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The Original Blend of 1848. Bright Virginia leaf and rich black cavendish are the basis of this mixture which is mild but satisfying. The addition of a balanced proportion of Dubec Turkish and Louisiana perique enhance the blend to a position of elegance and quality. No latakia.

BrandRobert McConnell
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams tin
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I recently cracked open a 15-year old tin of McConnell Black & Gold (do they even make this one anymore?) and was surprised by the way the leaf had fermented. I received a delicious and sweet taste that was a bit more than the natural components, but not overwhelming. I couldn't really capture a lot of the Perique flavor but it was certainly there. This was a totally unique smoke to me and I guess calling this one a flavored Oriental/Latakia mixture wouldn't be too far off the mark.

If Black & Gold is indeed still on the market, I sure can recommend this one to those who like more than a cased Burley.

Pipe Used: Bruce Weaver, J.T. Cooke & Rich Lewis

Age When Smoked: 15 year old tin

Purchased From: No clue

Similar Blends: Unique, can't think of a comparable blend.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

I am not an aromatic smoker. Being a Dane, that could make me quite an outsider. But I am fed up with those eternal synthetic "candy-baccies" which dominate Denmark.

Here is an English aromatic that I simply love. This colorful blend does not taste artificial, it is like as if McConnell's thought; "Hey! Let's make an aromatic like they would have made it a 100 years ago"

A natural, rustic blend; top quality leaf and with a topping so weird (GOOD) that I can't describe it, nor compare it with any other blends. One of my favourites.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

4 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

A nice fruity smoke, slightly sweet and very mild. I have not smoked it for a long time, but I don?t recall any Perique in it. It is a good tobacco for a change of pace (i.e., when tired of straight Virginias and not in the mood for Orientals). Visually, it is a very attractive mixture, the jet black Cavendish contrasting with the bright yellow (golden?) Virginias. It packs easily, but it is hard to keep lit, probably due to the moisture in the black Cavendish.

Flavour wise, it tastes of prunes and dried raisins, but not in an artificial way. It produces a nice nose or atmosphere, without being notable. I find a good option to break in a new pipe, and a good introduction for those seeking to take up a pipe.

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1643)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Robert McConnell - Black and Gold.

When I initially opened my tin up the name made sense, a tin brimmed with black and gold tobacco. Well, it's actually black and dark brown but lets not split hairs! The aroma from the tin has more of a fruitiness to it than the smokes flavour. It smells quite sharp yet the taste is much milder. From the smoke I get a subtle plum note with a creamy vanilla taste.

I find the flavour of the tobaccos to be well weighted. There is a sour woodiness from the Oriental which is prevented from being too imperious by the creamy/vanilla like Black Cav'. There is also a slight sharpness from the Perique with the Virginia giving build/body/substance to the smoke. At first puff this seemed a little boring but after about ten minutes the flavours really begin to develop and come through clearly.

For me, the nicotine is perfect; middle ground so not too much nor too little.

First puff suggested "a bit of a boring smoke worth one or two stars" but after a few puffs this really comes to life; a love it or hate it blend maybe?!

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 2016

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Last of the oldish McConnell tins from my cellar. This is one is - surprise - black and gold in color, ribbon cut, with a heavy smell of fruit in the tin. It claims to have a "woodspice" flavor, and since I have no idea what that means, I have no idea if either the smell or the flavor meets that claims. But I'm willing to concede the issue.

In the pipe, this is indeed a bit fruity tasting to start, and proper drying before partaking is recommended to tame that flavor, which is mildly sweet and more than a bit sour. Raisiny and perhaps apricot. This is a well crafted aromatic that eschews its American counterparts goopiness and artificiality. Once dried and once I get a short way into the bowl, the tobacco flavor comes thru. Excellent Virginia leaf with a bit more than a smidge of fruity perique. I did not notice any orientals but they could have been a factor in this one's sour side. Reminded me a bit of Glen Piper, which is another McConnell aromatic that was well conceived. Once this blend got into its zone, it was well balanced with the flavoring becoming complementary to the Virginias tang and mellow sweetness. It had kind of a McClelland-esque fermented quality but on a smaller level. Overall this is a mild-to-medium smoke but is very flavorful and mouthfilling. No lightweight in the nic department either. Complexity is on the short end of the stick but still contained some minor nuances. Smoked at tin moisture (came very moist), these nuances disappear and the smoke becomes steamy and dull. This one, like most virginiais, needs to be dried out to reach its potential and I found it best just short of crispy. This is a good one to try if you're curious about aromatics but have found the typical U.S ones to be too chemically flavored. A nice change of pace for me but nowhere near a rotation maker.

Age When Smoked: 5 years

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Mild Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is an unusual blend. The tin back label just claims VA, Perique, and a 'woodspice' flavor, which I easily detect in the tin and room note, but get only a trace in the bowl. I would have guessed VA, Cavendish, and a hint of Perique, but unless the 'woodspice' is related to Orientals, I don't really notice any real Oriental tones. Nor do I get any dark fruit topping.

A bit off-beat but pleasing on a warm day.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 22 months after purchase

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

First of all, I’m quite sure it has been reformulated, I guess that’s why of the mixed reviews here. The producer's website (K&K) doesn’t list Orientals, indeed I detect any Oriental in it and even the presentation makes me doubt: no black and gold but tan, dark brown and black! Anyway, I’m not too impressed by B&G, it’s very light in body and flavors, I’ve smoked it fresh and dried out and it always tasted empty; it’s a sort of middle of the road blend: not a true Vaper (a vapid Virginia and little to none Perique) nor an Aro (there’s just a faint trace of vanilla and room note is not so good), in my opinion it’s just an average Virginia/Cavendish. Best thing is that it smokes cool and refreshing at least, very summery. Definitely, I can't say it is bad, just unsexy.

Pipe Used: Bulldog, Prince, Dublin

Age When Smoked: fresh

Nobody has rated this review yet.

zulujerk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
zulujerk (145)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I picked this up at Ed's Pipe Shop in Santa Monica. Over the years, their range of pipe tobaccos has thinned somewhat, but I always make it a habit to pick up two tins while there, which I visit about three times a year.

Black and Gold caught my eye, sitting on the shelf, covered with dust. It must have been there five years, at least, which is instant gratification for those impatient fellows like myself, seeking aged blends.

I honestly had no idea what I was purchasing, but figured the age would make up for it, and I was at least right in that respect. Black and Gold smokes like the familiar VaPer, with the added ingredient of Cavendish, apparently included to sweeten things up a bit. This is not a sweet, cloying blend, however, and I must disagree with the lot of reviews here who have panned Black and Gold as a mild, flavorless smoke.

There is a heavy Perique presence, and the blend is more than mild, I would even suggest it's rather strong, at least medium in body. I first fired this up to complaint, which is rare. A resident non pipe smoker walked in my smoking den and blew the air ahead with a disapproving hand, asking what I was smoking. I was told it smelled horrible, and I have never had anyone protest a VaPer before. In my mind, it was a compliment, suggesting the robustness of my smoke.

I like this blend, and I like it even more souped up with a third of Smyrna, adding a bit of spice to the Virginia and Perique. In the tin you can make out dark strands of flake Virginia, rubbed out, their formerly Golden hue now absorbed by the darker leaf of the Perique and Cavendish, well represented though indistinguishable from one another. The tobacco glitters in the light from a good deal of time spent on the shelf, the discarded tin, its paper insert stained by bleeding of time.

Puffing in cadence brings about a rich, subdued sweetness in flavor with clear, tangy notes, complimented by the ever present plum of the Perique, which hits quite evident. I can't make out the Cavendish...which has that sort of chameleon quality that lurks about in the background, and even without the added Smyrna I detect a bit of spice, from what element of the components, I can't say. You should know, however, that the Cavendish plays no part in watering down the character of Black and Gold. I've put the blend on a fast track to early completion, having no VaPers currently on hand.

This was a solid purchase, if a bit pricey, though I've grown accustomed to paying the inflated B&M charges and associated tax. I complain, sure, but appreciate the luxury of seeing my wares on the shelf, of exchanging pleasantries and experiences with a real tobacconist and not the sort that hangs around on forum news groups, although I love their company as well. Support your local shop!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sagesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sagesmoke (14)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Wife bought me a tin of this for Xmas. As others have stated, this just isn't for me. Everything about it was wrong to my tastes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A great semi-aromatic in my opinion. Fruity (Plums) with a tiny hint of vanilla. Good solid earthy tobacco taste throughout. I wish there were more aromatics in this genre out there, an uncomplicated blend, nicely understated. Non nonsense stuff, if you like VAs with a pinch of perq. and a little aroma added, this should do it for you.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

IMHO tobaccos branded McC and produced by K&K have a common thing ... the understatement. I have found that in Oriental, Scottish Blend, Glen Piper and Maduro, the exception being - at the moment - Scottish Cake only (but I have just the Scottish Flake ready to start).

B&G is far long to be a substantial smoke, but it's polite and pleasant. Notes of raisins and figs in the tin aroma, and a very attractive topping kinda liqueurish/flowerish. The smoke is faintly sweet and also liqueurish, mild and non biting if smoked properly. A bit much flat and boring as all-day on weekly basis, as I'm doing...

As I have noticed with Scottish Blend, the current production has been flattening down in comparison with the small round tins production of the early 2K. I still have one those tins of B&G (I found three of them three years ago) and all the features were more pronounced, and bit stronger. I really liked it, cannot say the same now.

Again maybe it's a problem of aging, but I'm wondering why so many tobacco should be bought today for being smoke the next two years. The producer should bear the costs of immobilization of capitals, or not ?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
Mild Mild Medium Tolerable

This is a good blend for the new smoker. Very light in taste and nicotine but also promising for the pipe smoking experience that is to come (from other blends though...) Also, I really cannot recall any perique...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
Mild Strong Mild to Medium Strong

I have been looking for an aromatic to put in my rotation and this is not it. To me it is like sucking hot caramel through a straw. I was never able to finish a bowl. The initial flavor was good but after the first few puffs it went from bad to worse. To top it off my wife couldn't stand the room aroma. I will continue to look for a quality aromatic elsewhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.