Mac Baren Amphora Original Blend

A well-rounded blend, emphasizing the chocolate flavor of burley tobacco. Centuries of tobacco craftsmanship go into Amphora Original blend to bring out the rich chocolately undertones of the finest burley tobaccos, balanced with Orientals, Kentucky, and Virginia leaf. The result is a smooth textured and easy burning blend of rare distinction.
Notes: Made by MacBaren since 2006, the company owns the blend as of 2015.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate
Cut Ribbon
Packaging pouch weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

2.81 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 47 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 26, 2018 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have not smoked this since the 70's when you could buy it in every drug store. My wife got me a pouch, and it is the smoke I remember. It comes in the distinctive "mostly rubbed out" ribbon, and there is an appealing earthy cocoa note to the pouch. It may have come a little more hydrated than I might prefer. That did not stop me from codger scooping out of the pouch, giving it a firm thumb and lighting up.

The smoke is burley forward, and the flavor is a pleasant earthy/nutty with some sweet and hay from the Virginia. The little topping it has presents as slightly sweet and mellow to me. The Kentucky provides a subtle spicy edge, and there is some sour from the Orientals every now and then. I did not get the chocolate others seem to find in the flavor.

It smoked without drama and was not quirky. It took an average number of relights and was easy to sip while doing something else.

Amphora Brown was famously my great-uncle's goto smoke, and I can understand settling on this as an everyday smoke. It is good, and if I could still buy it in every drug store, I would do that from time to time.

This is easy to recommend, but it is really a remnant of another era where people wanted something good that was reliable and available to smoke as they went about their business. These days, most people seem to want a little more of the "wow" factor, since they are banished to the back porch to light up and need to make it a memorable experience.

This is a solid 3 for me.
25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 27, 2016 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
For over 10 years this used to be my go-to tobacco. In the late '90s, however, Douwe Egebert's--like many other companies--sold its tobacco interests to Imperial Tobacco Company. Unlike other transitions, this one did not go down well. Amphora regular became a lackluster, un-Cavendished melânge of very simple Burleys and Viriginas, ribbon cut, tasteless and rather stale.

Recently I learned that as of 2007, MacBaren is the new producer of the Amphora range. So I bought two 50g. pouches of what is now called Original Blend, in a nice metalic paper wraper, with a new design (more elegant), but with the brown color of old.

This is a considerable improvement on the ITC version, but it yet has match the truly original one. I believe the difference resides in MacBaren's passion for the Burley leaf as the dominant tobacco. This is not at all bad (I'm a big fan of Golden Extra and London Club), but it does change the delictae and complex equilibrium that Amphora regular used to have, i.e., a subtle and elegant balance between the Virginias, Burleys and Kentucky, plus the Oriental leaf (not Latakia).

Due to the way it was processed, I believe there were certain similarities between old Amphora regular and the also bygone Sobranie's Virginia #10. Both had a certain cigar quality, due to the use of cigar leaf in the latter and a Sumatra or Java Vrginia in the former.

In this version I can hardly taste de Orientals and Virginias. The Cavendish process also seems to be different (yielding a slightly harsher smoke), and the cut--though better than the ribbon style of ITC--is loser and tougher.

I am comparing both not out of memory. A friend recently got hold of the Douwe Egbert's Amphora regular, in a a 6 Oz tin, and--after a much needed process of rehydration-- I have been smoking both.

Still: this a good and simple smoke, mild to medium, with basically a natural taste in spite of the otherwise barely perceptible coca/chocalte topping. A good change of pace for English style smokers, and a more refined version of the Virginia-Burley-Kentucky (i.e., the current Three Nuns) out there.
Pipe Used: BBB straight Rhodesian.
PurchasedFrom: Duty Free St. Martens island.
Age When Smoked: 2 years after buying
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2017 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
A pretty nice Burley smoke. The Burley dominates early until joined by the Kentucky around the 1/4 mark. The chocolate/cocoa topping is light but evident. I can get hints of the Oriental and Virginias in the background. Can't taste the Cav, but I suspect that's what brings the mild sweetness. The only drawback here is the heat and for that I'll deduct one star.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. Flavoring is very mild. Burn is a bit quick.
Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus
Age When Smoked: fresh
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2011 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
On a whim I bought a pouch of this old veteran as I live in the Netherlands and it used to be produced here by Douwe Egberts, but nowadays by Imperial Tobacco. It is very popular among Dutch pipesmokers and I can understand why: a slightly sweet, spicy, mild and well burning cavendish that never offends. Recommended.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 05, 2017 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Mac Baren - Amphora Original Blend.

A fairly coarse, medium brown, ribbon with some pieces a few shades lighter. The unlit aroma is slightly sweet, however it's not too certain as to what the source of it is. The moisture of the blend's good.

Amphora Original was easily lit, burning well right away, maybe a touch quick, but not 'fast'. The tobaccos taste quality, but I get more Burley in comparison to the others. The other leaves are added in lesser quantities, they don't carry quite as much oomph. I find the Cavendish easier to notice, but the rest seem slightly lost. The topping comes over from the very start, gaining a little strength as a bowl progresses. Although it gains strength, it still doesn't go above mild.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: very nice.

A good quality smoke, albeit lacking something to earn full marks. I think three stars sums this up nicely:


Pipe Used: Davorin Devovic Morta
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The pouch I purchased seemed very fresh. Upon opening it, I didn't get the the aroma of cocoa, only a grassy Virginia smell with a mild sourness. Ribbon cut with some broken bits of flake. It required no drying, lit and burned well with no relights required after the charring light. Though I didn't smell cocoa in the pouch, I definitely tasted it--like powdered unsweetened Hershey's cocoa. It wasn't bitter, however. I would have appreciated a little more sweetness. It complimented the tobacco which seems to me to be of a very good quality. There was some nuttiness and a little pepper. There was also a creaminess about the smoke, and at times had a kind of evaporated milk note which I liked. The cocoa flavor definitely intensified as I got further down the bowl, and stayed present right until the end. The smoke was warm, but not hot. Nice for a cool evening. It didn't bite at all. I didn't puffed it hard, but I didn't sip it either. It behaves well. All in all this was a pleasant and relaxing smoke-not terribly complex, but certainly enjoyable. The room note was rather nice too. It's something that I'll smoke from time to time, and might buy again. It wasn't remarkable. It didn't make me say, "Wow!" However, I think its a good quality smoke at a very good price.
Pipe Used: MM filtered cob
Age When Smoked: Fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 22, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This tobacco is one of the best cavendish tobacco I have never smoked. Excellent, neutral, natural tobacco. But cavendish. I don’t know if there is some chocolate added. Or something else. I know this is a real natural cavendish tobacco (to be more precise, cavendish and not black cavendish). You can smoke it straight all day long and it doesn’t cloy. You can use it in all kind of mixture to improve it or to dilute an expensive tobacco, thanks to its neutral character. In my opinion this tobacco is a non-aromatic Cavendish and in this cheap product you can find the real taste of cavendish tobacco. In my personal rating (from 1 to 10) my score is 8/9 and three stars.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 17, 2010 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I have smoked Amphora OB (formerly Regular) a certain number of times in my long smoking life, never for itself but just because it is one of the few blends available in Italy - together with Italia and, in a smaller measure, Skandinavik Regular - good for house blending. The mixture Dunhill 965 + Amphora Regular (50/50) was a true classic back in the seventies, just as Sobranie Original Mixture + Italia (50/50) was too. Both good ways to reduce the considerable cost of smoking the expensive english mixtures of the time.

OB smoked alone belongs to the family of the regular/continental blends based on the triad VaBKy with occasional presence of Orientals (whose quality and origin who knows ?) or so-called Tropicals (Java, Paraguay or african weeds): a very balanced pout-pourry of many weeds, Burley being the main component. Very good to start new pipes because the non-characterization of the blend.

The smoke: not bad. A mild-to-medium strength mix of thin ribbon and ready rubbed, nutty/earthy with initial faint floreal notes, and some pleasant sourish effects to the tongue. Occasionally salty and piquant. To the nostril only tobacco aroma, I frankly don't detect any flavouring, not even the chocolatey one the pouch notes speak of. The body develops from refreshing to stouter, and sometimes makes me think of the current Three Nuns Original, just in milder way. The burning behaviour is very much good. Seems to me that OB benefits from larger bores.

A nice surprise indeed. OB is something no pipster should miss to taste in his life, and one of the best OTC blends available worldwide.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 01, 2020 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
I want to start from the blend. Here someone recognize the dark fire Kentucky, but for me there is not trace. The punch description says Virginia, Burley and Orientals, for me this is the real blend; nothing more. Now, going back to the review, the cut is not a ribbon, but is in the perfect style of Amphora's blend, so ribbon, ready rubbed and broken flake all togheter. The packing is easy but need experience due to the particolar cut. The combustion is regular too. The aromas are very simply and tipical of Virginia and Burley, the Orientals remain in the background, but pay a lot of attenction to the frequency and intesity of puffs becouse this tobacco easily tends to overbalance and then became unpleseant, bite a little, also with a standard/normal rythim. In my opinion this is not, literally, a "flavoured" tobacco, for me there is a light neutral casing. The Original is not a good tobacco, but at the same time is not a bad one. This tobacco can offer a relaxed smoke, obviusly simply, there are different better options, but Amphora Original owns its dignity and I respect this product.
Pipe Used: Savinelli, Ashton
PurchasedFrom: Tabacconist in Italia
Age When Smoked: Immediately after purchase
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 03, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
First impressions: The flavoring is really affective. The Cocoa/Chocolate is very subtle but the way it highlights and sets off the kitchen sink of varietals is absolutely delicious. Very smooth. With so much going on here the blend is surprisingly consistent and steady in its note. Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia oh my! I did detect a faint chemical note here and there.
5 people found this review helpful.
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