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A mixture of fully ripe Virginia tobaccos, sliced, cask mellowed burley tobaccos, dark spicy cavendish and just a touch of latakia. To give Plumcake an elegant aroma, the blend has been flavoured with aged Jamaica rum.

NEW TIN DESCRIPTION: Plumcake brings the thoughts back to old times, when the sailors onboard the sailing ships filled their pipe with good, satisfying tobacco and having the scent of tar and saltwater all around them. Bright Virginia tobaccos mixed with burley, a little original Mac Baren cavendish and just a touch of Syrian latakia. On top of this masterly made blend original Jamaica Rum has been added to fulfill the impression. This blend is full bodied and rich, giving you the taste nuances of natural sweetness added with a slight taste of smoke, latakia and the distinctive aroma of sailor rum.

Notes: Introduced in 1957.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByHarald Halberg
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Virginia
Packaging100 grams tin, 50 grams pouch, 16 ounce bag
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Iwan Ries
Cup O' Joes
BnB Tobacco
Product Image
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 Medium Pleasant

A tasteful mixture with several flavors going on in the smoke. There's just enough Cyprian latakia to add a slight smokey, woody note. The earthy burley is lightly sweet without much of the nutty, molasses flavor often found in the leaf. It's as much toasted as anything else. The Virginias are mild, grassy and lightly citrus and dark fruit sweet, and are complimented by a touch of vanilla and sugar from the black cavendish. There's some honey and toast from the Virginia cavendish in a support role. The sweet, lightly spicy rum topping mildly tones down the tobaccos. The nic-hit is mild. Some people claim this tingles your tongue, but I think that's a matter of individual body chemistry and/or poor smoking habits, e.g., puffing like a freight train. But, even with that, I do recommend a sipping pace for this blend as it does get a little warm. Burns at a moderate pace with a clean, consistent taste. Requires few relights, and leaves little moisture in the bowl. Has a short lived after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

48 people found this review helpful.

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

Plumcake is a real pain in the @$$, more specifically, a pain on the tongue. I'm really disappointed because I love the way it smells, I love the way it looks and I really love the taste, but its a Pitbull. It bites and it doesn't let go. As soon as the great flavors develop one more good puff and you're torched and I mean torched hard. The trick is to puff gently through the whole bowl, but I can't do that. The flavor is so good that inevitably I will hit it too hard and burn a hole through my tongue. With Plumcake patience is the master, and I don't have enough of it. Maybe one day when I'm old and tired I can master this stuff because really, it does smell and taste great. As for now I just don't have the patience and discipline required to enjoy Plumcake.

By all means, if you can drive 25mph in a 25mph zone, then Plumcake is for you. If you can drive 55mph on the freeway (stay out of the left lane), then Plumcake is for you. If you enjoy watching paint dry, Plumcake is right up your alley. But that's not me.

Original review above 1/6/09

Update 9/13/09, After reading a review from dk-piper stating that he always uses a charcoal active filter and thus has never suffered from Plumcakes notorious and crippling tongue bite, I gave it a try. Well, dk-piper is absolutely correct ! I just smoked a bowlful of Plumcake and for the first time ever I suffered NO tongue bite and was able to finish the bowl. Ah ya, it was sweet smokey and tasty. The draft was a little restricted and the strength was considerably milder due to the 9mm charcoal filter, but finally I can now enjoy the flavor of Plumcake !

Upgrade from 2 stars to 3 1/2, Thanks to dk-piper and

39 people found this review helpful.

matthieuduquette Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matthieuduquette (12)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Plumcake is a unique latakia mixture that bridges the gaps between aromatic, english, and balkan mixtures very successfully and is best enjoyed slowly. The room note is a delight not often found in latakia mixtures.

In the tin. Plumcake has a wonderful bouquet that reminds me of a whiff of quality scotch. The latakia smokiness and bright rum spice notes play so well together that they are nearly inextricable as to where one ends and the other takes over.

In the pipe. This blend is great when sipped. Yet as many have mentioned. Will be harsh if you prefer to not take your time. There is no real trace of the rum casing while smoking. Though I feel it does give you the slightest sweetness on the back of your throat The latakia is mild but ever present. It is more in the category of a balkan style mixture in my opinion but the smokehouse note of the latakia is much more present than the usual balkan.

The basics for a good blend are all here. Perfect moisture level right out of the tin. Smokes cool and dry. Packs and lights easily with few to no relights. Only thing again. As with most balkanesque mixtures. Sip it slowly or it will not only be far less pleasing as far as taste but will also bite you ferociously. You want to stretch a bowl out for well over an hour. The ember should be small and constantly shifted and every draw should be as if on the verge of going out. Slow and steady here ladies and gents.

The room note is the key to this blend. It has the trademark richness and boldness of a latakia mixture but there is a definite top note here that is very sucrose-sweet. This is yet another experience you will miss if you smoke fast. This would perhaps be the most "tolerable" room note I've come across in a latakia mixture when it comes to non-smokers being present... If smoked slowly!

Plumcake is a blend that will really make you learn to appreciate sipping your pipe. Yet for most beginning and intermediate smokers the true complexity will likely be left unnoticed because of this very reason. As they do tend to be guzzlers.

Pipe Used: Rusticated strawberry bent basket pipe

Age When Smoked: 1-3 months

Purchased From: Sutliff Tobacco Company

Similar Blends: Dunhill Early Morning Pipe, McClelland Frog Morton Cellar, Peterson Irish Oak.

26 people found this review helpful.

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

This is a famous blend. It is very unusual and powerful on the tongue and palate. A slow burning rate brings the best out in this tobacco. A fast burn is not so good.

New pipe smokers should look elsewhere until they are out of diapers. Veterans with leather tongues can smoke this stuff all day, I guess. As for me, a 30-year pipe smoker who has had this blend many times over the years, I'll smoke it in the evenings on occasion just for a change of pace.

Finally, despite the name, this blend does smell and taste like tobacco. And yes, it has an unusual plum flavoring that is subtle enough to keep the true pipe man satisfied.

25 people found this review helpful.

RoyOdhner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RoyOdhner (6)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Like anything else, when it comes to pipe smoking you have to decide what you really want out of the whole proposition. An experience akin to nekked bungy jumping? A sublime moment of Pipe Zen? Refinement and sophistication? Just a relaxing and pleasant bowl of tobacco? MacB Plumcake is going to give you the last of those options, and it will offer you nothing more than a pleasant smoke... and that's cool with me.

I've been smoking Plumcake for years - ever since 1989, when I discovered a tin of it in a small pipe shop in Abu Dhabi... not too far from the International Seaman's Club. (Or was that Dubai - I can never keep those two Emirites straight in my head). Back in those days we could smoke inside the skin of the ship, and the room note was a winner with my fellow squids. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't like the room note. The blend itself is rather unremarkable: Virginia, Burly, Latakia, MacB Cavenidsh, and a conservative sprinkling of rum to enhance a sorta plum-like topping.

I've smoked it in a bunch of pipes, and the only thing I can say is that it does better in a pipe with a large bowl - it allows the blend to open-up and reveal it's full magnificence. And its magnificence is in it's balance, because the different types of tobacco used in this blend compliment one another quite nicely and it becomes hard to discern one leaf over the other. The Virginia and Burley just blend into one another, and the Cavendish and Latakia go weaving in and out for the duration of the smoke. The rum and plum-like toppings enhance rather than drown-out the base tobaccos. Thus, you get a wonderful harmonizing of the different qualities you would expect from those individual leaves and toppings.

Pack it a bit looser than you might otherwise think it should be packed, gently char it, then gently light it, then gently sip on it. Do not cram it in there, do not take a blow torch to it, and do not puff on it like a freight train. Just gently sip on it. Snork it. Let the smoke roll around over your tongue just a bit. Take a big puff now and then. Puff slowly, and don't strain yourself in-order-to find any nuance. There isn't any. This blend's strength is to be found in its basic goodness, which will come to you on its own.

It's a basic smoke. On old-timer's smoke. A codger's smoke, conservative and satisfying. Is it a Codger Latakia blend along the lines of Walnut or Revelation, but with less Latakia? A Vabur with a pinch of Latakia? An aromatic that hasn't ruined the base tobacco with a ton of goopy flavorings? A light Balkan, Scottish, or English blend? Yes. Yes it is. It's in its own class, and if you're overly loyal to one genre or another you might not like it because it transcends traditional labels and gives you a blend that covers just about every base short of a Lakeland blend.

In the end, it's just a pipe tobacco. Nothing fancy or exotic, yet not really boring either. Slightly smokey, yet slightly sweet. A bit of nuttiness and toast-like flavor. Just a pleasant smoke with a nice room note - and if you're like me and that is all you generally want from a bowl of tobacco then Plumcake might just do the trick.

Pipe Used: A bunch of different ones over the years

Age When Smoked: Fresh to well-aged

Purchased From: Various Sources

Similar Blends: Nothing else that I can think of..

18 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A rather strong tobacco for a Mac Baren, Plumcake seems to be a crossover between the traditional Mixture and a navy flake, to a great extent due to its Jamaican rum topping. In any case, it is an example of the apparently endless Virginia-Burley-Cavendish variations common to many Mac Baren blends. This one also has some Latakia, which I have yet to identify amongst the rum and the dark fired Cavendish.

Personally, I find that the predominant flavour in Plumcake comes from the Burley, a tobacco that tends to absorb and enhance any added savouring agent. The Virginias are there all right, but again, they tend to be subdued by the stronger Cavendish leaf (probably made from Virginias as well, but with a bitter-sweet edge).

In my experience, this blend benefits from overnight airing, as it comes rather moist in the tin. A nice mixture of ribbon cut brown and reddish leaf, with some black strands, it should be packed rather loosely. You might find it slightly difficult to get it going, and should leave some time between the initial charring light and the smoking proper. Due to the high sugar contents (not only from the Virginias and the Cavendished leaf, but from the rum also), this blend can burn pretty hot, so it should be to your tongue's advantage if you take things slowly.

Plumcake's flavour is not one I particularly like, although there is enough tobacco taste to make it an enjoyable, if intermittent, smoking experience. The sweetness of the blend is present throughout the bowl, and there is also a hidden spiciness, an almost piquant peppery undertone (could it be the Syrian Latakia?), that mingles nicely with the natural taste of the tobacco.

If smoked properly, this blend can last a long time and it leaves a nice and rich natural sweetness in the palate; not being an aromatic proper, this aftertaste does not linger on, and the pipe can be easily cleaned, leaving virtually no trace of the rum and sugar. I hear this is a very popular Mac Baren, and rightly so. But withtin this vein, I much prefer Navy Mixture (oddly enough with no added rum). 03/05

12 people found this review helpful.

cajomu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cajomu (64)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren's Plumcake is one of my favorite tobaccos. As someone who smokes mostly VaPers but who also likes Latakia, I appreciate the combination of sweetness and smokiness that Plumcake delivers. While not a big fan of Burleys, in Plumcake its nuttiness is a perfect accompaniment to the other tobaccos. And, for me, that's what makes Plumcake unique, it delivers the best of all three types of tobacco in goodly measure and proportion. While supposedly flavored with rum, I don't detect it (truth be told, I've never tasted rum in any tobacco that claims to have it).

At the beginning of the bowl, the Virginias predominate and Plumcake can be quite sweet. As you progress through the bowl, the Latakia and finally the burleys come to the fore. However, the best qualities of all three are present at all times. The flavor also becomes increasing fruity so that the last few puffs are the best.

Be warned that Plumcake can bite if you puff too hard, but the main reason to smoke it slowly is to enjoy the variety and richness of the experience.

Plumcake contains just about the right moisture level as delivered (I dry mine out a little), is easy to pack and light and is relatively inexpensive if purchased in bulk.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Recently purchased

Purchased From: JR Cigar

10 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am not the kind of guy who is likely to pick up a tin of something named "Plumcake" on a whim. I was complaining to my tobacconist about the bulk selection he had and he suggested Old Dark Fired which I liked a lot. The next time I went back, I asked him what he smoked, and he said he went through spells. Right now he was in a Plumcake spell. I picked up a tin.

The tin smells of fruit - figs maybe, and it reminds me a little of the pouch smell of And So To Bed.

I was pleasantly surprised by this blend. It is sweet and spicy with just enough latakia to barely notice. I got a lot of flavor and is a satisfying smoke that is a little different for me. There may have been a whiff of that rum in the flavor from time to time, but it was not a theme. I did not have issues with tongue bite, and it smoked well right out of the tin. The tin was a year old from the date on the back when I opened it. I will buy this again, just for a change of pace. I won't open another tin as soon as this one is gone. Solid 3 on the recommendation scale...

9 people found this review helpful.

Jdor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jdor (15)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I loved this blend. It was my door to the english side of the force hehe. When I opened the tin I smelled the spicy orientals with a hidden aroma (i would say raisins or rhum, not sure cause it's very subtle). It tastes great and the latakia gives a nice finishing touch. It's an all day smoker, and burns cool. I had to re-light only once, which was nice too.

8 people found this review helpful.

Ahmad Othman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ahmad Othman (46)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

From the tin opening I had a sensation that this will be a special tobacco. The cut is beautiful with a mix of ribbons and broken flakes. Components are well noticed and distinguished and the tin aroma is amazing. It packs quite easily and lights like a charm. And with the first puff you get all the flavour at once. You're greeted by a distinctive plum flavour similar to that in Royal yacht, but with smokiness coming from Latakia. Then there is that taste that keeps teasing you and makes you ponder about it. If you're familiar with rum you will recongise it in about the middle if the bowl. But if not, you will have a beautiful complement to the plum without knowing what it is exactly. It burns evenly and well to the end. Requires very few relights over a large bowl 1.5hrs+ and leaves no dottle in the bowl.

Pipe Used: Peterson Derry B27

Age When Smoked: Around 3 years

Purchased From: Akiki cigars in Beirut

Similar Blends: Dunhill - Royal Yacht.

6 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (46)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

I bought a 100-gram tin so many years ago I cannot remember. It has to be well over ten years old and I opened it maybe three or four years ago. So old the paper inside the tin was yellow and the California Nazi tobacco warning was a sticker that was placed on the tin by the tobacconist. I googled the internet to see if I could see an example and cannot find an image. Apparently, their tin designs change more often than not. This says plumcake, navy blend, regular. Maybe due to it airing out so long from the open tin it smelled very mild with the typical Mac Baren aromatic smell. The loose tobacco in the tin had hardened into a cake somewhat. It smoked very mild with surprisingly no tongue bite. It is good and reminds me of ‘The Solent Mixture’.

Pipe Used: Peterson 307

Age When Smoked: 10+

Similar Blends: The Solent Mixture.

5 people found this review helpful.

BigNick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigNick (58)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

What a blend! A mix of English and aromatic in the most simplistic of ways. Sweet and tangy plumb with a slight smoky kick...the smoke is amazing. There is one downside however; the clean up. It makes a mess out of a pipe. One will require a plethora of pipe cleaners after a smoke, it gets gooey quick. Apart from that the tobacco is wonderful.

Pipe Used: Millard, Butz Choquin bistro

Age When Smoked: 1month

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

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

UPDATE 4/30/13

Got an ounce from someone who implored me to try an aged version from 2001. While my original review is probably too harsh, the essence of it is correct. Typical Mac Baren rollcake filled with too subtle flavors and what is there is simply too bland to consider. The aroma is nice but the flavor is just too fleeting. Not worth the additional trouble I'm told these blends require to extract something resembling taste.

I also received some Roll Cake from the same year. Can't wait to try it... yeah... really excited about it... lol.


All aroma, no flavor!

After reading some of the other reviews, I'm wondering if this blend was mismarked in the bag. I got no tongue bite from it at all - of course, I tend to smoke carefully. I got a great room note. I got little to no flavor from this. No spice, no sweetness, no "zing" - just a bunch of hot air. Bad batch?

Occasionally I started to taste something about to happen but as I anticipated some sort of flavor burst, it subsided back into nothingness. This reminds me of my last days as a cigarette smoker years ago - no flavor, just a nicotine hit. Dull, dull, boring, boring, bland, BLAND! Not worth it when there are so many fine blends out there.

5 people found this review helpful.

rap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rap (5)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I would like to preface this review by saying that I am a relatively new pipe smoker. Started my pipe smoking hobby on Jan 1, 2017 so I have a little over a year under my belt. I enjoy English blends primarily but I also enjoy good aromatics as well. I am by no means an expert on pipe tobacco but I am an expert on what I like. I really like MacBaren Plumcake. I primarily look for a tobacco blend that is created with good quality tobaccos, that has good flavor, some interesting spices, and behaves well in the bowl. They can be strong and robust, like Dunhill Nightcap, or a little more mild, like My Mixture 965. These are two of my favorites. I also enjoy a good VaPer, like Elizabethan Mixture. Hopefully this gives a useful perspective on my taste in tobacco and will be helpful in gaining insight from my review.

With that out of the way, MacBaren Plumbcake is nothing short of amazing. I think this may become one of my favorite, go to blends. I read some of the reviews before I purchased my 3.5oz tin. (which is an excellent value, by the way) so I was cautious of potential tongue bite. I heeded the advice of many reviews and sipped on this blend very slowly. I was richly rewarded with an awesome and flavorful, but mellow and relaxing smoking experience. No tongue bite whatsoever. A smallish size bowl, packed on the easy side, lasted me over an hour.

This is supposed to be an aromatic blend but this is nothing like any aromatic blend I have ever tasted. Far better, with real tobacco taste and no artificial flavorings to get in the way. I really detected no rum, either in the tin or on the palate. Mostly spicy notes mixed with sweet and a little bit of smoke from the latakia, which, too, is not really evident in the tin note. By the way, carefully noting the blend composition, you will see that this is Syria Latakia, not Cyprian, as is in most blends. My understanding is that Syria Latakia is much more scarce and perhaps that's why there is only a dash in this blend. However, what is in there is just perfect and adds just the right amount of dimension to make this such an enjoyable smoke. There are no flavors that are overpowering or "forward" in this blend. Everything works together in great harmony and what you are left with is a smooth, mellow and perfectly balanced flavor.

Upon opening the tin, it smelled to me like sweet, stewed tomatoes with a little spice. Perhaps some dark fruit (plum or raisin) and a ripe grassy smell as well. Really one of the most pleasant tin notes of any blend I have tried so far. The tobacco was tightly packed and was slightly on the moist side but not overly moist. I smoked it right out of the tin and it smoked fairly well with just a little more that average number of relights. Perhaps some drying time would remedy that. It smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl with a very consistent flavor and left no moisture in the bottom of the bowl.

As I mentioned earlier, I really can't see how this is considered an aromatic. However, if you are an aromatic smoker and would like to try to transition into some good non aromatics, this would be a sure bet. If you don't like this, you probably won't like English blends. Conversely, if you love English blends but are looking for something on the mild side to add to your rotation, I think you will love this blend as well. The only caution would be, smoke it slowly and sip it gently to avoid tongue bite. I did not experience tongue bite but I assume this can be a bit bitey since there are so many comments in this regard for Mac Baren blends in general.

MacBaren Plumcake is an gem of a tobacco blend and I certainly will be buying more of this. Enjoy

Pipe Used: T. Christiano Metamorfosi

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

4 people found this review helpful.

PuffPuffLive Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PuffPuffLive (17)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Outside the HH line, I typically haven't been a fan of Mac Baren tobaccos. Admittedly, I haven't given them a fair evaluation. I'm a purist at heart, and I like clean smooth categories to put my tobacco's in.

This is one of MacB's typical "chophouse" tobacco's. It is the veritable melting-pot of cuts (ribbon, flake, cube) and tobaccos (Virginia, Cavendish, burley, latakia). It's hard to put this blend in a traditional genre, as it has semi-aromatic qualities, combined with a somewhat English-style backbone.

The tin note is phenominal. There is a citrus and vinegar component that reminds me of another brand’s Virginia tobaccos ( also begins with an M), as well as a sweet honey and rum component. There is a slightly smoky note, but it barely registers as the typical latakia peat-smoke aroma. The tobacco seems perfect in terms of moisture, but has that sticky feel of a heavily cased blend.

This is an easy blend to pack, light, and smoke. I have experienced the tongue bite that others have mentioned, but it can be avoided with a slow cadence. The Virginia and aromatic flavors come through in the smoke, but the latakia component stays fairly hidden. The smoke is nutty and thick, which tells me there is plenty of burley mixed in.

All-in-all, I kind of enjoy this tobacco. It's one of those blends you can stuff in your pipe when you are looking for a smoke, not an "experience."

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (76)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

My bias first. MB uses the same base Cavendish in many of their blends giving a similar taste, but unique to MB, in those blends that have it. Plumcake has it and I like it. That said, MB then blends additional taste profiles using different condiment tobaccos, top dressings, and cuts. I like their rough cut or broken cakes, spun and flake blends. Plumcake is, as the name implies a broken cake. I also have found that MB tobaccos that have aged in the tin with the vacuum broken so they have dried some smoke and taste better. Another alternative, if the tin is new, is to pack your pipe and let it sit overnight. Plumcake handles easier if it is drier.

Now, as other reviewers have noted PC can bite the tongue, especially if wet from a new tin. Even dry, it needs to be sipped - puffed slowly. I think too it does better in a larger pipe. If sipped, it rewards with a wonderful sweet and sour taste. It is plummy to the taste with a spicy counter taste. The combination of the Rum, Virginia, Burley, and MB Cavendish pressed into a Navy cake (what the sailors of old did with their allotment of tobacco on long voyages) marries to create its unique taste profile. My tin is 5 years old and counting (ok, my larder is large enough so I can age blends w/o going on a diet) and in the tin you can smell the sweet and sour aroma. The blend is predominantly dark brown and red leaf with a salting of black tobacco, perhaps perique ( it could also be steamed or blackened Cavendish).

If you like VA/Per or Navy cakes, and you sip this, it will reward you and is worth the effort. Remember those old sailors were a tough breed who smoked their pipes with leather tongues often in the wind. They wanted a big taste experience and PC provides it. Perhaps not for the novice, but I find it a rewarding blend as a challenge to sip, go slow, and as a change of pace from other blends. I am giving this 3 Stars since it can be difficult and is a change of pace blend for me.

Pipe Used: Barling #5 or 6 Apple sandblast.

Age When Smoked: 5+ years

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

4 people found this review helpful.

MJG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MJG (16)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Leaf: Ribbon cut, mostly a medium to light brown with some dark ribbons and tiny little dark clumps scattered throughout. Moisture wasn't too bad, you could smoke it straight out of the tin, but sometimes Mac Baren tends to bite my tongue like a starving Hyena, so I give it 20 minutes to dry out.

Tin Aroma: I was expecting big things given the tin description. I did pick up a bit of the rum which was nice, the latakia was practically undetectable, but the virgina was there smelling fresh and sweet, but not overly so. The nice tobacco scent of the burley was a welcome change from the heavier Lat blends I have been huffing lately. The spiciness lent by the cavendish was also very nice. It smells like it should.

Taste: The Latakia that was nearly missing in the tin aroma was there straight away, it was at the front at the first light, but very quickly moved aside and spent most of the remainder of the smoke lingering in the background. The sweetness of the cavendish and freshness of the VA's takes over from there, but it is well balanced out by a pleasant spiciness, and the bitterness (for lack of a better word) of the Rum. The rum flavoring sticks around for most of the bowl and is actually quite tasty, but it never overpowers the smoke, it is only a light flavoring in my book. The burley is lightly nutty and full and helps keep everything tied together. The overall smoke is very rich and creamy, although not terribly 'strong' in flavor, it is tasty and smooth though. Towards the last portion of the bowl the Latakia returns and comes toward the front again where it finishes on a smokey high note, well supported by the sweetness that still remains. The rum grows weaker towards this point but never disappears completely.

Smokeability: With a few minutes drying time it was great, it packed well, lit easily, and stayed lit very well with only a bit of tamping and one relight. It billows sweet smelling smoke and burns cool enough to enjoy, although I get the feeling it would bite if you really puffed away hard. It burns down to a fairly fine white ash, and didn't leave any goopiness on my bowl or stem. Excellent Smokeabilty.

Summary: Sweet, smokey, rich and smooth, with a pleasant rum hint throughout. This is a very nice tobacco but not a world beater in my book. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if I saw it in front of me, but it isn't knocking off any of my favourites. A solid performer with a good taste profile and nice manners, Give it a try if you are curious, if the tin description sounds nice you will enjoy it, as it lives up to it's claims. I wish it tasted more like plum cake though, the name itself confuses me a little haha.

4 people found this review helpful.

UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (110)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This one took me by surprise. I've smoked many a MacBaren and found many just versions of the others. Smoked blindly, I'd never have guessed this to be of the same brand. Aromatic? not by my definition. I bought this for the rum topping, yet had to search for it. (I am exceedingly fond of Pease's Mephisto and Barbary Coast, Vermont Pipes Wilke Rumcake, among others.) I hesitate to classify it as an English, but it is more so than Dunhill's Royal Yacht, probably my closest comparison to it. Some have compared it to MacBarens Navy Flake, I disagree. I really like NF, but to me, that is a honey cased burley-forward smoke. McClelland's Navy Flake is closer in spirit.

I'm not a pedant to latakia percentage as others are; what little there is, is indeed Syrian and used successfully as a condiment. To my tastes, Plumcake's defining characteristics are Virginia foremost, followed by cavendish, then burley. Rum, present in the tin note, blends in the smoke perhaps too well. I wish it were more noticable. Plums? Meh. Yeah, maybe. Don't buy it thinking it's a fruit salad aromatic. (I have yet to eat a fig and refuse to use fig aroma as a descriptor.)

The fine ribbons reminded me of rolling tobacco and consideration must be given to the pipe bowl size and loading for successful smoking, something which many here have yet to learn. For this reason, I'd recommend this for experienced smokers only. I find larger bowls loaded moderately (easy to overpack or underpack) and easily puffed not only do not bite but give a very rich flavor.

The downside of larger bowls of Plumcake (to me) is the nicotine, a potential plus to others. Royal Yacht it is not, fortunately, but I still have to quit mid-bowl. For this reason, I cannot comment on the last fractions in terms of taste or dottle.

Pros: Cost- twice the product (100g) for about the same money. Aroma- I find it pleasant, as does the distaff, now a consideration. Some others have remarked that it has the classic "pipe smell" that we recall from decades ago with fond memories. Not a stinker, this. I like it: not burning tires, not vanilla mango coconut, not campfire nor cigarette, but classic "pipe". Taste- I find it rich enough so that bite-inducing heavy puffing is unnecessary.

Cons: Nicotine is on the high side. Feel free to consider this a plus. Technique is fussier than many to achieve a good smoke, true of many MacBarens. Ergo the bite complaints repeatedly documented below. At least it growls first. A dedicated pipe is strongly suggested because it does leave a mark. Smoke it while it is fresh and pliable. Some blends rehydrate just fine. This doesn't, although I've never tried to rehydrate with rum, in all fairness. Smoke it up soon after opening. I find that I want to anyway.

Not yet a 4 star, but a regular in rotation

Update 2/2015: Bumped to 4 stars. I found a pipe that makes this sing, a bent group 3- sized Ceasre blast. Also upgraded to a a favorite. Oddly, both the pipe and tin of this perfect smoke were located in my car, which means the tin had been open there since May of 2014, so scratch the comment on smoking it up once opened. A Michigan summer did not dry it out nor harm it. Go figure. And kudos to MacBaren round tins for sealing qualities.

Pipe Used: Larger bowled Peterson bent, dedicated

Age When Smoked: 2 years.

Purchased From: Liquor store surprisingly well stocked with cigars and pipe tobacco

Similar Blends: Dunhill Royal Yacht, McClelland Navy Cavendish.

4 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

First I would like to say that the current Plumcake is not the same as what I remember from the late 1970s. There was a much stronger, and very appealing, tin aroma that was one of the main attractions for me. This always translated into the smoke as well, but less so with the current fare. Although a good smoke, the present incarnation pales by comparison. According to Mac Baren, they have not changed the recipe, but something sure has changed.

Very similar to Scottish Mixture but a bit more stout in strength and flavor - and that wonderful tin aroma and roomnote that makes Plumcake stand out from other Mac Baren offerings makes it a winner (although not as good as from tins of old). I think the "plum" in the description is meant to represent the Latakia present in the blend. I tasted the Latakia upon lighting and it remained very much in the background while smoking, However, it presented itself in a very nice, musty-pipey sort of way. Not like the typical Latakia taste so common to English mixtures. This ever present subtlety acted as a very nice "tease" that leaves you excitedly waiting for more. As a result, the Latakia presence is so different, yet subtle, that I am sure it would not offend (a good thing as I am not a fan of Latakia). It is truly used as a condiment here and not as a key player. It mixed exceptionally well with the light honey casing that I detect. I honestly could not taste any presence of Rum, but I am sure it added to the overall flavor as well. The Cavendish is very spicy tasting and provides for a nice tingle while exhaling the smoke through your nose.

My experience with this tinned sample (stamped 2008) was a good one. Not too moist, loose cut, packed and lit without incident, and burned to a light gray ash requiring no re-lights. By way of comparison to other Mac Baren offerings, in spite of the changes I detect in the current manufacture of this tobacco blend, I think it still has one of the nicest of all their tin aromas. It can bite if smoked too quickly and is best enjoyed with easy puffing. Letting it air dry in the tin with the lid off for a day or two helps with the bite problem. However, you can smoke it right out of the tin and if you take your time, you will be rewarded with a very tasty smoke. I wouldn't recommend this to beginning pipe smokers, however. I remember when I first smoked this over 30 years ago, my inexperience in the art of pipe smoking resulted in a hot, bitey smoke. Why did I keep coming back to it over the years? The tin aroma for starters, and it smelled fantastic when others smoked it. I was determined to get it right. With patience and perseverance, I believe I have. For those new to Plumcake, if you practice at it, I believe you will come to enjoy it as much as I have. With gentle puffing, the flavor really develops as you smoke through a bowl. No gurgle or moisture accumulation. Just a fine, gray ash is all that is left. Perhaps not the same Plumcake of old, but still very good indeed.

I am grateful for Mac Barren products being so readily available. The portions are generous and you can't beat their price! Plumcake is a solid, tasty, and dependable smoke!

UPDATE 1-23-10: I like Plumcake best with some age on it. Others have said that it loses something when not smoked fresh. True, its weaker, and the (newer) tin aroma does dissipate quite a bit over time, but what I have experienced is that aging brings out that subtle Latakia mustiness I commented on previous. Try it and see for yourself.

4 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Oh yes, this is a perfect Navy Blend, a navy mixture of the past. Here you can taste the Jamaica Rum that dominates, uncontested, the mixture. Latakia has really a bit part, but you can taste the smoky Syrian aroma in the background. Probably there is no more than 5% of Latakia. Virginia and Burley are perfectly mixed and dosed. Black Cavendish is produced mainly with Burley to which sugar and flavors are added, but it doesn’t rock the boat. Rum is clearly leading.

Little advice among the navy blends: if you prefer a sweet taste where you can savor Virginia and the sugary nuances prevail, then you have to choose Mac Baren Navy Flake; if you are looking for a harmonious taste with the right balance of elements, with the right dose of rum, where Latakia is always leading, then you have to choose Samuel Gawith Navy Flake; but if you like the real taste of rum, the navy blend of the past, then choose Mac Baren Plumcake. In my opinion this is the blend that most faithfully reflects the “navy blend” of the past. A noble navy mixture with a hint of Latakia. In my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is more than 8 and three stars.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tom Bombadill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bombadill (102)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

It took me a long time to smoke through this tin, and a long time to figure out what I wanted to say about it. My favorites are English/latakias which I like in the morning. Aromatics I like at night. Also, I enjoy a non-sweet-tobacco lovers aromatics (NSTLA). A NTSLA is an old school aro that doesn't have candy flavor. Plum Cake didn't fit into any of these categories. When I opened the tin, the latakia aroma really stood out but it was hard to describe the other pungent aromas. I'm not quite sure it was plum and I couldn't identify rum. Definitely not a candy-aromatic. Later I rememebred I've had great success with airing out MacBaren aromatics so I gave that a try. I put several bowls worth on a plate and let it sit out for several days. (I had no problems with tongue bite.) After that Plumcake became very enjoyable and I'd smoke it again. Other reviewers can better identify the tobacco tastes in the blend but for me Plumcake tasted most like a latakia/Oriental blend and not an aromatic at all. Definitely will smoke again. And no tongue bite after the air-out. Bought 08/04/14. Opened -7/01/16. Finished on Good Friday 03/30/18. Definitely NOT FOR THE NEW SMOKER!

Pipe Used: Peterson, Kaywoodie, Grabow

Age When Smoked: 2 years plus

Purchased From: Icannanotremember

Similar Blends: Hard to say.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I have only been partaking in pipe tobaccos since January of this year so please bear that in mind as well as this is my first review here. After reading most of the over 200 reviews here i felt the need to try this for myself. The obvious seems to be covered above and by many whom have already reviewed this here so i will get straight to my impressions. Tin note is welcoming in the sense one wants to find out how it tastes. Packing and prelight was simple and straight forward. One can definitely taste the latakia but its not overwhelming by any means, more so enough you know its presence but not to over power the other tobaccos. What i found interesting is the cavendish that adds a sweetness to the whole experience. For someone who smokes Aromatics this would be an ideal transition to non Aromatic tobaccos and definitely opened the door for me to many other blends.The burleys, virginias, cavendish, and latakia all were present and none seemed to overpower the others which made for a delightful experience for me. As for the tongue bite issue many have spoke of i found a few things i thought to share to help limit it. First, cadence. Slow down. It helps a lot. Second, and this may be my tin being a little too moist, let it dry for 15 to 30 minutes prior to loading and lighting. Third, and finally, if the other two dont work, use a filter. I have smoked it with and without, prefer without, and the filter can curb a good bit of the dreaded bite. The filter does also take away a good bit of flavor for me hence i dont use them whilst smoking plumcake anymore. This is easily an all day smoke. At least for me. It also has an acceptable room note so you wont run anyone away.Definitely a must try for Aromatic smokers looking for something more or for anyone looking to try a latakia blend that is not latakia heavy. I like it and intend to keep some around as it hits quite a few marks for me right now. Cheers!

Pipe Used: Country Gentleman Mark Twain Patriot General Cobs

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

Epicur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Epicur (18)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

PLUMCAKE -- Not only for christmas.

Plum cake is a traditional English fruit cake with raisins and spices (clove, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, sometimes ginger and others) as well as dark (spiced) rum, baked / cooked and ate around christmas time. And yes, there are no plums in it, because in the old times plum refered to raisins.

The taste of this plum cake gave name and maybe birth to the Mac Baren Plumcake tobacco.

And indeed, smoked carefully and slowly in a cautiously packed pipe (best without a filter), there is a wonderful deep sweet and spicy taste, well rounded with dark-chocolatey notes in the background. During the last third of the bowl there are also some musty and earthy undertones. There is a hint of a subtle peppery note as well, almost as if the blend would contain perique (but it does not -- sadly IMHO).

A very satisfying smoke, if you want something sweet and aromatic without relying on a modern black cavendish high aromatic chemical bomb.

And yes, there is no plum aroma in this tobacco. The aroma is indeed spices and (spiced) dark rum, merged masterfully into a melange of the aromas and the blend of the different tobaccos. All is combined perfectly together, no single ingredient is detectable of it's own (esp. not the Latakia), everything plays it's part in the orchestra to present a harmonious, full but not heavy composition -- "the whole being more than the sum of its parts" is true here.

German Government states that 10mg of "RUM JAMAICA VR 75% Vol" are used for 1000mg of tobacco. So, it is real rum (not some aroma out of the can) that merges with the tobacco juices to give Plumcake this great aroma.

And no, this is not an English Mixture, it is clearly a traditional Danish blend (a classical aromatic of the old times) at it's best.

A tobacco for the holiday season but also beyond. Like gingerbreads from Nuremberg (Germany) should be eaten all year long, this tobacce should be smoked with joy all year long. Of course, around christmas it is just a tat more fullfilling.

Pipe Used: Briars without filters, Falcon

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: local B&M

3 people found this review helpful.

TigerSoul Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TigerSoul (5)
Medium Strong Full Pleasant

Plumcake remains one of my favorites of all-time. We would send tins of it to my dad's youngest brother when he was serving in the infantry in Vietnam, so it also holds a certain 'nostalgic' appeal for me. But it is one of the most layered tobaccos out there, possessing a considerable amount of flavor from start to finish, producing a pleasant room note and, yes, a bit of tongue bite (but then again, most tobaccos have at least a bit of tongue bite, let's be honest!). Open a tin of this and you won't be able to resist. Not an 'everyday' smoke, indeed, so sit back, relax and don't push it.

Pipe Used: Comoy's 337 (estate)

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of the tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Similar to nothing else I've ever tried!.

3 people found this review helpful.

ringo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ringo (15)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

I love it and I did not expect that. The tobacco does not smell very nice in the tin, as it is a mix a fruit aroma with tobacco and latakia, that does not pair very well in my opinion. From the first light the latakia is dominant but this is is a very bright and light taste, that’s brings to mind olibanum scent, it is not the musty leather type latakia which can be found in Balcans and other types of latakia tobacco. After a few puffs the latakia moves in the background giving the feeling that you smoke Orientals, lets say. Then the fruit becomes more evident tasting like apricot or plum but this is not artificial it is very nice, in line with the tobaccl taste. After several puffs the fruit also moves in the background, while latakia can be barely traced. Then is the turn of Virginia for a few puffs before starting competing with burley which finally dominates to a large extend. The burley in terms of taste reminds me aged burley from Solani with that sweet nutty taste but lighter in nicotine kick. If you leave the pipe for a while to cool down then the first puffs again will have more latakia and it seems that as many times you relight the pipe you will experience the same cycle but at a lower intensity. This is a sweet smoke but not overwhelmingly sweet or aromatised it is difficult to say that this is an aromatic because it is very different from the rest. In any case this is an aromatic that you can taste the tobacco being able to say every moment hmm now I smoke sweet Virginia, now I smoke burley and so on. This is European style taking characteristics from Danish and Dutch aromatics I really like this tobacco, but in my experience please do not try it in small bowls since it tends to byte in small bowls and you will not be able to taste it. I smoke it with carbon filter, and I have not experienced serious byte, maybe a tiny one if pushed. It does not byte like cream vanilla or Scottish mixture if you know what I mean. Taste and smoking is very personal but I have to recommend that one, as a really good and special smoke, that I like it in the mornings, in the evenings in the nights, usually this is not the case for me with aromatic tobaccos.

Age When Smoked: 1 year

3 people found this review helpful.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (84)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Let's get the BITE discussion out of the way first. Reading reviews here, Plumcake would seem to be about a 3.0 to 3.3 blend... IF the flavoring did not give so many people tongue bite. Like a lot of Mac Baren blends, PC can bite. For some it will bite only if pushed, but it bites others no matter how they puff (although 9mm charcoal filters tame it easily). And a certain cohort don't find it bitey at all. This is a chemical sensitivity issue, neither more or less. I smoked a nearly 5-yr. old tin (thanks, Pipestud) and found it will bite a bit if pushed and also found that three bowls in a row, even smoking gently, yields tongue bite. I'm guessing a fresh tin would eat me up, but I don't intend to try one. This tin has been an occasional smoke for me, so the bite has not been an issue. For those who say PC does not age well, I disagree; the old tin I have is lovely and refined; I would smoke another if I had it. I also tried it in my Vauen pipe reserved for English blends with a charcoal filter, which eliminated any trace of bite, but it did not taste as rich or full, either.

So don't necessarily be put off by the bite horror stories here -- UNLESS you have found that Mac Baren blends bite you, in which case PC almost certainly will, also. What does MB use that bites so damn many people? Would someone ask this question of Per Jensen at the next pipe show? And if you are prone to chemical sensitivity and find that a lot of aromatics bite, then the odds also are not with you; better to buy an ounce of Plumcake and try it, or (better yet) ask for a free PC sample with your next tobacco order. I tried fresh PC decades ago and found it scalding, with the result that I have no idea how it t-a-s-t-e-d. Age definitely tames this beast.

I did not really taste or scent the plum flavor in this aged tin. I think the aging done done away with it. But I noticed the rum and like it. The tin note is a light and lively English and the room note is pleasant. Strength is medium to full, easily, and the taste is pretty full, with lots of depth. The description does not list any Turkish leaf, but it sure tastes like it. So I assume that the slightly sweet and sour taste that I love in this tin is the aged Virginia with a light silking of Latakia overlaid. It reminded a bit of Davidoff Royalty, though stronger and more rummy.

For the price ($13.50 for 100 g as I write), I'm giving Plumcake 4 stars. This blend has been around since the 1950s and has been a best seller here and in Europe since. Keep this in mind when you read someone trashing it. It's doing something right.

Pipe Used: Preben Holm

Age When Smoked: 5 years

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1646)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Mac Baren - Plumcake.

I love the aroma from the pouch, it's mostly plum with a touch of rum behind it. As well as ribbons, the pouch contains some coarse pieces of broken flake. As it's only a little too moist I only need to leave a bowls worth aside for about half an hour, that seems to be just enough to abate the damp. Then, I can fill and light.

The flavour of the smoke has quite the stereotypical plum addition; it's not overly aromatic, too sweet, or too strong, instead it gives the smoke a subtle richness that's a good enhancement, think University Flake. On to the rum; this seems to be light to my taste, it lends a very delicate sharpness but it doesn't really give much extra flavour to the smoke. The burn is good and it's really steady giving off quite a cool smoke. For me the nicotine is just below medium, I think a nicotine smoker would probably want something stronger for their first smoke of the day!. I enjoy the room note, it has a good plummy quality to it. Enough of the positives, onto a negative now, tongue bite; if this isn't tenderly smoked it can be quite problematic in that area! That's such a shame.

This is a good blend; nice appearance, good burn, nice flavour and many other positive points. Sadly, for me, the biting is somewhat of an issue. However, I'll try not to be too subjective in my rating as I can't see it causing everyone that problem. I think, for its merits, three stars is a fair score.


Pipe Used: Erik Nording Hunting Pipe

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Spainish tobaconist

3 people found this review helpful.

Perdurabo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Perdurabo (23)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

UPDATE: 4-18-2015

Plumcake does Ghost a Briar. The rum topping doesn't do the haunting, it's the Plum topping that's the culprit. I've recently discovered that Plumcake is better in a cob.( What's not? Right) Turning my briar that was dedicated to Plumcake into a Lakeland dedicate briar has revealed the spook. Ennerdale, 1792, and Bobs Chocolate flake all smoke with a plum essence left from Plumcake. Strange how the Kings of ghosting are haunted by a lesser spirit of the briar. I have to knock this down 2 stars because the plum flavoring that I now detect makes me nauseated at times.

ORIGINAL REVIEW 4-12-2014 Mac Baren Plumcake is a blend that continues to wow me every time I smoke it. There is not much I can add to the already 4Star ratings that are on this site. Although I think that I must add some techniques to smoking this blend. The first 20 some odd bowls I smoked of Plum Cake left my mouth in some pain. I began to pack the bowl to tight, which was a huge mistake. (With any Blend) I also had not discovered the beauty of what airing out tobacco can do for a blend. With that, I think a smaller bowl is what Plum Cake really needs. Aging PlumCake a couple of months in a jar, will help bring out the natural tobacco flavors. So, RECAP, Age In a jar, for a few months, smoke in a smaller pipe( which I believe brings out the Latakia), Air Plumcake out for at least 45 minutes, and gravity fill your bowl in three stages. Plum cake will reward you with a Smoky-Spicy-Sweet complex smoke for an Aromatic. Believe me I almost tossed this stuff a few times. Oh yea, don't forget the cardinal Mac Baren rule, SIP this sucker. Relax and just SIP.

Pipe Used: Small Basket Dublin from Italy

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: B&M

Similar Blends: Sutlif Court of St James.

3 people found this review helpful.

drs57 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drs57 (2)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I approached this blend with some trepidation as I don't find typical aromatics to be very enjoyable. They sometimes leave my mouth feeling coated and numb. However, Plumcake is a delightful smoke. The Latakia must be what causes the abundance of smoke which I enjoy. I do taste the burley and cavendish but they are in the background. The aroma from the tin is rummy/plummy but not strong. I did a side by side scent comparison with Esoterica's Margate and could really notice the Plum/Rum that way. In terms of moisture, it was just right for me. I can pack a bowl, light it once and smoke it to the end. I suppose I could get the legendary MacBaren tongue bite if I puffed like crazy but I just did my thing and it was fine. Anyhow, you should try this tobacco if you like English blends like I do.

Pipe Used: Tinsky Freehand

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Pipe Guys

3 people found this review helpful.

ven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ven (16)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I have a beloved meer that had become rather finicky over the past six months. I don't know what the deal is - personality change, who knows. Pipes can be fickle, and this one decided that it simply did not like anything. I have tried several tobaccos. High end, low end...the pipe hates everything. Narrowing the problem down to a bitter taste, I decided to try something more fruity and went with the Mac B Plumcake. What a life saver!! The pipe took to this tobacco so instinctively that I swear this was what the previous owner must have been smoking. It's a lovely smoke and a good change of pace for me. My meer seemed like it was slipping into a familiar glove - it was really quite amazing to find a match that seemed so compatible. Needless to say, this will be in my constant rotation. As for this tongue-bite thing, I don't know. For me, it is just perfect - just enough to make me feel like a man, yet not too much. The reviews with issues about this befuddle me a bit, because for my palette it is in the Goldilocks zone. I found this tobacco to be incredibly heroic - it was heartbreaking to have my beloved pipe acting so strange, and Mac Baren Plumcake saved the day. It's a terrific smoke and it got my pipe all happy again. A +

Pipe Used: Laxey Manx Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Rain City Cigar, Seattle

3 people found this review helpful.

FireintheBriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FireintheBriar (9)
Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable

English blend? Hmm, doesn't taste like any english blend I have ever smoked, that said I have only smoked a couple dozen so my inexperience may be telling on me. Wow, the tin aroma is magnificent, the best my olfactory system has encountered. The first whiff was pleasant, the next was even better as I was picturing three bottles of slivovitz lined up on a slot machine like I had won the grand prize, cartoon fireworks were going off in my mind and I could hear sirens. Plum brandy is my take, I would bet my least favorite pipe that they ran out of Jamaican rum and was casing this blend with slivovitz. The taste lived up to the tin aroma, very good. For the first time I was able to separate some of the flavors, I tasted spicy. The burn was consistent with only a few relights. I did get some pipe gurgle, but that may be due to the temperature being below zero during my walk. I'll study this temperature thought further. I like Plumcake and it may even go on my reorder list, I will let you know if I actually finish the 100 gram tin.

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Q: What's good for tongue bite?

A: A bowl of Mac Baren Plumcake!

And if latakia wasn't mentioned in the description above I'd have never guessed it was in this torcher.

This is one of those Mac B flame-thrower blends. Boy, it sounds good and even smells good in the tin. Even with the "plug/stop" method of taking a wad of tobacco out of the tin and jamming it into the bowl of a small pipe doesn't keep this from producing copious amounts of steam.

To each his own, I suppose. Variety makes the world go 'round.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

Plumcake tastes a lot like an English blend with a helpful dose of rum. Like most Mac Baren blends it must be smoked with care or will give you tongue bite. In a cheap Meerschaum it burned my tongue pretty bad, in my more expensive IMP Meerschaum my tongue felt literally like I had not smoked the day before. As with most aromatic pipe tobaccos remember to smoke with a good cadence, pack it well, use a good pipe, and drying it a bit before smoking it doesn't hurt either. Overall this is a good blend and I recommend it.

Pipe Used: IMP Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (265)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

A pleasant smoke! Got granted a generous sample of this, as I wasn't sure if it had too much Latakia in it for me (I only like it in very low doses) but Plumcake definetly is one of those Latakia containing blends I like, as it's only a hint of it in here.

Tin note is somewhat fruity, mildly alcohol-ish/rum-ish with some pepperiness, and I also get some of Mac Barens Honey-aroma and just the slightest hint of Latakia.

First few puffs reveal the Latakias presence, but then it takes a seasoning backseat! The rather mild rum-flavouring gives some sour-sweet spiciness and flatters the smoky, woody and slightly buttery Latakia undertone. The tobaccos have some decent toastiness to them. I get not much of the Burleys taste-wise, but Virginias and Latakia create a pleasant smoke, that's suported by some toasty-sweet Cavendish. I don't get any plum, but a certain fruitiness is present. Best to sipped slow or it'll taste like hot air. Leaves a pleasant spicy-sweet aftertaste.

I'd consider this a "Semi-Aromatic", you'll easily notice the flavouring, but it's well done, not overpowered and has a synergetic interplay with the tobaccos, which are also easily detecable. Pleasant spice is in interplay with the sour-sweet notes. Great mixture, 3/4 stars so far, I'll dig more into it and may up-rate it as it's rather a 3,5 star blend!

Pipe Used: Clays, Cobs

2 people found this review helpful.

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

One of my favorites from MacBaren. I don't get any bite from this, or any of their blends for that matter, but if you're a girly man, maybe you should steer clear. If you enjoy light/medium English mixtures, or if you're an experienced English smoker who wants a change of pace, give this a go, especially with a dram.

It's lightly sweet, and the core tobaccos shine through, although the proportion of Latakia is condimental -- more of a tease, actually. It delivers a pleasant dose of nicotine, which is a bonus.

This is a great crossover blend with enough complexity to please the experienced piper. Lots of bright leaf in this.

The topping is what you find in most European blends to ensure consistency across tobacco batches, but perhaps a touch more forward leaning.

I am really enjoying MacBaren's blends in this stage of my tobacco journey. My only regret is not trying them sooner. Their HH products are fantastic, their American aromatics are top shelf, and their Danish blends are delicious. Don't heed the negative reviews. Try and judge for yourself, if you know how to smoke a pipe properly. If you're a noobie and can't handle it, try vaping instead. I can't imagine a pipe smoker who wouldn't like this.

Similar Blends: The Solent Mixture.

2 people found this review helpful.

Jazzman999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jazzman999 (2)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

GREAT tin note. Some complex flavors throughout the smoke. A bit of bite if not taken slowly, as others have noted. But, worth the "effort". I use filtered pipes for this and several other MB tobaccos. Definitely one of the most satisfying blends I have tried. Kind of an "in-between" blend that has some Latakia, some Virginias, and a definite top-note of rum. A semi-aromatic for English or Balkan lovers, but also an English Blend for aromatic smokers.

A favorite, for sure. I keep this in my rotation. Never disappoints.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Trevi 311 KS and Roma 320 KS

Age When Smoked: Fresh to 3 months

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Solent Mixture.

2 people found this review helpful.

jpjour123 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jpjour123 (2)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Smoking this after about 5 years tucked away in a sealed mason jar. I do not taste any sweetness or flavorings. The latakia comes through but not overpowering. I find it smokes cool and much better when smoked slowly, even to the end, and the room note is very pleasant as noted by others.

Pipe Used: Peterson straight

Age When Smoked: 58

Purchased From: forget

2 people found this review helpful.

coldmoon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
coldmoon (24)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Just finished a tin of Plumcake. This tobacco is an aromatic with a touch of Latakia added. Upon opening the tin I am greeted with the aroma which reminds me very much of blueberries. Various grades of brown leaf - from very light to black - in the tin. The cut is your standard ribbon cut with a few broken flakes present.

The tobacco is a bit too moist to smoke fresh out of the tin. I let it dry for half an hour before packing it in the pipe. Packing is very easy as one can expect from this style of cut. Lights easily and keeps going without too much relights.

There is a bit of sweetness from Virginias and Burleys and a little bit of smokiness in the taste which I guess is from Latakia. You have to smoke this blend very slowly, just taking slow sips, otherwise the taste is pretty harsh and you will burn your tongue. I tried smoking it with and without filter and in different pipes. The best smoking experience I get is when I'm smoking it in Peterson pipe with P-lip stem. The smoke is cooler, more flavorful and doesn't burn the tongue. The casing is very subtle, so it doesn't obstruct natural tobacco flavor.

Smokes down to nice grey ash. I would say that the room note is rather pleasant. Would not recommend this tobacco for a novice pipe smoker without experience. Not because it is too strong but because it must be smoked very carefully.

Pipe Used: Big Ben bent apple, Peterson Mycroft P-lip

Age When Smoked: 3 months

2 people found this review helpful.

Old German puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old German puffer (106)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant

Plum cake is a tobacco that I always return to. As the weather cools I begin my fall ritual for this awesome smoke. I like to take 5 tins from my stash and transfer them to jar. I leave them open until I can smell up the entire room. Then and only then I know it it ready. I close the jar up and in a week it becomes the perfect smoke. I pack lightly and give it room to breath. The first pinch is the hardest to resist packing. Once full it lights so easy. I smoke very slowly and enjoy the smell and taste. I would never speed the process here. Save fast puffing for the younger smokers. Lol.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Peterson, Savinelli, Comoy

Age When Smoked: Tin - 2 years plus

Purchased From: WASH. DC

2 people found this review helpful.

Grovesy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grovesy (28)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Plumcake was something I was scared to even try. The dreaded bite from this blend kept it hidden in my cellar until just a couple weeks ago. I finally summoned the courage to give it a shot, and was pleasantly surprised by the blend. Tin note, room note, taste, all amazing. Even my wife signed off on the room note. The bite is there however. Plumcake is a blend you must be ever mindful of or it can quickly bite you in the butt. My tongue has made it through a few bowls in great shape thanks to letting the tobacco dry out a bit and mindful puffing. Pairs with: Family Vacations, fishing trips, autumn mornings

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: 2 yrs

Similar Blends: McB Navy Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

So I opened the tin.. No Plums?! No Cake?! what the?... Joking. However it's "Navy" and "Rum" I guess that third smell I can't put my finger on is "plum" . So '"Rum-Plumb" no wonder this is unique.

I figure I'm the last piper on the tobacco planet not to have tried this classic blend but incase I'm not heres what I found in this tin. I've been locking and loading it like a chain smoker the last couple of days so heres my review.

I will for-go the tin smells, light up, etc... and get to the bottom line.

ZERO tongue bite. Yes. I said ZERO. After all the tongue bite reviews from fellow pipers I expected something to bite me but NEVER did. I even stomped the gas pedal to test it when it would... NEVER DID. However It does leave a bit of a film in the mouth.

I can tell you two reasons for the PC tongue bite is: 1. All the yellow Virginias. Im surprised how much this blend has. It's mainly Va's with a small speckling of Cavendish and Latakia, which of the latter I hardly smelled or tasted. 2. The loose cut of the bacca.

I love the loose cut by the way. You can pinch and stuff this tasty rum-plum treat quickly. This blend reminds me of a loose cut MacBaren Navy flake. Picture an English blend that borders on a Va blend that is loose cut and has the fragrance and taste of Rum. Sounds good? It is. I highly recommend this blend as too date I cannot find any fault with it. It's an all day, all the time smoke for this leathered tongue Smoke Dawg! Smoke it up!

Pipe Used: Peterson XL305

Age When Smoked: Aug 2014

Purchased From: jr cigars

Similar Blends: If Peterson's Sherlock Holmes and MacBarens Navy Flake would have a love child.. There you go..

2 people found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Mild Mild to Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I have tried at least a dozen of the classic line and a couple of the newer lines from this venerable blender. For me they are just slight variations on a light, singularly flavored burley with some slight additions/alterations here and there. This plumcake I found to be the most intriguing and it was my first McB blend. I'm not going to bore you or myself with repetitious reviews which will state essentially the same thing. This blender can be summed up, for my tastes, as producing vapid weed, cased too greatly with sugar, burns warmly/hot and lacks any appreciable depth. One plus is you do get a large tin's worth for a good price, comparably speaking. Apologies, but McB just does not work for me. TLCIWU

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Plumcake is not a typical aromatic at all.

This is one of my favorite MacBaren blends. When you open up the tin, you are hit with that smell of plum, rum and then the smell of some spicy latakia underneath. Very interesting smell. The plum and rum flavors don't overpower so much as compliment the virginia and burley combination. It's a completely different kind of tobacco than I've ever smoked, not quite aromatic, not quite an English blend.

The flavor when it is smoked its more latakia and less rum. The rum, to me, adds more to the room note and not to the overall taste. Mind you, there is a rum flavor. The first 1/3 to half of the bowl was like that, a good steady English. Slightly sweet Virginia and spicy Cavendish, however mellowed by the present Burley. The aromatic comes out about half way through the bowl.

Many people consider this an aromatic, but with the latakia, it taste more like an English with some rum added (which works well together) than an overly cased rum aromatic. Definitely worth trying if you love aromatics, rum, English or latakia.

Overall I'd have to say this is a great smoke for someone looking for a very light aromatic.

Pipe Used: Various briars

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am kind of still up in the air about this one even after smoking 100 grams of this over a year and a half's time. I used many different pipes and got many different results, but I found it to be the best in my Meers.

To start with, I thought the tin note on this was terrible. It kind of reminded me of Copenhagen snuff. At light up, I did get a bit of the plummy topping, but it was most apparent at the beginning. The latakia is no doubt there, but plays the perfect role as a condiment in this. I find that to be a good as I am not a big fan of Latakia with toppings. I think the burley presence was strong throughout the smoke and I really didn't detect the Virginia until about the halfway point, but then they chimed in with that light hay sweetness that I would expect.

It is a tough one to rate, but I think that I do recommend this and perhaps more heavily to the beginner looking to try Latakia. I am not sure a seasoned lat lover will like this as anything more than a change of pace smoke, but I did enjoy it and I also like to puff on my Odyssey and Penzance from time to time. One thing about this blend is that it is pretty unique and thus it is hard to say smoke this one instead. So I am going with three stars on this one.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum was best for me

Purchased From: local B & M

2 people found this review helpful.

Kraft1994 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kraft1994 (54)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Overall I'd have to say that plum cake is the best Mac baren has to offer. Though that's not saying much this is actually a surprisingly pleasant smoke. Id hardly call it an English blend but the Latakia is noticeable. Its more of an attempt at Bell's Three Nuns which is my absolute favorite Va/Per blend. In Plum Cake the burley takes the forefront. All the Latakia adds is a touch of smokey spice which complements the plum/rum casing. However the casing bring with it the Mac baren tongue bite curse. I don't understand why they use Latakia and a casing to achieve a spice and plum flavor when they could just use perique. I guess Mac baren just feels all blends need to be cased to achieve the perfect level of tongue bite.... however it is an honest effort but it just falls short of success. To me Mac baren will always be just one step above OTC tobaccos. So if, God forbid, I ever run out of tobacco (very unlikely) and I'm a little strapped for cash, I'll swing down to my tobacconist and pick up a tin of this.

2 people found this review helpful.

dk-piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dk-piper (25)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I love it! Case closed. Lit up, it really tastes like a sweet rumcake. can't get enough. As mentioned before, very well balanced blend. Doesn't get boring till the end.

i recommend you to use a pipe with activated carbon-filter to avoid tongue bite! ...just a conclusion i came to, because i only use filter-pipes and i've never experienced any tongue-bite yet. DO IT!!!

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
Medium Mild to Medium Very Full Very Pleasant

Back in my college days, this was one of "the" tobaccos for me.

The tin aroma is a bit of a mystery: it's delicious, but for the life of me I could not define what it's made up of. Totally unique. As is the room note; my co-students could always tell when I was in because of it. For some reason, the trail I left behind wherever I was smoking this seemed to be the essence of all the good properties of pipe smoke back then, and this still seems to be holding true; recently I was walking in the pedestrian zone of my home town getting a whiff of it, and could almost immediately identify the pipe smoker responsible; he readily admitted to having Plumcake in his bowl (and was both surprised and flattered for my having caught him out).

The Latakia only gives this blend a nice, spicy touch; in the room aroma it is unnoticeable. The smoke is not exactly for the beginner; Plumcake needs good maintenance and a light draw to be enjoyed.

But if you can do that, it's a very nice blend. The term "taste explosion" comes to mind, in a nicely old-fashioned way. I'd describe the overall experience as along the lines of dark wood panelling on the walls with leather furniture. It's that kind of tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Medium Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Plumcake is the finest of Mac Baren aromatic blends, the tin aroma is unique and mysterious, the flavor is Smokey, fruity and delightful, however, this is truly a very, very bitey smoke, at any minimum provocation it will literally destroy your tongue for 2 days

Just pay attention! smoke it very sloley, if you still can not, try Mac Baren The Solen Mixture, this is almost the same as Plumcake but without the bite.

Plumcake is one of my favorite tobaccos, I buy it in bulk and it improves nicely with age.

2 people found this review helpful.

smoking-rob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoking-rob (76)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I bought my first tin of Plumcake in 1976 and it then carried the suffix "aromatic" on the tin. I loved it a lot and, it was nice and sweet and a rather more coarse cut than nowadays. Then a few years later the suffix "aromatic" was replaced by "regular" and it just didn't taste the same, these tins having almost no flavour and the cut was very fine compared to the earlier version. A few years ago I had the opportunity to speak to MB chief blender Per and asked him about these two versions. He said that the formula was in fact unchanged and that the suffix "regular" was required for some markets by law.And that people had complained about the difference in taste which there couldn't be. Well, I assure you there was and for a while I bought all the "aromatic" tins I could find. He also told me that Plumcake has a 5% latakia content, the same in fact as MB's "Latakia Blend" ! Since the earliest incarnation of the "regular" version, what is offered today is a lot better than it was but I still dream about the taste of the Original Plumcake which then carried the description: Six tobacco's, each the finest of its kind is the formula that makes Mac Baren's Plumcake an extravagant blend.

As an afternote I would like to add that my review is more of an anecdote about Plumcake than a review proper. Let me just say that I agree with all the other positive reviews here.

2 March 2008: Last week I bought a sealed tin of Plumcake with the "aromatic" suffix! Must be at least 25 years old now. I daren't open it for fear it might spoil all the good memories...

2 people found this review helpful.

CnS Pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CnS Pipes (40)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I could absolutely write out a bio dedicated to Mac Baren's Plumcake in the fact that the method of blending the tobaccos alone is in its very own topic all the way to the use of Syrian latakia and yes yes yes Mac Baren really uses 100% Syrian latakia please do not buy in to any rumors that say otherwise. This pipe tobacco blend is one of the most epic and finest mixtures they make and has earned above and beyond its place in the hall of fame when it comes to pipe tobaccos for many reasons, it taste the same today as it did when it first came out, I say "amazing" and very impressive as this stands completely alone and does not fall in the category of aromatic and does not fall in as English, Plumcake is a Danish creation that is classified by Mac Baren as Navy and the room note is like a sweet cigar that has hints of a campfire and candy like spice this stuff just blows my mind. Lets talk the nicotine level it's absolutely perfect, this blend is not mellow in it and is not to strong but it is there and this can put a knot in your throat of your not use to it so puff slowly. Plumcake does not bite and is very smooth and had depth and character to it, respect this pipe tobacco and smoke it like a gentleman and it will give you a smoke like know other. The natural taste of tobacco is there and the Virginia in this just shines so well, it has a awesome tang to it that I love so much, its bold and earthy delivering a smooth cool smoke that is rounded very well by the burley. In the background is the rum and the rum is there, its that sweet stuff on the back of your tounge, there is just enough Cavendish to bring this blend together and hold the sweetness in and allow the rum to work. The spice that comes through is what holds the weight in this and as you smoke down the bowl it continues to develop keeping this blend very interesting and always changing but stays consistent in the design of the blend. The high quality tobaccos all play in harmony and work to bring you a taste of what good old school pipe tobacco would of tasted like 100 years ago before you board a sailing ship from port. Because this contains Syrian latakia the campfire effect is not there but the Smokey effect with a light spice is there from the latakia because Syrian latakia is smoother and sweeter then its counter part and provides a very nice background in its own respect to high quality latakia. Plumcake was not designed to be a latakia bomb but as A1 is to a steak while being grilled on the BBQ, its just a beautiful thing and it all work together for a good smoke. One challenge with this blend is finding the perfect pipe for it and I have smoked this in so many pipes, I have found the perfect pipe and would highly recommend Missouri Meerschaum's Marcus corn cob this pipe will give you a great smoke with a perfect pack and good draw all the way down, it will allow you to taste Plumcake in all its greatness and stays cool, give it a go you will not be disappointed as if you have never smoked Plumcake go get a can what the heck are you waiting for? I highly recommend this Grade A pipe tobacco blend its everything a pipe tobacco should be and some. Plumcake is ready to smoke right out of the tin amd you will be greeted by a unique smell of a sweet tobacco with a hint of rum and latakia that will keep your nose in the tin for a short while because its that interesting. Sweet, Spicy, Tangy and Smokey with nothing but tobacco to taste its all that and more. Thanks for reading my review, I hope it encourages you to want to sample this fine blend, it is great for the well seasoned pipe smoker and for the beginner so as long as you respect it and smoke it slow amd after you have practiced for awhile with other blends so you don't miss the taste it has to offer, Plumcake is the Pandora's box of taste but I do encourage new pipe smokers to it, just realize its alittle on the strong side but dang its good wow!!! God bless all you fellow pipe smokers and God bless America, support your American tobacco farmers and make sure to stand for your rights to smoke tobacco freely without regulations and outrageous taxes trying to put tobacco out of business and FORCE smokers to quit. Bye for now and take care...

Pipe Used: Peterson CnS Pipes Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: 39

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (106)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I finally got off the fence and bought some PC, and I'm in no way disappointed. I was glad to see this one classified as an English rather than an aromatic. The topping is easily noticeable, but it's used so sparingly this couldn't possibly be an aromatic. Strangely, I don't really get the rum, but I definitely get the delicious, roundly fruity plum. This must be the most unique topped blend I have had since trying Stanwell Kir & Apple.

What I find most interesting is how well this particular flavoring works with the component tobacco, and also imparts a nice fruity flavor without any of that cloying sweetness. In fact, I find that what little sweetness is there is imparted mostly by the virginias. The burleys are not as noticeable but provide some alkaline body to the blend that staves off bitiness. And it does wanna bite when pushed hard. Sipped, however, smooth as mother's butter. The latakia is just barely there, lending it's usual smokey character that pairs superbly with the plum.

This stuff is a natural hit for me. And I wonder now why I waited so long to try? PC will join my Mac Baren HH flakes in permanent rotation. I can imagine this will be a refreshing summertime smoke. Nicely done again MB!

Pipe Used: MM Patriot

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

PadrePipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PadrePipe (2)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I am neither a newby nor a leather-tongued grizzly veteran. I got this hoping for a complex smoke, with some fruitiness. The tin note I found extremely strong. I smelled vinegar and something akin to rotted fruit. My wife, interestingly enough said it smelled milder to her than some of my other tobaccos. The tobacco itself is dominated by bright orange to yellow ribbons with the black cavendish sprinkled liberally about. It is easy to light and stays lit. I don't experience tongue-bite, but I do detect a lingering spicyness on my tongue and roof of my mouth. It reminds me a bit of a VaPer, with the Per being on the spicy side. It does have a fullness to the taste, but it isn't as complex as I expected. I'm going to hang onto it for when I feel like something spicy that isn't latakia or perique heavy.

Pipe Used: Ropp Rustic Bent Brandy

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am cultivating a better understanding of MacBaren tobys of late (review 99 in my journey)- oft maligned as harsh, under-performing blends by some. Had I smoked this 3 years ago I'd have dogged this myself.

But following the advice of Pipestud I learned Mac Barens' require discipline - gotta smoke em low and slow.. I also shelved this x 4 years b4 popping the lid-I appreciate that Halberg labels his blends with the full date; Mar 2013... why can't this be universal amongst manufacturers?!

3.5oz tin, don't know that this is available in a 50 gram tin. Tin note was a scrumptious rum scent, not overwhelming, but inviting. Visible dark Va broken flake sparsely imbedded within coarse shag, lovely Syrian and Cav scents.

Lights nicely but even after 1/2 tin requires frequent relights-influenced by my methodical slow cadence, A very nice aroma that translates in taste to a burley-forward blend with strong Cavendish suppot, intermittent sweetness from high quality Va.

I wouldn't call this a 'refined' blend, can get a bit harsh and hard on the tongue, but I imagine (or possibly romanticize) this to be very close to what sailors would have had access to more than 150 years ago. I visualize them lying in stacked cots, slowly unwinding with this blend while sharing cheap rum, swapping sea stories.

Just enough heft in the nicotine department to refresh without causing head rush or nausea, and a good steady medley of slight sweetness and flavors throughout. Burns right to ash, best [for me] in a smaller meer.

I judge blends now on how long they keep my interest as anything else, and I did not veer from this blend throughout the beefy 3.5 ounces.

Very much recommended - pay heed to Pipestud's advise on cadence, and it might turn out to be a dependable smoke for aro lovers and burley fans too.

Pipe Used: Mid height meer, long stem briar

Age When Smoked: 4 years..and some change

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (76)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Maybe it's just me, but I get tongue bite from almost every MacBaren blend that I try. This one did not bite me nearly as badly as Virginia #1 did (Honey-flavored flames!), but it's still pretty bitey. The constituents of this blend sounded like they would definitely be in my wheelhouse with the burley, Virginia, Cavendish, and a little bit of Latakia. The topping is restrained and does not interfere with the tobacco, but adds a light sweetness to the blend. It smelled and tasted great, just too bitey. I've been smoking a pipe for nearly ten years now and I don't think it's my technique. I've tried every way to smoke this that I can think of; dried out, moist straight from the tin, very slowly, breath smoking, puffing with my mouth very slightly open... All to no avail.

Perhaps it's just my body chemistry. I've had success with some of the HH series and a few others that I have tried (from friends, though; I won't buy a Mac Baren product unless I try it first, at this point) and have not been bitten by them (ODF, BK, Navy Flake). I wonder if the topping were not present, would I still get bitten? My instinct says no. Plumcake is a really good, what I would call, "Scottish Blend." Light on the Latakia, with added burley and Cavendish. The topping, to me, was more rum than plum, but that didn't really influence anything about the smoke.

All in all, I did like this blend, but won't be buying anymore due to the unnecessary pain I receive when I smoke it. Plumcake is absolutely top-notch tobaccos that I would truly enjoy were it not for the torture. I will definitely give this blend respect for the leaf and the flavor of the blend. I really liked it, just not enough to burn myself again. I had visions of Paul Atreides placing his hand in the agony box...

1 person found this review helpful.

HouDEANie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HouDEANie (7)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Best tobacco I have smoked so far. Opening the tin I was met with that smokey latakia aroma, smelled a bit of grass/hay coming through. Did not smell any rum though.

The taste was sweet, almost like a fruity sweetness but nothing over the top. None of the dreaded tongue bite experienced no matter how hard or quick I smoked.

It burns to a fine grey ash, cool burning and very tasty. An exceptional tobacco.

Highly recommended. This is in my daily rotation.

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist

1 person found this review helpful.

Blueplume Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blueplume (7)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

This tobacco is a beast... I hereby declare it ' king of the biters', I will just make the caveat that I do not know how long the pouch had been languishing in the shop but it was fairly dry, and I do not feel inclined to buy any more of it. It numbs your tongue even with careful sipping and I was inclined to chuck it out after a few bowls. I tried the falcon which can usually make stronger blends behave but after the initial 5 minutes it was on the attack. In the end I resorted to the ' magic inch ' that I have which I reserve for harsher mixtures and it did keep the bite to a minimum and rendered it smokable, but I could discern no sudden burst of flavour or subtle nuances. Definitely not for beginners, it would stop your pipe smoking career in its tracks.

Pipe Used: falcon,meerschaum,various briars, magic inch

1 person found this review helpful.

vespa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vespa (18)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Well I must say that I'm glad that I've returned to MacB. After being disappointed with RCDT I had pretty much given up on the brand. A good friend of mine in Richmond who loves PC is responsible for me giving MacB another go. Thank you Iron Mike. This review is from a tin that has 3yrs of age on it so I can't vouch for anything younger. What I've learned (with help from my friend) that MacB is a Va forward brand. With this in mind and a little trepidation I gave PC a go. I'm about halfway through the tin and find it a very pleasant smoke. Everything works well together with no one player taking the lead. A lot has been said about this blend Pro & Con so I don't need to expell any further. Since I started smoking PC I've treated as if I'm smoking a Va dominant blend keeping this in mind I sipped. Which will serve you well and your mouth will thank you for it in the long run. As a reviewer said earlier I like to smoke PC in one of my Lat pipes, sounds strange but works quite well. I have noticed that the first bowls I smoked fresh from the tin were a little on the sweet side which isn't a bad thing. What I transferred from the tin to my pouch and has had some dry time that sweetness has disappeared some which I like. You just get a real nice relaxing smoke, so what's wrong with that? Not A Damn Thing in my book. PC is not an English nor an Aro either, I don't care one way or another I like it. Will I purchase again? A very resounding YES. It's time to put about 5 tins in the cellar.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 999 Bulldog

Age When Smoked: 3 yrs

Purchased From: Old Virginia Tobacco Co

1 person found this review helpful.

pipey duck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipey duck (23)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

oh what a wonder! Right now I smoke PLUMCAKE without any bite!!!! Just a pleasant ripe virginia and a little burley taste. The latakia is not detectable at all. The rumflavor is far in the background but works very well. A superior tobacco! I could sleep in the tin so soft appears the blend to me.The only little downside (to me) is the small nicotin content. A Very very pleasant smoke, at least with 20 myears of aging.

I have to upgrade to 4 stars. In this condition hard to beat! Real tobacotaste with virginia in the front and a little burley and flavourd cavendish in the second row. Sweet and round and highly recomended

Pipe Used: Sainelli punto oro (Prince Army)

Age When Smoked: ca.20 year

Purchased From: ebay

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I had written Per Jensen, Product Manager of Mac Baren regarding them creating a Plumcake flake and was delighted to receive an email from him!! If you would enjoy a Plumcake flake, I ask that you write a short email to Per requesting it. This is the email I received:

Thank you for the kind words and we will consider a flake version of Plumcake, however this will take time. The next new introduction will be in the HH line as well, but this time a complete other direction as with the HH Bold Kentucky. Once again thank you, and I will make sure to relay your Email to every one at MacBaren Tobacco. Happy smoke Per

3/01/15 - Why O Why does Mac Baren not produce a Plumcake Flake??? The public has stated they love this blend as it has been around for half a century and that it burns very hot, this combined with the fact the name includes the word "Cake" would lead one to believe that it would be extremely lucrative to produce a Plumcake Flake.

Plumcake smells like Redman chewing tobacco when you open a fresh tin. Just a delicious aroma reminding me of cookies and those candy spice drops that stick to your teeth, allspice and cinnamon, very Christmasy and comforting. A varied cut of ribbon and broken flake becons me to scoop up a handful and stuff into my largest pipe but anything but the most gentle pack of the pipe will ensure tongue bite like no one but Mac Baren can create. If you pack this blend lightly, sip and let smolder you can enjoy a sweet and lightly spicy blend that is really delicious. Plumcake really needs to be pressed into a flake, this will turn down the temperature and intensify the flavor, hopefully I will get to try a Plumcake flake in my lifetime... A bargain at $13 per 100gm tin and very high quality. If you are doing anything except putzing around the house use a filter so your tongue survives the blast furnace that a careless smoke will insure, I give Plumcake 3 stars for flavor, aroma and uniqueness but could potentially be a four star blend if made into a plug / flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jose Ruiz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jose Ruiz (7)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

For todays review I'm reviewing Mac Baren's Plum Cake -Navy Blend . May you all have a great day. Keep on puffin. Blend: Virginia, Burley, Cavendish, Latakia Cut: Loose cut, small pieces of pressed tobacco Tin size:3.5 oz. Tin Notes: Rum topping, plum, Sweet, pungent. Taste: Mild to medium, cool smoke, slight natural sweetness. Strength: Medium to medium mild. Pipe Used: Savinelli 614 full bent Room notes: Slight sweetness from the rich Virginia leaf , nice smoky nuttiness from the Burley. Hint of creamy notes.

Notes: abit of nutty nuances, natural sweetness. Not chemically. Ready to go from the get go, Packs well, best to pack your bowl lightly and smoke slowly to help prevent tongue burn. During the smoke I had few relights after the true burn. Smoked consistent throughout the whole bowl. Pipe didn't get hot at all from puffing slow. Had enough taste to keep it interesting and still retained complexity to enjoy it during a long smoke. Over all a nice all day smoke. I recommend it for a good all day smoke and would keep it in my rotation.

The Wife's Review:

I didn't mind this one at first. It has a nice mellow smell from across the room. My only objection at all is that by the time my hubby was done the back of my throat felt slightly scratchy and itchy. It wasn't bad but he has had it on two separate occasions and I had the same response both times. So while the smell is mellow and slightly pleasing, my throat didn't agree. For that reason alone I am glad he doesn't smoke it every day.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 614 full bent

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: mac baren

1 person found this review helpful.

pipedrum22 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipedrum22 (15)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Let me start by saying that I can see this blend being wonderful for many smokers, it's just not for me. The tin note is very fragrant with the rum and latakia being the two main scents that are noticeable, however the room note isn't exactly what one might call a "crowd pleaser." It lights and burns well, but it can bite if you are not careful. The blend is extremely complex with the cavendish, burley, virginia, latakia, and rum topping. The virginia, cavendish, and rum give the tobacco a sweet profile and it contrasts nicely with the smokiness of the latakia. I would recommend this blend to someone who is looking for a sweet and smokey blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (57)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sweet and spicy smoke . A good Burley/Virginia combo with enough Latakia to keep things interesting!!! Cool and dry smoke with slow puffing!!! anothe great blend from Mac Baren

Pipe Used: MM Cobs

Age When Smoked: fresh tin

Purchased From: 4noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

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

It's not my favorite tobacco at the moment (and that's just because I don't really smoke latakia anymore), but I've never loved a tobacco as much as I loved Plumcake. Naturally sweet- from the tobacco itself. Perfect room note- smells of what Tom Fords Tobacco Vanille would have been based on. The perfect touch of latakia- which was used more as a spice or condiment- not as a base component. The art of subtlety was mastered with this tobacco, nothing was overdone or underdone- not too much latakia, not too much topping, not too strong in flavor or nicotine. A++ If they made this tobacco without latakia, I'd buy it by the pound.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Trevi

Purchased From: Barclay Rex

1 person found this review helpful.

codyp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
codyp (65)
Mild to Medium Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

This blend was very surprising. Expecting more of an aromatic plum kind of blend I got a bit of a complex english.

The blend did burn pretty hot, and the taste wasn't too great.

The room note was actually pretty decent, and it did light easily. However it also burned pretty quick.

Because this type of blend is one of my favorites, and they kind of pulled it off, I'll give two. I also believe mac baren can make a good blend, but am still looking.

Pipe Used: Peterson System Bent

Purchased From: Local Shop

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

1st time I opened the tin I can smell a good fragrant, a little bit smell of plum fruit and a hint of a good rum. Easy to pack and burnt well. The strongest taste I think is va, with just a very little hint of latakiya not a strong one, but the whole taste is very sweet. Very pleasant to enjoy and smooth smoke. For those who like a smooth smoking definetely I will recommend this blend.

1 person found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

My first experience with this tobacco was in the early 60's. I prefered matured virginia plugs/mixtures/flakes, but I liked this tobacco and kept it around for many years. In the late 80's I smoked it off and on for a few years,then put it aside again. Last year, I picked-up a tin and while the tobacco has changed in taste and texture from the earlier versions, the basic blend is still there.

I recently purchased a 1 lb. package of this which had a manufacture date of October 2010. So about two years to mellow a bit. Frankly, I like this tobacco...not highly refined or complex, and sometimes I like that. It behaves well in any pipe and burns fairly clean. The earlier versions were far more "sweet" to my taste and I didn't care for that at all. This most recent bag does not have that overly sweet taste to it. I taste a more natural tobacco taste, and enjoy the interplay of the four base tobaccos which is quite nice.

Enjoyed with coffe/tea or a wee dram of single malt...

...a pipe is to be savored...

1 person found this review helpful.

Fly ticky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fly ticky (26)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I love the tin aroma ,The only thing is the tongue bite is unbearable.I still have tin that has not been opened.Maybe in ten yrs.or so I will try it again.It is not in my rotation and I don,t think it ever will be.It,s worth trying if you want to try new tobacco's .I know every ones taste is differant and maybe you will like it. Good Luck

1 person found this review helpful.

Demetri Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Demetri (113)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I have had a like-loathe relationship with Plumcake (a particular single tin of Plumcake, to be exact) for over twenty years. That is how long I have had my first and my last tin of this stuff. Every couple of years I will rehydrate this some, pack a bowl, and puff it casually, thinking, "Why don't I smoke this stuff more often? It's really pleasant". After this, I then put it back in my rotation only to shortly mess up and try to smoke it under my more normal conditions -giving it my more normal Pulls rather than puffs while driving to/from work, lunch break - and then be rewarded with an angry barracuda in my pipe as it bites my tongue off. Once aroused, the load is done, finished, over, beyond reprieve. I wondered if maybe the aged Jamaican rum was itself mixed with battery acid. I once had the exact same experience with a bunch of Hoyo de Monterrey maduro cigars - so strong (too much ligero?) that I could not put the tip of the cigar on my lips. Same story here with Plumcake - once stressed, the pipe mouthpiece is a lethal, venomous weapon. The cigar manufacturer eventually recalled all their cigars for reformulation. Unfortunately though Plumcake in ideal conditions, is tasty, mild and enjoyable. Just, not for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (18)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Plumcake is an old standby from Mac Baren. It has been available for more than 50 years and I can see why.

It's neither an aromatic proper nor is it really unflavored, the topping is applied in a very skillful manner, accompanying the base tobaccos rather than overpowering them. It's sweet, but not overly so, it's spicy, but not so much as to draw unwanted attention from nonsmoking bystanders.

Provided the smoker has understood the 101 of pipesmoking (especially the parts about not packing too tightly and about not puffing too fast), Plumcake is a very good tobacco that can be smoked all day if one is so inclined.

1 person found this review helpful.

Loboatomy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Loboatomy (40)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

A standard stop on the pipe fanciers journey. Like many others I was attracted to this blend because of it's name and have continued to enjoy it due to it's uniqueness. I like this stuff, and have not had the MacBaren bite problems as some others have. This is one of those tobaccos that I occasionally get an itch for that nothing else will satisfy. This and Club Blend (and Dark twist) are my favorite MacBarens.

A moderately strong taste with a plseasant room note. Some say that they cannot detect any latakia in this blend, but I my significant other certainly can (as can I, I must admit), but overall, I find that this is an easygoing smoke that is pretty forgiving as long as you dont try to chuff down a bowl of it in 15 minutes.

I typically smoke this well rubbed out and tightly packed out of a shortish sandblast pot. It ages fairly well, but the aroma from a tin of just-opened Plumcake is without comparison.

1 person found this review helpful.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

I use to smoke this alot once,but now it seem's alot milder to me than year's ago.The last few time's I smoked it,I found myself seeking something stronger.Though the taste is still pleasant enough & it didn't bite my tongue. For fairly new comer's to pipe smoking I'm sure it would be good to start with.It light's easy & is very easy to manage.Leave's the pipe with a clean looking ash at the bottom of the bowl & no goop! In it's class-I'll give it 2 & half star's out of 4.

1 person found this review helpful.

crapgame1967 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crapgame1967 (55)
Strong Medium Overwhelming Strong

Here another episode of "Teaching Joe How to Smoke a Pipe" I get on the radio and call Joe over to try a new tobacco and when he arrives, he takes one look at the tin and punches me in the arm. "Mike what did I say about getting me to try that MAC CRAP! I said "Joe look it it is flavored with rum! I am sure you will love it!" We filled our pipes and I let Joe have the honors of lighting first,after we both lit our pipes Joe started licking his lips...walked over to me and again punched me in the arm..."Mike" he said "even rum doesn't make this taste good, my mouth is on fire again!" I hate to admit this but so was mine. Joe went in search of a non-filter camel and when he came back with one he remarked at least we will get another free lunch and jumped into his yard jockey truck and tried to get Paul, head of security and also smokes pipes on the radio . Paul came back a few minutes later and said he didn't have any extra cash but did offer a trade:my Plumcake for the few ounces of Lane 1-Q he bought the day before and after we shook hands everyone was happy! Now 13 years after my first time trying this tobacco I think with some experimenting with bowl sizes and finding the right pace to smoke this blend I would more than likely find this an enjoyable smoke...not something I would ever buy again but something I would not be offended if someone gave it to me as a gift. Overall I would say the first time I smoked this it would be 1 star for me and 3 stars for the experienced smoker willing to take the time to tame this tobacco. This one is on my revisit list!

Pipe Used: no name meer

Age When Smoked: 6 month old tin

Purchased From: some random tobacco shop I stopped at while trucking

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (103)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Sweet hay Virginia, Burley that delivers a bit of earth and just a smack of Latakia and of course that tasty Mac Cavendish. Blend this with a shot of rum and a bit of fruit and you get a solid smoke. Has to have something going as it has been around for more than 11 lustra. Has a knock of being a biting old salty dog and it can be if you go about your business with too much vigor. Puff and sip a slow steady pace and you will be rewarded. I found Plum Cake to pack, light and burn to my satisfaction and the smoke was consistent throughout the bowl. While this is not an everyday rotator for me I do enjoy it a couple times a month. I prefer a stronger blend as a regular smoke. A solid 3 for me.

Age When Smoked: New and well aged

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jvnshr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jvnshr (23)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Smoking Mac Baren Plumcake is like eating a plumcake that has been prepared by your mother, then frozen and then microwaved to a degree to burn your tongue. Somewhat Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Burney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Burney (12)
Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

There is not much to say about this, I will however say, I am not really impressed.

The taste is flat, flavour is non-existent, the room note is almost pleasant, what more can I say. I won't buy again.

Pipe Used: Many

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cumarinophil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cumarinophil (105)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Plumcake is presented in a fine ribbon cut with a few ready rubbed pieces, developing a nice rummy scent from the tin. Casing and Latakia mildly alter the smoking experience, but never manage to suppress the dominant Virginias. The blend is predominantly spicy in taste and at the same time fragrant and sweetish in the nose. All in all I find this blend somewhat restrained, but in a pleasant way. It burns rather quickly, but also clean and easy to control with a tamper at hand.

Plumcake has a little bit of everything, is nothing extraordinary, thus a good middle of the road or everyday smoke. Perfect for possible defectors form the land of aromatics and vice versa.

Pipe Used: Various

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brendan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brendan (8)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Well i don't think this falls in the category of english, because it has latakia( contains maybe 5-10% latakia, from what i can tell).I would say that this is kinda aromatic.

but i really like the taste, i taste some fruity essence(not overpowering or ghosting, just to give it something something) and i find that the latakia accentuate the fruitiness with the after taste of virginia. Very very good blend, BUT you can easily get tongue bite if you don't sip it. i find that the taste becomes better throughout the smoke.

as i said the flavoring is somewhat nice and fruity, but not overpowering the overall blend.

Taste, mild-medium, because this blend can BITE you if you don't sip and than you won't taste as much. but if you do sip, you will taste the nice fruity essence with the latakia and virginia.

i smoke this in my latakia pipe, so that the lat ghosting better accentuate the fruity flavor.(no ghosting to the pipe from the fruitiness)

Pipe Used: Big Ben Barbados

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vaperluvr60 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vaperluvr60 (4)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

It's hard for me to quantify how much I love this blend.....if I were limited to one blend, this would be it...thankfully I'm not as I enjoy so many others but this one just does it for me. First I want to say that any who have bought this in the tin and found it objectionable should get some in bulk.....I buy it in the 1 lb bags and find it quite a bit different than in the tin. In the tin, it seems to me to be much like other Mac Baren blends in that there is a pressed element to it which to my estimation, holds too much the bag it is another animal. This blend has this delicious aroma...both in the pouch and in the room...a sweetness with a hint of Latakia but not so much as to be off putting.....just enough to give it an extra dimension beyond an aromatic and in bulk it is not pressed together but rather the opposite, a coarse loose shag of an affair that requires some care when packing so as not as to not get soft spots...the 3 level pack works best for me. I like it in a large bowl because the flavors seem to come out better for me plus that room note fills out the flavor as well. Cool, dry and flavorful....if in the tin, rub it out very well.....fluff it up as best you can and let it air dry for a bit before packing....firm but not tight.....a good charring light then go at it again.....a pipe is to be savored they say....this blend lends to that and then some! Oh.....and go slow....this blend burns well when done right and stays lit very well.....when done another here suggests....the ember should shift about, from here to there, funny.....I love to play with this stuff.....the complexity of flavors changes so much throughout the I favorite!

Pipe Used: Charatan's special and Big Ben Nairobi

Age When Smoked: varies....I've got a lot of this stuff!

Purchased From: pipesandcigars and elsewhere

Similar Blends: Iconic blend......been around since the late 50's.......none that I can think of...pretty much stands alone..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Plumcake is a tobacco that "brings the thoughts back to old times." A mix of bright Virginias, Burley, "Mac Baren" Cavendish, and "just a touch" of Syrian Latakia, all blended with Jamaican Rum. Plumcake is nuanced, but not terribly complicated. Interesting and pleasant, this is not a blend that I would call a favorite. It's essentially an American English; a light Latakia blend with a topping of some sort. Not horrible at all, it's just not my cup of tea...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Recently purchased a tin stamped NOV 2011 on the bottom label. Blend required no drying time - seemed just right out of the tin. Aroma in tin is what I would expect slightly fermented, soured, sweet golden raisins to smell like. Not bad, just a bit different. Initial flavor was a bit like a dilute steamed condensate of what I smelled in the tin. Once settled in, particularly upon sipping, I pick up the burley, accompanied by dried figs with a touch of smokey molasses. Very complex, definitely a sipper to pick up the complexity of the blend. Smoked in a medium bowled Savinelli with balsa filter. I got no rum, per se, but definitely picked up a consistent background flavor. To me it is different than The Solent Mixture. 3+* for what it delivers.

Pipe Used: Savinelli w/Balsa 6mm

Age When Smoked: NOV 2011 stamped on label.

Purchased From: Smokes on Burdick, Kalamazoo, MI

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cjone107 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cjone107 (18)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Not a bad blend, but not really my style. The other reviews saved me from some nasty tongue bite. Even puffing slowly got me pretty close to a burnt tongue. I love the taste of this when I can get at it. The latikias seem to overpower it for me. On good puffs, there's a wonderfully sweet rum taste, but I can't stand the inconsistency. The room note is pretty good for latakia, but it's clearly not an aromatic.

Pipe Used: Briar & Corn Cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoker's Choice - Bloomington, IL

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mville Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mville (9)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend has a very nice smell out of the tin, can't really explain what it's similar to. Kind of plum or raisins. Tast pretty mild and is very enjoyable. A little change from English and aromatic.

Pipe Used: MM country gentleman

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: P&C

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LarsFiskaren Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LarsFiskaren (5)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

The pouch smell is interesting, dark and smokey, with something sweet like dates or figs and alcohol. Wasn't sure if I would like it. Took some getting used to, but I like it. It has to be smoked carefully and very slowly or else it will destroy your tongue. Smoking it with a filter also helps like previous reviews stated. Aging the tobacco also really helps to make it more mellow. Probably due to the latakia, the room note is not very pleasant. Pairs great with whisky. An interesting blend for true pirates. Arggh mateys!

Pipe Used: BigBen briar

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

blindmansleeps Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
blindmansleeps (4)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Many have written about the bite from Plumcake, but I think there's an easy, non-filter way around it. MAKE SURE you're smoking this on the dry side, perhaps even a little dryer than you smoke any other blends. In my experience, drying out the tobacco quite a bit seems to eradicate the bite, and even enhances the flavors.

And, boy, those flavors are something else. Over the past few weeks, this has become one of my favorite blends. It's a very mellow flavor, quite relaxing. The best way I've been able to describe this taste is woodsy with a sweet tingle from the Rum. I love mushrooms--my wife and I probably eat a couple pounds a week--and this flavor reminds me of a Portobello mushroom smoked over a campfire (our version of a bonfire dinner). It's a wonderful tobacco, and I'll always have some on store. Always.

Just make sure you smoke it dry.

Purchased From: Shamrock Beverage and Tobacco Shop; Johnson City, TN

Similar Blends: Mac Baren's The Solent Mixture (though I find Plumcake more woodsy).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bigterr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigterr (21)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

New update (2014/03/18) of original review below: I've finished my second piouch of this blend using only my filtered pipes (Ascorti rusticated billiard, Bjarne Squashed bulldog, Peterson billiard, Medico Varsity billiard) and I am upgrading my rating from 2 to 3.5 stars. Once you let this dry out sufficiently and gently draw its smoke slowly from the bowl you get a consistently delightful experience. This has become one of my infrequent (only because its rare I can devote an entire evening to such hedonistic activity) but truly enjoyable evening activities going very well with a cup or three of Lapsang Souchong while listening to mellow blues or soft soul music its almost enough to make you feel like you are floating away on a blissful carpet of smoke. Original Review (2013-12-08): I could not get either Virginia # 1 nor Symphony at my local tobacconist so I thought I would give this a try. Although I am not a regular smoker of aromatic's I risked this on the basis of its tobacco blend versus its Rum casing. Looked great and smelled intriguing in the pouch and seemed relatively dry. Using the Frank method I filled a GBD billiard bowl lovat and commenced to char the top. Then, with anticipation I fired up proper. Quite some time back when I took up the pipe again (with V # 1) I learned about the Mac bite so I proceeded with caution. I really could'nt have gone any slower as proven by the fact the pipe went out twice in the first 15 min. Despite my best efforts I was unable to avoid the lava like stream that was drawn across my poor tongue. I gave up after 20 minutes and left the pipe to cool. An hour later I gave it another go (this time in a corncob) to be faced with another volcanic eruption. A good coating of milk seemed to asuage my pain and I left the pipes abandoned for the remainder of the evening. So now its another day and my pipe beckons. NO! NO! I said. I came to tobacco reviews and proceeded to see just what I had parted with my money to get besides a blistered tongue. I was baffled by many of the 4 star reviews until I encountered one which said Plumkake needs to dry out somewhat and another which claimed that he uses a 9mm filter pipe and has never experienced tongue bite with this or any other blend. To the pipe drawers I went as I was sure I had a couple of pipes that met that criterion. Indeed I found my Bjarne squashed bulldog. Another couple of drawers later I found the box of filters. I put a new one in and then dumped sufficient plumcake on the table to fill it and went away for an hour. Okay I thought its dryer and I have the filter pipe so here goes. Did someone sneak into the room while I was away and switch the tobacco? It was delightful, smooth creamy smoke full of body (burley?) with ever so faint a touch from the Syrian latakia. 10 minutes later (with no relights needed) I was still enjoying this to an extent I would not have believed possible after my initial experience. The virginia's and the cavendish punctuated the smoke with sweet interludes all the way through the first 2/3 of the bowl when the Syrian seemed to assert itself ever so reluctantly. I'm going to have to try this in my 9mm filtered Peterson billiard next just to confirm the filter makes the difference. In light of the latter experience I will likely be smoking the remainder of this pouch and at that point I'll determine whether to buy again. So, thanks to two reviewers advice - dry it and use a filter pipe, I got to enjoy this offering. My advice is for you to follow their advice and if you do not have a filter pipe do not buy this.

Pipe Used: All filtered - Ascorti, Peterson, Bjarne, Medico,

Age When Smoked: new pouch

Purchased From: Baroca Tobbaco, London, ON, Canada

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Right Reverend Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Right Reverend (36)
Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

A bit disappointed by this. The tin note was, to my poor nose, of black olives. I know, weird. Cut kinda big, so it did not stuff well in my pipe. It lit okay and burned alright, a bit on the hot side. The problem was I was looking for an mild aromatic, you know with a name like plum cake... But found a mediocre Latakia blend. I could not taste any rum, nor much anything else. The room note was nothing to right home about, not disgusting, not pleasant. Did get a little Vitamin N kick. By the number of reviews it looks like quite a few like it, I think I will have to pass on recommending this, and pass on the rest of the tin to another.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PhillyB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PhillyB (65)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Let me begin by saying that time is your friend with this blend. At first it bites too much and just comes over as harsh, but after a while of having the tin opened it mellows and becomes very pleasant. When I first smoked this it bit quite a lot but through that I got some very good flavors. So I decided to smoke it a few more time to give it the benefit of a doubt. Once I got up to maybe the third or fourth bowl it was VERY good! The two obvious flavors that it gives are spice from the Latakia and a sweetness from the Virginias. It tastes really very good but would not be an everyday smoke (I smoke irregularly anyway). A good treat smoke. My only problem is that the cut is a little too broad and requires constant tamping to keep lit, rectified by a much tighter than usual pack and a bigger bowled pipe.

Pipe Used: Turck's Select Lovat

Age When Smoked: 0 -1 years

Purchased From: Brown's Cigar Store

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (32)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

The pouch aroma of this blend reminds me of Escotericas "And So To Bed" but without the anise component and less Latakia. This blend is well balanced with all its ingredients. I like the addition of the Mac Baren Original Cavendish. It helps support the Latakia's mild smokiness. Good sweet Virginias as well. My tin was a bit moist so I dried it a bit more before smoking. Definitely smooths this mixture out as well as reduces the little bit of bite/hotness. The rum casing makes this a pleasant smoke. Good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (60)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant

Fairly well balanced smoke. Not too sweet with a slight English character. There are others I prefer, but this is a decent, solid smoke. Tongue bite is an issue for me. I puff as slow as possible, but I do not get the pleasure I seek. If not for the tongue bite, this would be a stellar blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Phonomet Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phonomet (44)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

The appearance and aroma of the tobacco is lovely and rich. The rum is present in the tin note, and when smoked it is present in a different way, adding spice and zing. The pinch of latakia is nice. Fruity and spicy with a decent strength for satisfaction. I finished the tin faster than I usually do.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taraban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taraban (9)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Awful, never again! // I can smoke it, I won't buy it // = Quite good, worth trying // * Must-have, I'm happy

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PC Plod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PC Plod (63)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is latakia in its tasty plum pudding role. Not the penetrating odour of a campfire. This smells and tastes very good indeed.

I suppose Plumcake is the so called Danish Classic type: slightly more aromatic than plain tobacco, but the aroma doesn't detract from the full satisfying tobacco flavors underneath.

I use the Frank packing method. Which gives a cool fragrant slow burning smoke. This has never disappointed me in over four decades of smoking. Though it's a tad spicier now than it used to be. Which is good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

erthbound0 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
erthbound0 (9)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

UPDATE: After smoking this several more times I notice there is a lot of tongue bite. So much so that I have to bring it down to three stars. However, don't let that discourage you from trying this especially if your tongue can withstand a lot of punishment.

No matter what other reviews you read about this tobacco it is a MUST try.

I believe the people who gave it negative reviews were expecting something other than what this tobacco tries to be. If you love aromatics but also want to get a taste of great tobacco Plumcake accomplishes this wonderfully.

The Latakia is so well done that the only word to describe it is beautiful. It is a note hung high in the air, that wavers there for the entire bowl. It is not overpowering, but it is there and taste so well as the backbone to the bowl.

The smell is intoxicating. The Latakia adds a nice spice to the air and it doesn't offend others like heavier Latakia mixes.

If you are like me and want a classic pipe tobacco taste with a smell that won't send people running for the hills this is perfect. Great for the mornings. Definitely part of my rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hiplainsdrifter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hiplainsdrifter (9)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

This review is for a 30-year old tin of Plumcake that I recently cracked open. Pretty dark stuff after all that aging. Tin notes are reserved dried fruit on molasses and some spice. Looks like ribbon cut with some broken/lightly rubbed flake. Moisture was about right, maybe just a little dry. Smoked perfectly with one light after the char. Easy to keep lit. This responds well when you push it- of course most MacBaren blends are touchy and will bite you- maybe this stuff does too, but not when it is this aged. Flavor is very well rounded- nice robust tobacco taste- seems like as advertised Virginias are at the forefront, seems like some Burley can be picked out too. A bit of sweetness, but it tastes natural- I assume this has a topping but the flavor tastes more like natural tobacco sugars. I could definitely pick up on some fruit. No rum taste to speak of, although that may have transformed into the subtle spice. Very smooth with great smoke. Room note is ok- not going to impress anyone but it isn't stinky. Seems like I have little reason to own other tobaccos while I have this lying around. A great treat!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kaywoodiecanuck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kaywoodiecanuck (14)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I bought a 50g pouch and was in heaven. As others have already noted, the note in the pouch was fruity and rich. New pouch, but did not need much dry time before lighting, burned well with very few relights. I liked it so much I bough a pound as a daily go to and the bulk was equally as good though I would not a tad damper than the small pouch. In bulk I gave it time in my tobacco jar, and once in a while (when rushed) I did not give it any time to air and it got a bit hot and a slight bite. The spice on the tongue and flavors that came and went kept me interested through a pound of the stuff. I would alternate though between it and some milder tobaccos. I loved the room note though a few folks did not enjoy it as much as I.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Scot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Scot (7)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Several years ago in a search for tobaccos resembling Presbyterian or Cairo, my local tobacconist handed me a tin of MacBaren Plumcake. The memory of opening that tin is indelibly burned; I would have been satisfied if I never found a match to light it, just sniffing the tin and letting the fruity/figgy/rum aroma fill the car would have been enough. But I lit it, and I smoked it, I smoked it almost continuously for the rest of the day, man was it tasty.

To that point, I'd never smoked anything from MacBaren and I was about to learn there was a price to pay for my over indulgence that day… By the time I was ready to retire that evening, looking in the mirror I was shocked to find that the tip of my tongue was not a weepy, scab encrusted, open wounded stub with steam slowly drifting from it, I was bit... badly. I had been bitten before, easily traceable to bad technique on my part but I don't know if it was the curing process or the casing they use but some of Mac Baren's blends have a real knack for unprovoked tongue attacks. The lessons from that experience were acquiring the knowledge of properly packing a pipe and practicing the technique of a long cool smoke, barely keeping the ember alight.

Along with those lessons, the discovery of Peterson's "P Lip" and Savinelli Dry system pipes put blends like Plumcake happily and prominently in my rotation and is now my go to smoke, great with morning coffee or afternoon tea, providing a nice little buzz to accompany the caffeine. The aroma is what I judge every other Virginia by.

Best smoked slowly and contemplatively enjoying every nuance this tobacco has to offer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr.sadik Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.sadik (100)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Strong

although i wouldnt address this tobacco as an aromatic (i know it is cased) but the room note isnt friendly by all means. it can be translated into few people as the oriental scent sticks? regardless to that the tobacco have a superb flavor and perfect burning quality. very smooth tasting and and sweet notes to it. it behaves just fine in any given pipe regardless to the packing method and it has a considerable nic kick to it. very recommended for non aromatic lovers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustOneforMe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustOneforMe (28)
Very Mild Medium to Strong Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I have now smoked several Mac Baren offerings and will not review them any further since they are extremely not to my liking. If interested in my thoughts about their line of tobaccos then just see my review on Burley London, it pretty much sums up this vapid weed give or take a slight aromatic difference (vanilla, cherry etc...).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Let me first state that my review is based on a tin that is almost 10 years old . The blend is creamy, with just a touch of spice and no bite if sipped. Flavors from any toppings, this tin once had, are almost totally gone, so the resulting tobacco is somewhat bland but pleasant. I personally have many other styles of tobacco that I prefer, so I would not be a buyer again, however , this could appeal to many smokers.

Would agree with reviewer " Corncob1" , below

Nobody has rated this review yet.

newsandtraffic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
newsandtraffic (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

As someone who had been & on & off again pipe smoker over the last several years. But have now taken it up full time & placed away my other vices. I had read the tin description on Plumcake for years. For some reason or another this blend really interested me. So, several months back I decided to order up a tin & giver a try. Not so fast! The interest ended upon the 1st smoke of this blend. Not sure exactly what I expected or didn't expect. This just wasn't it. Seen others write about tongue bite. That wasn't it for me. Or, not much of it anyway. Certainly not the room note I expected. I also asked my room note detector, my wife. Who said she couldn't stand that smell." I'll be the 1st to admit I'm an aro guy. If that is what this is or was supposed to be. It isn't. If it isn't I can certainly see why. I'm not exactly sure what it was or was not for me. So I'll just leave it there. Recommended? Nope, not by me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gunner525 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gunner525 (62)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Gave this blend a try this morning. I had high hopes for it because of the fact it's been around for over 50yrs and has had pretty good reviews. However, I didn't like it nearly as much as I wanted to. The Syrian Latakia was pretty evident in the blend to me, and I just am not tempted by Lady Latakia. To me she's the Kim Kardashian of tobacco. Others may find her gorgeous, but she does absolutely nothing for me. Me I'm more of a Drew Barrymore, Sasha Alexander kind of guy. Give me a nice VA/Burley blend and I'm happy as can be. So if you're looking for a twist on Latakia or are interested in giving Lady Latakia a try pick up a tin.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Corncob3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Corncob3 (72)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

I've seen a lot of mixed reviews regarding this blend. After the minor praise by some and a majority of disses by others, I finally decided to give Plumcake a try. It's one of those blend you have your eye on for a long time, but never get around to making that brave step, of giving it a light. Why did I wait so long? And I'm proud to say, it will be in my rotation from now on! It reminds me of Mac's Navy Flake. This has more spice(the Latakia used more of an accent than out front), the right pinch of sweetness and the rich character we all crave in our bowl. Not to mention Plumcake's delightful room note. As one reviewer pointed out, this is meant for sipping. And he's right. It's a blend you take your time with. Be sure not to pack this blend to tight. Give it a good two or three false lights, sit back and be prepared to be rewarded. One word of advise, be sure to give your pipe a good scrubbing with a bristle pipe cleaner before hand. This blend can clump up on you if you let your pipe build up for too long. As far as tin aroma goes, don't be put off by the pugnent fig-like smell after opening the tin. This will die down after a few days. Trust me, Orlik's Golden Slice and Honeydew Melon have a much stronger tin aroma. I give Plumcake 4 stars. If you like Mac's Navy Flake and want more richness and spice, this is a worthy companion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Blue Bayou Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blue Bayou (60)
Medium to Strong Very Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tongue bite is the reason it didn't get 5 stars. This isn't the same Plumcake I smoked back in the '60's, which was dark and sticky. Too bad they messed with it. Strong rum-raisin overtones-- smells great in the tin. Too many starfish on the beach to buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dr. G Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. G (15)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

As one of the few MacB blends available from my local tobacconist, I felt compelled to give it a try. The tin note was very interesting - the exact, almost petroleum-like bouquet of lapsang souchong tea with a hint of dark fruit. The appearance was very pleasing to the eye - golden ribbon with dark flecks of burley. In the pipe, the best combination turned out to be a small chamber briar with a light pack, frequent light tamping, and a gentle touch with the flame. Beyond this, it can heat up with a vengeance and if you expect a one light bowl and a low-maintenance smoke, this will be a disappointment. This is a sipping tobacco of the first order, and a gentle touch brings out nice spice and dried fruity notes with a slow crescendo of sweetness about half way through the bowl. The rum topping was taciturn in this blend. The latakia is present, yet understated and would be a nice introduction for the uninitiated to this strain. I have yet to try it in a corncob and hope that this might mellow it a bit for my customary, more rapid, cadence. Room note passes the acid test (my wife) with the toasty aroma of creme broulee. Not an all-day smoke by any stretch, but a nice addition to my once-in-a- while tier two rotation when contemplation and a gentle smoke is the order of the day. Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you can handle the tongue bite, by all means test drive this blend. Good flavor, I just can't get past the charring light, it burns me that bad. I purchased my tin back in 3/06, and even with 5.5 years of proper storage, still burns my mouth.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Papa Koala Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Papa Koala (9)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Yes, this will do nicely. Rich, without being over bearing, aroma from the tin. I don't get the rum note but I do get plums or perhaps raisins. A nicely balanced taste whilst smoking it with a pleasant background of freshly baked fruit cake, most peculiar. Room note is good, not overpowering but you know that you are smoking tobacco and not an incense stick. My test of room note is coming back to a room in the morning and taking a big wiff. This tobacco passes the test for me. Very nice without that god awful stale cigarette smoke smell. Treat this with care and you will be as happy as a happy thing. Be gentle and don't puff on your pipe like your the Flying Scotsman going at full tilt. If you do, your tongue will feel like your licking shards of glass. Enjoy.This is Mrs Koala's favourite room note and so I get to stay in the gum tree to 'ponder'. This I have upgraded to 4 stars (highly recommended). Why? Because I really like this, period.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A strong tobacco with sour notes that come in and out, quite prone to tongue bite if not sipped carefully. No sweetness, a savory tobacco that will not be everyone's cup of tea. The topping gives a strong "rum" flavor which disappears halfway through the bowl. Leaves an unpleasant sour ghost in the pipe for your next smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RyeWhiskey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RyeWhiskey (43)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Plumcake, a very nice, relaxing smoke on the porch is how I like this one. The tin aroma is nice, a slight rum scent with some latakia and something else? It beckoned me to give it a go and I must say I really enjoyed it.

I didn't get any tongue bite, though I did get a bit left in the bottom that I had to scoop out. While smoking it, you can sense a faint aroma of rum and you do indeed get a 'smokey' wafting smoke that reminds you of the ship-like areas. That is the rum and the latakia mixing, I'd imagine. In the mid-part of the bowl it got a bit more sweet, and by the time I got to the end, I was already looking forward to the next smoke, all five times I've had this blend.

I am already planning on purchasing this tin again, to put away for use after I deplete this one. This was tried in briars and a corncob and the cob was an equally pleasant experience.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening the tin, the delicious aroma of baked fruit and dark sweet rum seems to jump out at you. The smell of the cooked fruit mixed with the rum spirit reminds me of the overripe fruit left behind in apple orchards after the harvest - as the fruit decays and ferments on the ground, it fills the air with a heady, fruity, beer-like aroma. Within this scent you can easily pick out the latakia. Faint grainy notes from the Virginia are there but are more deeply hidden in the sweetness of the dark rum casing.

In the pipe, the fruity rum flavor is dominant but not unpleasantly so. The Latakia is not lost in the sweetness of the casing. The whole affair held up by a framework of rum soaked Virginia and Burley. The latter adding a decent nicotine boot.

Like others have pointed out, this dog can bite. You can control the tongue barbeque by careful packing and puffing. Sort of a high maintenance smoke, so be diligent.

The flavors are nice, light to medium casing. Lightly cased aromatics are great for breaking up the routine of my tobacco rotation. This one won't be my first choice, but it's not bad at all.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

As another reviewer lower down I also bought a 100g tin of this at Madrid airport. They still have several left if you are passing through!

I actually like the tin note, rum is very present, but with a decent tobacco base. It was pretty moist at first but has since dried out a little after a few weeks. Like many here I was positively surprised by the good balance. It's a cased Va mix primarily, I don't detect the latakia other than it can't be classed as an aromatic because it actually tastes like tobacco, with a dependable Vitamin N presence, which presumably the latakia assists. The rum doesn't really come to the forefront whilst smoking, but it occasionally pops up and sweetens the deal nicely. Unlike the two other MacB mixes I have tried, bite is not normally an issue if you put time aside to smoke it rather than wandering around with it chuffing away in the corner of your mouth.

Overall a thoroughly pleasant smoke which I find myself loading into my dedicated 'aro' pipe almost every evening nowadays. I have some with me today to enjoy after lunch in fact.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (129)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

There is a hint of rum aroma as the tin is opened and there is an extremely subtle trace of rum while smoking it. It is a blend of several types of tobacco and the taste is very intricate during the course of a pipeful. No bite or goopy residue has been experienced. It is well behaved and the ash is a white powder. I would recommend smoking this blend when you are wanting a treat. It deserves your full attention while you are smoking it. I give it a solid 4 stars.

EDIT Well... it does bite the tongue a bit regardless of how slowly and carefully it is smoked so I need to take a star away from its rating. It has neen moved down on my list of favorites but it still tastes so good I will keep a tin in my cellar.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Being a Mac B fan, I thought I'd give this unusual blend a try.

In the tin, it has a beautiful mottled appearance, and a fruity note.

I've used the same pipe each time I've tried it, and with the tin having been cracked for about 2 weeks, the pipe and the baccy have become fast friends. It's a rich smoke, with nice complexity of flavors. So far, this bowl is burning to a nice powdery ash.

It does have the "Mac-bite" that some folk complain about, but as with any Mac B blend, if you pack carefully, light carefully and sip slowly, this blend becomes a friend.

It's got a bit of a "vitamin N" kick to it, so I don't recommend it on an empty stomach.

The first few bowls fresh out of the tin didn't burn well, fought to stay lit and left a wad of un-smoked dottle that wreaked.

I'm happy, after some patience, to add this to my rotation, and would recommend it for folk who like unusual blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

shudd3r2th1nk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
shudd3r2th1nk (3)
Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

been curing a bjarne elsinore with this tobacco for the past month or so, and let me inform you, this tobacco is truly delicious.

5 out of 4 stars for MacBaren Plumcake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is the second 100gr tin I bought since Plumcake was reintroduced in Italy some years ago.

I wasn't able to end the first one a gave away to a friend. I clearly remember I found Plumcake far distant from the one I smoked in the end of the seventies. Not the same cut, not the same aroma, and nor the same body. The new one so mild and watery... and terribly bitey.

Now, some years after I decided to give it a new chance. Discovering Plumcake is not bad at all, it simply was a matter of aging. The association of the Original Cavendish and the small percentage of Syrian Latakia donates a special peaty quality to it, just a feather touch, over a VaB base. Rhum is also applied with light hand offering the tipical Navy flavour.

Unfortunately the meat is not there, and this meant to me to start playing with some additions.

Plumcake requires good smoking technique to catch all the subtle aromas, and is definately not an all day smoke per se (I mean unless it's blended with some bodier tobacco).

I will buy the remaining old tins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

paulw Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
paulw (52)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

This is a tobacco that I wanted to love, the touch of latakia was there It was a smokey sweet smoke I'll try again!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Ready to pack out of the tin for me... lit well and stayed that way. Very sweet, earthly flavors, with little visits time and again from the the smoke a sometimes spicy note, but very briefly. It was quite a pleasant experience to smoke something that smelled so aromatic (not like an aromatic tobacco....but the scent was just delicious) but also have the touch of flavors from an English drop in.

The tobacco from the tin does smell like plum cake for sure, but the flavors aren't as strong on the tongue. Does need sipping, but I didn't notice much of any tongue bite. Not much of a N-kick...

Great overall tobacco. It will be one in my cellar for sure... This has become one of my favorites. Perfect for a sunny walk with the dogs... Love the after-smell (tobacco, hay, salty leather, just hints of campfire)!!

2015 Update Strangely enough, the first few tins I smoked of this blend were like the above described experience. Recently I bought a new tin and the experience was completely different. Not sure if it was the tin or perhaps they are making it differently now. It was dark brown to black ribbons in the tin...not much of a smell from the tin. Smoked a bit bland.... sad...reducing it down to 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Bent Billard, Dublin, Egg, Acorn

Age When Smoked: New from store - 1-2 years

Purchased From:, Morgan Hill Wine & Cigar

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is too mild for me, but nice enough. The aroma and taste of rum are subtle but quite evident, and nicely complement the sweetness of the tobaccos. Latakia is harder to detect. It smacks of figs or raisins, and has a pleasant mellow quality.

It is sweet, but not sugary. The rum topping makes the bowl want to overheat, and threatens to burn the tongue if one isn't careful.

Sweet and easy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ELF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ELF (40)
Very Mild Mild Full Very Pleasant

This tobacco is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find here in Canada///The last 5yrs in Canada..Our Federal Government has put so many 'Hoops' for Tobacco importers to jump through...Bad Deal for us Pipe Lovers;and i'm truly not interested in smoke sail green,or.amphora brown 24/7.....Anyway,Back to the program....MacB's Plum Cake is Fantastic Out Of The Tin;Brutalty Sad out of a Pouch.P-C ages beautifully in the Tin due to the high quality Virginia Base of this mix.The blend is Macb's-Ready Rubbed...i pack my pipe as-is;unless i'm fill'g my Meer,i rub it out ultra fine..If you can get your hands on some tins(100gram{North America}/unless you have some friends living in the UK,you can get 50gram tins)...The closest replacement I've found is McCl's Navy Cavendish...Which I can still get(THANK GOODNESS)in Canada.*P-C smokes best in a small-medium size pipe. :-))

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (72)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

After reading all the negative reviews of various macbaren products, complete with various scare tactics like 'mac bite', 'flame thrower', and 'tongue scorcher' I was hesitant to try this despite positive recommendations from several reliable reviewers.. Finally, I gave in - and I am glad I did.. plumcake was a surprise, especially since I usually do not care for aromatics.. it is surprisingly, very natural tasting with a very nice addition of syrian latikia.. the rum is present and tasty.. virginia and cavendish supply a solid (though some might say monochromatic) core.. I did not find any tongue bite.. and I even puffed harder on occasion to see if I could see what people are referring to.. nope nothing there... so 4 stars for a nice change of pace blend for the experienced piper, or a nice introduction to something closer to an english blend for the beginner.. this blend trends delicately accross a few different genres and succeeds.. hey it has been around since 1957 for some reason! So while you are free to review based on personal taste.. I would just like ask reviewers to try to be a little more objective (and I do realize that it is impossible to be 100 percent objective).. A tobacco might bight you- but to give it 1 star might scare away people who may enjoy it.. review on flavor! if the smoking characteristics are not to your liking then maybe deduct 1 star.. but to slam a tobacco simply because you cannot either smoke it properly.. or your own personal chemistry does not happen to correspond well to it - is no the fault of the tobacco or the macbaren blending house.. feel free to express your peronal opinion - but keep others in mind.

update: although i still defend the tobacco and the blending house against some of the short nasty reviews it receives.. I have to deduct a star.. simply because this smoke is no longer very interesting to me.. it is good.. but to me not special enough to warant 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipealicious Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipealicious (21)
Medium Medium Full Pleasant

Tin aroma is strong but difficult to describe. It has something to it of fresh wood shavings.The rum aroma is also present.

I find this tobacco difficult to pack as the cut is a mixture of broken flake and small/medium ribbon cut. Packed too loosely it will smoke wet and hot, too tight and it will clog the pipe and leave crusty dottle.

It always leaves some dottle in the pipe, no matter how I pack or smoke it.

The taste is dominated by the Burley component and I noticed I'm not much of a fan. It's overall a very high quality blend, but you must like it. I find that smoking it outdoors makes it more enjoyable. Nice for cold winter trips.

3/04/2010 UPDATE:

I noticed myself wanting to try another tin of this tobacco, despite my previous mixed feelings about this blend. The aroma and taste make this quite unique. After being halfway my second tin, I really start to appreciate this tobacco. I learnt to pack it lightly and smoke it slowly. The taste is full and delicious: a real treat. After smoking a pure Burley (Golden Blend by McB), I also learnt to appreciate a high quality Burley and I love it. I will always keep a Plumcake at hand from now on, it's delicious and special, but it takes some time to appreciate, remember that. Upgrade to 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I really like this blend. I really like the name too. After smoking this blend, and a plethora of other "Navy" blends and flakes, this is my gold standard.

I hold all other Navy blends to be as good as this one. I just have to be careful, and to go slow with this one. It won't bite, but it can have a pretty good Nic kick.


Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Weird blend, with so many different opinions from the various users!

Compared to many other Mac Baren blends, I didn't like its cut: very stringy and thin ribbons, so it took me a while to find a correct packing method. Press it too much, and it will clog the airhole and form a "plug" which will become even tighter when expanding during the smoke. It's OK to form a sort of pressed sausage and then carefully inserting it into the bowl. Don't simply load the pipe with the "three pinches" method, or by gravity feeding and then pressing, because it will end up in disaster (hot and wet smoke). And, most important, don't press it too much.

Personally I don't find it too bitey, if you have a good technique. Actually, very little bitey: my tongue and gums are perfectly fine after smoking this. BUT it has rather high chances of scorching my palate, go figure...

What I find this blend rather lacking of, is flavor and flavor development. Bland, very bland. Pleasant and with never a bad flavor (it's very smooth, never bitter or harsh or acrid), but i want something more from a pipe tobacco. It has a very delicate sweetness, you can feel a pleasant hint of rum, and there's a very slight smokiness. Again, very rounded and refined. Some of the sweet smokiness and the rum clearly remind me of GLPease's beloved Mephisto... but the intensity is infinitely lower. Which is even more weird if you think that it actually has body and it doesn't feel like you are smoking air. Yes, it is even more delicate and subdued than other Mac Baren blends.

Overall it's not a bad tobacco, and I wouldn't mind smoking it again once in a while. What it has to offer is good... my problem is simply that I would like MORE of it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Plumcake. I've heard so much about this blend I just had to try it. It cost me 5 dollars more for the tin than what I paid each for my tins of Margate and Penzance. This stuff is the wettest tobac (even after leaving out all night) I've ever smoked. Gurgles within minutes of lighting. I got about five or ten puffs out of the whole bowl that weren't a total disappointment. I can tell there is something there but I don't think it is worth the trouble and definitely not worth the cost. Carter Hall is far more satisfying.

OK now for an update. This tobacco requires your full attention. You must "learn" to smoke this tobacco. I've found that if you get it lit very well at first (lots of smoke don't try to enjoy it yet!) then let it cool for a few. After that take shallow puffs and don't get it hot at all or you'll pay the price. It still smokes rather wet but now I can enjoy Plumcake. Nice nutty, toasty flavor you can't get anywhere else in the world. I'll always have some around.

If it means anything to anyone, I just bought a pound of this stuff. It gets in your head and you can't get it out! 5/7/2010

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

UPDATE: I broke my guarantee that I would not try this tobacco any more. I couldn't just leave this blend alone; no, I had to keep trying to make this work well for me. I don't know, maybe MacBaren is being more consistent or maybe it's just me, but in 2013 I was offered a sample from a fresh tin...and it was really good. The key for me was in drying it out a little bit and slowing down my puffing. I have since bought another tin and smoked about half of it, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I am raising my "rating" to 3 stars.

Original Review: When this blend is's on! But that doesn't seem to happen very often.

This is an inconsistent tobacco; sometimes great, other times very hot with mucho bite. I can't seem to get this weed to be at its best on a regular basis.

Solent Mixture, also from Mac Baren, is also a rum-based blend with a tiny amount of Latakia...and Solent always performs like a champ. So I will try to finish my tim of Plumcake, but I make no guarantees on that score. I will guarantee that I won't buy Plumcake again.

Govern Yourself Accordingly!

SmokeKing David

Pipe Used: Savinelli Autograph, Dunhill Shell

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: JR Cigars - Southfield, Michigan

Similar Blends: MacBaren Solent.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sylvian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sylvian (28)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

It was a strange relationship (but then again, rather usual kind of a strange relationship). I loved it at first, smoking Plumcake almost exclusively, but after a week or so it was a rare guest in my pipes. As it turned out with time (nothing suprising really), the pleasant taste of this baccy is at least 70% dependent on the flavoring. The 30% left after 6 months when the flavoring was almost gone were at least nothing special. Such is the sad destiny of aromatics.

Not much tongue bite with proper technique, but best within 1 month after opening - how about a "Smoke slowly, finish the tin quickly" slogan?

As for the taste, there are lots of much more interesting offerings, even in the Mac Baren range.

Will not buy anymore, but would recommend to try.

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Dov of the Galilee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dov of the Galilee (31)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

My observations with this blend have only been with tins and not pouches. It is a delightful smoke but it does not go down with the other members of my family. I use to only smoke this when I was working alone in the gun towers at the prison.

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Max1a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Max1a (38)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

O.K. first let me say that Plumcake DOES NOT, I repeat, DOES NOT! age well. I had three tins, I smoked one of them in early fall of 2006 and cellared the other two. At that time I found this to be a very nice tobacco that was somewhat elegant in aroma and could be smoked in social situtions without offending non-smokers and offered a very nice smoke for the "pipester"

Christmas of 2007 came and I discovered that it had taken on the visage of a bland and tasteless concoction that did not resemble tobacco I put up more than a year earlier. Thinking I may have had a bad tin, I opened the other and found the same thing. I don't think it was the packaging and my cellaring methods are sound and proven. I think it was just the nature of the blend. It has been written (and said) that aromatics don't age well and this is the proof. While I do not technicaly consider Plumcake a true aromatic, it is evident that it gets a great deal of its character from its casing/topping. If you got any cellered, don't expect great things. Better to buy it and smoke it while it is young.

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Stacey Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stacey (40)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Updated 6/5/2008

Well considering I'm still trying to finish the rest of the tin I originally reviewed and am finally going to give up and mulch it into my shrubs, I have to drop this a star. - Not Recommended.

Original Review Follows

I admit I'm a little biased against aromatics. If you love them, then add a star to my rating. Even so, I might pick this up occasionally. I find it to be a fairly pleasant smoke that reminds me of fruit cake, so it seems appropriate this Christmas. I smoked this and a bowl of Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium the other day and had a Latte as well. One or more of those kept me up until 3AM the other night. So maybe this has more Nicotine than people are letting on here. Not a bad smoke.

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Backwoods Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Backwoods Piper (70)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I love Plumcake it is a wonderful smoke. The blend of VA's with a dash of Cavendish and a touch of Latakia make it an excellent all around smoking mixture. Very seldom have I not had positive reviews with regard to the room note.

This mixture burns nice, more often than not one light. The flavor is strong enough to keep me interested. I am an avid fan of English blends and seldom favor a Rum topped mixture Plumcake is a delightful exception. One word of caution take your time with this one aggressive smoking can lead to some tongue bite.

I recently opened a can that I left to age for a little over two years and yes my friends this one improves with age and becomes even more flavorful! Plumcake is the perfect ending to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and is sure to satisfy if smoked gently.

I give this blend a four star rating because it is a one of a kind for me. Enjoy!!!

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Glorfindel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Glorfindel (80)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This mix seems to have it all. Full tobacco strength good aromatic topping, not wet or hot smoking, no bite, and satisfying all the way 'round for me.

The VAs are creamy and light tasting and the smooth biteless burley adds enough body to make this work.

Latakia? Well if there is any I cannot detect it. Maybe it's there maybe it isn't and perhaps that's why this mix is such a success. Latakia can easily dominate a mix with its overpowering aroma and taste which would be a shame here.

I like latakia, but over a certain threshold causes all latakia blends to taste alike for me - boring, but thankfully that doesn't happen with Plum Cake.

This is an aromatic that I think any piper could love.

I notice it is the 4th most reviewed of all Mac Baren's offerings and I can see why.

4 stars.

I will be ordering more of this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Very Strong

Plumcake, needs sipping, likes drying out, but on a good day there simple is no other equal...I like to pick-up a 50g pouch that's been on the shelf a few months in the shop...add a little pinch of English into the packet just to help pull out that Latakia flavor a little more and boy oh boy.

Can sometimes taste bitter so remember to age, dry and sip. A great navy blend for a real price.

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Satc001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Satc001 (66)
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This was another hit for MacBaren! I bought a few ounces of this in bulk from my tobacconist because I had heard so many good things about it and loved the sweet and smoky aroma in the jar. As I packed my pipe I checked out this ready rubbed flake and was delighted to see the myriad of colors in the leaf. I knew I was in for a treat.

The tobacco is sweet and smoky upon the first light. It is smooth, with a very mild nip to the tongue. This is master tobacco blending at its finest. The sweetness of the Virginias combines with the spiciness of the Cavendish to create a sensory delight. The small amount of Syrian leaf adds a nice smokiness and depth to this blend. Then, the burley! This contains great burley which provides body and a woodsy taste to the smoke, fantastic! As the bowl progresses, it becomes less sweet and more peppery, I do not notice the Rum, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

This is a pleasant blend that works both for all day smoking as well as the last smoke before bed. It is delicious and I see this becoming a staple of my rotation. Its aroma is wonderful and it burns to a clean salt and pepper ash.

Superb stuff, 4 stars!

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Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (43)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Being a relative novice to the joys of pipe smoking, this is my first foray into "non-drugstore" tobaccos. It took a little training and several attempts to find just the right pipe and pack for this blend, but now that I have, it is a delight! I especially like the notes of heavy dried fruit when you pop the tin open. This truly makes my mouth water. I learned the hard way that you cannot rush this blend. It prefers to be sipped slowly and treated gently in the bowl or it could jump up and bite you, but it is also very rewarding, especially on a cold damp gray afternoon in November. The rum is faint and does not overpower the natural flavors of the Virginia's sweetness, the tangy burleys, and the full and peppery cavendish. This will certainly be in my cellar for a long time to come.

12/2009 revisit:

I guess tastes change, mostly due to experience. I now consider this to be a wholly average tobacco. It smells nice when smoked, the flavors have no where near the punch of the blends I have come to truly love, but it can still be enjoyable. For me one of the biggest drawbacks is the way this will ghost a briar. One very nice pipe I have will NOT let it go. I keeps rearing its head, even after a salt/alky treatment. Funny enough, sometimes this is ok, other times it ticks me off. I might pack one or two bowls a month now.

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Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a tobacco that I have enjoyed many times over the years. It reminds me of a higher quality, virginia version of London Dock. This is not a blend for the uninitiated, as it can become harsh and hot if pushed. I really enjoy the taste; the plum-like flavoring with an occasional whisper of smokiness. Plumcake is a good example of why I enjoy smoking a pipe......variety.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DoctorThoss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoctorThoss (146)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This burns well, tastes as you'd expect it to, and has a great room note. The problem is that even a few draws will broil your tongue, leaving you unable to drink anything other than water or milk for at least a day. Some people are apparently able to handle MacBaren blends, and if so than I'd recommend this for aromatic lovers in that category. Otherwise, this is strongly NOT recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (43)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Having a preference for aromatic blends, I really thought this would be an enjoyable briar hour. In a sense, it was - great smell from tin contents, easy packing... and... well... that was pretty much it. It was a bit like the British weather - fine in parts and miserable the rest.

Tongue - ow. Bowl - really hot. Taste - plummy, rummy, ashy, dusty... Last third of the bowl redeemed what was a pretty mixed experience. Only one relight was necessary about 3/4 of the way through. Was indeed reminiscent of Davidoff Scottish Mixture, and the latakia could be detected all the way through, if only in hints and shadows.

Conclusion? It was ok. Perhaps I need to persevere.


Ok, perhaps I was a little hasty. After a week with this and this alone, I would post a far more balanced review. Less bite, less heat, good taste. I was right about the needing to persevere. Enjoying it now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is the kind of tobacco that grows in you. At first I didn't think much of it, but after a while I was reaching for it more and more. Virginia and Burley are the main players and the topping is light which allows the tobacco flavors to come through and compliments them. Nice change of pace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

First, I'm not an aromatic smoker. Somehow, by reading the description, I imagined this as an Enlish/Scotish blend lightly flavoured, and I wanted to try it for a change of pace. After opening the tin, the smell of fruits with rum in the background quickly told me that I was misled, but I decided to give it a try nevertheless. Here's my summary:

Pros: smells and tastes like plumcake (not a minor virtue among lots of aromatics which taste to anything but what they're supposed to), flavoring is not overwhelming, high quality tobacco components.

Cons: very hot burning, tongue bite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (65)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I heartily agree with reviewer "AL" (below), especially with regard to the lack of bite that seems inherent in Mac Baren's blends. Plum Cake has a most pleasant tin aroma, but is a bit moist, so best to let it dry a bit. The blend's aroma and topping/flavoring is sustained in both taste and room note, but not over-poweringly so. A nice, light aromatic that is a fine change of pace (again, echoing "AL's" comments). One of Mac Baren's best efforts.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I have had two tins of this blend. Its one I have a pipe full of every so often as a change of pace. This tobacco smells good in the tin. It?s a mixture of browns and some black, comes rather moist and needs some air time. Plumcake is easy to load in the pipe. Plumcake and Symphony seem to be the only Mac Barens that I do not get a bite from, so I do enjoy this tobacco. If there is a touch of Latakia it is a very small amount, this is not like a smoky English blend. The taste of this blend is light and sweet. For me Plumcake burns down to a crunchy ash, mostly dark.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Although Navy Flake is still my favorite from MacBaren, I enjoyed this smoke. The tin and room aroma are sweet but the tobacco taste still comes thru and is not overpowered by the casing. It smokes dry from start to finish without the goop of some other aromatics. As with several other of their blends, packing technique and smoking pace impacts how hot it smokes and you must be careful. Although I wouldn't choose a steady diet of this, after meals, it's great.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Captain Pete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Captain Pete (83)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I first tried this tobacco in bulk from Diebel's in Kansas City, and liked it enough to order a tin. In bulk, it smoked very well and tasted just a touch on the light side. From the tin, the flavors were a little stronger, and the aroma more aromatic.

As already noted by previous reviews, don't pack it too tight, and slow draws is the way to smoke it. I will say that it tastes a little like Navy Flake, probably has some of that broken up in it, but isn't as tasty. I couldn't detect the Latakia, but the sweetness of the rum topping peeked through ocassionally about halfway down the bowl. I didn't like it as much as Navy Flake by MacBaren, it just didn't have the same bold flavor. But it was alright.

If you're a fan of Navy Flake, this one might be a little disappointing, as it isn't as big on taste. However, if you prefer to go in for the loosely packed stuff that you don't have to rub out yourself, and you're in the mood for a "seafaring" tabac, this will probably do. Little bite (surprising for a MacBaren blend), and stayed lit with no problem; what more could a person ask for? Just make sure you find a place like that sells it for around ten bucks a tin; anything more, and it's really not worth the price.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Plumcake is one of the delights of the aromatic world. I smoked a pouch of this after a very long gap, but happily, in a precipitately changing world, it did not disappoint at all. I find that the flavouring is more pronounced on the nose than on the tongue, permitting the tobacco taste to come through. The latakia is undetectable but it is fun to add some blending latakia and obtain a hybrid.

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Anchkema Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Anchkema (8)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I opened a 3-year-old tin of Plumcake a month ago. The aroma was pleasing and the tobacco was presented attractively with a mix of very light brown, darker brown and a little bit of black in there. It was mostly rubbed out with a few flakes. There were no sticks, twigs or dust.

I found Plumcake very easy to get along with. It lit quickly and didn?t need much encouragement to stay lit. The distinctive but mild flavor is most noticeable at the beginning of the bowl. After that, Plumcake tastes mostly like a good burley with Virginia in the background. I don?t detect Latakia, though the blurb says it?s in there.

Toward the end of the bowl I tasted mostly Burley. I?ve come to prefer Plumcake to straight Burleys, because a bowlful offers a variation in flavor (unlike the mono-taste of many burleys) and doesn?t leave a flavor in the pipe (unlike some aromatics).

This is a good everyday companion and a good traveling companion, because it is eager to please and doesn?t seem to demand any particular pipe selection for an enjoyable smoke. The family likes the aroma, putting this blend in the group that will be stocked in anticipation of the New England indoor smoking season.

Some pipers have said Plumcake gives them dragon mouth, but I wonder if the problem is in the packing. Plumcake?s flakes have to be rubbed out a bit and, it seems to me, this mixture does best when loosely packed.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one of those once in a blue moon tobaccos. After about a year in an unsealed tin I enjoy this very much. Just not often. Three and a half stars as a quality Aromatic. (Euro-style)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

poupehan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
poupehan (23)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant


Together with mixture and VC/lc (and to a lesser extend VA#1) my favorite Mac Blend, and a favorite overall. See the reviews of mixture for the correct way to pack and smoke it ("plug it"). This way it smokes the same way as mixture: cool and fragrant. The casing is somewhat more evident here. The added jamaican rum makes the taste reminiscent of davidoff scottish mixture. But don't be misled by the presence of latakia - if you're expecting something in the enlish/scottish style you are going to be dissapointed, take it for what it is: an elegant and refined mild aromatic, whith an excellent roomnote. Recommended

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Effluvinator Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Effluvinator (51)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have periodically tried this one over the last 25 years--the current tin I am working on is probably my fourth or fifth. I like it, but not enough to keep it around. It has to be smoked carefully to minimize tongue bite, and while this is true of some of the other Mac Baren offerrings, I happen to like them more than this one and so consider them worth the trouble. Plumcake has an unusual taste and aroma; it does taste somewhat like plum or perhaps raisins. This can be decreased by letting it air a bit first. It's not an unpleasant taste, but is a bit unusual. I consider this a change-of-pace tobacco, something to be purchased every few years when my curiosity gets the better of me. I smoke it occasionally, probably taking several months to finish the tin. Update 2016. I recently was given a tin of this that was from the late 1970's or early '80's! Baqqy not too dry and was still springy. Tin aroma was somewhat faded over time and the paper was very stained inside. It is less bitey, taste a bit muted, but I think it's better than the fresh stuff.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First, this is a very unusual VA aromatic blend that I cannot compare to any other blends I have smoked. I was immediately taken aback by the first few puffs of my first bowl of Plumcake, probably because its unique taste caught me off-guard. Some say its aroma and taste is fruity. I agree. More specifically, it tatses of plums, raisins, figs, and perhaps a touch of rum. But, in short, this tobacco grew on me. The more I smoked it the more I liked it. Plumcake will present sharpness at the first light but it does settle down into a much smoother, gentler smoke. Not an all day / everyday smoke for me but I sure find it pleasurable for a nice change of pace. Very different indeed????..and very good!

As an aside, I know a lot of folks complain about tongue bite with MB blends and the fact that some MB tobaccos burn hot. I have never found this to be the case with MB blends. I am not immune to ?the nip? but MB blends seem to treat me nicely. One thing I do with all MB blends is to hand shred them a bit over a bowl and let them air out for a short while. Maybe this is the secret, maybe not. It also helps to ?short-age? MB blends in a Ball jar (or whatever) for a couple of weeks after shredding and before smoking.

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

I rate this tobacco 8.5 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Art_A Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Art_A (7)
Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant

I like this more than medium smoke. the Virginia and flue cured weed is tasteful and mellow. I would not recommend this for a novice but after you get your sea legs this is one for you to try

Nobody has rated this review yet.

GaryScott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GaryScott (8)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Initial reaction is that it?s heavily cased nonsense ? the pouch aroma is a pruney horror. But the flavor at the match is undeniably true tobacco taste with a not-altogether-unpleasant topping, and my girlfriend informs me that the room note is the same. Virginia/Cavendish simplicity.

Since MacBaren is one of the few decent and readily available tobaccos here in Poland, I?ll probably try this again (unless it suddenly disappears, as my newly-favored blends tend to do here) but given other choices, I wouldn?t buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I find this blend to be ok just not great. It packs, lights and burns ok but the flavor to me is not worth the effort. This tobacco also seems to be artificially sweetened and in turn does not age well.I know there are other blends out there that will better reward your efforts. All in all a quality tobacco but the portions seem to be to muddy no real character at least for me anyways.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lasix1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lasix1 (5)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Plumcake is one of MacBaren's oldest and most respected blends. Small wonder. This is a delightful blend with a marvelous room aroma which brings compliments from all but the most fascist anti-tobacconists enslaved by the fanaticism brought about by their opposition to the pleasures of others. It is a difficult aroma to describe. Sweet and not unlike plums, but with more of a bakery aroma. It starts out very mild and then picks up strength as you approach the bottom of the bowl. It smokes all the way down to a nice dry ash. The Virginia is predominant, but like most MacBaron blends, there is enough maturation in the tobacco to mute the harshness of the natural sugars resident in the leaf. Like other Virginia based tobaccos it will bite if smoked too quickly, but if you savor it properly it will delight your senses for well over an hour in a medium-sized pipe. I like this tobacco very much and smoke it occasionally when I want something sweeter and more socially acceptable than the English blends which I am forced by prevailing prejudices to smoke by myself outdoors.

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