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A natural ready rubbed dark Virginia with a nut like bouquet.

BrandRobert McConnell
Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50g Tin
CountryDE
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Mild
Flavoring
Extremely Mild
Taste
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant

Favorite Of 1 Users

3.3
17 reviews
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Xious Sonenberg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xious Sonenberg (9)
★★★★
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is one of the Robert McConnell tobaccos that I keep returning to, with or without hiatus. The base is red-bronze VAs, with a hint of Red VA Cavendish (not black Cavendish) in a cross between broken flake and ribbon texture.

This works best in a small to medium briar bowl, and smokes fine without relighting; the burn is smooth and cool, and the taste is refreshing. There is a notable top dressing, which I liken to citrus and honey, meshing well with the VAs for what I call a 'fairy cake' taste, and a pleasing aroma for your company.

Nevertheless, the top dressing is there; if you are a purist, you may not enjoy this straight-away, but I took to it quickly, although I was somewhat misled by the name. I originally procured some years back expecting an English, and was shocked and disappointed, but quickly overcame this with an appreciation for what it is, rather than how it's named.

The flavour and intensity build as you enjoy a bowl, but if you use too large a pipe, you may get more than you desired. I find that it has a bit of a kick, and makes a good evening smoke to relax, or a pick-me-up in the morning, and works well as an after-supper delight.

It is also an excellent sweetener for refreshing a soured pipe. Many a pipe that has become too 'ashy' for me has recovered quickly after building a slight cake with this blend.

I believe it to have a twinge of Red VA Cavendish, adding to the sweetness without ever being dominant, like a whisper in the dark. Otherwise, the Red VA base is predominant, and the coppery qualities of that leaf are shadowed and muted by the confection-like aromas that it produces.

This is another of my regular-rotation blends, and despite the fact that it is dressed, you may find it a quite appealing addition to your cellar. Aging here, is not required, and a green tin smokes as well as two-year, which I presume is due to the topping and Red VA Cavendish. I have had a four-year that was just about the same as a fresh tin, so cellaring is neither mandatory, nor really beneficial, unless you stow it for a decade or more, in which case, it will likely mature further, but may become softer in the process.

As I enjoy the Nicotine hit, I prefer it fresh.

I do not find it apt for a clay, as there is little moisture to absorb, and the cut makes it burn too hot in that type of material. Briar is the best bet here, and a medium-sized bowl seems to best suit this cut and texture.

Overall, it is a pleasant, anytime smoke, with enough of a kick to keep you alert and is complex-enough to keep it interesting; the flavour builds in strength as you smoke it, and it is also a delightful blending base. I often mix a bit of it with some bright VA and Syrian leaf for a complex English, however as it is only available in a tin and not in bulk, this becomes a costly process.

if this was available as a bulk, I would use it as a primary component in some mixtures.

4 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (31)
★★☆☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This may not be the same blend as it was ten years ago.

On the 50g tin just purchased in Germany and produced in March of 2013 the description says "made from ripe Virginia leaf from Africa and Brasil as well as oriental tobaccoes from Greece and Turkey. A sweet blend, rich in aroma and flavor." It gives no information as to the cut of the tobacco. However the K&K website says "Dark, spicy, hand-rubbed Virginia flake," and indicates that it has a top flavor of chocolate. The picture of the tin adds "fine cut tobacco" under the name. The picture on the smokingpipes.com site says "rough cut pipe tobacco," where the contents are described as "a natural ready rubbed dark Virginia with a nut like bouquet."

So what is it? If I have an opportunity to ask the people from K&K, I will post the information. If aromatics are your thing, this may be just the smoke for you, but for this smoker hoping for ripe Va. leaf with orientals from Greece and Turkey, it is a disappointment: a non-descript and undistinguished melange obscured by the topping. In deference to the positive responses below: two stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (557)
★★☆☆
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Fully rubbed out deep-brown color with a tin note of nuts and cherries. I hope I got past that when I smoked it, and indeed I did not taste any such thing. :) The room note was pleasant and I got a lot of compliments, sniffers citing everything from chocolate to fruit to various scented candles. Unfortunately, the taste ran the gamut of overly mild to rough and it didn't produce a lot of flavor. As possibly one of McConnell's entries into the aromatic realm, it succeeds on some levels. It's a very dry smoking, heavily scented blend with a very mild flavor. Those around the smoker will surely approve.

Unfortunately, the flavor borders on flat, when it's not being rough. This tasted like a burley when it hit the halfway point and clearly did not appreciate being "oversmoked". Light sipping revealed this to be a rather lightweight aromatic but one that does not produce any appreciable wetness in the pipe heel. I did not finish the tin but I am going to try some blending experiments with it to try and get some more flavor from it. Recommended to those who enjoy very light tasting but hugely scented blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

Nonpareil Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nonpareil (13)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

What a pleasant surprise!

I have tried numerous Virginia blends over the years without much enjoyment. They are either too cigarette-like or taste like burning grass clippings.

A few matured Virginias have been promising (the best being Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake)so I have continued searching for a blend that would be an occasional diversion from my usual English blends.

I had a tin of Special London Mature on the shelf for several years, being leary of yet another disappointment, let alone a flavored one!

I find this to be quite enjoyable. The tobacco is either a coarse ribbon or a thoroughly broken flake. It does have a somewhat chocolate cherry note in the tin, quite pleasant but not at all evident in the smoke.

Instead there is a warm slightly nutty and quite satisfying flavor, medium bodied and not too heavy with nicotine.

In the cool autumn we are having this is proving to be the tobacco equivalent of comfort food.

2 people found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (84)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Opening the tin I stiffened with fright: my nostrils were invaded by the smell of chocolate-covered cherry brandy, I was afraid of facing a heavily flavored tobacco! After airy tobacco, I loaded my pipe and fortunately the original topping has almost vanished, in effect the flavoring of this tobacco is rather cloying but fortunately it is very ethereal (especially the smell of cherry liqueur) so vanishes lighting the pipe and letting emerge the elegant structure of this blend. SL is a mild tobacco in any sense: mildly chocolately, mildly tangy, mildly nutty, slightly bitter-sweet-salty-spicy and a bit yeasty. Surely this blend is not composed of only Virginia but is present some Burley and/or Cavendish (not only for aroma, taste and flavor but also for the good body despite low nicotine), SL offer a smoke smooth and sufficiently cool, no bite to the tongue and only a few relights, for me is a very suitable tobacco for this season and recommended for beginners too.

2 people found this review helpful.

Kegworth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kegworth (7)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I came home from a 7 hour driving trip and looked over my tins for an evening smoke after dinner. This blend was my choice and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. First of all, it was consistent throughout and and the flavor and taste was quite satisfying. Because the tin had been in my collection for a while, it was sufficiently dried and there was no need to relight. I enjoyed the flavor, the taste, the plumes of full and satisfying smoke as I smoked my pipe. Good stuff--perhaps my favorite Robert McConnell mixture. I recommend this any time of day. It is amazing the variety we can choose from as pipe smokers.

2 people found this review helpful.

SirLoirn Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SirLoirn (126)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

Tin: Sweet, oats, and dull natural syrup scent, perhaps molasses-sorhgum. Brown-mahogany. The tobacco is a rubbed out flake, leaving a thick ribbon product. It comes wrapped in a neat paper package. When rolled into a ball, if slowly falls back apart.

Packing & Lighting: Packed without too much trouble, and stayed lit, with one relight.

Aroma & Taste: Nice, pleasant, unoffensive; not sharp, harsh, or tangy. Faintly sweet. Not much character. The bowl has a sweet scent. Light gurgle.

Nicotine: mild

Romm Note: light, pleasant VA scent, almost nonexistant.

Overall: The main feature was that this tobacco had no unpleasant qualities, but also lacked much of any distinct qualities. This compares to Samuel Gawith's Full VA Flake but does not have as much depth. 3 stars for being unoffensive.

2 people found this review helpful.

The_Phantom_Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The_Phantom_Piper (11)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A very nice Virginia blend with a slight taste of what I would describe as nutty blend of pecans. London Mixture packs quite easily, and I have had no problems in keeping it lit.

This tobacco stays quite flavorful & mild quite close to the last 1/3 of the bowl, and displays a nice steel ash at the bottom. Unlike other blends this does not leave residue within your pipe bowl, nor does it leave a bad scent in the bowl either.

The room note to this is very mild & pleasant, as my fiancee can attest to. She describes it as "the scent of the woods in the fall".

On a side note this tobacco goes very well with a cup of coffee.

All in all, I would heartily recommend this blend to long time VA lovers or to someone new to VA blends.

2 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★★★☆
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Like many English/Scottish tobacco houses, McConnell´s name is now a German enterprise. How has this affected the original taste of the house blends is difficult to tell. Judging by the Cohlhacs & Kopp rendering of Rattray´s tobaccos (by the way, it is the same house that now produces McConnells?), it seems some of the Continental versions tend to follow the traditional processes and produce something very similar to the ?real thing?. Though I have never tried this particular tobacco before (i.e, the original McConnell version), I must say it is a wonderful, smooth matured Virginia, with a very subtle nut topping that virtually disappears by the first third of the bowl, leaving a very mild and velvety flavour, a kind of lighter version of the bygone Sobraine?s Virginia Reserve.

It should be noted that the actual name of this weed, according to the tin, is Special London Mature (fine cut tobacco). The tin depicts a mid XIXth Century street scene (it could be London, Copenhagen, or Edinburgh for that matter), very much in concordance with the type of illustrations one finds in other McConnell, Radford or even Larsen tins. Dickens, anyone?

Dark and medium brown broken flake, the aroma in the tin is very fresh and enticing (I wouldn?t bet this is something the traditional British pipe smoker actually appreciates), not entirely sweet, but fruity, nutty and woodsy. I don?t find it necessary to further break apart the broken flake, but pack it as it is right into the bowl. It lights quite easily and burns cool and slowly. I have smoked this in a well seasoned Savinelli Roma bent apple (a pipe that has only known Virginian tobaccos), and was instantly gratified by a non biting, very mild tobacco. It does seem to lack some personality and body, but as a mid-afternoon smoke it is excellent. The room aroma is very civilised (not at all an aromatic in the artificial sense of the word), and my wife is always greatly impressed by the discreet elegance of the aroma (she is now a non cigarette smoker). All in all, a very nice and mellow smoke, light and easy, that can equally be enjoyed by both, aromatic and non aromatic smokers, especially if looking for a change of pace.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Now this is a nice London blend! I have smoked multiple bowls of this stuff all in one sitting, which is a bit unusual for me. It has just the right amount of everything a pipe smoker could want, and I really think you will enjoy it.

Unlike Dunhill's London Blend, which, unfortunately, is a very crude mixture, this one has character. It is lighter in flavor than the Dunhill version, and not nearly so harsh. The virginia leaf is exquisite, and the blend packs well and smokes easily.

If you have unrefined tastes and enjoy the harsher stuff like Dunhill's London Mixture, Rattray's Red Raparee, etc., then you will not appreciate this glorious blend. If, like me, you prefer subtle flavor and a smoooooth taste, give this Robert McConnell blend your immediate attention! And, if you want comic relief while smoking this blend, do so while reading the next reviewer's comments. What a hoot!

2 people found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★☆
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Special London Mature came in the pictured 50grms tin, the inner packing is a (stained) wax paper lining.

K&K declares this to be a blend of dark and aromatic (wurziger) virginia flake mildly topped with chocolate. Whichever the topping is, IMHO this is not imparting anything so heavily, it just adds a "colour" to the blend.

My tin was waiting cellared a couple of years or so.

Unlike Red Virginia, the cut is quite rough. I have felt a further rubbing-out unnecessary, just rolled some tobacco into a ball and loaded in the pipe.

After the charring light (SLM is easy to start), the smoke is mild and a just bit stingy with a pleasant citrusy note over a substantially nutty aroma. It soon does compact into a thick smoke with nice volume. Nutty/salty is the combination I would say about the aroma. The smoke is remarkably refreshing and never hot nor aggressive.

The strength is mild with occasional reinforcements. The body does never reach the medium mark.

In some way I'm noticing a comparison with Olsen's B93, or thinking to a milder and more fresh brother of Rattray's Old Gowrie.

I'm frankly satisfied with SLM, and will store a couple of tins for aging.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (65)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Edit: Dec 08

This blend smokes right on the edge of rough, as I find certain Burleys do (MacB Burley London). There is also a characteristic bitterness all the way through which I suppose might go with a cup of coffee.... but really, I would like a bit more sweetness either in the leaf or in the casing, a la Dark Twist.

Currently preferring Scottish Flake as a smoother, sweeter smoke. Still suspect similar base tobaccos but there is something burley-ish about this weed that I don't especially like.

_______________________________________________________

Nov 08 I agree with a lot of Pseudonym's comments. There are a lot of very subtly flavors here, carried on a full-bodied, fairly gentle smoke. There's something old-timey about this for me - I got to thinking of living in the woods.

Room note is neither nutty nor spicy - I was expecting something a little more like a glass of egg nog from the tin description. The room note has almost a burley sweetness to it, similar to Navy Flake, for instance.

I suspect I have a very recent tin - no mottling of the paper wrapper evident.

A decent if none too challenging smoke.

The more I think about it, the more I suspect this is Scottish Flake with a tiny bit of top dressing on it. Not a bad thing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

UPDATE 22 August 2008

After three days of the damp tissue and twenty four hours "Recovery" time, this tobacco now smokes splendidly, even though many would consider it "very moist", I must admit, it is on the very edge of what even I would call "worth putting a match too", it still burned well with no bite all the way down to the bottom, no dottle, when it stops smoking, it's gone !!! no need for a relight and a nice dry bowl. This is joining the ranks of "Must have in rotation" a well earned fourth star.

I recently bought several tins of tobacco which I have not tried before, some I have read about here, others, because they took my fancy and were to hand.

That said, SLM was one and this was the first one I looked at on tobacco reviews as I opened the tin, I was greeted with wax paper that had a motled effect, similar to the foxing one finds on some very old fine books. This rang a warning bell that the tobacco might be to dry.

The tobacco came in a brick and as I teased off sufficient to load my pipe I noted that the moisture content of this was minimal. It was then that I tried to savour the tobacco aroma, and beleive me, tried is the operative word, for at this point in reading the reviews, I had arrived (all to late) at Tantric's obeservation, who graciuosly suggested that the aroma may not appeal to the English nose.

Ye gods, how right you are Sir, were I to be asked for an opinion, I could only describe it in a most soldierly manner and as this sight is also used by ladies, I shall refrain, other than to say "I am blessed with a poor sense of smell"

During the course of the bowl the tobacco both delighted and changed in character for me, at first I knew I had a good, well behaved smoke that was going to be mild to medium with no bad habits, I wasn't quite sure of the pleasant flavours I was experiencing, and just as I thought I knew what they were, the whole character seemed to change again, in the end I gave up trying to fathom exact flavours and simply enjoyed the smoke.

Later that evening, I again fired up and thouroughly enjoyed.

However, today, third bowl, I noticed that the tobacco was realy dry as I went further into the brick. I can only assume that the moisture had long ago evaporated as it permeated to the surface and stained the wax paper, thus the foxing effect, (I am most careful to gently squeeze the edges of the tin lid to ensure I can hear the tin sanp shut when closing) for this bowl, unlike the others, which had burned slow and cool, was as noted by pixi 106, "Burned like a house on fire" and hot at initial light up, this I put down to my puffing but even with a serious slow down of smoking, the effect diminished little and within a very short time, I was left with just ash, no dottle which I hate.

I have now applied the damp tissue to the tobacco in order to re-hydrate and hopefully will be updating to a fourth star in the not to distant future.

1 person found this review helpful.

NapaWineLover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NapaWineLover (66)
★★★★
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

First, if you hadn't noticed the tin or a previous reviewer - this is actually Special London Mature (not mixture) and further the tin label states Fine Cut Tobacco. That is to say it is a fine (size) slice rubbed out, as opposed to a shag or medium or broad.

Second, with no offense intended, the name hasn't changed for a long time and it is most definitely a Virginia Cavendish. All VA and prepared in the English Cavendish style of stoving with some casing, but I don't believe anything more than some naturally derived 'simple syrup.' For this reason I believe O'Connell originated the term 'London' as not to confuse it with an 'English' blend that would presumably contain latakia, but at the same time pay homage to its English VA Cavendish roots.

I find this tobacco a delightful change of pace when something mild but not insipid is my choice. Then its a coin toss between this and Rattray's Brown Clunee. While Clunee is broad cut broken flake, they strike very similar chords for my palate.

Chords, in the sense that this may not be complex in that it is a singular varietal, but there is a richness in this mature VA that is very satisfying and all the while ... mild. Also, the sweet nuttiness that others have observed is my opinion as well, however, I do think it is the something special about the processing, because it doesn't taste like flavoring. Just an assertive sweetness that does not linger on the palate or in the pipe. I've enjoyed this tobacco for a long time and was surprised that I hadn't reviewed it. Very nice indeed.

Cheers,VC

1 person found this review helpful.

pxi106 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pxi106 (17)
★★★☆
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

A good quality matured virginia, with a pleasant nutty taste. This is a flavored tobacco--but if I wasn't told that by the label I would never have guessed. I would have just thought that the creamy nuttiness was just a characteristic of the maturing process.

A pleasant, well behaved tobacco requiring just a bit of rubbing-out prior to packing. Lights easily, burns like a house afire, but doesn't bite at all. It's most likeable quality is its inoffensiveness: if you are looking for a pleasant "public" tobacco, give this a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (58)
★★★★
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

When i open the tin for the 1st time i think this blend is for handrolled cigarette, the cut is very smooth and small like others handrolled tobacco and i dont read the notes at the tin if this blend is shag cut. I really like the nut flavor and a very light citrus smell at this blend. Is really good to make my pipe chamber smells better.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

The can actually says SPECIAL LONDON MATURE, not "mixture". This is not a BLEND at all, of course: it contains only ONE kind of tobacco (mahoganny Virginia) and to compare it to an English mixture with Latakia is a bit like comparing Charlotte Russe to kippers: pointless and mindless.

In our dumbed-down world, use of language not being what it once might have been, certain labels are applied with little reflection or discrimination. "London", "English Breakfast Tea", "Russian Caravan"??what do these things mean, other than a merchant's little hookline to the semi-educated? It's a bit like giving Spanish onion to somebody who wanted Spanish fly.

When the late Mr Alfred Dunhill of London, U.K., titled an English mixture with Latakia his "London Mix", he was suggesting something recognisable and accepted, as well as capitalising on the centrality of the British capital to Englishry in tobacco-blending?a marketable centrality, to be sure.

But what do Herren Kohlhaas & Kopp mean by "London Mature"? How would that be different, say, from..."Cincinnati Mature", or..."Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Mature" or "Düsseldorf Mature"? What is so recognisably and acceptedly "London" about mahoganny-coloured Virginia tobacco in a can?

Whatever these enterprising German gentlemen with perhaps something like a working knowledge of English may have meant, they have certainly managed to juggle reality for the Confused, insinuating their humble little mahoganny Virginia in with some of the oldest and best known and recognisable English blends, with which it has nothing whatever in common. Proof that you need only mention apples in order to sell oranges to idiots.

And how IS this little mahoganny Virginia, say you? Perfectly amiable, though not exactly memorable.

Nobody has rated this review yet.