz pack two years ago and upon smoking the first bowl I was completely disappointed, I found this was a nonsense blend, I then put it in small jar and forgot it in the drawer.

Recently and by simple curiosity I opened the jar to find some black color flakes, very fermented with promising smell, well, you guess... oxidation and bacteria where doing good job, I will not describe the taste simply because I cannot. What I can say is that this is actually the best smoke I have in my tobacco collection.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

4/18/09 Since my original review, I've come to better terms with this baccy. I have learned to let it dry out almost to the point of crispness, just under the point of crumbling when packing, and packing it very loosely. It now lights up easily with one match and stays lit nicely all the way to the end, has lost almost all of it's cigar taste, and no longer leaves a foul odor in the pipe after smoking (I am owing all this to the high moisture content previously noted). I've come to regard this as a Full Virginia Flake without the problems in rubbing out and packing. In fact, blending it with FVF makes for a darn good smoke!

The overall richness and naturalness of flavor has put it in a category of pure English without the orientals and Latakia. It has moved far up the list of good baccys in my collection and has become one of my more favored. All this said, I most likely will buy more.

10/01/08 This baccy has to be dried out some to be acceptable at all to me. It packs well (no sticks either) and evenly, lights OK but sometimes needs 3 matches to get it's head down, stays lit well and has a nice, robust, unadorned tobacco taste. Presents plenty of good, rich smelling smoke with no sucking up required.

My only problems seem to deal with moisture content and strength. If it isn't dried out, it starts gurgling at about 1/2 bowl and gets super strong as it nears the bottom. If dried out sufficiently, as in previously stated reviews, starts to smell and taste like a cigar which I find offensive, and still gets stronger near the end of the bowl. It also leaves my pipes with a strong, somewhat offensive after-odor which doesn't go away easily or readily.

I don't detect the Burley (unless I don't know the difference) in the flavor but the Va comes through loud and clear.

This is probably a very good smoke for the right palate and I wouldn't turn it down in a pinch and will finish what is on hand. I seems to be pretty representative of a true English blend without orientals or Latakia. However, I don't think I'll be buying more.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

frankluke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
frankluke (17)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

i've had about a half dozen or so bowls of this the last few days, i'm quickly turning into a fan. the key for me with this blend is letting it dry for about an hour, it'll still feel wet but it doesn't stick together. the strips of SH smell like dried fruit maybe wine i guess like so many say on TR. it has a sour taste to me, but in a good way, i know that sounds odd, how can sour be good, but whatever.. a sour bitter sweet chocolate taste. it has an aromatic room note, my son frank came downstairs and asked if we were baking muffins, lol . it smokes cool and dry if you let it sit like i mentioned, if you rub and pack right away it can get a little bitey and leave dottle.. i cant finish the last 1/4 of the bowl if i do this. all that being said, stonehaven is awesome!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Trident Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Trident (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

An excellent tobacco when you want a straight forward smoke. It smokes better when dried out a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

morfiel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
morfiel (1)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Full Tolerable

Aromatic tobaccos and I are not compatible. On the other hand, I appreciate the natural flavor and smoke texture of quality leafs. I cannot find any artificial topping or casing on Stonehaven. To me, this is good.

I recently opened a 2-year old foil pack of Stonehaven. At opening, it was nicely pungent and rich, with excellent moisture. Sugars started to form on some slices. I rubbed and aired a slice 30-45 minutes and loaded it on a mid-large briar (which I also use for VA/VA-Per).

Excellent! It delivered an amazingly enjoyable thick smoke from start to finish. It reaffirmed its already assured place in my permanent rotation. Now, I keep it in a sealing mason jar.

To me, Stonehaven is never disappointing. It ages great. I recommend it highly to non-aromatic aficionados. In my experience, it is also a nice blend to share and enjoy with smokers of cigars and aromatics.

Other tobaccos that I am currently enjoying and that are in a similar rotation standing with me are (but are not limited to) R. Lewis? Orcilla, Schürch?s Onyx, and McClelland?s Virginia # 24, each one with its unique charm. Enjoy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

augustin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
augustin (5)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

This is a wonderful tobacco. It gives a cool, oily, creamy, and savory smoke. The flavor is so distinct I only smoke it occasionally, but when I come back to it, I love it. Very enjoyable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

peterson314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
peterson314 (3)
★☆☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I've given this stuff a few tries, in a few different pipes, and it never fails to leave my mouth feeling as if it had just swallowed an pint of ash. Although the room note is quite enjoyable, the tobacco itself tastes deplorable. After trying all I could to enjoy this stuff, I have given up and will not submit my tongue to such torture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Max1a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Max1a (29)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A very high quality flake no doubt about it. Much tastier with a little moisture remaining. Too dry, and it takes on a cigar like quality. I wouldn't call it a burley exactly. At least not in the classic sense, making it unusual and hard to desribe. It contains quality burley tobaccos, yes, but the presentation seems to change most of the burleys' characteristics to a dry, flat character instead of nutty and mellow. Think "dry vs. wet" martini All and all a very nice tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piperpan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piperpan (9)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

UPDATE Aug./04/2008: After several bowls (I use to smoke it everyday once)it seems better and better. It tastes as 'glory'. ¡Magnífico!

A world of sensations opens to me when I smoke this tobacco (previous letting it dry for 2 hours, of course). Very very recommendable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

butman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
butman (40)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is just a treat. The flavoring is completely pleasant and it's a mix so you have several different things to enjoy. It smells great, lights up really well and just goes in any pipe I have tried it in. In fact I was about ready to ebay an olive wood pipe I had tried and tried to enjoy. Stonehaven saved the day. I filled it, lit it and man it was superb. It's a regular in my weekly rotation. I treat it like a trip to the ice cream store...not too often, but gotta do it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bighitter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bighitter (37)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant

Review number 83: Yes I love it. I don't know whether it's topped or cased or whatever. I just know that when I opened it, I smelled the rum or brandy like many people here have. It seemed like it was splashed with rum or something like that, but I understand tobacco fermentation is supposed to produce similar results...

Anyway, smoking it is fun. It does not bite at all. It tastes amazing, somewhat like Guiness or some kind of stout, very malty and chocolatey. And it's pretty strong, but I wouldn't say it's by any means really strong. It's great. I love Stonehaven, and hopefully I'll have it again sometime, although there's so many tobaccos I don't know when I might get back around to it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Packer (56)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have bought several pipes lately, and have been on a mission going through many Virginia blends. A couple of months ago a small sample on Stonehaven came with a new pipe. I found it to be O K (good enough to order 8 oz.more) I just recieved another pipe from this on line sight. This time I got a tripple Maxima Ser Jocopo. Great pipe.....and another sample of Stonehaven. I'm glad I waited to rate this blend, as it saved a latter revision.

This is a very odd blend in appearance, and aroma. The rather large, black flakes are unlike any of the many flakes that I have seen. They come very moist, but after a full rub they dry out nicely. The pack, and light go well..then the fun begins. This blend is big on smoke, and flavor. Words like organic, and fruity come to mind. This blend has less bite potential than most that I have tried. I will be getting another pound of this blend to cellar, and some to consume now. It has not worked its way into my top 5 blends..........yet. It is in the top 10, and working its way up. Rate

update 5/16/08 this gets better with each bowl...just ordered another pound.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Zone Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zone Smoke (199)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Contrary to what an earlier poster mentioned about it being a cased tobacco, it isn't. The apricot brandy aroma is caused by fermentation of the flake.

Stonehaven is a Virginia based flake with Burley, aged and fermented. It provides a cool, satisfying smoke with no bite and a wine type of taste to it due to the earlier mentioned fermentation. It is produced in dark, thin strips that are a bit on the wet side, but rub out easily and are easily smoked using the folding method.

I prefer the flakes to be completely dried and then rubbed out.

This is probably the most forgiving Virgina flakes available in terms of tongue bite. It's easy to smoke and quite enjoyable anytime of the day.

It's a bit pricey, but well worth trying and a favorite of many.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

loosewatches Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
loosewatches (108)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Just a short update. (followed by a long rant) I ordered more Stonehaven and received, indeed, Stonehaven. After a little research on this site, I think the last bag I got was mislabeled Peacehaven. I certainly won't be buying that one soon. As much as I like Stonehaven though, I'm leaving it at 3 stars. It's just that good.

10/10/2007: This is a new review because some things have changed for me with Stonehaven and the old review said, well, nothing.

I was ready to bump this up to four stars because the last few ounces I've smoked were outstanding. Tin smell was great, rubbing out was fun and, with a little dry out it smoked clean all the way down. Plenty of vitamin N.

Now, I open up an eight ounce bag and inside the plastic case sits a complete mess. What's this? It's not Stonehaven, I know that much. The flakes are light to dark brown and very mottled. They're cut twice as thick and smashed together in there. I'm thinking somebody at Esoterica wanted to get off work a little early and slacked on the job. Esoterica's consistency had always impressed me.

So, I open the plastic box. It smells vaguely like Stonehaven, but I'm still thinking this is a different blend. This broken flake is so wet it's not smokable. Even overnight drying doesn't help. Two days later and it's still damp, still won't smoke and tastes only vaguely like Stonehaven. I've dried some crispy and it doesn't stay lit. It smokes with substantial bite when it does burn. (There is no date on the sack).

The black thin flakes that rub out easily into soft needles and smoke and taste great are gone. There's seven ounces of a sad impostor in my Stonhaven jar. If I can smoke my way through it and if I order more, I'll be expecting the old style. I assume this was a mistake. If they changed the blend, or have given it over to Orlik (ha!)and this is the new stuff, you can bet your favorite pipe it'll get no stars from me.

Something else-- After a few more bowls of this, (I'm a trooper) I realize 2.5 things. 1.) This is cased with 'Stonehaven essence'. 2.) The base tobaccos taste very much like they were blended by McClelland. The McC twang is there. 2.5) I taste no burley. --- This is one strange sack of tobacco. Maybe this is the real 'Stonehaven on crack'. Or could it be a mislabeled Peacehaven?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hermit 78 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hermit 78 (33)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a pretty good blend--it has a smokey, chocolatey cigar-like character, a sweet virginia element, and something else that tastes like raspberries (another reviewer said apricots, but I've always found that imaginary raspberries taste a lot like imaginary apricots anyway). I hear Stonehaven is not cased (via the same reviewer) but if this is indeed the case, pun intended, it sure acts like it. It bubbles and fizzes and turns a weird orange colour. It gunks up the bottom of the bowl after a short while with something that smells and tastes like road tar. It "ghosts" the pipe like one would expect from an aromatic. This may be something inherent in the fermentation process and not a bona fide "casing," but IMO if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, a pragmatist may safely treat it like a raspberry casing. Stonehaven really needs its own pipe, not only to permit one to enjoy its subtleties, but because it is utterly incapable of cohabiting a pipe with any other blend. It's tasty, with a nice nic hit, but I'm not sure it'll ever be a "go to" blend for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (40)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

WOW! This is good stuff. I finally got around to having a bowl while taking a walk around town with the wife yesterday, and now I wonder why I didn't try it sooner. It really does look like a slice of old tire, or maybe roofing shingles and tar, but is sooooo much better to find in your cellar. It reminds me of a more potent version of Bob's Choc. Flake with out the flowery Lakeland essence. (I assume that's what I detect in Bob's) This came to me much drier, and less breakable than other flakes I have had. I had to take out a plate, and rub it with great vigor to get it ready to smoke. I have yet to try folding slices and loading them into the pipe, but they do fold easily without breaking apart. I do have doubts about how well this will stay lit due to its density. It's flavor was very consistent all the way through my pipe. I could taste chocolate, almonds, brazil nuts, and something lemony lurking in the background. Never gave me any bite and only needed a usual light/tamp/light. No gurgles, no goo, and a nice clean ash when done. This stuff is tops. Gonna go place an order on payday for a few tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flaminbill' Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flaminbill' (57)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

This is another Esoterica overrated blend to me. To me this stuff tastes remarkably like McClelland Royal Cajun Special or vice versa. I started this in a large Stanwell Egg which I had previously smoked a few bowls of Royal Cajun in. I thought that it was a leftover ghost taste. However, I broke a brand new Savinelli and voila, it tasted the same.

At least if I don't care much for the Royal Cajun, I only have 2 Oz. to deal with. As we all know, most retailers only offer Stonehave in 8 Oz. packages.

It is presented well and dries out for smoking in about an hour. It does burn well and does not bite. There is something about the taste that doesn't ring my bell, and I guess I would say the same about Royal Cajun.

To date I have smoked this fully rubbed. I have not found the happy medium between when it is too wet to smoke and when it turns into crackers.

I won't give up on it yet because I have another 5 Oz. or so to smoke. I just don't see it as a 4** blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cashmere Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cashmere (11)
★★★★
Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

Others have described this blend accurately. I'm just going on record and doing my bit to keep Stonehaven's rating up there at four stars. This is the best tobacco I've ever smoked. ==/==

UPDATE, 11/19/07: Stonehaven has slipped a notch or so in my personal ranking since 2005. Still four stars I think (it's definitely quality stuff), but I now think of it as "somewhere in the top 10" rather than "the best".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

Rich, solid and delightful, with subtle wine and cocoa aroma. Like every true pleasure, not to smoke all day.

Everything else has already been said.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ben Rich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ben Rich (34)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

This is I believe one of the finest, if not the finest VA/BUR blends in existence. While I have never detected a casing or flavoring in this blend, it has for me a wonderfully full taste of dark chocolate, rich but subdued cherries and a hint of vanilla. I have found that this tobacco works best for me if I allow the flakes to dry to the "easily-crumbled" stage; while the tobacco seems crackling dry at this point, it is actually moist enough to cause occasional gurgle if smoking it in a bent pipe. I have smoked this in a wide variety of pipes over the last couple years and have learned it is best for me in a relatively small-bowled pipe, say a group 3 or large group 2. My wife loves the room note (she does not comment very frequently on what I'm smoking but has always commented on Stonehaven's pleasant aroma). Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alouette Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alouette (7)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I loved the presentation of the strips and the delicious winey smell when I took this out of the package but I couldn?t get a decent smoke. At the time, I had a lot of tins open so I simply took a kitchen knife, sliced the flakes in half so they would fit in a bail top jar and forgot about it. A couple of months later, a friend gave me a corn-cob and I gave Stonehaven another shot in a pipe that had never seen latakia. What a transformation! It revealed a depth and complexity that I thought were only possible in a full English. I usually lay out about 10 of the half strips on my desk to dry a few hours before sticking them in an old Penzance tin to transport to work. Then it is simply a matter of bending two of the half strips in half again and stuffing them in the pipe. This is such an easy flake to smoke if it is not too wet, and it seems to last forever in the bowl. Dedicate a pipe to this, even (or perhaps especially) a corn-cob, and you are in for a unique and bountiful experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

good smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
good smoke (5)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very good tobacco. At one time I smoked nothing but aromatic tobaccos. Having tried Stonehaven, no aromatic can compare to this tobacco. It is a good quality smoke. I smoke it in the evening with a nice glass of Imperial Stout Beer. The tobacco and the stout compliment each other. I give it four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

billbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
billbo (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

A lot of work but worth all the time . I'm not one to smoke many flakes but this could change my mind. Is truly a great tobbaco I measure the room note by my wife's thoughts. I found it not that bad.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

07/26/2005 Chocolate shoe leather! A real chore to smoke. Maybe I am too impatient to deal with this flake. It just takes a lot of preparation to smoke a bowl of this when there are so many easier to use flakes available. A quality tobacco that is at this point not in my four star rotation. Will update this review at a later date as I own a good deal of this flake.

02/08/2006: I suspect you either love or hate stoved tobaccos. I enjoy many of Esotericas' blends, and I enjoy many flake-type tobaccos, this just isn't one I favor.

5/21/2007: I finally found a way to get a great smoke from this flake. I have some that is thoroughly dry and gave it a whirl in the coffee grinder.(Used only for tobacco) It ended up in tiny chunks and smoked very well. Excellent flavor and great burning qualities. I used a very small pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mystic Rune Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mystic Rune (35)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Stonehaven is a gorgeous dark flake that has quality fermented Virginias with creamy and nutty Burley that adds texture for balance and the combination rivals Cyprian Latakia in richness. A true full bodied smoke with an array of flavors that combine to afford a true complexity that is difficult to describe and has to be experienced. Rich and opulent, burns clean, slow, cool & dry to a fluffy grey ash with no bite. This is a blend for smokers who desire a lot of depth in flavor from their tobacco. Stonehaven is to tobacco, what port is to wine. After years of smoking this fantastic flake, it is still revealing new things to me in its flavor spectrum. DGT's and ages exquisitely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HoopleHead Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HoopleHead (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

The descriptions already submitted tell the tale, so I'll simply add my approval to them. I enjoy a good cigar occasionally and Stonehaven provides the same enjoyment for me with great economical benefits as well.

I did want to help explain DGT (Delayed/Deferred Gratification Technique) for the non-psychology types:

Deferred Gratification in the normal sense simply means the ability to forgo pleasure in order to have greater pleasure at a later time. You'll find lots of studies saying the person who can do this normally has a happier life and tends to become more of an achiever.

My more pungent definition is this: Your wife has been out of town for two weeks and you're about to burst. She'll be home day after tomorrow. A person who cultivates DGT will wait, knowing the delight both will have the first night she's home. The impulse gratification person will not wait. Nuff Said.

With your pipe it's not quite so dramatic. You simply put the pipe down for a time in mid-smoke rather than overindulging and satiating your taste buds. This allows a kind of ?self stoving? system that brings out a new dimension when you relight later. Works quite well actually and helps teach a discipline in smoking that few huffer-puffers know.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Magus Noctem Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Magus Noctem (6)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Tolerable

With sixty reviews already written about Stonehaven, most of them positive, it seems redundant to heap more praise upon this blend, but praise it I will.

My every sense feasted on this stuff. My eyes were infatuated with the dark, jerky-like flakes, but were not as pleased as my nose. As others have stated here, the aroma of these flakes is reminiscent of red wine (undoubtedly the fermentation), a hint of licorice, and dark chocolate. Even my tactile sense was teased by the pliant, moist texture of the flakes.

They rubbed out with some effort, but nothing undue the anticipation of a great experience, which I knew would likely come to fruition with proper patience and technique. I rubbed my flakes out by folding a single flake edge to edge, not end to end, then pinching off a half-inch portion and rubbing it into a somewhat loose, but still intact wad. I repeated this process until the entire flake was complete and in the pipe, ready for smoking. I loaded a Stanwell Golden Danish 64, which has a generous bowl size, and lit up.

The first aromas and flavors were nothing short of wonderful. In my relatively brief experience in pipe smoking (two years), this was the best tobacco I had yet to taste. The wine-like aroma came through in the flavor, but not in the fashion an aromatic might have its flavor dominated by a topping. The smoke was substantial, filling my mouth with voluminous clouds of flavorful smoke. Throughout the bowl, the tobacco underwent nuanced changes in flavor, far too subtle for my still-unpracticed palate to discern, but none of them were unpleasant in the least. Relighting was occasionally necessary, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the overall experience with this blend. As I made my way through the bowl (and several others over the course of days and weeks), I repeatedly commented to my wife how glad I was that I purchased this tobacco, and that I couldn't believe how great it tasted. She offered me her usual "That's nice, baby," and I went about my contented puffing without further sharing my experience.

Perhaps I'm too easy to please. Or, conversely, perhaps I have been so frustrated and disappointed in so many other tobaccos that I am elated to finally discover a blend that rewards me with the experience that makes pipe smoking what it is supposed to be.

The room note is pleasant to those who enjoy tobacco aromas as a matter of course, but would likely put off the housewife or houseguest whose affinity for potpourri-scented Glade Plug-Ins leaves no room for an earthier, more sublime sachet I like to call Stonehaven.

==/==

Update 5/5/07:

I have a strong aversion to the tell-tale 'nicotine slap' that gives me a nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach and leaves my head swimming. This blend didn't do that to me before, but after months of aging and drying out somewhat, it has begun to have that effect on me, even if I smoke it directly after a large meal. While not egregious enough to merit taking away a star for quality, I do find myself smoking Dark Star (or my local tobacconist's bulk version thereof), more often than Stonehaven, not because of quality issues or flavor preferences, but only because I've become wary of being sickened by the nicotine. I still smoke it on occasion, but it pains me to admit that I will most likely not purchase another batch of it for this reason. Still highest quality and very pleasurable for the smoker who can withstand medium to high nicotine content. I, however, cannot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ego Archive Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ego Archive (14)
★★★☆
Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This sublime flake is wonderful to smell, a mixture of molasses and oak casks. Something about the note of this tobacco makes me think of old leather-bound books, in a pleasant way. I folded a flake of this into a large bowl, after allowing it to sit out for a little while. This lit well, but required a few lights along the way to keep it trucking along. The taste of Esoterica is somewhat different then what I received from the bag, as much of the sweetness fades back during the bowl, bringing a musty nutty flavor forward. As I smoked this I found that the flavors on this flake really move around quite a bit occasionally I will get chocolate or wine taste, to have them recede back allowing the sweet molasses or nutty flavors back in center stage (depending on where I was in the bowl.)

While this was a somewhat slower burning tobacco, I don't think it would be a good all day tobacco for me. It is simply too rich and while the Virginia isn't tangy, or loud; I feel as though smoking too much of this would fatigue my palate heavily. This blend is something of an issue for me as I would love to smoke this occasionally, but I don't think I could smoke it all the time, and so I would need to jar it up into something like 1oz batches to break out every couple months.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

speckchaser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
speckchaser (22)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

A strong stoved flake,plenty of nicotine to go with a good strong beer.Came slitely moist but upon drying does not loose any flavor but to me actually increased in taste.Which is strange since I have mostly smoked aromatics.A little tough to light however the clouds of blue smoke once lit is a smokers dream.Smokes well in a churchwarden or a savinelli long john.A fine tobacco for those wanting to try a stoved virginia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Stonehaven.25/02/07. This is a great blend for me when I feel like smoking something stronger indoors,or outdoors. The flavour hits the bulleye with my taste buds,while still being straight forward and offering a suitable fine smoke to bowls end. I always dry out some broken pieces of tobacco,to place on top of the bowl as kindling.That way it only takes two lights and then your away on a great smoking treat to the end of the bowl. No goop is left at all at the end bowl,just a nice clean grey ash can be found. I definitely go along with everyone who has given Stonehaven,four stars.It may even deserve five or,even ten stars because it's just so good. "Highly recomended"

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jake696 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jake696 (10)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tastes Great...! Less Filling...!

Seriously, what else can be said of this blend? I'm never without it in my pouch or cellar. I like to roll up a flake like a jellyroll and put the cylinder into a smaller bowled pipe with some shake from the bottom of the pouch on top, to get the whole treat going.

I do dry it out a bit, which happens naturally in the pouch during our dry northern prairie winters. Otherwise, a few minutes under a high-intensity desk lamp will do.

An alternative way to enjoy this chocolaty flake is to simply open the package and take deep wiffs of it from the plastic tray it comes in! You may be tempted to chew it?

Tasty!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (22)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

I do like a good Burley and Virginia blend, and this is one of the better ones I have found. Stonehaven is good any time of day. I?ve used this tobacco in all shapes and sizes of pipes with pleasure. The long strips of flake are laid out neatly in the foil pack. I have a pair of sharp scissors that I keep handy for cutting up this blend. On opening the foil bag I find a somewhat fermented vegetal smell with a hint of chocolate. Moisture content for a bulk is good. I cut this up with scissors into small chunks and let the tobacco air out a while before smoking. I do not rub out any of the tobacco. Once lit, this tobacco blend is an excellent smoke, no bite at any time, and the tobacco does not become overpowering. The second and third quarters of the smoke are the best for me. The Virginias in this blend provide a light tartness to the smoke. The Burley seems somewhat neutral. The last quarter gets a little sour for me sometimes so I do not always smoke this all the way to the bottom. Produces a dark gray ash. I can imagine how some would smoke this all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brahms Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brahms (4)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable

Until a few months ago I had never smoked any form of tobacco at all, except a few years ago when a friend of mine who belongs to the Native American Church taught me how they use tobacco to pray.

Now a few years later I found myself inexplicably, at age 54, wanting to start smoking a pipe once a week, as a contemplative, prayerful activity. Before I started, however, I figured I would read up on such things as technique, pipes, tobacco, etc. Fascinating world! I stumbled across this web site, and I have to thank you all for such a rich variety of well-written and informative opinions. Most helpful.

I sent off for small samples of a number of three or four star rated tobaccos, and got several decent pipes, and embarked on several months of tobacco testing, smoking once or twice a day to audition a broad variety of tobaccos for what would later settle down to a once a week activity.

Perique and latakia blends did not sit well with me, and neither did most aromatics. I enjoyed Virginias and a few burley blends, and quickly gravitated to Old Gowrie, Blackwoods Flake, and Old Master. But I kept looking around for something else to add to these to make a nice little monthly rotation. Nothing really quite impressed me until I finally opened the Stonehaven I had ordered but somehow avoided several months before.

What a marvelous smoke! I?m a real newby, and this review, based on a completely untrained palate, should simply be taken for what it is, but to me this is a wonderful, mystical blend of rich, delicious and tantalizing flavors, with no bite or sourness, lots of rich, smooth, easy smoke, and producing just the right state of mind for my purposes.

It is shear pleasure, shear delight, shear magic, lacking the comfortable, past-life, deja vu feelings that Old Gowrie, Blackwoods Flake and Old Master evoked. No: smoking Stonehaven was not like meeting some old friend from some distant and forgotten past, but rather like connecting with the archetypal dark, exotic, mysterious Year-of-the-Cat type woman: ?She comes incense and patchouli, so you take her, to find what?s waiting inside . . . ? Yes indeed! For whatever my opinion?s worth, four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jefeweizen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jefeweizen (1)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I kept hearing about this blend, and how new pipe smokers should try it out. Being brand new to smoking, I was able to acquire a sample.

Up until trying Stonehaven, I had been smoking house blends from a local tobacconist. Those blends were leaving a bitter aftertaste in my mouth, causing me to spit often. Upon trying Stonehaven, I'm happy to say that the habit of spitting has stopped. I was very happy to enjoy the aftertastes of Stonehaven.

I will post more as my experience with this continues. I've purchased an 8oz. batch of aged Stonehaven and am excited to continue with it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Update: 1/22/07. My three year old bag shows lots of sugary specks throughout. This tobacco justs get better and better!

For a nice change of pace, try topping off another favorite tobacco with Stonehaven. You may find yourself in for a pleasant surprise. I've done this with several tobaccos and have always enjoyed the result.

Update: 12/19/2005. It's been two years since I wrote the review below. Hardly a day has gone by that I have not enjoyed this remarkable blend.

I was forunate to stash a few pounds away and a recently opened 2 year old bag that yielded an even more luxurious smoke.

------------------------------

Esoterica calls this a traditional Englis flake. However, there is no latakia nor oriental tobaccos evident.

For those of you who may be put off by burley, fear not; the burley contained in this tobacco is like nothing I've experienced in 45 years of pipe somoking from the cheap drug store brands to some of the high quality tobaccos reviewed on this site.

Is this really the Holy Grail of Tobaccos as Briarrabbit has claimed? Indeed it is!

In the interests of brevity here are my ratings: Cut:..................A+ Tin Aroma:........... A+ Ease of packing.......A+ Ease of lighting:.... A+ Ease of Burning:..... A+ Response to DGT:......A+ Initial Flavor:.......A+ Middle Bowl Flavor... A+ End of Bowl Flavor... A+ Quality:............. A+ Character:........... A+ Resistance to Bite:...A+ Value:................A+ Overall Satisfaction:.A+ Moisture Level........A- Well, nobody is perfect. I just find that for me, airing this weed for just a bit results in the what is not only one of my favorites, but my all time favorite blend.

I still enjoy many other tobaccos inclding unstoved virginias and more traditional English blends, but a bowl or two of Stonehaven will be looked forward to daily.

IMHO Esoterica produces the finest tobaccos on the market today.

A must try for anyone who reads these reviews!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

UPDATE 01.05.2007 I'm upgrading my rating to 4 stars: Stonehaven has been growing on me, as I come better to appreciate its combination of nuttiness (Burley) and slightly sweet fermentation (VAs, pressing). I used to prefer Kingfisher, but no longer -- for complex combinations of flavor, every bowl a new surprise, Stonehaven can't be beat.

* Stonehaven looks great: the stuff comes in plastic trays and resembles black slices of bacon. It smells great, too: the aroma is sweetish, tangy and a bit wine-like. It's a bit of a pain to rub out, but that's alright because it's better when not rubbed all the way.

The flavor is complex, combinging the sweetness of dark Virginias, the nuttiness of Burley with an ineffable fermented tang. At first I was disappointed and found the smoke bland; I would add Burley Slices to give it backbone. But that reaction was too hasty. Stonehaven is not bland; it's just, well, subtle. You have to pay attention -- more than you do with, say, Kingfisher -- but you're rewarded for doing so with a consistently interesting smoke. On first light the Virginias predominate, with a kick of sweetness and that wine-like tang, but as you go down the bowl the Burleys emerge with a full, nutty smoke. The three flavors -- sweetness, nuttiness, tanginess -- combine and recombine, always with a light touch, till you wind up with a pile of light grey ash.

I've tried this in large bowls and small, and I find the partially rubbed out flakes pack more easily in a small bowl

Another superb blend from Esoterica -- to me, the best producer on the market.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (141)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As others have pointed out, Stonehaven looks like beef jerky or bacon, and has a slightly fermented taste/aroma. VA and burley are combined in perfect proportions, making for a sweet/sour experience that evokes no easy comparisons. There's very little -- if any -- tongue bite here, and as it ages the VA becomes more assertive. This is a "must try" for lovers of both VAs and burlies. I suspect that latakia junkies might like it, too, for a change of pace -- this tobacco is as rich and complex as many English or Balkan blends. This is the Balkan Sobranie or Penzance of VA/burley. As such, it might not work well as an all-day smoke: it's incredibly rich, and better suited for times when you can sit and leisurely enjoy the nuances. Some people consider this their hold grail, and there are times when it seems as though it's worth its weight in gold on E-bay. I don't like it quite that much, but YMMV.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sonoma Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sonoma (11)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Update 8/19/06: This is my first retraction review. Being somewhat new to the pleasures of pipe smoking, I hastily critiqued this blend several months agoe and gave it 4 stars without sufficient testing. Although Stonehvn?s unique presentation of jerky strips suggests meticulous blending, appearances can be misleading. Nevertheless, it?s one of the best Virginia Burley blends out there, but I don?t find myself wanting to smoke it with any regularity. I purchased an 8 oz. package of this after reading other reviews and thought it would fit my liking, but this baccy is just a little too flat. Now, I have a jar with about a dozen jerky strips remaining and I believe their multiplying. Yah, every time I grab a strip and smoke one, I think just a few more weeks and this jar will make room for new weed, this has been going on for two months. Not a huge downgrade, still recommended, 3 of 4 stars................

Upon opening the plastic tray, the aroma struck me as fermenting licorice. After rubbing, you'll be staring at a pile of what appears to be splintered black toothpicks, just stuff them in your pipe and smoke-um. This is one of the finest Burley/Virginian blends available. I understand that Esoterica maintains tremendous consistency, and I'm happy at that piece of news.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Darwin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darwin (101)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

09/22/04 What can I say that hasn't already been said about this unique blend? I don't smoke it all the time, but I don't really know why. Every time I smoke it, I wonder why this isn't my everyday blend.

Stonehaven is a lovely, dark flake. After some drying, I rub the flakes out a little; it lights easy and stays lit. The taste is sweet and tart with a grassy base. The nicotine level is high enough to satisfy almost anyone. It never bites, no matter how hard you might push it.

Along with Dark Star/2035, Stonehaven is my favorite dark stoved blend. Give it a try.

07/28/06 I feel I need to update my previous review. The previous review was based on an aged 8 oz. sample that was given to me. I believe that's why I tasted some sweetness. I also compared Stonehaven to Dark Star or 2035, but a better comparison might be Full Virginia Flake, but less sweet and heartier than FVF. The fresh sample I'm smoking now, the sweetness is much more subdued; the burley is more prominent. The flavors are more of licorice, or perhaps tonquin, but very faint. There is a deepness both to the flavor and the smoke. I feel like I can almost chew the smoke. Stonehaven is a very satisfying tobacco. I've also upgraded to Highly Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ranger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ranger (58)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A great tobacco! Not my favorite virginia, but a nice change of pace. Very dark, thin slices with a scent of chocolate maybe, or figs. The flakes burn exceptionally and last a very long time in the pipe. The aroma and taste goes well on a cold evening with a strong bourbon or ale.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

wyrmis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wyrmis (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Burleys and I tend not to get along, but I probably could not tell you why. Somewhere in my history I got turned off from them and have generally avoided them. That's why my given this brand a chance was something of a fluke. It had hight ratings, but I was not sure if I would like it.

All I can say is that I am real glad I gave this a chance. Its wonderful flavor makes me think that I need to give burleys a second chance. I would have trouble pinpointing it precisely, but it is sort of a sweet but nutty flavor. I pick up hints of a chocolate-like flavor (but not a casing, just a similar tone) along with some faint, "christmas" spice. It makes for a wonderful after taste. The burley comes on strong at first, and then mellows out, and then returns for a kick at the end.

It gives enough of a punch to make it worth your while, but does not overpower. It burns slowly and smoothly after getting it good and rubbed out, staying lit extremely well. It is a most relaxing experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipermanpaddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipermanpaddy (3)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

This stuff is it. I like to pull off narrow strips that I roll up and drop in the bowl with a little rubbed out stuff on top and presto! It lights easily and I think the burley is the most noticeable component in the beginning of the bowl; nutty, grassy, figgy, lovely. By mid bowl the virginias start to really assert and they are rich and semi-sweet and the whole marriage is absolutely perfect. I think this is the best smoking experience I have ever had.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
★★★☆
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Stonehaven has been on my short-list of 'must try' tobaccos for too long now. Having been sampling it of late, I admit to wishing somewhat ruefully that I had smoked it sooner. The aroma is compelling, something of sugary liquor, cordial perhaps? The flakes are thin, pliant and jet black, staining the fingers as one massages them. With the naked eye you could never tell burley was included in this concoction but it does sneak in about half way down the bowl. The flavor is akin to some of the Lakeland greats, albeit sans certain English 'essences', growing dark near the bottom of the bowl. I found Stonehaven to smoke relatively dry and cool, but the casing implies that it will flavor the pipe to a degree. Ultimately, not spectacular but decidedly interesting enough to warrant further consumption. Fans of Bracken Flake, take note of this offering.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

This is a straight forward blend. To me, it has an almost wine like aroma in the pouch. Very dark and having a note of some lesser known spice that I can not immediately call to mind.

Tough to rub out. I like to rub it out fairly well until I have some stringy chunks. I let them roll into the pipe. I have the best luck if I do not pack it too tightly. If you do pack it too much, the ash becomes so dense, that fairly early into the bowl, you reach a point where the ash is so dense that you can not relight the tobacco. And relight it you will. I usually empty the tank of my lighter on each bowl of this one.

I use a small bowled GBD Prehistoric for this, and it still takes me about two hours to smoke.

Very nice, tobacco flavor. No leather, or chocolate or spice. Just nice tobacco. I do not smoke this every day, not because I don't like it, but rather because I prefer it for special occasions.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OPCElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OPCElder (24)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As a new pipe smoker I had difficulty figuring out what the heck to do with this jerky, but after a few tries I think I've got it rubbed out right. I tried a few different methods and even packed it once as is (I just folded it over and stuffed it into the pipe!). When rubbed out correctly this burns great and is loaded with real flavor; a bit of chocolate, but bittersweet; not candylike, more natural. (I agree with csimser's recommendation to let it dry out for a bit before packing). The predominant player in the game is the Virginia, although the burley does get a chance to shine. When you're smoking this you know you're smoking quality tobacco. Everything about this weed is exceptional. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB (40)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I can't believe that I've waited so long to try this blend. I could kick myself! It has everything that I look for in a tobacco blend, but in many ways it defies description. None of the ingredients pop out at you and scream...it's a true blend. It does remind me of the feeling that chocolate gives you, but it doesn't really taste like chocolate, if you know what I mean? It smells great, tastes wonderful, and if you're patient enough to rub it out properly it will reward you by burning very nicely.

What's odd about this tobacco is that it virtually lacks pouch smell, at least that's my experience. But it blossoms in the pipe into something rich, full and delicious.

All I can say is, "well done" to Esoterica!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

csimser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
csimser (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

A remarkable tobacco! In the "tin" (actually a plastic, sealed container), upon opening, the aroma is pungent and very strong. It is reminiscent of dark chocolate or red wine. Though very moist, it burns well, and is easily rubbed out. I have discovered, however, that it smokes the best when the rubbed out tobacco is allowed to air dry for an hour or so before smoking. The first few bowls after drying in this manner it reminded me of something, but I could not place it. Then I concluded it was the old "Three Nuns" I was thinking of, though this may be, I concede, a trick of memory.

The taste is complex and multi-layered ... yet entirely natural. The strong aroma detected upon opening is present, but is in no way cloying or over-powering. As I continue to smoke this, I am not sure if I have ever had a better tobacco at any time. A revelation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (165)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

A gem.

The ash has flecks of gold, like the ash of Marlin Flake, indicating some similarity of raw material. Rich and opulent, at times not so much baroque as rococo. As distinctive, and as satisfying, as Aztec drinking chocolate.

Among the mighty triumvirate of cooked virginias - Full Virginia Flake, Marlin Flake and Stonehaven - Stonehaven is the head.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipe dreams Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipe dreams (15)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

If I could only smoke one tobacco, it is either this one, or this is the one I would miss mostly. This is what every blend wants to be when it grows up. Stonehaven ~ quite the enigma.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptainMcPipey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptainMcPipey (4)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Yummers! Frankly, I was surprised to read on here Stonehaven has burley in it; normally I hate burley (granted, I have little experience with it). Anyway, 'twas all for the best, as I smoked without prejudice, and lo & behold, I was enraptured by the jerky strips of dark bark (actually bought in bulk for those of you who don't wish to invest in a tin).

The smell from the tobacco even before being lit was exceptional, and fragrant in a natural, Virginian way. I was very excited to smoke this and it came highly recommended-- now I just need to buy some to age!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ian Weeks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ian Weeks (36)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have been smoking a pipe for ten years and never tried this blend. Shame on me- from the moment that I opened the eight ounce pouch I was in enraptured- the aroma is absolutely amazing.

I started out with a small lovat that was dedicated to VA?s and the occasional VaPer. I pulled out a strip of the thin pressed flake, cut it in half with a sharp pair of scissors, folded it lengthwise and then in half and stuffed it in the pipe, and voila, perfect fit! I then used the pad of my index finger to separate the strands at the end of the tobacco protruding slightly from the bowl so that they will take a light easier- a flick of the lighter and after a charring light no problems.

I have smoked this Flake in several different bowls ranging from small to medium/large and have yet to have trouble keeping this flake lit, or managing its rate of combustion. It packs and tamps easy. On the larger sized bowls it helps to crumble a bit of rubbed on top to get things going but other than that for me this is a fantastic Flake.

I taste no casing or topping (it is noted that there is the fragrance before lighting that smells of sweet alcohol, from fermentation is my opinion) just a deep nutty delicious flavor with a sweetness as the VA?s and the Burley smolder together. There is a deep dark body to this blend- surely from the Burley, with which I have limited experience. And were someone to ask me my thoughts on this blend I would certainly speak of it with the highest recommendations. A grand slam from Esoterica; certainly it is more than enough to make up for their ghastly blend pronounced by the nome de plume Tilbury.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
traveler (40)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Strong

A dense flake with powerfull, bass-toned flavor, without harshness or bite.

Chewy and thick--you know you've got a bowlfull of real tobacco in hand with no flavorings, natural or artificial, to distract you from its full flavor. I've noticed that this flake does better in a medium sized bowl, smoked slowly. In my small bowl flake pipes, it seems to thin out and get sharper-- or then again, maybe I'm just pulling too hard on the little pipes trying to get more of that wonderful flavor.

This one's for the sole enjoyment of the pipe smoker with no apologies to anyone else who might be in the room.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

benhur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
benhur (5)
★☆☆☆
Very Strong Mild Very Full Very Strong

Fowl, fowl, fowl! This is perhaps the most putrid weed I have smoked since I trying Half and Half in a 99 cent corncob one summer as a teenager. Generally, I smoke multiple bowls in several different pipes before reviewing a blend. Unfortunately, I could barely finish my second bowl. Be warned: this will taint your pipe! I had to part with mine after giving up on this blend. Esoterica makes some quality blends. In fact, Margate is among my favorites. Unfortunately, I would recommend this leaf to neither friend nor foe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Collezionista Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Collezionista (59)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable

I picked up a couple ounces of this stuff at Rich's in Portland, and similar to the experiences in most of the above reviews, found Stonehaven to be a very unique smoke. A gigantic, almost symphonic taste, rich fermented tobacco that produces billows of thick white smoke. I rolled the flakes up "sausage style" and stuffed them into a medium sized Bjarne apple. The stuff took a bit of work to get lit (as expected) but burned nicely all the way down to the bottom, leaving an intersting bronze-tinted ash. As for the taste, there was no shortage of it! In addition to a Gawith-esque rich Virgina body, a prominent plum flavor seemed to be present throughout the smoke, I would almost venture to say that Stonehaven is something of an aromatic. Perhaps, as Pipeline suggests, it is flavored with alcohol, maybe a port or brandy. It could also just be the fermented burley. Either way, this tobacco is quite sweet and fruity but not in any way foofy or gussied-up like a typical aromatic. The flavor of this blend tends to hang around for awhile so caution is recommended in selecting or dedicating the right pipe. Stonehaven is a bit too wild to be in my regular rotation but its quite an unusual and enjoyable treat on occasion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
★★☆☆
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable

Notes: Well, yours truly got sucked in! After reading the rave reviews, I decided this would be one to try. Reviews are subjective: my expectations were high, so I was disappointed. Still I smoked the whole 4 ounces of it, and it seems to be fairly well at home in most any old pipe. It didn't get much better with subsequent smokes though. But YOU may really find this to be your cup of tea. I use the Star Ratings as follows, by the way:

one star = just bad quality tobacco

two stars = good quality tobacco, just not my style

three stars = good quality tobacco, I'd buy it and smoke it

four stars = if I was allowed only one blend, I'd be happy with this one

Appearance: A moderately densely pressed and steamed/stoved dark brownish black thinly sliced 6" flake. It rubs out nicely to reveal some reddish highlights.

Aroma: Sweet honey, pungent vinegar, fig, chocolate malt, claret, damp forest soil, shoe polish, chestnuts, vanilla. Very rich and sweet smelling, very promising!

Taste: Very mild as tobacco goes, and mild to medium in body for a Virginia flake. As far as modern flakes go, this is pretty full-bodied, but don't buy this thinking it will be in the same class as Dunhill's Dark Flake, My Mixture 36667, Gallaher's Two Flakes, or other full-bodied Virginia mixtures of the past. Flavors that struck me were: fig, vinegar, the distinct odor you get walking into a fabric store, aftertaste of mastic gum (unflavored chewing gum), plum, stewed cherry, leather, hot tea. There is a hint of Lakeland soap here too, just a whiff.

Comparisons: In the same category as Rattray's Marlin Flake and Hal 'O The Wynd, on the spectrum of sweet-to-nutty, a hair to the sweet side of the middle, only stoved. In comparison to McClelland's Dark Star, nutty and refined. Similar to a sweeter, stoved version of Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake or perhaps a less pungent version of Rattray's Marlin Flake, then stoved. Or if you could smoke Condor Long Sliced, adjusting the flavor from 1 to 10, set your dial at 0.01, and that would be like smoking Stonehaven.

Bottom Line: For aficionados of the medium stoved Virginia flakes, seeking a flake that combines sweetness, nuttiness, and a little memory of the Lakeland blends, this is your flake!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarpuffer59 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarpuffer59 (1)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this blend ??? I fell in love the second I fired it up !Not my everyday smoke but what a treat. I fully rubbed it out and packed it loosly in a Stanwell Poker. After the charring light I only had to relight one time. Smoked all the way down to a fine gray ash. If you have not tried this wonderfull tobacco you should include it on your next TAD order!!!! Highly Recomended!!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Redneck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redneck (15)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Tolerable

Other reviews have summed up my feeling about this blend exactly. It has to be the most TASTY & YUMMY tobac I have ever smoked. I can not describe the taste. Your favorite blend will taste bland if you smoke it immediately after a bowl of Stonehaven. Not an all day smoke but more of a treat. Very economical.

This tobac has no bite, is very slow burnig, and has taste - taste - taste. A few re-lights are required to get through a bowl but it is worth it. It DGT's quite well. Purchase some quick before someone has a Burley & Virginia fire in their warehouse.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BriarLaw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarLaw (85)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A delicious tobacco! Stonehaven is a pressed flake (long slices that are relativley thin) that is fairly dark brown with darker streaks. Fairly dry. Frankly, it is not much to look at. On appearance alone, it is rather unimpressive.

But don't let that stop you. Once lit the tobacco immediately presents the delicious nutty / green flavor of super high quality Burley with a gentle sweetness that comes from the VAs. It never bit and stayed true to its initial flavor all the way down. Burned to a fine light gray ash.

A wonderful tobacco. I think it is the best Burley/VA I have tried.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As others have noted, this tobacco has a unique flavor, unlike anything I've encountered in all my years of pipe smoking. If it was a food, it would be a very rich and very delicious dessert. The first time I smoked it, I didn't really know what to think about it, but it quickly grew on me. I would not consider this an all day smoke because of the fullness of flavor. It works best for me when fully rubbed out, and even then is a chore to keep lit, requiring several relights. I generally smoke it in medium sized pipes. If you are a burley or Virginia fan, you really need to try this. As a matter of fact, if you are a pipe smoker period, give this one a go. It's totally unique and delectably delicious.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (256)
★★★★
Strong Mild Very Full Tolerable

Though certainly not part of my regular tobacco diet,much like a fine cigar, this is a wonderful once in a while treat. This is a rich, full flavored, delightfully decadent blend. If you are a connossieur of fine,lovingly crafted, tobacco, don't hesitate to try this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The plethora of reviews here describe Stonehaven to a T, so mine will be short. See ya later Marlin Flake! Stonehaven has quality fermented VA's with creamy and nutty Burley that adds soft textures for balance and rivals Lakatia in richness. A very full bodied smoke. An array of flavors with true complexity difficult to describe. Burns clean, slow, cool & dry to A fluffy gray ash with nary a bite. 4 out of 4 stars!

For those wanting to try it without having to buy half a pound, it can be had in 2 ounce bulk here;

http://www.marscigars.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=294

Nobody has rated this review yet.

emmbee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
emmbee (174)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This uniquely dark, beautiful bark-like slice requires a bit of care and preparation. For one thing, be careful of the pipe you put it in or you won?t taste any of the fascinating subtleties as you proceed down the bowl. If you have a pipe that you have dedicated to a full English or Balkan or even a light aromatic, you will not appreciate what this special blend has to offer. I made that mistake, and was unable to taste much more than raisiny smoke. In a large, clean pipe that hasn?t been dedicated to any one particular favorite, Stonehaven will reveal it?s charms to you. Also, be sure to rub this stuff out well into nice strands; do not fold and pack. The slices themselves are gorgeous, rubbery strips of tree bark, pliant and moist like birch. In the bulk pack, the smell is winey, with hints of rum, anise and sun-ripened raisins. The taste has that typical Esoterica top dressing, like that found in ?And So to Bed,? though it?s much less aggressive. The first 3rd of the bowl is decent, but nothing too inspiring. It?s probably the last 3rd that garners the most appreciation. This is so similar to Esoterica/Germain, and yet, completely different. Like Penzance, I didn?t like it first, but over time, I see this as becoming an occasional favorite. I wish it were available in smaller containers and not 8 oz bulk. I?d love to try the other blends, such as Cardiff or Hastings, if only they came in smaller packages. Bravo once again to Esoterica of Jersey, Channel Islands for producing some of the most interesting and complex tobaccos a pipe smoker can enjoy.

Three and a half of five stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Tolerable

Marvelous tobacco. It is very similar to Tavern Tobaccos Laurel Flake which is made by S. Gawith and to S. Gawith's Navy Flake. As with the others, it comes quite moist and must be thoroughly dried before smoking. I like to rub out a flake first and then allow it to air. It is very mild and mellow with a sort of dark rum flavor. This does not, I think, deliver a lot of nicotine. But as a pleasant smoke after dinner, it is very good. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Extra Strong

The masterpiece of Virginia flake! Perfection!This tastes like nothing on the planet.Upon first whiff of this tabac one is greeted by chocolate and raisins.The appearance is that of shoe leather and the texture is smooth and shiny.1st light is wonderful!The flavor cannot be described, except to say, very rich.This is Troost slices on the other end of the scale. The flavors are deep and rich without any bite at all.It does not have a typical flake aroma,in fact, it is quite harsh.It actually smells like TAR.This has nothing though to do with the flavor.I am told there is a substantial amt of burley in this blend,perhaps this gives it that unique flavor.It is best smoked after dinner as it is rather a full tabac.It will satisfy both the English and Virginia smoker.This one is a must try blend . 4of 4 Flake Stars. P.S. You must rub this out thoroughly or it will not stay lit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigjonburley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigjonburley (64)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

As most have said in the previous reviews this is a serious blend for the lover of tobaccos with depth. I like to think of stonehaven as a massive brahma bull lying beneath the shade of a large oak. From a distance, the power is obvious. The flake remindes me of thick slaps of peat cut from a bog. In fact, the smoke this blend produces has a rich, organic, earthen feel. As some others have noted, there is an essence of port wine that stems from the VA present. The burley in this pressed gem adds soft textures to this smoke. I like to rubb the you-know-what out of this blend before loading. I find this yeilds a one match light that burns true through the entire bowl. This weed burns clean to the base of the bowl without a bit of lingering moisture. The result is a powdery grey ash that dumps from the bowl with ease, at the finish. Flavor is bold and stable through the entire bowl. I also noted that this blend burns at a rather cool temperature, even when puffed aggressively. Not bite, just pure pleasure. Thank you Esoterica.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

A very interesting baccy indeed. By description alone one would expect this to be very similiar to Dark Star. One would then be very surprised to discover upon the match that it is not. They are certainly not interchangeable. I love DS and find I smoke at least a tin every year. (which is quite alot when you smoke a bazillion new ones all the time!) Stonehaven however, is more refined and more in the vein of the Lakeland District than DS ever dreamed of being. The high range of this tobacco incorporates the sourness of a fine white wine, while the bass notes tend too lead themselves towards dark chocolate and raisins. How do these flavors, which seem so dissident, go together and create such a seamless and tasty tobacco? That is the question isn't it. I think perhaps the burley content goes a long way towards marrying the flavors and not to mention adding one heck of a whallop of nicotene to the party (and no this isn't the type of burley that you find in Carter Hall pouches). All in all, someone had too have whipped up some tobacco blending magic to have come up with this wonderful blend. Too rich to smoke regularly, none the less, it is exquisite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Willy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Willy (75)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Another winner from Esoterica; these guys just seem to know how to do it right. There are enough blends in their product line that finding at least 2 or 3 you will like should be no problem. Stonehaven is a heavy-hitter, but as others have mentioned this is one of the coolest & smoothest smoking tobaks you are likely to find. Nice flavor of fermented VA's with a bit of nutty Burley thrown in for balance. I think of a cross between Old Gowrie, HOTW & Edgeworth slices when I smoke this, but Stonehaven has a flavor all its own that I find difficult to describe; maybe like a musty root cellar. Anyway, I find Grp. 5 or G size bowls work well for me, but smaller bowls may work better for others cause this stuff does pack a bit of a punch. Burns clean, cool & dry with nary a gurgle to fluffy gray ash. I've had this around since who knows when and will continue to keep some on hand. Works for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This and Dark Star are the ones I reach for when wanting something in the dark, stoved Virginia category. Some of the other reviews have mentioned the strength of this tobacco. I never found it overwhelming at all. It comes in a foil pouch inside a clamshell of plastic so as to keep the slices intact. I found that using scissors to cut it into 1/2 inch segments, then breaking it out just a little worked best for me. It seems to smoke best when packed firmly, almost tightly. Because of the large segments, it still draws well packing it tight enough that most ribbon tobaccos would be impossible to draw. I like it best in a really large pipe so I can set it aside and get a little DGT.

Since I typically smoke English type mixtures, I have to be a little careful not to oversmoke it, but the flavor is well worth being a little careful.

The aroma is pleasant enough not to get complaints, though it is by no means an aromatic.

I do not have a tin of Dark Star open right now in order to get a good comparison, so when I use up my open Stonehaven, I'll go back to the Dark Star then and update both reviews.

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RobAtHome Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RobAtHome (25)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Stonehaven is a unique and interesting blend from Esoterica. It's strong but velvety - like a rich, dark, Emperial stout. This mixture of dark-fired, heavily fermented, pressed burley and Virginia leaf has an appeal that is difficult to convey in words. One simply has to smoke the stuff to appreciate it.

Stonehaven is sold in bulk, and comes in long, thin slices. Some have compared its appearance to tire tread. While not very appetizing, it's not entirely inaccurate, though perhaps a comparison to strips of jerky would be more appealing. The slices are about five inches long and an inch across. Typically, it is very moist right out of the foil pouch.

The tobacco will rub out to a fine ribbon or shag cut, if you like. Typically, it benefits from some drying time. The aroma is winey, smelling of fermentation, along with a hint of anise or licorice. The tobacco is not cased, as far as I know.

Being a fine cut with a high moisture level, it's easy to over-pack this blend. Use a light touch, and you will be rewarded. It burns to a fluffy, white ash, and on the way, it takes you on a very flavorful journey.

The first flavors that hit your tongue are tangy, resiny, and winey. As the smoke settles in, there is a spiciness that comes forward. The tartness of fermented Virginia is always there, but the dark pressed burley almost completely evades description. It doesn't taste much like what you would expect at all. The flavors conspire to be dark, brooding, molasses-like with spice. The tastes don't change dramatically through the bowl, but they play variations on a central theme, building in strength.

Stonehaven does have a satisfying level of nicotine. It is a great evening or after-dinner smoke. If you like McClelland 2035/Dark Star or other dark-stoved, pressed tobaccos, this blend will probably appeal to you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CJ (45)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I have to agree with the usual description of this blend. It does look like tire treads or beef jerky. It comes in very dark black-brown hard pressed flakes. The pouch aroma is is that of fermented tobacco. It reminds me of tobacco that has been pressed and allowed to soak in the pressed juices. The flakes are a bit difficult to rub out, but that task is better performed after letting the flake dry. The taste is one of a very strong, powerful, but smooth Burley-Virginia combination. This is not a citrus like Virginia. It comes close to the stronger English blends like those from Gawith Hoggarth, and St. Bruno, but does not have that "floral" or "soapy" taste. The flavor is very cigar like to me. It reminds me of the smaller dried Dutch Cigars. There is quite a nicotine presence, and this might be too powerful for the non-experience smoker. Hard as I try, I can't make this bite even just a bit. The end of the bowl reveals a small, fine powdery ash. If you are a "room spinner" when trying stronger blends, then pass on this. If you like the stronger more powerful pure tobacco blends, this is a must try. For me, this is a keeper.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is one evil-looking flake, closely resembling slabs of beef jerkey. It smells exactly like heavily pressed and fermented burley and virginia, which is what it is. So don't let its appearance put you off. I smoke it unrubbed, just folded up and loaded into the bowl. It is surprisingly mild on first light, I tend to get an immediate sense of the sweet virginias. However, the flavor deepens quickly as the flakes settle into their burn, and it starts producing huge volumes of white smoke. Gets better and better as it burns down in the bowl, with no tongue bite.

Like most flakes, this one seems to prefer smaller bowls, although it works pretty well in some of my taller bowled pipes. Works great in a cob as well, which tends to punch up the sweetness a bit.

Wonderful stuff, highly recommended for both burley fans and virginia fans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I always forget how much I love this tobacco until I am smoking a pipeful of it. It comes in a beautifully pressed flake which is very dark in color. It reminds me a bit of some sort of Jerky. It has a very unique aroma to it as well, almost like it is topped with wine -but it's not. Due to the density and texture of the flake, it is very slow burning. I have smoked it both loosely rubbed out and, err, well 'pulverized' by my coffee grinder. I prefer the loose rub as the flavor really seems to come out and I don't mind relightingat all. Although it is quite tasty upon first light, this tobacco really begins to sing at about 1/3 through the bowl -and it keeps on going. At about the halfway point, the flavor really begins to change; it seems to lose some of it's sweetness as the burley kicks in. It also gets a bit fuller, as would be expected, and the nicotine can put off those used to very mild tobaccos. For this reason (combined with it's slow burning characteristics) I recommend a small to medium sized pipe for Stonehaven. As would be imagined, this tobacco ages VERY well. I heartily recommend this tobacco. YUM!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

rjm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rjm (10)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Stonehaven comes in a smooth, black flake and looks like pieces of broken tire tread (don't let that put you off- it's wonderful!). Although I have smoked this without rubbing it out, I would not recommend it, as the tobacco is very hard to keep lit in unbroken form. This tobacco generally has a very natural taste and aroma and a mild sourness that is very appealing. It burns cleanly, resulting in a dry ash. Because of its density, it will last a long time in your pipe and it yields great results with DGT (Delayed Gratification Technique). Like most other Esoterica blends, this a high quality tobacco that is well worth trying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dude (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

very unique flake tobacco- the smell is chocolate and fruit. Taste is full with a little sweetness at the end of the smoke. I find it like a lighter version of 1792 flake where its a medium to strong tobacco that doesnt bite , with a unique flavor.
Unlike 1792 , the flavoring of the smoke is sweeter and not so overwhelming , its more if a aftertaste.
Ages well and smoke well out of a fresh tin. Comes moist in the package. Thin cut flake smokes well dried out. too much drying out though seem to loose a little of the flavor.
Also interesting is that I think that Germain does age this tobacco quite a bit prior to shipping out. When I open new packages the flakes are already covered in white sugar crystals .
Can be recommended to dedicate a pipe to this blend.
Must try blend!

Pipe Used: pipes reserved for virginia

Age When Smoked: fresh tin to 4 yrs

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

mimefrog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mimefrog (5)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

My first VaBur happened to be Stonehaven. If this is the benchmark of the genre, then I guess I love VaBurs!

I stumbled upon an 8oz bag in a Chicago B&M while travelling. They had one bag, and it was in the back of the shelf as if it were half-heartedly hidden. I wasn't sure if I'd heard it was good or not but I wanted to try a VaBur, so I bought it. Researching it afterward, I learned how lucky I was to find such a rare tobacco.

I've smoked it in 4 different briars and a clay. I've rubbed it out and folded/stuffed the flakes. Its amazing every time, though I have to say the clay provided even more depth than the others. And this is a DEEP tobacco. Lots of nuance, so its best to smoke slowly and try to focus on it rather than puff and browse the internet or read. It needs some drying time IMO. Not as much as Full VA Flake but it merits some advance prep. The tin note is so pleasant, I could almost eat the stuff.

I taste a salty earthiness, an alkaline sweetness, cocoa, and even ... dry-aged steak ...? Yup. Its weird, I know. I think this would serve admirably as a desert island tobacco.

What more can I say? This is now one of my favorite tobaccos. I'll be sad when its gone, knowing now that I may not find it again any time soon. But I'm going to smoke and enjoy it nevertheless.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (30)
★★★★
Very Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of a kind! Reminds me of dark chocolate when preparing the flakes, both smell and appearance. This blend will satisfy your nicotine needs. The taste is absolutely amazing, I won't even try describe it (plenty of reviews already.) I just felt the need to express what a wonderful blend this is. I don't care if you like aro's or English blends.... This will reward the smoker who truly loves the taste of tobacco! Absolutely essential!

Down side: Everyone seems to know how good this blend is and it's very hard to come by. If you see it, stock up and cellar as much a you can. It only gets better with age.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (54)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Great dark Burley/Virginia FLake with a light fruity topping. this almost impossible to find leaf burns cool and delivers a decent nicotine dose with delicious flavors Outstanding Smoke

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

CochenBallstein Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CochenBallstein (10)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Everything there is to say has been said. If you haven't tried Stonehaven, take some time and read the 4 star reviews and then buy some. One of the absolute best tobacco blends ever created for the pipe.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (70)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

It's hard to add anything new to the many favorable reviews to this outstanding blend. Not being a burley smoker, I wasn't sure if I would find Stonehaven as fascinating as other have--but I do and it has opened the world of burleys to me. It works best for me pretty dry and in a meerschaum. It has a "golden," rich flavor to me, unlike anything else I've tried. It smokes cool and dry. Unfortunately, it's very hard to locate on-line but local stores seem to carry the 8 oz. bags fairly often. No pipe smoker should go through life without at least trying Stonehaven. A great change of pace for an english/Balkan smoker. Highly recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

The Commoner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Commoner (30)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

It's all been said.

Short story is this is the finest VABur I've smoked flake or otherwise.

I typically eschew the frenzy to gobble up the likes of Samuel Gawith or Esoterica in the rare event they choose to bless us with their products. I find readily available Gawith and Hoggarth and JF Germain products of equal quality with a whole lot less hassle to obtain.

Stonehaven is the exception. I've yet to find anything else like it.

It hits all the notes and balances them all perfectly.

No need to go on. If you smoke a pipe. Smoke Stonehaven if you can get your hands on some.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Barling Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Barling (19)
★★★★
Strong Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

You really need to rub this out thoroughly and let it dry for about 30 minutes (at least) before packing this and smoking it, otherwise you will find it nearly impossible to keep the wet and soggy mess that accumulates in the bottom of your pipe lit. Once you do that, what you end up with is an absolutely delicious smoke with a sweetness reminiscent of dark fruitcake, licorice, and chocolate covered raisins. Despite the strength of this tobacco, I love smoking it out of a large Castello or Ser Jacopo, and it remains delicious right to the bottom of the bowl. Despite having absolutely none of the Latakia and Perique I love in my blends, this is an incredibly satisfying smoke that I believe is worth seeking out, because there is really nothing like it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

I add this review principally to say that Stonehaven is sold in the UK under the title Germain's Rich Dark Flake.

It is pretty easy to order online and seems to be available at least at the present.

Everything else about it that the community have said in praise I heartily endorse!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

AgentSmith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AgentSmith (9)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

Yes, it is worth the effort to obtain. True greatness if you can find it. If I was restricted to only one pipe tobacco, this would be my choice. Simply delicious.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

yinyang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yinyang (45)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Dissing off the establishment, yet again, with this one. (Just finished panning FVF here a minute ago).

Another high hopes blend, only to have my dreams smashed asunder. This is well behaved baccy...cool and even handed. Too even handed, maybe. Nothing jumps out at me as remarkable. Ever have a totally serviceable (good) pot roast for dinner, only to forget that's what you had the next morning? Yeah, that's my take on Stonehaven. I like it, I suppose, but it doesn't scream 'hoarde me' like others can. But of course it wouldn't scream anything...it's much too civilized for that.

My least favorite ET/Germain offering to date.

Two indifferent stars.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

This is basically partially-stoved J. F. Germain & Son Brown Flake. See the review for that and subtract a little flavor.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

nikko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nikko (5)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Marlboro, hot dry smoke, no flavor at all, smells like it taste, to sum it up. I just don't see what I'm missing here? I've had this ageing since 12/2009 didn't like it then don't like it now.

Pipe Used: dunhill amber root

Age When Smoked: 4 years

Purchased From: cup o joes

0 of 4 people found this review helpful.