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The rarest, most costly mixture composed of the finest Virginia, Mahalla, Dubac and Mountain Leaf Latakia. Recognized as the world's most outstanding smoking mixture.

BrandLane Limited
Blended ByLane Limited
Manufactured ByLane Limited
Blend TypeBalkan
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Packaging1.75 ounce tin
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Favorite Of 6 Users

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

This is the new 2014 Lane re-introduction of this old blend, with the original Perique formula.

Description says simple but typical combo of leafs, without detail of Turkish varieties. A ribbon cut, English-Oriental blend or Balkan in my book, but the Perique I assume makes it stronger. The Turkish-Latiakia component stands out in flavor, but the Perique tips it into a spicier-heavier breed.

First half of bowl in a newer Northern Briar (large cobbleshell) is nice tasting English but something kicks at mid-way point to ramp up the spiciness. I gather the Turkish is meeting the Perique. However, in the my 60's Dunhill pipe, the blend tastes mellower for longer but it still has a strong finish.

I suppose without the original formula Perique added, the blend would have been something like a Rattray lighter Scottish blend, which vary from bland to good depending on your preferences. This is definitely more of an Oriental experience and certainly is not flat.

I smoked some of the old Lane English blends in the 70's (including Medal of Honor, Black Knight, etc.), and they were on the exotic-strong side for me then. I don't specifically remember this one, but it still taastes like it fits that bill.

Peterson's Balkan Delight is certainly lighter than this but I don't detect any Turkish in that one to make a fair comparison here. A Balkan is a fairer comparison, but this Crown Achievement is toward the heavier of the line (and not just due to Latakia).

This is my personal experience after smoking nearly a full tin which I will finish. I will age the other tins I have to bring out more mellowness, but for someone who like fuller blends this is ready to smoke now. Cool but spicy. Interesting.

Pipe Used: Dunhill 120; Northern Briar Special

Age When Smoked: New (1/14)

Purchased From: PipesandCigars

Similar Blends: Balkan Sasieni.

20 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (114)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

When CA came on the market somewhere in the mid-sixities, I began to smoke it in my initial english blend explorations. Although never my absolute favorite, I liked it and continued to smoke it occasionally. This went on up until the time of the sale of the brand to another company who, to save money in 2004, took the perique out of the formula. This riled a lot of english smokers, but I wasn't one of them - I thought it still made a descent english smoke. However, I never bought it in the numbers I had with the original formula and didn't hoard the second version - I would buy an occasional tin and smoke it to completion. By 2012 I had smoked three of the remaining four first generation tins in my stash and, at our 2012 NASPC show, Leonard Wortzel of Lane Ltd. bought my last tin. He told me that it would be used as the model for the new tinning design, and it was. Leonard talks about this on one of the popular pipe smoking sites.

As to the smoking quatities of the new version, I found it to be just about as I remembered it to be originally: solidly a heavyish english blend comparable to many of its competitors both then in the old days and now. If anything, I thought it was actually stronger than the original with a little bit of bite to it - not tongue bite but a spicey type of bite on the palate. My first reaction to this was that I wasn't going to like it, but this went away with subsequent smokes. I then began to use it as my heavy component in microblending english blends and this worked out very well.

Never my absolute favorite english blend in the past but solidly acceptible at any given moment, I would have rated it three of four stars in the past and that is still my feeling and rating today. I have no problem recommending it and hope it will be around for a long time to be enjoyed.

Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo half-bent billiard

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: pipesand

Similar Blends: there are many perique-containing english blends, and I've smoked some and CA is similar to them.

16 people found this review helpful.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (74)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This is for the new 2014 re-launch of Crown Achievement. In all fairness it probably deserves a brand new entry and a fresh start on reviewing. I tried the bulk of this in the mid nineties if memory serves me correctly and didn't think much of it but make no mistake, this is not that.

From the first puff of the first bowl I was drawn into this blend. This greatly surprised me as I approached it without a sense of hyped anticipation. The latakia and orientals seem to play like best friends with a smooth sweetness from first light and throughout most of the bowl. The perique is subtle and adds perhaps a whiff of spice. I like this new old blend a lot and intend to add tins to each tobacco order in the future.

Pipe Used: Ashton LX billiard, Northern Briars Lrg. Poker

Age When Smoked: 1-14

15 people found this review helpful.

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

The Virginia is grassy and naturally sweet, and is the base for the other components to play off. The Cyprian latakia is smoky, woodsy with a touch of sweetness, and prominent in every puff without drowning out the other tobaccos. It’s well supported by the woody, and slight sweet and sour notes from the Orientals/Turkish, which also provides some body as well as depth to the blend. There’s a very slight sweet note that I can’t identify with the ingredients, which indicates a topping of some sort. The perique is a minor player, with a little plum and only a hint of spice. Has a mild nic-hit. Burns as a reasonable rate (especially considering how dry the tobacco is) with a consistent medium taste, no harsh or dull spots, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. Slightly creamy, it produces lots of smoke when you puff, though excessive puffing reduces the nuance of flavors. Darn near an all day English smoke if you so choose.

12 people found this review helpful.

oldsage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldsage (3)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've sampled this tobacco off and on through the decades. First off, it takes a practiced hand at slow smoking to bring out the best in this blend; it's not for beginners.

Ultimately, I feel that Crown Achievement is what happens when someone without an understanding of true balance undertakes the task of blending a premium English/Balkan-style mixture. Lane used the finest Orientals and Latakia they could buy in this, but not in judicious proportions. A heavy hand with the Orientals turns it a bit bitter and "woody" in character, and a lack of finesse in the selection of Virginia renders the mixture a bit sour and hot. It's reminiscent of someone who, when they first strike it rich, goes out and automatically buys the most expensive champagne and caviar. If it's that expensive, it MUST be good, right?

It takes a great deal of time, experience and training to learn how to be a master blender, especially in the range of English mixtures. I am under the impression that, rather than using a master blander, Lane just threw money at Crown Achievement.

Actually, Lane A-100, far less expensive, is a better-balanced blend, and quite good.

Crown Achievement can, however, be the basis for some successful home blending; some people add various McClelland bulk Virginias to this with excellent results. Even a 50/50 mix of Crown Achievement and Virginia still has enough Orientals and Latakia to qualify it as a "Medium to Full Balkan" -- and it's quite a bit more smokeable.

10 people found this review helpful.

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

I think OldSage review below nails it. This blend may have some high end tobaccos, but they don't seem to be blended right and its just a sour mess. It's no surprise that this blend is now gone. Boring, flat and sour. Not Recommended.

9 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a powerful bulk Latakia blend. The leaf is of exceptional quality, and, in my humble opinion, very special. deep Latakia flavor that provides huge volumes of smoke. The Virginia and exotic Orientals add a depth to the blend no often found in tobaccos of this style. The Perique plays cat and mouse with the palate the entire time and that was a good thing. Man, this is good stuff!

7 people found this review helpful.

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

This review is of the new tinned version.

This one frustrates me. It's muddled. I can get flashes of something good then it disappears as soon as it shows. No one component dominates they just show and disappear in random fashion. It also burns a bit warm regardless of the rate at which it is smoked. Can't recommend this one.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

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

I'm not sure what planet I've been living on but I've only recently learned that this was sold in bulk... after Lane's dropped it! I've always smoked the tinned version and my review is of a well-aged tin.

This blend is the same as I remember it from years ago, memory being what it is, of course! Very smoky tasting with a light sweetness, it has a bit of "zing" to it - a mild sharpness reminiscent of 965 but I don't find they actually taste the same. Or even similar. But the mild sharpness is there. Hard to describe but you'll know it if you're familiar with 965.

Just the right amount of latakia, which drives the blend. The light sweetness could be from the virginia and/or in combo with the various turkish tobaccos. I don't smoke a lot of latakia these days but I do plan on spreading my one tin out over time to make it last because when I'm in the mood for latakia, this blend is an excellent "go to" smoke. I recommend this if you can find it in the tin, as it seems the bulk version is different, based on the reviews below. The tinned version sings!

6 people found this review helpful.

From Etten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
From Etten (22)
Mild Medium Medium Pleasant

A handsome medium ribbon cut, non-moist ready to smoke tobac, perhaps best aroma from the bag, bulk blend I have experienced. Evaluating Crown Achievement following another Lane Bulk blend, RLP-6 and finding a ‘favorite’ brings this CA blend a challenge to rate as high. A wonderfully constructed and balanced blend I had to learn to manage the burn characteristics – which proved to be worth the effort. The rich and rewarding flavor aromas get into gear the last half and deliver the wonderful top note and slip stream aromas that I need to have in an outstanding bowl. Just the right hint of perique to not overwhelm, CA reaches for and gets a 4 star.

Pipe Used: Greek Briar, Tsuge

Age When Smoked: Bulk Fresh

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: RLP-6.

5 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I think this is a great tasting English blend. Middle of the road tasty. Not weak, but not strong either. Has a delicious flavor. This reminds me of a cross of Nightcap (which is a favorite) just a smoother version of it, and Petersons Old Dublin. Crown Achievement has zero bite to it. The only complaint I have is there is a ungodly amount of stems in this tin which is very odd.. I've never seen anything like it. Every bowl brings the slow down procedure of picking out the stems blocking a quick load. Thought it was just that first load but it happens every time. Very odd. Don't know why Lane Limited would go through this trouble to produce this blend and not focus on the de-stemming process. I did not detect any topping or flavoring. This blends seems like a well balanced blend to me. Its an all day smoke kind of blend.

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars

Similar Blends: Nightcap and Old Dublin..

5 people found this review helpful.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (106)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Thought I'd like this blend, and tin description sure sounds enticing. Opening the tin I get the usual latakia smokiness, which my wife refers to as a campfire but to me resembles my fireplace the morning after I burned a stack of oak. It's on lighting up that anything positive about the blend goes out the window. First off, it's a Lat-bomb, so that's about all the taste you're going to get here. And the latakia seems to be acrid, sharp, and just all-around unpleasant. Latakia to me is the steak sauce of tobacco. A well prepared steak needs little to none of the sauce, a well prepared tobacco blend should have at most a minor amount of latakia. It's a spice tobacco, and when it's over used all other components are drowned. To me, lat-bombs are for those without refined palettes, like those who drown a steak in A-1 sauce can't be true steak lovers.

Anyhow, that's my anti-lat-bomb rant. Back to CA, this stuff is not only dominated and covered up by the acrid latakia, but the flavor is totally flat and one-dimensional. There's a disproportionately low amount of flavor, driving you to want to puff faster to get something out of it, which then leads to dry mouth and bite. Perique is absolutely undetectable. Virginia is detectable only by a low-key sweetness that just as well could be from the Orientals. You'll never be able to tell because you'll be busy choking on the latakia. The orientals do peek through from time to time, but only for a flash before they're gone again. Murdered before their time by the lat-beast. I am sorry, I respect Lane, but this is a really poorly blended attempt at an English. I will not purchase again, and cannot recommend to those who haven't tried it. I sincerely hope this isn't literally their crown achievement!

4 people found this review helpful.

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

So I grabbed a tin of this from a box pass, but never got around to opening it. A forum friend wanted to send me some reciprocal hate mail from some samples I sent him and mentioned he had a lot of this as it was his favorite blend. I fully expected to dislike this blend since I grabbed the tin and jumped on the opportunity to sample some as I now identified the optimal trading partner for my tin should it live up to my expectations.

To be fair, Lane has always disappointed me and this is the reason for my skepticism. With my first bowl of this, I thought it to be a pretty decent decent lat blend reminiscent of Nightcap, another blend of which I am not to fond. I had this blend on the ride home from work, which is usually not the best time to really enjoy a smoke as the rush hour traffic and accumulated thoughts of the day tend to rush the smoke.

Then the second bowl found me at the optimal smoking condition. At night while the kids were asleep and this is when I really had a chance to enjoy this blend. And enjoy it I did. This is the very definition of the contemplative smoke in my mind. The flavors are constantly changing. The lat is restrained and the orientals constantly weave through sour to nutty then to earthy type notes. The perique is evident with a spice note. There are moments when I get notes of spiced fruit. I am not sure whether this is just from the perique or perhaps some of the Virginia is slightly stoved. And the side stream is heavenly. I must have been a humorous picture smoking this in my truck during the morning commute as I so often removed the pipe to sniff at the smoke coming off the top of the bowl. It was hard not to.

So, as it sometimes happens with samples in the mail, you try them to cross them off your list and you end up wanting to purchase more. This is my experience with crown achievement. I am really up in the air on this on whether to give it three or four stars. I seldom award a four star review to something that I have only sampled, but this one was so solid, I really can't see giving it three stars. So four stars it is. And as to it being reminiscent to Nightcap, I will do it one better. This is what Nightcap wishes it was.

Similar Blends: Nightcap, but much better IMO.

4 people found this review helpful.

periqueguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
periqueguy (43)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Certainly not what it name implies. I did not find this new version as I had remembered the original. I was disappointed and was anticipated more turkish flavor and less latakia influence. I like latakia blends and feel that there are several others on the market that provide a better smoke IMHO.

Pipe Used: home made billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: na

4 people found this review helpful.

Sean_The_Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sean_The_Smoker (1)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is perhaps the smoothest English blend I've yet to smoke. The tin note was, at first, offsetting as it was nutty and clearly an English blend, but for whatever reason had the feel of an aromatic. From the first light, on through the bowl, it was a smooth smoke with a nuttiness and progressively increasing spice. I attribute the spice to the perique, but am still surprised at how well the flavored blended together. What really surprised me was that, unlike most any other English blend, the retrohale was remarkably light. On the retrohale I find it brings out the nuttiness of this blend more so than anything else, but also with a tinge of sweetness not detectable otherwise. Having bought a few more tins since my first of CA, this has been my go to blend when I can't decide what I want to smoke, as it has never disappointed me. If you're looking for an English to sit back with that isn't as bold as nightcap, or as light as any of the Frog Morton line this is truly an excellent choice.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 68, Big Ben Classic Line 702

Age When Smoked: 1-3 Months

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Not quite similar to any other blend in its own right, though its flavor resembles a milder Nightcap, and it maintains a smoothness akin to Frog Mortans Cellar..

3 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the tin, I find a dry tobacco that smells of a berry topping with some Latakia smokiness. It's a fine cut ribbon that has a lot of yellow and golden strands.

Because of the dryness, it lights very easily and burns to a white ash. Unfortunately, the topping is quite present in the smoke, with an average amount of Latakia and some bite on the tongue. I don't know what the original tasted like but this mixture is in the category of a dime a dozen for me. The aftertaste is of cigarettes, which is a bit normal for a Virginia driven tobacco, but I think that the quality of the leaf is on the average side.

3 people found this review helpful.

Ambush1964 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ambush1964 (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Let me begin by saying I am a newbie smoker, a light smoker and tend to smoke aromatics. I had smelled Latakia/English blends in my local B&M (notice that is B&M and NOT BM) and they smelled terrible to me. (might as well have been a BM) :) This is the first Latakia/English blend that I have tried. I read the reviews and hype about this blend and thought it would be a good one to give me an idea of whether I would like these types of tobacco blends. This one has the same off-putting smell in the tin as the other English Styles, but I was not dissuaded. I loaded it straight out of the new tin which was at a moisture content that was just a bit high, but I loaded it with a very light tamp. My moisture meter measured it at 18%-a bit high. I have read it should be about 12%-14%. {This moisture content information was gleaned from a very helpful, informative "Pipes Magazine" online article. (The moisture meter, by the way, is an excellent tool for gauging tobacco moisture for the newbie smoker-before I got the meter I was trying to smoke very moist tobacco-measure at around 20% and higher). If I can take the time to dry my tobaccos to the 12%-14% mark, they smoke wonderfully. It still lit well and burned pretty good, I only had to relight once to get it smoked to the bottom of the bowl. I am glad I tried it in a rather small cob, as I really disliked this tobacco (personal preference not putting it down). The cob gave its' all and provided a slight sweetness that was much appreciated by me. I knew going in that I might feel this way and I was not wrong. It smoked just as it smelled in the tin. I can't exactly describe it, but it was something like a smoky-perfume-soap. It did get a bit spicier at the half way point, it did not help. I persevered to the bottom of the bowl and was glad when it was done. I like Perique, as in McClelland's "Beacon", too much in "Beacon Extra" but the Perique did not help me with this blend. I got a small sample of G.L.Pease "Gaslight" along with this order from and will try it next. It does not seem to have as strong of a Latakia tin note, but I think it will be similar and just as off-putting to me. My advice is, if you like the English/Latakia tin note smell you will probably really enjoy this tobacco, as it smokes just like it smells.

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Corncob-No filter-filter stem

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Crown Achievements- This review is from the newly released tinned CA. I have to agree with those reviews that say a new entry should be initiated for the new release as this is a different tobacco from the original or the revised blend.

My initial reaction was that this needed some time to breath and after a week the blend did improve. Unlike many of the newer reviews I thought this was a more Latakia forward blend void of all sweetness and rather than flavor, the Orientals only provided heat and harshness. I felt that this was similar to C&D's Engine 99, H&H's Ten to Midnight or Ambassador, you want to think latakia out front. Not a great room note, wife banishes me ! This was smoked in a Ozark Maple and a cob, perhaps a briar would have been better ,however, my tongue was so raw I couldn't see me smoking another bowl. One of those smokes that says, " I like the taste of licking a charcoal briquette that is void of all flavor", then you need to have this one on hand. I don't think I'll be buying more and I won't

Just wondering if LANE rushed this blend to market, maybe it needs a year to age and meld ?

Pipe Used: Ozark maple & Cob

Age When Smoked: 3 weeks

Similar Blends: C&D's Engine 99, H&H's Ten to Midnight or Ambassador.

3 people found this review helpful.

CPT/VSG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CPT/VSG (72)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recall smoking CA back in the 1970s when it was allegedly the most expensive pipe tabacco on the market. My dim recollection of taste from 40 years ago was of a tobacco of strength and dense richness. So much for memory....

But, I'm delighted to see this blend re-introduced. I ordered 4 tins and have smoked through one already. I simply didn't want anything else in my pipes for a while. The new CA comes across to me as a "creamy" Oriental, by which I mean that the aged Virginia base and the mixture of Orientals blend to a balance, not favoring either. I found it a delightful smoke at any time of the day and worth a try by the doubters. Now, I'm curious to re-try some of the aged old stuff to see how it compares, assuming I could find some. CA will be a regular in my rotation.

Pipe Used: Ferndown and Castello briars.

Age When Smoked: Newly released.

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars.

3 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (13)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Back in the day, Crown Achievement was advertised as America's most expensive pipe tobacco, $1.35 for 2oz., as opposed to Balkan Sobranie, which was $1.25. If ever there was a case to be made for a time machine, that is it.

Trying to compare current reality with memories of four-plus decades ago is a fool's errand, at best. So, I shan't try. All I can say is that this version of Crown Achievement comes much closer to evoking 1972, as I remember it, than any iteration of Balkan Sobranie has since about 1980.

That is not to say that it is the same. Nope. The Crown Achievement of forty years ago had more nuanced Virginias and Orientals, and the Latakia didn't smack you upside the head quite so much. But this is close, and the addition of Perique is delightful, and covers a multitude of sins.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Dunhill Nightcap; Uhle's Bishop's Move.

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Lane Limited - Crown Achievement.

The current description on here ends with 'Recognized as the worlds most outstanding smoking mixture'. Well, that's slightly arrogant! But is it an apt description?

The flavour's nowhere near as smoky as I was expecting from the pouch note, together with the Oriental, the Latakia makes quite a woody flavour. That's good, yeah? No, because as well as the woody taste it also forms a sour flavour; too sour. The Virginia gives a lemony taste but to be honest, with the overly sour Orientals, it turns it into a bitter mess. The Perique?...... where is it!!!

On the positive side of things it burns well, albeit quite fast, doesn't bite, has a medium nicotine amount, and gives an alright room-note.

Recognized as the worlds most outstanding smoking mixture? Recognized by whom?! Not me:

One star.

Pipe Used: Levent Meer'

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (111)
Mild Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A freshly popped tin starts out great but after the air gets at it even transferring to a mason jar it completely falls apart, muddy and mute which is never good in my books therefore I cannot recommend it and I'll never buy it again.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tom Bombadill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bombadill (102)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

My favorite blends are English/Balkan blends and I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable CA turned out to be. I am not familiar with the history of the blend and somehow this was the first Lane Limited blend I've smoke since starting in 2008. I was a bit skeptical because Lane is such a huge tobacco company.

Crown Achievement compared very favorably to many of the upscale-tobacconist/luxury blend English/Balkan entries. The latakia was always present but neither to heavy or light. A nice cool smoke with a tastiness from the Perique. I guess they really know what they are doing at Lane. Good enough fro me to smoke all day. I will definitely get more at some point. Bought the can and started in November 2015. (there's another can in my cellar) Finished the can in June 2016.

A great smoke especially for the price.

Pipe Used: Peterson, Grabow, Kaywoodie,

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: All the classic English/Balkan entries from the big Houses and legendary tobacco shops..

2 people found this review helpful.

clanobucklin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
clanobucklin (102)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I cannot understand how anyone could rate this less than 3 stars. Muddled? Hardly! This is an excellent blend - well crafted full English that builds nicely in your pipe. The orientals work well and the Latakia in this blend is very tasty. The VA adds some sweetness and the Perique is there and perfectly spiced - not overblown. A great blend to finish a day. I only ordered 2 oz but I can tell I will have to get more of this one!!!

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Ruf-Tone

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: P&C

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Well, I did not have opportunity to try old version so no way to compare. My experience does not affected by memories. So I can say as separate mixture this one could be in top division of English mixtures. Good quantity of Latakia, soft orientals, spicy perique - all components are in order. I believe that mixture is good for aging but definitely suitable for smoking now. At least I enjoyed it. PS Actually, new version should be separated in reviews from old one, since they are quite different tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Many different

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Similar Blends: Some Dunhill Latakia mixtures..

2 people found this review helpful.

ddmholst Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ddmholst (23)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I did not get into to pipes till well after the original had stopped being produced. So I don't have a memory to compare this to. Having said that I find this blend fairly enjoyable.

I received this with a good size TAD order. Unfortunately this was the only tin to have lost its seal in shipping. I also did not have any mason jars to store this in. So it arrived a little damp fortunately for me I left for work for a month and left it in its tin. Seems to be at the perfect moisture level at that point. First let me say I like the tin with its leather type lid. Anyway how does it smoke? Well it's fairly smooth. It's nicely balanced with latakia forward for the first half of the bowl and the perique just sneaking in from time to time eventually being very dominant toward the last third of the smoke. I finished a tin of this in about a week so I guess I enjoyed it.

I tried to get this to bite one time. My wife was talking to me and I was very bored with whatever the hell she was saying. So I faked interest and puffed extreamly fast but no bite! Still not sure what she was talking about?

I would reccomend this to smoke. It is not by any means the best lat blend I have smoked but I might buy some more tins.

Pipe Used: Savinellis dedicated to latakia blends

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I bought two tins, one to try immediately, one for tin aging. Upon opening the tin aroma was a heady delight of promise. Presentation in the tin was first class as was the packaging. Best packaging I've ever seen. The ribbons packed easily and the charring light brought back memories of my first taste of the Dunhills I had back in the 1960's - My Mixture #10 and #965. I would rate that first taste as between those two (not to be confused with the current versions in any way). Lane has obviously gone some distance in sourcing the Orientals in this as they are not readily available, I understand.

After the char however, CR faded a bit but was still immensely enjoyable as an English blend, a premium one. I loved the tastes. BUT this lasted until I hit the 2/3 burn mark. After that level it became muddled, harsh, and frankly, unsmokeable. I was very disappointed as invariably, no matter which briar I used, I was digging out the last 1/3 bowl. Still, up to that point it was an extraordinary smoke showcasing well its component pedigree. Otherwise I would have given it a full 4 stars.

As I neared the midpoint of my test tin I tried this in a cob (which I do not use for English blends). The bad behavior of the last 1/3 disappeared. Why? Heck if I know. I suspect the Latakia used actually. It needs more tin time to cut some rough edges off and the cob helped that along. I have experienced this Latakia effect in other blends by other houses before. Jar time cured that dragon effect with those and hence I will keep my other tin for a year before trying it. And I am prepared to transfer it to a jar for secondary aging at that point if necessary. I will try more of this later, in six months or so just to see how it goes as well.

Pipe Used: Briars

Age When Smoked: New production

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Ashton - Artisan's Blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

sirchud68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sirchud68 (58)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

I've been smoking CA 100 for about 3 years now. I've had a few different Latakia blends but I still have to have this on hand. The first time I smoked a bowl of this I was like "no way in hell people can really smoke this." I didn't have it in me to throw out my 2 oz, so I just sat on it. After a year and many reviews later I decided to give it a real chance and boy was I surprised. Wether my palette changed or it just aged well I don't know, but I began to enjoy this stuff. True, it has a lot of stems that get in the way of an easy pack, but, whatever. This is my main smoke. Though I love other mixtures as well, CA 100 is cheap and easy for me to get my hands on. Anyway, if you get nothing else out of this review, let it be a lesson: Never, ever judge a tobacco on a couple of smokes and never, ever, ever through out a tobacco. Period. Trade, blend, or just sit on it. Might one day turn out to be your favorite :)

2 people found this review helpful.

OSR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OSR (78)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

The currently available version of Crown Achievement isn't the same as the tobacco I smoked years ago. I know.... "duh"... but seriously, this has turned from a tasty English/Balkan blend into Lane's version of Frog Morton.

There is nothing wrong with the current offering. It's a mild english with some casing/cavendish included that should appeal to the smoker looking for a light, aromatic latakia blend.

As for the Mahalla and Dubec tobaccos in this blend, there may be one ounce of each in a 25 lb batch...

Like Frog Morton, I have no problem with CA and if I had to choose between Cherry Blend or Crown Achievement/Frog Morton then I'd be smoking CA/FM. Stack CA up against Presbyterian Mixture/London Mixture/Samarra/Margate.. no comparison.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kunsan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kunsan (76)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I ordered a couple tins of Crown Achievement in view of the number of good reviews. Very nice tin quality, unusual clear stiff plastic insert to hold the tobacco firm and retain moisture. Probably the best packaging I have seen.

The tobacco comes at just the right dampness for immediate smoking. I wandered off into the garden and loaded up my Grabow Golden Duke. Tobacco took a light straight away and produced very nice clouds of pungent flavorsome smoke. For my first couple of bowls I wondered if this was going to have just a little too much Perique, but as I became accustomed to Crown Achievement I realised that the Perique element is what makes it rather special. It has a background sweetness, a hint of something Oriental, then the Perique on top. The Perique seems to be quite soft - there's a spiciness there which becomes very attractive after repeated smokings, but it doesn't have the big peppery kick that I've experienced in some Perique mixtures.

Having opened the first tin just a couple of days ago, I'm rather surprised to find the contents dwindling rather rapidly! Already had another couple of smokes of it this morning, and it really is growing on me. The smoking taste and aftertaste are really rather infectious.

Something in this reminds me of Dunhill's Aperitif, but I think Crown Achievement is better, more spicey but soft as well. All rather intriguing! In fact I'm going to be rather dramatic and say that this Crown Achievement beats all the Dunhills I've smoked - and that really is rather a big compliment.

So: only a couple of days into my first tin, but I think this one is a real winner, and I'm already planning to buy lots of tins for my cupboard. Well done Lane!

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild None Detected Extra Full Tolerable

An American English quite unlike anything else I've had so far. It's Lat heavy but there's also a ton of pepper and spice going on. Amazingly, it's still a sweet tobacco.

This is mild in nicotine but very rich in flavour. It is complex and I guess is subtle in the sense that working out what flavour is coming from what type of leaf is bewildering. But on the whole this is a punch in the face affair.

It is what it is, and what it is, is also unusual. I suspect this will divide opinions and the reviews so far, even allowing for formulation changes over time, seem to bear this out. I enjoyed it a lot. But I wouldn't want to smoke a lot of it quickly.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like moderately full-bodied Balkans, where the Orientals and Perique can be detected rather than be overwhelmed by the Latakia, then this blend is worth trying. Takes and keeps a light easily, but while made of good quality tobaccos, it really doesn't stand out either. A nice solid winter's smoke, but nothing to rave about or that makes it unique.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 2 years after purchase

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

noquarter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
noquarter (23)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant

Very nice creamy smoke with a buttery mouthfeel and tang. Halfway through,the spiciness will turn up a notch which I find very pleasant. No bite,just fine fantastic tobacco all the way. Reminds me of Nightcap for its creaminess and Larry's blend for its buttery oriental qualities. Highly recommended for those who love their Englishes/Balkans. Very tasty.

1 person found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm just not much of a fan of this one. It's fine but to me it doesn't wow me. Too sweet for my tastes. Kind of sickening.

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Quality packaging, ribbon but with some twiggy bits, dark and English - like in tin note.

Smokes well enough, but I find something is amiss as it pertains to the composition; The Turkish / Lat components mute out the Virginias and [I can't believe I'm writing this] theirs too much of a Perique presence. Perhaps it's just exaggerated because every other piece of the blend cancels the others out.

Burns quicker than I would consider typical, but not hot or overly bitey.

It's like a librarian lacking skeletons in her closet...drab.

Pipe Used: All kinds

Age When Smoked: 18 months

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Gothicmace Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gothicmace (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

After reading reviews on this blend, I grew excited to try this an made it part of a four tin sale P&C had going. As luck would have it... a few days later it arrived in the mail. I love opening those tins as the seal breaks and the woosh sound happens. Tin note... definite Balkan blend.... stoved up the Dr. G Omega and headed out to the front porch with a cup of coffee. First light.. OHHH.. this is going to be a bit stronger than I expected.. not overpowering just strong. Once this got going.. I am a sipper... I could see this was not going to be a monotone type blend, but rather changed and in a good way during the smoke. To me nothing beats that wonderful campfire smokey aroma as you relax and sip some coffee and this one did not disappoint. The only thing I noticed.. and this was a fresh tin, that it did take a few relights along the way... but other then that... a well designed blend befitting the name Crown Achievement. While I would love to give this 4 Stars.. I am giving this 3 as I would highly recommend it to anybody who either enjoys English/Balkan blends or for somebody new to this style of tobacco. I enjoyed this and will keep this blend in my rotation. Happy Smoking Cheers Mike

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Omega

Age When Smoked: 1 Day

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Crown Achievement (upper case) was introduced many years ago by Lane, Ltd. as a tinned blend using the finest available tobaccos at a premium price with the intent of providing the crown achievement (lower case) of latakia/oriental tobacco mixtures. It was heavy on the latakia and oriental, lighter on the Virginia, and possessed enough perique to make that element obvious although not strong.

I smoked it a few times way back then and was not overly impressed. My problem was not that it was a mediocre tobacco, but rather that it did not have the superior quality to merit the premium price. Over the years Lane dumbed down the blend and omitted the perique. To the best of my recollection I did not ever smoke Crown Achievement in the no perique era. Eventually it was discontinued from the Lane lineup.

After the Scandinavian Tobacco Group acquired Lane Ltd. in 2011 they resurrected a number of discontinued bulks, the tinned Crown Achievement, and even added some new offerings. The Crown Achievement offering was touted as the original recipe (with perique), but was offered without the premium price.

The newly minted Crown Achievement offers a ribbon cut with a strong latakia pouch aroma. My tin was a bit too moist for my preference upon opening, but that quickly settled down. It smokes to a dry ash without gooping the pipe. It is medium in latakia strength, and a bit more than medium in oriental strength for an English mixture. The perique is just above the condimental level, strong enough to be noticed, but nevertheless restrained.

The room note will win no praise from significant others, but it is actually less strong than many latakia/oriental heavy offerings.

My initial response was muted, but as I progressed through the tin my appreciation for the new Crown Achievement increased. In particular I liked the creamy note, which is unusual for a latakia/oriental offering. The fact that it is being offered at a competitive price also influenced me positively.

There are some pipe smokers who despise latakia. They will despise Crown Achivement. But for those who enjoy this breed of tobacco the chances are that they will react favorable. In particular, the creamy note may influence some to add it to regular rotation.

Is Crown Achievement (upper case) the crown achievement (lower case) of latakia/oriental forward blends? Probably not, but at the current competitive pricing it is well worth trying.

I got 18 smokes out of the tin, using a number of different pipes: two Leonessas, two Petersons, one Sasieni, one Kaywoodie, one Dunhill, and one no name ("Italian briar") basket pipe. All provided good smokes, but the Dunhill and the no name tied for first place.

1 person found this review helpful.

Grovesy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grovesy (28)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I recently came across CA in bulk at a local shop and thought I would give it a try. I think its a very decent blend and have enjoyed it so far. My local shop is selling it for 3.25 an ounce and for that price I find it an unbeatable smoke in that price range. As others have noted, mixing it 50/50 with some PS straight virginia has been excellent as well.

Pipe Used: various

1 person found this review helpful.

arpie55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
arpie55 (64)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Strong

i had hoped that when i read that this had returned to perique as a component that it would be as i remembered it, but it was not. seems to me that the real appeal is in the heavy latakia, it is so strong with it that it makes my dog sneeze and leave the room. my wife says the dog smells better than the tobacco. it is just okay.

Pipe Used: ascorti

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

slashes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
slashes (13)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I started pipe smoking years after this blend was discontinued , so i cant compare the new vs the old. However the new version is quickly becoming one of my favorite blends. To me it tastes slightly tangy and smokey with a little peppery spice from the perique. If you like english/balkan blends give this one a try.

Pipe Used: Savenelli and Dr Grabow Freehand

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

sibeen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sibeen (10)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Very dry in the tin when I first opened it. Too dry, way too dry. The taste wasn't at all bad, but the dryness of the tobacco led to it biting. Far better blends to be tried.

1 person found this review helpful.

Brucej67 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brucej67 (1)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is the new blend close if not the original blend. The taste of the individual tobaccos comes through as you smoke the blend with the subtle taste of each tobacco imparting it's flavor on the palate. I find this blend soothing and enjoyable from the first puff to the last and it burns cleanly in the pipe leaving no goo or residue. I would recommend this to anyone that enjoys an mild English tobacco.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Autograph

Age When Smoked: 68

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: Dunhill Elizabethan.

1 person found this review helpful.

clifswin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
clifswin (8)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

When Crown Achievement was dropped by LL several years ago, it wasn't my favorite, but was on my list of fallback tobaccos, when I needed a change from my regulars. As it was dropped, there were several places that put CA bulk on huge discounts, and I picked up a few pounds just to have it around and because it was a deal. Put it up in Mason jars and set it in storage, and pretty much forgot about it.

Fast forward... now six years after tinning, I cracked one last night. Oh. My. God. Delicate, complex flavors that roll over my tongue and seem to dance through my synapses. I smoked a bowl, with frequent gasps and sighs of pleasure. Then to be sure, I tried another in a different pipe. Then another in a diferent... I can't say it's the best tobacco I've ever tasted, but that's only because I can't compare directly with some older ones that are now only long-gone memories. Its burning is less than perfect; I have to relight it several times through a bowl, which is not the norm for me. As complaints go, that's my only one. Well, one other: I can't just smoke and smoke this, day in and day out, since I'd run through all of it too fast. But if you have some you put up years ago and forgot about, like I did, I'd say you have a real treat in store!

1 person found this review helpful.

caddad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
caddad (53)
Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

I bought a couple of ounces of this at a tobacco shop I go to every now and then. I was just beginning to experiment with Latakia at the time and I found it to be very enjoyable. I remember keeping the bag on my nightstand by the bed and the rich smell of this tobacco making me feel comfortable on a cold night. I can even remember huffing the bag more than once just to take in the smell. Since then I have moved on to many fancy tins and higher priced blends but I must say that I would buy this again. I do remember very hateful comments from my wife when I smoked this in the house , so I smoked it in the van on the way to and from work. But she didn?t mind the bag by the bed. If there were an English potpourri this may just be it. Writing this review is actually making me miss this blend, I may just have to pick a few ounces up next time I go by the cigar store !

1 person found this review helpful.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Lane seems to have a ton of critics, and that's understandable. This is mass market tobacco that aims to sell, not satisfy the quirks of picky pipers. It's always a riot reading their blend descriptions. Really, I had no idea "Crown Achievement" was the product of the rarest, most costly strands of tobacco leaf. I'm sorry, Dubac and Mahalla, you say?

All insults aside, this is a pretty decent English mixture for the price. It smokes cool, has a ton of flavor, and can easily stand its own against some of the higher priced English blends. Yeah, I'd buy this again, but the opportunity may well be on a downward slide.

I recently read a snippet that Lane is discontinuing this blend. That comes as a surprise to me, because I would imagine this to be a popular product. I guess they're finally starting to run out of that rarest of rare leaf. Wonder what kind of replacement Lane's brewing up. Lemme think: "Twenty Seven as of yet developed strains of precious Tobaccos grown on the fine plains of the lost Atlantis.." I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

3.0 of 4.0

1 person found this review helpful.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

To me this is one of the best English Mixtures on the market as far as quality-price ratio. It's tasty, full, it keeps the flavour for the entire bowl. These days when many historical blends have worsened, this is something you can always rely on. Another good point is that it smells so wonderful it's almost better to have someone around you smokin' it than to smoke it yourself! It's a fine all-day smoke, but pay attention with the packing which can be a little tricky, due to the mixed cut.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I actually liked this blend,so here goes:

This comes in bulk only these days, so there is no tin to open. I didn't smell any flavoring, but there is definitely a humectant in this.

Appearance: Medium ribbon cut, black, brown, mohagany, and yellow leaf abounds.

Moisture: Actually, not too moist, considering the humectant that is present.

Lighting: Easily, with two lights typical.

Flavor: To me, this is a refinement of 965. Just the right amount of cavendish, not cloyingly sweet like 965. A nice interplay of leaf with the Dubec giving a nice counterpoint to the cavendish. The latakia is there mainly as a condiment. The VA is there only for support. Mid-bowl flavor is smooth, round, and enjoyable. Bottom third gets a little more intense with a little Perique making its prescence known. Ash is mottled and dry, the only moisture was in the shank and a pipecleaner took care of that. When you smell the pipe-cleaner, then you really can smell the humectant.

Overall: this is a good replacement for 965 IMO. It has less nicotine, a smoother flavor and is cheaper.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Points. Enjoy.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Yuck!!! This is not my kind of tobacco at all. This stuff is some of the wettest smoking crud I have ever put into my pipe. My wife bought an ounce of this stuff at the local tobacco shop to go with a new pipe and a tin of Royal Yacht that she knew I wanted to try. The owner recommended this and IQ when she asked for some good samples. I know this guy but he didn't know she was my wife. I'm at a loss as to why he would recommend it. Perhaps he is trying to cut down on his customer base. Why do tobacconists even carry this crap is beyond me, but I have to assume that someone buys it. I'm going to have to have a talk with him! In his defense all she told him was that I liked English Tobaccos. The tobacco started out a little like 965 in that it was definitely English with some sort of cased cavendish added to it. I wasn't to bad through the first third of the bowl if a little boring. Through the second third however, it got extremely sour and bitter. This is the first tobacco that I couldn't even finish. When I went to empty out my bowl I found the problem. The remaining dreck in my pipe was nothing but a slimy ball of ash and wet tobacco. This might be alright if dried out, but I'm not sure I want to wait for ten years for the glycol to wear off. I personally don't think this tobacco is worth the effort. FWIW this stuff was sold under the generic name of English Oriental. Be on the look out and beware!!!!!

1 person found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (90)
Medium None Detected Full Unnoticeable

Well, this from a novice pipe stoker (20 pipes with a stash of 30 or so blends in the larder) I seem to have stumbled onto either an old tin or a new tin (if Lane doesn't make this in the tin anymore, as noted above) I found recently as a single in a local small shop. Whatever the "vintage" I find the tin version very enjoyable. Pungent. Very English. Very Oriental. Tickles my nose in the pouch. Packs and lights very well and burns nicely in a new Tomas Spanu 200C Rusticated 1/4 bent medium size. Some time ago I picked up a few ounces of the bulk version on the recommendation of a good blender in a high end shop locally and was disappointed (looks to be coarser in cut and not as "fresh")...this however is a delight, though does not take to being relit after sitting.

1 person found this review helpful.

mightysmurf8201 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mightysmurf8201 (24)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Pretty standard aroma for an English blend. The VA's are ever present and you can tell they are decent leaf. I just wish they would have paired it with a better quality latakia. It's plenty smoky, but also a bit astringent. I don't take much notice of the orientals or perique in this blend. Overall unremarkable to me, although some may like it. About halfway through the 2 oz sample, I was ready for it to be all gone, as I don't like tossing tobacco unless its truly bad, so I smoked the rest and moved on.

Pipe Used: briar, cob, meerschaum

Nobody has rated this review yet. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (121)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

The secret to a good English or Balkan style blend consists of allowing the different tobaccos to breathe and thus both contrast one another, and blend into a single sweet-spicy flavor. That piquant aspect makes English blends so popular.

"Crown Achievement" came relatively dry in the tin, with a slightly rougher cut than expected. Latakia wafted upward first, then the fermented smell of Perique, followed by the abundant Orientals. Any Virginias took a back seat, and the flavor bears this out, with a faint background sweetness dominated by the real power of this blend, which is the complement between the Latakia and Perique to make the Orientals move from sour to a sweet, spicy and sour flavor. If you are thinking Kung Pao Chicken or a good vinegar barbecue, you are on the right track.

Unfortunately, the result is somewhat unbalanced. Too much of the Latakia flavor, and somewhat of a chaotic interplay between the Orientals, has created a blend that like some of the early American attempts at re-introducing an English proves jagged instead of a fine balance like the Dunhill blends. Nonetheless, I enjoy this blend for its richness of flavor; it might be better as an American English, with more Virginia and a fair dose of Burley to widen the flavor profile and allow the individual leaf varieties to tangle in the opened space, especially if those Orientals can be made to complement one another and not simply clash. If you mix in about 60% "Five Brothers," the smoking experience notably improves, which is usually a key that a condimental leaf has been overused.

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Nightcap, Cornell & Diehl - Engine 99.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Aquinas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aquinas (12)
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

Lights well and burns to a nice grey ash but is lacking in anything similar to a true English or Balkan blend. Very blah with no noticeable flavor.

Pipe Used: Don Carlos

Age When Smoked: One year

Purchased From: P & C

Similar Blends: Cigarettes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

If the term “mild Balkan” strikes you as an attractive oxy-moron, and if you can get past Lane’s marketing hyperbole, you might just enjoy the latest iteration of Crown Achievement. It’s pressed and cut to ribbons that range from light gold, to mid and dark brown, also black. Tin note is Liquid Smoke (drat!) well over peat, with barely descernable, fairly earthy VAs. For me, Liquid Smoke scent means “Dry Some Before Smoking”, then I load it gently into a large, Balkan pipe. It takes the match OK, and the “smoke” soon switches to “sandalwood/soap”, and the Turkish comes up to dominate. CA is quite mild for ½ a bowl or so, and it’s “fragrant” if you like the true Turkish/barnyard thing, which I do. Meanwhile, the VAs are old hay-ish, a little earthy, both mild and sharpish without being wimpy or sharp, and the spices are exotic/kabob spicy without being too peppery, the lot both sweet and sour. I believe there's Perique in this, but there's not much, and it's mostly fig. CA lights easily and, typical of Turkish blends, it burns down fairly quickly, maintaining what I call a Balkan balance all the way. The Lat and the Perique team up to make CA rather astringent, as well, which I call bracing; YMMV. Though CA “intensifies” as it burns down, it barely makes it to medium in the taste department, IMO. Strength is mild. Room note is Turkish. Aftertaste is best-of-the-smoke, and it lingers longer than many Balkans.

I always thought of Balkan mixtures as needing some sort of “edge” to qualify for inclusion in the genre, until I smoked Compton’s of Galashiel’s Balkan, which loses what little edges it ever had over time while still being a true Balkan, in spades. Well, Crown Achievement is fairly edgeless, too. While it may not be the world’s best smoking mixture, it does stack up to the likes of Skiff Mixture and Eighteen-Twenty, though it’s more along the lines of Robert Lewis’ Orcilla Mixture. Overall, I think CA strikes a better balance than Orcilla, and that’s not a knock on Orcilla. I would think anyone who smokes Balkan mixtures regularly would give CA at least a 3, and I have to round it up to 4 Stars.

Pipe Used: large briars

Age When Smoked: +/- "fresh"

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Skiff Mixture; Eighteen Twenty; Orcilla Mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kppeterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kppeterson (19)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

At the match, Latakia and orientals....within a few minutes a little spice from the Perique. The first third of the bowl the flavor is the type medium English/Balkan that I totally fall for, the Latakia is ever present but not overwhelming and balanced well with the orientals. There are a few shortcomings; first it seems to get hot no matter how slow I smoke it, also it lacks a lot of flavor in smaller bowls. Where it really falls apart for me is that no matter how slow I smoke it the second half of the bowl gets harsh. I'm not sure if this is from the Virginias or the Orientals. The aftertaste isn't the worst but it's not great. Room note is great if you like Latakia and orientals but probably terrible if you don't.

I have smoked 2 sample bags of CA, about 4 bowls when it first was re-released and a sample bag of about 5 bowls over the last week. This is one of three Lane tobaccos I've been smoking regularly the last couple weeks and I would say I like Medal of Valor much more and surprisingly I even prefer the Lat heavy BS-005.

I'm giving it two stars because even though it disappoints me the second half of the bowl it was pleasant enough to finish both sample. I'd hope this might improve after a couple years in a tin.

Pipe Used: Ashtons, Northern Briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Lane

Similar Blends: Reminded a bit of some of the newer John Cotton mixtures though I think those are better..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (136)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The Latakia is strong, yet there are some spicy and sweet aromas creeping behind the scene. It reminded me of a warmer Dunhill 965, without being quite as chalky.

It has been noted that it is comprised of many quality ingredients, but I'm afraid this one suffers from too many cooks in the kitchen. It was fine, just not sublime.

Perhaps there were too many acrid tastes at work, but by the end of the week, my tongue was raw with bite.

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Rob73 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rob73 (77)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I expected a well balanced V-O-L mixture but I found it's more oriental-oriented. Latakia is there but so much in the backgorund. This blend provides a cool smoke, a bit salty. Good only with the addition of some Latakia. Two unfortunate tins? 3,0/5 in my personal rating system.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (111)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Extra Strong

Crown Achievement is an old friend of mine, having smoked it originally in the 1980's. I waited for the re-release of ths belnd with almost breathless anticipation. A Latakia forward mixture including orientals, Turkish, and Perique, this is not a blend for beginners. I smoked this with a clean pipe.

Smoking this blend as slowly as possible is the only way to go. The bowl must be fully warm for all of the flavors to be released. Smoking this from a moderate to fast pace may produce a disappointing experience. I smoke this at a very slow pace, with a small to moderate sized bowl taking about 60 minutes or so. As the bowl gets evenly warm the six or so different flavors blend wonderfully, creating a unique and richly flavorful restful pause.

This taste delight has enticed me to purchase 4 tins and an additional 5 pounds of bulk sealed away in mason jars.

Try this blend and smoke it slowly to experience a rich and delightful experience.

Pipe Used: Savenelli Trevi

Purchased From: Indian River Traders Tobacco Traders Grand Rapids MI

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Leaf Packer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leaf Packer (30)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I smoke a lot of English and Balkan style blends, CA is indeed a fine smoke. Maybe a little heady for a new pipe smoker.

The tobacco itself is simply a beautiful color, couldn't wait to smoke, Orientals were the first to appear rich and creamy. Latakia Perique, are just enough to balance, sweet Virginia to take edge off. It a slow smoker made that way I am sure to bring as much pleasure to the smoker.

Pipe Used: Sav briar

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Night Cap.

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Big Blue Jazzman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Blue Jazzman (47)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bought some of the bulk on my last order from P&C. Mouth watering delicious! I can't wait to order up the tin and check it out. Lane has hit a home run with this one!

Pipe Used: &0's Meer

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

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

Great english latakia blend in my opinion. Pretty straight forward tobacco presentation and smoke. Has typical notes of a good, rich english blend, but with some nuttiness, that I really enjoy in english blends, with just a hint of spicyness. It is Complex, but not too much so. At the bottom of the bowl it can get a bit harsh and if you smoke it on a regular basis it can get a little (just a little) tiresome.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-3 months

Purchased From: Morgan Hill Cigar and Wine

Similar Blends: Hearth & Home - Magnum OPUS (Marquee Series), Peter Stokkebye - English Luxury (No.17).

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

10/24/2004: I would realistically give this two and a half stars. Pretty good taste in small doses or half a bowl. Not complex like the more popular Dunhills, Butera, G.L. Pease offerings. If you were unable to get any other Latakia blend this would do for a short interval. If you had to smoke it exclusively my guess is you would eventually give up smoking entirely! I think its' relative A-100 is better than C.A. A-100 tastes only of Latakia but the A-100 Latakia is smoother than C.A. And in my searches on the internet it C.A. is not cheaper than Dunhills tobacs especially in bulk. I would much rather smoke EMP, 965, or Nitecap all of which can be purchased in bulk for a similar price. I have never had the tinned version of C.A.

Update 11/23/2006: A pretty good English if you have limited access. The Latakia is a bit harsh.

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Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (66)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

When I first tried this blend, it was my first latakia blend, and I loved it. But after having tried many more latakia blends, it leaves me a bit disappointed. CA is not a bad tobacco, there really isn't anything wrong with it, but I feel that it is rather bland and unimpressive. For some, this is a decent value bulk tobacco and I recommend it for newbies to the latakia world, but for me it just isn't what I'm looking for.

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I received a little bag with a sample of this (enough for 6-7 bowls) by Maurizio Tombari when I bought one of his extremely fine Le Nuvole pipes. It's a nice English Mixture, medium in strength and flavor. The balancing between the various tobaccos is fine, and the Latakia is not overpowering. The smell of the unburnt tobacco is very good and tasty, and the smoke exhibits a great softness and roundness. I usually prefer stronger, tastier stuff, but this could be a very fine all-day smoke. Appearance: long fine shreds, like in some of Dunhill's blends. Burns rather nice, not wet.

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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

I had heard much about this blend, and the manufacturer?s description, as well as the name, seemed rather enticing. I ordered 4 Oz. On opening the zip-lock plastic bag I was taken in by quite a strong aroma, rich, darkly sweet and pungent, as of a sediment of unsweetened dark chocolate, and dried plums and figs, in musky earth. Slightly moist, visually it re-minded me of the Balkan Sobranie, with a sweeter note to it.

I though I was in for a Brahams or Bruckner kind of experience. When I lit the pipe my first reaction was one of surprise. This really is not a full strength blend, and it is not entirely an English, at least not in the way I am used to. Not bad, but oddly stuffy. I couldn?t help per-ceiving a faint resemblance both to Dunhill?s 965 (a tobacco I am smoking much of again) and Astley?s 99. But where these two offer an intense and deep diversity of flavors, Crown Achievement seemed stifled. I don?t know if the many elements that go into CA are unable to truly mix, or if the mixture is designed in such a way that one is meant not to perceive them in delicate interplay but as one big blast of a dark, bitter concoction.

To put it mildly: seldom have I been so quickly bored by an allegedly diverse mixture. You get the first big notes, thinking this is going to be a hell of a symphony, only to find that the ensuing music (or taste) is frankly cacophonous. It just keeps on discordantly repeating itself and, IMO, does not take you anywhere. A tobacco of circular taste, this maybe some-thing a less adventurous palate might enjoy. One can think of that statue next to Michelan-gelo?s David at the Piazza della Signoria, in Florence: big, but with no grace or subtlety.

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dgifford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dgifford (8)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium Strong

A decent English-type blend. There seems to be a glycerin casing as well as a slight vanilla casing to the cavendish. There is a great variation to the cut as well. The tobacco burns rather wet and can impart a musty after odor to a briar. I enjoyed it in the beginning, however after a few sessions, I would not make this a regular.

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