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Made with a healthy base of toasted burley and bright Virginia Flake. Black cavendish, perique and latakia are then added to round out the flavor. Topped with just a hint of vanilla flavoring, Old Colonial is an exceptionally light aromatic and sure to please a variety of smokers.

Notes: Has been in continuous production since the 1950s.

BrandIwan Ries
Blended BySutliff Tobacco Company
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringLicorice, Vanilla
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging50 grams pouch, 8 ounce tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Iwan Ries
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Mild to Medium
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Three Star Blue has been in continuous production and a top seller since the 1950s, and until now, it was only available at Iwan Ries. Sutliff, who has produced the blend for many years, is now nationally distributing it in order to reach a wider audience. I was asked to review it. As I have been smoking a freshly manufactured production, I’ve rewritten my previous review to reflect my latest thoughts on this tobacco.

The lightly fruity, grassy, citrusy sweet Virginia is the base of the blend. The very nutty, earthy, toasty burleys are the most noticeable component, and also provide a drop or two of molasses. The properties of the fire cured black cavendish are a smoothing brown sugar along with a touch of smokiness as a supporting player. There’s a minute amount of Cyprian latakia that offers a mild smokey, woody sweet push to the blend. In a minor role is some plum and a faint spice hit from the perique. The mildly applied vanilla topping has a light richness. I also observe a small amount of licorice, which has a hint of soap and floral perfume quality. The toppings do tone down the tobaccos a little as they work in concert to create a very consistent, harmonious flavor from start to finish. It won’t bite or get harsh, but I recommend a moderate puffing cadence to allow the various aspects of the mixture to shine. The strength and taste are just shy of being in the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is mild. Burns clean and dry at a reasonable pace, and requires few relights as it easily burns to ash. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl. The after taste pleasantly lingers, and the room note is rather sweet. An easy going all day smoke that kind of leans in the direction of an aromatic English without reaching that level.

17 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I was gifted a package of Three Star Blue by a friend recently. When I first opened the pouch, it smelled very similar to tobaccos that my father smoked back in the 1960’s. It also smells very similar to a tobacco that I used to chew 30 years ago. So based on those two things the scent conjures up fond memories for me. But in truth, based on some of the reviews I was expecting the worst. But that wasn’t the case. I found this to be a decent old time aromatic when smoked slowly. There is a casing that I am sure will bite if pushed, but taking my time there was no bite. I have to take issue with those that list the “flavoring” i.e. casing, to be strong, it isn’t, certainty compared to other aromatics. The only way to come to that conclusion is to have never smoked many aromatics or because they have confused the “flavoring” field with the “taste” field. The Burley flavor does come easily through the smoke. The downside with Three Star Blue is that we are currently living in an era where there are a huge number of well-crafted aromatic blends available to suit every taste at very reasonable prices. For me, this causes Three Star Blue to fall pretty far down on my list of choices. On the upside, compared to some of the OTC blends out there, this is a better choice than many of them.

Age When Smoked: New

4 people found this review helpful.

Piper@TheGatesOfDawn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@TheGatesOfDawn (9)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I received a complimentary pouch of this with an order I recently placed with Iwan Ries, which seems to be the predominant means of procurement. Does anyone actually buy this blend on purpose? I certainly intend to. Opinions regarding Three Star Blue are all over the board. Many of the reviews here seem to describe something quite different from what I'm smoking: a VERY mildly aromatic, rough cut blend. The burleys are at the forefront, with the latakias and periques adding just the right amount of character. The cavendish provides a subtle sweetness to round things out. My tastes tend towards strongly flavored tobaccos and I will smoke anything form Lakeland blends to the goopiest aromatics; however I tend to enjoy this when I need a break from all the flavoring. This blend is best smoked in a small bowl and SLOWLY. Although it has yet to bite me, all tobacco has that potential. Three Star Blue goes well with coffee in the morning or bourbon in the afternoon or with some smooth jazz and good French brandy in the evening.

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Iwan Ries says this is the most popular private label brand in the country and is their store's most popular tobacco. Well, I demand an audit!

I first tried Blue as a teenager in the early 70's. I have given the stuff a whirl a half dozen times since then and get the same results. This stuff burns like the dickens, tastes terrible, and smells weird. If you don't mind spending a few weeks with your tongue in a sling, then go ahead a light up with this stuff, otherwise, avoid at all costs!

4 people found this review helpful.

SopwithCamel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SopwithCamel (255)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Three Star Blue is a classic American style blend. It comes in an attractive foil pouch. Visually, it is one of the prettiest blends I've seen. Very light tan, brown,rough cut, with a few black flakes. I believe the black flakes are stoved Virginia. This is an aromatic, but it is not in the wet, heavily cased black Cavendish style which dominates today. The pouch aroma is fruity and cool. It takes a bit to get this going, but then it is easy to maintain. Go slow with this, or you will hurt yourself! I wouldn't smoke this one mindlessly, I have to have some time on my hands to be able to appreciate this. The bite and heat are definitely the flaws of this blend. The flavor is fruity, a little sweet, a little sour, with a toasty tobacco undertone. I would recommend smoking this in a long stemmed billiard, or Canadian, to help cool things down.

If you like mildly fruity aromatics, and are patient enough to master the technique required for this blend, It could make a good smoke. It finishes clean and dry, and although it will leave a ghost, it's nothing compared to some of the goopier aromatics out there. If you love these old-fashioned blends, its well worth a try. I've never had anything else like it.

3 people found this review helpful.

ravkesef Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ravkesef (11)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

De gustibus non est disputandum, and that's certainly true when it comes to tobaccos. In the old days I smoked English blends, especially the late lamented Balkan Sobranie, but recently this type of tobacco stopped working for me, and I understand that some people have or develop an intolerance for Latakia, and that turned out to be the case for me. I dug into my pouch of TSB and thought I had a rattlesnake in my bowl––it bit, and bit again, harder each time. At the same time I found that I did enjoy the taste, and family comments ranged from "extremely pleasant“to “delicious.“ Well, being an old, experienced pipe smoker I asked myself the rhetorical question “what does one do when the tobacco burns too hot?” And the answer is simple: “smoke it slower.” That turned out to be very good advice in this case, because smoked slowly, TSB turns out to be a most pleasant experience. it's not too strong at all, and when the tobacco is savored, turns out to be exactly what one wishes for in a tobacco. It now burns cool and dry to the bottom of the bowl leaving a small quantity of powdery ash. My advice to others who have found this too hot burning as I initially did: give this one a chance, smoke slowly, and you'll be rewarded with a very satisfying smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

tmoney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tmoney (24)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

This tobacco was free with a purchase I made recently. It wasn't good at all. I tried it and it smelled like Medicine. Had tongue bite early on tasted like cough syrup mixed with sugar and didn't smell very nice either. I would not recommend, but there will be someone out there that likes this... there always is.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is an easy one to review. It came dry enough in the pouch that I could smoke it without further fuss. One bowl was enough.

The good news is that this has a decent room aroma. The bad news is that it has no discernible tobacco flavor. Reminded me of Mac Baren roll cakes in that regard and also in its tendency to produce tongue-maligning steam. I found absolutely nothing to recommend this atrocity. Was this stuff this bad in the old days? Thankfully, I missed out on it. Probably in my bottom 10 of all pipe tobaccos. If this were all that was available, I'd grow my own because even I couldn't screw something up this badly.

Ok, I KNOW you're going to try it! Everyone does. There are plenty of in depth reviews here so don't say you weren't warned!!!

2 people found this review helpful.

Kaywoodie Collector Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kaywoodie Collector (4)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Three Star Blue is a debated subject. And in fact i must agree that this a very tempramental blend. However I have enjoyed it for many years. Nice blend of burly, virginia, latakia and perique .This mixture is a very old school. Back when pipe smoking was common place and people smoked in banks and collage lecture halls ect, this type of tobacco was the norm. Unhurried and calm, the way a pipe is to be enjoyed. TSB falls smack dab in the middle of that catagory. Smoked gently, it provides a very consistent and pleasing smoke. The room note garners praise from most everyone, even the anti-smoking nazis. Yes its an aromatic, BUT, its an aromatic of classic times, and not to be compaired to the gooped, sauced up OTC blends or even high end of present day, ie, Captain Black and his band of pirates, flavored with God knows what . We all know that a pipe is to be sipped slowly to reveal its true character, and TSB is no exception. One thing I have discovered years ago, being a collector of classic pipes is that the ghosts of every Christmas Past lurks within them. Out to the garage and out comes the retort contraption and the holy water, rum 151, and my trusty Ronsen butane torch, a can of Coke, ice and a glass, (I retort myself also during this ritual.) Having a CLEAN and ghost free pipe is key to enjoying our hobby. I dedicate my pipes to specific tobacco blends so no distant relatives emerge and spoil my fun. (I dont want cousin Eddie and his brood pulling in and staying till next month.) Also I bore out pipes.....every one of them. After the advice of Laars Iverson, I have tamed the most stubborn of terrible smoking pipes. Being a machinist, with extensive flow training, has taught me a great deal in pipe smoking. People, all pipes have tiny draft holes for purposes of strenght. The taste, burn qualitys, ash formation is caused by this draft. The smoke we enjoy is made available by its clinging to water droplettes. NO turbulence can be involved, nor small draft holes. A pipe is a chimney and needs to breathe. TSB is of my all time favorites. Cool smoking when given the respect it deserves, superb flavor, burns very clean, and no swamp left in the bottom . Most recent is an estate Ben Wade Golden Walnut Plateau Briar bored to 3/16"". An wonderful smoker now, compared to the original with a stock bore. Lets take a second and examine our equipment, even the Dunhill guys, (I own 3 and were grounds for divorce, not to mention the cost of fuel to operate them). I hope that my two cents here will assist a few and especially new pipers breaking in to our hobby. The best tobacco on the planet is the one you enjoy the most!!!!!!!!!!!

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Golden Walnut Plateau Free Hand

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Similar Blends: Most old school blends that are prior Captain Black and the like with strong PPG and ice cream flavorings..

1 person found this review helpful.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (100)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Excellent product of the art of blending tobacco! Whoever put this one together back in the day, hit a grand slam! Amazingly different tobacco flavors colliding together and producing a wonderful tasting smoke. Lights very easy, and not fussy. The flavoring tastes like it might be brandy. To the pipers who said this burned to hot and bit their tongues; Mabe you should ask your doctor about tranquilizers if you are huffing on a pipe so fast to make this blend bite. This is an outstanding blend!!! : )

Pipe Used: Radice

Age When Smoked: New tin.

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Iwan Ries - Three Star Blue.

I bought this solely because it was on offer from $4.57, gotta love a bargain! But, is it? Lets see.

The pouch contains a very neat looking coarse-cut mixture: all quite evenly sized and not too chunky. The aroma from the pouch isn't the best, it smells like a paint factory (I know, I once worked in one!). Once a bowl's lit I can't quite make up my mind about the smoke! At the beginning of a bowl I still get that weird chemical taste, this is a bit disconcerting. But after the initial few puffs have stabilized the burn I find it calms down a touch. The vanilla addition seems to become easier to recognise, this smooth's the flavour, and there's also a slight sweetness at the back. The licorice is very noticeable for the whole trip; I'm guessing it's this that's responsible for the paint taste at the start.

The tobaccos' give an ok flavour, with the nutty quality from the Burley leading the race. I also notice a slight sharp fruitiness from the Perique, but this isn't anywhere near as potent. I don't really get much from the Latakia apart from a slight wood/cedar note, and the Black Cavendish has the added vanilla to contend with. The Virginia also seems a little lost; there's a lot of flavour for the more phlegmatic Virginia to compete with.

The nicotine's just below medium, and the room-note's a winner!

Is it a bargain? No, it's got too many problems to score any more than two:

Somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog No.34 Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (107)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

This blend has a little more taste and flavor than the red . The roomnote is excellent . The flavor is .. I'm not sure what it is and the blend burns a bit warm , though it burn perfectly well . I'm a big IRC fan and this is their biggest seller , they say . It's probably my least favorite of their offerings . This is not a black Cavendish styles blend . If I liked the flavor I'd have better things to say about it . As I said ... the roomnote is fantastic and the flavor is just ok . try the Three Star Bronze ... it's killer .. and the Old Colonial , with it's mild topnote , is like CH but better

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is one of the blends that I regularly smoked way back when. I have recently tried it again and I was not disappointed. This blend has not changed in my opinion. It still remains a favorite of mine, if not in my pipe regularly, in my heart always. I have no favorite type of blend. There are aromatics, non-aromatics, English, Scottish, Virginias and Americanized English blends that I like and don?t like. Recently, however, I have been smoking more aromatics than in the past. To wit, variety is the spice of life.

Three Star Blue is a classic American, mild to medium aromatic that is smooth, mellow, well-balanced, cool smoking and with a different but pleasant taste that I cannot compare to other blends. Some say it is fruity, other say it has a birch/wintergreen/mint taste or even has a perfume / soapy essence. The taste will be what YOU perceive. Regardless, the refreshing taste is subdued and will underlie but not overwhelm its more honest tobacco flavor.

The pouch aroma is unique. I could do a blind sniff test on 1000 pouches of different tobaccos and pick out the distinctive, pleasant aroma of Three Star Blue. This 100% natural tobacco tends to be on the dry side as it contains no humectants or preservatives. This, no doubt, is why it has superb burning qualities as well. This is also one of the few aromatics that does not get goopy or leave a wet heel. This is a rare plus for an aromatic. I experienced no bite perhaps because I tend to sip and savor rather than ?puff and chuff.? You may be indifferent to Blue the first few times you smoke it. If this is the case, lay it aside for 2-3 months and come back to it. I think your opinion may change favorably.

If you live in Illinois, the only thing negative about buying tobacco products from Iwan Ries is the Chicago sin tax. It now registers 13% on the Richter Scale. This is in addition to the 9% sales tax, one of the highest in the country for a major city. I think the folks at Iwan Ries should say goodbye to tradition (in Chicago since 1857) and move to the suburbs.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 9.6 out of 10.

1 person found this review helpful.

Theologia14 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theologia14 (17)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Ok, this was the blend that started it all for me. It was my first blend that I bought from the Iwan Ries store in downtown Chicago. It was paired with a cheap bent billiard that I still have today, and it is still a great little smoker. And for what it was, this blend was a good start. I got to learn from it, grow with it, and then move along.


Recently, some friends of mine who remember those good old days, bought me a pack of Three Star Blue. I got out that old Bent Billiard and loaded up. I just couldn't smoke it. It wouldn't behave well, constantly needing to be relit. It tasted of some odd sweet candy that I couldn't put my finger on and I could barely make out some Virginia over the topping and through the thickly coated cavendish and burley. It was a trip down memory lane, but I will probably not be revisiting those days with this blend again. Still, for beginners, it might not be a bad start. There are lots of other aromatics out there though. Had I known of Tobacco Reviews back then, I might have chosen something different.

Pipe Used: No name bent billiard, cob

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RoundTwo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RoundTwo (38)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Well if you are ever walking down Wabash St in Chicago and see a large sign hugging a building corner next to the El that reads Iwan Ries and Company with three stars on it you know that you have arrived at 19 S Wabash. Said sign is blue, coincidence? I think not. If you venture up to the second floor and ask their most experienced employee for a tobacco suggestion, he will hand you a pouch of this if you are willing to try an aromatic. Coincidence? I think not. Not all aromatics are the same and that holds true here. Black Cavendish, Perique, and Latakia is an awesome base if you think about it and the topping is unique. Personally, I taste cherry, vanilla, and scotch which actually turns out to be pretty neat with the Perique and Latakia. I love Perique and Latakia and I can say I never smoke aromatics but I truly loved my dance with this bowl. If you like the story, if you are open to the flavors go for it because the underlying blend of tobaccos is actually really good. IRC blends have always cleared and reset my palette with their robust tobaccos and old-time toppings/casings.

Pipe Used: Meerscaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Nobody has rated this review yet.

drew_sayles Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drew_sayles (2)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smell of latakia immediately hits you. I had this tobacco shipped with a lot of summery aromatics and upon opening the box I immediately smelled this blend. It put me off initially because I happened to be in the mood for a light spring smoke, however I was pleasantly suprised. Some say it is dry but it is perfect for me as I smoked the bowl fairly quickly and cooly. There are nutty notes and it stays steady through the bowl. It is a cool and refreshing smoke despite the tin note. The latakia and perique are there, but just a whisper. This is a nice all day blend for me that has just enough to make it a pleasure to smoke but not too much.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the pouch

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

The only natural flavor I get is a very mild toasty note from the Black Cav and a hint of smoke from the Lat. The majority of flavor is from the topping. I get a caramel/molasses flavor along with floral notes. That caramel/molasses could be coming from rum if that's what was used here. It can burn a little warm if you don't mind your pace. A pleasant smoke, but not my kind of smoke. Recommended for the aro smoker who doesn't mind a lack of natural tobacco flavor.

Mild in body. Mild to medium in taste and flavoring.

Pipe Used: MM Morgan, Dwarf, Washington

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

HouDEANie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HouDEANie (7)
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Strong

I ordered a pouch of the tobacco as I have never heard of it and the mixture sounded a bit peculier... However it did tickle me fancy.

Upon receiving the pouch I smelled vanilla and something heavy, chemical like. I opened the pouch and it was dry to the touch and the smell of vanilla, or liquorice was non existent, only the smell of latakia and perique.

The first smoke was the dry tobacco, smoke was very mild, flat and uninteresting. Room note was that of latakia only but no taste came through, kind of hot steam as it was tasteless.

The second smoke was after I re-hydrated the tobacco and let it sit 2 days in a mason jar. Upon opening the jar the smell was still latakia but a fruity smell came through more strongly. The tobacco no longer interested me but since I do not waste tobacco I gave it another try. Smoked it in the same system pipe. Well the latakia was more mellow, half way down the bowl you get a taste of the perique which was very mild and comes and goes. It was an okayish smoke, nothing to write home about. Will I recommend it? No, it is too flat and the flavours does not pair well, even in the pouch. Maybe I got a bad pouch, don't know. I just can not get a liking in this tobacco.

There are better drugstore blends out there for the same price.

Edit: After a few months of on and off smoking this it ended up in the flower beds. It is a cheap tabacco that was topped with a chemical flavouring in an attempt to rescue it. I did not work.

Pipe Used: Peterson System

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cup O'Joes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sjdugi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sjdugi (22)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I must say that I particularly enjoy both the cut and the room note of this blend. There is a mild but pleasant scent from smoking this tobacco that I'm sure would please just about anyone. The variety of tobaccos in this blend seem to be of good quality and the alcohol topping is a nice touch. I definitely taste the burley in this tobacco more than anything. I did notice that this blend has a tendency to burn hot and can cause some tongue irritation so unless you're a slow smoker, I would suggest staying away from this blend. I would give this blend a 2.5/4 but I'm going to have to round down unfortunately (although it'd be nice if I could give this three stars considering the name).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bklynpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bklynpipe (9)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Like many reviewers, I got this free with a pipe. Happy to see tobacco in an old fashioned box and foil pouch instead of plastic. It arrived a bit dry and the cut is indeed varied bits and chunks. The pouch aroma says one thing: REVELATION. So if you're missing that old staple, try this. Don't expect sweetness here, this blend is straight-up stout, but with a great aroma and taste.

Pipe Used: Amphora 722

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Similar Blends: Revelation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

atomicbuster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
atomicbuster (55)
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

As many others have stated, this was a gift with a purchase order from Iwan Ries. Thanks IW, but no thanks. This smells OK out of the box. To me it smelled like orange cream soda. Smoking it was the same way. It was almost like smoking Sunkist or Fanta Orange. Unfortunately, this does bite. Yes, I could puff slower, but I'd have to puff much slower than I prefer. It's a bright tobacco rough cut. It does produce some moisture in the bowl. I usually solve this by letting the tobacco dry out for a few days. It mostly worked. The first 4-5 bowls were nice, aside from the bite. Then it lost most of the already mild flavor as soon as it became too dry. I think it might be just OK if you knew at what point to let it stop drying and if you train yourself to puff this slowly. I'm not interested in either endeavor. I can't wholeheartedly recommend it, but I can't say it was totally unpleasant for those 4-5 bowls.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

One of the few aromatics I like. A nice spiciness. Yes, it can get hot. Yes, you need to slow down and learn to smoke this.

My Savinelli, with a balsa filter, helped tame this through my learning period.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Mild Medium to Strong Mild Strong

How disappointing. Proof that aromatics are the spawn of Satan.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Mild Medium Medium Tolerable

This tastes like the other 3 star blends. All of them are similar to Mixture #79. Aromatics are ok if the casing doesn't overpower the taste of the tobacco. This stuff is like smoking a bar of soap. Not recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peppino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peppino (74)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A classic that like the Dutch smokes best in a meershaum, more flavor and cooler on the palate vs a briar. One tobacco everyone should try at least once. Brings back some great memories for me, taking a trip to Osco drugs to buy some 3 star blends! Going to the Tinder Box and smoking my 1st Castello. Ahh for one more time in the 70's....:)!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jdr2008 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jdr2008 (4)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I received this tobacco when I purchased a pipe which was a nice gesture and that much is appreciated, But this particular blend was not very appealing to me, To me, this blend tastes like it smells, and it smells like a 100 year old house that has been vacant for thirty or more years (some of you know what Im talking about) that being said, It packed and lit well and as far as smoking, it smoked well, It is very sweet along with the musty old house taste and to me the only time it actually tasted good was at the very bottom of the bowl and that didnt last long. That being said, If all I had to smoke was 3star and dried out manure then I would smoke the 3star. Sorry guys, This stuff doesn't taste good to me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DeadMensPipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeadMensPipes (38)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Before I was old enough to legally drive a car, a buddy and I would take a train to the city from the suburbs to hike around the Loop in downtown Chicago, where we discovered a marvelous wonder of the world at the time, the Iwan Ries store. Just walking into the hushed atmosphere was awe inspiring - a veritable world class museum of every sort of pipe imaginable, including a huge collection of exotically carved antique meerschaums. But the most wonderful memory is the smell of miriads of tobacco blends wafting through the atmosphere. It was there that I discovered Three-Star Blue and fell in love.

Well, years have passed and I have lived far from the windy city. One day, I waxed nostalgic and via the miracle of the internet, I wanted to see if it was still possible to acquire some of my old favorite. Sadly, I must say no. Even though the packaging says Three-Star Blue, and the aroma of a freshly-opened pouch is the same wonderful smell I remember - smoking the mixture is only enjoyable for those fortunate enough to catch a passing whiff of second-hand smoke.

It does not matter how you try to smoke the stuff to minimize "bite" - it bites. Big time. And, it frequently goes out, requiring constant re-lighting. It fouled my brand-new meerschaum with a very unpleasant after-odor. Definitely not recommended. It should be called "Zero-Star Blend."

Initially expecting the mixture to be the old Three-Star I came to love in my younger days, when I ordered my batch of Three-Star Blue, I bought a couple of extra boxes to give to friends as gifts. I gave one to a friend who was just taking up pipe-smoking, and he tried the Three-Star Blue. I have not seen him smoke a pipe since.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This tobacco isn't bad or anything it just isn't for me. The leaf used isn't exactly top notch but it's pretty good considering the price. The blend is heavily cased but not overwheelming. Flavorwise I have to say it is very flat, I couldn't really taste anything. The smell of the smoke as I was exhaling and the room note were very pleasant.

Altadis isn't a company that I hold in high regard, their stuff is usually "blah"... I would recommend this to someone who is really into captain black white as it is along the same lines but much better crafted.

I wouldn't really buy this but I might not refuse a bowl if offered.

Altadis blows anyway, why would you want to have them mix your own blends when others can do a much better job?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain bob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain bob (38)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

I first smoked Three Star back in the 60's and have pretty much kept some on hand ever since. It's a good first-morning smoke. Smoke it very slowly or it will get hot and bite your tonque! I personally have learned about "saucing" from one of the greats, Craig Tarler at Cornel & Diehl. I also do a lot of my own saucing. If you can't nail down the exact aromatic of a blend, that is a good thing because most sauces are complicated and mixed to achieve an overall taste and aroma that may be non-specific in an identifiable single ingredient.

EDIT: 05/05/2017 There must be a reason that this has never been absent in my tobacco rotation since the sixties! It is because I like it! It was the catalyst in my creation of Cornell and Diehl's "Captain Bob's Blend"! But, I took this light English aromatic in a slightly different aromatic direction. My Blend has a top note in a different direction. But I want everyone to know that I love the new tins of 3SB and it has and will remain in my personal favorite rotation. I am smoking it now as I do most days. While my own Blend remains my favorite, I also want to re-state that 3SB was "THE CATALYST" for my inspiration to create CBB. Thank you Iwan Ries! I do love your blend and I give it 4 stars! See you in Chicago on Sunday 5/7/17.

Pipe Used: Hayes Pipes and Savenelli

Age When Smoked: 67

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Similar Blends: Captain Bob's Blend from Cornell and Diehl. Different, but also a light English Aromatic. I highly recommend 3SB!!!.

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SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (123)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

I tried this tobacco about 25 years ago, when I first started to smoke a pipe. At that time I smoked only heavily-cased aromatics. I found Three Star Blue to bite, so I did not finish the pouch.

After reading the reviews of this blend, particularly that of the learned A.Morley (whose reviews are not only enlightening but entertaining as well), I decided to revisit this classic.

My opinion has changed somewhat. Its taste reminds me of cream soda as it does other reviewers. The slow approach to puffing which I learned through A.M and others on this website has reduced the bite.

I also agree with A. that this classic can be a little fickle. And the casing seems too much for me; when I reach for an aromatic, I prefer blends that are not so heavily cased.

Nevertheless, aromatic smokers should consider this interesting blend. It is unique and worth a try.

As an overly-aggressive lawyer once wrote in a vapid send-off to me (and which I found so loopy that I now incorporate it into this and future reviews), "Govern yourself accordingly!" SmokeKing David.

ps. I know that I am receiving a couple other Iwan Ries tobaccos this Christmas. I look forward to lighting them up and submitting reviews in the near future! Happy Holidays!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (86)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I'm still trying to make up my mind about this Iwan Ries tobacco. This stuff burns fast, and if you're not carefull, it will get pretty hot. It has a tangy sour taste, which I think is due to the Burley. The box says, World famous taste and aroma. No fillers and no preservatives. The taste is so mild that it's really rather bland. I know I wouldn't buy this stuff, when there are so many better offerings...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Big Blue Jazzman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Blue Jazzman (47)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

If you smoke this blend I hope you like it because it will stay in your pipe big time. Also, have never yet found an aromatic that gets better by aging.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

A. Morley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A. Morley (97)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Things would have been better in the world if all Aromatics were still blended in the spirit of Three Star Blue. Its base is of high-quality, light-colored Burley and a good amount of bright Virginia. The cut is one of tiny, uniform squares with a scattering of hair-thin corkscrews. It is the farthest thing from sticky. It smells like old fashioned confectionary and baking spices. I have no idea why the Captain Black School was allowed to take over.

I am a sucker for classic American blends, and it is hard to find a more prominent classic than Three Star Blue?well, there is Prince Albert, but I think that I have talked enough about him already. The cut of this blend makes it very easy to pack and even easier to light. The flavor reminds me of cream soda and maybe even baby powder. This would be vapid or undesirable if it were not for the underlying Burley which is warming and flavorful while being generally unobtrusive.

I cannot, however, give Three Star Blue the highest marks because it can be temperamental. Simply let the pipe hang, taking a puff only on occasion and the flavor is missed; puff too hard and often and the stuff becomes bitter and raspy. I understand that Iwan Ries makes heavier aromatics in their Three Star line, perhaps this inconsistency of taste is thus compensated for. Overall, I give it three stars (Ha!).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hemlock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hemlock (60)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

As some others have, I received a sample pack with purchase of a pipe from Iwan Ries, and have since purchased another half pound. This is an execellent tobacco blend very well suited for social occasions. I enjoy both mild aromatics and non-aromatics. The blend has a heady aroma upon opening the pouch. It smokes cool with lovely sweetness, and brings various notes through the bowl with its virginia and cavendish components. I still find it satisfying though it is aromatic-- the flavouring is reserved and balanced. This is an all day blend for me as it burns very dry and leaves no moist dottle or gurgle to the pipe. Because of its lovely room aroma, it incites nothing but praise and intrigue for the pipe from bystanders. Yet, I still feel that I am smoking tobacco and not a bowl of fruit loops.

I also love the texture which I would best decribe as bits and flakes of bright and dark leaf. Easy to gravity fill a bowl.

I highly recommend this to those without prejudice against mild aromatics.

----- update 01-18-07

I resampled a jar of this stuff that had aged for nearly a year. It had become full of bite and the flavour was flat, synthetic and bad enough to pitch the smoke and dump nearly 6 oz into the fireplace. I suspect that the flavouring agent is degrading with time and this is somehow linked to all the bite folks are complaining about. The leaf seams to be of reasonable quality. I wonder if Iwan Ries realizes that they have a quality problem with their current version of the flagship offering.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (180)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

It has taken me quite some time to get around to this well known classic, so I was eager to pack a bowl. It tasted very much like Kentucky Club Continental Blend to me. It smelled a bit like Captain Black White when lit, but that smell faded soon. I also got the odd perfume flavor others have mentioned.

I cannot say that this is bad, but I will not be buying it again anytime soon.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipeman (14)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

after trying mixture 79 i wasn't sure what to expect from this. this was much better,i didn't find this to be as aromatic as i thought it would be,but it did leave a nice aroma for quite some had a more pure tobcco taste to it for a started out mild but got stronger the rest of the way,it stayed cool for the most part.i would say this is another good aromatic for beginners.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This blend starts out very promising. There is a light top note which reminds me of juicy fruit gum that is very similar to that used in the House of Windsor blends. It isn't sticky at all, so I was hoping for sort of a Country Doctor without the latakia. Indeed, the first half of the bowl is mild and pleasant, tasting mainly like tobacco. During the second half, the low quality of the tobacco shines through and it gets acrid and bites. It is worth what I paid for it - nothing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Three Star Blue is a mildly flavored, light aromatic, one in which the tobacco hasn't been drowned out by casing. Its got a wonderful smell right out of the pouch, and with a crumbled kind of cut that I wouldn't describe as anything resembling a "broken flake", as indicated by the above blend notes.

It comes nice and moist, dry even, with a large variety of golden tobaccos. The taste isn't overbearing, though in the few times I smoked Three Star Blue, it's bit intensely. I understand this is a favored aromatic blend of many, and for what it is, it's great. As for the bite, it keeps me from wanting seconds...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (115)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I don't have any fond memories of this, which came free as a sample with another order. I found out about Iwan Ries through this database and otherwise would probably never have placed an order with that venerable company.

To me it tastes something like a cheaper approximation to Mac Barens Mixture, which I also avoid. I did find a fairly nice mid bowl sweetness present in * blue, but it wasn't worth the pain to get there. I realize I posted a semi positive review of Mixture 79 and my credibility is not very high as a result, but these are my recollections of my first exposure to blue, a couple of years ago, and I have no desire to try it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Overwhelming

I am afraid that all I can say about this blend is that some people have much different tastes than me. This blend made me ill just smelling it in the bag, and even more so after a few puffs. Alas, I let it go out and dumped the rest in the "T" file. For aromatics, there are many that I prefer (Sunday's Fantasy, Evening Stroll, Captain Black Gold,,etc...) this one is just not my cup of tea....Cannot recomend. Rating: 0 out of 5 Points. Sorry.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Art_A Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Art_A (7)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I cannot see hou this can possibly be the best selling private blend in the country, I tried this years ago and was just given some lately. The only thing I can say good about this is it pcks good and burns well. I get a hot burn and bite. I will not smoke this again even as a gift.

Nobody has rated this review yet.