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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
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Extremely Mild
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 1 Users

54 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
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.

7 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.

7 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.

4 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.

4 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

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.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
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.

3 people 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

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
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 (839)
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.

Darth 69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darth 69 (107)
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.

1 person found this review helpful.

MikeHaggarKJ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MikeHaggarKJ (22)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to 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. Licorice notes are most present mid-bowl, with the beginning being a bit more fermented-fruit sour (in a good way). The fact that isn't very powerful in flavour is what allows for the complexity I perceive. No flavours are strong enough to overpower any other. It's mild without being flat. Perfect!

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!

1 person 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.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
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.

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.

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.

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.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
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.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (227)
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 (187)
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.

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.

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.