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Our Oriental complicated mixture. The effort required to produce this tobacco has an impact on smoking. As the name suggests, this is predominantly a mixture of Turkish, Syrian and Cypriot - including Eastern Mediterranean - bright tobaccos. Produced for the first time in early 1800, it is one of our earliest mixtures. Selected small leaves from the hills of Macedonia and the Levant, along with Bright Leaf of Carolina and Red Old Belt of Virginia are rested for a week in order to merge the flavors. Then Carolina Black Cavendish is added, and the entire mixture is stored loosely until it is needed.

BrandRobert McConnell
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutRibbon
Packaging50g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 11 Users

3.2
60 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
23
3 star:
28
2 star:
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (563)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

It is clearly not "cool" in the pipe smoking community to enjoy a blend that gets fairly consistent low ratings on this site. While I find that kind of blind faith alternately bemusing and disconcerting, I have the cure for at least one blend. If you find it uncool to like Rattrays Highland Targe because of its low ratings, try this one instead. Same flavor profile, although this one is a hair more robust. Or I should say, the flavor comes to me a bit quicker. I have to commend the blender on his use of the latakia condiment, which this blend does indeed contain... the apparent debate has been settled, at least to my satisfaction :). This is primarily an oriental blend with virginia in the sidecar and latakia balancing carefully to the rear. Therefore, latakia hounds should be warned that their favorite condiment is indeed just a condiment here.

The tin nose is dark and musty but the flavor is clear and clean. All the tobaccos play well together but the oriental is clearly in the lead, hence the name of this one is well-conceived. The flavors are a bit more assertive than in the Rattrays but other than that, the two taste and smoke very much alike. HT may be somewhat more complex, but this is no one-trick pony. The variations are just a bit more subtle while the overall flavor is just a hair more bold. I find this to be an excellent example of an oriental-forward tobacco and I'm surprised that I never smoked this one in the "good old days". I plan to correct that immediately, as more tins are headed to my cellar. Highly recommended to those who enjoy blends that unlock their secrets gently and on their own timetable.

8 people found this review helpful.

Spitfire1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spitfire1 (9)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am used to smoke Latakia containing Tobacco like Peterson Balkan Delight and Balkan Flake from Samuel Gawith. I have to admit the taste of this Tobacco is much "softer" but it is a real Delight to smoke late at night sitting in the garden and looking to the sun going down. The tobacco's room note is also more tolerable for non smokers when used in-house. A very welcome Tobacco and even one you could smoke all-day long, something you can't do with a real heavy Latakia.

I surely shall buy it back and even cellar it.

Pipe Used: Peterson Bulldog

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Tobacco house in Diest (Belgium)

4 people found this review helpful.

Deimitori Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deimitori (6)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've smoked two bowls of this good tobacco, the quantity supplied to me of our forum meeting (Hellenic Pipe Smokers Forum) in October 2012.

My view is that this is a very good and valuable tobacco. Oriental tobaccos have the dominant role with flavors between sweet and spicy, it has creamy texture and I taste nice taste of raisins, a taste of "earth", slightly spicy spices and a nostalgic scent of old wood shop.

Virginia simply serves as a basis in which Orientals are "dancing" their own delicately scented complex dance. The Black Cavendish looks like the link that connects the base (Virginia) to the top (Oriental) giving a very nice and interesting final smoking result. A successful mixture that is not an one-dimensional one.

As smoking goes to the middle of the bowl, the sensation of pungent spices becomes stronger without monopolizing the taste palette. I had the subtle taste of Japanese green tea "Ocha", something that up to now I have only tasted in the legendary Balkan Sobranie.

And of course there is the smoked taste of Latakia tobacco which enriches it. If there is no Latakia in this blend as some pipe smokers ar mentioning, then it is a highly successful smoked Oriental tobacco in the mixture that gives a sense of tasty Latakia.

The tobacco reminds me the great English blends of Dunhill. It has the European "feel" of the Balkan / English blends. But it is also somewhat less "aggressive" in both the "intensity" and the final aftertaste compared to those of Dunhill's .

A smooth smoking with moderate strength of nicotine it can be smoked pleasant all day. It lights easily and burns slowly and well and without a lot of extra lighting. No tongue biting if smoking it in a calm way, not leaving any liquid in the bowl and the filter comes very clean after smoking. The room note is rather pleasant to tolerable and can be well accepted even by people who do not like the smell of the "Latakia".

An old, historic blend has its roots close in the beginning of the 19th century!

A great pipe tobacco with a very nice, soft and rich flavor. I was very pleased to "meet" this tobacco, but now that I smoked all the quantity I had, I will miss it very much ...

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (203)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a quality light Balkan. The Orientals are rich and the Virginias are nice and sweet. The Latakia is not too light and not too heavy. It's just right. I've been unable to detect the Black Cav. This is my second McConnell blend and both have been impressive. Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor. 3+

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: 4noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (45)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have found a new friend in this. Wanting to try a quintessential "oriental" of sorts so i could determine its taste charecteristic;i sought this site for inspiration and found this. I ordered a tin online as a sample as well as some regulars and other newbies..

I have had a real go at this since i have purchased it and it has a certain enigma value that i like a lot, but struggle to describe easy..The saying "less is more " applies i think, and its simplicity is its strength and i think it goes to show that sometimes its not what you put into a blend but what you leave out that makes a good baccy..

The surprise in the taste was pleasant as well because i had in my minds eye(or tongue)a preonception that it was going to be one of those sort of "once in a while" smokes;the word oriental conjoured up a vision of a rich ,sweet and sour sauce bomb,perhaps a bit like a hyper version of"erinmore balkan mixture" .

Anyway ; i pop open the tin and take a sniff and i can immediately smell some familiar ingredients that i have encountered in other balkan/english mixtures.

Tin aroma;of naturally sweet aromatic mixed herbs,not as industrial or creosote-ish as other favourites of mine ,and there was no familiar but likable diesal engine sump oil factor to this one either(i try to find adjectives)..

I scrape the contents off the paper card lid and it feels basically smokable.. The appearance of contents;a few yellows,some orange,tan and dark browns for the main part ,and a smidgeon of khaki green,,its a medium ribbony sawdust cut.

I load into a new 6" georgian clay(which is my favourite standard type of pipe BTW)..

Using a gas lighter(because clays dont care)the baccy takes flame easy and fluffs up slightly where i give it a quick tamp with my finger WHICH I LICK AFTERWARDS then carry on.. Its an easy tobacco to work with.

My first impressions after getting into it was that it wasn't spice shock assault that i was expecting,and it was quite a sober and sensible smoke(i was bracing myself unnecessarily for exteme spice which didn't actually appear),the other thing that got me was how smokey this was considering it supposedly has no latakia in it,,;smokey but not in the familiar latakia smooth,sooty type way(i think i know what i'm talking about,, i hope)..

The other pleasant surprise was how natural and unspoilt this mixture is..It had in its unique way;that archetypal "natural tobacco" factor combined with an interesting complexity..

The no nonsence and strait talking conversation of this smoking experience was on the same par as "irish oak" and "old dublin",,;no casing/topping detected whatsoever and it has a unique factor..

I'm so glad i had a bowl of peterson "irish oak" before hand actually ,because it gave me the perfect datum from which to judge..

Comparison to other blends;i can say roughly between "irish oak" and "old dublin" there must be some common middle ground ingredients,but it has an identity of its own and is not like a hybrid.(its a different brand anyway) It fills a vacuum on the taste spectrum which i did not know was missing until i tried it.. The consequences have been strange in that; it has helped me to appreciate "irish oak" and "old dublin" even more as well. Its a complimentary member.

Anyway; its taste fluctuates down the bowl to be interesting while sticking within the main conversation. Good interplay of ingredients taking turns or coming in combination.

What it doesn't have in its ingredients,augments the ingredients that are present in proportion, while still maintaining a perfect balance of firing order and a medium strength english property.(this is a 1000cc triple as opposed to a 1000cc four).Its got a lumpy factor and not as smooth but no worse off for it(charecter factor).. Its not harsh though..

Taste; i have already said that i was pleasantly surprised by its natural unspoiled factor;i will try to explain its own flavour rather than by comparison goal posts. I get a very herby taste with lightly salted creamy butter,as well as a slightly sweet and cheese(parmesan-ish) and onion buscuit savoury type taste..(Onion bread?).

I get a hint of pepper on the tongue but not in a black pepper perique sence like in "irish oak";it is more of a sensation than a flavour,its a prickle but not tongue bite,,,;perhaps it is the herbs(or whatever) asserting their own sensation. Its hard to put my finger on, and i am still trying to solve it;green aromatic herbs like summer herb salad;there is a herbal bitterness but its pleasant.Its on the herby more than the spicy side,which is perhaps what impressed me about it and enforces its unique factor. Sometimes it has a sage and onion stuffing taste in a way as well

This blend does not mention having any latakia in it,and i don't know if it has any or not,,,and even if it hasn't its not exactly missed either.. This tobacco has its own natural smokey factor,and i can see why some may feel they are tasting latakia,but it maybe an illusion of familiar taste association from the other ingredients;although smokey,it has its own smoke and not because of ,or the same as the fortified type of smoke due to the curing method of any latakia.. So comparing it to "old dublin"(sorry i could not resist) i can say that the oriental in this is augmented while the sooty leathery ,smooth ,smokiness of the absent latakia is diminished..

I look at tobacco as an acoustic property, that cannot be amplified electrically;you have the size of your bowl to smoke it in,but what ever you want to put in for maximum taste,you have got to be prepared for the fact that you will have to take something else out and thats generally it.(as long as you are willing to stay within a single bracket of mild,medium,or strong) You see;i like my englishes/balkans medium and my ropes and plugs strong(they have to be strong to justify the fuffing about with!).. So sticking to my parameters its obvious that i cannot have it both ways of having all strengths of the ingredients while maintaining a medium dynamic combined strength;what ever i want to bring in i have got to be prepared to chuck something else out;the way i get round this is by smoking variations in a day to keep my pallet interested..(i could perhaps stack my bowl with a pinch of this, and a pinch of that, to creat a medly actually,,havent thought of that before!)

This oriental tastes basically what i wish "old dublin" would taste like sometimes,,,;by fluke it has been achieved sometimes,and other times i have wished "old dublin" to give me more of something else..(old dublin has been my so far favourite regular purchase)wanting all this while staying within the medium english strength factor. Trying "oriental" has made me realise that i had been asking too much of a single blend "old dublin"to give me that amount of deviant compass(plus i don't like it if a tobacco doesn't taste consistant as well either)...

And so i have found a tobacco "oriental"that gives me that bit more, and a bit less, that i can instantly go to while not hoping my "old dublin" would taste a bit more "this or that way" sometimes. It means i don't get bored basically and means my rotation between 2 alternating blends has been smoothed out with this new harmonious member..

If you like or are familiar with "irish oak" or "old dublin" you may find this a worthy contemporary with an identity of its own whileit has the ability to be a variation on a simular ingredient theme,,(another actually is a blend called punchbowle that has just virgina and latakia,and with these 4 blends there is for me a definative north,east,south and west within the medium strength bracket of simular ingredient, natural tasting, medium strength english tobacco's.)

Its burn rate is the slower side of medium i have noticed and so it is kind to the small bowl handicap of my clay pipe(which i smoke for their pure tobacco taste,,;again you can't have it both ways)

Clays smoke hotter but it was cool at the mouth end.

After taste is herby and i can taste a herby like vinegarette-ish taste on my lips. It does not cloy my clothes like say a saucy and spicy"erinmore balkan mixture"(which i liked but wanted a toned down version for allday puffing,,;i found that solution in "squadron leader")

Nice for me room note,and enough strength that when smoked outside not much is lost in the wind as far as taste.

It stays lit quite well and burns to light battleship grey ash,in the same manner as either "old dublin " or "irish oak"

Nicoteen hit is medium and satisfying and doesn't leave me wanting.

I will will definately purchase more of this and regret not purchasing more when i was purchasing.

The pleasure this gives me whilst smoking in the sun and staring through the blurry smoky haze and the heatwave shaddows is epic;i was mentaly on a sail boat whilst sitting in that garden chair in my crappy yard ,,,no shit this stuff makes me feel like a satisfied millionaire doing exactly what i would do if i was a millionaire.. Peace and 4 stars!

2 people found this review helpful.

TEO Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TEO (25)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Wow what a spicy and really "century old" formula. Here it is, a big oriental mixture without any Latakia in it ( anyone who doesn't agree must check out how real macedonian leaves smell and understand you don't need extra smoke curing to get it), sweet & spicy as it has to be ( be carufel, this won't bite, unless you beg for it) and able to develop a sweet bouquet that lets you savour all of the intense natural flavours tipycal for VAs and Macedonian can offer. A little cavendish, no irish method here, is added for even more sweetness. A understand many people may sense Latakia in this blend even cuz it is as sweet as a good Syrian latakia should be, but it doesn't ( personally I sometimes add some myself but I care not to exceed or this beatiful blend gets overwhelming). I love that sweet & "cheese like" aroma & taste that Macedonian tobacco gives and I think I'll buy a box of these tins to keep it in the cellar. If you're looking for a intense oriental nirvana, savouring sweetnes with no damn fruit flavours or somethin' else added, to get you back smoking some 1800 mid- orient's traveller's taste, you found the right one. Far from others blends I like but don't love, from Mcconnel, this is real good, for a decent price, if you compare it to some usual "high ranked English or balkan mixtures" that ends up having you smoking second category Ciprus Latakia or something like that. The only thing I suffer smoking this one is a little lack of power, and that's why I don't give it 4 stars.

Update - October 2011 - I finally started my pipe season ( cause I cant really keep on smoking during summer, I never could and I don't know why) and I can say that It started with a flavour-boom. I give now the fourth star to this quality blend, simply delicious.Not a bite, not an harsh sensation, never, magical macedonian, a real balkan Lord. Only a relight for the entire bowl in my mid Peterson. A must-have.

2 people found this review helpful.

SMOKETSES Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SMOKETSES (208)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

One of the best (if not the best) Oriental mixtures for me. It causes disagreement between those who try it, whether if it contains or not Latakia (just like Provost). In my opinion, it doesn't. Virginia has a supplementary role and leaves the Oriental as protagonists, with their spicy yet simultaneously sweet flavor. Tasteful, with a natural tobacco aroma, which feels me with joy. Sweet flavor up until the end of the bowl. Easily smoked at any time of a day. Perfect humidity. Finely cut, which allows the easy filling of the bowl. It lights effortlessly and so it is maintained. Naturally no tongue-bite. Its nicotine level is medium to strong, perfect for my standards. Additionally, it perfectly complements a drink and a meal, to the point that sometimes you may think it releases certain fragrances like plum, walnuts or freshly baked bread. Amazing mixture.

2 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Tin: Light brown, and black, with the odd olive strand. Initially, it had a strong, acrid, sour undertone. There was no display of quality VA or spicy oriental. A smoky aroma is noticeable along with an unnatural organic tone, an unsweet odor of rank, smoky barbecue sauce. A couple of hours after tin opening, it seemed to transition into a mainly smoky Latakia aroma. A sweet oriental bouquet was latterly present. Compare this to McClelland's Oriental Blending tobacco available from SmokingPipes.com.

Packing & Lighting: The standard ribbon cut was not very moist; within a few minutes it was crispy dry. A typical two-match deal, with a relight, but it did have significant gurgle, contrasting with the dry tobacco. Left to dry for one-half hours, it was close to bonedry, crispy. In fact, the exceptional amount of goopy moisture, draining out of the stem, made me wonder.

Taste & Aroma: It has mild qualities of an oriental: sweet, nutty, with naturally spicy, fragrant aromas. I don't notice the VA. A slightly smoky Latakia undertone adds a tad of complexity. A light oriental character predominates. There is no heavy hand of Latakia or VA, as in many full English blends. If smoked hard, it may be a little bitey.

The above was smoked in a briar, outdoors. Maybe this accounts for a more oriental experience, strongly so, when next smoked in a meerschaum.

Indoors, in the meerschaum, there is a distinctly oriental flavor and aroma. It is decidely nutty, buttery, and sweet; spicy and zingy; an ample potpourri of oriental aromatics. In this second setting, it is a very fragrant oriental mixture. Also, the gurgle is nonexistent. Maybe it's just me, but towards the end of the bowl, it seems so spicy as to be peppery to the tongue. I do not think it is steam. On second thought, by the end of the bowl, there is a smidgen of bite.

The tobacco was smoked later, again, in the same briar and was delicious, though in the meerschaum, even more so. That initial experience of modest oriental qualities, and excessive moisture draining out of the stem, must have been some sort of aberration.

Nicotine: The briar smoke was mild. In the meerschaum, it was strong, almost very strong, heady. It alternates between mild to strong, usually closer to strong.

Room Note: Fragrant oriental perfume, but not lingering.(This is where the ratings schema needs to be broadened: to wit, RM Oriental is full, strong, but quite pleasant, agreeable.)

Overall: The tin aroma was deceptive. However, it does smoke with the full flavor and aroma of an oriental tobacco. RM Oriental is one of the tastiest and naturally aromatic of all tobaccos. I could have almost eaten it, there was so much creamy flavor. 3.7-4.1 stars, a solid 4 stars.

This merits comparison to McClelland's Oriental Blending Tobacco which is what I would smoke for a full oriental experience.

2 people found this review helpful.

celtipipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
celtipipe (2)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Scrivo volentieri di questa miscela di Robert Mc Connel  ORIENTAL  Perché mi ha veramente stupito piacevolmente fin dal primo assaggio. Una miscela di gusto inglese ma non così austera come una classica EM Un ottimo  all day  da prendere anche in seria considerazione come tabacco per così dire estivo. Il blend si compone del classico trittico orientali-virginia e latakia, con una lieve preponderanza degli orientali, (del resto non a caso si chiama  oriental  ) che caratterizzano con il loro bouquet floreale e morbido tutta la fumata; il latakia presente ma non invadente corre come sul velluto accontentandosi per una volta a fare da illustre comprimario rispetto anche ai pregiati e dolci lemon virginia con i loro golosi effluvi di terra, fichi, uva passa e cacao. Non dichiarato, a mio avviso anche un black cavendish contribuisce alla dolcezza dell'insieme. Gli orientali dicevamo la fanno da padrone fin dalle prime boccate rivelando anche un sapore lievemente astringente e leggermente torbato e a tratti anche lievemente salato. La miscela è tanto semplice quanto complessa ad un attento esame, ogni boccata contribuisce a costruirne la struttura, svariando piacevolmente in un caleidoscopio di sapori costantemente in divenire. Il latakia dicevamo è sempre presente ma mai soverchiante, in compenso regala sentori chiari di bergamotto, cuoio e legno di sandalo: eccellente!!! Verso metà fumata la pienezza della miscela ne guadagna, assurgono maggiormente i virginia dolci e fruttati terminando ancora sugli orientali, mentre cala leggermente il latakia. Dicevo prima che è a mio parere una miscela complessa anche se non sembra, proprio perché appare costantemente in evoluzione durante tutta la fumata. Secondo me un ottima scelta, estremamente soddisfacente senza risultare troppo inebriante.

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (184)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Robert McConnell Oriental . This one gives off a great aroma from the unlit Tobacco , one where you can detect all the different Tobaccos very clearly , with the smell being finished off with the smokiness from the Latakia . The level of moistness is unfathomable , it is ready to get going straight away ! I heartily fill my pipe and then it's time to begin ... what a treat ! Right from the first touch of the flame this one is great , taking on a very steady burn with great ease which then bestows a full bodied , mid temperature Smoke . The taste is divine , to be fair the Latakia isn't as strong as I anticipated from the mix's aroma , the Tobaccos are all at a great balance with each other . To me , not any of the Tobaccos particularly steal the show , you get a good sweetness from the Black Cav' with a nice "backbone" of Virginia leaving space for the Smokiness of the Latakia to have its moment in the spotlight ! As others say , this is definitely not a Lat- bomb , it has been more rounded off by the Latakia . The Nicotine quantity is absolutely perfect (for me) , satisfying yet not a "head spinner" and if you like to inhale your Smoke this one slides down with great ease . The Room Note is very good , I get a good detection of all the different types of Tobacco with the Virginia being the most prominent . Another good point is the atmosphere in the room stays fairly clear , so it isn't too offensive for other people . This is a very "pure" Tobacco in the sense that I don't get any underlying flavours of any kind , only the specified Tobaccos , e.g not Cedar/Vanilla etc . This one has been a perfect blend to Christen my new pipe I had from my beautiful wife for my Birthday : )

Pipe Used: Peterson Golden Supreme

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peter Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peter Piper (41)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a lovely mixture, to look at, smell and smoke. Contrasting colours, a pleasant aroma and then a mellow combination of flavours come your way: fruit, honey and spice without any hard edges to it. If this is "an old man's smoke" then I must be an old man!

Recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (59)
★☆☆☆
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

Ach. Ach. Ach.

I've made a big mistake here. I thought this blend would be like a pipe version of Tor Oriental cigarettes.

By that I mean sweet, flavourful with an aromatic aroma.

It is none of those things. It's what I call an old man's smoke, or maybe old skool as they call it these days.

As I said I bought this blend in error. I could detect a musty, leathery odour before I even cracked open the can. Maybe that raises a question over the canning process I don't know.

So, it was without any great surprise that opening the tin revealed a damp dark mass of tobacco, that immediately brought to mind my horrific encounter with a certain squadron leader.

The smell that I detected before I openned up, was there in abundance and carries through into the smoke. To some this style of tobacco is the very epitomy, to others, like me it's just ghastly. Ir smokes down to a hard flaky ash and I have a nasty suspicion that I may have to break out the alcohol and salt.

Not for me then and up for an urgent trade, with nary a teaspoonful missing.

Don't make the mistake I did, and do your research before buying.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tudorcfr90 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tudorcfr90 (4)
★★★★
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The blend that I currently smoke and also my first ever Robert McConnell. Very complex aroma and nice oriental taste. The Latakia is not powerful, added only for complexity. The taste is offered mainly by the sweetness of Virginia and the spiciness of the Orientals with the Cavendish added to temper the strength. A real symphony of aromas. I love it! It will always be in my collection.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vovinam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vovinam (19)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

It's a fine, mild and atypical "scottish blend like" mixture, maybe a little straight for the first part of the tin. No traces of latakia, (also in the catalogue you can read "Oriental Macedonia, Bright Carolina, Red Old Belt Virginia & Black Cavendish"), but, if you like, you can make a very classical EM by adding a 10-25% of Syrian Latakia (McConnell I suggest) to the mixture. Unfortunately the name of the mixture make sense only after about half a tin, before that, the virginias and the black cavendish tends to cover the oriental taste, also, this is more distinct in the final part of the smoking. Personally I really appreciated the last pipe of the tin (so to much late). First you can percieve the virginias tonality followed by the black coffee aftertaste of the black cavendish (always to strong), after you start to discover the honey, grassy, cinnamon, spicy and natural undertones of the Macedonia, but (I repeat) only when It's too late to full enjoy the tobacco in its name. It's a pity, this could be a real good mixture, so I can't give more than 2 or 2 and a half stars.

Type: Scottish/English mixture ; Contents: Bright Carolina, Red Old Belt Virginia, Black Cavendish, Oriental Macedonia (I put this at last for the reasons that I wrote before) ; Cut: Ribbon / Shag (maybe a thin Ribbon type) ; Humidity: Regular, a little wet ; Lighting: No problems, easy ad constant ; Pipe recommended: Thin bowl, tall I suggest, like a Poker or a Dublin, but works fine also with medium and large size.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (151)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

A fairly monochromatic smoke for me, and I've gone through nearly the whole tin trying to figure out my reaction to that one somewhat spicy, slightly smoky note (presumably mostly from the Macedonian). On the whole, smoking in taller pipes have left the last of the bowl a bit on the harsh side. I've enjoyed this more in wider bowls. I would suggest that if you want to understand a Macedonian blend, this is a good one to try. It does have an interesting room note! A good, rich flavor on the whole, without the overwhelming N some such blends can have. A natural tasting underlying sweetness to balance that spice and smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (218)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is good but not great. The initial light has a strange flavor that I can't put my finger on, it's Oriental ,but not one that I'm used to. It fades very fast and smoothes out to a nice Oriental out front blend. Then about a 1/3 into the bowl the flavours become muted with what I guess is the Cavendish. Actually I thought there was Burley in this blend . This doesn't bite and is not overly spicy, it also isn't complex. I'm going to cellar this and report back later

Reporting Back a year later- 10/10/12- Nothing special, mottled flavour,I don't think you can make this bite, but you do need to pack this tight to slow down the burn or it will get hot and ashy. This might be a good "out in the garden blend". 2 1/2 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Vathek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vathek (6)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Very nice, very enjoyable, mild smoke, with an excellent but not overpowering oriental flavour. Burns quite quickly but never hot. I prefer slightly stronger tobaccos, otherwise I would rate this a 4 star.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Fountainhead Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fountainhead (16)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

McConnell calls this blend "Oriental" without much more detail because the experience of this smoke is as simply put as the name describes. It is a very pure, un-messed-around-with, oriental blend that any tobacco purist who does not like heavy additional flavorings will enjoy. This blend is done in a very traditional English fashion. It has a great spicy-satin taste that doesn't bite and a mild room note that seems to somewhat match the taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arkie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arkie (106)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Oriental is my second favorite blend. This blend has a robust quality and an excellent balance of flavors. It is the most complex blend I've ever tasted. From the first puff to the last there is swirl of flavors varying in sweetness and pungency. I can see why some reviews here have rated it unfavorably if the smoker was expecting a classic English blend with overpowering latakia content rather than a balanced blend with latakia being used to compliment the Turkish and oriental leaves. It makes a great nightcap along with a snifter of cognac. It seems to favor thick walled briars and it likes to be savored slowly. It rates a solid 4 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

thefoolish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thefoolish (9)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This blend is a relaxing blend that does not require the smoker to contemplate its minutiae. The main reason for this is that the blend is exactly what it seems to be.

I tend to enjoy this blend around a campfire.

I'm still not done with my first tin, so maybe I will discover that this blend has more to it than I am detecting, but right now it seems like a good example of your standard English mixture.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheBavarian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheBavarian (9)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tobacco has almost the right moisture out of the tin, smokes dry and gives no real tonguebite if puffed a bit more on the hot side. The taste is imho quite interesting. Orientals and Virginia are definitly in the foreground, but Black Cavendish and Latakia give additional complexity from the background. I especially liked that mixture of Latakia smokiness combined with the rather sweet nuances of Black Cavendish and VA plus the spicy notes of the Oriental stuff. Room note reminded me somewhat of a mild cigar or high quality turkish blend cigarette plus a good trace of latakia. If there is any flavoring to this baccy, then it is not really traceable for me.(The VA maybe has some very subtle topping, but it doesn't manage to get through.)

As far as strength is concerned, this tobacco could well become one of my all day english blends delivering a satisfyingly spicy smoke without being too overwhelming like e.g. Gawith's Commonwealth Mixture(which I prefer to smoke in the evening now and then if I get a latakia crave).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Patte Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Patte (8)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm used to Rattrays 7 Reserve as an "any time of day smoke" and wanted to try this blend after reading the reviews.

McConnell "Oriental" is undoubtly a high quality mixture. It's like a building with a little Virginia as the foundation, lots of Oriental tobaccos as the walls, and a little Latakia as a spicy roof.

I find this mixture very mild and gentle to my tongue. It doesn't bite at all, which surprised me. I smoked it for a week as my only tobacco when I was at our summer home. Very nice tobaco to start the day with, like a good aperitif before brunch. After dinner and before bed I wished I had a more a more full tobacco with me, though.

This blend should be excellent for a smoker of mild aromatics that wants to try a quality non flavoured tobacco. The latakia here gives enough flavour for that to be an easy changeover.

Although I like this blend, it's too mild for my taste. I will stay with 7 Reserve, but don't let this stop you from trying "Oriental"!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
★★★☆
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Another fine blend from Robert McConnell also like their Scottish Cake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipesrevisited Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesrevisited (45)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I evaded this tobacco for a long time because of the incredibly boring tin-art. I finally tried it because I like orientals and do not always want latakia to go with it.

Surprise, surprise... This is a really very pleasant smoke, highly recommended!

update: a bit boring... one star down.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the only oriental blends I have tried that actually just calls itself an 'oriental'. How apt, because that's exactly what it is. A english blend with the emphasis on the oriental 'other' leafs rather than latakia. The virginia's in this are sweet and good quality. I can think of no other blend that acts as an example of what an oriental blend is in theory. Many ask whats the difference between English and oriental, smoke a tin of Nightcap and this and you will get the picture. This is a near to perfection 'beginners' and 'easy on the palette' oriental. So many blend mislead by their name, this does not. I could see this as a perfect spring blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Gentle Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Gentle Smoker (11)
★★☆☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Not being a big lover of mainly oriental belnds, I gave it a try, but I must say its not the best I ever tasted. The beginning started of reasonably, but soon I got tired of the taste and left the pipe for what it was.

Not a full review, but in my opinion not a great tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

If you are looking for a bland, non tiring and every hour oriental smoke this can be a good choice. If you are looking for a real oriental this is not for you.

At this point of view this tobacco should receive only 2 stars from me. I've accorded the third for its surprising smoke. It has a very pleasant varieties of flavors during smoking. Perique adds an elegance to this surprising smoke. For sure I will smoke again.

Tolerable strength and nice flavors of this tobacco can mislead you. Be careful not to smoke it fast. It tends to overheat, ruining your pleasure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (84)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Oriental in name and fact, this mix is unbalanced on the oriental leaf but also reveals the other ingredients: the sweetness of the earthy and herbaceous virginias, astringent, dry and smoky taste from Latakia. The result is a mix of balsamic flavor and an intriguing taste from the interaction between the various components that seem to catch up during the smoke. As other reviewers have noted this formula does not have much character but reveals a confidential and discreet elegance, typically "British" (I apologize for the easy rhetoric...), which I personally appreciate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (48)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

wow what a pleasant surprise from an underrated tobacco! if you like great english blends like black mallory, squadron leader, or penzance I don't see how you could not at least appreciate this fine mixture.. it has that same sweet tanginess i get from the virginias in scottish cake - with an added treat of a fine bouquet of orientals and a tasteful light dose of latakia.. the price on mcconnell tins can be a bit steep but it is worth it for an avid smoker of english blends.. top ratings here..

edit.. i'm going to step down to three stars simply because I don't feel the urge to smoke this as often as I used to.. it is more of an occasional treat than my other englishes and virginias.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kilted1 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kilted1 (43)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Oriental by Robert McConnell reminds me of what many a English/Balkan blend used to be,15 years ago.

Appearance: Upon very close inspection I can detect at least 5 different hues of leaf in this mixture Red and Lemon Virginias are in abundance, darker browns of Oriental with nearly jet black Latakia. The cut is a somewhat varied rough ribbon cut.

Tin aroma: This is complex mixture it immediately says ?English/Balkan? in a very rich and full variety. The Virginias are evident, with rich earthy tones and under-currents of fig/raisin and cocoa. The smoky Latakia makes the main statement, complex and enticing, plenty of smokiness with underlying astringent tones of bergamot and sandalwood. Just under the surface I detect the Orientals giving the mixture?dry fruitiness? and lending even greater depth to the mélange of flavors. There is a peaty, slightly salty over tone to the aroma

This tobacco is nearly perfect in moisture and I employed the ?once like a baby, once like a lady, finally like a gentleman? method of layered packing in a small Armellini Lovat dedicated to English/Balkan mixtures.

Lighting usually is easy, and with a friendly ?lighting tamp? I was well on my way. As expected, the initial flavor is very smoky with an astringent (very gently so) quality I?ve come to expect from Orientals. The Orientals used in this blend are of a floral and softer variety, providing a silky, soft mouth-feel. Latakia and Orientals tend to live ?nasally? for me, so I often employ the ?French curve? method of inhaling the slipstream smoke. The Virginias set a firm background and foundation on which the Latakia and Orientals build. This blend slowly builds in flavors and complexity with each puff.

Mid Bowl: Approaching mid-bowl, the fullness tends to build and the flavors gaining intensity in unison. The initial strength of the Latakia is slowly giving way to other components, the Orientals slowly numbing (not at all in a bad way) my soft pallet and nasal regions. Flavors and scents of bergamot and sandalwood, leather and smoke are abundant and rich. The Virginia comes through a bit more assertively from time to time with rich fruity and sweet tones. Each mouthful is slightly different and unexpected tones creep gently in from time to time. This blend is complex, almost in the extreme, requiring my full attention. Somehow it remains subtle and constantly changing it is a contemplative smoke.

Home Stretch: As end of the bowl approaches, I?m pleasantly taken to that place far from the daily grind and it's troubles. The fullness and character of this blend really come into their own during this final stretch. The Virginias have deepened to a wine like goodness and the Latakia and Oriental has widened yielding leather and forest tones. While not particularly strong in nicotine the final third of the bowl is far fuller in flavors and depth than one might expect from where the blend begins. Layer upon layer of flavor develop and by the home stretch I can't imagine wanting more. This blend finds the perfect balance of refinement and power, is never harsh and has plenty to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Supplemental Notes: I don't know exactly why it's taken me so long to find this blend. It is truly a fine, though not very popular blend among English/Balkan fanciers *

Nobody has rated this review yet.

haredawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
haredawg (46)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I made a pretty harsh transition a few years back when I started smoking a pipe from a newbie smoking soda pop flavored tobaccos to a newbie smoking English blends, going literally from cherry borkum riff to Penzance. Without any of the proper humility I consider my palette fairly sophisticated now, I realized, though, that the English blends I favor are pretty bottom heavy with Latakia and I wasn?t sure if I could pick out Orientals from a line up if I had too. So I tried the closest thing to straight Orientals with the best rating here, a review website I probably put too much faith in but one which has yet to lead me astray.

I understand that flavor now and admire the reviewers on this site even more than I did before. I?m not likely to get another tin of this but it?s not any failing on McConnel?s part, this is quality tobacco, presented well, blended well and interesting, it?s just not my cup of tea, it reminds me of smoking a Turkish cigarette, a novelty from time to time, and something I?d appreciate as a gift, but not something I?d go out of my way to purchase. I understand now why there aren?t a lot of mainly oriental blends out there.

This tin was well worth the lesson for my palette and will help me understand and appreciate the more subtle aspects of English and Balkan blends and I?m sure I will finish the tin eventually, perhaps mixing it in with other things that are too latakia rich and not complex enough or Virginians that burn too hot or something. I just don?t see myself replacing the tin with another one. Just not my cup of tea, but would recommend to the palette curious, anyone who is into Orientals doesn?t need my recommendation and is probably very familiar with this blend. For quality I would give this four stars, for my own personal taste and interest a liberal two stars, so I?ll split the difference and call it three again erring on the liberal side.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

okay, it says "oriental", but there's certainly a bit of latakia here, too. (edit: and more than "a bit", really!)

i don't know how to put this... it's not a poor quality tobacco, i guess, it's just rather boring. not bland to the extreme extent of today's "early morning pipe", but the tobaccos used are quite simply lacking in character. i tried smoking this back to back with compton's "#21", and the difference was... well, eye-opening...

i used to like this one quite well, and i've got a few aging away in my cupboard. they may, after all, develop into something nice in a couple of years. until then: somewhat recommended as a beginner's oriental.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

VERY VERY SPICY! PURE ORIENTAL TASTE! ONLY FOR THE FAITHFUL!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sensitivo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sensitivo (2)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This tobacco is a nice change as I have been exploring oriental blends. Opening the tin reminds me of sweet and chewy figs. It was sealed a little wet. Lighter on the Latakia with a refined balance. The aroma changes significantly thoughout the bowl with notes of patchouli, leather, cream soda, smoky barbeque and black licorice. Packed lightly, I enjoy this blend in a rusticated Canadian and a Danish Cherrywood.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jmartindale Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jmartindale (22)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is simply superb and a wonderful change-of-pace break from category blends such as VAPERs, straight VA, and Latakia-dominated blends.

The Latakia in this blend is nicely restrained but it dances in and out - no question - while the remaining Oriental leaf dominates, not the Latakia or proported VA.

Like SirLoirn noted below, if there is any VA actually in this, then its minimal. This is an exotic smoke and if you pay atention and go slowly you will be well rewarded.

Oriental slowly reveals itself as you move down the bowl. Out of the tin, as usual, I dry mine for at least 24 hours in open air. After that, it readily takes to the flame and has excellent burning qualities - it's very easy to keep this blend smoldering once its been properly dried.

It does indeed develop into a spicy/peppery finish (close to bitey), as noted by SirLoirn. Again, exotic comes to mind with subtle incense aroma perfuming the air. Minimal nicotine makes this a fine evening smoke.

I have dedicated a pipe to this blend - it's refreshingly unique in a crowded field of me-too offerings.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Side by Side Comparison of Orcilla Mixture, Campanile and Original Oriental

I usually do not open multiple tins of tobacco at the same time of the exact same genre. But with the advent of Embarcadero, Yenidje Supreme and HH Vintage Virginia, all containing Virginia and Oriental leaf without latakia, I wanted to see how three ?classic? blends compared. Each has at least five years aging in the tin unopened. I do not have a tin of aged Cairo, or I would add it to the present review.

I laid out three mounds of leaf from each tin, equivalent to what would fill a very large pipe bowl and then some. As always for me, this is a test for the eyes, the nose, the fingers, the ears and mouth.

Orcilla Mixture: Color-wise, Orcilla is the overall lightest of the three. Mostly light browns and tans, with a few suspicious specks of dark leaf. Moisture content is just right, but there were more stems here than in the two others. There is a fermented nose in the tin and something very faintly smoky when I cup my hands around the tin and inhale through my nose very deeply. I am suspicious of Latakia, but am not confident.

Campanile: Darkest of the three and the reverse of Orcilla. The specks are the lighter leaf, while the remaining are medium browns to black. There are a few stems. There is something definitely smoky in the tin aroma, as with Original Oriental. This was noticeably moister of the three.

Original Oriental: Bright, black and brown in near equal proportions. The most visually interesting of three, but it is also the hardest to anticipate what it will be like smoking. Only a tiny stem. Moisture content is fine, but I smell something smoky, just like in Campanile. These are not supposed to have latakia, hmmm.

Cut: All three are a medium long ribbon cut, with Orcilla being much finer, followed by Campanile and then Original Oriental. All three are nice blends to handle, but will require care when loading due to the long leaf.

I decided on three of my best Virginia pipes for the test run, then one more whiff of Campanile and Original Oriental made me think better of it. I think they have latakia. I will not put noticeable latakia or aromatized leaf in a pipe reserved for Virginia blends. I switched out two pipes for pipes used with very light English blends that had very little noticeable residual smell in the bowl. Orcilla loaded with ease, followed by Campanile. Original Oriental took more care. I used the Frank Method with each blend.

My notes on each blend as follows:

Orcilla.

First Bowl Impressions: Not a light-weight by any means, and deep, earthy, spicy flavors betray the lighter appearance of the unburned leaf. I do detect brighter leaf at times. There?s a definite tingle in mouth and nose, but no Latakia, which is a good thing in this case. The burn is exceptionally even, white and rapid. My experience says, ?Respect this or your tongue will get slapped.? That said, it was easy keeping this cool. There is flavor aplenty. ?Sipping? this carefully avoids the need for aggressive puffing. Since this develops somewhat down the bowl, I?ll give my impressions on the middle and last third of the bowl.

The second third of the bowl is when the flavor intensifies. It does not vary from one flavor to the other, except when a little ?something? arrives. This ?something? might be Perique. If you do not generally like blends with Orientals or Turkish leaf because they are harsh, sour or oppressively acrid, Orcilla will change your mind. The Turkish in Orcilla are as good as any I have smoked in any blend and better than most others.

Last half is about the same as the middle third, but a bit more intense. I also sense more Perique. Overall, a solid blend with no arias, but Orcilla is surprisingly fuller than I anticipated without being overwhelming in flavor or strength.

Ongoing Impressions with Orcilla: I keep reaching for this of the three being reviewed here. It gets better each time I smoke it. The balance is perfect, highlighting the Virginias by off-setting them with the mild Turkish. The blender has a palate for subtle, rich flavors that anyone could enjoy who likes flue-cured leaf or Oriental leaf. This is World-class blending indeed.

Campanile: First Bowl Impressions: Subtle, but definite Latakia at the match and throughout, with a surprise taste of non-descript topping. Campanile is a nice, refined mild-medium English, but not an Oriental blend or a ?spiced? Virginia. It really does not develop much down the bowl, but does burn beautifully, cleanly, coolly, and to a dry, slightly mottled white ash. If J.J. Fox were a tobacconist in my neighborhood, I would feel quite blessed with access to such quality (and to think of the blending houses the residents of Edinburgh, Dublin and London had access to, without forgetting Kendal or Jersey, is to sigh that a great era has passed). With the price per tin and solid competition readily available, I am not likely to purchase more. I can still recommend it because it is well crafted, just not a niche that needed filling in my rotation.

Ongoing Impressions: Truly a clean pipe, clean palate blend. The Virginia leaf is top-notch and just gets creamier the more I smoked it in the same pipe on repeated occasions. This is far more refined than my staple lighter English, EMP. If I could get this more reasonably priced, I would enjoy a tin now and then.

Original Oriental:

Initial Impressions: This is more in the genre of Orcilla, but darker still, with that acrid taste for which Turkish leaf is renowned. Thankfully, it is not sour, bitter or bitey. Compared to Orcilla, this starts off strong, like an amusement park ride launched by catapult. Orcilla starts more like the walk before the jog before the run. Despite the instant ?pow,? Original Oriental is smooth enough. The thought occurs to me that Original Oriental borders balkanic. There might be a smidge of Latakia here, but much in the way it appears ghostly in Pease?s Fillmore. If there is perique, it is quite enigmatic. I think Original Oriental is more like McClelland?s Yenidje Supreme, just fuller-flavored, but not as refined.

Ongoing Impressions: This has merit by itself, and I really do enjoy its complexity and richness. If I smoke it back to back with Orcilla and Campanile, it is ?odd man out.? I think that this is because Original Oriental demands my attention, and I do not always want to think too much about the ?act of smoking.?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (22)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a nice, easy Oriental smoke. Not too strong, not too moist, and not too overwhelming tastewise.

If you like a strong latakia kick then this may disappoint, but for those of us who enjoy a subtle and slightly reserved blend, then this is worth purchasing. It smokes dry, has just enough of the bonfire smell to fill the room, and is easy on the nicotine.

Unnlike some latakia blends I could mention, this doesn't kick like a mule...

I am enjoying my tin, and would happily recommend it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I fully underwrite the great Pipestud's review. I have smoked the contents in all its possible degrees of humidity. At the beginning quite unsmokable because it was very damp, as all the rest of McC's. Now some crisp bowlfuls left in the bag, but it's still smokable without bite. Good product but too bland, I don't find so much interest... but it's one of the few mild english available in the italian market, I'll give it a new chance.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This McConnell offering smokes pretty much like an Oriental dominated blend; light in flavor and nicotine. I received my tin already opened, but the leaf was still quite moist. I dried it to the point where it was just shy of crispy.

The flavor does vary as the bowl is consumed (pleasantly so), and did smoke dry (caveat: I did smoke it in a Ruthenberg rusticated pipe that won't gurgle even if smoked underwater).

I do think this is similar to Dunhill's Aperitif although not quite as flavorful. One must be a big Oriental fan to enjoy this offering on a regular basis. I found it to be a wee bit to bland.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mel51us Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mel51us (47)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Robert McConnell's Oriental is a blend that should be tried by all pipe smokers. I like oriental blends, and this one is no exception. Oriental loads easily in any size pipe. It lights easily, burns throughout the bowl with only the occasional tamp, and leaves a fairly clean, dry pipe. A smooth, tasty blend, the tobaccos meld into a well orchestrated, well behaved smoking experience. I was rewarded through the bowl with a nutty sweet and creamy smoke. IMHO, Oriental is the best blend of it's kind.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (125)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Full Pleasant

This is my kind of oriental mixture. It has just enough latakia and plenty of other Balkan tobaccos to add spice and zing to an otherwise mild smoke. I need to be sure to smoke this tobacco in a a dedicated pipe or a pipe which has been used for similar blends such as Campanile or Provost Mixture. Even a pipe used for Old Gowrie will leave enough of its spirit in the bowl to mask the subtle flavors of this blend. For me this tobacco has no bite nor harshness, and delivers plenty of flavor on the palate and zing in the nose. I describe the taste as full not in sense of a highly cased or English scented tobacco but in the sense of fully delivering the varied flavors of the oriental leaf. Highly recommended. Paddy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Peterson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peterson (2)
★★☆☆
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

Just bought a tin of this. it smells very spicy,...yet some sweetness is detectable. Smoking it it turns out to be verry light smoking though there is a refined creamy full smoke with a true latakia overtone. Nowere to find the used tobacco's only A century old formula, traditional mixture of Oriental and Virginia tobaccos. I think it is tobacco for the true latakia smoker, who loves the typical oriental tastes. Though oriental, i think it smells more like some tobacco's i smelled in the middle east, using in water pipes. The positive fact is that the tobacco indeed really will mind u to this mystical country's. For me it is 6,5 point's on a scale to ten, not too much but it can be personal preference. Though when I smoked my second bowl i might probably review this grade.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

OleFattGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OleFattGuy (27)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The nice yellow tin portrays (once you peel of the Governmental warning sticker) an undecidely Asian Landscape with a tobacco(?) factory in front of two Alps, with what appears to be a "classic" Chinaman in a pointed hat with stringlike moustaches. Cool.

Upon opening there is a smokey flavour with organic whiffs that soon dissipate. Sweet. The tobacco consists of somewhat equal thirds of black, bright and olive strands that are a couple of millimeters wide a fairly thin cut. Nice.

The tobacco is on the wet side upon opening so I let a few pinches dry out for half an hour before I stuff them in a small semi-churchwarden Prince that I use for English, Balkan and Orientals.

The smoke is mild at first but enough of Latakia goes in there to make itself noticed although it is more of a spice than an ingredient. the Orientals whirl about in a taste potpourri which is elegant and cool, yet satisfying. The second half intensifys the tastes but they do not change markedly, just get a bit stronger.

I long for another pipe as soon as possible, but my tongue did get a bit of scorching probably due to overzealous puffing. Overall a nice milder alternative to a fullblown English mix with more elegance and less kapow.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Javelin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Javelin (8)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased a tin of Robert McConnell Oriental on impulse after visiting my local tobacconist and spotting the bright yellow tin on the shelves. The tin aroma is one of mellow tobacco...attractive, sweet and nutty. Visually, this Oriental is made up predominantly of black and tan ribbons, but you will also find - scattered here and there - occasional olive green strands that give it an interesting look. I smoked this in a Peterson System #314 and this RM offering lit easily enough to produce a creamy, blue hazed smoke. The taste was cool, light and surprisingly refreshing, though it did intensify a little further down the bowl as the smoke progressed. I think this makes a good, any-time-of-the-day smoke, though if you're looking for something more complex from your tobacco it will disappoint. However, I quite enjoyed it for its simplicity and light touch. I will be keeping a tin of this around for an occasional change of pace or for when I need to refresh a jaded palate. Three stars.

Update 06/07/2006: I have just finished a second tin of this excellent Robert McConnell offering. It has certainly grown on me and now has a regular place in my rotation. A bowl full of Oriental first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day...upgrading this from three to four stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

JazzSmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JazzSmoke (37)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

I love this tobacco and it's overall mildness. It has that classic Scottish/English character from light virginia, oriental and latakia but with a light to medium character. This reminds me of what Rattray's Highland Targe used to be like. Of course, it's all different these days but these McConnell blends still have that classic character to them. However, this is a soft smooth tobacco. Not for someone who needs heavy nicotine or massive complexity.

Great quality in the leaf, and an very easy smoking blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brutos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brutos (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend, along with Squadron Leader and Wellauer's English are my "all day" English choices. This has nice spicy aromas from the Orientals and enough Latakia to add some weight and maintain interest. I smoke this in the morning with coffee and before work or on the weekend when I intend to smoke several bowls. It benefits from some drying out, like many tobaccos, and is most enjoyable once the tin has been opened for a while. It burns well right to the bottom and leaves a nice dry ash.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

If you like orientals, this is for you. A fine blend, though it lacks in body, but it couldn't have been otherwise, considering the tobaccos used. You can smoke it alone with satisfaction, but you could also use it to spice up a mixture with a good body and a scanty aroma.

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UncleGar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleGar (108)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Wow. Twelve reviews so far without the standard whine that this blend needs more latakia. Maybe my tongue is overly sensitive (I only smoke a dozen bowls in a week) but this blend has more than adequate flavor and the latakia restraint is appreciated. I've been slowly searching for an oriental blend that tastes mostly oriental and this comes closest so far.

Turkish tobacco is stated to be a component in Camel cigarettes, and a Camel is my first impression in the room note. Oriental tobaccos are the original aromatics and among my favorites to smell burning. They have a sweetness I normally associate with Virginias but without their pinching bite; a nuttiness like burley without burley's cloaking effect. One of my favorite smokes is McClellands Blending Oriental by itself for these reasons. This one has the addition of Virginias to add variety to the sweet taste and just the right amount of latakia for variety and depth.

Well done. Sounds like I need to cellar a few tins. In the meantime, my darling EM remains Squadron Leader.

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purpleronald Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
purpleronald (16)
★★★★
Medium Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

In agreement with much of the favorable posts... It's an honest 'oriental'. I probably have smoked Balkan Sasieni moreso...but both are very simular ie. like coke and pepsi. I get confused by the terms 'Oriental' 'Balkan' and 'English'. I've heard Balkan S. described as really being an 'English'. On Robert McConnell's label it says 'The Original Orient'...but on the back of the tin it says 'traditional English Mixture.' When one takes into account that 'Robert McConnell'(very english sounding name) is made in Germany...and that Balkan Sasieni is made in Denmark(not the tobacco of course but the company blending it) then one is further confused... At any rate I like the stuff ie. latakia and virginias with a little 'orient'. I would say RM has perhaps a tiny bit more 'orient' flabor than BS...and that BS is stronger in regard to nicotine...but that BS has a slightly milder room note. I smoke the RM in a peterson harp that is dedicated to BS and RM... The flavors are so close...pipe selection and the way one stores the tobacco - might tip the balance in regard to preference. I like RM's tins better than do the tins of BSasieni.

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Tiger Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tiger (53)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I seem to be in the same wagon with the reviewers Howie and CapnDan. Somewhere around '90 I smoked RM's "Oriental" quite often and always thought it to be a nicer-than-average, all-day smoke. Not complex, but tasty and consistant. Last year I bought three tins (in two different states) and it didn't seem at all like the same ol' Oriental - and it certainly wasn't nearly as tasty. Since I smoke mostly for taste, my confidence in Oriental is shot. Based solely on the later tins I bought; this former-favorite is, alas, in the humble 1 star category at my hacienda.

Tiger

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CaptnDan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CaptnDan (242)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I guess I'm the odd man out on this one. I've read the other reviews, and I just cannot reconcile theh comments with the blend I smoked. Maybe there was something wrong with mine.

This is a very mild mixture. The Oriental is shy, and the Virginia is weak. I can?t think of one good reason to smoke it again.

Bland, flat, brings nothing to the party.

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Bicilotti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bicilotti (4)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I usually smoke VA's flakes and I'm not addicted to English blends (I've tryed Dunhill's London Mixture less than a year ago, but nothing more than that), however after smoking it I can say this "Colonian" is nice enough for my pipe. I'm not sure about that, but probably half is Virginia and half oriental, with a small amount of Latakia and some other light tobacco (¿another kind of Virginia?). It smells rich and full without being boring. Packing it is simple explecially if you came from VA flakes. At first is very neutral, but after few minutes it gets interesting and you can smell various flavours (i.e. the nuances of a good virginia added to the classical oriental scent). The smoke is tasty but it never gets too strong and it always stays cool; this tobacco is definitely easy to smoke. The only drawback is that the mixture is quite simple (actually the taste does not change very much while smoking), but I think this is O.K. for an all day tobacco like this one.

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howie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
howie (46)
★★★★
Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I have smoked from two different tins of this, with a very different opinion. The rating given is for an older tin from the early 90?s. This is a spectacular smoke. Early flavor is somewhat sour and does well to set it aside for 20 minutes or so after smoking for 5-10 minutes. The result is a wonderful medium English that moves on to become a very tasty Balkan style smoke, with an increasing darkness and smokiness as the bowl progresses. (5/2002)

A subsequent in from 2001 smokes without the complexity, and is not the same blend at all. Further notes to come. (5/2002)

I recently opened a tin of this that had aged on the shelf a bit. It is labeled as made in the EU, but does not have a made in Germany label. I suspect that this is from approximately ?98-00..giving it 3-5 years or so in the tin. This was highly improved from the virtually unaged tin smoked in 2002, but not as good as the older tin. Whether this is a function of age or production, I don?t know. The flavor was much more complex, with a stronger presentation of the nutty oriental components in the midrang (March, 2004)

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JohnnyFlake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JohnnyFlake (17)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable

October., 2003) Tin aroma is heavy oriental (Musty) with virginias (Sweetness) and hints of latakia (Nutty). It is a thin ribbon cut which is about 80% tan & brown with hints of brighter leaf and about 20% black. Upon firing this tobacco up, you immediately pick up a burst of oriental flavors, pungent, tangy and and semi-sweet. The latakia is very laid back and it's diffcult to recognize, although, if you hunt for it, you'll pick some smoky, nutty undertones. This is truely an Oriental, thus the name of this blend. I would not even classify this tobacco as an english but since there is latakia in the mix, I guess it does. This is a very tasty blend with a fair amount of complexity, with respect to the oriental tobacco. No doubt, the latakia and virginias play a part in the overall flavor profile but they are minor roles. I like this blend! It gets slightly richer and stronger as the bowl smokes down which is to be expected but it remains cool, easy to smoke and very tasty. I don't sense a more than average offering of nicotine in this blend. 4 out of 5 Flakes - Highly Recommended!

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LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Not the easiest blend to find, Oriental reinforces my opinion that Latakia is not the most important component of an English/Balkan blend. Don't get me wrong- I love Latakia as much as the next guy, and probably more, but it's the other Orientals (and not just the women) that get my blood running.

If Virginia is the Cabernet Sauvignon of the pipe world- big, bold, and authoritative- then the Orientals are surely Pinot Noir- light, fragrant, and ethereal. They are aromatic, in the proper sense of the word.

McConnell's Oriental is a very nice product that's a wonderful alternative to the heavier English blends without sacrificing anything in terms of taste.

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Inquisitor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Inquisitor (155)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

(From blind tobacco review)

1st smoke is in a ceramic pipe, to avoid any pipe characteristics. Appearance: Standard cut for an English blend; ~50% black, 25% brown and 25% light tobaccos. Arrived at a perfect smoking humidity.

Tin aroma has a strong "smoky barbecue sauce" element to it, a savory feel. I'm guessing this blend will have some sweetness to it.

At first light, I'm struck by the balance of flavors. The Latakia is restrained, more than mere condiment but very harmonious with the other components. I would classify this as a Virginia English, as the Virginias are the heart - very high quality (I'd guess from the US), naturally very sweet and some zestiness (bright or red, maybe stoved Virginia), and extremely satisfying. There is an Oriental leaf element, which really pulls the blend together and lifts it above the ordinary. It is warm, with a caramel/toasted marshmallow tone that is substantial, both in the middle and upper bass ranges. This blend doesn't so much rely on the Latakia for its depth and fullness, but rather integrates the Latakia with the Virginias for a more complex bass range. To its credit, this blend would probably smoke deliciously even without Latakia, although I would miss its significant contribution.

Second and third smokes are in Savinelli Capri Root Briar and Comoy Grand Slam. I notice no appreciable differences from the first smoke. A very consistent blend, and a pleasure. I would give this blend an 87 out of 100. Many similarities to Dunhill EMP.

(Note: since this review, I have tried another 12 - 15 English blends. Relatively speaking, this moved down to "I smoke this on occasion." EMP is still "one of my favorites).

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mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A real star, subtle and delicate. Has none of the sharpness of most balkan blends. A rich smooth smoke dominated by the orientals of course but rich and complex. A must try tobacco.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

When trying the McConnell range, I had to keep in mind that the same guys do the Rattrays line. The tin had a strong aroma of orientals, hence the name. I packed this in an old Barling prince, and lit it up. Charring produced the acidic taste which one should expect, with the Va.'s keeping pace. Smoked cool and steady, a flavorful tobacco, which could be classified as medium, a little stronger towards the bottom, which is expected. Tasty, not in your face, to quote one, and could be an all day smoke. A good blend.

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mparker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker (51)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Very nice medium english blend. I smoke this primarily in a calabash, which helps punch up the sweetness a bit.

This blend really ranks up there with Dunhill's Durbar, IMO. It's not quite as complex as Durbar, but is a little lighter and hence a better all-day smoke.

It also leaves very mild aftertaste, and the wife noted pleasantly that even after multiple bowls that a simple brushing seemed to eliminate the ashtray mouth syndrome, another major plus that I've only experienced with one other blend (a homemade blend of burley and turkish).

Highly, highly recommended to any fan of the medium balkan blends like Durbar and Sullivans

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lustra Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lustra (170)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

In the tin, this is a finely-chopped ribbon of blacks and dark browns with a little bright leaf. The tin aroma is quite pungently Oriental. Tin moisture is near perfect and the chopped ribbon is easy to load. First light gives a very cool, almost neutral smoke with just a touch of Oriental acridity to the flavour and aroma. As the bowl progresses, the smoke stays wonderfully cool, subtle, and lightly sweet with a hint of nuttiness. This is hardly an in-your-face full English, but it is a very nice quiet friendly blend with excellent breeding and manners. Recommended.

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