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Oriental-forward English blend.

Notes: Used to come with a Xanthi leaf on top the tobacco and earlier tins had an olde English penny taped to the bottom for opening the tin. Imported by Brown & Williamson, Louisville KY

BrandState Express
Manufactured ByArdath Tobacco Co., Picadilly, London
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams Tin
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Mild to Medium, Medium
None Detected
Room Note
2 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (683)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Blast from the Past #1 - I found two tins of this online at surprisingly low prices, since it hasn't been available for quite some time. I smoked a few tins of this back in the '80's but much preferred the State Express Roundels, an Escudo-type VaPer. Wish I could find that one! This one looked and smelled like a prototypical English mixture with latakia in the lead (aroma-wise). Nicely presented ribbon with a whole tobacco leaf (I'm told it is Xanthi) on top. I guess this is where McClellands got the idea of putting a leaf on top their Smyrna blend.

Taking memory for what it's worth, age has not been all that kind to this blend. The latakia has softened to the point where it is but a whisper and the orientals turned a bit too sour. Still, it has an interesting flavor with the Virginias playing the lead role and the orientals close by. The sour flavor was enticing but a little over the top - just a little. I think this sourness mingled nicely with the sweetness of the Virginias, however; I just wish it were a little toned down and the latakia were more prominent. Overall, I preferred my memory of this but it's still enjoyable to take a walk down memory lane. Worth a shot if you can find a tin at a reasonable price. I haven't seen State Express pipe tobacco fresh on the shelves in a long time but I believe they still make cigarettes - rather strong ones, as I recall. Three stars... interesting but not terribly compelling in light of what's available today.

Pipe Used: meerschaum and morta

Age When Smoked: 20 years or so

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1272)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Simply stated; one of the finest blends that I have ever smoked. Very similar to Balkan Sobranie in every way, except just a little sweeter due to the Oriental leaf employed. The Latakia in the mixture was placed with a restrained hand leaving the smoker with a more subdued English flavor. Although long gone from the market, this blend was produced in high volume and many tins can still be found on the "Bay" and elsewhere. Many times for a bargain as the newer generation of pipe smokers never heard of this one. Smooth as silk from start to finish.

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