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Exhilarating and elusive, quaint and seductive. Prepared from choice red Virginias and heavily flavored with Orientals, giving it a red tinge. It burns in the pipe with the spontaneity of a fine cigar.

New description: A charming, perfectly balanced dark mixture of Virginia tobaccos, Orientals, black cavendish and a luxurious quantity of latakia. The ash is pale grey and similar to that of a good cigar. A wonderful, spicy mixture.

Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeScottish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Iwan Ries
Product Image
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Room Note

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Croaker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Croaker (13)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Based on strong endorsements from this web site, I purchased this as one of several "oriental" blends. I searched for the merits of a Virginia-Turkish blend: an English without latakia. I opened the tin and instantly detected the earthy smell of latakia in a ribbon-cut blend. The tobacco was a bit moist out of the tin; however, it was dry enough to stuff and light immediately. To my unpleasant surprise, I noted the unwanted light latakia which, nevertheless, failing to add any real flavor to a particularly flat blend. Still, Red Rapparee exhibited good burning characteristics and never bit my tongue despite my quick, abusive, smoking in search of flavor. I put the tin away and attributed the good reviews to that Latin expression concerning arguments about preferences.

Months passed and I found myself with a dozen-odd half empty tobaccos tins. Thrift demanded that I finish at least some of the half-full tins to justify my next internet order. And so I picked the Red Rapparee tin -- it had the most tobacco left -- and selected a pipe. I filled a large-bowled pipe to combat the expected flatness, a silver-spigot billiard, and sat down at my computer.

The months-old Red Rapparee produced some of the best smokes I have enjoyed. I don't know how the transformation from flat to great worked: more oxygen, a larger bowl (others have noted the tobaccos' sensitivity to pipes), or a bizarre change in my preferences. What I do know is that Red Rapparee is a wonderful light-medium Balkan. I found a somewhat sweet and tangy Virginia base countered by smooth orientals; the latakia was a light condiment which augmented the whole smoke with a leathery richness. Red Rapparee is perfectly blended. Every time I smoked this I was completely absorbed by the flavor and nicotine. This has more nicotine than many similar blends.

If a blender charges a lot for blend I expect a lot. I'm quite stingy with stars. I strongly recommend this to any reader: I hope someone might enjoy this as much as I.

31 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

The red Virginia has little dark fruit sweetness, but offers the tangy, earthy qualities one expects. The sugary black cavendish is a middling player, and is unsweetened so there's no vanilla taste here. The Oriental/Turkish offers some spice, dryness, wood, and strength without strong arming the other tobaccos. Cyprian latakia is a minor player, offering smokey and light woodsy notes for complexity, and balance for the Turkish. Has a slightly more than mild nic-hit. No chance of bite or harshness. Well balanced with enough contrast to make it an interesting, repeatable smoke. Burns clean and cool with a consistent flavor, and leaves very little moisture at the finish. Needs an average number of relights.

26 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (203)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is an excellent mixture. The tin note is a sweet fermented fruit scent with a delicate smokiness underneath. Overall it's a touch too moist from the tin and without some dry time it smokes a bit steamy. The cut is reminiscent of blends like Margate, with long stringy-thin ribbons that could almost be considered shag.

As far as flavor goes, Red Rapparee is chock full of subtle spicy flavors and has a slightly bitter warm bread-like quality to it. The smoke is exceptionally cool and smooth, and it's lighter in body than I expected.

Like any good English the flavor of Red Rapparee builds nicely as the bowl progresses, and a sweet mustiness appears around the mid-bowl point. This is accompanied by a more assertive spiciness that's quite delectable. The Latakia is done to perfection and lends buoyancy to an array of light VA and oriental tobacco flavors that are primarily sweet and warm in tone.

I really like this blend and it works on a lot of levels. It's mild enough to smoke any time, yet despite being lighter in body it still has enough flavor and complexity to make it a great option for when I am craving something that has a bit more going on.

I should also mention that Red Rapparee makes for a superb morning blend. Frankly this is everything I was hoping Early Morning Pipe would be. Every so often I smoke a blend that has a truly remarkable end bowl flavor, RR is one of them. It's easy to see why this mixture is such a classic.

21 people found this review helpful.

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

Let me start out by saying that this was one of my favorite blends for many years. The others were Rattray's Black Mallory, John Cotton's #1 Mild, and Sobranie's Virginia Flake. I was devastated when Rattray was taken over by a Danish company who proceeded to change all the blends to Danish style. Recently, I had heard that the new owners had restored the English style, and had to try it again. They seem to have hit a Home Run.

Appearance: Generally short, slightly fine cut ribbon with about 40% red/brown leaf, 40% dark and 20% lighter leaf. I could not determine if all of the dark leaf is Latakia, or if some of it is Dark Cavendish. The blend was just a bit moister than I prefer, but was smokeable right from the can.

Aroma: The aroma is that of a fairly full English/Oriental blend, rich and smokey but not particularly spicy. The blend seems to be well matured, so that individual components do not jump up and shout out their presence. In other words, they all play well with others. I remember RR having a slightly more piquant aroma (almost like a touch of vinegar), but this could be owing to the German method of steaming their tobacco to take off the rough edges. The aroma reminded me somewhat of Black Mallory (can't complain about that).

Packing: This is a fairly fine cut, so it packed easily in any size pipe that I tried. I tend to use the "drop a pinch and tap the side" method for non-flake blends, and it works very well with this one.

Lighting: The blend lit easily, taking a char readily and starting to smoke before tamping. A quick tamp and relight and the pipe was ready to enjoy.

Initial flavor: The flavor was right up front, full bodied and dense tasting. Nothing too subtle about it, the rich sweetness of red Virginia balanced the smokiness of the Latakia, and the spicy Oriental stayed slightly in the background. Slow puffing gave me nice layers of flavor, one or another of the ingredients always popping up to remind me of its presence.

Mid-bowl: The flavor stayed consistent through the second third of the smoke, continuing to yield a variety of delightful impressions. There was absolutely no gurgle, or trace of steam to contend with, and it remained cool to the tongue.

Finish: There was a slight intensification of the flavor and strength at the bottom of the bowl, but it never became harsh or wet. It burned to the bottom with only a few relights at the end, leaving a fine, darkish gray ash which clung to the sides of the bowl.

Tried in the following pipes: Because of nostalgia and reputation, I passed on the cobs and went right for a Castello Sea Rock KKK #31. This was a perfect choice for the blend, but this pipe burns everything well. Next pipe was a large GBD Prehistoric Billiard which has not been fully broken in. After letting the tobacco air out for about 30 minutes before loading the pipe, I got the same results. Ditto for a large Becker & Musico Apple. So far, I haven't tried it it any group 3 or 4 pipes, the blend seems to want a larger bowl.

Summary: This is a wonderful tobacco, but not necessarily the Red Rapparee of old. It appears to be just a bit richer than the original, but not overwhelming. It is not a blend for "all day" constant puffing, but I would recommend it for quiet moments at any time of day, weekend mornings with a good cup of your favorite coffee or tea, taking a walk, listening to good music, etc! In other words, I plain LOVED it.

17 people found this review helpful.

Kashmir Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kashmir (20)
Medium Mild to Medium Very Full Strong

Rattray's Red Rapparee does indeed contain Latakia. This is the blurb that accompanies the tin on the little round booklet: "A charming, perfectly balanced dark mixture of Virginia tobaccos, Orientals, Black Cavendish and a luxurious quantity of Latakia. The ash is pale grey and similar to that of a good cigar. A wonderful spicy mixture". Note: RRR does NOT contain cigar leaf, but DOES contain a "luxurious quantity of Latakia". Hope this clarifies things for all those preceding reviewers who detect cigar leaf, or who detect Latakia but are surprised it is not listed by Tobacco Reviews above in the blend composition. Typo I presume. I have gone through the better part of a 100g tin now, and, being a certified Latakiophile, I think I've found my Holy Grail. I consume a pound a month of Star of the East and Westminster. Also quite a bit of London Mixture. And I clench pipe and sip slowly for a flavorful cool smoulder. RRR does not disappoint. The addition of Scottish Cavendish to RRR reminds me a bit of Dunhill's 965, but here the flavors are much more pronounced than in 965. I can see a slight lineage to Black Mallory, but RRR has a greater Oriental component to it. Shades of chocolate covered salty pretzel indeed, as previously stated. Add to that a dollop of saddle leather and beef jerkey and at a slow cadence this blend really sings. No diminution as the bowl progresses either. The blend holds its flavor profile strongly all the way to its ashy end at bowl's bottom. A word of caution, this blend is very pipe sensitive. I've found the best results in narrow billiard and chimneys, about group 3 to 4 in size. Wide pots do this blend a disservice. The slower the smoking cadence the stronger the flavor profile here. A very fine blend. Can't wait to see how it ages. A four star recommendation.

13 people found this review helpful.

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

Not much to add to the other reviews. I consider this to be one of the very few "genius blends" and deserves a place atop the pinnacle with the likes of Escudo and Dunhill 965 - not that this tastes like those two.

The only real thing to add is the cellaring aspect. I now buy this in bulk but I've also cellared a couple of tins that have been simmering for several years. It ages like the masterpiece it is. A few years on this blend takes it to the ambrosial level where if you were only a latakia/oriental smoker, you'd need look no further.

The House of Rattray created the perfect oriental blend and KK&C continue that fine tradition. Four stars is not nearly enough.

11 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (152)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Strong

This blend once opened has a strong sweet aroma.dark compoments incline a smoking pleasure and so it is!.comes out a bit moist.can be smoked as it is or dried out a bit.the flavours were the same to me.packs and lights ok.while smoking the real warrior comes out.orientals are the main players,red virginias and latakia come as second players.woods,leather,coals,spices ,dark fruits and sweet notes are combined to a complex and very satisfying smoking experience.some times i got some cigar notes.burns slow and harshness and biting.the nicotine level is medium.the room note is somewhat unpleasant wich is the only bad i found about this blend.burns to total grey ash.not an all day smoke.indeed this is an enhanced version of 7 reserve.i totally recommend this blend.

Age When Smoked: Straight from the tin

6 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1643)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Rattray - Red Rapparee.

The initial aroma I find great, it's quite a raw tobacco smell with a slight citrus hint in there too. The blend is really impressive in the moistness, I just know it will give a pleasing burn!

Igniting is really simple because of the moistness and once lit the burn is very consistent, needing hardly any re-lights whilst leaving a pale cigar like ash. The temperature of the smoke I find great, I would describe it as medium in that department. Flavour now: awesome! I would, by no means describe this as a Lat-bomb, more of a "well rounded" mixture that allows all of its constituents to shine. The Latakia isn't unnoticeable, it seems to me to be just the right amount of smokiness. The Black Cavendish's sweetness is again spot on, not too sugary or gloopy, in fact just the right amount of it! The Oriental sourness comes through at a great volume , not tongue twisting but a good quantity of scintillation. The Virginia is pleasantly noticeable all along, a decent and steady orthodox hay note, but again, not at all pre-eminent. The Vitamin N is unequivocally great: satisfying and not disappointing nor stomach churning . The room-note is again lovely: not too much, not too thick and a good detection of all the tobaccos. The only negative is this one does tend to bite me a little so I find gently sipping this one to be an expedient tactic, but of course we all vary for that so the bite is merely a subjective poin !

I find this one to be the quintessential "all day" smoke: not bland, boring, strong, overpowering, or sickly at all. In fact it's a very steady, satisfying and easy tasting smoke!

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Comoys Elegance

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

6 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Perth-blended Red Rapparee was my first staple pipe tobacco. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth when word came down that Rattray was out-sourcing their US allotments to Robert McConnell. And now I am reviewing this version of RR from Kolhase und Kopp. Who knows for sure if I even really remember the older versions; but if I do then original RR was somewhat stronger, and zestier, with more individual swagger from its varietals, and without “incense” from its Latakia. But That was Then, and This is Now. Here and Now, the tobaccos in a popped tin of K&K RR smell quite melded, along with some overripe dates and apricots, some anise, and maybe a drop or two of spirits (fruit schnapps?) added, for good measure. The Latakia smoke scent is only forward for the first minute or two, then the fermented, earthy, lightly stoved VAs and the loamy, exotic Orientals come to the top, as ever, with the sweet-and-sour Cav hanging back, still holding hands with the Orientals. Lighting up, the new lot remains more of-a-piece than the older stuff, as I recall. The aromas and the flavors still coincide with my idea of a medium English, with “enough” well-tempered Latakia, and well-developed, TOP Orientals rising just over tasty, earthy, and sweet-enough red VAs, which, though hardly limp-wristed, are not so piquant and assertive as before. I can’t say I well remember the original Cav, except it was never the star; nor is it now. Somehow, it seems to add body, though, and I do like the sweet-and-sour effect that works a treat here with the mellow-but-still-spicy and slightly gamy Turkish/Oriental leaf. In fact, each and every tobacco in this blend plays an important part from beginning to end, which, after all, is the idea of a blend in the first place (,non?). One interesting “effect” sported by today’s RR: Though the aromas are well aligned with the tastes as both develop, they are not perfectly aligned, and at any given time there can be a mild, fleeting sort of smell/taste “discord”, like jazz chords, as it were; nothing over the top, in keeping with the new RR’s overall smoother profile and “traditional” aesthetic; but nice, IMO. The ribbons light and burn down fine for me right out of the tin, if they’re packed and tamped authoritatively, as ever. Strength is just over mild, and tastes are medium. I still like the room note a lot; however, my wife never let me smoke it in the house, Then or Now. Aftertaste is the best of the smoke, only sweeter, and it trails off with a sweet, smoky, slightly metallic quality, still sweet & sour, with a slight, bracing bitterness, overall. RR still develops very nicely in a jar over time, as ever (though differently now).

Perhaps it’s not really helpful - or realistic - to try to compare memories of old, bygone blends to today’s versions. Fortunately, despite the changes, RR has survived basically intact. It was and it remains an exemplary English blend, with real, Old School quality, balance, and smoke-ability. Among the changes, there might be just a smidgeon of something non-tobacco in there now; but it "works", IMO, no harm, no foul. Withal, we’ve got to round the fractions here, and what remains of RR is still good enough to net 4 stars from me, and this more because of than despite the ever-growing ranks of “adequate” medium English blends. BTW, RR is one of only a few “mild” pipe tobaccos that satisfy me, albeit I’ve been known to go back for seconds, sooner rather than later.

Pipe Used: various briars; generally larger bowls

Age When Smoked: fresh from the tin to 8 months in a jar

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Contrast to GLP Kensington.

6 people found this review helpful.

oldcodger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldcodger (71)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A Rapparee was an Irish (not Scottish!) highwayman. I have no idea what a Red Rapparee was (or is). But Red Rapparee pipe tobacco is the flagship blend of Rattray's of Scotland. Rattray's has not been produced in Scotland for many decades and now comes from Kohlhase Kopp and Company in Germany.

In the tin RR comes as a fairly fine short ribbon of varied colors--dark, tan, and light. A base of not particularly sweet Virginia and unsweetened dark Cavendish is enhanced with Turkish/oriental and latakia. The manufacturers assure you that this is a "luxurious quantity" of latakia. It isn't. The latakia lurks in the background of the taste.

The Turkish/oriental is absolutely front and center. The relatively small latakia component allows the room note to be pleasant enough as not to annoy any but the most persnickety of non smokers.

Before burning to a dry, white ash, the mixture exhibits some variance in taste. The orientals are always present. The Virginia/Cavendish varies in intensity. The latakia also varies from clearly perceptible to barely perceptible.

Some veteran pipe smokers grouse that Red Rapparee is a far different tobacco now that it is produced out of Scotland. Although I was a pipe smoker in that era, I never smoked the Scottish version. I have smoked the English produced version that predates the current manufacturer. I detect no great difference between the two that I have smoked. I find this to be a pleasant and rewarding smoke, worthy of full attention while consuming a slow burning pipe full.

6 people found this review helpful.

leadtungstate Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
leadtungstate (2)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is a tobacco purchased in 100 gr box and smoked as it came out without drying. I smoke it using Peterson pipes with a 9 mm filter.

I am a not so experienced pipe smoker who prefers the taste of English blends and I usually smoke Dunhill's EMP, MM965, Nightcap, Davidoff's Royalty. I find Red Rapparee having an excellent taste that I find most superior for my taste at least with respect to any other tobacco I have tried. One particular feature that I like is that for some tobacco's I find that I always need to drink something to wash my mouth to prevent that sour tongue feeling after a while. RR is smooth and I find it that I could smoke it without that. The only negative feature that I find is that it burns quite hot or at least hotter than other blends like EMP. I definitely recommend it, it is an excellent tobacco.

Pipe Used: Peterson SH Mycroft; Peterson Darwin

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Geneva Davidoff shop, Switzerland

5 people found this review helpful.

Berthold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Berthold (4)
Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I'll get right to the point: This is a remarkably pleasant tobacco with a full oriental flavour without the slightest hint of harshness, even if smoked quick and hot . It really is quite extraordinary and has become my favorite blend after only a month of smoking it.

The can I bought is brand new, fresh packed by Kohlhase und Kopp. So if you would go out and buy a can of Red Rapparee right now, this is what you would get.

Pipe Used: various briar pipes

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

gladi8tor96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gladi8tor96 (133)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend in the tin reminds me of Black Mallory but a step lighter in color than the previous. One can smell less latakia as well, though it's definitely present. More red virginia sweetness entices the nose from the tin with this blend as well, giving hints of bread, earth, with a bit of hay and tang.

Packed very easily into the pipe and lit well. It remained lit and behaved itself wonderfully. Flavors of smokiness and earth tones balanced against the spice of orientals and natural sweetness for the first 1/4 of the bowl. After that the latakia dies down and the virginias, cavendish, and orientals take center stage. Flavors of natural sweetness, not overpowering, with some bread and earth with the balance of spice and incense, but ever so subtle.

This blend doesn't bite and has a wonderful finish. I'm a fan. It reminds me of a mid-day smoke similar to Meridian (since both have red va's and less latakia as their other sibling (Black-Mallory & Quiet Nights). An enticing and enjoyable blend that I will keep around for years to come.

Pipe Used: Billard, Corn-Cob

Age When Smoked: New from store

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: G. L. Pease - Meridian (Old London Series), Rattray - Black Mallory (British Collection).

4 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (170)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Classical English mixture. It doesn't excel, but it has no defects. The wish and the will are to realize a perfect English mixture, but really underneath it is still the same old thing. Mild in strenght. In my rating (from 0 to 10) my mark is 7 and two stars.

4 people found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
Medium None Detected Full Strong

Splendid stuff! Spicy, musty, rich aromas drift up as you open the tin, with just a hint of smokiness. I can spend ages just smelling ths stuff before I get round to loading a pipe. The red and brown ribbon cut packs with ease if you tease the strands apart a little first, and a single match will kindle it with no trouble, which surprised me considering that it is packed quite moist.

The flavour is dominated by the orientals, savoury, spiced and delicious. A hint of sweetness is provided by the virginias and there seems to be an elusive smokiness somewhere in the background. It has been suggested that this blend contains no Latakia, but I suspect there may be some fired leaf in there. In any case, this is not like miost of the Latakia dominated English blends, the stronged characteristic is the orientals.

The aroma, too is rather different to most English mixtures, very pungent but without the campfire smell. Rather pleasant I think, there are probably those who would disagree.

Personally I like to smoke this stuff quite moist. There was a time when I carefully dried all my English mixtures, as it made the Latakia taste stand out. Orientals definitely work better a little moist, so don't risk loosing this blends seductive complexity drying it out- If you have trouble keeping it lit, just light it again, it doesnt suffer for it.

Highly recommended. To everybody.

4 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

RRR was for many years?along with NIGHTCAP?my standard evening choice. Rather Stoic-tasting red Virginia is married to very abundant Latakia by a couch of Turkish condimentals, all flavours providing a very large spectrum of taste. It is a potent tobacco, not for grannies. If your chosen post-prandial drink is Amaretto or Southern Comfort, you will not enjoy RRR. If you like harsh, peaty single-malt whiskeys, or fiery Armagnac, this is your blend: it will keep you from dozing off at the dinner table, that's for sure!

To be perfectly candid, I enjoy extreme tastes, or highly-flavoured food, less than I used to in my [non!]salad days. Eulenburg is much more likely to smoke a Virginia flake washed down by some very smooth cognac nowadays. But this is still One Of The Greats.

4 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (112)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin note is sweet, tangy Virginia's with smokey Latakia in the background. Stuffing your nose in the tin and breathing there for a minute or 5, you get some spicy and woody orientals. This is one of the most interesting and unique tobacco blends I have encountered. This is best in a large bowl but good in all. I am not sure what I was expecting but this wasn't it. The red VA and Orientals are the stars of this show. There is a tanginess and earthiness the underlie the entire smoke. It is really great. There is also spiciness and bready and malty flavors that are backed by a sweet smokiness from the Latakia. There is something else...a flavor I cannot name, and I have tried, that is there maybe a mustiness almost like good mushrooms that is there especially on the retrohale. A one of a kind blend for Balkan and Oriental lovers alike.

Pipe Used: Briar's and cobs

Age When Smoked: fresh tin

3 people found this review helpful.

tschenyinkoh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tschenyinkoh (51)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Yes, Rattray always makes the best Scottish Blend in the world.

It teaches mediocre American blenders how to add the Black Cavendish.

Old classic legend, solid four stars.

Pipe Used: churchwarden

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: 100g tins from smokingpipes

3 people found this review helpful.

Swiss-smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Swiss-smoker (62)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

On my latest Pipe Club meeting a fellow-member offered us one of his treasures: a RED RAPPAREE of 1974. He carefully kept the tin sealed and cellared for 42 years! Of course, this old-timer is appreciably different from a new one. Pleasant tin note and perfect moisture.

RR is a mild English Mixture. Ageing obviously mellowed the blend. No peaks, no rough edges, just like a soft pillow. Well balanced, not digging deep though, but still offering a complex aroma palette. Each tobacco can easily be identified. Latakia plays a reserved role, accompanying the mild-spicy, rounded-off Orientals. All outstandingly harmonious. The natural tobacco-sweetness has become really delicious through ageing. And there is also this quaint, hidden, kind of soury, outmoded taste, so typical to real vintage blends. What a wonderful experience!

Age When Smoked: 42 years !

3 people found this review helpful.

Smokedinacob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smokedinacob (8)
Medium None Detected Full Strong

Red Rapparee, at least the only version I have smoked (K, K, and Co) comes in proper uniform fine ribbons. This alone endears it to me. The cut makes the tobacco extremely easy to work with. It is a good mixture, which means it has lots of diverse flavors that are pleasing because they both contrast and support one another.

If I were to posit that English mixtures contain four basic flavor elements present in some particular character, strength, and proportion to one another (coffee stout, campfire, cinnamon/spice, and incense), AND that Dunhill's London Mixture has these four in precisely equal proportion, then I would also say that Red Rapparee is balanced heavily to the coffee stout and campfire points of the compass in comparison. It is rich, sweet, and complex, with chocolate, coffee, and woodsmoke flavors dominating, although there is a little spicy twang detectable. I think this flavor profile is common to most of the blends that have the word "Balkan" associated with them.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smoking pipes

3 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice balance between the Orientals and the Virginias with the Latakia in a supporting role providing some depth. Flavors are quite rich and spicy with ample sweetness. A nice, enjoyable medium bodied smoke.

Pipe Used: MM Freehand, MM General

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

ynrozturk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ynrozturk (60)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I'll just go ahead and say straight off the bat that this is a very, very nice blend. Earthy, warm, and packed full of flavor. The Latakia is present (Cyprus Latakia, I'm guessing - Syrian tends to be sweeter), the Orientals are present, and the Virginia gives a nice sweet backbone to the blend. Never burns hot, never bites. A very well behaved mixture.

Tin note is earthy and sweet, and the moisture out of the tin is absolutely perfect. Lighting and maintaining is also easy as can be. Light, tamp, light, then forget about it.

It's one of those blends that you can just enjoy without thinking about it too much. However, if you want to focus on it, there are plenty of subtle nuances you can pick up.

Very enjoyable tobacco indeed, I'd buy it again. Not quite enough oomph for me, but still very, very enjoyable, high quality tobacco.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

2 people found this review helpful.

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

This blend really hits it out of the park for me. The various components come together to form a blend that, for me, really says what a mild English is supposed to be. It comes out of the just opened tin a bit moist to some I am sure, but a little drying time will solve that. It lights easily enough and stays lit with little extra effort needed. The smell in the tin is just wonderful, as is the room note. This seems to burn on the slower side of things, which is fine with me. The more time to enjoy this fine blend, the better. When you work your way to the bottom of the bowl, there is a fine ash left with little else mixed in. The nicotine level is on the light side for me. All in all, highly recommended when its available in your neck of the woods.

2 people found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

Red Rapparee is a medium brown mixture with a share of dark, almost black tobaccos. It's a fine ribbon cut that feels rather soft, but not too moist.

The tin note is dominated by the smokiness of the Cypriotic Latakia it contains.

In order to fill my pipe I like to make small balls of tobacco, which I use to stuff the bowl rather loosely. After the charring light I level out the ashes before applying the true light.

To me this is a typical English blend. As far as taste is concerned, the peat fire smokiness of the Latakia and the floral spiciness of the Orientals are in the forefront with a distinct tangy sweetness of the Virginias and the Black Cavendish always in the background, which make Red Rapparee a mellow smoke. The tobacco dosn't require much attention, however, it should be enjoyed with leisure. As long as you smoke it coolly, there's no tongue bite whatsoever. It burns down evenly. leaving some greying, dry ash.

In spite of a certain sweetness from the Virginias and the Black Cavendish, the room note is quite fumy.

Pipe Used: Rattray's 110th Anniversary, Parker Prince

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local Tobacconist

2 people found this review helpful.

DoomDealer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoomDealer (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Red Rapparee ... I have no idea what 'rapparee' means, nor how it's pronounced correctly, but what I DO know is that this is about as close to perfect as it gets when it comes to a classic English/ Oriental blend.

Medium strength but with a full aroma. Complex and well behaved, this has pretty much everything you could want from an Oriental. Great stuff that will always be in my rotation.

Pipe Used: Peterson, Aldo Morelli, Ermanno Elite

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Brucciani Ltd

2 people found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (61)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable


Popping open the 50g round tin,the tin note is slightly reminicent of 'Punchbowle' a sort of smokey/light creosote with a fermented mango sour fruit pickle.

Appearance of tin contents is a tan/gingery brown for the main, with some bright lemon flecks,dark brown flecks,and the odd small broken flake traces. Mainly a fine ribbon short cut/rough cut.

Inhaling through the as yet unlit pipe for a guess taste, i get a dryish, woody oak sherry barrel, tangy-tan tobacco clue,which tastes like a serious medium weight tobacco, not dissimular to Petersons Irish Oak at this point actually.(I had been trying a new tin of Irish Oak just before this trial).

Lighting up i immediately get a slight herby onions from the oriental/or turkish within.No applied aromatic properties are in this,it seems like a strait natural tobacco and the fruity tin aroma may just be an accidental scent of the natural ingredients.

The strength picks up after the first 1/4"inch of combustion to deliver a vegetable soup tang akin to minestrone,,,swede?,,leek?,,vegetable stock?,, winter vegetables? which have maintained their natural raw rooty earthy mineral soil/tannin tangyness...

Comparisons at this point are somewhere between Dunhill LONDON MIXTURE,Robert McConnels's 'The Original ORIENTAL',but not quite as smokey or herbaceous(at this point).

Quite fullish taste,it doesn't taste airy,empty or gappy where i need to argue with it,or want to fill a taste gap,but light enough like an approachable soup compared to a full bloating vegetable stew(alegorically speaking of course).

I can't say i am blown away, but that doesn't mean anything is wrong,its just that the more brands i smoke,i feel i have met this one before and that it exists within certain quintessential discovered pillars i am already familiar with,and doesn't for me on this occasion offer any real new novelty.

Its a sensible smoke actually and what it says is interesting but not unique in this stage of my smoking exploration, but confirms like a 3rd oppinion of what i already think i know regarding what "Oriental" means as a type of pipe tobacco. When i rest the pipe for a moment i get a slight raw white cabbage finish in my mouth. It tastes mature and well fermented,age cured and leathery.

The nicotine maybe stronger here and obove medium(i have already been caning some Irish Oak before this test and am already nicotine filled,i suddenly got that warning cough which i don't think comes from Red Rapparee alone,but it has enough power here to be a finisher if i dont watch out!).

Without checking the ingredients my guess is Oriental/or Turkish with darker aged mature Virginia's,some earthy Burley body in the background which keeps the other dynamic duo in check and cools things down.

No bite,although it gets tangy in an onion/garlicy way. Yeasty-ish with sage and onion (paxo stuffing mix)... Being simular to a few contempories i already have ,its something i will reach for when i am in the general mood for an oriental like it,or when one or the other brands due to some hypothetical, unfathomable, atmospheric conditions (or just contempt from familiarity from overuse) is not delivering any novelty factor.

I am one who does like to do side by side test smokes of simulars for a comparible 'variations on a theme' in identical pipes.

Red Rapparee is not an underdog in anyway,just not a front man;its sort of enigmatic,reserved,smooth,quiet,mysterious,private, but with a full presence of pensive content like a silent teacher. (yet i could probably say that of my other oriental blends really).. It seems up there with the best of them..

Savoury is a better word,and that tannin tangyness;think of the tang of blue stilton cheese minus the cheese factor,slightly astringent,maybe a challenge but not unpleasant,earthy and real. Onion soup,salted butter,it melts in the mouth like a knob of warm butter. Truffle?

After pipe ;it leaves a memory in your mouth akin to having eaten a tangy salad of onions,spring onions,radish, that is felt and fades over a couple of hours.A complimentary food would be a ploughmans lunch(can't think of a drink really but jamesons scotch blended whisky has a certain tang factor).

Bubble and squeek,Irish colcannon,butter fried cabbage and herbs-it comes accross as a vegetarian smoke.It has a slight soap factor ala 'Wrights coal tar soap'which is the baccy and not an applied lakeland-esque essence, or result of curing with burned fragrence woods,its just an accident of natural occurance.

Just checking 'Tobacco Reviews.Com' for a compared oppinion, i know now why i chose this tin to try,its because of the 'red virginia and oriental' curiosity. This contains cavendish but its not really tasted, and this baccy is not really that sweet.The cavendish within is probably not a particularly sweet type, and may explain why i thought i was tasting burley in the mix. Oriental leaf is apparently unsmoked latakia anyway, so it might explain why there was a slight familier smokey association when sniffing in the tin.

I have tasted red virginia in Petersons Sherlock Holmes before and i think of sweet floral red onions. I wanted tangy and got tangy.

Its nearest taste competitors in my rotation are 'Dunhill London Mixture' and 'Robert McConnel ORIENTAL'. I have jarred this tin already in a kilner jar because i have no idea at this point how long i will take to smoke it (i have about 50 baccies on the go at the moment and am doing pipe and baccy combination trials to find the best mates.)

UPDATE;2ND DAY Comparison Trial 3x Vintage Duncan Delta pipes side by side test, with Red Rapparee, Robert McConnel ORIENTAL, Dunhill London Mixture. The short story:-

'Red Rapparee' is more salty buttery smooth than 'Oriental'.

'London Mixture' is a milder, smoother operator; 'London Mixture' feels slightly milder than the others and implies a slight touch of the smokey latakia in a condimental ghost sence,possibly due to the milder virgina or lesser quantity oriental baccy in the mix so that the spice factor seems augmented in the overal balance.

'Oriental' and 'Red Rapperee' have more of the herb garden factor with Oriental having the more significant herbal bias.

All three are within a gnats cock of eachother when smoked side by side in near identical condition pipes as a standard TBH, and could on a different day taste like one another.

So ;strengths of nuance differentiation:-

London mixture;- more spicey. Oriental;-more herbacious. Red Rapparee;- more salted buttery.

All three have that slight 'wrights coal tar soap' taste but are not smokey in a bonfire latakia sence,more closer to the grilled herbs taste.

I can't be arsed to pick a winner because they are equal substitutes in my mouth and either satisfy the oriental urge.

I would easily buy Red Rapparee again if i ran out,more for the red virginia than anything,even though its more imagined than tasted probably,and doesn't taste much different overal compared to my other Orientals already. It burns quite cool and slower than average. Creats a bit of wet in the moisture trap which needs wiping out a couple of times a session which might creat gurgle in a conventional briar maybe (if you don't pre dry it before smoking).But it smokes ok and dry in this pipe and down to a completely burned fluffy ash.

Worth 3 Stars ,its up there with other good medium orientals.

Similar Blends: Dunhill London Mixture. Robert McConnells ORIENTAL..

2 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Every so often a tobacco comes across my pipe that it's love at first puff. Many tins later the love affair remains. I find it "somewhat" like Early Morning Pipe. I generally smoke this fine blend as the first pipe of the day. It's smooth and creamy with beautiful Orientals setting the tone. Red Rapparee is slightly sweet and somewhat complex. I enjoy it most in a smaller bowl. Highly recommended!

2 people found this review helpful.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Red Rapparee is my favorite tobacco, bar none. As long as it is around, I will be a happy camper. This is The Oriental mixture. While it shares many characteristics, it is not a Balkan, though a mere handful of Latakia, and it would be a Dreadnought of a Balkan. The Virginia and Orientals marry well, giving a sweet, pungent aroma. The flavor is very dry and citrusy, like a spicy bitter orange. Although many claim there is no Latakia in RR, I pick up faint background notes here and there, but it never comes to the fore. It just adds its leathery notes and a little oak smoke, then stands in the back of the room. It has a thin cut, packs well, and burns well, needing few relights, and I am usually to the bottom before I know it, the flavor never going sour (or more sour anyway). It is very close to Smoker's Haven Exotique (by Germain), but comes at perfect smoking moisture. This is one of only two mixtures I have dedicated a pipe to.

2 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

10-07-04 This review is based on a 2 year old tin

Appearance and tin aroma: Medium cut ribbon, lotsa light leaf, a smidgin of dark latakia. Smells delightfully oriental.

Packing and Lighting: easy, moisture was perfect out of tin, although I like to let the tin degas thoroughly before smoking.

Initial Flavor: Surprise! I was warned that this was a heady blend, but it is a delightful medium oriental blend.

Mid-Bowl: Nice, round mellow flavor. The orientals in this are delicious.

Bottom of Bowl: A slight build up in strength, occaisonal sweet notes pop in and out. Ash is grey and dry.

Overall: This is a nice change of pace blend for me. I much prefer it over Black Mallory due to that blend being boring IMO. This blend was not as rich and strong as many of my fellow pipesters warned me about, but is a complex, mid-strength blend.I had no poblem with tongue bite with this one. It may be due to the fact that my tin had a few years on it.I will be sure to keep a few tins in the cellar for those times a want a nice oriental blend.

Rating: 4 out 5 points.

2 people found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (150)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mixed cut, mostly red and black ribbons with a few pieces of broken flakes and some brighter ribbons which are rather long, so while packing is generally easy, some care must be taken for these longer ribbons. Aroma from the tin is smoky and woodsy – typical English -with a light fruity note perhaps from the Turkish tobaccos. Moisture is just a little bit higher than perfect, so I’d recommend an approximately fifteen minute taking out of the tin and spreading before jarring.

Latakia is definitely present – sweet and woodsy - but here center stage is held by the naturally fragrant Turkish tobaccos. I guess more than one leaf is used, as I sense sweet (could also be the Cavendish), fruity and sour/tangy/salty Turkish tobaccos at the same time. This to me is a Turkish forward (Balkan one might call it…) blend par excellence. Especially until at least mid-bowl. Then on the taste becomes more toasty/bready like the red Virginias becoming more prominent.

Strength is on the mild side of medium with good burning behavior. I find Red Rapparee delicious. It is a complex blend with its interplay of sourness and tanginess from Turkish with woodsy smokiness of the Latakia upon a sweet Virginia/Cavendish base and what’s more it develops while smoking at least in medium to larger bowls.

If I had to characterize Red Rapparee with one word it would be its Turkish tanginess which I really love. On the minus I could count the (subjective) fact that in some pipes (not all) it is a little sharp and produces (to me at least) a minor tongue bite. Also it burns a little fast. However it’s one of the tastiest Turkish-forward English blends I have ever smoked.

1 person found this review helpful.

Carlo1986 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlo1986 (22)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Medium-strength E.M., with a full note of incense (must smoke slowly and as cold as possible to appreciate), spicy at the beginning, earthy and more smoky during the second half, and a little leathery at the end (nicotine is, for the most part, in the last third). One of my preferred E.M., and without a great amount of nicotine.

Pipe Used: many briars

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: local tabacconist

1 person found this review helpful.

Kreisi John Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kreisi John (4)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Quality mild allround smoke with a sweet bite of Latakia. Not for all, but a good choise for a beginners and for those who doesnt like rich smokes. Very sugary aftertaste. One streets I wear this.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 2614, Danish billard (Holtorp)

1 person found this review helpful.

CubanPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CubanPiper (13)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I was browsing the shelfs and found this tin. It must have been sitting in there for like ten years, the tobacconist doesn't even orders this brand any more. I opened the tin, smoked a bowl and thought it was ok. After a month or so in a mason jar it has change for the better. It is now tastier, and somewhat sweeter. The virginias and the orientals are the main players here, the latakia is in there somewhere. It smokes and tastes good, but I would not call this an english.

Age When Smoked: about 10 years

1 person found this review helpful.

wandyhee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
wandyhee (16)
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My favourite latakia blend alongside Drew Estate Meat Pie. Better price as well, fine cut, easy lit, smooth, plenty of smoke, fine ash. everything is perfect with this tobacco.

Pipe Used: Golden Gate Bent Apple

Age When Smoked: New in pack

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

initials SG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
initials SG (29)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

What a treat! I can't think of anything bad to say about the tobaccos or how they've been blended. Red virginias that I have smoked have ranged from brightish and sweet to darker and richer. I love 'em all - the reds here are smack dab in the middle, which is perfect for this medium english and add a nice fruitiness that weaves its way through the smoke and complements the cavendish. I'm a big fan of orientals, so the fact that they are forward in the mix and of excellent quality is also a huge plus. The latakia is used more as a condiment, which lets the other tobaccos shine and shine they do. I think both latakia lovers and those who aren't fans can appreciate this blend.

Refined and smooth as silk to my palate. Just a little bit rich, but subtly so. I can smoke this all day.

Room note is pretty decent for an english. Well, the sidestream is incredible, and I get positive comments about its smell from nonsmokers, anyway; but then again most people I run into love the smell of pipe smoke in general, so...

As an aside, the effect of humidity and elevation doesn't seem to be discussed much, but as I found out recently, Red Rapparee tastes even more amazing at 8,500 feet in the high alpine. Crisp, like biting into a red delicious apple.

1 person found this review helpful.

Llewellyn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Llewellyn (9)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Sweet with a little tang. Cannot puff heavily without a little discomfort, but very tasty all the way through. This and Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe are a favourite morning or mid-day oriental smoke.

Pipe Used: Standard

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Cupojoes

1 person found this review helpful.

Tilley4 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tilley4 (10)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Being relatively new to the world of pipes, I wanted to start with a blend that I smoke a lot of and this is as good a place as any....

Out of the tin, this tobacco needs a few minutes to dry as it seems to steam quite a bit if I don't....

I reach for this one when I am looking for a medium bodied English that I don't have to think about... delicately spicy with touches of the Orientals shining through here and there...

My wife isn't a big fan of the aroma on this one but I find it to be quite pleasant ... nothing offensive at all...

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: 6 months

1 person found this review helpful.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (49)
Medium Very Mild Medium Strong

Unfortunally the cavendish used caused me a great throat irritation. I would say is not reccomend for "sensible" throat. Nevertheless I would reccomend you to try it if you want to star an English Modern Mixture Journey.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Oh my what a wonderful blend! Now I know why you see this on back order from several major tobacco websites. I taste the Rattrays style virginas like Hal o The Wynd. It's the same sweetness and flavor but with the added orientals and cavendish it goes complex and adds much depth to this flavor able blend, it's anything but boring. I can find no fault with this blend. My highest rating of four stars easy.

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (136)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Sweet and tangy, intermittently transforming back-and-forth with a sour and salty combination. Although I don't know about burning "with the spontaneity of a fine cigar", it certainly consistently delivers an excellent peppery and smooth retrohale, similar to a fine cigar. It also required no relighting. I guess this could well explain tobacco spontaneity, in a cigar context.

Pipe Used: Bjarne Churchwarden, Savinelli, Cristiano

Age When Smoked: unknown (does anyone know how to crack the codes?)

Purchased From: The Briary, Homewood, AL one month ago.

1 person found this review helpful.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (117)
Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Good Blend nothing out of the usual. Latakia level good. Oriental up front. Smokey & Musky a good thing. But the blend goes flat half way through the bowl. A bit to moist

1 person found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (492)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I struggled between 2 and 3 stars on this, but deferred to 3 due to the quality of the leaf and perhaps a bias on behalf of myself with respect to Rattray.

I had always assumed this was a standard scottish/latakia mixture and was surprised to see that it did not contain Latakia or perhaps a small amount as some contend. It does taste somewhat smoky to me, but that may be the ariental varietal used. Whichever the oriental used it is not my favorite and of the 100g I can't say I had too many that were great.

It is not a go to tobacco for me and I likely will not repurchase, but may have before I tried Jock's mixture which I find to be incredible. Anyway, I am not sure how helpful this is to anyone but myself but it is my two cents on this one.

1 person found this review helpful.

AlexL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlexL (26)
Very Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

Here is one more in the endless row of "English" tobaccos. It's not bad, but I will not buy it again: there are more valuable alternatives in this class.

1 person found this review helpful.

Thbg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thbg (29)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I know enough to know that this is really quality tobacco.

I also know that there is waaaaay too much perfumey oriental tobacco in here for me to enjoy it.

I rolled the dice when I bought this knowing I don't really care for blends that have oriental as the main component. Keep that in mind if you are like me.


1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Boy oh Boy, this brings back memories , I just tried again after 45 years and I don't think it has changed. Mostly Orientals out front and a hint of sweetness from the Virginia, nice. It's not my first choice with a Balkan/ English , I find it a little bland and a little harsh. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I find this hard to keep lit when slow sipped so I find myself puffing harder than I think I should. I got a tin of Black Mallory coming and my memory from 45 years ago says I will like it better, we will see?

Updated9/21/11 : This really benefited from a few months left to breath in a closed tin, drying has really made this easy to pack ( I like the ribbon cut) and stays lit at a sip ( easy to over tamp while smoking and cause a blockage). I still find it spicy during the first 1/3 of the bowl, but the flavor is a great Oriental, creamy not sweet, maybe even a little bitter . I think this will continue to improve with more cellaring. The best can do is 2 1/2 stars

Updated 12/13/11_ What a change with cellaring , smooth, salty, creamy flavorfull no spicy heat 3 1/2 stars I'll buy more

Updated- 2/20/13 - Wow, I've had this cellared for about 14 months and it is wonderful. Creamy, fruity, intresting spice scent ( like Chinese 5 spice) and smooth ( traces of hot spice gone), . I stocked up on more , this knocked Dunhills London blend out of the rotation.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (94)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I reviewed RR a few weeks ago, but it was a bad review because I did not smoke Latakia for several days so the desire of Latakia has influenced my opinion. Now, after trying again RR, I can confirm that is a mixture with a fine flavor and the taste is interesting even a bit edgy, but the thing that disappointed me is that the mixture gets too hot and for me the coolness (especially for a EM) is one of the most important things ..... too important to be able to recommend to you RR.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A classic oriental, superior to EMP, more complex and changing, as always...well done KnK and Rattray's.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (81)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

A huge full Dunhill-esque English this is not. It is however, a delicious blend, perfectly proportioned, and one that shows you don't have to have a great wad of latakia (or any) to have a really flavorful natural blend. Orientals lend a tea-like quality over the sweet virginia base, and it works for me. A little less leathery and plummy than Presbyterian, and maybe just a touch woodier and spicier.

I don't know if the reviewers who pan this got a bad batch or what, but I can't imagine giving this less than 3 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

Red Raparee is undoubtedly a great tobacco, albeit a bit powerful. Very pungent, its Latakia/Oriental components tend to overwhelm the Virginias, which IMO barely touch the flavour registers. Visually the tobacco is very attractive, and it is easy to pack and light. However once you take a couple of puffs it snaps at your taste buds, producing quite an hypnotic effect. In a way it has the same density of the old Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture, but it is less sweet and rounded. To me it tasted at times almost salty as well as sweet and sour, with a very penetrating tanginess, similar to certain Chinese dishes from the Shezuan region. Strong and potent, it is a smoke that demands all your attention, and I find it advisable to be seated---and with a full stomach---when smoking it.

The aroma of Red Raparee really got me into trouble with the LSW, who has never liked the scent of Latakia mixtures, but found this one completely unbearable (I was propelled out of the house in order to finish the bowl, for not even the opened windows, which I invoked as a palliative, seemed to be enough to dissipate the smell). It took ages to finish that bowl, and by the end of it I felt transfixed. My taste buds, my palate, my clothes and hair were all suffused with one of the strongest Latakia/Oriental smells I can remember, which lasted for days! I do not know if Rattray?s use a particular type of Syrian Latakia, or if they also use the Cyprian variety, but boy is this stuff ?heavy? (in the 60?s sense of the term). Compared to RR, My Mixture 965 seems a medium tobacco and Squadron Leader, pale.

All in all, a very peculiar smoke, full of flavours and complexity, which is very enjoyable for Latakia/Oriental smokers, but should be approached carefully and IMO smoked only from time to time.

1 person found this review helpful.

BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Not really too much I can add on to Noorrmm's review, accept to say I agree with his measure of this blend. This is a blend that I keep an ample supply of. I agree with his statement that there is a slight loss in edge, however, it is still a wonderful smoke. Highly Recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I used to smoke the Red Rap all the time as I loved the combination of the components and heavenly smell the burning leaf produced. I do really enjoy many of the McConnell's era Rattray's blends and the wonderful flavor of Red Rapparee stuck like glue when K&K took over production. Great Virginia, nice Orientals, fragrant Latakia and backbone building unflavored Black Cavendish combine to make this a quality tobacco all the way.


1 person found this review helpful.

KahveDelisi Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KahveDelisi (52)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

The name Red Rapparee suggests something adventurous and wild. However, in my case a monocle wearing, baton carrying Englishman with a handlebar moustache in his late twenties popped out of tin and I offered him some bergamot tea. He has been talking about his uncle's ivory business at overseas ever since.

Similar Blends: Dunhill - My Mixture 965.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kribbage Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kribbage (32)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I have heard from numerous sources that the current Red Rapparee is not the same as it once was, and I would have loved to try it back then to really see what the fuss is about....ah well....since I cannot, or will not pay an outlandish price for an old tin, I must say the current edition suits me just fine. A nice smokey smoke from a legendary company. Burns exceptionally well in a large bowl without getting the Lat- bomb effect coursing thru my stomach. Maybe the old stuff was good, but time marches on friends...try some of the new RR. I DO NOT THINK YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED.

Pipe Used: All types

Age When Smoked: A 2 year old unopened tin

Purchased From: Jon's Pipe Shop, Champaign, Illinois

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (32)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I have to say this is very similar to 965 but to me a notch darker in flavor. Like the new 965 it is a little harsh on the tongue but not bad. Still, not as smooth as I'd hoped. The room note, however, is much nicer than 965. I like this slightly better than 965, and give it three stars, but it doesn't appeal enough to buy again. Many other Englishes out there better.

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: Davidus Cigars

Similar Blends: Dunhill 965.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

THROATHIT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Great flavour, I am a Rattary fan it has to be said and love the marlin, gowrie and htw, The red rap follows on in the tradition of good quality red vg with spice and fruity zest a plenty. This provides the fore taste to this brilliant English tobacco. the orientals and latakia just flow in with ease and the whole smoke just melds around your tongue until you exhale and just go straight back for more of the thick lush taste.

With any blend balance is key to enjoying it and this is by far my favourite English I have smoked so far with the smokey latakia taking a back seat but still singing I'm here all the way through the smoke. If I could give this ten stars I would.

Pipe Used: stefano exclusive briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: g q

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (45)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I get a hint of flavor kind of similar to Dunhill 965 but for the most part it lacks in flavor after the first 1/4. It also bites me and burns hot. That's probably why it lacks in flavor because my taste buds get fried so quickly with this stuff. I jarred it up but I'm not getting my hopes up. It's already aged about a year so in 6 more months if there is no change then I'm throwing this one out.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (129)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is a ribbon cut easy to pack tobacco, but the tin will benefit from some drying time. When I bought it I wasn't all too sure whether it had any Latakia in it or not, but it has. Not that I was disappointed to learn about it, but I guess I was more focused on exploring oriental tobaccos when the idea to buy some popped up in my head. Anyway, the Latakia content is minimal, I dare to say, so it is still possible to separate what belongs here, what there and to what extent. As for the Cavendish tobacco, I was kind of expecting it to give the whole thing a somewhat sweet and mellow dimension, but it is so much in the background you can hardly notice it. The Latakia tobacco seems to flare up at times as you progress in your smoke, but this might as well be due to the fact this mixture is not presented in flakes. Funny though it might sound, despite my initial concerns, it is still possible to explore the oriental side of it, which adds sort of a fermented tinge to it very similar to a cigar (though the Cavendish tobacco might be playing a part in this too). Precisely, I guess they call this tobacco "Red Rapparee" because of its somewhat cigar leaf qualities, being the "red pike" a metaphor for the cigar itself (a Rapparee was a pike welding Irishman during the Irish Confederate Wars). Even the fine ash it produces will draw upon that. Overall, I found this mixture quite tasty and intriguing enough to keep me wondering and wanting more of it. I will give this tobacco a 3 star rating, which is not bad at all.

Pipe Used: 22mm size bowl

Age When Smoked: ?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Otis56 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Otis56 (31)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

The virginia and orientals are in perfect harmony in this blend. The Latakia is a supporting role. Not to much, but for myself not enough. It packs easy and smokes perfect. But it will bite if you puff to hard. It has a very nice floral smell with a smoky overtone. Medium in strength. I like the blend but it is just to mild medium for myself. Peace.

Pipe Used: Ashton billard

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: 4 noggins

Similar Blends: ?.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (24)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This was my first venture into Rattray Country. Not particularly a Latakia person although I'm definitely ten generations (at least) English, I've yet to understand where the term " English Tobacco " has it's origins. My Grandfather smoked Redbreast, ( with dried elderflowers.) All his contemporaries smoked over the counter brands such as St.Bruno, Digger, Erinmore, Bulwark, Walnut, and I don't recall the distinctive aroma of Latakia anywhere as a child.

My first tobacco, introduced by a senior Geordie at work when I was an apprentice draughtsman, was Four Square Blue . I don't know where the blend went, ( Dobies ? )but I will always remember the aroma unleashed from my first tin. It also had a distinctive smelling "gravy" too, as I was soon to find.

Red Rapparee had a very distinctly similar nose when I opened the tin ...... but whoever can carry an accurate nose and palate for many years is better than me.

Having said that I found an instant affinity for this tobacco blend, reinforced by the first fifty grammes consumed. I mulled it over whilst continuing my usual Condor, and also another "trial" tobacco which is not the subject of this text.

Then my next trial, Black Mallory, which I thought from other jottings on this site should deliver some similar traits and "extra " strength.

Well obviously we all have differing senses in all respects, otherwise tobacco blenders wouldn't need to make so many alternatives.

I thought to go back to Red Rapparee having sampled Black Mallory, which I thought from other's findings I may prefer, being not as strong as BM.

As usual, I tried to hasten the consumption of the blend that I liked least, so I set out to consume 100g of BM.

As I progressed, I became aware of a similarity with music ....... being another of our "subjective" human senses. I was finding that Black Mallory was putting in extra extra harmonies that Red Rapparee had set a strident chord for previously. I liked RR. but BM. was going into overdrive, adding dimensions only hinted at with RR.

Suffice it to say that it was the RR. that was finished first, and going back to BM., I was finding that RR. was (for me) the stronger and more robust taste, whereas by dint of going straight from one to the other, whether truly subjective, having smoked more BM. I find that it suits my tastes more comfortably. The nuances slip from one to the other very smoothly and subtly, making for me the best Latakia mixture I have yet smoked a significant quantity of.

Now, what does one term as an English tobacco ?? Is it what tobacco a typical "Englishman" smokes, or what an "English" blender creates ??

Pipe Used: Many and various

Age When Smoked: From tin

Purchased From: Greens of Leeds ( UK)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

100 gm tin aged one year (in my cellar). Tin note sweet for an english, pleasantly tangy.... The moisture level is perfect, when compressed its still the slightest bit sticky. Smoked in 3 pipes, find longer stems better, mid sized bowls. This baccy burns relatively fast, 25 minutes of a well packed pipe (german method) to ash. No tongue bite, good smoky latakia burn, but thinner in volume than say NC or Legends. The Cavendish along with the red Vas does something special to this blend-sets it apart somehow. Odd as this sounds, it shares something in common with Penzance, I taste it in the finish, the persistent coating left post bowl that I get with Penzance. My intent was to smoke a few bowls and can the rest, but I believe I'll smoke it all and cellar somemore. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (100)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Having an old cedar chest full of various pipe tobaccos aging in mason jars for the last 12 years has made for some superior smoking enjoyment. This batch, 2004. The virginias are sweeter and rounder. The orientals are very leathery and right up front. The mellow sweetness of the virginias mixing with the orientals is akin to chocolate covered salty pretzels. Outstanding.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pipe-junky Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipe-junky (10)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

While i like blends with orientals i don't care for this one. After puffing on this one for about 5 large bowlfuls. i find the taste of the orientals over powering. its starts off soft then gets stronger as you smoke it.I can't find anything else taste wise in this smoke. room note is the same as with most latakia blends. you either like it or you don't. This is not one i will revisit, and would gladly trade this off.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Rattrays Red Rapparee… Not much to add about this old favorite that has not already been said by many others, except I found this blend different enough in flavor, when compared with my usual domestic VA blends that IMO anybody that enjoys such blends, that has not tried RR could be missing a winner. Personally if found this stuff a bit too strong, not so much its nicotine level, but with its aggressive almost aromatic (German style} flavor. For me a single bowl of RR is about all I can take before it's taste becomes overwhelming. So for my day to day choice I find myself reaching for a milder, smoother and less ARO like blend and saving RR for a change of pace smoke. So when it comes to VA. blends my “go-too” tobaccos probably will rarely include this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (34)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Not much to add to other reviews really. A very pleasant, fine-burning, not overpowering oriental blend. If there's any huge proportion of Latikia in here I'd be surprised - the taste is of Turkish/oriental tobaccos nicely offsetting the Rattray-style Virginia notes with subdued latikia flavours.

Recommended as a good, pleasant all-day tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

LoneRider Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoneRider (20)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I smoked Red Rapperee back in the '70s when I first srarted smoking pipes. This is most definately not the same blend. Rapperee had a distinctive aroma, not quite like anything else. That's not to say that the new blend is terrible; there's just not anything great about it. It's mild and rather forgettable. Oh, how I wish I had a time machine!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Everyone have their own idea of perfect English blend and this is mine. A high quality smoking mixture, perfect everyday smoke if money is not an issue. If it is, I recommend trying Stokkebye Proper English, a blend tasting very close to Red Rapparee.

I will not repeat what others have said about this blend, just wanted to add my high recommendations to the list. If you like Dunhill's Night Cap or 965 - you must try Red Rapparee, it's better than the aforementioned tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Katharsis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Katharsis (39)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked up a fairly aged tin of this at my local tobacconist. It was the only one in the store, it was bulging, and the sales guy said it had an inventory tag from the previous ownership. All good signs. :) So, keep in mind this is an aged tin review, and I've never had it non-aged.

Wine-like, as others have said, is a good description. Some say latakia, I say no latakia. I understand why people would say that, though. The orientals in here are fairly smoky flavored, and, as a friend pointed out, latakia IS oriental/turkish, just prepared differently over smoke. I'd say the VAs dominate, but the Ors and the Cavendish definitely add a very smooth, sweet, and delicate finish to it all. This one is a winner in my book. Tin smell is a bit more smoky than the actual flavor is, but overall pretty accurate to the taste.

I'm also not sure what people are talking about with Perique. This blend has none, nor can I pick up anything close -- no stewed fruit or black pepperiness of Perique.

Also, if you're like me and don't like Cavendish, don't let that turn you off. I barely pick up on it, and it's used to smooth this blend, not give it a Cavendish taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tee-dub Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tee-dub (48)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The blenders call this a 'medium English,' and call Black Mallory a 'full English.' I don't know what is meant by either description, unless it's the amount of Latakia.

If there's Latakia in this blend--and I believe I can smell Latakia in the tin--it so subdued it's almost undetectable. Mostly this is a balanced, measured mixture of Orientals and Virginias, along with unsweetened Cavendish.

The flavors are light and interesting, and the Cavendish sort of softens the edges of the red Virginia, adds a little heft to the texture. Slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and easy to like.

It burns rapidly, so a large bowled pipe is called for.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (264)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Red Rapparee. I wanted an English blend, and both Kohlhase, Kopp & Co.' web site and the tin said they'd been lavish with the Latakia. Opening the tin, I get a serious whiff of Orient and VA, but they must have hidden the Latakia somewhere; there is no smokiness to speak of in the tin. The ribbon cut is easy to handle and maintain. Lighting up gets me VA and Orient tastes; sweetness and some spice, but still absolutely no Latakia in there. I wonder where they've mislaid it. That leaves me with a still very nice VA/Oriental blend with a good, satisfying taste and enough Nicotine to keep me interested. Clean burn, no leftover moisture -- good for those who want to get off aromatics without going straight into the English corner, or those who want to take a break from Latakia blends.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

brotherofbriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brotherofbriar (4)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Although I have read comparisons between Red Rapparee and Black Mallory, they are totally different blends in my opinion. For a start I cannot detect any latakia in RR, though some swear there is a pinch lurking in the background. Red Rapparee is best described as enigmatic. Fruity, yes, but not in any overstated way. The red virginias predominate, enhanced and sweetened by the cavendish. The orientals provide a nice sour spicyness, not dissimilar to perique. There is a hint of sweet oatmeal cookies running in the background, and a good measure of green peppers, yet every time you smoke this delightful blend you'll fail to put your finger on it. Enigmatic is the word. Sweet and spicey, burns perfectly, full bodied and robust yet the smoke is strangely thin. A classic tobacco that provides a new experience everytime. I would suggest this might appeal as much to VApers as to fans of cavendish and orientals. Latakia lovers may look elsewhere, but don't make the mistake of overlooking this delicious blend. You may just be suprised by what you find.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Servo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Servo (58)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Pop the top on Mr. Rattray's RRR and you're greeted with a beautiful balance of spice tobaccos and warm malty Virginia. The complex aromas of a well blended English tobacco. The smoky, creosote twang of Latakia is here in force, the sweet & sour Orientals swirl around the oatmeal raisin cookie undertone of the Virginia. Packing is a breeze and the stuff burns pretty well with little maintenance. Lots of medium bodied smoke, I experienced no tongue bite. A nice user-friendly English blend.

I often pick stronger English & Balkan blends myself. But this little medium blend is a study in balance, and really surprised me with it's complex, sweet character. All the elements are there, and in the right proportions, maybe a little more strength to everything would be better, maybe it wouldn't, but this stuff is really great. A new addition to my favorites.

I noticed in some of the reviews, discussion of cigar leaf in this blend. There is none, it's a fairly straight-forward English blend. I think this confusion comes from the tin description “It burns in the pipe with the spontaneity of a fine cigar.” This simply refers to how slowly and evenly the tobacco will allegedly burn in the pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Red Rapparee & Black Mallory.

As a change of pace from my usual tobacco diet - which is almost non-Latakian - I'm working through RR & BM at the same time.

I'm old enough to have met both of them say twenty years ago, at the beginning of the sunset of the UK made brands (BSOM, BS759 and BSVa10 passing from tins to pouches), and they were absolutely top EM's.

My current tins have been waiting me unsealed almost one whole year. The inner discs are still semi-wet, but tobaccos have just dried out the heck of their exaggerate moisture (the heaven knows how much PG they put in…).

Anyway, they stuffed fine into a couple of Dunhill's group 5 bents and have to say they light & burn very easily.

They are brothers, out of any doubt.

RR is offering a supremely smooth-like-silk smoke, sweet & spicy & biscuity. The Orientals take the main seat, perfectly accomplished by the Virginias (light & red). Just a trace of Latakia in the very background, and some non-flavoured Black Cavendish to round off the edges. Strength is medium, body a bit over that. Intriguing and savoury, I may completely understand the smoker who chooses RR as his all-day smoke.

Where RR is more Oriental forward, BM is more on the Latakia instead. A drier but still sweet blend, darker, mustier and stronger than RR. More on the interplay between Virginias and Latakia. Again, the Black Cavendish does its job. The room note is of course less acceptable by the wife… In my memory BM used to be a truly fuller EM than nowadays.

The brothers are pleasant and satisfactory, that's for sure. What retains me from giving 4* is the PG soaking treatment, which causes the smoke being a bit aggressive to my palate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I received my tin 2 hours ago and smoke my first RR bowl, listening to Robert Schumman as I read once again each and every review about this... Masterpiece. Yes Sir,it is. Not enough to say it burns cool: this tobacco is just like Steve McQueen: the king of cool ! Two amazing things about this work of art: balance and nicety. Too many reviews talk about Latakia presence: just a very little pinch in the background. On the other hand, the way they made Orientals (Greek) and Virginias work together is a symphony. Wonderful stuff: simply the best tobacco I've ever smoked.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Nice Red Virginias with Orientals, a few sour notes, but pleasant enough. This reminds me of a slightly stronger or more robust Irish Oak.

This is only my second tin, nice to pick at from time to time when you want something different from virginia / latakia / perique.

Enough taste and flavour to keep it interesting without being overpowering to the point of "Armchair Required" to contemplate the various flavours.

Lights easy and burns clean. A good change of pace but not one that I would stock up on. If your feeling a little adveturous, and you have the coin to spare, then by all means, give it a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tripjoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tripjoker (65)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is one of the Rattray offerings that I do tend to like. It's a bit on the light side for my tastes and is not a regular in my rotation, but a worthy tobacco nonetheless.

The virginia and oriental interplay here is really well done and the result is true harmony. Nothing is overdone. If you concentrate, you can pick out the different leaves as the bowl progresses. But nothing hits you in the head and screams at you. I tend to like that in this blend.

For me, a little drying time has always been necessary to avoid a hot steamy smoke. My tins have always had a good seal and the factory moisture has always been intact. A good all day smoke if you are into the lighter side of tobacco. A nice occasional smoke for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dk-piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dk-piper (25)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is my first "English blend". One of the best burning tobaccos i've had so far.

...tastes a little soapy, moldy, oily, smoky. Almost like an old sweaty sock.

I guess i had to get used to the latakia in this blend. (on the backside of the tin, it says that it has a good amount of zypriotic latakia in it) is the latakia causing this soapy taste? But to my surprise i find myself smoking this blend all the time. There's something to it. It's very smooth, burns excellent, and once in a while a hint of cigar-flavour comes through, backed up with a subtle sweetness. Still, i don't know what to think about this soapy, smoky, oily taste, which comes through once in a while. I guess this is why some pipe-smokers do not like blends with latakia in it. Nonetheless a great blend. This tobacco tastes like a fancy oriental bazar. Meaning, that it's very flavourful...your taste buds wont be bored, that's for sure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Old Puffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Old Puffer (42)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

I have seen references comparing this blend to a light version of Old Gowrie, but I can't find much resemblance, if any. In the tin I received, I also can't find any reason to call it 'red', it is just a mixture of very dark oriental and what appears to be standard brown Virginia. To me, it is a good, solid representative of a medium English blend.

As received, RR was a little too moist and had to be dried out in the tin with the lid off for 4-5 days to pack and smoke properly.

The cut is easy to pack and light and after 1 false light, stays lit and burns all the way down without fuss leaving a nice dark, dry ash. Smokes cool and without bite. Leaves no bad after taste in the pipe or on the tongue. Taste, while unexciting, is a very pleasant, ongoing compromise between Virginia and Latakia without either one attempting to dominate. One thing I really like is that the Latakia is not overpowering.

While I can't call RR one of my favorites, I certainly will keep it around and order more when depleted. It is a very friendly smoke and I can't find anything to hold against it. A good, solid, pleasant smoke any time of the day or night.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JLong Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JLong (36)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I was given a sample of this by a fellow poster on the puff forums. This is good tobacco. I'm sort of a nut for the master blaster blends like Mississippi Mud or Old Ironsides. I need a break from that stuff however and Red Rap fills the bill quite well. Definately something to smoke in the morning with that first cup of coffee. The two go together hand in hand.

There is some Balkan like creamyness to it. The sweetness and spicyness is pleasant and natural. I can taste the cigar leaf which adds to the flavor. It's a full bodied tobacco with a good dose of nicotene. We ain't suckin air here.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (64)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

This is actually a re-review. In the old one, which really isn't important enough to leave intact, I remarked upon it as being flat and unexciting and I lamented its lack of complexity. I'm unsure as to why - perhaps I simply had the misfortune of getting a bad tin, perhaps something has changed in the recipe, maybe I should've tried it in other pipes, or perhaps my preferences has changed since then. All, or a few of those statements may be true - I know for a fact that I these days do like englishes, and in particular those leaning heavilly on oriental components, as for the rest, I can only speculate.

So, in short, coming back to this blend leaves me with quite a different impression.

For the sake of this review I decided to get a new 50g tin (rather than using an old one I have cellared), and when opening it there is a nice, sweet and slightly pungent fruity aroma. Not much evidence of latakia in the tin-note, instead it seems more to carry the cavendish component. Either that, or there may be some sort of topping present - or maybe it's just the usual sugar thing, either way it doesn't appear to make its way through to the smoke.

I did not pick up on the latakia whatsoever while smoking the earlier tin, that I can recall, but while smoking this new one it's clearly evident to me, and it lends a shade of creamy earthiness to the blend. There is also a vast array of tanginess going on here, intermingling with rather peculiar sweet notes that doesn't really strike me as VA-hay or grassiness, but something else - perhaps attributed to some of the oriental components. The turkish is also very much present in RRR and to me registers as a "high" note on the taste spectrum, a little bit like a minty note - different than the turkish I find in London Mixture, Standard Mixture or Scottish Flake (one that to my surprise beat me over the head with turkish and deep, bassy red VA notes). It also has a rather airy body, and I do wish there would've been a little more substance to it. That's just a personal thing, I guess, and not necessarily something bad. Otherwise there is a nice interplay of sweet, dry herbal, earthy and some mildly astringent flavours and plenty of complexity to discover - it's one of those blends that I tend to find different nuances in every time I smoke it (which is rare, and also pretty fun).

So, with this in mind, I am changing my rating up to "recommended", or three stars, if you will. This is a nice blend, but not perfect as to be deserving of four stars, simply because it is a little like others have remarked upon - it isn't the easiest tobacco to smoke, and it is a little sharp on the tongue, especially during charring, and it can easilly turn a little flat if you don't puff very gently on it, But on the other hand, pipe tobaccos are usually best when just gently puffed, right? Especially those that tend to be a little more complex. It's also quite evident that this blend contains tobaccos that are pretty green when tinned - I'm unsure exactly how long you should wait before opening, but about a month, as I did, is clearly not enough. I think alot of the sharpness can be attributed to the red VA's young age. By my estimation at least 6-12 months would be a minimum before this opens up and starts showing what it's really about. There is also something to be said about airing it; do take care to air it, if it's fresh. For me it becomes pretty good when aired for 30-45 minutes, almost to the point of becoming crisp to the touch is just about right. I also like to pack RRR a little tighter than I do with other blends - not much, just a little bit.

It burns very well, not unusually fast, but at a slow and steady pace, and as advertised, it really does leave a fine grey ash with nearly no dottle. Now, I'm old enough to know that this doesn't really mean anything, it's simply a myth of virtue. But I suppose it's nice to know you're not "wasting" much of the tobacco.

This is also an excellent blend to pair with spirits. If you are so inclined, do try it. For me it has almost come to the point of beating a fine cigar to go with the cognac. I've never had much luck with pipe smoking and drinking before, but with RRR, it's really good. It's also a good way of slowing down the pace - let it smolder along while you swirl the snifter and savour the taste and aroma and then return to the pipe, taking a gentle puff and watching the condensation slowly rise is a beautiful thing. Not only does it add another dimension to the smoke, but it also works to counteract some of the sharpness of the tobacco while enhancing other flavours.

As for the room note. I'm usually not very sensitive to the aroma of tobaccos, but RRR really doesn't smell very good. Perhaps it's an acquired taste, but I'll put it down as "tolerable". While I don't flee from the room after smoking, I do take care to air it out properly directly after smoking RRR... and I have sympathy for significant others dreading the sight of the green tin for this very reason.

So, in conclusion, I do recommend Rattray's Red Rapparee. And if you happen to dislike it at first, don't do what I did and dismiss it completely. Let it sit for a while, go against your instinct and buy another tin and let it age, or try it in another pipe and see if that changes anything - use a large pipe (group 4, or there-abouts), and if possible, dedicate a single pipe to it, at least as long as the tin lasts. Chances are you'll discover a new, and perhaps unexpected favourite this way, just as I did.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Frosty Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Frosty (29)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

I am officially in LOVE! I am a new reviewer, and this tobacco has been so expertly described already that I will simply relate my experience. First, I am only now exploring the world of Oriental/Balkan/English blends, so here goes. Upon opening the can, I was greeted with strong fruity, smokey, heady aromas. I packed this gently into a 1/4 bent poker with a straight walled chamber and gently played the match over the tobacco. Oh boy! I was completely knocked out by the flavors! First came the plummy flavors, then I swear I tasted apricots, then plums again, then a riot of fruity, smokey flavors which have been described better than I could by other reviewers. The fruity flavors diminished around 1/3 down the bowl, and the Virginias peeked out to look around, in perfect balance with the Orientals. The Virginias really develope at this point. The hair on the back of my neck stood up! I tried this in a variety of pipes, but for me it really soars in a straight wall chambered pipe. I find this to be satisfying in the nicotene dept, and was in a trance when the bowl was finished, both from the nicotene and unbelievable flavors. I only smoke outside, but I can imagine the room note would be subject for unsolicited comment if smoked inside. I am now scrambling to raise funds to stock my cellar with this. I just love this! I can't say enough good things about Red Rapparee!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

tacoeatingzebra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tacoeatingzebra (37)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco is one of a kind. Not a ton of latakia here. I would call it Early Morning Pipe Plus, but where EMP is my least favorite Dunhill blend, Red Rapparee has oomph and flavor torque that EMP lacks to make it more enjoyable. This is a new favorite and I love it in a Ferndown canadian that suits it just perfectly. Also I would compare it favorably with Presbyterian Mixture, though without the plummy perique like flourish and more of a cigarish bass note.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This tobacco is hard to match. The equilibrium between Virginia and Oriental is perfect, providing a consistent experience from top to bottom.

It tastes like top quality Virginia-Oriental-Latakia, although they say it has none of the latter (Update: the more I smoke it, the less I believe it).

The DGT is delightful, and shows how outstanding the Virginias in this blend are. Even in the background, they are mainly what makes this tobacco so remarkable.

If not the best Oriental mixture, one of the best.

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RMBittner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RMBittner (66)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A full-strength oriental/Virginia blend that, due to the red Virginias, can edge toward harshness but which nevertheless offers a satisfying smoking experience for the lover of oriental tobaccos. That's me: I do love orientals. And while I might be inclined to smoke a smoother blend (like Presbyterian Mixture, for example) more regularly, I am always going to keep a tin of Red Rapparee on hand.

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drdave Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
drdave (15)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

After smoking many cans of this in the last coupe of years it needs to be downgraded to two stars. I really wanted to love this weed again, but sadly, it's a ghost of its former incarnation. Inconsistent blending and it lacks the oomph and variety it used to have. 2 stars As mentioned in another review (Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium) I'm smoking pipes again after many years of neglecting them. In those old days, one of the favorites was Rattray's Red Rapparee, so then: In his "...Booklet on Tobacco Blending", Charles Rattray wrote about Red Rapparee, "It is of no use whatever to those who merely puff." Maybe what he meant by that, in my very subjective experience, is that Red Raparree is a good strong smoke when puffed, but when slowly sipped it reveals an entire universe of flavor; the tangy virginias are always at play in the background as the blend starts out with a deeply exotic incense-like taste, at mid-bowl developing a wonderful smoky fullness, late in the game becoming subtly sweet and finishing in a melange of all the flavors with a dash of salt. It's definitely different than it was in the days of old, with a less tart taste, but it is still absolutely one of the greatest tobaccos ever blended by the hand of man. There is nothing shy about this stuff, it comes right up to you with a great strong shake. Right now I'm looking at my 45 briars lined up in their racks and thinking about dedicating 43 of them exclusively to the Red Rapparee.

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AL Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AL (24)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

For me Red Raparee is an excellent example for an Oriental blend, I use this blend as my benchmark for a Full Oriental. In my mind Rattrays uses a ribbon cut with this blend, it does not appear to me to be a broken flake. I have found that the bulk and tin versions to be nearly identical, with the bulk delivered a little dryer. The blend is consistent from one tin to the next. I smoke one pipe full of this daily, usually mid-day, occasionally as a first smoke of the day on a clear pallet. On opening a tin, I find this tobacco to have a light aroma, to me it mostly smells like tobacco. It is a blend of lighter colored Virginias and Orientals ribbons; I find no dark tobacco in this blend. My guess is that the Oriental is a Turkish tobacco. I do enjoy Latakia blends but find no Latakia component in this blend. Red Raparee comes well mixed and I have found no stalks, stems, or other unwanted items so far. As little as three months of aging makes a difference with this blend, it just gets better with time, the Oriental mellows and the smoke is more pleasurable. Currently I have a mix of tins and bulk, about five pounds. I use this tobacco in a medium sized bowl that has been dedicated to Red Raparee. My Raparee pipe has had a couple years of daily use with this blend and has taken on a signature of Red Raparee enhancing each smoke.

Loading Red Raparee is easy; light up is likewise very easy due to the cut. I gently tamp throughout the smoke. An Oriental for me has tartness. Other Oriental blends that I smoke have a mild or less noticeable tartness with the Virginia playing more of a role in the blend. This blend is tart unlike the others, the percentage of Oriental is either higher or the leaf is exceptional in this respect. Some smokers may think that Raparee is giving them a sharp bite and I would imagine that not everyone would enjoy this tobacco. After lightup and a few minutes of gentle puffing, this blend settles down. For me the Orientals are the main player, quite powerful, and stay in the spotlight until nearly the end of the smoke when the Virginia kicks in a little for a wonderful finish. I personally do not get a big hit of nicotine from this blend. This blend produces what my wife calls a neutral room aroma compared to some of the other blends that I smoke. In my experience Red Raparee burns down to a fine powdery light gray ash. Recommended for those smokers who enjoy a predominately Oriental smoke.

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OleFattGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OleFattGuy (27)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

My tobacconist claimed that this was the best tobacco. Period. I didn't believe him at first and not being an authority follower, I carried on with my excursions into aromatics and other. After half a year or so I had worked my way full circle and stood in front of the desk ordering a tin of RR. My tobacconist with a very smug smile said: "Oh, already?" Slightly irritated at him, or maybe at myself I brought the can home and put it in my cabinet, muttering something or other. That night I ventured into a new world of pipe smoking. This was by far the best. Tobacco. Ever. I had to stuff another pipe and smoke it. And a third one before my mouth started to melt away. I have since experimented with two other Rattray's blends and they are somewhat alike, there is an unmistakable Rattray's taste to them, probably due to the high class Virginias that comprise Marlin Flake and Black Mallory. Buy this. Smoke it. You'll be happy you did.

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Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The English satirical magazine Punch reviewed Red Rapparee some time in the Seventies and rated it the best tobacco in the market - this compared to the Balkan Sobranies, the Dunhills and the Sullivan Powells. I learnt of the tobacco from that review and acquired a fair quantity from a Cambridge tobacconist. Enjoyed it, but preferred others.

Coming back to it after several years I can attribute the gap only to an insufficiently sensitive palate thirty years ago! This is a splendid concoction that teases and tickles rather than promote repose. I taste the red virginias first and then the ensemble begins to develop into a multi-faceted taste and flavour experience. Kaleidoscopic.

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Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

This blend is known to be a classic. I don't know if the R.R. I bought was of the revamped, Danish style or what but I find it to be uniquely harsh compared to any other English or Oriental mixture I have ever smoked. My tin is about a year old now. I come back to it from time to time in hopes my tastes had matured or the tobac has aged to a more usable state, but it hasn't happened yet. My advise to experimenters is to sample a pinch before you buy. At the rate I'm consuming my 100 gram tin it will last me the rest of my life.(10-09-2004)

Update: With more piping experience and a caveat, I am upgrading my rating to four stars. It is still too strong in flavor for frequent use but as a first or second pipe of the day it is a wonderfull tobacco blend. It is also much better to smoke it very slowly and just barely keep it lit. (10-07-2005)

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

Medium English blend at its best, Red Rapparee is a true classic, in the line of Dunhill Standard and Balkan Sobranie O.S.M. This one is more turkish-oriented than the other two, but nice balanced. A fine all-day smoke.

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Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Patience is rewarded. I recently decided to visit a tin of this old friend which had been sitting quietly in my basement for over 12 years. The color and art work on the tin were slightly different from the more recently purchased tins of RR sitting alongside it. The tobacco was compressed, and I had to dig it out as I transferred the contents to a bail top jar. From the initial light, this was a treat. The red Virginias had aged to the point where they had absolutely no harshness and no bite, but provided tremendous backbone to the blend. The taste of the Virginias was natural, rich and deep. The latakia and orientals had also matured, eliminating any rough edges. This is hefty English blend at its finest. I believe the quality of the tobacco in this blend is extraordinary. I would describe the smoke as substantial and solid, smooth and spicey. As with a few of the old classics, there is nothing quite like it. And you need a few tins on hand, patiently aging, just for peace of mind. Most highly recommended. Paddy.

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bumbum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bumbum (20)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I recently bought a tin of "Red Rapparee" at my usual tobacconist's, just in order to try somthing new. It is a mild mixture (seems like I'm in the minority here) and pleasant, but nothing more. I miss the kick from the Latakia and the Perique, but the Virginia is smooth, gentle, and fine. And there is a touch of Oriental, which I love. As a pipesmoker definetely preferring the stronger mixtures (My Mix. 965, Paul Olsen's Blue Queen and King George VI) I will probaly smoke "Red Rapparee" in the morning - it is too "flat" and mild for me in the afternoon and in the evening. Bumbum.

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (304)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Ok, how do you approach to reviewing a legendary tobacco? With reverence, but also with the will not to lose one's objectivity. The tin appearance and smell clearly scream "English blend", with the fine cut, pungent smell and brownish/reddish/dotted black look typical of some Dunhill tobaccos. Yes, the comparison is not far-fetched: I found several similarities between Red Rapparee and Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium. Of the two I have a slight preference towards Rattray's blend, which I find a bit less sweet and more balanced between virginias and Latakia. It lights well, burns well (a bit too fast and hot if you don't take some care) and leaves a very fine light ash which doesn't encrust the pipe. Flavor remains very distinct throughout the whole bow. If it didn't tend to burn my tongue more than some other of my favorite English blends, it would be a very nice all-day smoke. A very good tobacco, maybe less personal and distinctive than some other blends, but of very respectable quality.

2012 Update: After several years, I must say that this tobacco has remained the same... although my tastes have got more refined. Yes, I think that there are SEVERAL better English blends around, and Red Rapparee probably has a bit too much cavendish for my taste, making it seem a bit flat and dull at times while with a certain peculiar fullness of body and "roughness" in the back of the palate. Anyway, it still is the best Rattray mixture with orientals together with Black Mallory: all their other ones are insipid stuff. And it still is very decent and enjoyable, if you like the style and take care to dry it a little bit before smoking.

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The name has always intrigued me, and I have always wanted to try it. Well I did, a mixture as they say, Latakia, Va.'s, cavendish, orientals. The usual fare. Came moist, as most Rattrys do, so it aired out some. Packed fairly easy, and charring produced a taste melange of a typical english. Not bad mind you, but, oh well I guess I was dissapointed. The tobacco smoked well enough, and did not bite, burned to a fine grey ash to the bottom. I would put this tobacco in a catagory of 5, nothing outstanding, I guess I have become jaded, or maybe my palate is more refined? A reccomended tobacco for someone trying new blends, or perhaps a constant for it's admirers. Maybe later?

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NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

Although I normally prefer Va flakes, this expertly prepared blend offers an interesting change of pace. However, I find it much too intense for all day or even multi-pipe smoking. After dinner, it's a joy but I use a small bowl pipe for a short smoke. It's too strong for my tastes > 10-15 minutes. Most don't enjoy the room aroma of the Latakia and orientals so this is an outdoors smoke. The taste is a different matter; a nice balance of consistent flavor in an English blend without any bite. The ribbon cut and moisture content make it easy to pack, light and keep lit even with slow puffing that really brings out the flavors.

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