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A rich Oriental base and wide cut Virginia Brights, rich and sweet, stout but never heavy.

Notes: To those who think, "Latakia = Strong", here was The Stout to change that thinking. It's a broadcut mixture with striking bright and dark tobaccos - though these colors may have muted over the years. The first pleasure of The Stout came upon opening the tin and smelling in its initial aroma. Then detangling the compressed tobacco from its tin. Wow, and we haven't even packed the bowl yet... In its time there was no tobacco like The Stout. Approximately half the blend was a mixture of Lakatias - unheard of in its day. Yet The Stout was the most mellow of E&C's English mixtures, though one wouldn't call it mild. This mixture has a richness which could be enjoyed all day, and yet our offices were often filled with "Stout Smoke" at 8:30am. A special tobacco - which even the very low key Mr. McConnell felt was an, "accomplishment." The Stout was an Elephant & Castle original. As with all the tobaccos in the Elephant & Castle range, tins of "The Stout" was hand blended in the McConnell factory on Barking Road in London, England. It is at least 13 years old.

Information from "The E&C Story" on the Marble Arch Ltd. website:

BrandElephant & Castle
Blended ByPeter & Robert Siegel
Manufactured ByC.E. McConnell
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50g Tin, 250g Foil Bag
ProductionNo longer in production
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None Detected
Room Note
Very Pleasant, Pleasant, Tolerable to Strong
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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Almost all black with some browns and a couple dots of tan - ribbon cut. Deep rich oriental aroma with spice to the extreme! Absolutely mouth watering tin aroma. This was a lucky pickup for me. While not cheap, it wasn't as expensive as these types of blends tend to be. I recall smoking a tin of this many years ago and finding it a typical lat bomb that wasn't terribly interesting. So let's see what 30 years have done.

First of all, this is no longer a lat bomb. The Cyprian latakia has subsided considerably and is now a condiment. I can't say for certain but it appears there is also Syrian latakia in this mix, as there is a dark spicy flavor that I associate with that varietal. What makes this tobacco special at this point, however, is the interplay between the orientals and the Virginias. This is now closer to what I would call a typical Scottish blend, with light latakia, heavy orientals and a "toasted bread with light butter" Virginias. Very spicy but not overwhelming, and with just a hint of sweetness that is more butter than sugar. The latakias are light and bring more wood than smoke, and a different kind of spice than the orientals. The entire stew was glorious, and very likely one of the 5 or 6 finest tins of tobacco I've ever enjoyed. This is what I'm hoping becomes of some of those heavy lat blends that I've cellared after a few decades. Currently Germains 1820 comes closest to this but it's still missing that perfect synergy where all the tobaccos come together and make a completely sublime bowl of tobacco that I wished would never end. Hugely recommended!

Age When Smoked: 30 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Heaven in a can! The Stout was E&C's most popular mixture and it was a dandy. Very reminiscent of the old Sullivan Powell Gentleman's Mixture in that the Orientals were a strong player but did not interfere with the exceptional well put together Virginias (McConnell's was the manufacturer and they knew their Virginias!), and there was enough Latakia in the blend to keep anyone happy. A remarkable blend that really shines now. Every blue moon I manage to get my hands on a 30 year old tin and it does not last long.

2 people found this review helpful.

Brakepipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brakepipe (7)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong

To what end does one review a tobacco long passed into memory and the likes of which will never be seen again? The testimony as tribute is its own justification, I suppose: "I was there. I am a witness." When a tin of this was gifted to me by a tobacconist friend in the 1980s I was exclusively a smoker of Balkan Sobranie 759, as high a bar as one could imagine in smoking culture. I dedicated an unsmoked Sasieni 4 dot to The Stout and for many years after the tobacco's disappearance would not use the pipe - simply pick it up and inhale all that was left of The Stout's luxuriously rich smokiness. This was a Latakia blend of profound depth - think Nightcap aged in port wine barrels for 10 years. My enduring memory of it is an almost "chewy" smoke with a sweet dark dried fig aftertaste.

We are presently in an age of superb pipe tobacco blending. Some English latakia/oriental forward blends, (e.g., ET's "Margate"), come very close to my beloved 759. But "The Stout" was in a class of its own - an "accomplishment", yes, and one that will not be equaled in my lifetime. Thank you, Mr. McConnell and E&C. I enjoyed it very much.

Pipe Used: Sasieni Ruff Root Dublin

1 person found this review helpful.