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The second, after Kingfisher, in this special series of pipe tobaccos especially formulated to the specific priorities of Michael A. Butera. Simply, Pelican is the perfect Mixture, combining exact portions of the finest, most rare Cyprian Latakia, the spiciest, most zesty Turkish and Orientals, and the richest, most sweet sun grown Virginia whole leaf available today. Aged in cakes then fine cut to ribbon form. Pelican delivers multiple dimensions of sweet, mellow tastes, with a variety of contradicting rich and spicy room aromas. Return in time to those days and nights long since forgotten, when only the finest English Oriental style Mixtures would satisfy you.

Notes: Originally blended by J.F. Germain in UK, then by McClelland in US, then now by Peter Stokkebye in Denmark.

Blend type is English/Oriental

BrandButera
Blended ByPeter Stokkebye
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutRibbon
Packaging2oz Tin
CountryDK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy 4noggins.com
SmokingPipes.com
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

2.8
50 reviews
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14
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17
2 star:
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SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (517)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am just finishing up a tin of Pelican that I bought two weeks ago at a pipe shop. Although I just bought it, I would guess there was a little age on this tin because there was a little sugar on the broken pieces of flake intertwined with the very thin ribbons. There was also some “leaking” into the wax paper indicative of a blend with some age. For me, the story of Pelican is all about the Orientals. The quality of the tobacco is very good and typical of Germain made blends. There is some sweetness to Pelican and the spice arrives about mid bowl and really builds from there. I get a little more Latakia later in the smoke too. It was more than I expected based on the visual appearance of the blend in the tin. With that said the Latakia is in a supporting role and it doesn’t really assert itself until the latter half of the smoke. Like so many blends, Pelican demands to be smoked slowly for the best result. I found it a bit hot if pushed and had my best results when sipped rather than puffed. By the last third of the bowl, Pelican always became a little muddled and it was hard to distinguish the different flavors. I think this blend has some merits, but given the fact that it is hard to find and it isn’t something I would envision in my rotation, my memory of this blend will be a short one.

Purchased From: Watch City Cigar

3 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (595)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Predominately dark in color, tiny ribbon in cut with a tin aroma of latakia and orientals. I picked this tin up some years ago and I'm not sure why I never dipped into it before now, but something else always seemed to bump this one back to the rear.

This seems to be a fairly typical English-style blend at first, with the latakia being the main player for the first dozen or so puffs before settling down and allowing the orientals to come forward. The problem for me was that the Virginias were extremely subservient, and this blend had very little VA sweetness and body. While it had a decent flavor, it seemed to have no backbone. Reminded me of Tashkent in that regard, except Tashkent truly does not contain Virginia, while this one is purported to. But it wasn't very noticeable and if I didn't know it was there, I'd be well on the way to believing it wasn't. Interestingly, this one exhibited a light menthol-type note somewhere in the final quarter-bowl. I've found that to occur in other blends and I assume it's some type of oriental tobacco merging with the latakia. Unfortunately, this didn't last long and in short order the blend became ashy tasting as it neared it's finish. As it stands, this one is fine enough but pretty unmemorable and, for me, not nearly deserving of the hue and cry over it's current state of unavailability. I finished the tin but won't buy more.

Pipe Used: meerschaum, morta and briar

Age When Smoked: 8 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (589)
★★☆☆
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This has the potential to be a fine Latakia/Oriental blend, but there is some kind of additive that gives it a sour chemical, taste and an odd aroma as well. Too bad really since I greatly like its brother the Kingfisher.

Jesus saves! If we choose to accept Him.

2 people found this review helpful.

parris001 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
parris001 (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Without doubt, one of my all time favorites. An English blend that always keeps me coming back for more. So pleasant a smoke as to rank up there as a trusty friend, It's been said it reminds one of Squadron Leader, Penzance and Westminster. I agree. Possibly one of the most enjoyable smokes I've ever had. I get a hint of orange every time I try this stuff. Simply heaven.

2 people found this review helpful.

SGTMantis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SGTMantis (3)
★★★★
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is my first review here on TR dot com, inspired by this tobacco. At first I was put off by the high moisture level of this tobacco when I first opened the tin. It made it hard to smoke properly, hard to light, and I had to leave the tin open for a few days to let it dry out. Even after two days, I put the lid back on and set it aside, it was still hard to light and keep lit. All this time, when I did smoke it, I knew I was missing something amazing, I just wasn't getting all of the flavors but I could tell they were there. Once I packed a bowl and my girlfriend demanded I go with her to go shopping (arrg). I ended up leaving the packed bowl in the pipe for another two days, then lit it up on the first warm Sunday morning of the year, and wow was I happy. The long wait from packing the bowl to smoking it dried out the tobacco until it was almost crunchy. This was the secret. The bowl lit beautifully, there was no moisture build up in the pipe, and the flavors really sang. There are notes of cedar, citrus, nuttiness and tobacco. This stuff is just as amazing as I had been told, I just had to treat it right. I highly recommend this tobacco, and also recommend drying sufficiently before smoking. You will not be disappointed.

2 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (713)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

The Virginia is naturally sweet with a little citrus and a touch of grass. The smokey latakia is ever present, and mildly sweet, but it never rises above being a good supporting player. The Orientals are spicy and seem to be more prominent from the half way point on to the finish. There's also a slight woodsy quality that I believe comes from both the latakia and/or the Turkish. There's an extremely mild topping that's hard to identify, though it seems to be a little tangy and tartly orange-like. Here and there, I get a hint of vanilla, and I suspect a pinch of black cavendish may be present. Burns well and fairly cool, though I have to slow my smoking down the last third of the bowl to avoid a slight harshness.

1 person found this review helpful.

CaliPipeGirl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaliPipeGirl (3)
★★☆☆
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Blend Name: Butera Pelican

Description on Tin: The second, after Kingfisher, in this special series of pipe tobaccos especially formulated to the specific priorities of Michael A. Butera. Simply, Pelican is the perfect Mixture, combining exact portions of the finest, most rare Cyprian Latakia, the spiciest, most zesty Turkish and Orientals, and the richest, most sweet sun grown Virginia whole leaf available today. Aged in cakes then fine cut to ribbon form. Pelican delivers multiple dimensions of sweet, mellow tastes, with a variety of contradicting rich and spicy room aromas. Return in time to those days and nights long since forgotten, when only the finest English Oriental style Mixtures would satisfy you.

Leaf: Cyprian Latakia, Turkish, Orientals, Virginia. Ribbon cut.

Tin Aroma: Slight sweetness, Latakia in the background although not overpowering. Very pleasant.

Taste: Not very complex. No sweetness. Could mostly taste smokey latakia, a little harsh.

Smokability: Dry. Took a few relights, but burns to a nice fine ash.

Room Note: Typical smokey English aroma

Thoughts: Was a little too strong for me. I prefer English's with a little more complexity to the flavor, such as slight sweetness or tangy flavor.

Recommend to: Experienced English smokers that prefer a strong blend or favor Latakia.

Summary: It didn't live up to the hype for me. There's other less popular English's that I prefer. This particular batch had at least a year of age on it. Smoked in a cob & briar.

My Background: I've been pipe smoking for 1 1/2 years, starting out on Aromatics, then moving on to English & Virginia. I favor VaPers. I'm not a Latakia fan but enjoy a well balanced blend. I've been doing Sutliff reviews for about a year. I have tasted at least over 100 tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Corn Cob, Briar

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Gift

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965, Sutliff Blend No. 5, and other stronger blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I have read many mixed reviews on this tobacco and I don't understand the one and two stars. I would love to know what they are comparing this tobacco with in order to give it such a poor rating. With that said, I fell in love with it from the start. I could enjoy this tobacco any time of the day. It could be my morning smoke paired with a cup of coffee, a bowl for the drive home from work, or to aide me in my reflections before bed time. I love the complex flavors that are locked away in this tin of tobacco and I hope to enjoy it for some time to come. If you are a fan of English blends, you must give this one a try!

1 person found this review helpful.

Mike Castello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mike Castello (49)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is an English blend for those who enjoy English blends. If you don't care for a quality English then look elsewhere. It is a ribbon cut, the moisture level was not a problem. The tobacco packs easily, and lights without difficulty. I have smoked two tins of Pelican and have not had any negative experiences. The flavor is rich in orientals, Latakia, and Virginias. The flavor was there from beginning to end with only a gray ash to remind me that tobacco had been there in my pipe. Of course there was also the smile on my face in knowing that I can still get a good English blend even if it is made in Denmark. This blend can be ranked right up with Westminster, Squadron Leader, and Penzance.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a review I will update for sure, as I write this after only one bowl.

A good friend gifted me a tin of this, for which I am grateful as I might not have tried it otherwise, but this was a welcome addition to the rotation.

It says at the top of the page here that this has coffee flavoring added, but I'm not sure I detected any of that. Perhaps in the second half of the bowl I tasted something reminiscent of coffee, but I never would have guessed it was topped or cased. In fact, I'd swear it wasn't.

If you were to record your tasting notes, you'd write down some flavors that would seem discordant, but aren't. Smoky Latakia fills in the gaps. but doesn't have a leading role. The Virginias and Orientals, proportioned nicely, combine to produce a taste like unsweetened tea, and it smacks of orange, slightly. And in the second half of the bowl there's a richness that, yes, reminded me of black coffee. And somehow these all added up. It's a very nice smoke.

My only gripe, and it's a small one, is that the bowl burned down to an ash faster than I wanted it to.

1 person found this review helpful.

thedstnguishdgntlmn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thedstnguishdgntlmn (360)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Avery unusual experience for me -A Butera tabac I did not like.This has almost no flavor whatsoever.It is mild to the point of boring, and I find no English qualities about it.It has a vanilla casing and latakia and that is about all you will taste. Take a pass.

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (54)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This blend is a nicely melded, rife with VA, latakia, and Orientals. The Orientals and latakia seem to be most prominent and the VAs sit in the corner smiling at you. My tin was wet and a little drying time was needed, no problem here. This is a rare tobacco, but I know a B&M which gets it in from time to time. I like this mixture with its sour, sweet, smoky flavors weaving in and out of the finely plumed smoke. If you happen to get lucky, want to try a good smoke and be able to broaden your palate with a rarity, go for the Pelican.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Geronimo Von Klaus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Geronimo Von Klaus (64)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Bit of a letdown, it has to be said.

For as long as it took me to procure this tin, I was expecting to be really wowed.

What I got was a high quality, refined, well behaved but also predictable English blend that was remarkable for the high quality VA's that are present throughout, and for the transformation that goes on as the smoke goes on. It really needs a pipe that gets warm to get this one to play much, otherwise its rather boring, but in a good pipe with a well packed bowl, it goes from meh to really nice and sumptuous quite well.

However, it has nothing on McClelland British Woods which is similar in what I think they are aiming but, but BW blows it away for a fraction of the cost or fanfare.

Don't hunt this down, in my opinion. There are so many others.

Pipe Used: South african Bulldog Briar

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

For a smooth and pleasant smoke lover i bet sure love this blend, but for those who find a "strength" complicated smoke must be just give 2-3 star rating to this blend. 1st i open the can i see an oily almost shag cut tobacco with oriental smells. Easy to pack and easy to light. is a great smoke but not with a strong Latakia flavor, almost dominate with the taste and flavor of Virginia. The spiciness of oriental also not too strong, just a smooth spiciness to give a hint on nose. Must be draw it slowly because it's cut form, if not the heat is not good and make the pipes damn hot and lot of moisture but if smoke it slowly, is beautiful to watch the oily layer on the pipe chamber. I really enjoy my smoking time with this blend so i will give this blend a good rating for the smoothness and the mildness.

Pipe Used: Tsuge Kaga Brandy Shape

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr.MeerBill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr.MeerBill (35)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

for all the hype i found this to be a little disapointing good tobacco not great in any way

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cochon74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cochon74 (21)
★☆☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Wow... all I can say is WOW. I've never been so utterly and immediately disappointed by a tin of tobacco.

I've been looking for Pelican for many months... and finally found some. The tin looks really cool. And upon opening, there's a nice, albeit mild, typically English aroma. The presentation is that of a nearly solid-pressed block of fine ribbon cut tobaccos wrapped in waxy paper. Judging by color, the blend looks promising - with a fair amount of latakia mixed in with yellow, olive and orange leaf. My tin was fairly moist, but not overly so.

It packed well and lit fairly easily... up until this point, everything was fine.

I have to say, this mild to the point of being bland. The latakia occasionally rears it's smoky head, but the Orientals don't sing and dance. In fact, they barely have a pulse in this mixture. The virginias weren't particularly sweet, or citrus-y, or anything else for that matter. It says in the description above that there is a top dressing on this. Given the humidity of the tobacco, I might believe it. However, I tasted nothing of the sort. In fact, this blend reminded me somehow of cigarettes. The smell left on my clothing, in my beard, on my fingers... nothing like the rich smells of fine pipe weed I'm used to. All in all. This was a dud from match to dottle.

Lastly, I've read the complaints about the Danish production... and it's deficiencies in the flavor department. I'd have to say I agree. Continental blenders seem to somehow miss the mark with English blends (Black Mallory - made by Kohlhase and Kopp in Germany - being another disappointment in this style tobacco). HOWEVER, both of my tins have a label on the bottom saying "Made in Jersey, British Isles." After checking some forums, it would appear that JF Germain has taken back over production. However, maybe the recipe is still Danish? I don't know.

All I know is that Pelican was a massive let down for me. I'll try to get through the tin slowly... let it breathe, maybe try it in several different pipes. But I'm not holding out for a miracle - especially considering the number of amazing, immediately gratifying, and readily available mixtures out there.

Give it a shot if you want a mild, character-less smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JustOneforMe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustOneforMe (28)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Objective: Good tin for storing tobacco after opening. Needed to be dried out some before smoking. Good volume of smoke, which I like.

Subjective: Nice aroma and initial taste, but there is some sort of chemically aftertaste that just really ruined what could have been a very good smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (119)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I really like this blend but not quite enough for four stars. It's just not as smooth as some good smoky English blends out there. I have a few tins stashed away so I'm hoping it will smooth and mellow out with age. I would prefer just a bit more sweetness, but if you like a more astringent and oily English, this one is sure to please. Aside from a very mild rough edge, this is obviously quality tobacco and I am very much looking forward to seeing how it improves with time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

constantsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
constantsmoker (63)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I agree with Sasquatch: this is in the same 'family' as Red Raparee, Squadron Leader, and other blends that lean more towards the orientals, which is what (I thought) characterized an English blend. At any rate, it is a very smooth tasting blend containing a goodly portion of Latakia.

The tobacco from the tin that I sampled was at a nearly ideal moisture level, which translated into only one re-light. There was a slight pungency in the room note and a pleasant, spicey 'tingle' in my nostrils during the smoke that I attributed to the latakia and the orientals, respectively. This won't be a wife or girlfriend pleaser but, if you can sit back in a comfortable chair, relax and contemplate life for 30-40 minutes in solitude, you'll find this blend a fine companion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nachman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nachman (13)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Pelican is an ersatz English. You can tell it is really Danish. This is not a slap at Denmark. Most of my pipes are Danish, but when it comes to tobacco English rules. It contains the right tobaccos: Virginia, Latakia, Oriental, but somehow it doesn't work. It has a sweetness to it which I would swear is a bit of black cavendish. It is milder than most English mixes, which comes through not just in flavor but also in room note. This gets a nod of approval from my wife. It is better in the last half of the bowel because it picks up a little in strength, but you have to smoke the first half to get there.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calboy8686 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calboy8686 (11)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I guess this is more of an acquired taste. I changed over from cigars, smoked aromatic tobacco for a little while, then started getting into the English Blends. While this blend is palatable, I would hardly choose it for one of my larger bowl pipes. This blend gets better if you dry it out some and then smoke it very slowly, and put it in a smaller bowl pipe. There is no dimension to this blend. It stayed relatively consistent on flavor, lighting it when it's fresh from the tin in not very easy at all. I come back to it every now and then when I get tired of my regular and expanding rotation. I would try it for the sake of trying something new, but it's not something I would personally smoke all the time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

I am a little surprised that most of the previous reviewers do not mention other classic oriental blends, like Red Rapparee, for example. This Pelican is very much of that ilk, similar to other oriental-heavy "medium English" blends like Squadron Leader. It is smoother and smokier (more latakia I guess). The virginias are sweet and citrus.

A very easy smoke, delightful right to the end of the bowl (it gets a bit acrid right at the bottom).

I will smoke more and post again, but I am really pleased with this tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

eichenlaub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
eichenlaub (13)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My first bowl of this was very impressive, very nice citrus notes, especially at the beginning og the bowl. However, like others here, I find this blend a bit boring, it is great on occasion and I bought several tins to cellar but it will not be an everyday smoke. Also, as others have stated this seems better in a narrow, tapered bowl.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe-billed Grebe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe-billed Grebe (18)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A wonderful bird is the Pelican. I couldn't resist trying it on the merits of the name and tin picture alone (I'm a sucker for that sort of thing). Its appearance in the tin is a ribbon-cut blend of black and brown; the scent sour, sweet, and musty. It is relatively dry but not brittle at all.

Upon the initial effortless light, there is a gust of delicious Latakia, but that is probably the most you will notice it from here on out. The Latakia delivers a prologue and then bows out to let the Orientals take the stage, which are good and musty and spicy and nutty. My tin is a couple of years old, so I'm thinking that helped with the sweetness of the Virginias, which, while not as pronounced as the Orientals, do play a nice supporting role. This interplay of sweet and sour may account for the prior comparisons to orange and tea (one reviewer mentioned Earl Grey, and there is a hint of something similar in character to that beverage in this smoke).

I class the room note as "Pleasant to Tolerable" because while smoking Pelican on two separate occasions, two separate friends who happen to lack Y chromosomes and the attendant tolerance for stinky tobacco asked what I was smoking and remarked favorably on the earthy aroma. This is always a plus.

As a final note, I did not like Pelican this much when I first cracked the tin. It was OK. Maybe it just needed some breathing and drying, or maybe it just takes a bunch of smokes in the same pipe to really get it. Either way, it's one of my favorites now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

john doe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
john doe (41)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

UPDATE

As I finish the tin I realize that I will miss this blend. This is good stuff. I will definitely buy this again. Upping my rating to three stars.

--

After smoking several harsh, nasty bulk C&D baccies back to back, this soft bite-free smoke is such a pleasure on the tongue. It's a middle English with a very light bitter orange top note (think Earl Grey tea). It comes out of the tin very much like Squadron Leader or Red Rapparee, but there's less Oriental and more Latakia.

It's nothing eye popping, and it's not Westminster. It's nice enough though, and I'd smoke it again, also whether I'd buy it again any time soon is another question entirely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (301)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Very "dry" tasting, with lots of oriental/latakia flavor, and very little virginia sweetness. Quite spicy and nutty, with some pleasant bitterness, lots of incense-like flavor. Dry in the tin, long lasting and extremely cool. A bit monochromatic, but very good. A no-compromises English blend which is refreshing and unique.

2008 Update: This tobacco is getting more and more difficult to find, but it keeps being worth the effort. Kudos to Butera for not accepting compromises: this is a great English blend, in a world in which English blends die and/or get worse every day (see the Dunhills, or Balkan Sobranie, or even Timm London Blend 1000).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WillardFan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillardFan (68)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I'm surprised that this one didn't get more 4 star ratings. This blend has a taste unlike most other English blends I've tried. It's very smooth, nothing harsh about it. No majorly overpowering Latakia taste. I too noticed the orange flavor, which I attributed to the Virginia's. I liked this alot, and though Squadron Leader is one of my favorite English Blends, I would definitely buy more of this tobacco. A mild English, and IMHO it could be used as an all day smoke...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Michigander Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michigander (19)
★☆☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Well this just goes to show how different taste can be. Or maybe I got a bad tin.

Several have commented about a subtle Orange flavor. Several others have said this was bland and tasteless.

I had neither experience. For me the tin note, flavor, and aroma were all full bodied and very woodsy. What I did not like was an occassional taste and smell that I can only compare to the armpits of the average New York City taxi driver. Not my thing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin: In a large square tin, the blend is black and brown, mostly black, not a Krumble Kake at all, but a short ribbon cut, as is printed on the lid; quite dry, as others have noted. Soft smoky Latakia aroma, a standard light English. If compared to McClelland's Oriental, the Pelican doesn't smell very oriental, maybe just a light subtle note.

Being dry, the Pelican packs and burns quite easily. It does indeed seem to produce more flavor in a large tapered bowl.

Taste: On first light, nothing, but after a minute, a sweet orange taste is experienced from time to time, so subtle and bland as to be barely detectable. The blend invites you to try and detect any taste; it is elusive. Easy, gentle puffing rewards one with a nice soft scent, so light it could easily be inhaled.

Mid-bowl there evolves a soft, vague nutty element.

The Pelican is a little darker and stronger, towards the end.

Aroma: Similar to the taste, a vague bitter essence perhaps from the Turkish. I don't detect much Latakia.

Nicotine: mild

Room Note: Someone mentioned something like a soft spiced orange pekoe tea.

Overall: A nice soft smoke for someone who doesn't need a tobacco with much substance. A light English which leaves my mouth somewhat peppered after several bowls. To gain maximum flavor, the Pelican has to be smoked with very light, contemplative puffs. Having said all that, you'd think I like it, which I do, but, it doesn't seem to feel any niche in the light English/Balkan category. Rated 2.7 out of 4.0, but two and a half stars.

Decided to up the rating, since the Pelican is as good or better than some highly touted offerings. 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jankoez Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jankoez (67)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is very elegant blend, surprisingly dry upon opening a tin but burns well to white ash. The whole impression is quite unobtrusive giving to this tobacco pleasant room note although taste is medium strength. It is an excellent afternoon blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TeeBee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TeeBee (19)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

A very nice latakia, but there's something lacking. I dont know what. High quality stuff but IMO second to Frog Morton and MM965

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (589)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

This blend came a little wet for my tastes, but it burned pretty well and produced a moderate amount of smoke. In general I found this to be just a so-so mixture. It was too mild for me and I had a hard time locating the "zesty" Virginias...it was mostly a tug of war between the latakia and the Orientals. I think this Pelican flew south to warmer waters and took the flavor with it. Perhaps this would satisfy someone who likes an early in the day English or just a very mellow smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

On opening the tin, you find a dark ribbon cut. As others have noted it is very dry, more like a Pease tobacco than anything I?ve had from Butera. Pelican can be nippy, and the dryness may be an effort to minimize the tendency.

Delicious on first light with a sugary strain that must come from the Virginias. The sweetness tastes natural, but it?s quite noticeable; by no means a bad thing! It does tend to recede as you go down the bowl (or maybe I just get used to it). The blurb on the tin calls the Orientals ?zesty,? which is not wrong but neither is it the whole story. There?s a bit of spice at the tip of the tongue, but the real job of the Orientals is to soften the blend and bind the flavors. They give it a cloudy gentle feel. The latakia is exactly right for this situation: sturdy and a definite presence, going right up to but never crossing the point at which it would throw the others off balance. It's very skillfully done.

Pelican is not one of those blends which, like Margate, combine many different flavors in a kaleidoscope. Instead, like its sibling Kingfisher, it uses a restricted palette. Each flavor is clear and distinct ? I can easily separate the latakia, the VA, the Oriental, with that sweet note over all ? but of finest grade and the ensemble marries wonderfully. Not a big booming blend, but by no means bland.

Verdict: A fine mild English, extremely pleasant and expertly made. If you like strong tea or coffee with a biscuit, you?re sure to like Pelican.

Reviews of this blend tend to extremes. I have noticed that Pelican smokes very differently in different pipes. I have a big Ser Jacopo rusticated billiard that really makes it ?sing.? A equally large Ser Jacopo blast does not. If you try this blend and find it flat, it might be worthwhile giving it another chance in a different pipe.

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JB Token Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JB Token (1)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This was my first step into non-aromatic. All I can say is that I wish I did this years ago. It wasn?t very expensive. Very clean taste with no bit. I wish it was a little stronger. I would recommend this to anyone who wishes to try a more English mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

One of the best tobaccos I've smokend in the past few years. It's tasty, cool, it reminds me of those no longer made great English mixtures. It comes pretty dry in the tin but it's not a problem because it burns evenly and slowly. The top note is clearly the oriental one, but it's well balanced anyway; in the last third of the bowl the latakia note comes out with more power, while the Virginias give body to the mixture but not their typical sweetness. A true masterpiece by Mr.Butera

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This is the second Butera blend I have tried that had almost no taste at all (the other being Kingfisher). This is so mild its just boring. Other than a subtle vanilla'ish aroma and a very, very weak hint of latakia flavor, it's similar to puffing air. Very dissapointing. :(

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Butera's Pelican is unique in many ways. Upon opening the tin, and rubbing the tobacco from it, I was struck by how dry the tobacco was (dryer than any fresh tobacco that I have opened). The 'Krumble Kake' (like a very thin ribbon) is nevertheless splendid. It packed extremely well and lit wonderfully. This is the only tobacco that I have not had to re-light during smoking. (Perhaps it is a charming image on the tin, but it caused me to reminisce about a university near Devon where I taught--there is a pond on that campus among pleasant woods where I would occasionally see a glorious heron soar above. Quite the sight!) Butera's Pelican smoked fast, but never hot, producing a nice white ash and it did not leave any wetness at the bottom of the bowl (something that I have not experienced before or certainly not in recent memory). When I say that it smoked fast I mean that I usually smoke a normal bowl in 30 to 45 minutes. I smoked three bowls of this in less than one hour! Regardless, this is a wonderful tobacco that reminded me of sweet cedar (although the room note was not as nice as that). The only aspect of this that I did not care for was the fact that is it produced a slightly dry harshness. It also is very mild and the smoke, like the cut of the tobacco, is thin. This is a keeper, however, for occasional smoking. It may find a more regular place during the summer months when something lighter is more appreciated.

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Thatcher Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thatcher (58)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

You don?t need to see the ?Made in Denmark? sticker on the back of the tin to know that this is a Danish creation. The tin aroma has the same distinctive undertone that I find as characteristic of Danish blends as the Worcestershire/ketchup smell is of McClelland blends.

Pelican is an enjoyable blend. A nice-looking, and very dark, blend in the tin, and quite dry. Very tasty and enjoyable, but not really anything remarkable, and in the end it doesn?t make for a particularly memorable smoking experience. The more I smoked of this, in fact, the less impressed I was. Unfortunately for Pelican, I was smoking this tin at the same time as I was working my way through tins of Abingdon and Raven?s Wing by Pease and some bulk Proper English by Stokkebye, the blender of Butera?s Pelican. The Pease blends left Pelican in their dust, taste-wise, and the only significant difference between Pelican and the bulk Stokkebye was the presence of some nice orientals in the Pelican.

I had intended to give this a ?Might Try Again? rating but, to be honest, I doubt I ever will try it again. If I want to smoke a Stokkebye mixture I?ll stick to their bulk English Luxury or English Oriental Supreme?just as nice in flavor at a much lower price.

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Hauser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hauser (16)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Opening-Mottled brown black with a mild English scent. A very light English scent. The Latakia is faint.

Packing-Packed well in all the pipes I tried it in

Lighting-Two matches and a tamp

First Impression-This blend starts well with a mellow English aroma lifted from the bowl. It burns cool and light, without impacting my senses.

Mid Bowl-By mid bowl, this really hasn?t developed into anything I would describe as complex. The Orientals dominate the taste and they are good, just not exceptional. The Latakia remain subdued in the background.

Finish-Develops a slightly stronger flavor towards the end though it doesn?t come to life per say.

Over all-I was excited to try this blend because of all the good things I had heard about it. After 4 bowls, I can say my initial disappointment has remained. It?s a blend of quality tobaccos, but they never develop into anything beyond pleasant but singular. One other note, most of my tins will keep their tobaccos moist through my duration of smoking them. This one went dry within two weeks even though it was stored the same way as the others. This is an OK smoke if I were trapped on an island with nothing but, but I won?t buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SaltySailor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SaltySailor (2)
★★★★
Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

A daily smoke for me I highly recomend this fine mixture! From the pleasing aroma when first opening the tin to the last draw, I find this mixture a pleasure to smoke. I always look forward to the midday watch with a pipe full in one of my freehand Ben Wades.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This is one I smoke infrequently so as to not get burnt out on Latakia. This would be a true four star tobacco if it weren't for a slight excess of flavoring that seems common in English type blends. G.L. Pease Blackpoint tobacco is more user friendly with a similar makeup. Still in all an excellent smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bona Fides Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bona Fides (4)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

The tobaccos in my first tin were very dark with a few light brown and golden strips. The aroma was leather with a slight tinge of sweetness and a bit of a tart scent.

Lighting was easy, charring light, tamp and second match. A definite full flavor of smoky latakia with a some nice orientals/Turkish in the background for the first fifteen minutes of the smoke. One-third down the bowl, the Virginias entered the fray with a subdued sweetness. Some bitterness encountered near the end of the smoke, but overall a very enjoyable English blend. Not as full flavored as appearance. I've already picked up a few tins for future enjoyment. Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I love the tin aroma of this blend. Sort of a zesty smelling english blend, perhaps a little citrus type background aroma as well. The tobacco is fairly dry in the tin, but hydration was not required. They claim that exact proportions of latakia, oriental, and virgina are used in this blend, however, I have a tough time believing this claim. The orientals definitly dominate all other components. This is one of the first english blends that I have tried in which the orientals overpower the latakia to the point where I barely notice the latakia at all. For me this makes for a dull and bitter smoking experience. I loved the oriental flavor during the first quarter to half of the tin. After that the bitterness became too overwhelming for my taste. I find myself still reaching for this on occasion, however, when my tin is finished I don't see myself purchasing more any time soon. If you like your english blends leaning more towards the oriental spectrum of flavors, this just might be a winner for you.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (141)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I have smoked several tins of this over the past two years in a big Don Carlos bent blast. I spoke to Mr. Butera when the blend first hit the U.S., and he said it was the smoothest english he had every tried. It is an old Sullivan tobacco formula. He said it would be hard for him to go back to his Latakia No. 1 now (a much fuller latakia mixture of his).

According to close acquaintances of Mr. Butera, Stokkeybe hit the mark on the first batch of the mix, following Mr. Butera's formula and directions exactly. A great accomplishment for normally an aromatic blender, as this time it is straight tobacco.

This is indeed a smooth english blend, with enough latakia to have meaning but still having the flavor dominated by the sweet oriental leaf and virginia. It is not balkan in strength but, in character, it is close. Cool and steady burning, I find it enjoyable whenever I yearn for a good tasting english. I do not find it strong or boring but complex.

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KEF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KEF (13)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Nice tin. Scent on opening is sweet and zesty but not sharp. Darker ribbon cut. Very nice smooth latakia and oriental blend and, as others note, a bit of an orange peel scent to the smoke. Smokes a bit wet, bit I like this tobacco on the damp side. Very little bite. Very different flavors in different pipes. I like this in a smaller narrower bowl; in a big open pot I taste the latakia more, but in a smaller pipe the zest stands out more, but always smooth. Good quality tobacco, easy on the palate. 7.5 of 10. - Kelly

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

A great latakia tobacco blend . It satisfies the urge for latakia , but also has unique flavors that make it stand apart from similar blends . Latakia lovers would benefit from this tobacco in their rotation .

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Appearance: Ribbon cut, well mixed assortment of colors

Aroma: Classic Oriental aroma. Good sweet Virginia base, spicy nutty Turkish, moderate Laakia smokiness (probably Cyprian).

Packing: Nothing unusual about the ribbon cut. Packs well into any pipe except very small.

Lighting: Takes flame quickly, sometimes just one Vesta.

Initial flavor: Initially the Virginia stands out, the Latakia right behind it, and the Oriental coming in not long after. Nice balance of flavors, and easy on the palate.

Mid-bowl: Great balance and layering of flavors. Can get hot if puffed too strongly, but you would have to try,or be agitated No moisture.

Finish: Just a bit stronger at the end, not very harsh at all.

Summary: At first I was not impressed with the flavor, but it grew on me. By the time half the tin was gone, it was my standby. Medium rich Oriental flavor is it?s strong point.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Edit: Years later, and this has become a favorite of mine. It just needs to be smoked in a meershaum or calabash. The only other balkan blend that has this trait for me is (was) Balkan Sobranie, which was my previous favorite blend. Rating upgraded to Highly Recommended.

Original Review: I've been puzzling over this blend for a few weeks now. I'm a diehard BS White fan that is down to his last few ounces, and this was recommended to me by several reliable sources as exactly the sort of tobacco I was looking for. According to Butera this is an attempt to replicate Sullivan's, which I remember as being vaguely Sobranie-ish. All in all, I really wanted to like this blend.

Pelican is certainly a nice enough tobacco, with many elements of a fine balkan blend -- the virginias are mild and play a supporting role providing a touch of orangey sweetness to counteract the drying affect of the orientals. There's the spiciness of the orientals providing a nice middle palate that the smoky latakia is missing. There's even a hint of that saltiness that I love in Sobranie.

The problem is, I'm getting nearly all of this from the aroma -- the mild flavor is tantalizing but offers only hints of greatness. It does seem to vary a bit from pipe-to-pipe; it is nearly completely tasteless in my Ashtons, thin in a Boswell freehand, and reasonable (but still underwhelming) in an Upshall. It is also the most heat-sensitive tobacco I have ever smoked -- smoke it cool and it tastes like diluted spiced orange pekoe tea, smoke it hot and it begins to show its balkan underpinnings.

According to the wife, the room aroma is nice and reminiscent of oranges.

Butera supposedly designed Pelican as a replacement for his beloved Sullivan's. Several hats older and more experienced than myself indicated that he had indeed hit the mark, possibly surpassing it a bit.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sykes Wilford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sykes Wilford (35)
★★☆☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Interestingly, I had almost exactly the same experience as Trever. The first bowl was fantastic and I was about ready to by a few tins of it. Fortunately, I waited until I had smoked a few bowls before I went out and blew a week's pay on tins of tobacco. After the third bowl, it began to lose my interest and the slight bitterness from the orientals became an irritation rather than a point of interest. As Trever said, good if smoked very occasionally; more often than that and it becomes a little irritating, though I wouldn't call it boring.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

trevert Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
trevert (32)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Overwhelming Strong

A really delicious tobacco. It's extremely dark and rich, with a luscious flavor that glides over the tongue like Bailey's Irish Creme. It's smooth and easy-burning, and like its namesake bird it is very graceful for its sheer volume. Smoking a bowl of Pelican is much like having a nice meal of Jerk Chicken - very filling and nicely unique. The only Achilles' Heel it has is a certain sameness - after I'd finished 3/4 of the tin it was getting old, and it wasn't fun to come back to over and over again. I couldn't begin to guess why I can always smoke Dunhill Standard or Three Nuns, but this didn't have that universal enjoyability... again, like Jerk Chicken, it was really good but not something you'd want to eat every meal. Highly recommended as a change-of-pace tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.