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A coal-black cavendish without any flavour additions. A mellow tobacco which can be smoked the whole day long. The smoker may detect flavours of liquorice, plums and nuts.

Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeCavendish Based
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringLicorice, Nuts / Beans, Plum, Sweet / Sugar
Packaging100 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

54 reviews
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Daniel Morlan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daniel Morlan (50)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have smoked four bowls of this splendid weed just to be sure of my opinion of it. I've discovered the following...

1.) It smokes consistently, pipe to pipe.

2.) It is hard to get bit by it unless you really provoke it.

3.) From the beginning, to the end of the bowl, there is a consistent sweetness that only gives way towards the very end.

4.) It's lack of overcomplexity makes it a delightfully delicious, charming tobacco.

This will become a staple in my cellar. So far this has bumped its way easily to first place. I could smoke this all day, and not have a nicotine problem, and the flavor is so great that I am not tiring of it. Between this blend, Hamborger Veermaster, and Escudo. I'll rank this as a sublimely high, surpassingly excellent blend for a straight VA.

Sweet, butterscotchy hints with the occasional (if you smoke just a tad too hot) eucalyptus undertone. Unflavored, well-balanced, great character smoke. As much as I love to write, I cannot adequately describe the flavor of this wonderful blend. It's almost fruity, but not artificially so. If your tastes are sensitive, you're apt to find a medley of wonderful flavors in this tobacco that ranges from fruity to butterscotch-esque, to even a toasty finish. It's meant to be savored slowly, and while it can be described as being mild, it's quality as a VA in THIS posters opinion, is hard to surpass because...

1.) I like it's lack of overt complexity.

2.) I like that it's not prone to biting.

3.) It is easy to smoke, and enjoy at all times.

4.) The sweetness lasts and lasts.

Bottom line, this is a wonderful tobacco, and if there are any others like this, I simply must know about them!

Being such a lover of Virginias, now that I can REALLY taste their subtleties, I almost feel like I've graduated as a pipesmoker. This is a very, very wonderful blend, and if you're blessed with a Palate that can interpret the flavors... I'll leave it at that.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2136)
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

The Virginia/black cavendish does have a little mild sweetness: raisin, plum and a hint of citrus and dark fruit, plus a touch of earth and grass. The sugary topping is very mild. Has a mild nic-hit. Needs some dry time, but once that is done, it'll burn fairly well with a few relights, and will leave just a little moisture. Has a fairly consistent flavor until the last quarter where it tends to lose a little. Does lack a little depth. Has a routine after taste. No bite or harshness. An all day smoke that won't get in your way as you go about your business.

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

This will no doubt please the pipe smokers who enjoy light, semi-sweet Virginia flavor. Slow puffing really brings out the flavor.

I have seldom seen a dark stoved Virginia that packs less Nicotine wallop.

6 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (303)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

A decent, sweet and caramelized stoved Virginia (it IS black!) in rubbed out form, but I think that Dark Star and Butera Dark Stoved have a richer and more complex taste, not too mention that they burn better, slower and more regularly. In particular I noticed that this tobacco, like many Rattrays, is full of humectants, which generates quite a bit of wetness and makes frequent relights needed. Even if you let the tin dry for a month, you will still have some combustion problems... unless you puff like mad, in which case you will scorch your pipe, fry your tongue and get absolutely no flavor from it.

4 people found this review helpful.

Telling it how it is. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Telling it how it is. (73)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Upon opening the tin you will be greeted by the smell of tobacco, brown bread and a faint smell of molasse which grows stronger over the course of the tin. It is a very delectable smell and i often found myself just sitting there and smelling the tin. However, the smell is on the discreet side.

Its cut is more or less unique - think black tea, thats exactly how this tobacco looks like. The moisture was right and does not dissipate no matter how long you will need for finishing the tin. Whatever they use as humidifier really does its job.

Packing is easy as can be, even for the beginner. But as has been mentioned so often times, lighting can be a real hassle if you don't let the tobacco air out a bit. For me it worked just fine, when i let a tiny portion of the tobacco dry out and put it as a top layer in the already packed pipe.

Burning properties are excellent. Very smooth, very, very slow burning, almost like a flake and leaving only some fine ashes behind. Tongue bite is not really an issue but if you smoke it too hot it will bite you.

I do not agree that this tobacco is a hassle to be kept lit or that you have to relight often times, as many other reviewers stated. Guys, you just need to use your tamper and everything is fine and dandy. If you do not know how and when to use your tamper then yes, you will need lots of matches, no doubt. This, in my eyes, is maybe even another plus for the beginner, after a 100g tin you will have your tamping down i guess, or given up frustrated ;o)

Taste is mild and yes, it is monochromatic, does not develop at all over the course of a bowl and does not offer any depths do be found. But it tastes so, so well. Its very delectable and in its mildness a good trainer for your palette. It mainly tastes as the tin smells, brown bread, molasse, raisins and its sweet, really sweet. And in my opinion neither boring nor shallow, its just mild and elegant in every way. But keep in mind that sucking for flavour can be a real problem with this blend. Also it is not for the filter smoker.

You may forgive me if i say that i can imagine that this blend would have been sold as a women's blend in 1903. I really mean that in a positive way.

The room note is most delicate and incredibly delicious, it really is a treat even for the non smoker. I rarely find a tobacco that smells that good in the air and at the same time is that discreet. Aftertaste is just sweet. Take a small pinch of white sugar, let it dissolve in your mouth and then wait two minutes. That's how it tastes after the smoke, and it lasts long too.

This is a blend where i have some problems rating it. I feel it deserves a better rating than i gave for being a unique blend in appearance, taste, smell, mildness, monochromaticness (its not a bad thing in itself if you come to think of it). But at the same time i feel it deserves a worse rating than i gave and for the very same reasons too. So, in the end and seen strictly objectivly, a three star rating is well earned.

Now do i recommend this tobacco? Yes, i do if you feel attracted by the things i said about it. Else stay clear from it you most likely just will get bored. I also would like to recommend this blend for the beginner but only after you had a sample of it and got the hang of what this tobacco is and what it is not.

Pipe Used: It went trough rotation.

Age When Smoked: They don't print production dates on it.

3 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Like Dark Fragrant from Rattray this is a jet black pure VA Cavendish. Unlike Dark Fragrant this is extremely bland and boring.

I am very well aware that Rattray-blends can be difficult to smoke and thence appreciate, and I am also aware that pure VA Cavendish can be a pain to keep lit, but I have had luck with some of the similar blends from Astley's, McConnell and Rattray, so I should think my empirical data should be ok.

Maybe this could be used to mellow out other blends og to smoothen them; I cannot say, but as a stand-alone, this will give you nothing - and I mean: nothing!

I have tasted E-gigarettes with more power...

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

(Review No. 100. Yay!)

3 people found this review helpful.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon first examining this blend, I was a bit hesitant. The color reminded me of 1792 and other ultra-powerful Virginia blends, and I wasn't sure I was up for another such adventure, but I forged ahead anyway. The tin aroma is deep and fruity, with a rasiny smell I have come to associate with stoved Virginias. The cut desreves mention, as it is truly unique. Not quite a cube cut, too short ot be a ribbon, it is almost as if someone had made a ribbon cut, and then chopped it up with a cleaver. It took a couple of tries to get it lit, but once I had it going, it stayed lit with little fuss, and burned evenly throughout the bowl. The virginias in this blend are very sugary, without as much 'oomph' as some might like, but just about perfect for a Latakia-Lover like me that quite hasn't got the palate to enjoy most virginias. For all of it's imposing appearance, I found the blend to be pleasant and fun to smoke, a perfect companion to puttering arounf the house or answering email. I will probably keep some around for those times when I need a break from heavier 'english' type blends, or just really want a straight english taste. This was great with port wine, as well as iced tea.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

A distinguished exemplar of an undistinguished genre.

I approached Black Virginia without any great expectations because of the indifferent press it has recieved, but was pleasantly surprised. Jet black, crisp small shavings of tobacco gave an enticing aroma from the tin. The taste is sweet with a hint of spice. It is no Marlin Flake or Old Gowrie, but nevertheless a pleasant enough smoke. Takes light easily and burns down to a very fine grey ash.

Cavendish tobaccos, by themselves, are a bore but Black Virginia is an exception. It makes a fine first smoke in the morning. It can be smoked through the day, but it can get monotonous. The room note is delectable.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Ten years

Purchased From: A retailer in London

2 people found this review helpful.

rimchar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rimchar (4)
Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I purchased this about 3 years ago when I first took up the pipe, and if I remember correctly that tin had a few years of age on it. Rich and intriguing tin aroma: fruity, earthy and edible. Odd and crisply chunky black leaf that was pliable but not exactly moist, could barely get a char let alone a smoldering coal. Ugh. Tried that once then popped the rest in a stupendous gravity-lid ‘30s moriage tobacco jar (yes, I'm a gear hound) without any humidification at all.

I've remained curious about Black Virginia since then because of its delightful aromatic profile and pulled that jar off the shelf fully expecting the contents to be ruined after so long a time without proper care. The leaf was dry but surprisingly had a bit of spring and still smelled wonderful – some kind of fermentation polymerization during the manufacturing process? Loaded up a large-bowled churchwarden to check it out. STILL a bear to get a coal underway, but managed that. Glad I got nostalgic because BV turned out to be delicious (when smoked like a proper Virginia) and not without complexity. The smell of the smoke coming off the pipe was amazingly fine: sweet, musky and herbal like Tibetan incense. Very flavorful with the aftertaste of a good maduro cigar. Was it the extended aging and drying that allows me to be a rare champion of this stuff?

2 people found this review helpful.

TK Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TK Pipe (101)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Rattrays Black VA…. Mild in strength but has some noticeable VA flavors. As others have mentioned this stuff is a real pain to keep lit, when smoked straight from the freshly opened tin, and I agree that considerable drying Is just about mandatory to somewhat correct this problem, not to mention this drying also does IMO wonders in BV's flavor department, smoothing out some of its sharpness. My 100 gram tin will probably last me for some time, because this profile is not my favorite. But seeing how it does seem to blend well with just about anything, I can see the rest of my tin being used for that purpose.

Bottom line; I would recommend this blend only to those that love VA's enough to go through all the annoying relights and added drying fuss.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (262)
Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

Well, I had misread the description and am guilty of not having read the reviews of this blend when I ordered. So I got what I guess I deserved.

Opening the tin, this is a pure Black Cavendish, but that it's made from VA is immediately obvious. The tin note is delicious! Unfortunately, my palate is used to stronger stuff, and I had left BCs behind a long time ago, so for me, too little strength and too little taste, though the medium-sized ribbon cut does burn pretty well for a BC, especially compared to Black Luxury and its ilk. Still manages to burn rather hot, and produces some condensation.

If you like ultra-gentle blends, go for it. After six or seven smokes of this blend straight, I am using the rest of my 100g tin as an additive for a few other blends (and it looks like this goes particularly well with VA/Pers) to add some smoothness and sweetness where I feel it necessary. I'll say this much -- it turns the dry cocoa- ness of some Burley mixtures to something much smoother and sweeter, and does the same for the room note.

If you don't like it, don't throw it away. It seems to work well as a blend-in for stronger blends lacking in sweetness and refinement. If you do like it... stay with it.

Addendum 02-18-2012: This is still the best pure BC I have experienced. I would recommend to the beginner: it is mild, and unlike most other BCs I have experienced, it actually burns properly -- most BCs are practically unsmokeable for beginners; this one could be the exception.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (833)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice pouch aroma! Whatever it is, it doesn't hold for either the taste or the room aroma when it comes to strength. This is a subtly-flavored stoved virginia with a mild tanginess that is quite enjoyable. As others have mentioned, this needs to be dried out or you'll puff your lips off trying to keep it lit. Dried out, it smokes cool and slow and burns to a fine gray ash. Doesn't change complexity as you go down the bowl. In fact, this is hardly a complex smoke. I'd call it very simple. A tangy virginia flavor that doesn't call much attention to itself.

While I find this a good tobacco and can recommend it, it really doesn't have enough flavor to suit me on a regular basis. I'm going to mix a small amount of blending perique to this and see what happens. Probably a very small batch to start. Still, this is a pleasant light tasting tobacco and is perfect for someone who doesn't want to be overpowered by their tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

Bear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bear (24)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Thinking it had been a while since I reviewed a tobacco that a lot of Gents had been smoking in this group, I picked up a couple of tins of Rattray's Dark Virginia. I've had 5 bowls since it arrived yesterday, and seem to get a pretty good idea of what it's about. Product: Rattray's Black Virginia, purchased at JR's site for $8.50. Appearance: 95% jet black ribbon, with just a smidge of lighter colored weed poking out. Pre-smoke: Pleasant scent of raisins upon opening. Good moisture content, basically the way I like it right out of the can. Packs well. Let's take it for a drive... Flame hits weed, releasing a nice, soft smoke. Smooth with full Va flavor. The top end of the scent is clipped and some of the piquancy that I usually seek in a Va isn't there. But the low end is delightful. The bouquet is slightly sweet, with elements of fresh mown grass and curing barn lingering in the air. Nutty midrange with hints of warm toast and coffee on a winter's morning. I've seen a lot of reviews refer to RBV as "Tangy". "Tangy might describe the tin fragrance, but the smoke? Unh uh. The word is smooooth! Mid bowl, the taste becomes fuller with nuance of cashew becoming more into play. Over puffing is especially to be avoided with this one, as pepper starts to edge it's way in if you try to treat it at one might a Burley. Good nicotine. Not quite the lightweight that some might have ya think. End range. I tend to find most Va's a little tough at end bowl, and while this one isn't a complete exception, it is smoother down at the heel than most. Pepper elements present from about 2/5th of the bowl lingered to the dottle. Summary: Well made smooth tobacco, that I would say is a must for any Va Lover. 8 out of 10 Bearclaws.

-- Bear Graves

2 people found this review helpful.

Colonel Panic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Colonel Panic (42)
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A dead-black mixture that deserves its name, this is a slightly sweet, tart tobacco that reminds me of McClelland's Dark Star with a little more sugariness. It's a very small, almost cube cut pressed and stoved Virginia that is mild with a flavor that reminds me of raisins without all the sugar. It can be a touch hard to get lit well, but once you get a good burn going it stays lit and smokes cooly.

It's not very complex and lacks strength and is thus not satisfying as a thoughful smoke, but it sits well when I'm up late watching an old movie or reading and want a tobacco that tastes good but isn't distracting.

2 people found this review helpful.

CharatansMake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CharatansMake (18)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I would call this Tobacco the "little brother" of Dark Fragrant.

Its look and its taste are closely related with DF, but: it has less taste and strenght and the licorice notes and the piquancy are by far weaker. If DF is a bit "too much" for you, than this should be yours. In contrast to some other reviews I did not have any problems neither to light it up and to keep it lit nor with heat or gurgling - maybe because it was a little bit dry when I received it as a sample?

2-3 stars!

Pipe Used: Svendborg Brandy

Age When Smoked: Sample - a bit dry

Similar Blends: Rattray Darg Fragrant, McConnell Maduro.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (180)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

Has a tin aroma distinctly of dried currants. Sweet and spicy. I have no reason to think this is anything but natural stoved tobacco.

Burns cool and slow and is sweet and fresh throughout. Burns beautifully in an unfinished cob at a slow smoulder, yet still produces pleasant pillows of creamy smoke. Has an interesting smokiness as the bowl progresses and is better than linear.

More Fred Astaire than Mike Tyson, this one is for mature smokers tuned into the subtleties of stoved Virginias.

Pipe Used: Lepeltier/MM Missouri Pride

1 person found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (166)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is 100% pure black cavendish and it is only virginia tobacco. In fact it is not straight Virginia, but straight Black Cavendish. Jet black in color, it is a natural aromatic and the taste is so and so, quite good but not excellent. No flavors added, only a sugar addition. You can consider it a pure natural black cavendish, lightly aromatic. Really I am not convinced about it (the taste is mediocre) and in my personal rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 6 and two stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

WooseyWid Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WooseyWid (5)
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

When I was buying my first pipe, I had no idea what I was doing so I grabbed a tin of this because I remember reading that virginias are sweet. This baccy was not very sweet and did not taste too great at the time, but I was happy to start leaning how to smoke a pipe. I soon got a hold of the Lane Limited aeromatics for a local B&M and loved them untill I realized the goopy, low quality nature of these. Now that I knew how to smoke, I returned to my tin of Black Virginia to give it another shot and was rewarded with experience of how good non-aeros can be!

When Black Virginia is opened, the tin note smells just like raisens. As it ages, the tin note is more like hay. When you smell hay is when the baccy is at its best. I allways had a little trouble getting it lit but when it is, the first third of the bowl has a sweet and incredibly tangy taste to it. Such a good virginia taste. But the downfall of Black Virginia is after the first third, the sweet tang is gone and your left with a spicy and kind of burnt of smoke, which is so upseting after the first third was so good. This is probably why it is currently a 2 star baccy.

I still recomend trying it because it is a unique tobacco the sweet tang is so good. Black Virginia turned me into a virginia smoker.

1 person found this review helpful.

dogwood Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dogwood (17)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is an excellent english cavandish that the virginia lover with savor and enjoy. People have commented on the one dimentional smoke produced but it is wonderful for the smoker who looks for natural dark virginia taste.

The smoke is rich and sweet. Black virginia is an extremely relaxing smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

marosi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
marosi (67)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am mad at Black Virginia. I have attempted to smoke this blend several times over the course of many years, all from the same tin. Each time I found it very hard to light, unwilling to accept a char, difficult to keep burning without excessive puffing which heats things up to an intolerable degree, and lacking in any enjoyable flavor. When I sit down at the end of the day to enjoy the one or two bowls life, and my wife, allot me, I do not want to have to do battle with the blend. Black Virginia, damn you to hell!

To tone the hyperbole down just a bit, Black Virginia is black in the tin, as described. It appears to be covered with something, but what I do not know. It smells tangy, like most virginias, plus something else which defies description, at least for me.

It packs ok, due to its very odd cut. It is cut into large chunky flat squares. The only thing that I have seen similar is cavendish existing as a constituent part of a va or english blend. Cavendish, however, will burn, and this, at least for me, will not. Even after drying, it is wholly resistant to the flame. When I finally get it going, it flames out quickly, and burns hot. The flavor is a great let down from the strong tin presence.

Overall, this tobacco had bad mojo, and I have thrown the rest of mine out. Things have been right with the world ever since.

1 person found this review helpful.

donk93953 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donk93953 (22)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is interesting....Ive never considered myself a Virginia smoker. Of course, its present in the blends I generally reach for (Highland Targe, Black Mallory, all the Frog Mortons), but not just a Virginia. Granted this is stoved, but it is still new territory for me. I've had a dozen bowls now and like this. Its dark as charcoal, incredibly mild, smooth, rather monochromatic, but enjoyable. Everyone else has described its appearance, but I found mine only need one night spread on a serving tray to dry a-bit. I'll grab this tobacco again. It probably will be part of my usual rotation. Try it....

1 person found this review helpful.

ArtGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ArtGuy (8)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I was fortunate enough to find some tins of this being sold at a local pipe shop for 5 dollars each and bought two.

I am about 3/4 done with a 4oz tin and I have to say this is a terrific tobacco. Sweet, tangy without a hint of bite. I am a big Dark Star fan and cannot decide if I like this better or not. This is one of those naturaly sweet blends that will leave that sweet tang on the back of your tounge long after you are finished.

Man I should have bought more tins! What was I thinking????

1 person found this review helpful.

WxGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WxGuy (95)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

As amply noted by others, Black Virginia is an aptly named tobacco, being almost jet black. My tin arrived a bit dryer than other Rattray's blends, with what I can best describe as little black elongated semi-flat nuggets, an intriguing consistency. The tin aroma is not very strong, but about what one would expect, a slight fruitiness, but not at all tart or citrusy.

I generally prefer my VAs with perique, or in flake form (burns cooler), so this one is a bit of an outlier for my tastes, and I do not have a good experiential database for comparison purposes.. Being a bit on the drier side, BV is relatively easy to light and holds the burn well. I did find a tendency to bite, so this is one to go slow on. Also, the natural sugariness of the VAs is best appreciated at cooler burning temperatures, and this has a natural sweetness that deserves to be appreciated. The lack of tanginess in this blend is fine by me. (Since other reviewers comment on the tanginess, makes one wonder how consistent the product is. Mine had no tang at all) I find BV to be a good straight-up VA, not complex or layered, just plain VA. I guess that it does not hold my attention very well- and for some occasions that is just fine. In its niche it is one of the better blends.

1 person found this review helpful.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (106)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Black stoved virginia ribbon with considerable casing. Like many dark stoved tobaccos it's monochromatic in character, fig-fruity, tangy and sweet but in this case too much casing makes it a bit cloying. I think it would be a better product if K&K would throttle back on it. Mild and hardly sharp acidic wise for being an all virginia tobacco. It is described on some sites as a European style black cavendish but it is not in line for blending with orientals being so fruity and sweet. Other brand's dark stoved flakes would be superior choice over this tobacco for that characteristic dark stoved virginia flavor in mind but since McClelland folded, the options are much more limited. Perhaps buy this when the better options are out of stock.

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith's Full Virginia Flake, McClelland Dark Star.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

MikeHaggarKJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MikeHaggarKJ (18)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I will go against the party line and make the absurd claim that this smoke is in fact complex. And that it's not very sweet. The fact that noone agrees basically must mean I'm wrong, but this review is my honest perception. Earthy-fermented & plain good ol' tobacco flavour would be my best description off the flavour. But notes - and I really mean notes, as in subtle, barely perceptible - off plum, fruits, nuttiness and above all licorice makes themselves known throighout the smoke. The licorice isn't nearly strong enough to dominate the flavour, but I am clearly reminded off salty licorice in a way I find most pleasant & delightful. It's not exactly the same, but close. Licorice taste is most clear mid-bowl, with the beginning being a bit more fermented-fruit sour (in a good way).

Please do yourself the favour off eating licorice when smoking this.

This is also the coolest smoking blend I have ever come across. I could probably light this with a blowtorch lighter and puff as aggressively as someone trying to burn their tongue off and still get cool smoke.

Easy to pack, slightly moist out off the tin but not too bad.

Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1606)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Rattray - Black Virginia.

This confused me a bit, I'd expected a gloopy, sweet, sticky, beginners blend, but there's more to it than that.

The colour of it's not what I expected, it's not black at all, it's dark brown with a few medium brown pieces. The ribbons are a little coarse, and they're of a good hydration.

I could see this appealing to many different kinds of smoker. Unlike a lot of pure Black Cavendish', there's more to this than just a vanilla flavour. For the first part of the bowl the extra flavour's a very mild sweetness, and to be fair this stays quite consistent in it's strength. When the initial quarter's burned, that's when I begin to sense a slight anisette/herb quality- it's this that separates it from the usual Black Cav's. The temperature of the smoke can be a bit more than the usual 'ice-cold' BC blends: it's not hot, but a little more than medium. The nicotine's also more than the status quo: not strong, but definitely more than mild.

So, that's the better points, and here's a low point: after smoking a bowl I'm left with a taste in my mouth like wet tarmac/asphalt: this reduces the rating.

I'd give this three stars if it weren't for the aftertaste. It doesn't warrant only one star, but it can't have any more than two:

Somewhat recommended.

Pipe Used: Comoy's Elegance

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

Short black ribbons with a vague prune aroma, once lit BV is lightweight in nicotine and mildly sweet with a faint fruity note without any variation of flavors. Not bad but boring after a while and, despite the blandness, room note is quite stale and a bit tarry. Fresh from the can it is too moist but when dried it burns effortless without bites, indeed it is useful on blending (e.g. to tame too strongly flavoured and/or biting aromatics) but good things end there. I ain’t gonna buy it again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

krg1000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
krg1000 (180)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Another very good product from Rattray. Some might find this one a bit boring with no real fireworks being preformed on your taste buds. A very good blend for what it is. It lights very easily and stays lit easily as well. This burns down to a nice ash at the bottom of the bowl. The moisture level upon popping the tin is just right for me, YMMV. All in all, a recommended blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Ser Jacopo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ser Jacopo (3)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Tolerable

Rattray's BV is a very special tobacco which needs a lot of attention when smoking. Filling the pipe is easy, when it is not to new in the tin, you can stick it heavy in the pipe. You need this to get it lit for longer than 3 minutes. It burns cool but to heavy sucking on your bit will end in a good tongue bite. My experience is that it burn totally into light grey ashes. So it's very helpfull to smoke in a new pipe. There are no or little problems with moisture in the stem. When you like a very light sweet tobacco taste, it's a fantastic tobacco when smoked wright.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Stanwell, Big Ben & Petersons

Age When Smoked: Over 1 year, when I can believe the supplier

Purchased From: Little tobacco shop in Herzogenrath, Germany

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend smelled weak in the tin so I was hoping it might knock me over with some great depth of flavor. Well that didn't happen. This lit well and smoked fine, but where is the flavor? It wasn't just weak it wasn't present at all. What a disappointment.

Smoke in Peace.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tuckers Gpa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tuckers Gpa (29)
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a good VA Cavendish that can be smoked either stand alone or as others have mentioned,a somewhat expensive mixer. Very mild, very soft flavors of plums and its a slightly sweet, making this an extreme example of mild VA Cavendish. An all dayer, this is a good smoke for the summer. Not heavy nor gloopy, just a clean mild smoke. She Who Must Be Obeyed has stated this is "not offensive, but really not much aroma at all." I was expecting more VA and less steam/stove/cavendish and for it to carry over into this. No such luck. Feel like this couldve been accomplished in a far less expensive arrangement. I will celler the remainder. For another day...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bryantm3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bryantm3 (29)
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

This is an expensive blending tobacco— that's all I can see this as. It's a Virginia-based unsweetened Cavendish that will bore you to death. I wouldn't give it one star because that rating really belongs to most of the 'blends' produced by Altadis and Tinderbox. The taste is not terrible, it's just that there is nothing going on— an extremely mild caramel taste is the only thing present.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Plus Twos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Plus Twos (6)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Despite its extremely dark colour there is no roughness but a pleasant tang - just the thing for an early morning smoke with a cup of coffee.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (225)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

I first tried this in the 1980s thinking it would be similar to the Tinderbox's Captain Spice. Boy, was I wrong! First off, there was little if any tin aroma. Second, it wasn't jet black like the Spice. Third, it was a bugger to keep lit. Finally, little to no taste. Not sweet at all, occasionally a whiff of that hay-like barn smell, but not much. I was quite disappointed to say the least. If Tobaccoreviews existed then - a 1 star rating.

Over the years as my experience in pipe smoking grew, I would from time to time try Black Virginia. I came to appreciate it for what it was - a mild, stoved or steamed Virginia, nothing more, nothing less. I would dry this out in the tin for days at a time and this helped to reduce the frequency of re-lights. With slow smoking I sometimes experienced the subtle hay-like taste in an otherwise bland tasting blend. All in all, if you want something very mild with an at times very subtle flavor, and if you are willing to dry this stuff out sufficiently for smoking, this may suit you. As such, only somewhat recommended. For this piper after nearly 34 years of pipe smoking, not a re-visit for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

BV has been the latest (and previously unattempted) trip to Rattray's Va's dept.

At the opening of the lid I realized right away that this almost black stoved Va shares the most with Rattray's Dark Fragrant, having the latter just a smidgen of Perique and maybe a bit pronounced casing.

The contents of my 100grms tin was not moist, I found the tobacco just ready to smoke and - differently from other esteemed reviewer - I haven't faced any kind of efforts, nor steam and hot pipe.

I have basically appreciated BV, giving an easy (non complex) smoke with the lightest hint of fruity sweetness. I see BV as a no-nonsense tobacco, perfectly fitting its intended task for those moments one looks for a mild Va smoke.

Regarding myself, I could easily rate it * (the same to DF and McC's Maduro) if they just had a wee bit more body.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

It does need a little more attention to keep it going, and the rewards are not really worth the effort. Although certainly entirely uncased, there is a natural liquorice- like flavour to Black Virginia, but other than that, it's a bit tedious. I find it draining on both the palate and general constitution. Next morning, my mouth felt very ‘ashy', so the smoke on this must be very heavy. Besides the widely noted extra effort in keeping it alight, the actual smoking is not unpleasant (for one bowlful when otherwise feeling fit and up for anything), but it's not very inspiring either.

The only way I would ever smoke this again is mixed with something else. I'm trying a blend of 5 parts Samuel Gawith's ‘Golden Glow' (aka Medium Virginia Flake) to 2 parts Black Virginia (by weight). The hay/grassy light quality of the GG is not on the face of it an obvious match for the liquorice of the BV, but it works quite nicely. I like the ‘Black & Gold' concept that comes with this blending, and the light and dark flavours makes for a smoke of greater dimensions than offered by either tobacco unmixed. This is my first go at blending, and I wonder whether a dash of perique might make it something more heroic. I'd be interested to hear of other blends by other smokers here using Black Virginia.

On its own, this is a two star tobacco - in my GG blend, it's an interesting three star (my blend is, of course, four star).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1280)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This blend smelled great in the 100 gram tin and seemed very promising. I'm not going to tell you how much I paid for this, too embarassed. Well what this smelled like in the tin (dried prunes, sweet, hay-like) did not really translate to anything with any depth or even pleasantness in its monogustation and olfaction. Too mild for me, not satisfying at all and no nicotine thrill whatsoever. This was bland, boring and I was surprised Rattray would put this out. I see by the other reviews that this is not well liked...I wish I would have looked here before trying this I could have saved $@*%$ :) Sorry not telling, but I really made a bad call on this one...hell you gotta try new stuff anyway and not just rely on reviews..but man...what a waste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As Black Mallory, I've tried this one only in bulk.

I'm sure it's a nice tobacco, the only disadvantage is that it took way too long to smoke a pipeful, and a small one, that is.

Smoked unmixed, this bakkie requires a lot of attention to remain lit and smoked way too slow for my own preferences. But the taste was very pleasant, full and just a bit sweet.

Smoked mixed with something else, it doesn't really stick out but rather stays in the background.

Too bad, the tin aroma was nice, a bit of dried figs and semi bitter chocalate, with the aroma of pure aged VA.

If you like to spend hors smoking a pipeful, and solely pay attention to your pipeful, this bakkie is for you.

A shame, and a pity. I will try it with a different mixture and review again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

calavera Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
calavera (26)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This one is good, but the taste is somewhat ethereal. Through the wisps of smoke, an occasional tangy sweetness dances at the edge of the palate. Never as much as I want, but always enough to keep me coming back for another try. My tin dried out fairly quickly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

10/07/2005 As a major consumer of Rattray's fine pipe tobaccos, I was let down by this one. First I must say I have not been a lover of Stoved Virginias. They may be too subtle for my less-experienced palate. I will follow the advice of some of the other esteemed reviewers and dry the heck out of this tobacco. Otherwise it may take me a number of years to work my way through the 100 gram tin. Will update after the drying-testing process is completed. 02/08/2006: I have smoked eight of the eighteen blends listed in this section and this is the only disappointment of the lot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Meerschaum Man Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Meerschaum Man (85)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is difficult for me to smoke. The stoving leaves an oily residue that stains the fingers and presents problems with trying to keep it lit while not getting tongue bite that Virginia leaf is notorious for. It mixes favorably with Hal 'O the Wynd without excessive taste clashing. The only way I can appreciate smoking it is to let it dry for a couple of days outside the can. I guess I've learned that I'm not a zealot for stoved tobacco.

Meerschaum Man Smoking an old noname Meer

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This stuff bites my tongue regardless of the moisture level in the tobacco. The taste is flat, somewhat spicy for such a one dimensional virginia (is there some flavoring added?)and I can't get past the bitiness...

With all the good va's on the market (stoved or not) I sure can't recommend this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Cactus John Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Cactus John (34)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

This is a nice tobacco but a little strong for me. I like stoved virginias but this one didn't have any of the sweetness usually found in a stoved virgina. This one wouldn't be good for a beginner smoker or someone starting out with virgina tobaccos. It would be good for someone looking for a full bodied virgina. It might be better with about 10 years of age on it. But just not my idea of a every day smoke. It burned good and never got harsh. I liked everything about this tobacco except the strength.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I agree completely with Beer on this one. I will note that I opened a 100-gram tin at least two years ago, and it is still a bit damp for smoking. In that time, I have smoked about 50 grams of the tobacco. I suspect I will continue to nibble at this tobacco for few more years, mostly out of curiosity to see if it ever dries out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Keeper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Keeper (112)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I found the start of this bowl better than the midway or finish. It is top quality leaf which emits a nutty, tangy taste to start. This gradually develops notes of cigarette, mustiness, and a hint of chestnut.

This is a good tobacco, but out of all the dark stove blends I've tried, I don't think this rates as highly as Stonehaven or Dark Star.

It is a different leaf - erring more on the side of strong, straight tobacco flavor than the other two mentioned offerings.

Towards the end I detect a bitterness not unlike a burley blend. Though I don't find this bad, this isn't really the experience I am looking for when smoking stoved VA.

Good. I'd smoke it again, but I don't plan to stock up.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tonyg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tonyg (103)
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If I could by this tobacco by the pipefull, I'd buy about one a year. A tasty tobacco that just does not come up to the standards of other stoved tobaccos such as Dark Star, McClelland's 2035 and my all time favorite: Stonehaven.

All of Rattray's non stoved Virginia tobaccos are excellent. I suggest they leave the stoving to others.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joe Patterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joe Patterson (48)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like the sweetness of a straight (red) VA or the tanginess of a stoved VA you should give this one a whirl.

There's a great tin aroma reminding me of nothing other than raisins, slightly sticky to the touch and coal black. It looks almost intimidating, but fear not, for this is a VA of little strength and full flavor.

I lay it out on a paper towel for at lest an hour or two before loading the pipe (as this comes quite wet in the can) until the leaves are almost crunchy. Bottom of the bowl gets gravity fed and as the bowl fills, I pack it tighter and tighter to the top. Light it up and get ready for a great smoke. Two cautions: 1) if not allowed to dry considerably, this blend will eat a package of pipe cleaners and not stay lit; 2) if you puff too fast, you'll get a mouth full of flavorless steam and scorch your tounge. (I did each of these once.)

Dry it, puff slowly, enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

A surprisingly mild dark Virginia. Not a very sweet Va, it never exhibited the ?grassy sweet? taste that some Va?s do. BV burns evenly and dry. A very mild flavor.

I personally like the grassy sweet taste in my Va smokes. This one left me wanting.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

omegapd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
omegapd (81)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Like WxGuy said above, this is one blend from Rattrays that I found to be very inconsistent. My tins have all been extremely wet when opening and take a long while to dry out- compared to other reviewers saying their tins were dry from the start.

An almost all black short ribbon cut, it loads easily and lights hard due to the moisture. If I can, I plan ahead and fill a bowl a few hours before smoking and that usually helps. The tin aroma is mild but very much like raisins. The flavor is sweet and somewhat musty and moisture builds up right from the get-go.

You gotta like these black Virginias to like this stuff. It's not bad, but nothing exceptional. If I were to buy and smoke this type of tobacco all the time, I'd go with McC 2035 in bulk. They all taste the same to me...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Upon openning the can I found the deepest black Virginia with very little to no aroma. I have had three bowls of this delightful but yet very mild tobacco, but I find it smokes better in a smaller bowl than a large bowl.

I could not detect but maybe a hint of a tangy aroma when I lit a match to the tobacco as I'm use to smoking aromatics with Vanilla cases. As a smoker of pipe tobaccos who enjoys a good Virginia I had to try this tobacco, I found really no tongue bite but I did notice a bit of dry mouth as I kept ice water close by and this may have been the result of the 108 degree tempatures we have been experiencing.

There is one thing, this is a Virginia and has to be smoked as such; Very Slow, as I did notice my Peterson getting a bit warm. Very enjoyable will keep this on hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Flyersfan_92 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flyersfan_92 (10)
Mild Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening this tobacco i found very little aroma at all, and the tobacco was jet black mostly, with a little brown here and there. The tobacco was definately dry for rattrays.

THe tobacco packed and lit easily, and produced a nice grey ash. the initial flavors were the musty sweet flavor of virginias, wit a little sweetness too boot, bu they quicky faded and it became a hot and boring smoke. No matter how slow i puffed or if i put it down and relighted it just attacked my tounge like an agitated viper. IF you try this one, try a coencob or a clay pipe to keep it cool.

This is the first tobacco i tried that i really did not like at all, oh well there are alot of other fish in the sea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

It really is dead black, quite sweet in aroma, smelling like raisins more than tobacco. A bit moist, and hard to light, even after drying it. The flavor is not as full as Dark Fragrant to my taste, so I will stick to DF in the future.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sceny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sceny (66)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is the type of Virginia tobacco that I really enjoy: dark, flavorful, and sweet. It compares nicely to Dark Star by McClelland, though DS is more complex and flavorful. With a bit of caution to avoid tongue bite, the only problem I notice is some moisture while smoking. The smell in the tin is sweet and "dark", not really musty at all. The leaf is very dark, a shiny jet black with a small amount of dark brown providing visual contrast. The cut is varying, short to medium with several unrubbed chunks mixed in. It is a dry tobacco, somewhere between GL Pease and Cornell & Diehl on the moisture scale. It packs very easily and lights fairly well, burning with an average number of relights needed once lit. In the first third of the bowl, the taste is sweet and smooth and the smoke is cool. There is some bite, though, right from the beginning, requiring care in smoking. The Virginia flavor, while not very complex, is nevertheless dark and good, an excellent compliment to the natural sweetness present. That sweetness is also balanced by a background note of sourness. There are some minor moisture problems at the end of this third, but a pipe cleaner takes care of them. In the second third, the sweetness is not as quite strong, and I don't notice the sourness anymore. The Virginia flavor is fairly dark and rich, but still not overly full or complex. This is not a bad thing, since the overall taste is very good and far from one-dimensional; it reminds me a lot of McClelland's Dark Star, though not as full. The fairly minor bite from the first third seems to have vanished here, and the smoke remains smooth, though there is still some moisture gurgle. In the final 1/3 of the bowl, the flavor stays pretty much the same, sweet and dark. There is some additional complexity present here, especially if DGT is used. This blend isn't as full or complex as Dark Star, but it is very good in its own right. There is also not much moisture left in the bottom of the bowl after smoking. Overall, I enjoyed smoking this and I will continue to do so in the future. This has almost everything I love in a Virginia tobacco, lacking only a bit of complexity which would put it into the "outstanding" category. The only problem I see with this blend is the moisture during the smoke, though it isn't excessive. An excellent tobacco!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pokrsmokr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pokrsmokr (32)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Rattray's Dark Virginia is an interesting change of pace. The tobacco is jet black and quite dry (compared to other Rattrays) and has a sweet tangy tin aroma, though very subtle. It packs very easily and lights well. The flavor is rather one dimensional but it is quite enjoyable being sweet with a tangy citrus quality. It's not very hearty in the nicotine department but is an enjoyable smoek, though I could not imagine it as an all day smoker. It burns very cool and leaves a nice ash.

Some friends and I have made our own Half & Half mixture using Black Virginia and Cyprian latakia which we call Black Lung. I am curious to see how Black virgina responds to aging and I have two tins put aside for just that purpose. I'll re-review it in a few years I guess. :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.