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A harmonious blend of golden and dark Virginias with small portions of burley and air-cured leaf. Matured by a special process over 100 years old, producing a unique natural aroma and piquant flavor.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 8 ounce bag
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 7 Users

87 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

There's a natural Virginia buttery citrus sweetness along with some hay/grass, a little dark fruit and earth, and a honey note due to the expert mix of gold and dark Virginias. You get much of the full range of tastes that those Virginias usually have to offer. The burley is nutty and toast-like with an earthy, woodsy flavor that gets a little stronger as you smoke it down. The burley is almost a competitive component in terms of taste. The fruity smell out of the tin or bag allows you to think a topping is present, and I wonder if a dash of apricot was added in the casing of the Virginia, but this varietal tastes lightly fermented in any case. The tobacco is ribbon cut and a little stringy, so it burns at a moderate pace, cool and clean with a very consistent flavor. It hits you with mild to medium dose of nicotine, but not enough to avoid repeating it during your smoking day, and experienced smokers may consider it to be an all day smoke. No dull or harsh spots, and no bite. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, lingering woody, nutty sweet after taste and stronger room note.

26 people found this review helpful.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Experience has shown me it is not wise to judge a tobacco until I have smoked it for about a month (unless it's just downright awful from the gitgo). Tilbury is one of those tobaccos that initially failed to impress me. It wasn't bad; it was just alright. However, I had just been coming off of a couple months of DSK and MacB Navy Flake, and so had to re-attune myself to the more subtle complexities of a more natural tasting tobacco such as Tilbury.

Anytime a tobacco's description includes the word 'piquant', I have to give it a try; mainly because I am a boob who does not know what the word means, and really want to find out what it is. And if it causes dizziness, then I definitely want to give it a go. Well, suffice to say, I didn't get dizzy. And I still do not know what that piquant flavor is (piquant pie?). But this is really good stuff.

It is, as others have already said, a very fine cut for pipe tobacco. And in the tin, it is very moist, and will remain so for quite a long while (unlike some of the Dunhill blends that dry out within a week). I really wasn't quite sure how to load this stuff into my pipe at first. Finally, I decided on the "grab a bunch, roll it up, and stuff it into the pipe until no more will go in" method. This seems to work, as I have had good luck with the pipe staying lit and smoking cool all the way to the bottom; at least in a small to medium size bowl.

Now, this tobacco does what I like my tobacco to do. It burns evenly, and it pretty much tastes the same at the bottom of the bowl as it does at the top; no big surprises halfway through. And the flavor is nice and tobaccoey sweet; not the pungent aritificial sweetness of an aromatic. For those who like the natural sweetness of a McClelland mature virginia, but not the vinegar/ketchup aroma and taste, this tobacco should be spot on.

**Did I actually say "spot on"? I have actually now begun ordering this tobacco in the 8 oz. packaging, so it ranks up with Gawith & Hogarth flakes for me.

8 people found this review helpful.

tleek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tleek (48)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Fanastic tobacco. Esoterica is almost impossible to find online, but I found it at a few shops, in tins and bulk. I am reviewing the bulk variety, if it makes any difference. First of all, I do not know why the tin says broadcut, it is a very fine ribbon cut as others have mentioned. It packs easily and burns very very well, down to nothing. This is probably one of the coolest smoking blends I have ever smoked.

The flavor of Tilbury is exquisite! It has a plum like Virginia sweetness rounded off by the pecan like nutty, earthy burly. As you smoke it, the burly becomes more and less prominent. The flavor also intensifies in the last half of the bowl. Like most tobaccos, it is best enjoyed sipped, but thats hard to do with a tobacco this good. Blow the smoke through your nose, swish it around a bit. This is some pretty nuanced stuff.

I love burly, and I love Virginia. Before I found this blend, as I was tiring of full flavored latakia blends and smoking a lot of straight VAs and drug store burleys, I was hoping I would find a Virginia heavy blend with good quality burly leaf in it. This is it. This is like Carter Hall (which is fantastic in its own right) with 50 percent more virginia and better quality tobaccos, and no apparent topping.

My only regret is not buying more, Highly recommended.

7 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Appearance: Mostly reddish tones, medium width ribbon.

Aroma: Substantial matured Virginia aroma with some trace of dark Burley.

Packing:. Packs well into any size bowl from group 3 through 5.

Lighting:. Lighting is quite ordinary. Not too slow to burn, nor too quick to catch.

Initial flavor: Very full bodied Virginia flavor with some extra strength noticeable. The additional component soon reveals itself as a very tasty Burley

Mid-bowl:. This is a simple blend, which has complex layers of flavors. The blending of sweet and nutty is extraordinary, while the fullness begs you to slow your puffing. Quite a bit of mouth feel to this blend, with a good range of middle notes, some high and some low, but no extremes. A cool smoke, but stays lit rather well.

Finish:. Finishes way too soon, leaving me wishing I had filled a larger pipe. Also leaves me satisfied for a while, no need for another. There seems to be a high nicotine content.

Summary:. Another superb blend from Esoterica. Reminds me of Cumberland, but without the Perique. An excellent choice for the evening, by itself, or with a nightcap.

7 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Now here is a Virginia/Burley combination that offers pure tobacco taste. The tin aroma is quite nice; sort of a subdued sweet Virginia screaming "Smoke Me!"

The tobacco itself is a little too long stranded for me. I use a small food processor to chop most of my tobaccos anyway, so, a few seconds in the zapper was all it took to make packing a pleasure.

There is no tongue bite--thanks to the high quality of the Virginia and added Burley. It can be smoked all day without fatigue. The flavor is subtle and fairly one dimentional. But hey, if tobacco taste is what you're after, then here you go.

Updated 9/6/03.....I have just finished a tin of 5 year old Tilbury. I must say, this stuff tastes better and better each time I smoke it. A true classic that Virginia/Burley lovers will consider to be a top-shelf. Not inexpensive, but worth every penny!

7 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

With the exception of Silver Flake, I don’t have any VaBur’s in my regular rotation as I am pretty picky with it comes to Burley’s. Owning only 3 tins of Tilbury of various ages, this one was purchased late in 2013. I simply love the tin note of this blend! I also really like very thin cut tobacco and while this one is slightly more difficult to work with than other thin cut blends, it burns with pure tobacco flavor. The word “butter” seems to come up a lot with this blend and I have to agree. The Virginias have a light sweetness and the combination of Virginias is proportionally perfect and the earthy, nutty Burley is delicious. There is no bite, even when pushed and it has enough backbone to keep me satisfied with a moderate nic hit. As each bowl progresses, the Burley becomes more apparent, but never overcomes the sweet Virginias. I tend to puff a little bit rapidly and to get the most out of this blend, a slower cadence is a must in order to get all of the tremendous flavor out of this blend and to keep the heat down from the very thin cut. I tend to have a pipe in my mouth most of the day and do find that I need to allow some extra time before moving on to my next bowl. Along with Solani Silver Flake, this is easily my favorite VaBur. Sadly, there will never be enough available to be a regular smoke.

Age When Smoked: Two and a half years

4 people found this review helpful.

Sinister Topiary Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sinister Topiary (84)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Macadamia Nuts. They're buttery, creamy, clean-tasting, and subtly sweet. Rather like this blend.

My first few bowls were very frustrating and unpleasant, primarily because my packing technique was off with this fine a ribbon. But despite such horrible smokes, I was still able to discern some quality flavor. So I stuck with it. And I'm really glad I did!

Once I got my packing technique down it stayed lit beautifully. The more I smoked it, the more I appreciated its clean, pure tobacco flavor. In this sense it reminds me of FVF; but Tilbury, for me, has more nuance, with the Burley adding a delightful nuttiness.

I hadn't found a Burley blend I liked until this one. Tilbury has become one of my favorite smokes. This is the real deal for natural tobacco flavor. A wonderful Virginia/Burley blend. Highly recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Beautiful, mostly chocolate brown ribbon cut of predominantly virginias. A couple of noteworthy observations - first, as Bierstadt mentioned, I get a very distinct flavor of something like buttered and sugared toast. This comes directly from the tobacco rather than a casing of any kind. Second, this has absolutely the best room note of any natural tobacco I've ever smoked. If you want a nice DGT, instead of relighting it, just leave the room for a few seconds and re-enter. Honestly, I did that several times during each bowl. I have no idea why or how it smells so wonderful in the room but it is absolute heaven on earth!

The essential constituent tobaccos may be the same but I find this as close to Stonehaven in flavor as peanut butter is to a steak. Where Stonehaven was robust with burly burleys and a touch of virginia, Tilbury is a light, sweet gentle blend with the virginia on top and the burley well underneath. The burley is definitely in a supporting role here. It only comes out with any force during the last 1/3 bowl.

This is a very good tobacco. It's a little mild for my tastes but it's definitely something any virginia lover should try.

4 people found this review helpful.

hiplainsdrifter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiplainsdrifter (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This one was a surprise winner for me. With the exceptional quality of Esoterica's Stonehaven, I thought any other VaBur in the Esoterica line must be lackluster. Not so! Tilbury is very different from Stonehaven both in processing and ingredients, but it is an excellent blend. It likes thorough drying for best flavor. Pack this ribbon cut rather loosely for best results. This one is an explosion of fine Virginia flavor, with just the right amount of sweetness. The burley adds great complexity, coming through as a nutty undertone through much of the bowl. As others mentioned, this blend is exceptionally smooth. I usually get greedy when smoking a good Virginia forward blend, resulting in tongue bite. Tilbury is very forgiving, and can be pushed more than most. This makes it a great all day blend for an active pipe smoker or a novice. I am very glad I tried this one, I will definitely be stocking up on some Tilbury when it is next available.

Pipe Used: Ashton Canadian, Ruthenberg 1/2 bent brandy

Age When Smoked: Unknown

3 people found this review helpful.

½ bowl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
½ bowl (99)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I popped a rather young tin of Tilbury and found a highly compacted brick of dark golden shag that falls apart very nicely. I can only describe the tin note as sour apricot -- but that did not translate into the taste or aroma of the burning leaf. Rather, it delivers a subtly sweet, natural Virginia taste that belongs more on the fruit-like side of the Va. spectrum rather than the grassy or sharp side. It has a buttery, clean-tasting natural tobacco taste with nut-like undertones, hints of olive, and a bread-like, maybe even yeasty, flavor. Not exciting, no pizzazz, just good smoke. If someone asked me what unadorned tobacco tastes like, I would have to offer Tilbury as the example of choice.

Tilbury exudes quality and refinement, and it produces a nicely rounded mouth feel and great volumes of creamy smoke. There is good balance between strength, flavor, and body, which makes for a very smooth smoke of medium strength (bordering on strong). It burns dryly and is totally bite free; and if I needed some clean ash for a batch of pipe mud, this is what I'd smoke.

If you like uncomplicated blends of high quality you should give this a try. It would be especially suitable for people trying to transition from cigarettes to the pipe.

Pipe Used: Radice, Ser Jacopo, Ardor, GBD, Savinelli

2 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am enjoying a sample of this a friend sent me. This is a very high quality and tasty VaBur that presents initially as a straight, slightly sweet Virginia. As the bowl progresses, you start picking up the burley. I claim there is no topping at all. I just taste tobacco here, and it is very good. I do not find this to have any unusual nicotine hit as the description and other reviewers have suggested, but maybe I am less sensitive to it.

2 people found this review helpful.

Dr.James Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.James (28)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Tilbury is presented in a fine ribbon cut with a tin aroma reminiscent of dry autumn leaves. Easy to pack and perfect moisture. The blend of gold and dark Virginias produce layers of dry grass, sweet hay and citrus balanced by light fruity notes. Burley is predominant but not overwhelming and steps in with a sweet nuttiness, white pepper and notes of maple wood. As it burns at a medium pace to a white ash it reminds me of an autumn stroll in the neighborhood as hardwood leaves are smoldering away. Won’t bite your tongue even if provoked. Can be an all day smoke. Balanced and smooth but on the upper side of medium in strength, aftertaste is pleasant and leaves a very enjoyable room note. I will be cellaring some away to see how it develops in a year.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

1 person found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

From the tin the aroma is quite pungent. It smells like fermented plants mixed with leather with just a slight hint of sweet grass. It actually didn't smell that appealing at first sniff, but now it gets me quite excited.

The tobacco is mostly light to medium brown ribbons with a few light ribbons mixed in and even less dark ribbons present. Extremely easy to load and light. I recommend a medium pack, not too tight or too much tobacco, but not to soft either. If packed right this will remain lit with light and easy tamping.

The smoke is very flavorful. I get natural sweetness that is balanced by woodsy flavors, toast, a slight tang and some nuttiness. There are hints of citrus and a little grass, but not that much. Maybe a hint of spice, more pronounced about mid-bowl when the wood flavor really comes out. From that point to the end of the bowl there are notes of dark chocolate, but just hints. This tobacco is hard for me to describe, but it seems quite unique to other blends I've smoked before. It has the bready, tangy, natural sweetness of a red va and the nuttiness, and perhaps the cocoa too, from the burley. The flavor combination is wonderful and enjoyable from top to bottom. It has a nice kick to it as well. Great with the morning cup of coffee.

This tobacco is great all on it's own, however, I was first introduced to this blend by a wonderful pipe maker. He sent me a sample of what he calls 'Surf-n-turf' blend. It's a mixture of LA Perique and Tilbury, being more Tilbury than Perique. He described it as tasting like meat and the ocean at first and ends up tasting like you are sucking on chocolate by the end. He was right. I have since remade this blend and thoroughly enjoy the blend and Tilbury on it's own from time to time.

Pipe Used: Billard, RB Morta Poker, Dragon Briars Poker

Age When Smoked: 1-6 Months

Purchased From: Morgan Hill Cigar and Wine

1 person found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (93)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

A fiend of mine told me that this tobacco has no bells and whistles but it's an outstanding VaBur... I concur. This is another blend from Germain that I would consider a daily smoke if it were not for all you people buying it all up before I can get to it. Lol. This is a smooth, slightly sweet smoke and I see people using the word "buttery" to describe it in several different reviews and for good reason, it is somewhat buttery in flavor and texture. Again, Germain has a way of curing their Virginia's like no one else on the face of the earth. What is it that they do to their VA's that other people can't figure out? Well... that's half the fun, the not knowing, that is where the magic lies. This and Dunbar are my absolute favorite blends from the Esoterica line of tobaccos, you all can have your Penzance and Stonehaven. Give me Tilbury or give me death! Okay that is a little extreme but you get the point. Oh, and I agree with DK on the roomnote, it's absolutely stunning! The best of the best!


Pipe Used: Neerup, Stanwell, Gamboni

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Ye Olde Signe (Re-release).

1 person found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very good VaBur with just a touch of British flair to it. The tin note is reminiscent of Stonehaven, leaving me to assume that the leaf is lightly cased with treacle. The primary flavors are sweet and slightly musty with a hint of chocolate on the finish. The smoke is rich but not heavy, and there’s a light peppery quality to it that feels fizzy on the tongue. Tilbury has just a bit of strength to it and it becomes more noticeable as you smoke down the bowl. However, for me the manufacturer’s claim of "potentcy" is unfounded.

By mid smoke I get a firm yet smooth woodsy burley flavor that's well supported by the sugary Virginia leaf. Tibury is finely balanced and manages to walk a thin line between brighter sweet toasty flavors and the deeper bitter earthy characteristics of a stout burley blend.

Altogether this is an elegant, well nuanced and downright tasty tobacco.

Pipe Used: Briar

1 person found this review helpful.

Coda Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coda (33)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

This is an interesting tobacco. I would consider this, in most cases, a "consolation" tobacco. This is what you may buy when Penzance and/or Stonehaven are out of stock. That said, its surprising. A shag cut tobacco, Tilbury is reminiscent of very fine, high-quality cigarettes. The Virginias are a bit subdued, but the burleys are earthy. Fresh out of the tin, I was not impressed by this blend. However, after a month or two in a jar, it began to take shape. Not always a dependable smoke, however. Sometimes, it just Regardless, its a decent tobacco for anyone who likes natural VaBur blends and/or shag cuts...

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE 1/22/2018

I somehow smoked through an 8 oz bag without returning to update this review. Based on what my impressions were about 5 and a half years ago this one really needs an edit. In context, I had only been smoking for about 6 months when I first reviewed this blend. To my good fortune my local B & M had three Esoterica tins sitting in stock, one each of: And so to Bed, Tilbury and Dorchester.

I ended up buying all three of these out of curiosity more than anything else as I had no idea what a treasure this was to behold at the time. The three of these tins offered such sweet smokes due to the aged Virginia, that I have been unable to replicate any of them since. I attribute this to the age of the tins and have really put aside a lot of the Tilbury and Dorchester in hopes that I will have a lot of that taste in the future.

Back on topic. The tin I had was so sweet that I really though this was a straight Virginia. TR descriptions at the time did not offer me any contrasting ideas that Burley was a component at all. It was not until I tried 8 ounces of this fresh did the burley make its presence felt. By presence I mean the nuttiness that was still outweighed by the Virginia IMO.

Tilbury is a fantastic smoke whether new or old and maintains its 4 star rating for me even with this update. I think that people who like burley but are a bit of lightweights will especially enjoy Tilbury, if they are able to find some, as this blend will not clobber you with nicotine at all. Although I do enjoy a hearty blend, I find this not to be a problem for me. It really is a great blend and I look forward to the day when all of my stash is aged.


I just finished my first tin of this and each bowl of it reinforced that it was my favorite straight VA blend. To my knowledge there was no way to actually date the tin I purchased, but the four different pricetags suggests to me that it was ancient and perhaps could be the reason for my adulation.

Not normally a VA smoker as my name would suggest, I was only able to compare it to two other straight VAs. Those other two were also highly rated on here, so I feel comfortable giving this one four stars.

I have found I really like the VAs used in all of the Esoterica blends. There is a subtle sweetness that is left in the back of mouth with each puff. I notice this in ASTB and Dorcester as well.

I plan on buying more of this and will be interested if a new tin has a different taste than what I encountered with this first tin. If anything changes then so will this review.

btw . . . Tin smell is heavenly, perhaps best I have ever experienced.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Simply wonderful. A lovely red/brown easy ribbon cut mixture of very mature Vas and a touch of Burley. Makes me think of blue cheese for some reason, it's strong, certainly, but has an undeniable sweetness which I was nearly convinced was natural. Burns great, high 'N' levels but always leaves me wanting more more more. I could smoke this day and night. Yes, I like it, and have ordered in bulk to make sure I never have to not smoke this.

Update: Sweet milk chocolate to Stonehaven's dark. I smoke this every day all day in a tiny Dublin that takes 10 minutes to clear. This stuff is it for me. I alternate with Dunbar depending on mood and weather. Cloudy: Tilbury; Sunny: Dunbar.

There's only one drawback in my mind: it does not like tamping out, pocketing and relighting later. Gets bitter, not sweet.

1 person found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My tin was purchased in 2010. My impressions were different from some of the older reviews.

Tin note: very mild, little aroma. It is on the dry side when the seal is broken.

Like any predominantly Virginia blend, it bites like hell if you smoke it too fast.

Nicotine is strong, and is probably the main attraction of this blend.

Very subtle, very mild sweetness to the smoke. Flavor is consistent through the entire pipe.

Again, my tin was not aged, and a little dryer than optimal.

Comparisons: stronger nicotine and less sweet than Tordenskjold Virginia Slices, not as strong as Union Square. And in overall quality, not even in the same league with the Virginia blends from McClelland. I can imagine that this blend might become a favorite for some. But it shouldn't. There are many better Virginias in the world.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

The basic tobacco flavor of this blend is somehow similar to stoneheaven but without the chocolate casing and with more natural taste and less body, this is simply a pure, high quality Virginia, fermented and processed in the Esoterica sort of way, with very natural flavor and with strong nicotine.

This one worth a try for those who loves natural Virginia without any casing, and it may be a winner; depending on how do you prefer your Virginia.

There is so many excellent Virginias to try, Tilbury is one of them.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is exquisitely subtle. The reason I only smoke it on occasion is because I appreciate it most when I am calm and reflective. It burns very easily and is "hands down" THE most bite-free tobacco I have ever smoked. It is suitable for the experienced pipe smoker and would be excellent for the novice, as it's gentle nature subtle flavor would surely insure continuation of the "gentle art".

1 person found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (114)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The tin of Tilbury I opened was from a large buyout of a fellow smoker and was sealed when I received it in August of last year. When I saw it the next time, about the first of February this year, it had lost it's vacuum seal but was mechanically sealed. So, I opened it and discovered that it was still moist enough to smoke. I also discovered that it had a strange tin aroma that was about one half fermented grass and one half dirty socks. Not quite off-putting, these "flavors" reflected it's composition of Virginia and Burley with fifteen years of aging behind them. Now, although this sounds groovy, the smoking qualities of this blend were weak and thin and I had trouble extracting enough enjoyment from it to feel positive about the experience. This lackluster performance was repeated in every bowl I smoked . I began to use Tilbury in blending, but this didn't produce anything notable. I don't know whether the age of this tin was a causative factor in this bland performance or not. Age is, usually, a positive factor in pipe blends but it didn't turn out to be the case here. I intend to to obtain a fresher tin of this blend to smoke for comparison but, until then, two stars.

Pipe Used: Ashton LX Brindle Dublin

Age When Smoked: 15 years old

Purchased From: buyout of another smoker

Similar Blends: nothing I remember.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Nice straightforward smoke... light sweetness.. good grassy brightness... burley is very subtle... I like it overall but doesn't excite me as much as other esoterica blends.. a little simple.. but sometimes that's not a bad thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (112)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Yet another great blend from Esoterica Tobacciana. This is a great Virginia/Burley blend, although the burley is very subtle. The tin note on all of the Esoterica Virginias I have found to be incredibly good. This is a sweet tangy VA, with bread and hay notes along with a lemony/lemon zest smell. If you stick your nose in real quick I get immediately makes me recall the smell of Parliment cigarette's (which I never smoked, just smelled the packs of friends). But if you really put your nose in you get a great VA smell that seems to really be pronounced with this brand. I only use the air pocket packing method when smoking Virginia tobacco's. I find the air pocket in the pipe helps minimize the likelihood of bite and I also find with Virginias in particular you can really get all of the subtle flavors. From the charring light to the last puff you the hay like grassy and sweet flavors of these outstanding Virginia's. There is toast from the burley which really makes the sweet bready Virginia flavor shine. The lemony scent in the tin is also in the flavor but is almost grapefruit like in the mouth and especially on the retrohale. I also get a "cut grass" like flavor, which may not sound good, but I like it. Medium nic hit for me and burns very will if given 15 mintutes of drying time.

Pipe Used: briar's & Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: less than 1 year

Purchased From: Tinder Box IN

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The first Esoterica blend I ever tried. I didn't know what to expect upon opening the bag, but it was a feast for the eyes. Mostly chestnut shag speckled with dark brown to black pieces of thinly broken flake. The initial aroma was entirely unique. Sharp, mysterious and pleasing. Plenty of moisture so I let a large pinch air out for a while. I like packing it into smaller group 2 or 3 sized bowls. Smokes faster than flake or most ribbons so it's great for a short and satisfying smoke. The best singular adjective I can give is "piquant". The smoke is plentiful. It is savory moreso than sweet...about as complex as a Virginia blend can be. There's an almost "green olive" note to this, without being "vinegary". Overall a magical blend that I cannot recommend enough, even if you're a predominantly english smoker.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Quaint (Group 2)

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Strauss Tobacconist

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The Burley is a little more nutty than earthy and has a little sweetness to it. It leads the Virginias by just a little. The Virginias add a little more citrus than hay and have a mild spice hit. They also give the smoke an underlying "freshness". It's a smooth smoke that satisfies in flavor and strength. Not the best VaBur I've had, but in my top five.

Medium in body and taste. No added flavoring. Burns very well.

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

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Cup O' Joes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cat Jockey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cat Jockey (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Tin labels are highly irritating.

I'm fortunate to have a tobacconist that has a good variety of tobaccos on hand. While driving there, I decided I was going to pick up a tin of a Va I hadn't tried before. I have both Dunbar and Penznace on the shelf, but hadn't branched out into Esoterica beyond that. Knowing that Esoterica made Straight Vas and that my tobacconist stocks 6-8 varieties of Esoterica in tins and bags, I figured I would look at the tin labels to see if they carried one of the straight Vas.

Hmmm ... Tilbury, "A broad cut extra mature Virginia."

Perfect, I thought. A Va. (surely a straight Va, right, else they would have informed me of the other tobaccos, right ?...?) The first thing I thought upon opening the tin was, "Broad cut, my ass." I consider Dunbar to be ribbon cut. This is cut like RYO shag. Though my mind should have been prepared for more misleading mislabeling, it wasn't. I was entirely focused on having a straight Va experience. So, after 3-4 puffs and the Burley made itself known, my mind refused to accept its presence (Funny how a mind can refuse to accept what it knows to be true and has evidence of staring it right in the face, err, palate. Another oddity of the Human Experience, I suppose ...), and my immediate thought was, "Hmm. I don't think I have ever smoked a straight Va that tastes so much like a cigarette as this one." My mind remained perplexed, and unwilling to accept that I had been lied to by Esoterica, and there was more to the blend than Vas.

It left me thinking, "Well, I guess I'll smoke the rest of it, but I don't think I'll be buying another tin, let alone bag."

Trying to find answers and meaning to what it was about this Va that was not setting right with me, I came here, as others do. Then I started laughing, reflecting upon my 'cigarette' thoughts when I saw it had Burley in it.

I almost gave this 2 stars, or less, because I most definitely was expecting a straight Va experience, but the tin label misled me into a VaBur experience - and I am not a big Burley guy. It irritated me that the tin label was so misleading. I was initially irritated. I had to give it 4 stars, though, for once I realized it is a VaBur, I was no longer expecting a straight Va experience, and could appreciate and enjoy it for what it is.

I'm not a big VaBur guy, but this is very good stuff, and has been added to my rotation. I finished the tin last night and brought home half a pound from the tobacconist this morning.

Pure tobacco taste. Hints of a cigarette, but in a good way with quality tobacco, with the Va playing in nicely and develops throughout the bowl.

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wags888 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wags888 (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening up the bag, I did not enjoy the smell. Similar to Stonehaven, there was an "almost chocolate" off-putting smell. I jarred most of it for aging, but let a few bowls sit in a bag for two weeks. I pulled a bowl out of the bag and let it sit for 10m before packing it. While the smell was off, the taste was on. I enjoyed the bowl. The chocolate tasted chocolate and it was a bit creamy.

Pipe Used: Balkovec Tubos Reverse Calabash

Age When Smoked: Fresh

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Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Though I enjoy latakia/oriental/va blends mostly, I do love an occasional VA or VA/Bur mixture. Let me present Tilbury. This is a nice medium in strength, but full in flavor VABUR from Esoterica which definitely delivers for me every time. There is a nice volume of smoke delivered when dried just a little and for my money this is one of the best blends Esoterica makes next to Penzance. I find the full body and fermented, sweet-yeasty flavor to be just wonderful. This is not a cased or topped tobacco, IMO, the unique flavor is from the fermentation process and there is very little nuttiness or hay-like essence, so often found in its constituent elements. This blend is a little singular in flavor but for an occasional bowl that's just fine with me. I know its not always easy to score any of the Esoterica blends sometimes, but this is one fine blend to stock up on if you can and age seems to only smooth it out and make it that much more delicious. Try some! LJSOW

Pipe Used: Sav.

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

Purchased From: BATB

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Adam S Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Adam S (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I will keep it simple. This is superb smoke. If your taste buds are not burnt from heavy or flavored tobacco, you should try this! It is a very delicate stuff. Simple and highest quality. It requires passion to get the best out of this blend, but it can be smoked any way, and it will still deliver. If you like pure tobacco taste, you will love this.

Pipe Used: Asteriou freehand RC, Peterson 1902 Billiard, Cob

Age When Smoked: aprox 5 years

Purchased From: Pipes and Tobacco

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moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Despite ET's veiled suggestions to the contrary, Tilbury is not a strong or robust tobacco. It is not likely to cause an experienced smoker dizziness, and I'm not so sure about "piquant", either. On the other hand, the smell of white chocolate (or cocoa) over the well blended, aged tobacco seems to be a result of natural processes, and the parallel flavor and aroma of the smoke is quite comfortably nice. The constituent tobaccos are well melded, round and smooth, end to end. It's probably partly because of its simple, easy going nature that I tend to smoke Tilbury as a no-brainer, since it delivers its comfort and satisfaction with minimal effort from me; not to mention, it smells and tastes good! One need only load gently and avoid tamping while staying light on the draw in order to enjoy this tobacco. It does smoke down rather quickly; but it seems pretty safe to me to just go ahead and enjoy another bowl. Very easy going for a VA/Bur.

Nothing Fancy; Just Plain Good.

Pipe Used: large-ish briars

Age When Smoked: young-ish to old-ish

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: Contrast to GLP Montgomery.

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Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (137)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Good all around VA/Burley. Must be smoked slowly or it will bite. I go back and forth about buying an 8oz. bag or just another couple of tins for now. It has some aging potential. It cannot be smoked all day, the bite is too much. But still a good smoke and well worth the try.


This is a jar from the initial purchase aged 2yrs. Nice changes, no bite. The VA's are starting but just starting to sweeten a little more. I would love to see this develop to about 8-10 yrs. Very good aging potential here from what I am seeing so far. However, finding this has been difficult. I am not willing to pay $100 a lb. when it can be found. I know of one online retailer that has the expected price but good luck getting a bag when it comes in. This is good/very good but I am note going out of my way to run down a bag or pay the jacked up price.

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Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (29)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I should start by admitting that I am not a huge fan of VA's to begin with, but I do like to change it up from my regular diet of English blends. Having said that, I was not super-impressed with Tilbury. The VA blends I've tasted have been either straight VA flakes or VaPer's and I've preferred all of them to this.

In the tin, it smells lovely. Many reviews have already described the wonderful aromas and the promises of a great smoke to come. It's a bit wet and along with the shaggy cut, makes it a little difficult to load. It dries out relatively quickly though and once you understand it's moisture, you can get it to load and light pretty easily.

I divide my smoking experience with Tilbury into two phases. The first is a relatively mild virginia smoke - a little sweetness and a bread-like savory taste with ample smoke. Smoked slowly and thoughtfully, it's pleasant enough, if understated. After the rich tin aroma, I'd hoped for something more though.

The second phase is that in which the burley becomes more pronounced. The flavor becomes characteristically nuttier and flatter. My experience with Burleys has always been thus. While not unpleasant, I just find it boring, What the matured Virginias have to offer seems almost entirely covered up by the Burley.

All in all, it's a decent smoke. The quality of the leaf seems good. There are no unpleasant flavors or aromas and the consistency of the smoking experience tell me that much. The "potency" of the smoke is another issue. I don't have the highest tolerance for nicotine, but I can smoke this without fear of dizziness, which makes me wonder.

There are numerous other VA's out there to try, most of which I think I'll enjoy more than this VA/Burley blend. I probably won't ever get through the tin I have because of boredom, let alone purchase another. Still, I'm certain that others like it just fine, as the reviews indicate. I think it's just not my cup of tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found this to be a nice blend with the Virginia out front, however,it just didn't have that "zing". It was sweet but not real sweet. It didn't bite, but needed some drying prior to smoking. It's not complex, has decent "N" ( I didn't get dizzy !) and could be smoked all day, . I don't want to say there is anything wrong with this , it is just boring ( this can't hold a candle to Solani"660 Silver Flake" , that is a Virginia Kentucky blend). Smoke can get a touch of bitter if smoked fast. I'll finish the tin but won't order more , I'll stick with "660".

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review will probably not be too informative. It is based on two bowls each of recently tinned and 12 year old Tilbury, sent to me as a sample by a fellow pipe forum member. We were discussing aged tobacco and how much of a difference an aged tin makes. I enjoy aged tobaccos, but don't often have the experience of trying the same blend in 12-year- separated "vintages" and trying to write a review. I like to review everything I try, but keep in mind the caveat that this write-up is based on very few bowls, and that usually I like to smoke a few more than this before forming an opinion. So, here are a couple observations. I like this tobacco, but the few Esoterica blends I've tried have been all top quality. Nice Virginias in here, and a touch of Burley, but the Virginias predominate. Based on the small amount I have smoked, I would buy this again, and probably will acquire another tin at least of this blend at some point. I also will not go and order ten tins right now: in other words, it's not knocking my socks off, and I have several blends in jars that are just as good and a couple that are better. I don't think anyone who likes this style would be too disappointed. The tin description says potent, causes dizziness. I guess whoever wrote that never had Irish Flake. Puffed a little harder, I get some strength from it. Now to the crux of the review: do I detect a difference between the old and the new? In a word (well, two words), not really! The newer vintage tastes aged already, because of the blending and curing, and that tin description says it's "matured," so of course they didn't just pluck the leaves off the plant and stuff them in a tin! I might get a touch more mellowness from the 12 year old, but there is no striking difference between the two ages I just smoked of this blend. Well, this pipe I'm smoking right now (of the older) is very enjoyable! I will buy this again, but don't really care if it's aged. I could add this to my stash. Nice complexity to this blend, it's not just another Virginia-with-a-bit-'o-Burley mixture. So, aged tin experiment: inconclusive, at least as regards Tilbury. But though I have not smoked much of it, I can recommend it without reservations.

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erthbound0 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
erthbound0 (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is the first tobacco I've smoked/reviewed. Very sweet smell from the jar. Nice fluffy ribbon cut. Easy to pack. Fill up your bowl though cause it burns fast. Its a great smoke with a nice smooth taste that's not too overpowering. My first bowl knocked me over with the nic hit but subsequent bowls have not. For any virginia lover its a must.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sweetbriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sweetbriar (14)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

very good to have on hand . the taste is great. i can smoke this all day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a quality tobacco blend that has alot going for it. Good burn qualities, beautiful leaf, nice taste with a reasonable smoke volume, and nuance if sipped slowly. No bite. A toasty sweetness that floats in and out. Overall very pleasant with enough strength to satisfy most pipers.

The problem is, that same glowing review can be given ( and has been by me ) to any number of other like blends. It doesn't really have anything wrong with it, it just doesn't have any special qualities that cannot be found in any number of others. Therefore, 3 stars.

If this is a tobacco that you especially like, it will age well. Buy pounds and cellar. If you haven't tried it, by all means do, just don't be suprised to think, 'I seem to find this familiar'.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Budman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Budman (25)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another one of those blends where you ask yourself "why did I wait so long to try it"? Tilbury is a clean,easy smoking truly refined blend. The tin has that grassy hay type smell so typical of good Virginia blends.

The cut was more ribbon than broken flake which,IMO makes for less hassle in loading and lighting. Although somewhat moist Tilbury can be smoked with little drying.

It is very difficult to get this to hot and provoke any type of bite, which tells me some type of stoving may have been used to remove any rough edges. I cannot detect any topping or casings just the gentle sweetness of the blended Virginias.

Tilbury burns well and leaves a gray white ash. If you are looking for a great Virginia this is it.

Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (111)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Well I must confess that for the most part I am not a huge fan of Virginia's. I am however, a Latakia devotee. I found this tobacco to be surprisingly full. I think the burley helps round it out, and it did have some nice citrus and floral notes in the taste. I packs very well and burns effortlessly. It does have a fair nicotine kick, but not like a mule more akin to a goat.

I could see myself firing this one up as a change of pace from my usual Latakia regimen. Overall it was consistent from the first match until the finish. Very well blended and another first-rate winner from Esoterica. Peaceable puffing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I hadn't smoked this in six months when I read the previous reviewers make reference to Stonehaven, a favorite of mine. I tried it again and was surprised to also find similarities, though Stonehaven is more intense to me and has additional flavors.

This tastes like a more concentrated version of GLP's Montgomery, a blend I also highly enjoyed; its only fault was slow flavor building. Good interplay of burley and VA, no bitterness and no bite. Slightly sweet in a molasses kind of way and burns well, forming a particularly light ash. Ignore the nicotine hype, but smoking after eating is recommended (it upsets my tumtum otherwise). It is on the stronger side of medium, and my medium is considered wimpy by he-men for whom nicotine tolerance is a matter of pride.

I don't know why this got put away in the 'someday' drawer. It is some fine smoking weed. It was a nice surprise to find four tins there. Possibly it improves having been open for six months, as many tobaccos do (to me, anyway). Certainly recommended to VA smokers who tolerate burley.

Update 7/05: Just checked to make sure I gave it four stars. A cob, a cob. This is just heaven in a cob. Ran out of stars, so I'll have to add a +.

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Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Tilbury is indeed a strange blend.. The tin aroma has absolutely nothing to do with the aroma of the tobacco when lit. When I popped the tin i thought that I was in for a real treat. It smelled like pure Virginia; almost like Red Four Squares. But alas! When lit, it reminded me too much of cigarettes. The Oriental leaf makes it fast burning and flat. There is also some very subtle and dusty notes, which I find nauseating somehow.

Potent? I think not. I couldn't feel the nic-punch and after a bowl I was left with a cloying layer of bad taste in my mouth.

The quality of the leaf, though, is as always with Esoterica/Germain's, outstanding.. That's just not enough for me.. Back to good 'ole St. Bruno

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

02-11-2005 Ready Rubbed Stonehaven anyone?

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Matured Va, some fortified hay notes. The leaf is mostly light brown to medium brown.

Packing and Lighting: The ribbons pack easily, although I prefer to let the tin breath with the lid off for a day before smoking the contents. Lit after 2-3 lights.

Initial Flavor: Delicious! I suspect that this is Stonehaven before the pressing and further stoving process.

Mid-Bowl: the strength and richness is definitely there, but in a refined way. The flavor does remind one of a fine cigar.

Bottom of Bowl: Yes, this does build up strength and richness, but before you know it, you are done. This is a one bowl a dayblend max for me.

Overall: When I want a fine stoved VA, I am hard pressed to decide between this and Stonehaven. Both are delicious! I suppose the analogy would be thus: Tilbury is a fine Godiva Semi-sweet Chocolate and Stonehaven is a fine Godiva dark chocolate. Both are delicious, but both are distinct. Regardless, I find this blend to be a occaisonal special treat smoke due to its richness. Lastly, I usually prefer this in a group 3 or smaller pipe.

Rating: 5 out of 5 points

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the best Virginia blends ever! I really couldn't taste the Burley as a separate component, just a certain richness that most solo Virginias often lack. This could be my all-day smoke if it weren't rather expensive. Ah well you can't take it with you! Give me another pipefull!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pxi106 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pxi106 (18)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Virginia is my favorite tobacco type. All that is most perfect about virginias can be found in a tin of Tilbury: the sweetness, the floral notes, the fruitiness, crispness are all present. Not only are they all present, but they come together in harmony and seem to play off each other right to the bottom of the bowl.

Why then do I only smoke this on occasion? Because the stuff is just too good for me, and I don't deserve to smoke it all day. **Update Unfortunately, the more I smoked this the less I like it. It's still a top notch tobacco, but my tastes have moved on.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This certainly is a unique tobacco. It fits in a niche all by itself. It is obviously made with high quality as all of Esoterica's blends are. The flavor is unlike that of any other VA/Burley I have ever tried. It has a very musty taste that reminds me of old books, but in a good way. There is definitely a touch of cigar leaf here, perhaps some Conneticut shade leaf wrapper, ala' Dunhill Blue Label. This only makes the blend that much more interesting and distinguished. I can pick up on lots of complexity and very little heat which is a big plus. This blend does dry my mouth out quite a bit and I need to have something on hand to drink. Coffee will wash all of the flavors out, and thus a nice light ale or glass of cool water is a better choice. This is one I will enjoy on special ocassions.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JohnnyFlake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyFlake (17)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

(5/10/03) The aroma is kind of musty and sweet, with hints of figs and dates. it's fairly dry tobacco right out of the tin. There is Burley in this blend but there are no hints of it in the aroma. The aroma is pure high quality Virginia. This tobacco packs easily and fires up easily. I like to smoke this in a large size bowl. The first third of the bowl offers a tangy and at the same time, semi-sweet flavor profile. This is obviously high quality stuff. The second third picks up a little spiciness but the overall flavor profile is pure Virginia, just delicious. The last third is slightly richer and spicier than the first and even the second but only slightly, however, it's in the final third of the bowl that you begin to feel the nicotine strength, and this blend offers a fair amount! Also, this is a blend that does not bite easily. I am an aggressive smoker and have never had a problem with this blend. Another great Virginia Blend, I love it and will always have some on hand!

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